Stand up paddle boarding is an interactive activity that will get you outdoors for hours of endless fun. Whether you’re taking to the ocean, lakes, rivers or bays, it’s a water sport that is suitable for people of all ages, body types and skill levels. Whilst it’s a great activity that can help to keep you fit as you take on a full body core workout whilst taking the natural beauty of the great outdoors, transporting a board isn’t always easy. With so many options now available, we’re taking a look at ten of the best stand up paddleboards for you to take your pick from.
Thankfully, in today’s market, a whole host of leading brands have created durable, long-lasting and easy to use inflatable stand up paddleboards. Inflatable paddle boards mean that you can transport and store your board with ease so that you can get out and enjoy the open water without the hassle of lugging around a heavy, bulky board. In recent years, more and more people have been taking to their stand up board accompanied with a dog, friends or the whole family to explore the breath-taking waters of our planet. Dependent on budget, ability and weight, there are plenty of fantastic options to consider, read on to discover the best on the market right now.
The Best Stand Up Paddleboard
When it comes to portable stand up paddleboards, you’ll be hard pushed to find a product that rivals this one when it comes to quality and value for money, especially when you consider the equipment that comes with. The military-grade PVC material used for this surprisingly rigid board means that dings and cracks will no longer be a concern and you can use your Tower Adventurer 2 Inflatable SUP Package with no fear. With all the key features covered and only the quality of the pump cropping up in the cons, it looks like Tower have taken the top spot. Make sure you also check our guide to the best beach chair.
Package deal including bungee rope, 3-piece fibreglass paddle, a fin and pump
Complete with handles on nose and tail for ease of transportation when inflated
Weight limit of up to 350 lbs on the water
- BrandTower Paddle Boards
- Model124 x 32 x 6 inches
- Weight26 pounds
Store and transport with ease
Mimics a feel similar to a hard board when fully inflated
Atoll Cruiser Deluxe Paddle Board offers everything you’ll need to get on the water right away. The brand new 2019 fusion light construction means that this board is 40% lighter than comparable models, making transport of your board a breeze. Thanks to a durable fin designed to keep you on a course, a lightweight paddle and a whole host of accessories that come as standard, once you’ve managed to attach the fin, you can take to the water with ease.
Comes complete with 3-piece paddle, hand pump, removable fin, leash and bungee tie downs
Extra durable iSUP travel bag included
Supports riders at 300lb with ease
- Brand Atoll Paddle
- Weight19 pounds
Made with stronger than military grade PVC
Upgraded heavy-duty travel bag included
Known to some as “Hard Board Mimicker”
Fiddley to attach the fin
When you combine the cost and ease of use of the SereneLife Stand Up Paddle Board, it’s a great choice for beginners that will have you gliding through the open water in no time. SereneLife have created paddleboards suitable for every skill level, so this investment will serve you for a long time. With a wide, non-slip top deck, and three fins and PVC material for improved stability, this board is the perfect choice for adults and children alike. We think this might just be one of the best paddle boards on the market! Our handy guide to the best beach umbrellas features more great products like this.
Great for beginners
Complete with ankle cuff, paddle, pump, repair kit and storage bag
Supports up to 275 lbs
- Weight19.6 lbs.
At 33 inches, this extra wide, extra stable iRocker Cruiser makes a great choice for beginners through to experienced boarders. The board has been constructed with quad-layer PVC military tough materials to ensure that it is suitable for any water conditions, supporting riders of up to 400lbs: a higher weight limit than comparable boards. With an extensive list of features and impressive ratings, this board will take you from beginner to pro with no trouble at all.
Weight limit of up to 400 lbs
Complete with paddle, pump, fins and travel bag
Extra wide, extra stable
- Weight48.4 pounds
The Pathfinder Paddleboard is a budget-friendly, complete package that will have you out on the open water on the same day. This versatile and durable board makes for a great choice for some family fun. Whether you’re taking on the waves or opting for the calm waters of a lake, the portability and features of this purse-friendly option means you’ll take to paddle boarding like a duck to water. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best beach tents.
Package includes pump, fin, paddle, bungee tie-down and carries bag
Good for a wide range of water conditions
Supports riders of up to 240 lbs
- Weight26 pounds
Good, all-around iSUP board
Durable PVC material
Large, comfortable deck pad
Leash not included
Lower weight limit than similar boards
The Roc Stand Up Board is most definitely one of the most aesthetically pleasing boards on the market right now, the monochrome styling offers a really sleek finish that is sure to be admired. Beyond the look, the quality and features are as impressive as its competitors, with a comprehensive accessorises kit to compliment. If you were to replace the pump, this board boasts everything to rival the best paddle boards at this price point.
Comprehensive package included
275lb weight limit
1-year warranty included
- Weight 27.6 pound
Free waterproof bag included
One of the best designs on the market
Good for all skill levels
Poor quality hand pump
Travel bag could be improved
One of the lightest of its kind, The Gili Stand Up Paddle Board might just take the top spot when it comes to portability. The reinforced PVC means that when fully inflated, this board offers all the support and durability of a hardboard at just half the weight. What’s more, you can take advantage of the complete iSUP package that is suitable for paddlers of all skill levels looking to take on any sort of adventure. The board boasts a rider weight limit of 280 lbs while advances riders may exceed this limit. Go ahead and try it out, if it’s not for you, Gili offers a 60-day risk-free guarantee.
Complete package with fin, paddle, pump and bag
2-year warranty included
Supports riders up to 280lbs
- Weight19 pounds
60-day risk-free guarantee
Performs well in all conditions
Extra wide, extra-long traction pad
Poor quality pump
ISLE was born and bred on the water in San Diego and they’ve been around since 2004, so when it comes to the best stand up paddle boards, they give similar options at this price point a serious run for their money. With just a five-minute inflation time and a fully loaded accessory bundle, you’ll have everything you need to get out on the open water right away. Sitting at the middle of the road when it comes to weight, ISLE Airtech explorer offers great portability and simple storage. Furthermore, if you don’t love it, you can return it within 60 days, no questions asked.
iSUP accessory bundle: pump, leash, fin, paddle and backpack
5 minutes of inflation time
Max rider weight of 275 lbs
- Weight22 pounds
60-day risk-free guarantee
1-year warranty on materials
Constructed with high-density PVC
Hard work to inflate
Poor quality pump
Xterra Stand Up Board is most definitely built for adventure, as a brand born back in 1974, they know a thing or two when it comes to water sports. Xterra boards are produced so that paddleboarders of every age and skill level can enjoy hours of fun on the water with virtually no hassle. The board inflates in under five minutes, so you can head out on the water with your fully loaded accessories and capture it all on go pro using the handy mount.
Complete SUP bundle: pump, paddle, fin, leash, repair kit, backpack and GoPro mount
Max rider weight of 250 lbs
- Weight26 pounds
30-day money-back guarantee
Comfortable deck pad and handle
Unmatched military-grade durability
Pump and paddle could be better
The one key feature that sets this stand up board apart from the rest is the fact it can be converted into a sturdy kayak in a matter of minutes. If you’re struggling to choose the type of water sports you want to try your hand at next, Bluefin Stand Up Paddleboard is the perfect investment for you. The ultra-strong construction means that this hybrid board is great in all conditions whether you’re a beginner or a pro. Although it weighs significantly more than similar options, the max rider weight is higher than most to compensate. For the price and the versatility, this is a solid option that promises endless hours of entertainment out on the water.
Kayak conversion kit included
Comprehensive accessories kit
Max rider weight of 410 lbs.
- Weight30.9 pounds
One of the most versatile SUPs on the market
Suitable for all water conditions
Good for all abilities
Takes a little while to inflate
Standing Paddle Board Buying Guide & FAQ
The main takeaway from the comparisons we’ve made in this review is that the key factors when it comes to choosing the best stand up paddle board are budget and weight capacity. The majority of the boards are good for all levels of ability and suitable for all water conditions. All of the boards come with an accessories pack as standard, offering a paddle, fin, pump and travel bag, with some options offering additional extras. The most common con for these standing paddle boards is the quality of the pump; so, for time and ease of inflation, we’d recommend buying an electric pump to accompany the purchase of any of these options.
Features To Look For In Paddle Boards
While we already outlined the basics to consider before you purchase your board, we wanted to go into a little more detail.
Weight – Although inflatable boards are significantly lighter than hard boards, they aren’t exactly light. When you’re purchasing the best board for you, it’s worth considering how far you’ll be transporting your board. If you’re planning on taking it a long way, the lighter the better! With today's options, you won’t have to compromise on quality and durability in a bid for a lighter board.
Weight capacity – Everyone’s built differently, so when it comes to choosing your board, it’s important you take this factor into consideration. The majority of options range from a max rider weight between 250-300 lbs with some boards supporting riders of 400 lbs. You can calculate the right volume and size board for you based on the length, width, thickness and volume of the board. It is important to match a board to you to allow you to get the best out of your board. You can either be too light or too heavy for your board: as long as your weight is at or below the suggested weight limit, you should be fine.
Price – The price of inflatable boards varies significantly, with a number retailing at around $400 and the higher priced boards sitting at around $800. It’s worth noting that even though the prices vary a lot, the quality and features are relatively similar – so rather than being influenced by the price of a board and spending more in a bid for better quality, you should set out a budget before you shop around. If you are purchasing your first board, we recommend that spending around $400 will get you a really good value board for your hard-earned dollar.
SUP Volume – Not only do you need to consider the weight capacity of your board, but you need to calculate the perfect volume for the best boarding experience. When it comes to determining your ideal SUP volume, it’s dependent on your wright, age, skill level and discipline. To calculate the perfect volume for your board, you can use an online tool to do so within minutes. As a rough guide, beginners need to double your body weight (in lbs.) and aim for a volume of that figure in litres.
SUP Length – The most common length of paddle boards is generally between 10-11 foot in length and around 30-32 inches wide. If stability is a priority for you, you should opt for a board that is around 33 inches wide, you can find wider, but it may become harder to paddle and more sluggish than slightly more streamlined options. Similarly, to volume, the ideal length of your board is dependent on your height and weight. If your board is too long or too wide you may struggle with manoeuvrability which will make your boarding experience less fun. Generally, the standard length and width boards are usually suitable for most riders, it’s worth calculating the ideal length so you can choose the most suitable board for you.
Materials – The majority of the boards on the market are made to last, with manufactures using military grade, PVC material to construct long-lasting boards that will have you gliding through the water for years to come. If you’re considering a board that isn’t particularly well made, it’s most definitely worth investing an extra $100 for a higher quality product.
Weather Conditions – Before you head out on the water, you need to be mindful of the weather conditions, particularly if you’re hitting the ocean. As we all know, the ocean can be a cruel mistress so it’s imperative that you plan ahead and ensure you’re totally prepared with the safety gear and skills you need before taking the plunge.
Deck Pad - Just in case you didn’t know, the deck is the surface of your stand up paddleboard. The pad is the soft surface that makes contact with your feet. Typically, decks are quite similar, however beginners boards might have slider wider decks with added grip. It is important to consider the deck pad on your board at the time of purchase because they aren’t always easy to change. Getting it right from the offset with save you both hassle and dollar.
Carry Handle - When it comes to transporting your board, particularly when it’s inflated, you’ll be thankful for a decent carry handle. Although inflatable boards are much lighter than hard boards, they are still a little awkward to manoeuvre. We know it’s not the be all and end all, but it’s definitely worth considering before you make your purchase.
Leash & Tie Down Attachments - While a leash isn’t technically an essential, it’s always a good idea to keep your board attached to you, particularly if you fall off. Some boards come complete with a leash but if your board doesn’t, it’s worth buying one. There are two types of leashes:
Coil: this leash is made to stretch under tension, so it ensures your board is at safe distance if you fall off and coil up whilst your paddling in order to prevent it dragging in the water.
Standard: this is a regular leash similar to surf board leashes. This type of leash is less likely to tangle as you move around the board. While they are lighter than a coil leash, they are more prone to dragging in the water as you paddle.
As a general rule of thumb, you should go for a lead that’s a long as your board. You may opt to go longer or shorter depending on your skill level, but as a starting point, the length of your board is ideal.
Paddle Selection - Last but not least, and undoubtedly the most important component is the paddle. A paddle is made up of three parts:
Handle - SUP handles are designed to fit the palm of your hand to ensure ultimate comfort to have you on the water for hours on end. If you prefer a traditional ‘T bar’ grip, you’ll be able to purchase these styles also. It’s all down to personal preference.
Shaft - The shaft is typically considered the most important part of your paddle and is often made from glass fibre or aluminium. The material of a paddle can make a big difference when it comes to performance, so if you’re not getting on with your paddle, it might be worth changing it. The most common type of paddle is carob, this paddle offers stiffness and memory. Glass fibre is a budget option which can bend more easily, making your paddle softer in the stroke whereas an aluminium paddle is rigid making it a little heavy for some riders. You can also purchase Kevlar paddles which are similar to carbon in terms of performance with added resistance.
Blade - The size of paddle blades can vary from large to small. A large blade will displace the water easier with each stroke to give you more powder on demand. However, a lot of beginners prefer to use a smaller paddle.
It’s also worth considering the height of your paddle, ideally you want a paddle to sit around 8-10 inches above your head to maximise your performance on the water.
Now that you know everything you need to know to make an informed purchase and bag yourself the best stand up paddle board to suit your budget, ability and weight, it’s time to prepare yourself to take to the water.
Types Of Paddle Boards
In order to pick the perfect paddle board for you, it’s important to understand the difference between each type. A lot of boards can cross over so you can use them for multiple types of activity and conditions, however, there are four common types of SUP on the market.
All of the boards featured in our review are all-around SUPs. These are the perfect choice for beginners and experienced riders looking to use their board in versatile conditions. You can also shop boards specifically made for surfing, touring, racing, fishing and yoga. If you’re just starting out as a paddle boarder, it's most advisable to buy an all-around board until you find your feet and determine the best type of activity for you.
Stand Up Paddle Board FAQ
Q: What is an inflatable stand up paddleboard?
A: Stand up paddle boarding has taken the water sports world by storm in recent years. Like most board sports, stand up paddle boarding started out in Hawaii. In a nutshell, SUP utilises a surf style board and a long paddle to allow riders to navigate and glide through the water. Unlike surfing, paddle boarding is suitable for all types of waters: rugged waves, running rivers, and still lakes.
Q: What are the benefits of using a stand-up paddleboard?
A: Like with all outdoor activities, there are a whole host of benefits associated with SUP. When you take up a sport such as this, you’re putting your body through a gentle full body workout whilst soaking up the great outdoors… it’s a win, win really! As you enjoy low impact exercise, you will be improving your balance, core strength and cardiovascular health. If that’s not enough, as you take to the water you are connecting with nature as you melt away the stresses of everyday life. Whether you head out alone, with your dog or the whole family, one thing’s for sure, the benefits of SUP are undeniable.
Q: How much is a stand-up paddleboard?
A: The price of SUP can vary significantly, with the majority of boards sitting between the $300-800 mark. The price of a board is often dependent on the weight, size, additional accessories and the brand. The quality of a board isn’t necessarily reflected in the price, as a lot of boards sitting at around $500 are often as good as those sitting at a higher price point.
Q: How much does a stand-up paddleboard weigh?
A: The weight of paddle boards can vary significantly. The majority of stand up paddle boards for sale weigh around 22 lbs, although you can find some as light as 19 lbs with some options as heavy as 30 lbs. Of course, inflatable boards are much lighter and easier to transport than hard boards, which is why they are a preferable option for a lot of users. The lightweight nature of inflatable boards makes them the perfect option travellers looking to take on the open water in all four corners of the globe.
Q: Can I easily fall off a stand-up paddleboard?
A: Needless to say, there is every chance you might fall off your board if you’re pushing your limits or in rough conditions. However, if you do fall off, it’s very easy to get back onto your board. If falling off your board is a concern, you should opt for a beginner’s board that comes complete with a wider deck pad and additional fins for extra support and stability. Like all things, practice makes perfect, so if you find the thought of boarding in the open ocean a little daunting, perhaps you should get started on calm water until you find your feet.
Q: How do I care for my stand up paddleboard?
A: When you're dropping a minimum of a few hundred dollars on board, it’s important you take good care of it so that it will serve you well for a long time. First and foremost, you’ll need a decent bag to transport and store your board in, so if you’re not happy with the bag included in your kit, it’s worth investing in the perfect bag that you can use for years to come. Your board should be kept in a cool, dry place, out of the sun – the beauty of inflatable boards is that they take up a lot less room so storage is much easier. After use, it’s important to make sure you board is both clean and dry before you store it, so give it a good wipe down with a towel and remove the fins before you pack your board away.
Q: Are stand up paddle boards easy to transport?
Typically, hard boards aren’t exactly easy to transport unless you have a spacious vehicle or a sturdy roof rack. Thankfully, in recent years all of the leading brands have developed inflatable boards to combat the transportation issue that may have deterred many users over the years. Now, you can simply deflate your board and load up all of your accessories into a handy travel bag and be on your way.
Q: What other accessories do I need for a stand-up paddleboard?
A: In all of the kits, you’ll get a paddle, pump, fin and travel bag. Some options offer a dry bag and leash too. If you don’t have all of these accessories in your kit, you’ll need them. A leash and fin are particularly important for beginners. Additional accessories you might want to consider include a life vest, an electric pump, a go pro stand and a repair kit. In today’s market, there are plenty of other gadgets and accessories up for grabs: as long as you have the basic accessories, you’ll be good to go!
Staying Safe In The Water
As with all water sports, it is important you take safety precautions to ensure an enjoyable experience on the water.
- If you’re not a very strong swimmer, you should most definitely wear a life vest.
- Before you hit the water, you should check the weather and water conditions and plan accordingly.
- You should always make use of your leash, the last thing you want to do is get separated from your board.
- If you're heading out in colder conditions, it’s important to dress appropriately for the water temperatures.
Even if you think you’re the world’s best paddle boarder, its essential that you know how to self-rescue. If you don’t know how to get back on to your board, you could quickly find yourself in serious trouble in the water if you come off. To ensure you are prepared for all scenarios and conditions, you should consider taking a lesson before going it alone.
That being said, if you do find yourself in a tough situation, it’s important to stay calm and utilise the skills you have to stay safe in the water – after all, it’s all about having the tools and equipment for the most enjoyable water sporting experience possible.
We understand that this is a whole lot of information to digest before you make the perfect purchase, but we’re big believers that when you’re investing a large amount of money into your newfound hobby, it’s good to get it right first time. Like most things in life, finding the perfect accessories and conditions to suit you, it’s a matter of trial and error. But with our comprehensive paddle board review, we hope that you are confident enough to go out and buy the best choice for you.
Stay safe, respect the water and have fun!
- How to use a stand up paddle board – Floating Authority
- Paddle boarding mistakes to avoid in order to stay safe – Never Board Inc
- Paddle boarding tips for beginners – Green Water Sports