There are several different types of paddle boards: hard/epoxy boards, soft top SUPs, and inflatable paddle boards. While all come with a list of perks and benefits, hard boards are the “traditional” (old school) type of paddle board.
The different types of hard paddle boards range from beautifully crafted wooden SUPs to specialized epoxy masterpieces, the design technology behind SUPs has never been better.
Modern hard SUPs are carefully designed and crafted SUPs made out of a combination of epoxy resin, EPS foam, and layers of fiberglass. This makes them lightweight and durable – two key qualities to consider when buying a SUP.
Epoxy paddle boards glide with ease and cut through the water with speed, ideal for competitive races. They lend themselves to carving on waves and making tight maneuvers, perfect for SUP surfing.
Epoxy hard paddle boards are not the easiest SUPs to handle. Therefore, we don’t recommend beginners starting out on one. In fact, the best paddle boards for beginners are inflatable SUPs.
So, should I choose a hard SUP?
If you fancy a wave or two and want to join the surfers in the line-up, then an epoxy board is for you. Iif you are interested in touring expeditions or competitive races, then you want the performance qualities that come from epoxy designs.
Of course, there is a comparison to be made between hard boards and inflatable paddle boards. Hard paddle boards are great for speed and precision whilst in the water. Inflatable paddle boards are fantastic for traveling and general all round purposes.
There are more differences between the two than just the obvious of inflation and rigid:
|Hard Paddle Board
|Inflatable Paddle Board
|Better performance and precision
|Great portability makes for easy travel
|Requires a lot of storage space
|Super easy to store when storage is limited
|Best for intermediate/advanced paddlers
|Best for beginners/intermediate paddlers
|SUP Surfing, and SUP Racing
|SUP Yoga, SUP Fishing, and SUP Touring
Latest designs of inflatable paddle boards are so good that they are actually giving traditional hard boards a run for their money. Dual-layer fusion technology, as found on our inflatable SUPs, creates a high-performing board that feels extremely similar to a hard paddle board under your feet!