Inflatables Vs Fibreglass SUP – what to choose?

Not sure what type of SUP package to choose out of a Hard Board or an inflatable? We hope this article will help you choose…

Inflatables VS Fiberglass

Do you have storage issues?
If you do then an inflatable is an best solution. Drift inflatables come with a bag so they can be easily folded up and stored in a small space in your apartment, or more importantly, in the trunk of your small car so you can transport it and go paddle. Plus you can avoid the oversize charge and headache when flying.The Drift Air inflatables comes as the full kit which includes paddle board, leash, adjustable paddle, bag, pump and fin.

Jane from Drift took her inflatable paddle board to NZ, which she got to adventure some magnificent places. This is the added bonus of the inflatable SUP with the Drift AIR inflatable bag being also a backpack which is great for traveling

Do you have young children that will be on the board also?
Want a safe option then the inflatable paddle boards are a safe option compared to fibreglass in regards to if you or your child was to fall.

Do you want an all round paddle board for flat water, Ocean and Surf? 
When surfing or paddling distance, a fibreglass/hard board is the way to go.The Drift Fibreglass Range is designed to be used in all conditions. Inflatable Boards are perfect for Recreational flat water and exposed waterways but not so much surf.

Have storage and roof racks?
While inflatables make for convenient storage, they do take time to set up. Fibreglass boards you just tie it to the racks, drive to your paddling destination and paddle (unless you leave an inflatable inflated all the time). Inflatables generally take about 7 minutes (or more) to pump up however you can leave these inflated and tie onto your roof rack also.

Want a good all round board?
If you are wanting a board which does it all (flat water, ocean paddling and surf) then a hard board would be your best option to take advantage of all types of paddling.

Some other points to take in
– iSUPs are more durable, especially in whitewater (fibreglass hitting rocks would ding and damage your board)
– Fibreglass boards are faster
– Our Inflatables are very durable and are not like an inflatable toy. The Drift AIR has drop stitch construction meaning you wont get any bend and are extra buoyant. There are lots on inflatables on the market however you want to make sure you are getting good quality (i.e 3 layer PVC, 6 inches in thickness not any less and to make sure they are super rigid)

About Drift Inflatable paddle boards:

There are a lot of inflatable paddle boards in the market but you need to know that you are getting quality and a good solid rigid board. Drift Inflatables are designed to be super rigid in which when inflated you won’t feel like you are on one. They have drop stitch construction which are fibres throughout the construction of the board to create stiffness. They are all machine laminated not handmade,

Check out our Inflatable Range which includes everything to get you on the water:


Check our Latest products!

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    Drift AIR-DOCK Floating Pad

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    or 4 fortnightly payments of $374.75 with   Afterpay More info

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    Drift AIR Frangipani Pink Package

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    or 4 fortnightly payments of $174.75 with   Afterpay More info

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    Drift Inflatable SUP ‘Azure’

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    Drift Active Pro ‘Bondi Sands’

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    Drift AIR Tropicano Package

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    Drift AIR Tropic Blue Package

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    Drift AIR Frangipani Aqua Package

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    Drift Portable Inflatable Paddle Board Pump


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    Drift ‘Porta-Power’ Portable Power Bank


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Out Chasing Star Review on Drift Paddle board Inflatables

Why an iSUP?

We’ve made a lot of friends who have inflatable standup paddleboards, and in the last year I’ve borrowed a few and taken them out for a spin.  The iSUP solves all these problems:

  1.  Getting onto the iSUP from the water is incredibly easy.
  2. The iSUP will fit on top of our dinghy davits when inflated.  Several friends keep their inflated all season long and just properly secure on deck while on the move.
  3. Any paddleboard is just one solid piece of material or one tube.  This is much easier to clean, as there’s no crevices and folds for sand to get stuck in.

I did my research, talked to friends, and found two companies I was interested in buying paddleboards from.  I bought from Drift Paddleboards, and so far am very pleased.  Meet, the Gemini Twins:

Unboxing our New Drift Paddleboards

We’d been carrying the new paddleboards around on Starry Horizons for a while.  Unfortunately, the water here on the east coast of Australia (south of Moreton Bay) hasn’t been all that pretty, plus we were traveling away from the boat a lot. Finally, when our friend Madeline was visiting we’d just spent a few rainy days cooped inside playing games.   The wrecks of Tangalooma ended up being a fun place to get the paddleboards out for the first time.

It had been a while since I’d bought them, so I’d pretty much forgotten what was in the box.  Our Drift Paddleboards came with:

  • an actual backpack (the ikayak we had had a weird bag with a shoulder strap, which was very uncomfortable)
  • repair kit
  • iSUP body
  • cargo net
  • leash
  • paddles (we upgraded to the carbon fiber adjustable paddles)
  • manual pump

There were no instructions that I could find, so I was a bit on my own, but I was able to figure everything out.

Unboxing our new Drift Paddleboards

The backpack with paddleboard in it is surprisingly light.

Feeling the fabric of the paddleboard. I’m no expert, but it feels good!

Too much pumping.

Attaching the fin.

Attaching the leash.

Carrying Lady Gemini all by myself!

Taking our New Drift Paddleboards for a Test Run

Madeline and I paddleboarding at Tangalooma Wrecks.

Pulling up behind Starry Horizons.

Paddleboarding in the Tangalooma Wrecks.

Testing out my new Drift Paddleboard at the Tangalooma Wrecks.

I’m very happy.

Lifting Sir Gemini up over my head to store him on the davits.

Sir Gemini on the davits.

My Thoughts on our new Paddleboards

So far, so good.  I am very happy with the ease of inflating the paddleboard and assembling it.  It is smaller than our old ikayak and lighter as well.  The stability is good, which Madeline can attest to.  Madeline had never paddleboarded before, but she very quickly caught on and was able to stabilize herself and paddle around.  I was impressed with how much speed I could pick up.  There is a pretty strong current near the wrecks, but both Madeline and I had no trouble paddling back to the boat up current.  The iSUP fits well on the davits, and hoses down easily.  I am so glad I got to take a test run at such a unique place, and I look forward to a lot more amazing paddles soon!

Inflatable Paddle Board Packages

Try our Drift Calculator to find the right board package

Find the right size paddle board with our Drift SUP calculator. It is designed with ease for you. Click on wether you are a beginner, intermediate along with your approximate weight and if you would like to use it for recreational, endurance or soft etc then the options will come up as to what we recommend


The benefits of a Soft SUP

Beginners will find soft top paddle boards convenient and easy to use. But, what exactly are soft top paddle boards and what is the difference between these boards and regular ones?


These are the cheapest paddle boards, but that does not mean they compromise on quality. The material used in construction and the design are what define soft top paddle boards. These boards are made of soft epoxy fiberglass material and are designed with foam cores. These are meant to reduce the weight of the board; and therefore, make it easier to transport. The softer materials used to make soft top paddle boards are more durable than those used in harder boards. Soft top boards never crack, and this increases longevity. In fact, they normally last for an entire lifetime.

They also feature wide surfaces, and this is part of what makes them popular among beginners. In case you lose balance, your landing will be easier.

The biggest advantage of soft top paddle boards is their ease of use. Many beginners find soft top paddle boards more stable, comfortable and easier to balance on. That is also part of the reason why these boards have become popular among people who practice sup yoga. Yoga involves a lot of complicated moves, and losing balance is quite easy, especially on water surfaces. Water increases the intensity of the workouts, and this increases the need for balance. Soft top paddle boards provide this balance. Also, the cushioned surface of soft top boards reduces the pressure on knees and feet.

In case you get shaky, these boards will offer you a safer landing, therefore, preventing any serious injuries.

Because of the construction, soft top paddle boards are also a lot more durable. They can take a lifetime of abuse without requiring a lot of trips to the repair shop. That is actually the reason why rentals stock soft top paddle boards. They will last much longer than their harder alternatives. On top of this durability, these paddle boards are very cheaply priced.


Soft top paddle boards are mainly meant for people who just want to have fun. They don’t call for a lot of effort and are a lot more stable. Unless you want to make paddle boarding a serious sport, you should stick to soft top paddle boards. If you like to experiment with different riding styles or want to try them all, softer top paddle boards will be the best for you. They are a lot more versatile than regular and hard paddle boards. Also, beginners should opt for these boards as they are easier to use. Harder boards are meant for people with experience in the sport.


We have created a Soft SUP uniquely our own. A full layer of 6oz fibreglass epoxy is applied to the deck with an additional partial layer applied over the ‘standing area’ for support. Two durable polyethylene layers of varying density are applied to the bottom. Lastly the flexible IPXE (a foam like material) is laminated to the deck and over the rails.. You can expect softer landings when you lose balance in the water. If you intend to go on long paddling sessions, this would be a great product as it has a nice grip on the surface.

Our Cruiser Soft Tops are only $699 which includes paddle & leash.

Check our Featured

Top health benefits from Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP)

Yep we truly believe paddle boarding is the best sport in the world by far, and here is why….

  • Improves balance: Getting that balance on your stand up paddle board does require core stability and leg strength to maintain balance. This not only helps you have a good balance while paddle boarding but increases your focus and balance in day-to-day activities too.
  • Full body workout: You are using a lot of muscles when paddle boarding, actually majority of them. Because of the balance required, leg muscles will be hard at work attempting to stabilize your center of gravity. Your abs are constantly getting a work out along with your arms and shoulders.
  • Low impact: Standup paddling is a very low impact exercise. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will do damage to the tendons and ligaments of your joints if your paddling technique is done correctly. For those who love the outdoors, adventure and want a low impact but good workout then paddle boarding is the one of you. Its a great break from high impact sport to give you a break and still get the exercise.
  • Less Stress: Whenever you are on the water you naturally feel distressed, you always feel great after a paddle too as you get some exercise…oh and don’t forget to take some great shots of the scenery along the way.
  • Overall increased strength: If you get addicted to paddle boarding (which is easy) you will find that your strength will increase, its a win/win
  • Cardio / Endurance : Push yourself that bit more by doing higher intensity training on your SUP, there are great gadgets out there which can track your heart rate, distance and even your paddling technique. One you subconsciously have your balance also try some more exposed water paddling which give you a great buzz
  • Nature: We can’t explain enough how many great places you will come across. Grab your SUP buddy and go explore
The warmer weather is also going to creep up on us with spring only a month away. Hope you got some great tips out of this article

Jane - Drift Paddleboards

How to paddle board in choppy water

So paddle boarding can be easy in flat water after a few goes but how do you get confident in a bit of swell, wind, current and boat wakes.

Here are a few tips for paddleboarding in rough water with confidence.

Its all about the paddling technique. Did you know that paddle boarding is all about your core not your arms?

Your paddle blade needs to be all the way down into the water on the catch phase. The release from the blade from the water just in front of your feet. You might feel like you are falling forward but you will get used to it

Make sure you put effort into your paddle stroke as it will make you feel more stable As soon as you stop paddling and straighten up you will feel less stable.

Standing with your feet at least shoulder width apart gives you the stability. If its really choppy move one foot back several inches. This will give you more stability.

This is the really fun part of paddleboarding- learning new skills and feeling confident. Choppy conditions are so much fun and you will find that you will be looking out for it once you get the confidence