There are 4 basic kinds of materials used to make SUPs. 1. Hard (moulded) 2. Hard (epoxy) 3. Soft foam 4.Inflatable. Below are the characteristics that sets them apart. But overall, all these types of boards will work
great for the waters of Tampa, St Petersburg, and Clearwater.Hard Moulded - Are the most durable and will handle the best.Hard Epoxy - less durable than moulded, same handling characteristics as hard moulded.Soft Foam - My overall evaluation is that soft boards are fun and maneuverable and a great choice and if youare using them on a boat they will be easy to haul aboard without causing damage. The down side is that thefoam surface will break down over time and this can be as short as 1 year if left in the sun or up to 5 years ormore. Also it is important to select a foam board that is made of foam that will not soak in water because awater logged board will get extremely heavy.Inflatables - The materials that are used are extremely durable (same as a zodiac) and will not puncture byhooks, sharp rocks, etc. In fact these boards are almost indestructible and extremely buoyant. For myself, Ifind that the 8'2" board that is 34 inches wide has plenty of volume and works perfectly. What you will find isthat if used a lot, the feature of being able to deflate and put away may not be used as much as expected asit takes time to inflate and must be inflated to a hard level. But on the up side, this makes it easy to travel withand take camping. Also inflatable's are a great choice for use with a boat, again no damaging when haulingon board. My overall evaluation is that the inflatable is a great choice and will paddle and handle well forfishing, with the main differences being that the added bouncy makes it harder to handle in windy conditions.