While most inflatables just can't compete with the general performance of their hard board counterparts, the Red Paddle Co. Sport comes as close as any iSUP we've tried.
That's no accident: Red specially engineered the Sport to achieve stiffness and speed unparalleled by other inflatables. It's equipped with their proprietary MSL fusion composite layup, which incorporates a second layer of polymer in the drop-stitch core to resolve hand-gluing errors, decrease weight and make the board stiffer at lower pressures. This allows for a smaller outline without losing much volume, a welcome attribute for maneuverability, portaging and traveling.
The Sport also features one of our favorite inflatable developments: their Rocker Stiffening System (RSS), comprised of two long battens that insert along the board's rails and function similarly to the stringer of a hard board. The decreased flex makes for a more responsive, stable and faster ride that'll make this your go-to inflatable.
While the Sport is best suited for intermediate to advanced paddlers, it's plenty manageable for most novices. If you're going on a trip, don't have storage for a rigid board or just like the convenience of inflatables, the Sport is one of the top options on the market.