Rigid Paddle Board
The rigid boards offer first of all more performance than an inflatable.
They also offer more sensations:
Made of epoxy resin or carbon, they allow riders to better feel the movements of the board under their feet and thus better control it.
They are the preferred choice of the most experienced surf and race riders.
On the other hand, rigid paddles are more fragile than inflatable paddles.
Note that the Pelican and Bic Sport brands offer rigid plastic paddles, making them less sensitive to shocks.
Inflatable Paddle Board
Inflatable paddles are made from a material called “dropstitche”.
Thousands of filaments hold each side of the board to give it this flat shape and give it, at high pressure, a high degree of rigidity.
The main advantage of an inflatable board is that it is foldable and takes up a minimum of space once deflated.
They are easily transportable, in a backpack and can be easily stored in the trunk of a car.
Another advantage is that they are very resistant to shocks, but more sensitive to scratches and sharp objects.
If you are a beginner
If you are a beginner, the inflatable paddle boards called “Polyvalent” are made for you.
They are wide boards and their shape is designed to provide stability and balance.
Depending on your weight, choose boards that are between 30 and 33 inches wide.
Another criterion: length. Generally, the longer the board, the more voluminous it is.
- A rider weighing 45 to 60 kilos will opt for a board 9 to 10 feet long.
- A rider weighing 60 to 80 kilos will opt for a 10 to 11 foot board
- A rider weighing more than 80 kilos will opt for a board from 11 to a little more than 12 feet long.
Finally, the thicker the board, the stiffer it is.
- On a small board, prefer a thickness of 12 cm.
- On a large board, choose thicknesses between 12 and 15 cm.
Inflatable paddles called “Touring” are designed for sporty riding.
Thanks to their elongated shapes and narrower widths, they allow you to ride at higher speeds and thus cover distances faster.
But they are less stable than multi-purpose boards.
Inflatable paddles called “Race” are racing boards.
Their shapes are very narrow in order to gain speed at the expense of stability.
Windsurf” paddles have a support to hold a sail and can be used as a windsurfing board in windy conditions.
White water paddles are sport boards designed to go down rough or fast rivers.
The Fitness Yoga paddles are wide and stable boards for the practice of these activities, at sea or in the pool.
The “XXL” paddles are very large boards designed to accommodate between 3 and 8 people.
Finally, some inflatable paddles are designed for children: they are short, narrow to be very manoeuvrable, but not very stable.
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