6 Best Touring Paddle Boards In 2022

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Touring around a lake or coastline with a paddle board can be an extremely fun experience. We recommend touring paddle boards for intermediate to advanced paddle boarders who want to cover long distances.

If you’re reading this, you’ve got some experience and the basics down.

The best touring paddle board is easy to find as long as you know what you want. Balance is not necessarily a factor. It’s speed, tracking and cargo that interests you.

Read these reviews and you’ll easily figure out how to choose the best touring SUP.

The Top 6 Touring Paddle Boards in 2022

All the Touring Paddle Boards we've reviewed

Best Overall Performance

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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 Cruise Carbon 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 kayak package included in Bluefin boards makes it an excellent investment for those starting their paddle boarding journey.

With plenty of added features, including a great crocodile 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.

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”

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Reasons to buy:

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    It’s bonded with heat welding that gives it an aerodynamic finish for smooth gliding
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    It’s fast and track really well
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    The two-chambers increase rigidity and make it easier/faster to inflate
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    Travel strap plus 5 handles makes transport easier
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    Sweet colors

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markIt’s a tad heavier than some other touring SUPs
  • check-markRelatively low weight capacity
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12’

Great Touring

Gili Meno 12’6″
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The Gili Meno 12’6” Touring inflatable paddle board is a relatively long board for a 31-inch SUP. That’s for speedier tracking that touring is good for.

But it has a good weight capacity, along with surprising stability.

This board is suited for almost anyone from beginners who’ve tried SUP boarding a couple of times to advanced paddlers.

The Gili Meno 12’6” comes with 4 action mounts, cargo areas at the front and rear of the board, side paddle holder, carbon fiber side rails, 3 center fin options, and 14 D-rings. And lots of handles.

Specs & Features

  • Best Suited For: Beginners/Intermediate/Touring/Advanced
  • Material: Fusion Dual Layer Technology with Carbontech side rails
  • Volume: 265 l
  • Capacity: 300 lbs (up to 360 lbs for advanced riders)
  • Dimensions: 12’6” x 31” x 6”

Our Overall Review

4.5

Reasons to buy:

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    Light and portable
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    One of the best at tracking straight
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    Lots of handles come in handy
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    Stable and sturdy
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    Smaller width for increased speed and efficient paddling

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markIVA trackpad could have deeper grooves for better grip
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Gili Meno 12’6″

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The Starboard Touring Deluxe Double Chamber SUP Board is a fast and maneuverable inflatable paddle board. It’s for paddlers that are at an intermediate level, looking to advance their skill level. One of the reasons we like this one is that it is very fast, picking up speed quickly, and being easily maneuverable.

With a highly 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.
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.

Specs & Features

  • Best Suited For: Intermediate, experienced, touring, and travelers
  • Material: 3K Carbon compression with woven drop stitching
  • Volume: 328 liters
  • Capacity: 240 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12’ 6” x 30” x 6”

Our Overall Review

4.5

Reasons to buy:

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    Handles all water conditions
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    State of the art, sustainable materials used in production of board
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    Ideal for intermediate and advanced paddle boarders
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    Great for practicing balance and control on the water
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    Top of the range brand

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markWeight capacity only up to 240lbs
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Starboard 12’6 Touring Deluxe

Ideal for touring

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The Blackfin V 12’6” inflatable paddle board is a fantastic and intuitive touring board. The new 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.

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.

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”

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.4

Reasons to buy:

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    Provides a good level of speed
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    Great level of stability
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    Great maneuverability
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    Fantastic carbon fiber paddle
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    All the right accessories and more

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markWider than most touring boards on the market
  • check-markCenter fin box is no longer the standard US fin box
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Blackfin V 12’6”

Intermediate Performance

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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.

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”

Our Overall Review

4.7

Reasons to buy:

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    Affordable and fair price
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    Great for waves and sea
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    Very durable and stable
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    Tracks well in the water
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    Convenient paddle holder at the side

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markManeuverability
  • check-markSidefins aren’t removable
  • check-markThe screw for removing the fin is very small and easily lost
  • check-markPaddle can fill up with water and potentially lose buoyancy
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Where to buy:

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Isle Explorer 11’6

Best for Touring

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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  

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”

Our Overall Review

4.5

Reasons to buy:

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    Well balanced touring board
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    Great maneuverability
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    High capacity
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    Rolls up very compact
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    Offers great stability for activities

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markBackpack not included
  • check-markLeash not included
  • check-markDifficult to use in harsh conditions
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Tower Xplorer 14’

Related Reviews

Touring Paddle Board Buyers Guide

Paddle Board Hull

A touring paddle board should have a displacement hull. 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.

Check out the Blackfin V 12’6” Paddle Board for an example of a displacement hull!

Paddle Board Material

Inflatable SUPs tend to be made using strong PVC with drop-stitch technology for reinforced, durable seams. The core is filled with air, the high pressure of the air in the center provides a strong core.

Some inflatable paddle boards will have more than one chamber to fill with air such as a double chamber. Paddle boards that feature double chamber construction have better stability and rigidity on the water making them better for touring.

All inflatables flex more than their solid brethren. But the more the SUP flexes, the more it sinks into the water and creates drag. So, the more rigid a board, the less drag and more speed.

Check out the Starboard 12’6” Double Chamber Deluxe Board!

Volume and Capacity

Volume and capacity are the main factors to consider and are determined by your size. To ensure your board is stable and provides the best buoyancy you will want to purchase a board made for your size.

This will also make it easier to maneuver the board once on the water too.

Volume and weight capacity are primarily influenced by your weight, however, the board width, height, and thickness will also influence these factors and will determine the board performance.

Volume: The volume is measured in liters. The higher the volume the higher the weight capacity of the board and the more stable and buoyant it will be on the water.

Weight Capacity: Measured in pounds, the weight capacity lets you know how much weight the board can take and remain efficient on the water. If you are heavier than the weight capacity the board won’t float as well and it will affect the performance of the board.

With this in mind for a touring SUP, it follows that the more gear you have, the higher the weight capacity you’re going to want.

Paddle Board Length

The length of a board will affect the performance of the board and most notably the speed. The length also determines what water conditions the SUP can handle. Paddle board length is measured using feet and inches.

Touring paddle boards should be either mainly long length but there are some exceptions where medium boards, like the Isle Explorer 116, can make good touring boards.

Long (12’ and above): Long length boards are excellent for racing, long distance, and touring. These boards are the fastest thanks to their length and tend to track a lot straighter in the water. Long paddle boards often come with displacement hulls.

The longest board on this list, The Tower Xplorer, has 14 feet of length with a significant rocker. That makes this one the most impressive performance board for touring in terms of tracking.

Paddle Board Width

Generally the greater the width of the board the better the stability, and vice versa, a thinner board will be less stable. When choosing the correct width for a touring board you will want to consider your body type, weight, and ability but you will generally be looking for a narrow board.

Narrow boards: These boards will be best for speed, however, compromising on stability. If you are a more advanced paddle boarder looking for a challenge a narrow board will provide exactly this. A longer narrower board will be better for racing whereas a wider board will be better for stability.

The Starboard Deluxe has a width of only 30 inches, making it the narrowest here. It is also the fastest because of its slicing profile.

Paddle Board Thickness

You will also want to consider the thickness of the board as it relates to the capacity and volume. The thickness will also determine how well the board handles water, thinner boards will be better on flatter water surfaces, whilst thicker boards will handle chop and waves better.

Paddle Board Fins

Each paddle board comes with fins to provide stability and good tracking. When choosing a touring paddle board you want to consider a larger fin set up for better tracking over distances.

Paddle Board Accessories

Each SUP will come with its own added extras and accessories. There are a range of accessories available and most of the time you can purchase these extra accessories separately to add to your board. The most important accessories for paddle boarding are:

Paddle: The most important accessory to any paddle board is the paddle. SUP paddles are like kayak/canoe paddles, with an extended handle and blade. When choosing a paddle there are a few factors to consider, including whether it floats, the weight, and the handle of the paddle.

Most paddles will have adjustable handles which you can adjust to best suit the paddle boarder’s height. The length should reach your wrist when standing straight with your hand straight above your head.

Check out our list of best SUP paddles for 2021 here!

Leash: A leash ensures you are attached to the board, this is important for when you fall into the water, to ensure you do not lose the board. Most leashes tend to be coiled, which means they do not get in the way when paddle boarding, however, there are specific leashes for other uses, i.e. paddle surfing, river paddle boarding. Leashes are sometimes sold separately.

Life Jacket: The importance of wearing a good quality life vest can not be understated. Every year people drown in water sport related activities because they were not wearing a life jacket. Make sure to be safe and wear a life jacket.

Check out our list of best Life Jackets for 2021 here!

Attachment points/ D-rings: D-rings are an excellent extra when looking for a board. D-rings provide attachment areas where you can tie down personal belongings, add seats, fishing rods and many more to your board. They provide the freedom to customize your board as you see fit.

Bungee systems: Bungee systems are a great added extras that often come included with the paddle board, however, you can also buy these separately. They allow you to secure personal belongings when on your board, making sure your cargo stays safe and secured and allowing you to bring more on your trips.

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What are the best touring paddle boards?

There are many good touring paddle boards but to be the best they need to meet certain criteria.

See our top 5 touring paddle boards:

  • Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12’ Paddle Board – Best Overall Performance
  • Tower Xplorer 14’ Inflatable SUP Board – Great for every level
  • Blackfin V 12’6” Inflatable Paddle Board – Ideal for touring
  • Starboard 12’6 Touring Deluxe Double Chamber Board – Good Touring board
  • Isle Explorer 11’6 Inflatable SUP Board – Best for Comfort

Read our review to see the best touring paddle boards.

What is a touring paddle board?

Touring paddle boards generally have a pointed nose, like a kayak, designed in order to sustain longer, more fast-paced, flat-water paddles. Touring boards are best for speed, SUP racing, and covering long distances. Check out the Starboard 12’6 Touring Deluxe Double Chamber Board.

What size paddle board do I need for touring?

The ideal size for a touring paddle board is typically a longer board with a pointed nose is the shape of most touring paddle boards to allow for acceleration on flat waters.

Where features should a touring paddle board have?

Large bungee systems are used for storing equipment along with longer board shapes with pointed noses to allow the paddler to move faster on flat waters.

How much should a touring paddle board cost?

A good quality touring paddle board should cost anywhere between $750 and $1200.

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.

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