Water Sports

Best Stand Up Paddle Board Reviews: Complete Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking for the best paddle board? Then read on for our full reviews of the top options with all the Pros & Cons of each.

The SUP is a relatively new addition to the world of watersports. As surfing progressed in the 80s and 90s, surfers started to gravitate towards shorter boards. Only a few carried on with longboarding.

However, in the early 2000s, some surfers started to popularize stand-up paddleboarding. Pioneers on the sport, like Laird Hamilton, completed amazing feats on these boards. Watermen began using them for a range of watersports, from paddling between islands to surfing 25-foot waves.

Over the last 10-years, these boards have started gaining popularity, making them a top choice for people who want to get out on the water for some fun.

Paddleboards come in different shapes and sizes, with some suitable for fishing, while others have a specific design for surfing. Whatever you want to do on the water, there’s a paddleboard to suit your needs.

The multi-discipline nature of paddleboards makes them a rising trend, with plenty of people interested in trying out the sport. In this post, we’ll review the best paddle boards available. Find a model that suits your style and hit the water!

Our Top Picks

If you can’t wait to get out on the lake or the ocean with your new paddleboard, you can rely on our top picks in this review.

We checked out dozens of models to come up with our three top choices. There’s a board to suit your watersport, your height and weight, and your budget. Pick the model that’s right for you and start your aquatic adventure today.

The Best Overall Paddle Board – SereneLife SUP

Sale
SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with Premium Accessories & CarryBag | Wide Stance, Bottom Fin for Paddling, Surf Control, Non-Slip Deck
  • WIDE SUP DESIGN – The Serene Life stand up paddling board is 10’ long and provides 30” of deck width for improved stability and balance while standing
  • SUPERIOR MANEUVERABILITY – The triple bottom panel fins help board improve overall speed, handling and steering for easier use by kids, teens and adults alike
  • NON-SLIP SOFT TOP DECK – Great for beginners, our paddleboard is made for early learning and for less accidents or injuries should you fall—happens to us all!
  • INFLATABLE & PORTABLE – Take your paddleboard with you wherever you go! It quickly inflates or deflates for easy storage, making it ideal for the lake, river or ocean.
  • COMPLETE PADDLEBOARD KIT – Every SereneLife Paddle Board also comes with paddling essentials, including a coiled ankle cuff safety leash, oar Pedal, manual air pump, patch repair accessory kit, and convenient storage bag!

This SUP wins our award for the best overall SUP in this review. It’s a 10-foot model, with an inflatable design for lightweight movement in and out of the water. You get a high-pressure laminated finish, a UV-resistant coating, and a Thermo-sealed non-slip deck pad.

With military-grade PVC construction and super-reinforced composite drop stitch, you get a high-quality inflatable SUP that packs away for compact storage and transport.

The Best Premium Paddle Board – ROC SUP

Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards W Free Premium SUP Accessories & Backpack, Non-Slip Deck Bonus Waterproof Bag, Leash, Paddle and Hand Pump Youth & Adult
  • 🏄 End Of Season Sale!! ROC Paddle Boards premium inflatable paddle board is made of the highest quality military grade material. We provide the most durable lightweight board on the market, using the same materials as boards costing twice as much..
  • 🏄Our extra wide design creates an incredible all-around board for people of all skill level. These kits can be used in the ocean, fresh water lakes, and rivers. Our boards are an industry-leading weight of only 17.5 pounds—that’s 20% lighter than competitors’. Board dimensions are 10’ long by 32” wide and 6” thick with a weight limit of 300 pounds.
  • 🏄Our premium paddle board package has everything you need to enjoy your day on the water including: your board, collapsible aluminum paddle, safety leash, hand pump, waterproof bag for essentials such as cell phone and keys, and an upgraded backpack to hold everything. Comfortable and convenient, this complete elite package will get you anywhere you want to paddle.
  • 🏄 USA family owned company!! We stand by the quality of our boards and are glad to provide a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty at no additional cost. With tens of thousands of boards sold across the world, you can trust ROC as the leader in quality and fun!

The ROC SUP wins our top honors for the best premium SUP in this review. The ROC features a UV-resistant protective coating with high-pressure lamination and reinforced composite drop stitching.

Your get military-grade PVC construction with a Thermo-sealed deck pad and a premium air-valve with quick-connect technology for fast inflation. This 10-foot model supports up to 300-lbs, and it comes with a range of accessories included in the purchase price.

The Best Budget Paddle Board – AKSPORT SUP

AKSPORT 10'6"×30"×6" Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Premium Non-Slip Deck,Travel Backpack,Adjustable Paddle,Pump,Leash for Youth & Adult Ultra-Light Surfing ISUP (Black)
  • ✔【ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT &EXTREMELY STABLE】 AKSPORT Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board is 10’6" Long32" Wide 6" Thick, Weight 17 lbs, Maximum Capacity is Up to 300 lbs, Designedfor All Skill Levels Surfing.

  • ✔【COMPLETE & PREMIUM ACCESSORIES】You Will Get Everything You Need for Your Surfing Travel, Inflatable Standup Paddle Board, Alloy Adjustable Paddle, High-End Pump, Leash,Travel Backpack and Repair Kit.

  • ✔【SAFETY & CONVENICE】 High-Class Non-Slip Soft Top Deck Nice to Beginners and Better for Improved Stability and Balance While Standing,It Quickly Inflates or Deflates for Easy Storage,Take Your Paddleboard With You No Matter Travel on the Lake, River or Ocean.

  • ✔【DURABLE & NON-DEFORMATION】AKSPORT Inflatable Standup Paddle Board is Made of 1000D(thicker&stronger) Filament Grade Double-Wall Material (also know as drop stitch material) and Double 0.9mm high-quality PVC tarpaulin, Better Air-Tightness and Durability Since Reinforcement are Made for All Seams. It's Extremely Safe When You Using It Because This Paddle Board is Leak-Free and It Is No Smell Because High-grade Material.

  • ✔【30 DAY RETURNGUARANTEE &1 YEAR WARRANTY ON MATERIALS】We Have You Covered With Our Worry Free One Year Warranty, No Hassle 30 Day Free Returns and Friendly Customer Service and Support.

If you’re looking for the best SUP on a budget, this 10-foot AKSPORT model is your top choice. This model comes with a complete kit, including a paddle, pump, fins, a carry bag, and many other useful accessories.

The thermo-sealed deck pad provides plenty of grip for your feet, and the composite drop stitch design makes it a sturdy and durable board, with an air-filled design for easy deflation and compact storage for transport.

Stand Up Paddle Boards Reviews

Now that you have an idea of the best paddle boards let’s unpack our top models in further detail. We’ll also look at a few other models we think are worthy of including in this review of the best paddleboards.

SereneLife SUP – The Best Overall Paddle Board

This SUP is an excellent choice for fishing and yoga on the water. You get a lightweight, durable design that decompresses and folds away for compact storage. The tie-down bungees are great for holding your gear, and a collapsible 3-piece paddle for compact storage.

This model features high-pressure lamination for UV resistance and reinforced drop stitching for a sturdy platform that won’t bow in the middle. The wide deck and thick rails make it a top choice for fishing and yoga, providing unmatched stability on open water.

You get a complete accessory kit, including a leash, air-pump, repair kit, and a handy carry backpack included with the package.

Pros:
  • High-pressure laminated finish for UV resistance
  • Thermo-sealed non-slip deck pad
  • Reinforced composite drop stitching
  • A premium grade inflation valve
  • Military-grade PVC construction
  • Double sidewall for extra sturdy construction
  • Lightweight construction and easy to inflate
  • Paddle included
Cons:
  • Not suitable for surfing open-faced waves

View Details

ROC SUP – The Best Premium Paddle Board

This model wins our top honors for the best premium SUP in this review. The ROC model offers you a good nose rocker, with a slimline deck for surfing. This model features a collapsible air-filled design for easy folding and compact storage.

The ROC comes with a thruster fin box for superior control on open-face waves. The triple-layer fabric is sturdy, and the airtight UV coating features a non-slip EVA deck pad for an excellent grip. The 32-inch wide deck and 6-inch rails allow this board to bite the wave’s face while riding, holding your line.

The lightweight design makes it easy to carry to the beach, providing better control in the water. You get a complete accessory kit included with this model. The kit comes with a paddle, fins, leash, inflatable gear bag, air-pump, and a handy carry backpack.

Pros:
  • Non-slip EVA deck pad
  • Easy-inflate air valve for quick inflation
  • Triple sidewall for sturdy construction
  • UV-resistant exterior coating for weather resistance
  • High-pressure laminated construction
  • Reinforced drop stitch weave
  • Thermo-sealed duraweld PVC construction
  • Quick-connect inflation valve for easy inflation and deflation
Cons:
  • Would prefer larger side fins for surfing

View Details

AKSPORT SUP – The Best Budget Paddle Board

The AKSPORT is another top choice for a surfing SUP. This model features 10’6″ ×32 “×6” dimensions like the ROC but comes with an affordable price tag. You get everything you need with the accessory kit included with this SUP. There’s an alloy adjustable paddle that floats, an air-pump, leash, repair kit, and a handy travel bag.

The non-slip deck is beginner-friendly, with a 32-inch width and plenty of rocker for hugging the wave face. The AKSPORT comes with a thruster design. However, we feel the side fins are a little too close to the centerline, affecting your turns. This SUP wins our award for the best budget model in this review.

Pros:
  • Affordable, excellent value for money
  • Good rocker for surfing
  • Comes with an accessory pack including paddle
  • Triple-layer design with durable drop-stitch design
  • Easy inflation valve
  • Thermo-sealed EVA anti-slip deck grip
  • Handle included in the top of the deck
  • Stainless steel D-ring with tie-down bungees
Cons:
  • Side fin boxes are a bit close to the centerline stringer

View Details

DAMA SUP

This model is an excellent option for a surf SUP. This board has 10′ x 30″ x 4″ dimensions, making it good for turning. You get a thruster design, but the side fins are a little small, making the board feel a bit loose on your turns. It’s a better choice for people that have some surfing experience already.

You get a faux wood design on the deck, a carry handle in the center, and a large traction pad. There’s a drag handle on the rear, and a bungee station on the front for soft gear. This model comes with a complete accessory kit, including an air-pump, fin set, leash, repair kit, and a carry bag.

Pros:
  • Trible-tech design with double-layer material for sturdy deck
  • 3-piece floating paddle included
  • Lightweight design with laminated PVC
  • Handle on the deck for easy carry
  • Comes with a complete accessory kit
  • Bungee cords and D-rings included for holding your gear
  • Durable EVA deck grip
Cons:
  • A little heavy

View Details

FreeIn Cruise SUP

With the FreeIn Cruise SUP you get a front bungee cord system which keeps your gear on board, and you get a complete accessory kit, including a floating collapsible 3-piece paddle, a leash, air-pump, and fin set.

This model comes with a thruster design, but we don’t think it’s the best choice in this review for a surfing SUP.

Pros:
  • Comes with a complete accessory kit
  • Kayak seat included with deck straps
  • EVA deck grip
  • Bungee system with D-rings
  • Floating paddle and leash included
  • Single fin design with fin included
Cons:
  • A little heavy

View Details

FunWater SUP

The FunWater is a fantastic SUP for all-round use. Whether you’re fishing, doing yoga, or surfing, this model is a great choice. Featuring dimensions of 11′ x 33″ x 6″, this model is suitable for adults, offering a stable surface on the open water.

You get a complete accessory kit with this package, including a collapsible 3-piece paddle. There’s a thruster fin set, with two smaller side fins for easy turning. You also get an air-pump, inflatable gear bag, repair kit, leash, and a carry backpack.

Pros:
  • Excellent design for surfing with good rocker and slim rails
  • Thruster design with three fin boxes and fins included
  • 11-foot design with thin rails for easy turning on waves
  • Ultra-light PVC construction with a dual-layer design
  • Non-slip EVA deck grip for great traction
  • Slight swallow-tail design for extra grip on the wave face
  • High-pressure valve for easy inflation and deflation
  • Nose bungee system with D-rings for stashing gear
  • Full accessory kit included, with backpack carry bag
Cons:
  • Could use large side fins for better rail movement on the wave

View Details

Xudrez SUP

This SUP features dimensions of 10′ long, 30″ wide, and 6″ thick, with a weight of 20-lbs. The board supports up to 330-lbs without bowing, and the large traction pad gives your feet loads of grip when surfing or practicing yoga poses.

You get a complete accessory kit included with this SUP. There’s a floating paddle with telescopic design, aa thruster fin set with smaller side fins for easy turning of the board on waves when an air-pump for quick inflation. The backpack-style carry bag is a nice touch.

Pros:
  • Ultra-light design with ultra-durable double wire construction
  • Center carry handle for smooth movement from the car to the beach
  • Full accessory kit included with backpack carry bag
  • High-pressure valve for easy inflation
  • Stainless steel D-ring for leash
  • Bungee cords for gear
  • Non-slip EVA grip pad
  • Thruster fin design
  • Good nose rocker for surfing
Cons:
  • The nose could use a pulled-in design for better hold on steeper wave faces

View Details

Kingdely SUP

Featuring dimensions of 10’6 x 6”x 31″, the Kingdley is an excellent choice for an all-round SUP. You get a large traction pad, a center carry handle, bungee cords, and a single-fin design.

This model comes with a complete accessory kit, including a telescopic paddle, leash, fin set, repair kit, air pump, and a handy carry bag for easy storage and transport.

Pros:
  • Slimline rail design for wave surfing
  • Good nose rocker for surfing
  • Tie-down bungees
  • Dual-layer PVC design for added strength top the deck
  • Non-slip EVA grip pad
  • Single-fin design for classic longboard feel
  • Easy-inflation valve
  • Full accessory kit included
Cons:
  • Could use more rocker in the board to hold on steeper wave faces
  • Could use a thruster fin setup with side fins for better control on steeper waves

View Details

Other Best Selling Options

Bestseller No. 1
Runwave Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board 11'×33''×6''(6'' Thick) Non-Slip Deck with Premium SUP Accessories | Wide Stance, Bottom Fins for Surfing Control | Youth Adults Beginner
  • №1 Superior Material and Maneuverability - Made of high quality PVC Material, lightweight and high-intensity. We use the toughest drop stitch materials in the industry. High-intensity layer specifically manufactured for superior air holding.
  • №2 Inflatable and Portable - Easy inflates and deflates for only 5 minutes. With a simple roll, you can take it wherever you want to go, whether it’s a lake or sea, throw it into your truck, and take it to play.
  • №3 Non-slip Top Deck - Unique Non-slip pattern provides nice performance for beginners. Runwave Foot Leash makes it safe to surf and avoids the lost of you paddle board.
  • №4 Wide SUP Design - Run wave stand up paddling board is 11' long and provides 33'' of deck width for improving stability and balance while standing.
  • №5 Complete SUP accessories - Every Runwave paddle board comes with a backpack, foot leash, high pressure pump, three fins, paddle and repair accessories kit and instruction.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board - 10’ Ft. Standup Sup Paddle Board W/ Manual Air Pump, Safety Leash, Paddleboard Repair Kit, Storage / Carry Bag - Sup Paddle Board Inflatable - SereneLife SLSUPB06
  • Upgraded wide SUP design for better balance: measuring 10’6 feet long & 32 inches wide, balancing & stabilizing on top of our SUP board is a breeze
  • Soft, stable & anti slip top deck: perfect for beginners, We've upgraded this inflatable paddle board with a no slip Soft top that cushions your fall when slips or accidents occur. They happen to the best of us, so might as well be prepared
  • Best paddling manoeuvrability: outfitted with triple bottom panel fins, steering & handling The stand up inflatable paddle boards is incredibly easy offering exceptional surf control, you'll be gliding & skimming the water like a sea creature
  • PORTABLE & INFLATABLE SUP BOARD: 100 percent travel friendly, this unique SUP inflatable paddle board is preferred by those who have a knack for adventure Take it with you on surfing excursions or keep it in your car for those times you want to explore
  • All in 1 blow up Paddle board kit: complete with all must have Paddle board Accessories, Our SUP Paddle board will have you ready to hit the waves includes 10'6 board, Coiled ankle cuff Safety leash, upgraded aluminium paddle, patch repair accessory kit,
Bestseller No. 3
Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards W Free Premium SUP Accessories
  • 🏄 End of Season Sale!! ROC Paddle Boards premium inflatable paddle board is made of the highest quality military grade material. We provide the most durable lightweight board on the market, using the same materials as boards costing twice as much.
  • 🏄Our extra wide design creates an incredible all-around board for people of all skill level. These kits can be used in the ocean, fresh water lakes, and rivers. Our boards are an industry-leading weight of only 17.5 pounds—that’s 20% lighter than competitors’. Board dimensions are 10’ long by 32” wide and 6” thick with a weight limit of 300 pounds.
  • 🏄Our premium paddle board package has everything you need to enjoy your day on the water including: your board, collapsible aluminum paddle, safety leash, hand pump, waterproof bag for essentials such as cell phone and keys, and an upgraded backpack to hold everything. Comfortable and convenient, this complete elite package will get you anywhere you want to paddle.
  • 🏄 USA family owned company!! We stand by the quality of our boards and are glad to provide a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty at no additional cost. With tens of thousands of boards sold across the world, you can trust ROC as the leader in quality and fun!
SaleBestseller No. 4
FBSPORT Premium Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 inches Thick) with Durable SUP Accessories & Bag | Wide Stance, Surf Non-Slip Deck, Leash, Paddle and Pump, Standing Boat for Youth & Adult
  • FAST SHIPPING: The item is ship from US, and through by UPS, FedEx or Amazon logistics. In general, we will handle the order within 10 working days, and deliver to customers within 3-9 working days.
  • WIDE AND LIGHTWEIGHT SUP DESIGN - The FBSPORT stand up paddling board is 10' long and provides 30'' of deck width for improved stability and balance while standing.Paddle Boards Premium Inflatable Paddle Board is Made Of The Highest Quality Military Grade Material. Providing The Most Durable Lightweight Board On The Market.
  • COMPLETE PREMIUM PADDLE BOARD ACCESSORIES - Package comes with paddling essentials, including Board, Paddle (premium alloy paddle that floats),a coiled ankle cuff safety leash, Pump, And A Premium Carry Bag!
  • NON-SLIP SOFT TOP DECK - Ideal for all skill levels for less accidents or injuries should you fall! Brushed Thickening Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board .Best for fishing, touring, snorkeling, spear fishing, or recreational paddling in all weather conditions.
  • SUPERIOR MANEUVERABILITY - The triple bottom panel fins help board improve overall speed, one big fin is removable, and two small fins are unremovable which are fixed on the board, handling and steering for easier use by kids, teens and adults alike.
SaleBestseller No. 5
FunWater Inflatable 10'x31''x6'' Stand UP Paddle Board Ultra-Light (17.6lbs) Everything Included ISUP, Adj Paddle, Kayak Seat, Pump, SUP Backpack, Leash, Waterproof Bag, Non-slip Deckpad Youth & Adult
  • Proesseional design : The Funwater paddle board is 10 ’ x 31’’ x 6’’(305 x 78x 15 cm) , which can provide better safety and stability, suitable for various Skill levels .
  • Multifunctional SUP : Made of durable and skin-friendly PVC material with non-slip comfortable EVA,2 Function Kayak conversion kits easy transfer from ISUP to KAYAK.
  • Easy store and carry: Ultra light 17.6 lbs ,easy to inflatable and deflate. Everything can be folded up and put in your backpack, take it anywhere .
  • Packing list: Adjustable paddles, backpack,high pressure pump,kayak seat,3 removable fins, leash, repair kit, waterproof phone case.
  • Warranty: no risk returns within 30 days. + 1 year manufacturer warranty.

Stand Up Paddle Board Buyer’s Guide

Now that you have an idea of the best paddle boards available, let’s unpack everything you need to know about the sport. To get the most out of your paddleboarding experience, you need to understand the board’s design components.

Each board in this review has subtle design differences that make it perform a certain way, depending on the conditions. In this section, we’ll look at the critical components of a SUP. We’ll also examine the accessories you need to enjoy your first open-water paddleboard experience.

What are the Types of Paddle Boards?

There are four basic designs for paddleboards. Each of them has subtle differences that change the way the board performs in different conditions. For instance, if you’re paddling on a lake with your kid on the board, your needs are different from someone that wants to go surfing or take the board fishing.

All-Rounder SUPs

These SUPs are typically 10 to 12-foot models, and they’re suitable for all types of activities. You’ll usually get a single-fin design, with slightly thicker rails than a surf SUP. All-rounders perform like the name suggests, making them a solid choice for paddling on lakes or dams, and small surf days in the ocean.

Surfing SUPs

Many surfing SUPs feature design and construction with foam and fiberglass resin, with wooden stringers. However, these boards are for surfers that know what they’re doing in the water, and they usually cost three to five times the price of the inflatable models in this review.

The ROC model in this review is an excellent example of an inflatable SUP that is great for surfing. This inflatable model has a decent rocker through the board (curvature), making it easier to get into waves. The rails sit easily in the face of the wave, while the thruster-design fin box setup allows for traction on the surface of the water. As a result, you move along the face of the wave, instead of running into the beach.

Race and Touring and Race SUPs

If you’re planning on racing your SUP or paddling between islands like Laird Hamilton (relax, no-one other than Laird is that crazy), you need one of these models. These SUPs feature a slimline design, with a narrower deck than the surf or all-rounder.

The streamlined design makes it easy for the board to cut through the water, reducing drag while increasing paddle speed.

Fishing SUPs

If you plan on going fishing with your SUP, choose a model built for the task. Fishing SUPs feature thicker design, with fuller rails for additional stability. There’s a bungee tie-down on the front of the board to prevent your gear from falling in the water.

Recently, there’s a growing trend of yoga enthusiasts using these SUPs to practice poses out on the water. They claim that the additional instability in the board on the water provides a better workout.

What are the Important Considerations for Choosing a Paddle Board?

Now that you know the four types of SUPs, what else do you need to look at when assessing the right paddleboard for your activity? Here are the key factors to look for in your paddleboard.

Total Length

The length is one of the key factors involved in choosing your SUP. The length determines maneuverability of the board; it’s buoyancy, and how fast it moves on open water or a wave.

  • SUP’s Under 10 Feet – These models are suitable for surfing and offer a shorter length for smooth turns and hugging the wave face. Shorter boards are also a good choice for smaller kids that are thinking about taking up the sport.
  • SUP’s from 10 to 12 Feet – This size is the best choice for general-purpose use. Most all-rounder-SUPs feature design between 10 to 11-inches. This size is the best choice for newcomers to the sport that want the best balance between speed, maneuverability, and buoyancy.
  • SUP Over 12 Feet – Longer SUPS in this category are suitable for touring. The extra length makes it easy to paddle the board. These models have less width, making it harder to turn the board in waves. We recommend avoiding this size for your first SUP unless you plan on taking up long-distance paddling events.

Rail Width and Deck Width

The rail is the side of the board. In most cases, the rails have a slightly rounded design, Allowing the rail to “bite” into the face of a wave and cut a line. The thicker the rail, the less traction it offers on the wave face. Therefore, if you’re going for a SUP for surfing, we recommend getting the thinnest rail possible. The ROC model in this review is a good example of a purpose-built rail for surfing.

The width of the deck is also an important factor to consider. A wide deck provides plenty of stability, but it reduces the maneuverability of the board. Wide boards add more surface area to the SUP, slowing you down. These models are good choices for fishing because they offer a stable surface.

SUP widths can vary from 25-inches to 36-inches, depending on the design. 30-inches to 33-inches is the most common size for all-rounders and fishing boards, with touring and surfing SUP decks measuring between 25-inches to 32-inches.

Fins and Fin Boxes

The fins on the board make a huge difference in performance, especially in the surf. If you’re out on a lake or dam where there is no current in the water, fins aren’t necessary. However, when you’re in the ocean, fins are critical.

The fins act like a rudder on the board, keeping it moving in the direction you want to go. Without fins, the rear of the board will move around as you paddle.

For touring, fishing, and all-round models, a single-fin design is the best option. Single-fins give you plenty of maneuverability, and they work in smaller swell conditions in the ocean. However, when you star5t getting into bigger waves, you’ll need a thruster fin-box design.

The thruster collaborates with the rails on the board to pull it into the face of the wave, helping you hold your line for barrel-riding.

Paddles and Accessories

The paddle is the key element of SUPs that make it stand out from your traditional longboard. SUPs require you to stand on the deck, as opposed to longboards that require you to lay flat on the board and paddle with your arms.

You gain momentum by using the paddle. Most paddles come with a 3-piece, lightweight design for easy transport and storage. Other important accessories for your paddleboard include a pump (blowing it up using your lips is next to impossible).

Look for waterproof containers, straps, and tie-downs for your gear. You should also get a leash and fins included, along with a handy carry bag.

How Do I Choose the Right Paddle Board for Me?

When selecting the right paddleboard, you need to customize it to your body weight, height, and fitness level. All these factors play a significant role in finding the right board to match your use.

  • Your Height and Weight – Height and weight are the most significant components to consider when choosing your board. Kids weigh less and don’t need as thick a model as adults. Heavier people should increase the length and width of the board to match the application.
  • Your Skill Level – Choose the right board to match your skill level. For example, if you choose a $2,000 surf SUP designed by Gerry Lopez, it’s not going to perform as well as some of the models in this review. That specific SUP has a design for advanced surfers. Chances are you won’t enjoy the board, and you might end up putting yourself in a situation where you end up creasing or breaking the SUP.
  • Your Paddling Style – Whether you’re surfing or doing yoga on the board, choose the right thickness and deck width to match your needs.

Solid Core Vs. Inflatable SUPs

As mentioned, there are SUPs made from EPS or PU foam. These professional models cost a lot more than inflatables, and they are prone to damage easier than inflatables.

For beginners, an inflatable model is the most forgiving option. The design and construction with PVC materials and drop stitching make for a robust and sturdy surface that withstands the force of large waves breaking on the board.

What are the Benefits of Buying an Inflatable SUP?

  • Storage and Transport – Deflate the board after your session and fold it away in the trunk of your car for easy storage. There’s no need for roof racks using an inflatable model.
  • Lightweight Design – Inflatables are lighter than foam boards, making them easy to carry from the car to your launch.
  • Affordable – Inflatables are a lot more affordable compared to foam models.
  • Easy to Repair – The worst thing that can happen to an inflatable is catching a puncture. That might happen if a wave drives the board into a sharp reef or you hit something while carrying it in the parking lot. Fortunately, it’s as easy to repair these boards using a bicycle repair kit in a pinch – obviously, professional repair is the preferred option.

Paddle Board FAQs

What’s the difference between a paddleboard and a longboard?

A paddleboard and longboard are vastly different designs. Longboards vary in size, from 9-foot to 11-foot “logs.” However, they come with design and construction using PU or EPS foam, with wooden stringers.

They’re typically heavier than an inflatable SUP, and have thinner rails, with a streamlined design for smooth movement on the face of the wave. Longboards can substitute as paddleboards, but you don’t get the same ease-of-motion that you get with a paddleboard. The narrow deck design makes it challenging to stand and paddle on a traditional longboard.

Do I need to wear a leash when paddleboarding?

Yes, we recommend you wear a leash when paddleboarding, especially in the surf. If you come off your board, and you will, the leash keeps you attached to a floating object. Without the leg rope, your board will travel in towards the beach, and you’ll have to swim after it. If you’re not fit and you’re out at the backline, you risk drowning on the swim back into the beach.

How do you maintain your balance on a SUP?

Some people find it challenging to maintain their balance while standing up on the deck. We recommend moving more to the center of the board and keeping both feet side-by-side facing forward. This position provides you a stable base to paddle from without the board sloshing from side-to-side.

What kind of fin setup do I need for my SUP?

If you’re paddling on lakes and dams, you probably don’t need a fin. Fins become important when you’re out in the ocean, and there is swell around. The finds help drive the board in a forward direction, engaging the rails into the wave’s face. Without fins, the board would slide forwards, instead of moving along the face of the wave.

We prefer a thruster setup on paddleboards. Thrusters are a three-fin-box setup, and most SUPs feature a larger center fin. Single fin use of the board is okay for smaller waves, allowing you to make wider turns. However, it might not provide the same type of traction as a thruster setup when the waves get bigger.

The Best Paddle Boards Reviews – The Verdict

By now, you should have a good idea of the best paddleboards. If you’re having trouble settling on a SUP for your next aquatic adventure, why not go with our top picks?

The SereneLife SUP is the best choice for an overall performer in this review. This model comes with a complete accessory pack and sturdy design. It’s not the best choice for waves, but as a beginner, it has everything you need to enjoy a paddle around your local lake.

If you’re looking for the best premium paddleboard, the ROC SUP is your best option. This model comes built for the surf, with a thruster design and thin rails to hug the steeper section of the wave. This 10-foot model has a good front rocker, making it easier to control on waves, and you get a complete accessory kit included with your purchase.

Those holidaymakers looking for the most affordable paddleboard will love the AKSPORT SUP. This model has a sporty design that’s good for the surf, and a wide nose to stop you pearling into the wave on takeoff. You get a complete accessory kit, including a three-piece floating paddle.

Adrienne

Adrienne is a traveller and blogger with many years experience of the outdoors life. An adrenaline junkie at heart she loves to try different sports and activities all year round. With a degree in journalism she combines her love of sports with writing here at BeActiveOutdoors.com Contact adrienne@beactiveoutdoors.com

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