Choosing the best stand up paddle board - SUP - to suit your needs. - EPOXY/HARD vs. INFLATABLE
Choosing a Stand Up Paddle board,( SUP ), can be quite confusing given the amount of different options out there these days. We will attempt to simplify this process.....
-The wider the board the more stable, The longer the board the straighter it will paddle.
-The wider the board, more drag less speed. The narrower the board, less drag more speed.
SUPs basically come in 2 constructions: epoxy,(hard), or inflatable,(isup). iSUPS got a bad rap out of the gate, mostly I believe, because most people didn't put enough air in them and they were paddling a flat taco around the lake. Nowadays with the improvements to technology and construction there are very few draw backs to a properly inflated inflatable sup, especially for lakes and rivers. Although you can use inflatables to catch waves in surf conditions, waves are where an epoxy/hard board is superior in my opinion.
-For the recreational paddler the performance difference between hard/epoxy sups vs. inflatable sups is very minimal,(5%), almost nonexistent.
-Insuring your inflatable sup is properly inflated will far outweigh any performance differences between epoxy and inflatable sups. (MINIMUM 12psi+ it should feel hard to the touch)
-Inflatable sups are extremely durable, great for families with children.
-Inflatables are very easy to transport. They are easier to load and unload from vehicles and roof racks, and won't cause damage to vehicle if you hit the vehicle with the board. You can take them hiking to back country lakes and can be easily taken on flights as checked baggage.
-Inflatables take up way less space in storage when deflated, but can also be stored inflated.
So in my opinion, unless you live in very close proximity to waves and surf, the benefits of inflatable outweigh the very minimal drawbacks on performance.