Boats, Boards & Float Tubes

Best Inflatable Paddle Boards for 2021 – Reviews and Ratings

Paddling with an inflatable standing up paddle (ISUP) board can be a great way to spend a relaxing day. Unlike surfboards, you do not essentially need waves to have fun with, and you can paddle in different types of bodies of water. In any case, you will need to have the best inflatable paddle board to fit your needs and preferences, if you are really serious about it.

Here, we will be presenting to you our elaborate reviews on this fun product so that you will know which ones to get if you want to give this hobby a try. Our recommendations will also help out if you want to trade in your old paddle board for a new one.

Top Inflatable Paddle Boards : Comparison Chart

Pick NameThumbnailProduct NamePrice
Top ChoiceSereneLife Inflatable SUP BoardCheck Price
Also GreatRoc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle BoardCheck Price
Great for ExcursionsAtoll ISUP BoardCheck Price
The Versatile ChoicePathfinder Inflatable SUP BoardCheck Price
Top Beginner’s ChoiceiROCKER Cruiser Inflatable SUP BoardCheck Price
6thTower Inflatable 10’4” Stand Up Paddle BoardCheck Price
7thSereneLife Premium ISUP BoardCheck Price
8thISLE Airtech Inflatable SUP BoardCheck Price
9thTen Toes 10 ft. Weekender ISUP Board BundleCheck Price
10thPeak Expedition ISUP BoardCheck Price

How Did We Pick these Products?

Our picking process comprised several stages. Initially, we did 30 hours of extensive online research in a bid to track down 35 top-rated inflatable SUP boards with a maximum number of positive reviews. Next, we wanted them to test them one by one. Our team members sought help from a group of community-based volunteers who were kind enough to assist us in carrying out a series of field-tests on our listed boards.

For the next couple of weeks, we took the boards out in the sea and nearby lakes in a bid to find out how they practically perform in both salt and sweet water. We marked the reviewing items on their overall ergonomics, build quality, design language, speed, durability, inflation efficiency, and overall performance. Based on these points we narrowed down the list to 10.

The quest didn’t stop there. We reached out to other industry experts and board designing engineers for their insights into our final list. They were also provided our field-test data for better understanding. Their valuable guiding helped us categorizing our champion list.

This buying guide has been designed with an aim to give you relevant information regarding ISUP boards, so you can make a better choice.

Our 10 Best Inflatable Paddle Board List

So, what is the best inflatable paddle board? Here, we present to you our top 10 list. Hopefully, you’ll get your answer by the time you have read this review. Please take note that this list merely serves as a guide, and our reviews should always be taken with a grain of salt, as ultimately, the choice of which product to buy will always be yours.

With that, let’s begin with our top ISUP board based on our reviews and research.

01 Top Choice: SereneLife Inflatable SUP Board

Topping our list is the SereneLife SLSUPB105 model. Just like its name, you will definitely be able to enjoy serenity when using this product due to its stability, comfort, and durability.

Moderately priced, the SereneLife is a go-to for most beginners, although it is also fast becoming a favorite of intermediate level paddlers as well. It has a wide deck at 30 inches, and you can also attach an optional seat for added comfort. The product allows for three bottom fins which would help cut the water for increased speed and maneuverability.

The SereneLife model comes with a non-slip deck, a carrying handle on top of the board, bungee cords for storage of miscellaneous items, and a leash plug which allows for attachment of an ankle leash which is also provided in the package. The entire thing can be set up in less than 10 minutes with the included pump, and it also includes an adjustable paddle and a storage bag so that you can carry all items in a convenient package. It is one of the fastest models, thanks to the aerodynamic design.

While rated to carry only a single person, the Serene Life can comfortably carry two children as it has a weight capacity of 275 pounds. The Serene life can also be used as a surfboard and is guaranteed tough with a six-inch hull and quality PVC construction. All of this provides great value for money coming from a product that weighs in at less than 20 pounds (like the SLSUPB20 model). Make sure you keep the air pressure with 25 psi even if you cross the recommended

Specifications

  • Length (feet): 10
  • Width (inches): 30
  • Weight (pounds): 19.6
  • Weight Capacity (pounds): 275
  • Material: PVC
  • Thickness (inches): 6
  • Inflation (PSI): 20
  • Fins: 3

Pros

  • It is easy to set up
  • It has a non-slip deck
  • It can carry two children or one adult
  • It is sturdy
  • It provides less resistance for increased speed and movement in the water

Cons

  • Holding the board by the handle can be difficult for long distances
  • It may have stability issues for larger adults in choppy waters

Final Verdict

The SereneLife ISUP Board is a superb choice for the beginners, especially children. It provides a lot of stability and can give a fun experience in lakes or other still waters, even for two people at a time. It also has the highest number of Amazon ratings in this category.

For rivers or oceans where larger waves are present, however, the SereneLife may have a few shortcomings, but you can be a little confident during wipe-outs due to the ankle leash as well as the soft material that will not hurt you should you fall on them.

02 Also Great: Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

The Roc is beautifully crafted using Military Grade PVC, so you are sure of its toughness and durability. It also has a basic black and white color scheme which is actually not a bad thing, especially if you don’t want to stand out or if both males and females will be using the board.

This 10 ft. model is also one of the most affordable stand-up models on this list. This budget product is not cheaply made, though, and it also comes with a lot of accessories for your comfort and convenience. This includes an alloy oar paddle, a manual hand pump, an ankle leash, as well as three detachable fins that will allow you to adjust your board depending on water conditions.

D-rings on both ends of the board will allow you to store attach cords that can be used for carrying materials as well as for towing. A non-slip surface is present on most of the product’s surface to provide you with a firm grip and a better balance.

Lastly, one thing that’s great about the ROC model is that, while it is rated at 275 pounds, it can actually carry around 350. This allows for two adults to ride it, although don’t expect it to be that stable, especially at high speeds or more choppy waters. That’s not a bad quality for a board that is priced under 300 which is the middle-lower end of the spectrum.

Specifications

  • Length (feet): 10.5
  • Width (inches): 32
  • Weight (pounds): 33
  • Weight Capacity (pounds): 275
  • Material Military Grade: PVC
  • Thickness (inches): 6
  • Inflation (PSI): 15
  • Fins: 3

Pros

  • It is reasonably priced
  • It is durable
  • Fins can be adjusted depending on the situation
  • A larger surface means better stability
  • All items can be stored in a convenient backpack

Cons

  • Inflating the board can be difficult without an electric pump
  • The design is pretty basic which can turn off some people

Final Verdict

The ROC ISUP board is great for both amateurs and experts alike. It has a nonchalant look that hides some enticing features that are found in boards that cost a lot more. It is versatile, tough, and adjustable to fit current conditions. The ROC offers good value for the money and if you have the budget, you can’t really go wrong getting it.

03 Great for Excursions: Atoll ISUP Board

The Atoll Inflatable SUP model is as close to a hard board that you can get. With dual layer PVC construction, this product is also known as the “Hard Board Mimicker” due to its rigidity but with all the portability of an inflatable model. It is also one of the most lightweight units around, weighing in at 19 pounds only.

Despite its lightweight, this one can carry weights of up to 300 pounds. It also features 15 D-rings for storing a lot of items as well as for towing purposes. As for steering, the product comes with one stock 8-inch fin that can be positioned to suit your needs. In addition, two other slots are available for additional aftermarket fins for increased steering capabilities.

The Atoll could easily top our list, but the price came along the way. This product is quite expensive, which makes the Atoll board better for experts that have a larger budget. Still, this product is well worth the investment as it is suited for surfing gentle waves as well.

This one can also be used as a kayak due to its large size. This makes the Atoll one of the most versatile inflatable models on the market today. The product comes with a storage bag that you can carry as a backpack, and setting up is a cinch with the two-way pump included. Lastly, the product also comes with a two-year warranty, making the Atoll a wise choice for those who want extended years of service on their board of choice.

Specifications

  • Length (feet): 11
  • Width (inches): 32
  • Weight (pounds): 19
  • Weight Capacity (pounds): 300
  • Material Dual Layer: PVC
  • Thickness (inches): 6
  • Inflation (PSI): 15
  • Fins: 1

Pros

  • It is lightweight
  • 15 D-rings allow for a lot of storage
  • It can be adjusted to fit any purpose or condition
  • It is comparable to a hard board in terms of durability and performance
  • It can be carried easily with the included backpack

Cons

  • High-pressure valve is weak

Final Verdict

You can certainly do a lot of activities with the Atoll model. It can also be a kayak or a surfboard. It can also definitely carry more than one person at a time. Its adaptability and durability are its main selling points, although the price is something that you can’t ignore, especially if you are working with a limited budget. Still, there’s no harm in hoping, and you should definitely give this product a try if you can afford it.

04 The Versatile Choice: Pathfinder Inflatable SUP Board

The Pathfinder Inflatable Paddle Board takes the cake when it comes to versatility due to its compact size, which in turn contributes to its speed and steering capabilities. Measuring 9.9 feet long and with a width of 30 inches, the Pathfinder sacrifices some stability but makes up for it by being more maneuverable even at higher speeds.

The Pathfinder also comes with a detachable fin that can be attached back within seconds. This makes the Pathfinder versatile and you can quickly switch “modes” depending on the conditions. Setting up is also much quicker as, due to its smaller frame, completely inflating the Pathfinder to its required rigidity will take less than five minutes to complete.

A D-ring can be found so that a leash can be attached, and bungee cords will allow for storage of miscellaneous materials. Take note, though, that the Pathfinder has a low weight limit, so don’t expect this board to carry all your stuff along with you. It is also definitely not designed to carry more than one person at a time. When it comes to actually move in the water, though, few can beat the Pathfinder.

The Pathfinder model is priced quite low, and the package comes with a lot of accessories that can fit into a bag that can provide even more space for your other gear. This will allow you to bring the Pathfinder to any destination or adventure that you may have in mind with ease, and this versatile board will definitely be up to the task. Above all, there is hardly any better deal under $400 than this one.

Specifications

  • Length (feet): 9.9
  • Width (inches): 30
  • Weight (pounds): 25
  • Weight Capacity (pounds): 240
  • Material: PVC
  • Thickness (inches): 5
  • Inflation (PSI): 15
  • Fins: 1

Pros

  • It is  affordable
  • It provides the most maneuverability, speed, and handling
  • It can be set up and deflated easily
  • The fin can be attached and detached in seconds
  • It provides a firm grip when kneeling or standing

Cons

  • Stability issues were experienced even for smaller users
  • It has a low weight capacity

Final Verdict

If you want an inflatable board that you can use absolutely anywhere, then the Pathfinder is your best bet. Whether it be for paddling, touring, or some light surfing, the Pathfinder can do all of that and more. The Pathfinder may have some issues in balance or some beginners, which is why this is recommended for those with more expert skill that can take full advantage of this product’s speed and other attributes.

05 Top Beginner’s Choice: iROCKER Cruiser Inflatable SUP Board

The Cruiser by iROCKER is one of the toughest inflatable paddleboards that we have tested. This is due to the quad-layer military grade PVC composition, which makes it able to withstand collision and dings without any damage. The iROCKER Cruise also comes with a two-year warranty so you are sure to be getting your money’s worth for each purchase.

With a 400-pound maximum weight capacity, you can even bring your children and pets along for the ride. It can also be a comfortable traveling experience due to its large size that does not compromise stability. We experienced little to no give in the water even when we stacked up a lot of weight on top of the board. Sadly, there’s not a lot of space to store items due to smaller bungee cords, making the iROCKER Cruise ideal for bringing more people and not more items.

Its wider tail gives it better stability without compromising speed, although some may have to get used to its more peculiar design. Two fixed and a center detachable fin round out the board when it comes to steering and handling.

What’s really amazing with this product, however, are the accessories that come along with the package. The paddles are detachable and, with an optional purpose, it can be converted into a more suitable kayak paddle. The manual hand pump also allows for dual-chamber inflation, allowing for twice the speed when filling up your board with air. An ankle leash and an easy to carry bag rounds out the entire package. It is priced under $500 and delivers a good value for the money.

Specifications

  • Length (feet): 10.6
  • Width (inches): 33
  • Weight (pounds): 25
  • Weight Capacity (pounds): 400
  • Material: Quad layer military grade PVC
  • Thickness (inches): 6
  • Inflation (PSI): 15
  • Fins: 3

Pros

  • Super tough and durable
  • The paddle can be adjusted for use as a kayak
  • Has a large weight capacity
  • Provides quick steering and higher than average speeds
  • Comes with a two-year warranty

Cons

  • It can be quite expensive
  • Smaller bungee cords cannot carry a lot of items

Final Verdict

The iROCKER Cruise is ideal for those who want to carry two people at a time. It is stable and is suitable for calmer waters. It can even carry larger pets comfortably. It can also be used as a kayak quite well, provided that you get optional blades for the paddles. It is also great as it provides some quality accessories when compared to other boards. On the downside, limited storage space means that you can’t bring along a lot of stuff while paddling.

06 Tower Inflatable 10’4” Stand Up Paddle Board

At over 10 feet long and 32 inches wide, the Tower Inflatable SUP Board provides ample space for two people. It also allows for 350 pounds of maximum weight, which will allow the board to carry a lot of things. For that purpose, there are bungee cords to hold items together as well as four D-rings at the bow plus one more for leashing.

Made out of military-grade PVC, the Tower is also rigid and can withstand a lot of weight. Tests have shown that, even with multiple passengers, there’s little chance of getting your feet wet as the top portion of the board is well above the water. A detachable bottom fin, on the other hand, helps improve steering and handling capabilities as well as cuts the water for better speeds.

One drawback of the Tower model is that it lacks a storage bag to carry all of the items included in the package. While the board can be deflated and rolled into a ball and the package does include a carrying strap, having a backpack or other type of bag will certainly help especially if you are carrying a lot of stuff around.

The Tower is also quite a bit on the expensive end of the price meter, but that is all and well if you could consider the two-year warranty that comes along with the product.

Specifications

  • Length (feet): 10.33
  • Width (inches): 32
  • Weight (pounds): 26
  • Weight Capacity (pounds): 350
  • Material: Military grade PVC
  • Thickness (inches): 6
  • Inflation (PSI): 15
  • Fins: 1

Pros

  • It comes with a two-year warranty
  • It is stable in calm waters
  • It can carry a lot of weight
  • It has many options for storage
  • The non-slip deck provides good balance and safety

Cons

  • It is quite expensive
  • It does not come with a bag

Final Verdict

The Tower ISUP model has a few shortcomings, especially when it comes to portability; however, having a two-year warranty is certainly a plus if you want a product that will serve you a long time. In addition, its high weight capacity, durable and rigid construction, and the ability to store multiple items make this product a great board for lounging in a lake with friends or even a pet for hours on end.

07 SereneLife Premium ISUP Board

As an upgrade on our choice, the SereneLife Premium Inflatable SUP Board provides half an inch more in length, giving you even more space than the SereneLife’s basic model. Of course, it’s a couple of dollars more expensive as well, so it’s up to you if the additional 30 to 50 bucks is worth the additional half-inch in length.

The serene life Premium model offers the same tough and rigid construction which allows for increased stability. In fact, many have said that they can even do yoga poses for minutes on end without toppling over. There are also a lot of D-rings as well as adequate bungee cords for storage. However, note that the SereneLife Premium is designed only for carrying one person, so that’s a bit of a downer if you want to have someone along for the ride.

When it comes to handling and speed, though, few can match the SereneLife Premium. It also has a non-slip deck that will help maintain your balance even when going through bigger waves or when traveling at higher speeds. A detachable center fin along with two smaller fixed fins help your board to perform better in the water.

The package comes with an adjustable aluminum paddle, and ankle leash which can be attached to the board, as well as a manual air pump. For the latter, however, it is recommended that you upgrade as it took us a hard time fulling inflating the board to the recommended PSI. All of these items as well as the deflated board can be carried in a stylish and compact storage bag included in the package.

Specifications

  • Length (feet): 10.5
  • Width (inches): 30
  • Weight (pounds): 19.6
  • Weight Capacity (pounds): 275
  • Material: Double PVC
  • Thickness (inches): 6
  • Inflation (PSI): 15
  • Fins: 3

Pros

  • It has multiple options for storage
  • Three fins allow for good maneuverability
  • The top deck is not slippery even when wet
  • It is lightweight and portable
  • It offers great stability

Cons

  • It has no significant difference with the basic SereneLife board
  • Inflating the board can be difficult when done with the included pump

Final Verdict

The SereneLife Premium is a great board to buy if you want to paddle on your own. For couples or for those with kids or pets, however, this is not recommended due to the lower weight capacity. When it comes to performance, handling and steering cannot be matched, and stability and durability are assured due to quality construction and materials used. This makes the SereneLife Premium one of the models that you can get your hands on today.

08 ISLE Airtech Inflatable SUP Board

Lightweight, stable, and highly balanced, the ISLE Airtech Inflatable model is perfect for the starters. Even those with poor balance can easily stand on one of these boards, and the rigid high-density PVC does not have any give when fully inflated, with is a big plus.

With a wide body and over 10 feet in length, this board is great for children, although it is only rated with a carrying capacity of only 240 pounds. It’s great for carrying a medium sized dog with you, though, and being able to spend time in the water with a beloved pet can be a prime selling point for the ISLE AirTech board.

Don’t expect superior handling and speed with this particular model although it is designed for moderate paddling only. While fins can be attached to better steer against the water, many other boards can blow it out of the water so racing is not really an option.

When it comes to portability, the ISLE AirTech is easy to carry, and the paddle is detachable which makes it easy to store. Inflation takes about 10 minutes, and all gear can be easily stowed away in an easy to carry a backpack.

While its price point is a bit high, the ISLE AirTech can really serve you for many years due to its durability and it can still perform at peak condition even as your skills improve further.

Specifications

  • Length (feet): 10.6
  • Width (inches): 31
  • Weight (pounds): 19
  • Weight Capacity (pounds): 240
  • Material: PVC
  • Thickness (inches): 6
  • Inflation (PSI): 15
  • Fins: 3

Pros

  • It is one of the most stable boards around
  • The spacious deck allows for children or pets come along with ease
  • Additional fin attachments help make it more versatile
  • Its lightweight makes it easy to carry even for children
  • It is durable and can withstand a lot of abuse

Cons

  • Speed is lackluster when compared to its peers

Final Verdict

This board takes the title as the easiest option to use even for those who have had no experience with paddle boards. Intended mainly for relaxed paddling, the ISLE AirTech is also durable enough to withstand crashes and wipe-outs. For those with children who are just learning to paddle, or for those who want to bring along their pets during water activities, this is the safest inflatable paddleboard that you can get.

09 Ten Toes 10 ft. Weekender ISUP Board Bundle

Made out of military grade PVC, the Ten Toes Weekender Inflatable Paddle Board can carry up to 275 pounds without flexing. That number may seem a bit low, but the Weekender is really designed for solo users, and its ability to store multiple items with its assortment of D-rings and bungee cords accentuates that fact. Regardless, the Ten Toes Weekender is made of tough materials and is rigid enough to carry you, your things, and even a small pet with ease.

The Ten Toes Weekender is quite compact, but it compensates by being stable, making this a great model for those who are just beginning to paddleboard. It’s not that admirable when it comes to speed and handling, however, due to its planning hull. It also has three removable fins that can help you fit the board according to where and how you want to use it.

Drawbacks of this product include a poor quality air pump and a paddle that doesn’t float. As such, it is recommended that you upgrade or at least use something that you already have that’s better if that’s available. For the board itself, however, you probably won’t have any problems due to its tough skin in addition to the two-year manufacturer’s guarantee that comes along with it. Also, the Weekender looks absolutely gorgeous from any angle and is available in many dazzling colors.

If you’re a beginner but still want to look stylish, then the Ten Toes Weekender should definitely be among your top choices.

Specifications

  • Length (feet): 10
  • Width (inches): 30
  • Weight (pounds): 27
  • Weight Capacity (pounds): 275
  • Material: Military grade PVC
  • Thickness (inches): 6
  • Inflation (PSI): 15
  • Fins: 3

Pros

  • It has a stable design
  • It looks great with multiple color options
  • It is almost indestructible
  • It is great for beginners
  • Price is just right

Cons

  • Accessories are pretty basic
  • You can’t go fast with this model

Final Verdict

The Ten Toes Weekender is aptly named as this is great for weekend lounging sessions in a lake or some other similar calm body of water. Its stable frame allows you to lounge around and enjoys the scenery, and you can also do yoga in calm waters. Don’t expect surfboard-like abilities from this model, though. All in all, this is a great model to have if you are not going to participate in a race or activities that require speed and precision.

10 Peak Expedition ISUP Board

The Peak Expedition ISUP Board is a tough yet versatile model that provides ample space for additional passengers or coolers and other items. Measuring 11 x 32 x 6, the Peak Expedition weighs only 19.5 pounds, all thanks to a military grade PVC outer shell and EVA foams that are light and non-slippery.

The Peak Expedition also has a pointed nose and the tail makes it ideal for other activities aside from paddling. Storage areas on the front and back allow you to balance out items as you lounge with a partner or a pet, and its 350-pound weight capacity makes it stand out from the rest.

Aside from being lightweight, the Peak Expedition model is also extremely easy to carry both inflated and deflated. It has grips on both ends of the board so two people can easily carry it, and the deflated board can be carried using the included backpack.

Other accessories include the paddle, a coil leash, a two-way pump, as well as a bonus waterproof phone case. There’s only one fin included in the package, though, so you would need to buy extra ones that would fit into the other two slots at the bottom of the board if you want to make the most out of it. Still, the Peak Expedition can work with just that one fin, and it is pretty good when it comes to surfing in light waves and even traveling in rivers at light to moderate speeds.

Specifications

  • Length (feet): 11
  • Width (inches): 32
  • Weight (pounds): 19.5
  • Weight Capacity (pounds): 350
  • Material: Military Grade PVC
  • Thickness (inches): 6
  • Inflation (PSI): 15
  • Fins: 3

Pros

  • It is great for a variety of activities and water conditions
  • It is very light
  • It has handles at both bow and stern for easier carrying when inflated
  • It can carry a lot of weight
  • You can store items at the front and rear

Cons

  • Only one fin is supplied
  • Price may be an issue

Final Verdict

The Peak Expedition is a versatile board that can handle the rigors of most water activities. It can adapt to almost any type of water condition, and it is great for almost any type of activity that you can think of. It is also durable, tough, can carry a lot of baggage, and is absolutely easy to carry around anywhere, making the Peak Expedition model one of our favorites in this list.

Few More Brands and Models Worth Noting

We came across hundreds of manufactures during our study. But few of them found their way to our list. Here are some notable brands and their well-known models that should be useful for you if you want to delve deep into the market: Starboard (popular model- iGO, Astro Touring), Body Glove (popular model–Performer 11), Bestway (popular model: Hydro Force Oceana), NIXY Sports (popular model- Newport), Fanatic, NRS, F2, Jobe (popular model- Duna), Xterra Boards, Ancheer, Vilano (popular model- Journey, Navigator), Jimmy Styks (popular model- Drifter 3.35 m), BOTE (popular model–Rackham Aero, HD Aero, traveller aero, Drift), Goplus, AQUAGLIDE (popular model- Cascade 12), Quroc (popular for their crossover models), Yolo Board, Sevylor, XG (popular model- Giant), RRD, Hobie, BIC Sport (popular model-Performer Air), Zray (popular model- X1), ITIWIT, Blackfin, NAISH (popular lineup- Glide Touring, Glide Air), Hala (popular model- ATCHA 9’6″), STX, Kings, Gul (popular model-CROSS), Retrospec, Uenjoy, Funwater, Bluefin, Soopotay, Solstice, Torpedo7, Tower iRace, Bright Blue, Saturn, Volt Surf, Viking, Boardworks (popular model- Badfish MCIT, Shubu Raven, Shubu Riptide, Shubu Verve, Shubu Solr), Supflex, Swonder, Gumtree, Seacliff, Lahui Kai, Tahwalhi, JLF, and Jobe (popular model- Lena Aero, Aero Duna), ISLE Surf and SUP (popular model-Explorer, Megalodon), Sea Eagle (LongBoard 11), Thurso Surf, Lakeshore, Aztron, Blackfin (popular model-XL), Goosehill, Fisher Boards, ULI, Zupapa, Red Paddle Co (popular model- Sport 11′), JP, SIC, XQ Max, Mistral, Swimline (popular model- Solstice Bali, Solstice Fiji), FLEX,  Yolo Board, Aqua Marina (popular model- Magma, Vapor, Breeze), Gili Sports, Atlantis, Tahoe SUP, Rokia R, Hyperlite (popular model- Admiral), and Driftsun.

A good board in this category should serve you for many years. However, this will depend on choosing a suitable paddleboard and how well you take care of it. Here are some tips on how you can take care of your inflatable paddle boards so that they will last you for a long time while still performing at peak condition.

  • Always wash your SUP board after use
  • Use fresh water and soap to clear sand and other debris
  • Make sure that water does not get inside the board
  • Make sure that the boards are not stored in direct sunlight
  • Make sure they are completely deflated before they are rolled and stored away
  • Apply UV gear protectant such as 303 Aerospace Protectant on your model twice or thrice a year, especially when it is being used regularly
  • Check for holes by putting enough air and submerging in water. Bubbles will show where the holes are
  • Patch any holes using repair kits so as to not exacerbate the damage further
  • Always keep the warranty handy whenever it is available

Why Do You Need an ISUP Board?

First and foremost, an ISUP board is portable and lightweight, allowing you to travel with multiple boards in a small car. It is also easy to set up as all you will need is a pump. They are also inexpensive as compared to those made out of epoxy, reinforced PVC, or fiberglass.

On the other hand, some may say that inflatable paddle boards are not as durable as solid ones. Although this may be true in the early days, nowadays these types of boards are being made much stronger and can withstand abuse just like its solid counterparts.

Of course, a cheap and affordable product will definitely break much more quickly, which is why you should definitely buy quality products from reputable manufacturers. The list below provides some of the top-of-the-line products that you can find on the market today, and they are definitely worth looking over before you look anywhere else.

Inflatable SUP Board: A Comprehensive Buying Guide

Not all inflatable paddle boards are the same. They have different dimension and specifications which would perform differently based on varying conditions. This will result in a better or worse experience for you. Thus, when you are up to buy one, remember the following points.

1. Size & Color

The dimension measurement is extremely important here. This should definitely be based on your body type and type of usage due to balance issues, although take note that larger ISUP boards will also affect your maneuverability. Lengths are usually around 10 feet while widths, on average, are around 32 to 34 inches. Thickness, on the other hand, is at about 4 to 6 inches. Always remember to choose the right size to make the most of this sport.

These boards come in a variety of graphic designs. People mostly prefer red, white, blue, pink and mixed color schemes.

2. Materials

These sports gear are usually made out of PVC with additional coatings that will add onto its durability. Most boards use PVC that is military grade, which means that it is absolutely tough and are designed for the greatest kinds of abuse.

3. Stability

These boards should be stable, firm and rigid when fully inflated. This will allow you to stand on them and for them to fully support your weight. They should also be stable even in choppy waters, which is important as you’ll be spending a lot of your time in the water otherwise.

4. Durability

There is no question that durability should always be an issue. As previously mentioned, they should withstand multi person uses and should be made out of quality materials. These are serious investments so you should definitely not waste your money on patches or buying new ones altogether.

5. Nose Rockers

Nose rockers, as long as the tail, are parts of the board that greatly affects your performance and experience. Different types of nose rockers will affect your speed, maneuverability, and ability to turn, among others. Knowing the nose rocker type and how it will affect your inflatable board is absolutely critical as it will help determine what to expect when you are already out in the water.

6. Hull Type

Hull Type paddleboards are classified into two, namely planning and displacement. Boards with planning hulls are flat, wide, and are more stable and, as such, better for beginners. On the other hand, displacement type hulls are pointed and are geared more towards those that value speed and distance when using paddle boards.

7. Weight Capacity

Some ISUP boards can carry more than one person at a time along with additional gear. Knowing the weight capacity of your paddle model will help you know how to safely use your gear and can help in preventing accidents or injury due to overloading.

8. Fins

Fins in ISUP boards differ in number and size depending on the product. Single fins provide better resistance which then leads to better stability. On the other hand, multiple smaller fins allow for less resistance in different areas, which then helps you better manoeuver as well as travel faster.

9. Paddling Performance

Paddling performance depends on the shape of your paddling board as well as your own skills. A combination of the rocker, hull type, and fin structure will determine how easy you will be able to paddle. Of course, this would also affect how fast and how versatile you can be in the water.

10. Ease of Transport

ISUP boards should be lightweight and can be easily carried along with other essentials and accessories. They should be lightweight and slim. This is a big plus especially if storage bags are already provided for easy transport and storage.

11. Ease of Inflation

Most inflatable paddle boards can be inflated and deflated using pumps. These pumps often come along with the package and can either be manual and automatic. You can use a third party pump in some cases, but you should definitely have one along with you to provide ease in setting up and taking down. There are self inflating models that automatically inflates themeselves without any hassle. For this cases you wouldn’t need an extra pump when packing.

12. Versatility

Some ISUP boards can also serve other functions such as for surfing, touring, fishing, or even carrying a dog. A multi-purpose inflatable paddle will definitely add more value to your money as you would no longer have to buy separate items for different purposes.

13. Accessories

Accessories for these boards include paddles, pads, pumps, and leashes, among other things. Fins and other detachable equipment are also considered, especially if they are included in the purpose. Having accessories are great because they add adaptability to your boards and you can use them depending on your needs and preferences.

14. Value for the Money

Of course, the price would always be a factor when looking for a quality product. The top choices for the money are those that will last for a long time while still maintaining superior quality. Usually less expensive than a solid one, ISUP boards should last you a long time and not be affected quickly by wear and tear caused by regular use.

General SUP Boarding Rules

Using a  SUP board safe, especially if you do not know about safety protocols when SUP boarding. Here are some rules that you should always adhere to in order to avoid accidents or injuries.

  • Always wear a flotation device
  • Use an ankle leash, preferably with a breakaway mechanism
  • Do not paddle too far especially if you are not experienced
  • Do not go SUP boarding when there is low visibility or if there are low light conditions
  • Do not go SUP boarding during harsh weather conditions or if there are large waves
  • Always provide ample space between your board and other objects such as other paddlers, other swimmers, boats, rocks, or other debris in the water
  • Always have someone know where you are in case of emergencies
  • Have a partner that can keep you in his or her sights at all times
  • Always wear protective clothing or sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful UV rays

Final Words

Now, we have reached the end of our review. We reviewed only the top rated products and carried out extensive field tests from our end. Hopefully, this will help you choose the best inflatable paddle boards easily. We made extensive comparisons among multitude of models in a bid to hunt down the top deals. This guide will also help you gain more knowledge about these products so that you can make an informed buying decision.

Our top favorites are the ROC Inflatable Board and the Ten Toes Weekender for their looks, as well as Peak Expedition for its versatility and ability to carry a lot of stuff. Of course, that’s our opinion only, and you can freely choose which, among the inflatable paddle boards on the market that are not necessarily included in this list, is your best bet. Happy paddling!

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About the author

Derrick Riley

I’m Derrick in my early 40s, but planning to bag from every saltwater source in America. In practice, I’ve explored over a dozen bodies of water that hosted almost all of the saltwater game fish. My personal favorites are brook trout and striped bass though. I don’t mind catching bluegill and white crappie either.

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