GUIDE TO INFLATABLE STAND UP PADDLE BOARDS
The world of Stand Up Paddleboarding was transformed by the evolution of the inflatable paddle board. Until that time, the sport had predominantly been the preserve of big wave riders who used hardboards as a means of propelling themselves on to waves. These hard boards used existing manufacturing processes from other sports such as surfing, windsurfing and kayaking and used a variety of constructions, mostly based around a foam core encased by laminates of fibre glass, carbon or even thin laminates of wood. Whilst these boards proved effective for use in the waves as well as for racing, the inherent fragility and cumbersome nature made them impractical for the vast majority of would-be paddlers. And whilst these hardboards still have a place in the elite/professional side of SUP for paddlers looking for marginal differences in racing or waves, the performance margin has been reduced to almost nothing by innovations, materials and superior design at the premium end of the inflatable paddleboard market.