When should you buy an inflatable SUP board and when should you buy a traditional (hard) stand up paddle board?
Each type of board has some distinct advantages over the other. Like all surfboard designs, what you gain in one area you lose in another. It's a constant game of swings and roundabouts.
The first question to ask yourself is this - Am i going to ride waves on my SUP? If you are not already a surfer, the learning curve to get to the point where you can ride seriously good waves on a SUP board is quite high. If you're not really going to surf, but instead be a recreational paddler on mostly flat water, you should think seriously about getting an inflatable board. If you want to surf, get a hard board.
Next question - do you have storage or transport problems that make a hard stand up paddle board difficult to have? Do you drive a small convertible? Do you live in an high rise apartment with no garage storage? If you answered yes to any of these questions, an inflatable SUP might be the answer to your problems.
One more question - is the cost of ownership an issue for you? e.g. if you have a hard board, you will probably "ding" it, and if you ding it you'll need to either repair it yourself or have someone like us fix it for you. The chances of you "dinging" (damaging) a good quality inflatable board are extremely low.
I hope that helps! The key thing is that you get out on the water and have a great time, and that will happen no matter what type of SUP you get. Our job is to help you get the best SUP for your lifestyle and use.