How long do inflatable paddle boards last? You have probably heard all kinds of praises about iSUPs. Everyone talks about how durable they are.
Some manufacturers go as far as throwing their inflatables from a roof. Others run them over with vehicles—including tractors. After all manner of durability tests, the iSUPs are still in good condition.
Additionally, most people recommend inflatable stand up paddle boards for whitewater paddling. Or for any situation that involves rocks and sharp objects.
The Durability of Inflatable Paddle Boards
But are inflatables paddleboards really as durable as people? How long do they last?
A simple, straightforward answer would be nice; but it would not be truthful. So here is a comprehensive one.
What Are iSUPs Made Of?
All inflatable paddle boards are made using Dropstitch construction. Two layers are held together by a huge number of threads. When you inflate the inflatable SUP, these threads allow for expansion and become super tight. This is when the board becomes rigid.
These layers, however, are not airtight. A PVC layer has to be added to prevent air from leaking. This PVC material has impeccable strength.
You will find inflatable paddle boards with a single PVC layer. They are lighter and the cheapest. But they are not the most rigid and may start to flex after a short while.
Other iSUPs are made with double, triple and even quad-layer PVC. The more the layers, the more durable and rigid the paddleboard will be. Manufacturers usually indicate the number of layers while advertising.
There is also the issue of how the PVC is applied—either laminated or using glue. A laminated PVC layer is the best. If applied using glue, the paddle board becomes a little heavier.
Seams determine the durability of an inflatable paddleboard too. Glue, for instance, will degrade over time when exposed to elements.
The bottom line is that iSUPs are virtually indestructible because of the PVC and Dropstitch construction. They can last for years. Remember, the more the layers, the longer your board will last.
Important tip: if you want to get an idea of how durable an iSUP is, check the warranty. A longer warranty shows confidence by the manufacturer.
Maintenance and Use of Inflatable Paddle Boards
The construction of a paddle board plays a huge part in its durability. But it is not the only determining factor.
Caring for an inflatable paddle board is very easy. Those simple things, however, could make a great difference.
Cleaning your inflatable SUP and deflating it before storing could mean a few more years of service. Some manufacturers will tell you that you can store it while inflated. For short-term storage, it’s okay. But if you are not going to use the board for some time, deflate it.
Avoid dragging your iSUP on the ground and leaving it outside for long.
Even when you are curious, don’t test its durability by running it over. Leave that to the manufacturers who have something to prove.
It goes without saying that if you rarely use your paddle board, it could last a lifetime.
Where you paddle matters too. Whitewater paddling will wear a paddleboard out faster than flatwater paddling.
So, how long do inflatable paddle boards last?
Inflatable paddle boards can last anywhere from 5 to many years. A paddle board with higher quality PVC layers is more durable. If you take good care of your inflatable SUP, it will serve you for a long time.
A longer warranty shows that the manufacturer has confidence in the construction. The more you use your board, the more it will wear obviously and the less years it will last.