Why Every Surfer Needs an Inflatable Surfboard in their Quiver

Surfing on an inflatable surfboard

Jamie O’Brien and Ben Gravy are just a couple of surfers/surf vloggers who made foam surfboards cool and popular.  I myself, am just not a fan of foam boards though. I find foam boards harder to balance on for the most part (and I’ve had others agree with me) and they’re just too heavy for my taste.

People do like them because they are good for beginners, are harder to damage and won’t hurt you as much if you get hit by one. Everywhere you take surf lessons that’s pretty much the only kind of surfboard you will find.

However, I believe inflatable surfboards should rise up and take over the foamboard craze because they are truly better for beginners (and even surfers of all levels). My goal is to become the Jamie O’Brien and Ben Gravy for repping inflatable surfboards!

Getting barreled for the first time on my inflatable surfboard – and with the help of clever filming/editing with the Insta360 One X2 camera!

I’ve been intrigued with inflatable surfboards since I tested one out a couple years ago but have recently come across an inflatable surfboard brand, Mountains to Water, that makes a variety of sizes of inflatable surfboards at a reasonable price.  I now own 2 of them so I can confidently say without hesitation that everyone should have an inflatable surfboard in their quiver.

Here are some of the amazing benefits of an inflatable surfboard (even over a foam board)

Easy to transport

No need to strap the surfboard on top of car and be paranoid that it might fall off while driving down the highway. For me, I don’t have to drive with my convertible top down coming home from San Onofre Beach after a sunset surf in the fall/winter when it’s colder outside. Press play on the clip below and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

No need to buy locks to secure your board to your vehicle if you want to grab a bite to eat at a restaurant or stop at a store somewhere after a surf sesh or even bring it to work with you so can surf a nearby surf spot after work. Convenient backpacks that come with most inflatable surfboards make it possible to even ride to the beach on a scooter with it on your back

Speeds up your paddling

Inflatable boards are more buoyant and therefore it is easier to catch green waves (and smaller waves at that) with them

Saves money on surf travel (airplane fees, surfboard rentals)

A lot of airlines have been reducing their fees to transport surfboards, but with longboard surfboards, it is usually still around $100 each way to transport them. That’s $200 a trip. In just two surf trips you could easily make back the money that you spend on airline handling fees with just purchasing one inflatable surfboard. Not to mention how akward it is traveling with a longboard, and trying to get a cab or Uber to your hotel or airport if you aren’t renting a car and bring car straps with you.

Even if you rented a surfboard, the money you spend on one or two trips renting a board can easily be recouped by getting an inflatable surfboard.

Harder to damage

It’s harder to puncture unless it hits a really sharp object and dings/scrapes are way less likely due to the flex of the board.

Unique feel to surfing

It’s so light you literally feel like you are flying on top of water, there’s no feeling like it.

Softer than a foam board

I’d much rather be hit with an inflatable surfboard than even a foam board.

No need to wax

The grip on the surface is all you need – helps to keep wax off your other stuff too (like inside your car for those who can fit boards inside their vehicles).

Easy and compact to store

You can easily store more boards and if you have a smaller place and have them on hand for visitors that want to come surfing with you.

You can pack more surfboards in a car that way and be able to actually transport your visitors as well since the surfboards aren’t taking up all the room (this is applicable for me, as I have a convertible and don’t strap boards onto the top of my car).

Inflatable surfboards aren’t perfect and that’s why I say they should just be a part of your surfboard quiver. There are a few drawbacks for them.

You can’t duck dive

And it’s harder to even bull-ride (my unconventional getting over a wave technique), since they’re so light.

They’re harder to ride on bigger waves

You do need a bit of weight on bigger waves for better control (but even epoxy hard surfboards aren’t as good on bigger waves vs. poly boards).

Less performance driven

Some say they’re harder to maneuver and rip with, but I have no problem turning my inflatable surfboards, but I’m no ripper either.

Therefore, if you’re just a regular surfer that likes cruising down the line and making a few turns, it’s perfectly fine for you and this con doesn’t apply.

Takes a bit of time to inflate and pack back up, however deflating is super-fast

It took me 92 pumps to get to the 15-16 PSI minimum range needed, plus I took an extra 16 pumps right before I headed out to surf it for the first time, for good measure.

However, the board length also plays a factor into the number of pumps and time it takes. The example above was for a 9’2″ inflatable surfboard.

You can also buy an electric inflatable board pump but those are expensive and can add bulk/weight to your gear..

For best maintenance, you should wait for your inflatable surfboard to dry off before you can fold it up and put back in the bag (and you should strive to keep sand off it too, which could be a challenge at certain surf spots).

Packing it back into the bag is harder if the fins are attached to the board but easier if the fins are not attached. However then, pending the fin set up, putting the fin in can take some time as well.

However, for surf travel, with the benefit of being able to save money on airplane fees and surfboard rental, you can easily keep your surfboard inflated for an entire surf trip and not deal with having to inflate/deflate it too many times.

So there you have it. Now I’m off onto my mission of becoming the Jamie O’Brien/Ben Gravy of inflatable surfboards! Check these Mountains to Water inflatable surfboards out at my Surfers Shops store!

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Surf Travel, Surfboards

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