McConks menu logo

Inflatable paddle boards – so what really is the best technology?

Inflatable paddle boards are often touted as being the best by many brands. We’ve heard and seen a lot as McConks. We’ve been around since 2015, and have seen technology change massively in that period – always for the better. And the biggest change has been the development of woven drop stitch, making premium quality boards even stiffer and even lighter.

Inflatable paddle boards and their construction.

Woven drop stitch is universally considered to be better than knitted drop stitch when it comes to inflatable paddleboard construction. Inside the inflatable paddle board, the woven fabric sits on the top and base. The polyester yarns that give the paddleboard its shape are part of the woven fabric structure, and additional layers of PVC are fused to the woven fabric using glue-less PVC lamination, before the two tough PVC rails are then added using heat fusion treatment to make the board fully airtight.

Weaving the two layers of fabric together with thousands of polyester threads, creates a very dense and rigid structure. The more traditional knitted fibre drop stitch have soft and stretchy properties meaning that knitted drop stitch do not have the same super rigid super stiff feel.

Anything else about woven drop stitch materal?

The woven structure restricts the amount of movement of the individual drop stitch fibres, meaning you need less of them for the same rigidity, which is good for the weight of the board and the stiffness of the board. It’s also good for the environment because less plastic is used holding the board together.

Inflatable paddle boards - so what really is the best technology?
There are many reasons why instructors and coaches use McConks inflatable paddle boards. Our construction is one of them.

However, the woven drop stitch material is quite a lot more expensive as a raw material than the equivalent knitted drop stitch used in most inflatable paddleboards on the market, which is why very few brands use it.

The McConks method.

In fact, as far as we can tell, McConks is the only brand that uses Woven double layer fusion drop stitch across our entire range of boards. Which is probably why we’re the favourite choice of so many schools, instructors, coaches and adventure seekers.

Here are some reasons why woven drop stitch is better than knitted drop stitch:

Greater inflatable paddle boards and stability:

Woven drop stitch provides a much more stable base for inflatable paddleboards. The tightly woven polyester threads in woven drop stitch create a very rigid and stable structure that can withstand higher inflation pressures, which leads to greater stability and better performance on the water.

Improved SUP rigidity:

Woven drop stitch can provide a higher level of rigidity than knitted drop stitch. This is because the threads in woven drop stitch are woven together in a more rigid pattern, creating a stronger structure that resists bending or flexing.

Improved paddle boarding performance:

Because of its stability and rigidity, inflatable paddleboards made with woven drop stitch are guaranteed to perform better than those made with knitted drop stitch. Woven drop stitch provides a smoother and more stable ride, allowing the paddleboarder to maintain better control, better balance, better glide and better speed.

Setting the McConks paddle brand apart.

And it’s not just our drop stitch that sets our boards apart. We only use the best of the best across our entire range of boards, whether this be the heat treated double layer rails, the marine grade stainless steel fittings, the triple adhered handles, the die cut deck pads, the genuine AIR7 fin boxes or any of our other industry leading components.

And our hand made boards take over 60 hours to lovingly and painstakingly assemble, and a further 80 hours to pressure test.

The best value SUPs available.

We don’t just believe that our paddle boards are the best value paddle boards, we know they are.

There are cheaper inflatable paddle boards available, and there are more expensive SUP boards available on the market. But we know that our paddleboards truly are the absolute best cost / quality compromise. And with a five year warranty, our boards are made for adventure, and built to last.

For more information on our technology, click the image below

Made for adventure, built to last

Are you a coach or guide wanting the best gear?

drop us a line and keep in touch