It's hard to hide or ignore the emergence of many inflatable Stand Up paddle Board brands over the covid period.
With many brands, and many more boards out there, SUP & iSUP choice is at a premium. Now many will expect us to talk about cost, but we're not going there...who are we to examine paddlers budgets? Everyone knows that you get what you pay for, if it's too good to be true, it usually is, there's no such thing as a free lunch...you get it, right?
We want to talk rail height.
What Is Rail Height
The rail, or the edge of the board usually comes in 4(ish)" and 6" height;
- The Banana Fact - Rail height on a high quality board can be 4" as the density of the drop stitch and the quality of the PVC used is good enough to give the board enough rigidity to handle heavy loads without deflection, or banana'ing.
- The Banana Fiction - You need a 6" rail if you're 90kg+ as a 4" rail won't be rigid enough and will bend.
- The Stability Fact - A 4" rail, physically gives you a lower centre of gravity, giving you a more stable platform. It's a simple fact that is unarguable.
- The Stability Fiction - A 6" board will give you more stability because of the rigidity (see above Banana and Stability Fact)
2 Adults on a board with a 4" rail
Problems with 6" Rails
Nothing. Absolutely nothing..."so why make a 4" rail"?
That's simple. No matter what you do, how you do it and what material you use, you can NEVER make an inflatable paddle board perform like a rigid board. It's simply not possible.
They both have their own jobs. They both offer different benefits. Both are great ways to get on a water.
We choose to give you a 4" rail in order to get you closer to the water, closer to the experience and in turn allow you to have stability, rigidity and a great experience whilst keeping as close to the origins of the sport as possible.
We do actually use 6" rails in our Pure Art Touring Board, and this IS to improve rigidity, but when it comes to anything below 12'...it's not necessary.
That's it! It's that simple. So next time someone gives you the 'Fiction', you have a little nugget of info in your back pocket.