How Long Can An Inflatable SUP Last? It Gives Value for Money!
Inflatable paddle boards have now become more popular than the solid ones, and it is easy to see why. Here are some of the obvious benefits that make these boards good for everyone:
- They are easy to transport and store
- They are repairable
- Good for every skill level
- They last long with good care
- The inflatable SUPs are more affordable
Today, we shall be looking at how much life you can expect from your iSUP (the small i is for inflatable).
When you are buying the board, you want to be sure that it is worth the money. That is why its durability matters a lot.
So, how long will an inflatable SUP last? An average of 3 to 5 years is a good time to have an inflatable SUP board. If you neglect the board, it can last much less than that. Likewise, if you take good care of the inflatable SUP board, it can last more than five years.
While inflatable SUP boards are considered as best for beginners, they can last a long time with good care.
In another article, we looked at winter storage tips for paddle boards. If you need yours to last a long time, you need to store it just right, give it the right care and maintenance.
Of course, the lifespan of your inflatable stand up paddle board is in your hands entirely. If you give it good care, it can last many years. If you neglect it, a single knife slash can render it useless.
Since paddle boards cost a good amount of money, give it good care and maintenance so that it can last a long time.
Tips To Make Your iSUP Last a Long Time
Since we have seen that the answer to how long do inflatable paddle boards last is dependent on you, here are things that you can do to make the iSUP last a long time:
1. Choose a good brand name
In a market that teems with high quality and authentic products, there are also many imitations and counterfeits.
In fact, I covered this exclusively in my article on SUP Brands To Avoid Buying.
Some brand names are known for their quality, considering the length of time that they have been in the market.
While there is nothing wrong with buying from a brand name that has just come into the market, an older brand is more trustworthy.
As we said, inflatable and solid paddle boards can cost a lot of money. This is why you should trust an older brand name than a new one.
For example, you might want to buy the SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board on amazon.com.
It is also better to buy on the large online marketplaces such as Amazon.com because they have a 30-day return policy. Thus, if the board has any defects, you can return it for a refund or a replacement.
On top of choosing a good brand name, buy a new inflatable paddle board so that it can last longer. Secondhand or cheap stand up paddle boards cannot last long enough.
2. Design and material of the iSUP
It can be hard to tell the kind of workmanship that has gone into the creation of inflatable SUP boards. However, you can guess from the price of the board. It also determines inflatable sup longevity.
In the market, you can get boards under high, medium and low budget. When it comes to your safety when paddle boarding, you cannot compromise on the quality of the board.
It is thus better to pay a higher price and get more features than pay less and get fewer features.
You have a choice to buy a single layer or double layer PVC board. Of course, the double layer is harder, more durable, and it can take a beating without giving up. It will also cost more money than a single layer board.
Some inflatable boards come with up to four layers of PVC. Let’s just say that multiple layer inflatable stand up paddle boards will last longer than single or double layer ones.
3. The seam quality – glue and weld seam is best
In addition to the quality of the material used to make the inflatable stand up board, the seam quality is very important.
There are different types of seam designs on inflatable SUP boards. However, the two most popular ones are made of glue and weld.
It is best to go for the welded seams because they do not degrade when exposed to sunshine or water. Technically, the weld on the seams can last as long or longer than the paddle board itself.
You can repair inflatable paddle board seam.
4. Extra protection features – double layer PVC
How long will an inflatable SUP last if it is made of multiple layers of PVC and has proper seams? Well, as it turns out, even the quality of the finishing really matters a lot.
Because SUP boards are for outdoor use, manufacturers apply a protective layer that keeps the board safe from damage, from UV rays.
The protective layer contains a sunblock, which will remain potent for a long time. The finishing and the quality of the sunblock can also determine how long an inflatable SUP can last.
5. Inflatable paddle board care and maintenance
Once you buy an inflatable paddle board, get busy finding out how you can maintain and care for it so that it can last a long time.
Here are few tips for how to take good care of your inflatable stand up paddle board:
Repair it as soon as damage occurs
Because of falling into the water too often, hitting the paddle board with the paddle and exposure to the elements, your paddle board will sustain damage. It is vital that you repair the board as soon as the need for repair arises.
Luckily, inflatable paddle boards come with repair kits. Even if yours did not come with one or you misplaced it, you can always order another one. Also, inflatable SUP boards are easier to repair than solid paddle boards.
You can read our article here on how to repair a paddle board.
Clean and dry it well before storage
Make a habit of cleaning your stand up paddle board before storage. That way, you are going to notice cuts, scratches and other wear easily.
Also, cleaning the board clears away sand, gravel and other debris that it collects on the beach. Remember, saltwater can damage the protective layer on the board.
Before you can store the paddle board for winter, air-dry it completely. Most likely, you will not store the board when it is inflated.
If you roll it up and stash it into its bag when it is not completely dry, it can create a nasty smell of vomit. It can also cause mildew and mold.
Even if you are storing the stand up paddle board temporarily for a day or two, dry it with a towel as soon as you get out of the water.
Handling and transport
The iSUP is a joy to transport and to store. You can deflate it, roll it up and stash it into is carrier bag. The only solid paddle board that comes close to this when it comes to transportation is the Easy Eddy 3-Piece paddle board, and it is really expensive.
In another article, we discussed how you can transport a paddle board without a roof rack. Thankfully, this is not something that you have to worry about with the inflatable SUP board.
Remember to handle the SUP board with care. For instance, do not drag it on a rocky beach. It is easy to sustain cuts that way.
Also learn how to use a paddle board. That way, you will be able to avoid practices that can cause damage to it.
If you are transporting it while it is inflated, protect it well. Take special note of the air pressure valve and avoid placing things on it.
How long does it take to inflate a paddle board? How long does it take to deflate a paddle board? Knowing the answer to these and more questions can help the board last longer.
Are inflatable paddle boards as good as solid?
If you pop over to any online marketplace right now, you will find that the inflatable paddle boards have become more popular.
They are cheap, and easier to inflate, transport, and store. You can also repair yours easily and give it a new lease of life, actually, many times over.
Like their solid counterparts, these come in different thicknesses. You can find 4 or 6 inch thick iSUPs. The 6-inch thick one is more stable on the water. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, there is a board for your skill level.
Inflatable standup paddle boards have more flex than the solid ones. Therefore, when you are paddleboarding in the river where you might encounter floating debris, the iSUP handles better than the solid board. Inflatables will take abuse better than the solid ones.
Inflatables are more likely to sustain punctures which are easier to repair, as compared to the solids, which can break apart. Repairing a broken solid board would take more time, and more money.
Because of the obvious advantages that the inflatables have over the solids, we can say they are a much better investment. Please note that apart from the exceptional case of the Easy Eddy Modular Paddle Board, most solids cost less than inflatables, but still, the iSUPs are a sounder buy for anyone.
Mistakes that shorten the lifespan of iSUP
There are a few mistakes that can shorten the lifespan of your iSUP. They are as follows:
- Riding it over places with rocks, sticks and other floaties
- Not inflating it to the recommended PSI all the time when you are using it
- Poor storage, for instance, without drying it completely
- Keeping it close to fire, which can melt the glues used to join layers
- Not inspecting it for damage after using it
How long do inflatable paddle boards last? As you have seen here, this mainly depends on you. With good care and maintenance, it can last many years.
The quality of the board itself also determines how long it can last. For instance, a new inflatable stand up paddle board will last longer than a secondhand one.
When you order your board, look for one that comes with a repair kit as part of the package. If not, consider buying a glue and patch iSUP repair kit, because you will need it.