Inflatable paddle boards have become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to their portability and ease of use. However, you may be wondering if inflatable paddle boards are durable enough to withstand the rigors of use.
Inflatable paddle boards are made from very durable materials, such as military-grade PVC, nylon, and Hypalon. These materials can withstand a lot of wear and tear, including bumps, scrapes, and even punctures.
Now that we’ve answered your question, let’s take a closer look at what makes these boards sturdy. We’ll also go through how long inflatable paddle boards last and how you can increase their lifespan.
What Makes Inflatable Paddle Boards Durable?
A few specific factors contribute to the durability of inflatable paddle boards.
PVC is the most common material used for inflatable paddle boards thanks to its strength, rigidity, and resistance to weathering, chemicals, and corrosion. PVC is also relatively inexpensive.
Other durable materials that are sometimes used for manufacturing inflatable paddle boards include Hypalon and nylon.
Hypalon is also called chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSM), which has high resistance to chemicals, ozone, and weathering. It’s also a good insulator and has great tensile strength. However, Hypalon is more expensive than nylon, as it’s not as easy to produce.
On the other hand, nylon is a type of polyamide celebrated for its strength, toughness, and abrasion resistance. It also creates relatively lightweight boards, but it isn’t as resistant to chemicals and weathering as Hypalon.
Inflatable paddle boards typically utilize drop-stitch construction. This means that the inner bladder of the board is made with a series of interconnected threads that create a strong, rigid board.
This drop stitching structure makes inflatable paddle boards more durable than traditional inflatable boards, which only use a single layer of fabric.
Lastly, the PSI (pounds per square inch) of an inflatable paddle board has a huge impact on its durability.
If you inflate an inflatable SUP board too much, it can be prone to tears. On the other hand, giving your paddle board a lower air pressure will make it lose its rigidness and be more likely to get punctured.
The optimal PSI for an inflatable board will vary depending on the board’s size and construction.
Some additional factors that can affect the durability of these boards include the thickness of the board and the quality of the sealant used.
How Long Do Inflatable Paddle Boards Last?
The lifespan of inflatable SUP boards depends on several factors, including the quality of the materials used, the construction of the board, how often you use it, and how well you care for it.
Many experienced paddlers can make their inflatable paddle boards last for years. For example, good-quality boards that get a regular maintenance routine can last three to five years.
You could also make your paddle board live more than five years if you go for a premium-grade product.
How to Make Your Inflatable Paddle Board Last Longer?
Here are some tips to increase the lifetime of your paddle board:
1. Inflate Your Paddle Board to the Proper PSI
The recommended PSI for your paddle board will be in the owner’s manual. Usually, paddle board PSI values range from 10 to 25 PSI.
Here is a general overview of the PSI ranges for different types of iSUPs (inflatable standup paddle boards):
- All-around iSUPs: 10-15 PSI
- Touring boards: 15-20 PSI
- Whitewater iSUPs: 20-25 PSI
- Racing boards: 20-25 PSI
It’s also worth noting that you should make sure that your body matches the weight capacity of the rigid board. This should go hand-in-hand with the right PSI value.
2. Avoid Sharp Objects While Paddling
If you’re paddling in an area with sharp objects, such as rocks or coral, try not to drag your iSUP over them. This could cause punctures.
But don’t fret if you accidentally puncture your iSUP. Just repair the tear with a patch kit, and it should go back to its former glory!
3. Store Your iSUP Properly
When you’re not using your iSUP, place it in a cool, dry storage space to prevent it from getting damaged by different outdoor elements. Keeping it away from direct sunlight, rain, or snow will go a long way in maintaining the firmness and integrity of its materials.
If you’ll be storing your iSUP for an extended period, consider deflating it slightly to help prevent the seams from drying out.
4. Clean It on a Regular Basis
After each use, rinse your iSUP with fresh water and leave it to dry completely in the fresh air. This practice should remove dirt, salt, and other debris that could wear out the board over time.
In addition, if you often paddle in salt water, you may also want to rinse your inflatable paddle board with a mild soap solution. It should help prevent the accumulation of salt on your board.
5. Use a Protective Board Bag
A protective board bag can protect your high-quality iSUP from scratches and tears during transportation.
You’ll just have to make sure that the bag is made of durable materials, such as nylon or polyester, and that it has a padded interior.
6. Inspect Your iSUP From Time to Time
It’s a good idea to check your iSUP for any signs of damage every now and then.
If you see any tears or punctures, repair them immediately to boost your paddle board’s lifespan.
To Wrap It Up
Are inflatable paddle boards durable?
Yes, inflatable paddle boards are a durable and versatile way to enjoy a variety of conditions, from flat water to choppy water. This is all thanks to their sturdy materials, solid drop-stitch construction, and suitable PSI value.
Better still, with proper care and maintenance, an iSUP can last for many years ranging from three to more than five!
If you’re considering buying an iSUP, choose a board made from high-quality materials with a double-layer board structure.