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Reviewed by our experts:

The Best Stand Up Paddle Boards 2021

Z

Our experts at work

We gave our Gear lovers one job:
Test 54 different Stand Up Paddle Boards and write reviews of the best.

The result is 20 of the best Stand Up Paddle Boards on the marked today.

torben lonne

Torben Lonne

Editor at DIVEIN.com
Torben is a dive nut, with a passion for traveling and gear.

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Bradley Axmith

Waterworld Fanatic
Bradley is our vikingship builder and wilderness freak.

Paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world, and for good reason.

Now, you’re looking to get a great paddle board, and we’re here to help.

There are hundreds of inflatable paddle boards on the market right now. Supermarkets as well as clothing companies are branding their own models, and most come from the same factories in China with varying degrees of quality.

That’s why we’ve looked at 54 of the most popular paddle boards to steer you toward the best SUPs and away from buyer’s remorse.

The best paddle board is easy to find as long as you know what you want. Read these reviews and you’ll easily figure out how to choose the best SUP.

Check out our buyer’s guide at the end of this article for more information on paddle boarding.

The Best Stand Up Paddle Boards In 2021

See our updated top 10, followed by 20 of the next best. Paddle on!

Best Budget

An excellent no-frills choice for beginners as an entry level board, the Surfstar Flight 10’6″ is one of the best budget options available right now. With an extra inch of width, this board is more stable and sturdy than similar models.

Families as well as occasional paddle boarders will also find this board a decent choice.

While it is affordable, it includes all the essentials, ensuring an easy jump into paddle boarding experience, great for new suppers who are starting out.

Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shopping
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Beginner/Recreational
  • Material: PVC with Drop Stitch construction
  • Volume: 260L
  • Capacity: 300lbs
  • Dimensions: 10'6"x33"x6"
  • Weight: 18.8lbs
  • Recommended Inflation: 15PSI
What we like:
  • Great stability
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Great entry level board for beginners
  • Bungees offers lots of storage
  • Good style and colors
What we don’t like:
  • Chintzy pump

The Bluefin Cruise 10’8” is best suited for touring and is perfect on flat water surfaces and riding through calm waters. With enough stability for beginners, and plenty of maneuverability this board is excellent for everyone from beginners to advanced paddle boarders. The ultimate ‘all-round’ board the Bluefin Cruise 10’8” is an excellent board made of premium materials and at an affordable price.

As well as excellent materials the board can be purchased for an affordable price thanks to the accessories that come with it. This board comes as a full package including a fiberglass shaft paddle, a dual-action pump, a backpack, a coiled leash, a kayak seat kit, a user manual, a waterproof phone case, and a repair kit.

This extensive SUP package is perfect for those looking to start off paddle boarding as it includes all the necessary accessories needed for convenience and comfort. The kit is also perfect for more advanced paddle boarders who want to expand on their current materials and use their SUP for more activities, such as kayaking.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Touring with freight/riding through calm waters/doing yoga
  • Material: Military-grade PVC w/drop-stitch technology
  • Volume: 260 liters
  • Capacity: 331 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 10’ x 32.9” x 6.3”
  • Weight: 28.8 lbs.
What we like:
  • The materials the board is crafted from are of high quality
  • It comes with a full set of accessories (including, especially, the kayak set)
  • The board has a great reputation among SUP board enthusiasts
  • It has a 5-year warranty
  • Suitable for beginners and skilled paddlers
What we don’t like:
  • The paddle isn’t made from the new carbon blend
  • The paddle lacks the length indicator
Featured

The premium version of the Cruise 10’8” the Carbon Cruise 10’8” inflatable SUP includes all the amazing qualities of the cruise with added features making it a lot more rigid and comfortable to ride.

The Flex Reduction System and the Air Duo inflation which are incorporated into this board’s construction makes it extremely sturdy and stable on the water. The Carbon Cruise is definitely one of the most stable iSUPs on the water, mimicking the stability of a classic hardboard. Nevertheless, the board doesn’t sacrifice any stability for its maneuverability. This board is very responsive and nimble on the water, ideal for more advanced paddle boarders or even beginners.

Like the Cruise, the Carbon Cruise comes with a full package including a lightweight carbon-fiber paddle, double-chamber pump, backpack, leash, a kayak seat kit and repair kit. This extensive package makes this board an incredibly affordable and good-value purchase.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Cruising/touring with freight/kayaking
  • Material: 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate w/ Pro-Weave Drop Stitch Technology
  • Volume: 260 liters
  • Capacity: 286 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 10’8 x 32.5” x 5.9”
  • Weight: 25 lbs.
What we like:
  • It features a Flex Reduction System (FRS) that makes the board rigid and close-to-unbreakable
  • The carbon-fiber paddle that comes with the board is lightweight with a good flex
  • The Croco-diamond deck pad allows for non-slippery paddling and extra insulation
  • The 2 cargo storage areas have an additional 4 straps for more flexibility
  • The 5-year manufacturer warranty is covered by a company with a good rep
What we don’t like:
  • The handle on the great paddle could be a little sturdier
  • The board’s capacity is relatively low

The NIXY Newport G4 10’6” Paddle board is a popular choice for those looking for a beginner-friendly and affordable all around paddle board. A fantastic recreational paddle board, the NIXY Newport is versatile and stable. It’s wide build makes it stable without compromising on the board’s manoeuvrability.

With a combination of fusion technology and carbon fiber rails the NIXY Newport is very rigid and sturdy, making it ideal for beginners or for advanced paddle boarders who want to bring along their dog or a friend. It has a high weight capacity that adds to the stability of the board on the water, whilst also being extremely lightweight, this makes it ideal for traveling and carrying to and from the water.

It is similar to the 10’8’’ Cruise from Bluefin, except the G4 is maybe a little more maneuverable and has an extra inch of width for slightly more stability too.

Overall, the NIXY Newport is a great and affordable recreational paddle board for people looking to get into paddle boarding or those looking for a recreational touring board. With quite a few features too, it will satisfy even more advanced paddlers as well.

Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Beginners/recreational/all-level
  • Material: Dual layer advanced fusion laminated woven drop stitch technology
  • Volume: 300 litres
  • Capacity: 300-350 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10’6” x 33” x 6”
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • Recommended Inflation: 15 psi
What we like:
  • Super Lightweight
  • Rigid and stable, ideal for beginners
  • Nice aesthetics
  • High weight capacity considering board weight
  • Plenty of features
What we don’t like:
  • Middle fin is only compatible with standard US fins
  • The paddle holder

Built for long distances and adventures the Bluefin Cruise 12’ is a stable and ideal board with exceptional tracking. At 12’ long and 33” wide you’ll experience more speed and better tracking than the 10’model, making this board suitable for quick-learners and ambitious paddlers.

Like most of the Bluefin iSUP boards, the Bluefin Cruise 12’ is perfect for all levels. One of the big advantages of the board is its size, allowing great stability on the water, however, it also makes for a great choice for advanced paddle boarders looking to go further distances and do more exploring. As well as being suitable for beginners right through to advanced paddle boarders, the larger size makes it great for family fun, or activities such as fishing.

The Bluefin Cruise 12’ includes incredible accessories like the other Bluefin boards making it a great purchase for any level of paddle boarder. No compromises were made on the quality or the features of the board, providing you with a fun and comfortable paddle boarding experience.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: 190lbs+/beginners and advanced//fishing/family fun
  • Material: 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC w/drop-stitch technology
  • Volume: ~280 liters
  • Capacity: 309 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 12’ x 33” 6”
  • Weight: 34 lbs.
What we like:
  • Lots of room to grow as a paddle boarder (go from novice to skilled)
  • It comes with a kayak seat
  • Robust build, resistant both to sun and punctures
  • The board has a 5-year warranty from the manufacturer
  • Suitable for complete newbies and intermediately-advanced paddlers
What we don’t like:
  • The board is quite heavy
  • The plastic paddle handle isn’t too comfortable

The Starboard Touring Deluxe Double Chamber SUP Board is a fast and maneuverable inflatable paddle board for paddlers that are at an intermediate level who are looking to advance their skill level. Indicated in the name this board is best for touring, however, it is very fast, picking up speed quickly, and easily maneuverable.

With high innovative design and winning 8 out of the 10 gold medals at ISA SUP Worlds in the last 5 years, there’s no doubt that this board is high quality and worth the slightly higher price. One of the factors that make this Starboard iSUP stand out amongst the competitors is the double-chamber technology used in its design. This guarantees durability, stability, buoyancy, and most importantly safety when venturing out further from shore.

The Starboard Touring Deluxe Double Chamber SUP Board is durable, sturdy, and maneuverable on the water. An ideal choice for intermediate to advanced paddlers this board can handle all types of water and is excellent for both short and long distances. The added accessories make this board an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their paddle boarding skills or those after a more high-end paddle board.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Intermediate/experienced/touring/travelers
  • Material: 3K Carbon compression with woven drop stitching
  • Volume: 328 liters
  • Capacity: 240 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12’ 6” x 30” x 6”
  • Weight: 24.2 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation- internal: 10 PSI
What we like:
  • Handles all water conditions
  • State of the art, sustainable materials used in production of board
  • Ideal for intermediate and advanced paddle boarders
  • Great for practicing balance and control on the water
  • Top of the range brand
What we don’t like:
  • Weight capacity only up to 240lbs

The Carbon Cruise 12’ is similar to the smaller Carbon Bluefin SUP in that it is made for speed and distance. A premium version of the Cruise 12’ this board is excellent for most water conditions and has incredible traction. Built with a carbon-railing construction in conjunction with the air/duo chamber this board is rigid and provides excellent stability on the water.

Heat-welded bonds give the Bluefin Carbon Cruise 12’ an aerodynamic finish for smooth gliding. The good traction through water and stability make this board ideal for beginner paddle boarders and cruising through calm waters, touring, or even kayaking. The added comprehensive kit included in Bluefin boards makes it an excellent investment for those starting their paddle boarding journey.

With plenty of added features, including a great traction pad for added grip when paddling and convenient handles to carry it to and from the water, the Bluefin Carbon Cruise 12’ is built with comfort in mind. This is a reliable and sturdy board that is guaranteed to last a long time, making it an excellent investment.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Cruising through calm waters/touring/kayaking
  • Material: 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate w/ Pro-Weave Drop Stitch Technology
  • Volume: 330 liters
  • Capacity: 309 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 12’ x 32” x 6”
  • Weight: 38 lbs.
What we like:
  • It’s bonded with heat welding that gives it an aerodynamic finish for smooth gliding
  • It’s fast and track really well
  • The two-chambers increase rigidity and make it easier/faster to inflate
  • Travel strap plus 5 handles makes transport easier
  • Sweet colors
What we don’t like:
  • It’s a tad heavier than some other touring SUPs
  • The main fin rocks just a wee bit, potentially affecting stability
Best for Fishing

Summary

The South Bay Hippocamp inflatable fishing paddle board is a mid-range, high quality paddle for paddlers who want the perfect SUP fishing experience.

This board offers a stable and controlled paddle boarding experience with useful and unique board features designed for making fishing expedition convenient and enjoyable.

The Hippocamp package provides a range of different accessories, including but not limited to a kayak conversion kit and a 4 piece adjustable carbon fiber paddle, offering an exceptional paddle boarding experience for riders of any level.

Overall, the South Bay Hippocamp inflatable fishing SUP provides riders with an incredibly stable paddle board experience and comes with a variety of premium accessories creating a comprehensive and competitive paddle board package.

Like what you see? Then jump ahead and get this SUP board now.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Any level/fishing/heavier paddlers
  • Material: Dual layer Military Grade PVC with Dual Axis Drop Stitching Technology
  • Volume: 340 liters
  • Capacity: 450lbs
  • Dimensions: 11’6” x 32” x 6”
  • Weight: 21 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation: 15 PSI
What we like:
  • Overall well-balanced paddle board
  • Great maneuverability
  • Offers excellent stability for activities
  • Kayak setup accessories included
  • Good tracking
What we don’t like:
  • Seemingly more demanding to pump
  • Any step back will meet cargo cords

The NIXY 9 ‘6” Huntington Ultra Compact iSUP is a super portable yet sturdy board. With a wide 2-fin set-up, this 9’6” board is incredibly stable on water and is an option for smaller paddlers looking for a light, compact board.

The NIXY 9’6″ Huntington Ultra Compact iSUP is designed for beginner to intermediate paddle boarders looking for a travel friendly board.

Equipped with bungee cord tie-downs at both the front and rear of the board, it’s excellent for carrying personal belongings whilst out adventuring on the water.

Read our review to see how it tested for performance, if it’s the one you’re looking for.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Smaller paddlers/Travellers/ Beginners/ Intermediate/
  • Material: Dual Layer Advanced Fusion Laminated Woven Drop Stitch Technology
  • Volume: 250L
  • Capacity: 250lbs
  • Dimensions: 9'6" x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight: 18.75lbs (30lbs for full package)
  • Recommended Inflation: 15PSI
What we like:
  • Very lightweight
  • Ideal for smaller paddlers
  • Great stability on the water
  • Small and compact, ideal for transporting
  • Plenty of added accessories makes for great adventuring
What we don’t like:
  • Weight capacity is relatively low

The Waterwalker 132 from Thurso Surf is a solid contribution to the all-around stand up paddle board world. There are precious few boards that provide the kind of stability and solid performance potential like the Waterwalker for those starting out in the sport. Likewise, this SUP offers the yoga enthusiast and family equal amounts of possibility and joy.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Beginners/moderate touring/horseplay/doing yoga
  • Material: Triple/Quad layer Military-grade PVC
  • Volume: 300 liters
  • Capacity: 330 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 11’ x 32” x 6.”
  • Weight: 30 lbs.
  • Recommended Inflation: 12-15 PSI
What we like:
  • Crazy stable, also in choppy waters
  • The carbon shaft paddle with dihedral blade is amazing
  • Great for fitness, like yoga, stretching, etc.
  • Impressive construction makes it robust and rigid
  • Accessories, including the paddle holder are great
What we don’t like:
  • The 132 is a heavy board. Transport isn’t fun but the bag’s wheels help.
  • The D-ring-holding PVC patches hurt the aesthetic of the natural wood look

The accompanying accessories reflect a company that both listens to its customers and demonstrates the capacity to grow, making design tweaks that show evolution of the good variety. While not included in the basic pack, the kayak add-on gives this product another useful dimension.

From the moment you grab the smart transport bag to the process of blowing it up with the smart pump to the time when you realize what a decent paddle means to paddling a straight track, you’ll be pleased. Even in choppy water with some unwanted winds or subject to the wake of motorboats, the 132 stays stable and steady.

Like what you see? Then jump ahead and get this SUP.

The Tower Adventurer 2 inflatable paddle board is an awesome recreational SUP for any paddler and is for many people their go to board. The Tower brand is well established in the paddle board industry and riders can be sure that they are buying from a reputable company. The board is great for beginners as it provides the necessary support and stability necessary to build confidence on the water.

We recommend the Tower Adventurer 2 for paddle boarders who want a stable and maneuverable recreational paddle board. It’s great for the whole family and is absolutely perfect for beginners looking to find their feet on a supportive board.

Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping

The multi-award-winning Ride 10 6 is Red Paddle Co.’s most popular stand up paddle board, and for good reason. The Ride 10 6 is an all round inflatable SUP that is ideal for recreational paddle boarding and touring.

A mid to upper level quality board, Red Paddle Co includes an amazing bag and a unique pump to go along with what could be one of the best paddles for SUP packages in the market.

The materials used to construct the board make it stable, sturdy and durable. The Ride 10 6 is suitable for beginners as well as intermediate paddlers looking to do some touring. It remains stable in the water especially against light choppy waves, and excels at tracking well.

Ultimately, the Ride 10 6 is an easy to use and comprehensive board for intermediate paddleboarders, as well as an accessible board for beginners.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Beginners/intermediate/travelers
  • Material: Tec Air and MSL construction
  • Volume: 245 liters
  • Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10’ 6” x 32” x 4.7”
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation: 16-22 PSI
What we like:
  • Beginner-friendly
  • All-round good performing iSUP
  • Extra stiffness makes it more stable
  • Tracks well in the water and flatter surfaces
  • Nice aesthetics
What we don’t like:
  • Pump looks awesome but doesn't actually work too well

The Aqua Marina Vapor is a lightweight and versatile inflatable paddle board for individuals between entry-level and intermediate skill level. The Aqua Marina Vapor SUP board sacrifices some stability for maneuverability, thus providing a great board for touring and allowing you to challenge your coordination and balance on the water. That said, this SUP board is not adapted for competitive paddle boarding or racing as it doesn’t really pick up too much speed.

Overall the Aqua Marina Vapor is a great all round paddle board, one of the smallest on the market and very easy to fold, making it a great SUP for travellers on the go.

Like what you see? Then jump ahead and get this SUP board now.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Beginners/intermediate/women/children/travelers
  • Material: Double layered PVC with drop stitching technology
  • Volume: 310 liters
  • Capacity: 308 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10’ 4” x 31” x 6”
  • Weight: 18.7 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation: 12-15 PSI
What we like:
  • Very lightweight
  • Packs up very tight, making the bag very small and maneuverable
  • Great for practicing balance and control on the water
  • Affordable and fair price
What we don’t like:
  • The top speed of this paddle board isn’t very fast
  • The included paddle board leash drags in the water

The ROC Explorer offers an affordable and fun recreational paddle board for paddlers of any level. This board specializes in stability more than any other feature in order to provide a board that is not only easy to use (easy to balance on) but also can be used for activities. It is also extremely lightweight, making it suitable for younger riders.

The ROC Explorer is an affordable, high quality paddle board for riders of any level. The Explorer package is comprehensive and also accessible for younger paddlers due to the competitive light weight of this paddle board. The ROC Explorer offers a basic yet sturdy level of stability, as well as a high level of maneuverability allowing riders nimble control of the board.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Any level/recreational/fishing/yoga
  • Material: Military grade PVC with DuraWeld Technology
  • Volume: 320 liters
  • Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10’ x 32” x 6”
  • Weight: 17.5 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation: 15 PSI
What we like:
  • Affordable
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Very lightweight
  • Offers great stability for activities
  • Includes drybag for phone & wallet, etc.
What we don’t like:
  • It’s short, limiting speed if you’re looking for it
  • Lack of nose or tail handle
  • Pump is slow to reach adequate PSI

We recommend the ROC Explorer for paddleboarders of any level who want a stable and enjoyable board that will allow them to play, fish and do yoga in ideal water conditions. The ROC Explorer provides an easy and enjoyable paddle boarding experience that is accessible to anybody.

The SereneLife Free Flow 10’6” is a popular paddle board model for entry level and beginner paddle boarders. This is a great choice for recreational paddle boarding on flat bodies of water and can be used by the whole family. The SereneLife Free Flow was created with beginner paddlers in mind and this is reflected in the comfortable traction pad, lightweight paddle and inclusive accessories provided in this package.

Overall, the SereneLife Free Flow is a great and very affordable recreational paddle board for people looking to get into paddle boarding without making a large investment.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Beginners/intermediate/travelers
  • Material: High grade reinforced PVC with composite drop stitching
  • Volume: 300 liters
  • Capacity: 275 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10’ 6” x 32” x 6”
  • Weight: 19.6 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation: 13-15 PSI
What we like:
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable deck pad
  • Affordable and fair price
  • Fast inflation time
  • Included accessories
What we don’t like:
  • Loses stability with wind and waves
  • Seams are not as durable as more premium models
  • Paddle can fill up with water and potentially lose buoyancy

The ROC Scout inflatable paddle board is an affordable and fun recreational paddle board for the whole family. The board offers great stability, making it easy to use and to hold your balance on while learning to use the board.

The ROC Scout inflatable paddle board is an affordable, good quality SUP for beginner paddle boarders. The Scout board package includes a number of accessories and is also accessible for younger or smaller paddlers due to the lightweight quality of the board.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Beginners/recreational/family-friendly/yoga
  • Material: Military-grade PVC with DuraWeld Technology
  • Volume: 320 liters
  • Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10’ x 33” x 6”
  • Weight: 17.5 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation: 15 PSI
What we like:
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Very stable
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Offers great stability for activities
What we don’t like:
  • Lack of nose or tail handle
  • Pump is slow to reach adequate PSI
  • Paddle sinks and can snap if not well maintained

We recommend the ROC Scout for the whole family. The board is great for riders looking for a stable, comfortable and enjoyable recreational paddle boarding experience in flat water conditions. The ROC Scout is a very good entry-level iSUP ideal for beginners who want to find their feet on a stable and reliable paddle board on the water.

The Tower Xplorer 14’ inflatable paddle board was built for speed and stability. It’s length, thickness and lifted nose (rocker) provide the perfect shape for easily picking up speed while reinforcing the board’s stability. The result of these design components is a paddle board created for an impeccable touring experience.

The Tower Xplorer inflatable SUP board is an amazing touring paddle board for any level of paddler. Renown for being a fast board that can cover large distances at speed, this board is perfect for exploring coastal regions or lake areas. Thicker than most boards (8’’), the Tower Xplorer offers an unparalleled level of stability with a lot of capacity, allowing for heavier as well as multiple riders to join in on the fun.

We recommend the Tower Xplorer for paddle boarders who love touring and want a paddleboard they can use to effortlessly explore and go on adventures around large bodies of water. This is because this board makes it easy and efficient to traverse large distances.

Read our full in depth review of the Tower Xplorer 14’ here  

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Any level/touring/fishing/heavier paddlers
  • Material: Military grade PVC with Drop Stitching Technology
  • Volume: 600 liters
  • Capacity: up to 800 lbs
  • Dimensions: 14’ x 32” x 8”
  • Weight: 33 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation: 10-11 PSI
What we like:
  • Well balanced touring board
  • Great maneuverability
  • High capacity
  • Rolls up very compact
  • Offers great stability for activities
What we don’t like:
  • Backpack not included
  • Leash not included
  • Difficult to use in harsh conditions

The All-Around 10’ SUP board is one of the best recreational paddle boards on the market. This board impresses even experienced paddle boarders with a mix of high quality, good performance and ergonomic handling. This model has now become the ‘go-to’ for many paddlers all over the world.

The board’s rigidity provides a lot of stability, making this board great for beginners and recreational paddle boarders. Additionally, the fin design of this board works great at ensuring the rider gets the maximum level of maneuverability and control when out on the water.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Paddling through flat waters/riding small waves/fishing/yoga
  • Material: Military-grade Triple Layer Composite PVC w/drop-stitch technology
  • Volume: 221 liters
  • Capacity: 370 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 10’ x 32” x 6”
  • Weight: 24 lbs.
What we like:
  • It tracks well and is really maneuverable
  • It’s even more lightweight (by 20%) than it’s 2019 predecessor
  • The 4 action mounts and 17 D-rings make it a crazy versatile 10-footer
  • It has a 2-year warranty
  • Safety handles
What we don’t like:
  • No wheels on the bag

We recommend the iRocker All-Around 10’ SUP board for paddle boarders who want an affordable, all-round recreational paddle board experience. The stability and maneuverability of this board make it accessible and a great choice for recreational use by almost any paddler.

The iRocker All-Around 11’ SUP board is a mid-priced, versatile iSUP of high quality that’s a great entry board with performance that will impress even experienced paddle boarders. The features and accessories on the iRocker 11’ iSUP combine many high performance characteristics.

This board is great for all levels and activities (except perhaps for speed in competitions), including touring, surfing, fishing and chilling on the water. At 11 feet it glides effortlessly and, thanks to the 3 fins, it tracks well too.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Touring through flat waters/fishing/yoga/some surfing
  • Material: Military-grade Triple Layer Composite PVC w/drop-stitch technology
  • Volume: 246 liters
  • Capacity: 265 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 11’ x 32” x 6”
  • Weight: 26 lbs.
What we like:
  • All the handles you need
  • 2+1 fins and shape make for good tracking
  • Side fins are also removable
  • More cargo space than average
  • Mounts for extra accessories like rod holders
What we don’t like:
  • Slightly heavy board
  • No wheels on bag

We recommend this board to anyone. Not only is it beginner-friendly, but it also caters to skilled paddlers, fishermen, yoga gurus, and families with kids. The All-Around 11’ is a good board for beginners as well as advanced touring and can even be used for surfing.

The Starboard Vision inflatable SUP board is a stable, lightweight board for paddlers that want to do more than just splash around in front of the beach. As the name suggests, the window in the board gives a view of the waters below, making this SUP appeal to explorers.

It’s incredibly large width of 38 inches makes this board one of the most stable in the Starboard iSUP collection and perfect for more than one rider. Yogis will also appreciate the extra surface area.

The underwater viewing window gives this board a unique design and makes it amazing for seeing under the waves and chops.

The Starboard Vision iSUP has a high weight capacity meaning that it’s ideal for families and riders can bring children, another passenger or even a dog.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Beginners/intermediate/touring/travelers
  • Material: single layer linear knitted drop stitch, heat welded rails, and 2000D galvanized rails
  • Volume: 370 liters
  • Capacity: 285 lbs
  • Dimensions: 11’2” x 38” x 6”
  • Weight: 24 lbs
  • Recommended Inflation: 15 PSI
What we like:
  • Underwater viewing window
  • Very wide making it super stable
  • Full-length EVA deck pad
  • Top of the range brand
  • Lightweight board, perfect for transporting
What we don’t like:
  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t include paddle
  • Not as fast on the water as other Starboard iSUPs

The Starboard iGo Zen (ZDC) board is lightweight and durable, and features a double chamber construction which makes it easier to inflate, more rigid and safer too. The Starboard iGo Zen double chamber is also lighter and more affordable than other boards in this range. As well as using premium quality materials and construction methods, all Starboard iSUPs are extremely environmentally friendly.

There are other construction options for the iGO such as the single chamber, deluxe double chamber, deluxe single chamber and even the option of a windsurf construction, but this review will examine in depth the Starboard iGo Zen double chamber board.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Beginners/all levels/ recreational
  • Material: single layer linear knitted drop stitch, heat welded rails, and 2000D galvanized rails
  • Volume: 330 liters
  • Capacity: 265 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10’8” x 33” x 5.5”
  • Board Weight: 22 lbs
  • Package Weight: 35 lbs
What we like:
  • Good price/quality ratio, budget-friendly
  • Wider tail increasing stability
  • Environmentally friendly product/materials
  • Double chamber option for added safety
  • Top of the range brand
What we don’t like:
  • Not as fast on the water as other Starboard iSUPs
  • Less responsive than the Deluxe construction Starboard iGo model

The Tower Mermaid 10’4” inflatable paddle board is an amazing paddle board for recreational use. The board offers a high level of stability and maneuverability, making it easy to use and supportive for riders. The Mermaid is great for challenging yourself to learn good paddling skills and can be great for activities that require some stability such as yoga.

The Tower Mermaid inflatable SUP board is a great paddle board for paddle boarders wanting an exceptional recreational paddling experience. The board offers a very good level of stability and is perfect for exploring lakes or doing paddle yoga. The board is also lightweight making it very easy to use for any paddle boarder.

We recommend the Tower Mermaid for any paddle boarder that’s looking for a lightweight, stable and maneuverable paddle board. This board is perfect for recreational fun at the beach or at the lake and can be used by the whole family. The increased stability gives beginners an edge as they don’t have to worry about falling off the board as frequently as with some other less stable paddle boards.

Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping

As far as entry SUPs go, the iRocker 10’6” Cruiser has it all. We believe it’s the combination of the smart design and a portable construction that makes it appealing for both beginners and experienced paddlers. It’s both incredibly stable and maneuverable with innovative and ergonomic features.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Cruising through lakes and rivers/touring with freight/riding with kids
  • Material: Military-grade Triple Layer Composite PVC w/drop-stitch technology
  • Volume: 234 liters
  • Capacity: 400 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 10’6” x 33’ x 6’
  • Weight: 25 lbs.
What we like:
  • 21 D-rings
  • It’s width and rigidity make it really stable
  • It has a good amount of storage at the front and the back
  • The removable fins make it easy to pack, transport, and store the board
  • Suitable for fishing and yoga with another person “on board”
What we don’t like:
  • Plastic handle on the paddle could use a rubber coating for better comfort

We recommend this board for beginner paddle boarders and recreational riders as the combination of high quality materials, versatility and stability make this an amazing board. This board is great for recreational paddle boarding. This is a go-to board for every outdoor enthusiast looking to engage in a variety of other SUP activities.

The Tower iRace 12’6” inflatable paddle board is constructed using military grade PVC and drop stitching technology to ensure its durability and robustness. This single person paddle board is lightweight and extremely versatile.

The Tower iRace inflatable SUP board is an epic racing/touring paddle board for the intermediate to advanced paddler. The board is aimed at paddlers who want a speedy ride in order to traverse distance or race fellow paddleboarders across the water. This board’s innovative design will give you an edge against other competitors when racing.

We recommend the Tower iRace for paddle boarders who want a fast, intermediate to advanced level board for racing and touring. This paddle board is not the fastest paddle board on the market but it will definitely provide the speed boost you’re looking for when racing other paddlers or covering distances.

Read our full in depth review of the Tower iRace 12’6” here

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Intermediate/racing/touring
  • Material: Military grade PVC with Drop Stitching Technology
  • Volume: 350 liters
  • Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12’6” x 30” x 6”
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation: 15 PSI
What we like:
  • Really fast board
  • Great for racing or touring
  • Very controlled maneuverability
  • Rolls up very compact
What we don’t like:
  • Backpack not included
  • Leash not included
  • Difficult to use in harsh conditions

As the name suggests, the iRocker Sport 11’ can turn, surf and cruise really well for paddlers looking for a little more performance. At 31 inches it’s a little thinner, sacrificing stability for speed and maneuvering.

Adventurous paddlers with a little more experience, should definitely give the iRocker Sport 11’ SUP board a try. You’ll love all that it has to offer including the enhanced speed and the reliable construction as well as the board’s affordability.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: /touring/small surf/
  • Material: Military-grade Triple Layer Composite PVC w/drop-stitch technology
  • Volume: 231 liters
  • Capacity: 385 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 11’ x 31” x 6”
  • Weight: 25 lbs.
What we like:
  • Fast and maneuverable
  • A great paddle
  • There’s plenty of cargo space
  • It’s light and easy to transport
  • It has a 2-year warranty
What we don’t like:
  • Not the best option for beginners

We recommend the iRocker Sport 11’ for any paddle boarders, especially families and the increased weight capacity means that this board can afford an extra passenger. Additionally, the exceptional performance, stability and versatility of this board make it a great deal and one of the best paddle boards in iRocker’s more affordable range.

One of the most popular entry level boards on the market the Isle Pioneer 10’6 Inflatable SUP boards is excellent for those looking to get started in paddle boarding. An all round board that includes all the necessary accessories and equipment this is an excellent quality board at an affordable price.

This 2020 Isle Pioneer paddle board builds upon the previous Pioneer model providing more stability and maneuverability, while evolving its elegant design into a more ergonomic board. Excellent on flat water and lakes, this board is stable and tracks well in the water. The Isle Pioneer also has great maneuverability. This is thanks to the nylon center fin being well positioned between two small integrated side fins that allow for better tracking on the water.

The added bag which comes with the board makes it an excellent choice for those planning to travel with their board. The board is compact when folded and relatively light, it’s easy to transport to and from any body of water, and can be conveniently brought on holiday.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Beginners/intermediate/travelers
  • Material: Military grade PVC with an airtech fusion drop stitching core
  • Volume: 326 liters
  • Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10’ 6” x 34” x 6”
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation: 15 PSI
What we like:
  • Affordable and fair price
  • Great for flat water and lakes
  • Very durable and tracks very well in the water
  • Very stable
  • A paddle holder at the side
What we don’t like:
  • Paddle can fill up with water and potentially lose buoyancy
  • Sidefins aren’t removable
  • Tends to have some difficulty with waves and can stall

A comfortable, robust and steady high quality board, the Isle Explorer is an excellent board for those looking to get into touring. This board is stable, tracking well in water, especially good in waves and on the sea. Built for long distances the Isle Explorer is great for adventuring out onto the sea. The additional stability and pointed nose of the board ensure a smooth ride in most environments.

Designed for stability and to endure waves the board is slightly less maneuverable than other Isle boards, however, this does ensure a more balanced ride. Like other Isle boards, it comes as a full package, including the travel bag, making it convenient and transportable.

We recommend the Isle Explorer for any paddler who wants a stable touring board built for exploring. The Explorer provides a smooth and enjoyable paddle boarding experience in almost any environment (sea, lake, river) and is an invaluable tool for adventuring.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Beginners/long distances/yoga
  • Material: Military grade PVC with an airtech fusion drop stitching core
  • Volume: 336 liters
  • Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Dimensions: 11’ 6” x 32” x 6”
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation: 15 PSI
What we like:
  • Affordable and fair price
  • Great for waves and sea
  • Very durable and stable
  • Tracks well in the water
  • Convenient paddle holder at the side
What we don’t like:
  • Maneuverability
  • Sidefins aren’t removable
  • The screw for removing the fin is very small and easily lost

Summary

The Gili Air is an amazing entry level iSUP board for new riders looking for a lightweight and stable paddle board. It’s beautifully designed and comes in a range of different colors making it a very stylish choice for beginners.

Overall the Gili is Air is Gili Sports’ successful attempt to craft an all-round, lightweight and stable board to provide beginners with an inflatable entry-level option for paddle boarding.

Like what you see? Then jump ahead and get this SUP board now.

See the complete list of the best Paddle Boards here!

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Beginners/all-rounder/travelers
  • Material: Premium military grade PVC with drop stitch inner core
  • Volume: 225 liters
  • Capacity: 275 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10’ 6” x 31” x 6”
  • Weight: 19 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation: 15 PSI
What we like:
  • Great all-rounder
  • Affordable price for great quality
  • Very stable board
  • Customization options
  • Travel friendly
What we don’t like:
  • Sidefins aren’t removable
  • Paddle is aluminum and could be improved if made of carbon fiber/fiberglass

The Blackfin V 12’6” inflatable paddle board is a fantastic and intuitive touring board. The new 2020 model of this board is designed and constructed for providing riders with a consistently comfortable and controlled paddling experience across different water conditions.

The board does this by being very stable, especially for a touring board (even beginners can get a feel for touring using this paddle board). The Blackfin V is great for covering large distances quickly as it excels in picking up speed and offers great tracking and easy maneuverability for making corrections to the direction of the board.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Any level/touring
  • Material: Triple layer composite PVC with drop stitched inner core layer
  • Volume: 380 liters
  • Capacity: 485 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12’6” x 32” x 6”
  • Weight: 30 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation: 15 PSI
What we like:
  • Provides a good level of speed
  • Great level of stability
  • Great maneuverability
  • Fantastic carbon fiber paddle
  • All the right accessories and more
What we don’t like:
  • Wider than most touring boards on the market
  • Center fin box is no longer the standard US fin box

We recommend the Blackfin V inflatable paddle board for paddle boarders who want a great all-round recreational touring paddle board. It is especially perfect for paddlers who want to buy their first touring paddle board as the extra stability that this board provides helps beginners balance and creates an overall more enjoyable experience for them.

The Blackfin XL inflatable Paddle board is a premium, high quality paddle for paddlers of any level. This board provides superior stability and maneuverability in various conditions and is ideal for fishing, yoga or multiple passengers. It features many different action mounts, and D-rings for attaching equipment making the board extremely versatile. The Blackfin XL package is very comprehensive, offering paddlers a range of high quality accessories that make for a fantastic paddle boarding experience.

In terms of paddling, the board performs exceptionally well. The Blackfin XL provides incredible stability and control to its rider and makes maneuvering efficient. The board is also not restricted to experience level, as the Blackfin XL’s design makes gliding across the water effortless even for rookies to paddleboarding.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Any level/touring/fishing/yoga
  • Material: Triple layer composite PVC with drop stitched inner core layer
  • Volume: 380 liters
  • Capacity: 485 lbs
  • Dimensions: 11’6” x 34” x 6”
  • Weight: 29 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation: 15 PSI
What we like:
  • Offers unparalleled stability for activities
  • Great maneuverability
  • Fantastic carbon fiber paddle
  • All the right accessories and more
  • 19 D-rings for attaching equipment
What we don’t like:
  • Really big and can be difficult to handle for smaller riders
  • Center fin box is no longer the standard US fin box

We recommend the Blackfin XL inflatable paddle board for riders who want an incredible premium, recreational paddle board experience. This board is perfect for activities such as fishing and yoga due to its solid stability and increased capacity. The board also has various action mounts and D-rings for attaching equipment and gear making it convenient for touring.

The Blackfin X 10’6” inflatable SUP board is one of the best all-round recreational paddle boards currently available. The board offers a really enjoyable paddle boarding experience due to its innovative design and construction that provides exceptional stability, intuitive tracking and overall ergonomic control of the board.

The board is extremely stable yet provides intuitive control and maneuverability making it great for beginners and intermediate paddlers alike. Additionally the board’s supportive stability makes it great for paddlers who want to try fishing or yoga while on their paddle board.

See the complete list of the best Paddle Boards here!

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Any level/all-rounder/travellers
  • Material: Triple layer composite PVC with drop stitched inner core layer
  • Volume: 330 liters
  • Capacity: 450 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10’6” x 35” x 6”
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Recommended Inflation: 15 PSI
What we like:
  • Durable and robust construction
  • Great all-rounder recreational board
  • Offers great stability and control
  • Fantastic carbon fiber paddle
  • High quality range of accessories
What we don’t like:
  • Width can be a problem for smaller paddlers to handle
  • Center fin box is no longer the standard US fin box

We recommend the Blackfin X inflatable SUP board for paddle boarders who want a premium, all-round recreational paddle board experience. The board is very popular due to the fact that it offers one of the highest levels of stability available, making it accessible to virtually anyone.

The Best Paddle boards: Buying Guide (2021)

Suitable for yoga, fishing, and touring, a paddle board can prove to be a worthy investment if chosen well. To remain satisfied with your purchase, you need to evaluate some of the key components that differentiate a mediocre SUP board from a great one.

TYPE

When searching for the right stand up paddle board, you will notice a pattern – the board either has a planing hull or a displacement hull. Which one should you go for?

Despite both of the shapes being suitable for beginners and experts alike, they are best compatible with different activities.

A planing hull board is generally wide and flat and is somewhat reminiscent of a surfboard. It is intended for on-top-of-the-water rides and is easily maneuverable. If you are into surfing, yoga, and recreational paddling, this is the hull type to look into.

A displacement hull is differentiated by its pointy nose, the one often met in canoes and kayaks. This feature helps it cut through the water, thus pushing it to the sides and the nose itself. As a result, you smoothly glide through the waves at a fast speed. If touring, camping and racing are your main priorities for the board, this is the hull to choose.

BOARD LENGTH

With plenty of length options available for SUP boards, it might be frustrating to find the one that will meet your needs.

So, here’s a rule of thumb:

  • Boards with <9 feet length are not race-friendly but are the easiest to manipulate
  • Boards with >12 feet length are hard to tame but are the best for speed racing
  • Boards with 9-12 feet length occupy the sweet spot between being maneuverable and speedy

When choosing the right length, make sure to check the board’s volume and weight capacity. For instance, a board with a longer hull is able to increase both of the features, which, in turn, will give you more stability and storage space.

BOARD WIDTH

It goes without saying that the wider the surface is, the easier it will be to maintain your balance. The same applies to SUP boards.

In general, boards with >31 inches width are the beginners’ go-to choice because of their stable foundation and, consequently, a smooth cruising.

In contrast, boards with <30 inches width are best suited for professional paddlers who value speed over stability.

MATERIALS

The number one feature buyers look for when making any kind of purchase is the quality of the material. This is particularly important when it comes to costly equipment that is meant to last you a long time.

Stand up paddle boards are normally divided into two categories:

  • Solid models made from an EPS foam core that is wrapped with either epoxy or fiberglass;
  • Inflatable models made from PVC with drop-stitching technology.

While there are pros and cons for each one, here are some general recommendations you should follow:

  • If stability and performance are important, and you have a place to store a board, pick a solid SUP board;
  • If you are mainly planning on doing yoga and paddling in whitewater somewhere abroad, and you don’t have much space to spare, pick an inflatable SUP board.

1. Is paddle boarding difficult?
2. How long do inflatable paddle boards last?
3. What should I wear to go paddle boarding?

If you already have a paddle board or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Paddle Boards

33 Comments

  1. John Jordan

    where is the vsc decal placed on paddle boards

  2. Torben Lonne

    Place it on top of the board. There’s no requirement on where to place it. Do also consider adding an “If Lost” Decal.

  3. te arai

    Nice tips. It is very informative tips. I’ll definitely try to follow your tips to paddleboarding. Thanks for sharing this information with us.

  4. Kelsey Campbell

    I am looking to buy a paddle board. I live on the ocean where fresh water and salt water are interchangeable so need one that can withstand both of those. I don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on it. (350 or less) and it can be inflatable or not depending on the price. Looking for brand recommendations that won’t fall apart in a year or two.
    Thank you!

  5. Torben Lonne

    Hi Kelsey,

    Any of the above SUP’s or iSUP’s in the guide above will do for your needs. About the budget, you might need to go a bit higher, but I can strongly recommend this as it’ll give you a proper board that will last and give you much more fun.

  6. Cris

    Hi so I’m still a bit lost on what to buy. I’m short (5’0”), and weigh around 150lbs. I’ve gone paddle boarding lots of times before, but this is the first time buying. I’m looking for something I can take both on long camping trips and short lake rides. What would you recommend?

  7. Torben Lonne

    Hi Cris,

    I’d go for one of the smaller models, but any in the top 3 will do great. Go for an infallible if you need it for long camping trips.

  8. darla linn

    Trying to decide between the FBSport and MaxKare for my beginner paddle boarder. Any suggestions?

  9. Jayne

    Mostly wanting a board to cruise around for fun. I’ll most likely be in a small ski basin or a lake. Lake isn’t usually crazy but the ski basin can get kinda choppy. I don’t have to much experience with a SUP but I pick things up quickly and have wake surfed, snowboarded, and wakeboard. Please let me know. Thank you for your time.

  10. Torben Lonne

    Hi Jayne,

    Go for one of the wide boards with a bit round front. This will be a great all-round board that will keep you happy for many years.

  11. Torben Lonne

    For a beginner board, you’ll want to choose a wide one. Larger than 30″.

  12. Jonathan Thwaites

    You mentioned that the Bluefin Stand Up Inflatable Paddle Board had poor seams around the edges after one use (After one session the seams in the back looked worryingly worn), but is still in your top 3. Did the stitching/seams hold out on subsequent uses or would you recommend returning if this happens?

  13. Bradley Axmith

    Hey Jonathan. The wear and tear of these things getting inflated/deflated, carted and dragged across sandy and stony beaches, is pretty harsh. That’s why I was worried about the seams at the very back looking worse for wear. BUT, after using the Cruise a couple more times–without being delicate–the seams stayed intact, glued firmly. It points to pretty decent construction under the surface to go with pretty sweet board performance. That’s why it remains in the top 3. So, so far after almost 10 sessions, I’m less concerned and I’m actually going to adjust the review.

  14. CarolAnn

    Hi there! Learned a ton from your article…Been paddle boarding for years on a lake and a few times up the coast in Malibu and Laguna, finally looking to buy for ocean cruising and exercise. I consider myself an intermediate rider and would like to be swift, but not interested in surfing or racing. Mostly, need it to be durable b/c I’ve had a bad experience w/ a cheap inflatable after about a year on the lake. I’ve written down those who stood out for me from your article, can you check my choices or make another recommendation based on my needs? I was drawn towards the SHUBU Kraken, Atoll, Peak and FBSport. Do those sound about right? (Clearly I have problems w/ being decisive) 🙂

  15. Torben Lonne

    Hi CarolAnn,

    It’s also a hard place to make a decision as there are so many brands and models to choose from. From your comment, I think you’ve made a good choice, and will be happy with either one of your selected boards.

  16. micheala

    Hi I am looking for a board can’t find a independent review of i rockers black fin x this is a one of buy with all the bits is 800 only 100 more then the I rocker 10.6 trying to persuade other half to end me the cash to get this rather then a cheaper model I tend to be someone that buys for permanence rather then ever full years (

  17. Torben Lonne

    Hi Micheala,

    We’re working on the review, but it’s not ready atm. If you’re considering it, all Blackfin boards are higher quality SUPs than the average other. The X is no exception. What stands out with it is the versatility (all the D-rings), the stability and lightweight construction which is also durable.
    All the cargo you can have for longer sessions combined with pretty impressive amount of weight it can carry is pretty unique. It’s not gonna be something that gets you places in a hurry, but time is not always the most important driver in our lives, right?
    Thoroughly recommend shelling out a little extra. It’ll last and give you its worth over time.

  18. Annette Jadallah

    Hi There, I am an experienced paddler, but no races, which board should I take , paddling in ocean with windy choppy conditions in winter , flat summer . I am a not that heavy woman. I have a hardboard but difficult to find here storage, so I am looking for inflatable one that feels like hardboard.
    Read all the 20 boards : ) still would like independent opinion of yours if possible ???????? ????
    Thanks so much and have good rides ???? ahead
    Cheers Annette

  19. Jeff

    I think for beginner’s board, SurfStar is a good brand, it is not too expensive about $399(on sale now for $349) for a paddle board set, their board are about 10’6” and 35” wide when deflated, when inflated, it is about 33.5”. They use good materials, much better than the ones you get from places like Walmart or Costco. It is really for beginners who want to take up this fun sport. They also offer good customer services if you have any issue, usually they help you right away. I had my paddle missing, they shipped a new one to me right away. They also have been offering paddle boards for many years, which is pretty cool! But of course, there is many other brands in the market you can choose from. My personal experience with them has been pretty nice, so I would recommend them!

  20. Bradley Axmith

    Hi Jeff. I’ve not tried the board you’re promoting. What seems appropriate for a beginner is the extra width you name, which can allow for more primary stability.

    I don’t know if it has a capacity that’ll be good for a taller/heavier person or people (tandem), but that should also be considered. For around the same price I would actually recommend the Roc Explorer. For the point when you want to get past just being able to stand up and want to start paddling, the Explorer tracks pretty well–meaning it paddles in a straight line.

    Check out our reviews for other options. I’ll keep my eyes out for your SUP. In the meantime, enjoy it!
    Cheers

  21. Bradley Axmith

    Hi Annette, I take it that balance isn’t a factor holding you back. Rather, I assume you’re looking for a pretty good performing board that’s high on portability. And the Carbon Cruise 12 by Bluefin has two chambers which means it’s both pretty rigid and easy to blow up/pack down. This is actually one of my favorite boards right at this moment. It tracks really well, the paddle is pretty good (though you maybe have one you like already) and it’s relatively fast. The rocker and nose profile will also cut some chop pretty well. If you’re not that heavy it’ll maybe seem speedy like a 14-footer. Take a look. Otherwise, I’ve other suggestions if you want. Cheers

  22. Debs

    Have found a good deal on CoolSurf Sail SUP. Buying for a beginner who is 6Ft 1. But also hoping to use for myself also (5ft 4) We live close to the sea so would be using mainly from the beach. Can’t find any reviews online – would you recommend? Thanks

  23. Torben Lonne

    Hi Debs,

    We’ve not tested the CoolSurf Sail SUP, so I can’t say anything to that board. As with anything “you get what you pay for” this also goes for Paddle boards. Most of the cheap boards we’ve tested are okay boards and will give you fun on the water, they will not last for many years but if you’re only going out a few times or not sure if Paddleboarding is something for you it’s a good start. I wouldn’t recommend you use it in rough water, or go touring o them, but for fun and play they should work.

  24. shellie

    Hi! I have really enjoyed and appreciate the reviews that your site compiles.
    I am looking to purchase my first board. I imagine my teen boys and husband would want to use it as well. They are tall and the weight limit would need to be 300+. I imagine we would want something versatile that we can use/learn in the pool, lake and a couple of times a year in the gulf. I have saved a several of your suggested boards (of course those that I am drawn to are out of my desired price range) but I was also looking at a DAMA (link below) on Amazon. Do you know anything about that brand? If not that board, which board do you recommend?

    https://www.amazon.com/DAMA-Inflatable-Repairing-Waterproof-Professional/dp/B08SHKPFVP/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8&th=1

  25. Bradley Axmith

    Hi Shellie. We’ve not tested the model you mention, but I would say an alternative could be the Roc Explorer. Be aware though, that it’s got a capacity right at the 300 mark. In this price class for a beginner, the biggest downfall oftentimes is the paddle. My kids have bent a few aluminum paddles during extreme horseplay, but Roc’s paddle holds up decently so it should be a safe bet for your needs. Enjoy!

  26. Miriam Barnett

    Hi! I want to buy 2 iSUPs that will be used by a variety of people, teens to adults with varied experience, and teens will likely ride with a passenger. We’ll be using them on Lake Michigan where the water is often not calm. I’m considering a Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ and an aToll 11′ board. Do you think these boards would generally meet our needs? I’m especially wondering about conditions when the water isn’t calm…Thanks so much!

  27. Torben Lonne

    Hi Miriam,

    For rough water, I’d suggest you go for the Cruise Carbon, as it’s more stable and will handle the rough water better. Depending on the sizes of the teens and passengers, I’d also suggest you consider doing a 12′ instead.

  28. David Allen

    Hi, I’m 5’9″ tall and a solid 105kg (UK mixed up height and weight – sorry), I’m a beginner paddle boarder (have done it a couple of times in Italy and Germany on rivers and near where I live on the odd lake). What board would you suggest (my balance is ok, for a 56 year old man!, ie, I fall off a fair bit! :))

  29. Christos Nicolaou

    Hi David, 

I would definitely recommend either the Blackfin X 10’6 or the Blackfin XL 11’6.

    These are beginner-friendly paddles boards that are easy to use. Both these boards offer a high level of stability while still being greatly maneuverable. They are also lightweight and easy to transport and have a weight capacity that can easily support you.

    I hope this helps and feel free to ask any more questions.

    Catch you on the water!

  30. Steve

    What are your thoughts on better known surf brands such as Hurley, Quicksilver Thor 10.6, etc? Are they also ‘good’ brands for SUP? Really like the look of it, but dislike that 10.6 seems to be the largest size. Would prefer more towards 11-12′

  31. Steve

    What are your thoughts on better known surf brands such as Hurley, Quicksilver Thor 10.6, etc? Are they also ‘good’ brands for SUP? Really like the look of it, but dislike that 10.6 seems to be the largest size.

    Would prefer more towards 11-12′. I am 5’11” – why are shorter boards much more recommended?

  32. Bradley Axmith

    Hey Steve. A lot of better known brands are getting on the paddle board band wagon. We’ve not tried the Quicksilver Thor or Hurley’s SUP, but the former looks a lot like Red Paddle’s Ride 10’6. A lot of newer SUPs (even from established brands) are coming from the same factories, so it’s hard to evaluate without trying. We’re trying to get our hands on as many as possible and will update when we get these ones.
    As for the 10 foot+ boards, they’re popular because they’re all rounders that are also generally easier to transport. The longer ones are better for touring and advanced users even looking to do some racing.
    Thanks for pointing out some new models. We’ll review them if we can get them.

  33. Bradley Axmith

    The 10.6 boards are usually all rounders that can do a little bit of everything. Kinda the common denominator SUP board. They are not as good at touring than longer ones. On the other hand they’re lighter and tend to be more portable. We haven’t tested any Hurley or Quicksilver boards. A lot of well-known companies are getting into SUPs because of the size of the market. So, the brand doesn’t necessarily guarantee superior quality. We’ll see about getting our hands on these. Cheers.

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