Blow Up Paddle Board Explained | SUP Terminology

What is a blow up paddle board?

Is a blow up paddle board the same as an inflatable paddle board?

A blow up paddle board is the same as an inflatable paddle board, or a SUP board. It’s a frequently asked question that bothers a lot of beginners of paddle boarding.

Actually, blow up paddle board is just another name for inflatable stand up paddle board.

Blow up paddle board

There are basically two types of paddle boards, inflatable paddle boards, and hard paddle boards. Inflatable paddle boards are actually also called blow up paddle boards or iSUP(short for inflatable SUP) boards.

Advantages of a blow up paddle board

  1. Blow up paddle boards are more durable than traditional epoxy paddle boards.

Inflatable SUP boards are usually made from military-grade materials which make them more resistant to scratches and impact while hard paddle boards can be more easily damaged by them. Besides, most damages on an inflatable SUP can be fixed easily while damages done on a hardboard are usually permanent and unfixable.


  1. inflatable paddle boards are much lighter

Compared to a hard paddle board, a blow up paddle board is significantly lighter. You will notice the difference when it’s a long walk to where you paddle from where you live or park and you have to carry your board the whole time. A lighter board requires less effort to get it to the water and that’s something you might want to take into consideration when you are trying to decide whether to buy a hardboard or an inflatable SUP. It’s less work to carry a lighter board to the water. As time goes, you will probably prefer to go with the lighter inflatable SUP board than with a hard board.

 Inflatable paddle board


  1. Blow up paddle boards won’t hurt as much when you fall on it

Blow up paddle boards are softer than hard boards, that’s obvious. It also means that if you accidentally fall on the board, which could happen easily when you are just learning how to paddle board or paddle in rough conditions, it won’t hurt as much as falling on a hard paddle board.

 fall off


  1. Inflatable SUP boards are easy to store

Another advantage of a blow up paddle board is that when you are not using it, you can deflate it and roll it up and put it in a bag, and put it aside in the corner. 


Blow up paddle boards are more suitable for those with a small apartment. You might not want your paddle board to take up your precious storage space in the apartment. 


Both blow up paddle boards and hard paddle boards have their own merits. The most important thing is to figure out what you actually need. If you want a board with top-of-the-class performance/speed, then a hard board is obviously the better option. But for most people, paddle boarding is just a casual sport they do when they just want to relax and have fun, and blow up paddle boards are made exactly for that.

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