wo to three layers of PVC fabric are much harder to puncture than one. Especially at the rails of the board, where your paddle blade could repeatedly hit the board, or where you might bump into a friend in order to raft up with them, or maybe you get too friendly with some barnacles under a pier... It's good to have durable surfaces built into your board. The other bonus of having multi-layer construction is that your iSUP will be stiffer across the board (hah.) which means you can avoid being the bottom of a (shallow) "V" on a soft iSUP.
More than Glue
his is more of premium feature to look for, but check out how the seams of the board are held together. Lots of iSUPs are put together using PVC glue and, honestly, I think we only have one iSUP in the shop right now with welded construction; The rest are glued. So. If I can get a PVC welded board, cue a satisfactory "ooh-la-la." PVC welding is a fancy way of saying that two pieces of plastic were heat-melted together. It's much stronger than glueing two pieces of PVC together since the welded joints are bonded at a molecular level. With PVC welded construction, you're not going to spring a leak easily, if at all. Of course, moving up in technology means the price tag goes up too, but preventing air leaks is such a nice perk, especially if you're purchasing an iSUP with its longevity in mind.
ltimately, does it get in you on the water? Are you nodding "yes"? Well, we agree, that's the whole point! I have definitely underestimated an iSUP rental that got me on a glacial lake near Banff, Canada. I've also had a turtle pass me by on an iSUP in Costa Rica. Did the iSUP brand matter in those moments? Not so much. As far as we're concerned, if you get a PFD and a board leash with your iSUP, that's great! Be safe out there! and have fun :)
We hope to see you on the water soon!
Come try it out!
While internet reviews are great to learn about gear, the best thing to do is come down to the shop and try it out on the water! With all boards there will be a level of personal preference, and the best way to figure out if it will work for you is to try it out yourself!