Words by Jason Paul

The adventure travel gear industry has exploded in recent years as companies rush to meet the demand of adventure seekers who are traveling far and wide to experience the very best nature has to offer. Whether you’re already a well-traveled international explorer or are new to the idea and just getting started, an inflatable standup paddleboard is a piece of gear that should definitely be on your radar.

In addition to the fact that they’re super easy to travel with, an iSUP will open up a whole new world of exploration possibilities and help you make the most of each new overseas adventure. Here are our top five reasons why every serious adventurer should own one.

They Fly

Everyone knows that inflatable paddle boards float, but one little-known secret is that they also fly. Inflatable SUPs can be deflated and rolled up, packed into a backpack or large bag, and checked with your luggage whenever you fly. You can also pick up a handy wheeled SUP backpack which makes it super easy to roll your board through sprawling airport terminals.

They’re Bombproof

Inflatable SUPs are constructed using military grade materials that are designed to withstand an insane amount of abuse. Unlike traditional rigid paddle boards that are susceptible to dings, cracks, and other damage, inflatables are ding-proof and virtually indestructible. Whether you’re throwing your board on a plane or paddling down a rocky river, inflatable paddle boards are built to take a licking and keep on ticking.

Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt

Great All-Around Versatility

Let’s face it -- whenever you’re embarking on an overseas adventure, it’s not always possible to know exactly what you’ll be getting yourself into. Paddling conditions can and do vary a great deal from location to location, so it’s always best to be prepared. Today, there are a wide variety of great all-around inflatable SUPs that are designed to pretty much do it all, giving you the flexibility and freedom to enjoy your trip without having to worry about what you might encounter.

Storage is a Cinch

Whether you’re hitting the hostels or booking a spacious and luxurious hotel room on your next International adventure, an inflatable SUP can go anywhere you go. Because of the fact that inflatables roll up neatly into the footprint of a sleeping bag, they can easily be stored in a closet, under your bed, or in the trunk of a car. Also, with an iSUP, you’ll never have to worry about dealing with the roof rack hassle or being unable to catch a cab.

They Can Roll

Perhaps one of the most underrated benefits of an iSUP is the fact that they can be hauled around in a wheelie bag. While this may not make a big difference when lugging the board a few feet from your car to the shoreline, it can make a huge difference when dragging your board around airports or down foreign streets. Your arms will thank you and it’s an essential feature for those that value lightweight, packable gear that doesn’t bog you down.

Happy travels!

About the Author: Paddling enthusiast and editor-in-chief at InflatableBoarder.com, Jason currently lives in beautiful Panama with his wife and two small children. For questions about inflatable SUPs, you can drop Jason a line through his website or on Instagram