Home Forums General SUP Discussion Seeking advice on inflatables for surfing

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    Can anybody give me some advice about the performance for surfing of an inflatable SUP board as compared to a hard board? My only real interest in SUPing is surfing (learning to). I live in Calgary and would mostly SUP surf only while on vacation in the tropics. An inflatable would be just the ticket, if it actually works. Plus the rental fees can add up. I know this depends on the make and model. An inflatable such as the Starboard Whopper would suit my weight, at least. It is also available as a hard board. If someone were to say the inflatable board has, say, 80% of the performance for surfing as the hard board I’d say good enough and get one. If 40%, probably not. I’m pretty much a beginner at surfing, but catching on. I’d appreciate any advice. Thanks.


    Hi Prairie. The answer is yes, it will give you at least 80% of the performance for surfing if a)you get the right specs and b)you’re not more than an ‘intermediate’ surfer. For an inflatable surfing model you’ll get the best performance from a 4″ +/- thickness – NOT 6″. The 6″ boards don’t turn that well in surf. But at 4″ most boards aren’t stiff enough to be good in the surf, so you’ll probably want a surf-specific board with a batten or stiffening system. Also, depending on the previous specs, 18 psi may not be enough pressure for surfing-rigidity, so get something that pumps up to 25 psi, even if you only ride it at 20 psi. Higher psi boards are better quality than lower psi boards.
    Red Paddle Co makes a lineup of boards that will work for you and they were the first high-pressure boards on the market, though others are now starting to catch up. They also make a surf-specific inflatable, but check the weight rating to make sure it’s ok for your weight. We carry them at Beach Toyz in Toronto, but they’re now easy to find across Canada and I think in Calgary.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 2 months ago by John Helfrich. Reason: Typos

    Hi John,
    Thanks for the advice. I will take a close look at what Red Paddle has on offer.


    I know this is most likely late.. but just in case someone else sees this.
    Red Paddle would be a great inflatable surf SUP board. Depending on your weight the 10″6′ and 10″8′ ride would be a nice fit.
    I personally have not used it in surf, but it can get the 20-25psi that you will need (the 2015 models comes with the duel titan pump that is included). And for travelling it comes with a great wheel backpack.

    the 10-6 is for people under 220lbs and 10-8 can handle above that.

    Prairiesupsurfer I hope you found your board and enjoyed your surf 😉

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