As soon as the beautiful season and the sun return, the ideal is to sail on the water, lulled by the sound of the waves. After telling you about the best inflatable kayaks, let’s give his cousin the stand up paddle. For more practicality, this discipline is also available in an inflatable version, so that you can take it everywhere without needing space.
This water sport brings more and more people together, whether for the sensation, for the glide, or for the landscapes and nature. Discover our comparison of the best inflatable paddles, to choose the one that will accompany you in all your excursions.
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What is an inflatable stand up paddle?
The stand up paddle, also called sup, is the ancestor of surfing. Standing on a rigid board, we move around with a paddle: it’s a bit of a mix between surfing and canoeing. The inflatable sup is exactly the same, but in an inflatable version for more practicality, space saving and financial savings. To practice, all you need is an inflatable paddle board, a high pressure pump to inflate it, and a paddle!
The paddle can be practiced in sea as well as in calm waters, in lakes and rivers. It’s all about balance, finding the right balance to stay upright without falling off while paddling.
How to choose the size of your inflatable sup?
You can find 5 types of paddles, rigid or inflatable. They differ in size, shape and use.
The longer the board, the less manoeuvrable it is. If you want an inflatable paddle for riding, a long and wide board will be more stable and more suitable. For sailing on the sea or in the waves, a short board will allow more manoeuvrability and practicality.
Width is a key point for stability: the wider it is, the more stable you will be. However, the board will also be heavier. When riding, a wide board ensures stability, on the sea, opt for a narrow board.
The thickness of the board determines the stiffness of the sup. This criterion should be chosen according to your weight, to ensure safety and stability. The most common thicknesses are 10, 12 and 15 cm. Of course, you can always choose a paddle board thicker than your weight if you want a lot of stiffness.
The different forms of paddle
You will be able to choose between the 5 different paddle shapes, depending on your use and your objectives:
- Paddle surfing: very similar to a surfboard with a rather short waist, it allows a better handling and is more suitable for wave riding.
- Versatile paddle: a little longer than the previous one and more rounded, it allows a better stability but remains easy to steer. You can use it in quiet rides as well as in the waves.
- Paddle race balade: longer and narrower than the multi-purpose board, it allows more speed, and is suitable for a sporting practice of the inflatable sup.
- Paddle Race: Even thinner and narrower, this paddle is designed for racing.
How to choose the right inflatable paddle?
If you opt for an inflatable stand up paddle for its practicality, there are nevertheless some criteria to be aware of before you set out to conquer the waves.
For this kind of product, it is better to focus on quality, even if it means investing a little more, to ensure solidity and security. These two factors are very important to avoid the risk of injury, and to have a board that lasts over time without getting damaged. Check the strength of the materials used before purchase.
As seen above, the rigidity of the inflatable paddle board will depend largely on its thickness. It’s up to you to decide whether you prefer a slightly soft or a hard board, depending on how comfortable you are with your balance and your level in sup inflatable.
As explained above in relation to its dimensions, the wider and longer your inflatable sup board is, the more stable (but more difficult to handle) it will be.
Generally, the weight of the inflatable paddle ranges from 7 to 13kg depending on the model. Essential point, this criterion has an impact on how easy it is to handle the board on the water, but also how easy it is to transport it.
The objective in opting for an inflatable paddle is the practicality of the activity: easily transportable, storage and stowage, accessories included, etc. Before choosing your inflatable paddle, remember to look at the equipment provided, such as one or more paddles, a transport bag, the fin, the inflation pump, the leash (safety strap to be hung around the ankle) etc. This will save you from having to buy some in addition to your board.
Shape and dimensions
As explained above, you will need to choose your inflatable according to your use and level, to take the most suitable board shape and thickness.
Our comparison of the best inflatable paddles
Inflatable Sudoo Inflatable Stand Up Paddle – Tricklicks
Ultra resistant and very thick, this inflatable paddle is very ergonomic to suit beginners as well as more experienced riders. Its high quality equipment will allow you to navigate at sea, in calm waters, in rivers, without problems, thanks to its great stability due to its shape, and its manoeuvrability. The backpack makes it very easy to carry, but it is a little heavy.
Discover the inflatable paddle Tricklicks
SUP board inflatable – Intec
This inexpensive inflatable board model is particularly easy to inflate and deflate, so that you can sail on the waves in no time at all. Very solid and robust, this inflatable sup is suitable for all walks and of good quality for a very reasonable price. The downside is the paddle doesn’t fit in the duffel bag..
Discover the Intec inflatable paddle
Inflatable Paddle Breeze – Aqua Marina
The Aqua Marina brand is well known for its inflatable boat models. Very light and streamlined, this inflatable paddle board is designed for small to medium size. With a very good grip and a complete pack, this paddle is recommended with a very good value for money. The plus is the non-slip EVA mat on the paddle that prevents slipping!
Discover the cheap Aqua Marina inflatable paddle
Inflatable paddle board – Zray
This paddle is very easy to handle, suitable for all levels, and is rather designed to go in the waves (even if lake or river rides are quite possible). As solid as a rigid paddle board once inflated, this model is very popular and provides great stability. One of the strong points is the size of the carrying bag, which allows you to store the whole kit, but also other things, such as the wetsuit or the life jacket.
Discover the Zray inflatable paddle
Convertible SUP/Kayak Inflatable Board Evolution – Aqua Marina
If you like outdoor water sports, this model is for you! Convertible to paddle and kayak, this 2 in 1 board is very practical and easy to assemble. You can use the board alone, inflating only the SUP. To paddle a kayak, simply inflate the second part to be added around the paddle. Two inflatable seats are provided, to be fixed on the board, for an operational and very practical inflatable kayak! For a very interesting price, you have two solid and quality inflatable boats!
Discover the Aqua Marina inflatable convertible paddle
What price for a paddle?
On average, prices for inflatable paddles are between 200 and 500€, for quality and robust boats. Even if it represents an investment, it is still cheaper than a rigid paddle, and you can be sure that the quality and durability of your boat will be much better for a higher price.
Which brand of inflatable paddle to choose?
The most recognized paddle brands are mainly Aqua Marina, Zray, Bestway or Kengui. Appreciated for their quality inflatable boats, you will be sure to be satisfied with your purchases, forgetting the manufacturing defects and low quality models that will not last.
Where to buy an inflatable paddle?
You can purchase these inflatable paddle boards and all the necessary equipment for inflation and navigation in stores or online. In stores, you can easily find them in sports shops such as Decathlon, Intersport, Au Vieux Campeur or nautical equipment stores.
Online, you can find cheaper inflatable paddle models at the best prices on Amazon, Cdiscount or specialized online stores.
Best inflatable stand up paddles: why trust us?
Thank you for reading this article! Because we know that it is not always easy to make the best choice without trying, each of our recommendations is the result of a long work of analysis of consumer opinions on flagship and little-known products on the market, of comparison of prices and technical characteristics, but also and above all of tests by a team of men and women constantly renewed in order to keep a real objectivity to help you in your purchasing process.
All the purchasing criteria are scrutinized for the realization of our comparative guides: budget, level of range, functional and practical aspects, design, pack and accessories, safety… All this in order to help you choose the products best suited to your needs, desires and constraints on a daily basis, at the best price!