If you’ve tried stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and totally fallen in love with it, you might be looking to invest in your own board, giving you the freedom to go out for a paddle any time you want.

Given that SUP has been the fastest growing outdoor activity since 2013, according to the Outdoor Foundation, you’re unlikely to be alone in getting out on the water on a paddleboard.

As with any watersport, there are a range of equipment options and the main decision you’ll need to make when you’re investing in SUP is whether you want an inflatable or hard board.

There are pros and cons to each, so carefully consider what kind of paddles you’re likely to go on, as well as how you’ll transport your board and where you’ll store it.

Starting with inflatable stand-up paddleboards, the main advantages are storage and transport - they deflate and pack down into a large backpack that will fit comfortably in a car boot and can be easily stored when you’re not using it.

They can be great beginner boards too, as they’re stable and therefore relatively easy to get your balance on.

Obviously the downside is that you need to inflate your board when you want to take it out (although this doesn’t take too long, or too much effort). Because they’re inflatable, they’re also lighter than hard boards, which means they don’t perform so well in windy conditions, and they do tend to be thicker, which generally makes them slower to paddle on.

Hard boards are usually better at cutting through the water as they’re narrower and tend to have a more streamlined shape than their inflatable counterparts. But as a result they can be harder to balance on.

If you want to try SUP surfing, you should definitely go for a hard board, as the narrower rails will make it a lot easier to manoeuvre on waves.

Storage and transport might be an issue with a hard boards - it depends on whether you’ve got room in your shed or garage for one.

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