Inflatable VS Epoxy- Which SUP board is right for you?

When it comes to buying your first Stand Up Paddleboard there are many questions that come up but the most popular is the classic Inflatable SUP versus Epoxy board debate.

Here are some answers to some common questions to help you decide which stand up paddleboard is best for you...

Epoxy SUP Boards, like Level Six's Eleven Six Touring SUP, though harder to transport require less prep work to get the SUP on the water. You get to the lake and you're right away ready to hop on the water. A Level Six Inflatable SUP board packs down into an easy transport backpack but requires several minutes to inflate the board using an air pump before getting on the water.

Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Easy to use SUP hand pump

A hardboard on the other hand requires roof racks or SUP stacker foam blocks and tie-down straps to transport on top of a vehicle but minimal prep to get the board on the water. Depending on the type of car available to you plays a large factor in whether you'll want to look into an Epoxy or Inflatable SUP board.

(If you're looking to travel inflatables can be checked in on an airplane for travel as a piece of larger luggage)

Inflatable SUP boards have a softer deck which makes it much easier on your body should you have a tendency of falling. The softer deck also makes Inflatable boards extremely kid-friendly. 

Kids of all ages can enjoy paddling on a stand up paddle board

Stand Up Paddle Boards are fun for the whole family!

Kid Friendly stand up paddle board fun for the whole family

Inflatable paddleboards are easier to repair (though seldom required with boards like the 11.6 HD inflatable made with dual-layer drop-stitch construction for long-term durability). Companies often have an in house repairs team for repairs on SUP boards but inflatables which include a repair kit are a lot easier for the owner to repair on their own compared to an epoxy board.

You can find repair videos on Level Six's Youtube channel.

Hard paddle boards are more agile and do provide a higher level of performance, making it a lot easier to catch waves when SUP surfing or an easier glide when racing.

Check out Level Six's Ten O Surf Sup Board for SUP surfing!

Level Six SUP surf board

The Ten-O serves as a general-purpose board but mainly designed for ripping waves.

What size paddleboard should you get? Depending on your height/ weight and experience you'll want different paddleboards. Be sure to check the rider weight in the board's specifications to determine which board is right for you.

But what is more stable? The stability of the board depends on the width, length, and thickness of the board. The bigger, thicker, and wider the board the more stable it will be. That is why specific yoga sup boards are often wider than a general sup board.

You can fit both inflatable and hard yoga boards on the market.

Inflatable Sup yoga board

To answer the age-old question of what is better an epoxy SUP board or an inflatable sup board; the answer is... it depends. 

Figure out what you're primarily going to be using the board for (surfing, yoga, family days on the lake, or fitness) then figure out what your transportation method is going be.

You can find a paddleboard rental location near you to test out hard and inflatable boards to help give you an idea of which one you'd like better.

If you have any questions regarding buying your first stand up paddleboard send us an email or chat with us on our online chat and we can help you narrow down your choices!

Level Six a Canadian company for everything paddling


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