SUP Comparison: Inflatable v. Conventional Stand Up Paddle Board

The Difference Between an Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board and a Conventional SUP

Comparisons are always hard to do. When it comes to putting two different designs of stand up paddle boards side-by-side, more than just the construction of the SUP needs to be considered. I thought I’d put two incredible paddle boards up for comparison: The Lakeshore Wet Woody Sport 11’6” SUP, the conventional SUP entry in this board v. board comparison, against the Boardworks SUP SHUBU Raven 12’6” Inflatable Paddle Board.

Lakeshore Wet Woody Sport SUP

Lakeshore Wet Woody Sport SUP not only looks good but is an awesome performer.

There are some basic considerations with any paddle board purchase. How you plan on using it, where you plan on using it, and how will the paddle board perform are important items to account for when considering which SUP will be best for you.

How You Plan On Using Your SUP

The SUP you choose depends on your skill level and your determination to get to the water. The Raven and the Wet Woody SUP boards are good all around boards for both beginners and more intermediate level SUPers. While the Wet Woody tends to be less stable than the Raven, it is an incredibly responsive board that is also forgiving of less experienced paddle boarders. The Raven on the other hand offers the kind of rigidity your would expect in a conventional board without sacrificing the fun factor. Both boards are relatively easy to transport and store. One needs a roof rack and if you are traveling on an airplane, some additional baggage costs, while the other needs a trunk or can be checked in as luggage. The Wet Woody needs an accessible launch site while the Raven can be packed into more remote bodies of water. Winner: The Raven

Boardworks SUP SHUBU Raven Inflatable Paddle Board

Boardworks SUP SHUBU Raven Inflatable Paddle Board delivers on convenience and versatility.

Where You Plan on Using Your Paddle Board

The vast majority of people purchase a SUP to access water within fifty miles of where they live. You might live near flat water (lakes, reservoirs, and slow moving rivers) while others might live near more open water opportunities (bays, surf, or open ocean). The Wet Woody is perfectly designed to make the most out of the flat water experience. It has the same type of displacement hull that can be found in a canoe, giving this board high marks for all around speed, agility, and recreational fun. The Raven Inflatable Paddle Board may not be as fast as the Wet Woody on flat water, but it excels when in situations that demand more control, such as on rivers and otherwise choppy water. The choice in this category depends on your local access to the conditions you enjoy. But if you plan on taking your paddle boarding to a new level and have access to different types of water, an inflatable SUP might be a better choice. Winner: The Raven

 

How the Stand Up Paddle Board Will Perform

Performance depends on construction. The Wet Woody for instance is built for the sports enthusiast who may be focused on fitness, training, and an all-around good time. Its closed cell EPS core, thermo molded epoxy, and multilayered fiberglass design make for incredible responsiveness. This board has a comfortable deck, plenty of tie downs, and is relatively lightweight. You can expect this board to cut the water smoothly and with less effort giving you the ability to paddle longer. The Raven boasts it finest feature in its name: SHUBU or show up and blow up. And while it comes with some excellent construction features as well including a tuned up rocker and a durable and rigid drop stitch material, detachable fins for different water depths and conditions, and plenty of tie downs, inflatables can require a little more maintenance over the life of the board. Both boards deliver more than their share of fun but in most cases, versatility does not compare well with boards designed for specific uses. Winner: Wet Woody

Other Considerations

Convenience: The Raven can go more places.

Cost: Tie

Appearance: The Wet Woody has a very cool wood finish.

Set-up: The Wet Woody can have you SUPing within minutes of arriving. The Raven needs to be inflated to the right PSI

I told you at the onset, comparisons would be difficult and when it comes to these two boards, the deciding factor will be based on personal preference.

Overall Winner: You

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