Rigid vs. Inflatable SUP

Not sure which kind of stand up paddle board is right for you?


Not sure which kind of stand-up paddle board is right for you? Rigid boards and inflatable boards both have pros and cons, so check out our guide to see which is right for your lifestyle.



Inflatable boards are definitely easier for apartment-dwellers or anyone with limited storage space. They are also more compact and easy to transport. Rigid boards require either a roof rack or a larger vehicle to transport. Rigid boards also weigh more, so they do require a bit more lugging from the car to the water.


Inflatable boards require you to inflate them before your paddle boarding session. Afterwards, you’ll need to deflate them to put them back in the car. While it’s not that big of a deal, some people do prefer the grab-and-go convenience of a rigid board.


Inflatable boards are less prone to damage than rigid boards. If you drop or dent a rigid board, you could create an opening for water to seep into the foam. You’ll need to repair any dings to a rigid board ASAP. By contrast, most inflatable boards are made of durable PVC.


Rigid paddle boards offer better performance and speed than inflatables. This won’t be noticeable to a beginner, but if you’re a professional interested in SUP surfing or racing, a rigid board will be more agile on the water.

Boardworks SHUBU Kanaloa Recreational Inflatable Paddle Board

Our Inflatable Paddle Board Recommendations

Boracay NXT 10.4 Inflatable Paddleboard

The Boracay NXT 10'4 is ideal for beginners who want to discover the sport of paddle boarding. The Drop Stitch construction ensures great rigidity, durability, and stability. The Boracay NXT 10'4 is the perfect solution for easy transportation and limited storage space. This board comes in a package with a carry bag, pump, leash, a phone dry pouch, and a paddle.

Blue Pelican Boracay NXT 10.4 Inflatable Paddle Board

SHUBU Kanaloa Inflatable Paddleboard

The SHUBU Kanaloa is our high-end board designed with high quality DFL Construction. It benefits from the performance, durability, stability and rigidity without the added weight and ecological impact. This SUP has 10 anchor points with bungee cords and deck tie-downs to hold gear. It’s the perfect board for paddling adventures!

Boardworks SHUBU Kanaloa Recreational Inflatable Paddle Board

Our Rigid Paddle Board Recommendation

Versa 10'6 Rigid Paddleboard

Made with molded composite construction using ultra-durable kevlar & PVC, the Versa 10 '6 all-around SUP is resilient to the typical dings & dents of composite fiberglass boards.

Boardworks Versa 10'6" All-Around Paddle Board