The inflatable SUP: major improvements – better than ever

Learn more about Bluefin Sup inflatables

The inflatable SUP (stand up paddle boards) have come a long way! From a technical standpoint, all aspects of stand up paddle boarding benefit from constant improvement as manufacturers respond to the exponential growth of the sport. Inflatable boards are no exception! 

Lightweight, highly portable, strong and durable, these boards a great way to enjoy flat water or ride the waves. Pump them up in as little as 5 to 10 minutes and you’re off! Keep it inflated all season, or deflate at the end of the day for compact storage. 

Inflating to the proper air pressure is critical; in the past this was the primary challenge, but the newer generation of pumps along with improved board construction makes it easy to inflate these boards to be almost as firm as a hard board, and remarkably quickly—so you can get right out there on the water. 

Dockslocks locking system

Inflatable SUP construction

The term "drop-stitch" (now industry standard) refers to a locked nylon stitch that drops down and joins the top and bottom inside PVC layers of the board, allowing for a greater amount of air pressure in your inflatable stand up paddle board. The surface materials are of super-strong composition, the same type used for military inflatable boats—they’re designed to take a beating. And they're perfect for manoeuvering in shallow rivers or creeks; even if you bump into a river rock, your inflatable will most likely just bounce off. 

Pros and cons


  • • Can be less expensive than a composite board
  • • Durable and light weight
  • • Ultimate travel SUP for air and ground transport
  • • Requires less storage space; can fit in your closet
  • • Very stable—a great beginner board
  • • Because there’s a bit of “give", they’re good for touring where rocks and other obstacles may be found
  • • Excellent for flat water paddling
  • • Good for fishing! Stability, stability, stability
  • • New, high performance inflatable boards are being developed for wave surfing.


  • • Not as streamline or as aesthetically pleasing (this is improving)
  • • Not ready-to-go: you’ll need to inflate with a hand or electric pump and connect accessories before you hit the water
  • • Not as rigid as a hard board (compromising speed and maneouverability). 

Note: Several manufacturers now assert that their inflatable boards seriously rival traditional hard boards in terms of performance! Try before you buy, and ask plenty of questions.

DESCRIPTION: Article on hard board versus inflatable board

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Home – where it all started

inflatable SUP

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