Top 10 Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards Tested
There’s no better time for water sports than during these long, hot days of summer! With the temperature rising, we’re all looking for fun ways to stay cool and keep fit. If you haven’t already, it’s time to consider the adventure of inflatable paddle boards aka ISUPs.
Whether you live near the water or have to travel to it, an inflatable paddle board is a perfect match for anyone looking for easy, compact equipment that packs an awesome punch of thrill, challenge, and even a little zen time.
In the following top 10 best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards review, we’ve listed ISUPs that promise a solid adventure for beginners and skilled paddlers alike. This still-emerging arena of water athletics boasts several styles of boards; those for racing, relaxing, and longer journeys as well as varying structures and sizes. Deciding on your just-right board could be a little stressful, except that we’ve already researched and narrowed down the best of the best, making your selection more streamlined so that you can feel confident choosing your own perfect paddler!
ISUP boards provide one of the healthiest, most exhilarating water adventures available. Take a look at the following best-of, then hit the open water under the sun for some serious paddle fun!
10 Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards
1. Atoll Cruiser Deluxe
EVA Foam creates a no slip surface with a second layer of patented material encasing the top and bottom for a sturdy, rigid ISUP. Korean style drop stitching technology keeps pressure ranges up to 15 psi and increases solid inflation. Trademark Fusion Light Construction means the best in heavy duty engineering wrapped into a 30% lighter board.
An airtight detachable fin (2nd generation) is compatible with Universal Fin boxes and requires no additional screws or accessories. Stay on course with this top of the line design!
This Cruiser Deluxe keeps you balanced for hours of pleasure on its 11 foot x 6 inch x 32 inch board. With a weight capacity of 300 pounds, it’s an excellent selection for many body types. Add a two year warranty for peace of mind.
We love the nylon backpack/carry bag - its sleek design is only matched by its durability and capability: big enough for the pump, paddle, and repair kit that comes with your purchase. Little compares with a product pre-equipped with all the accessories necessary for a quality adventure. Bonus that they’re packed in a great looking carrier. Don’t worry if it gets a little wet - mesh sides mean quick dry during your ride!
Slightly high price point but the quality and accessories make it a fair trade!
- Excellent accessory bundle
- Removable fin and fin boxes
- High grade materials for no-dent adventure
- Not optimum for smaller adults or children
2. XTERRA 10’
Innovative design translates to years of fun in all types of conditions. Peaceful lakes or raging rivers - whatever your paddle style, the XTERRA can take it! A solid 6” base plus military grade drop stitch materials encasing sides, top and bottom fuse for a rock solid, no warp/no dent ISUP and adventure! 3 detachable, airtight fins for additional support - maneuver your way through any type of water with confidence.
Weighing 29 pounds with inflation (did we mention this ISUP inflates in under 5 minutes?), with a weight capacity of 250 pounds, paddlers of most sizes can enjoy this accessible, lightweight board. 11’0 of fun rolls up to 11/2 feet in diameter and 32” wide for easy storage and transport
Enjoy a roller bag backpack your board fits snuggly into, along with a smaller mini dry bag and the pump, gauge, adjustable paddle, leash, 3 fins and repair kit that are included with the ISUP. All-encompassing accessories to ensure all-encompassing fun!
Medium price point
- Dent resistant stitching and PVC
- 3 fins for enhanced stability
- Thorough repair kit inventory
- Taller bodied, higher skilled may desire longer board
3. XTERRA Touring
The 12’6” long ISUP is the perfect choice for journeying across smooth lakes and other open waters, with a design meant for hours of of fun, including a patented anti-slip deck. Military grade drop stitch material encapsulates the board to combat any potential for warping or sag - so durable it even fends off dents from rocks or cars during transport! The pointed nose promises a next-level stability by displacing water for more managed speed. A detached, airtight center fin keeps your ISUP and you well-grounded to further encourage a zen-style ride.
12’6” x 6” x 30” wide provided at the weight of 31 pounds. That’s some serious lightweight for some rock solid paddling! A weight capacity of 250 pounds makes it an excellent selection for just about anyone.
The XTERRA comes complete with everything you need for awesome exploration. Transporting is a cinch with removable fin, coiled leash, gauge and high pressure pump, adjustable paddle and a durable pack for all.
Good price point for this high end touring board
- Perfect for faster speeds
- Pointed nose designed to cut through even choppier waters with optimum stability
- Too long for smaller bodied adults or children
4. ISLE Peak
High grade military PVC and rugged drop stitch fabric meets 6” thickness for a rigid and durable design. The materials are light, which translates to all you need in stability without bulk. The board is topped with the unique Diamond Traction no-slip texture-and-groove which keeps paddlers sure-footed in comfort all day long. A removable, airtight fin keeps you on course with ease and a cool aesthetic available in blue or white is the cap-on-top-of-your-wave!
Paddle is adjustable from 65”-86. The board weighs 23 pounds and holds a weight capacity of 300 pounds (can accommodate even higher depending on paddler skill level). The board is 10’x6”x31” with a volume of 225 liters. Lightweight and easy fold for simple, no-stress transport.
The makers were truly intentional about delivery your new ISUP with everything you’d need for a top quality adventure. A coiled ankle leash, high pressure pump and gauge, fin, aluminum and adjustable paddle and a well-sized carrying bag for all is included with purchase. All that’s left is the adventure!
Budget friendly. Nice, medium price for excellent value
- Great price point
- Lightweight, easy storage and transport
- Weight capacity of 300 pounds
- The valve may not read accurately until at 8 psi
5. iRocker Cruiser
Stability is in the details: with a 33” extra wide design also boasting an extra wide tail, the iRocker construction ensures your best ride! With padding that travels to the deck’s 3’3” tail, Yogis can enjoy more room for asanas asanas. We love the D rings and front bungee design for packing gear and snacks along for the ride. 2 side fins are adhered to the board with a third removable center fin meant to add depending on your tour-du-jour.
33” (extra) wide, 10’ long and 6” thick with a weight capacity of 350 pounds for durable, stable fun for everyone. An extra wide (3’3”) tail enhances your ride without losing speed.
A floating, fiberglass (lightweight) paddle breaks down into 3 pieces and ranges 67”-79” and boasts strong, sharply designed rubber blades for excellent cutting. A dual action hand pump, repair kit, pressure gauge and ankle leash bundle into the iRocker Carry Bag comprised of heavy duty canvas with waist straps and padded shoulders for easy-breezy wear.
Reasonably priced for a high-value package
- Extra wide tail
- 33” width
- Padding extends across board
- Patch not included in repair kit
- Valve wrench not included in repair kit
6. Thurso Surf
The Thurso Surf is internally layered with drop stitch material to ensure rigidity without sag while military grade PVC encases it with bonus UV technology. The result is a dent-free, stable ride enveloped in a super sleek board with a unique wood stripe top layer matched in its aesthetic only by its performance. The 2+1 fin system allows paddlers to select a best-fit depending on whether touring through calm waters or heavier waves.
A 11’x 6”x32” dimension(s) at 25 pounds intended for weight capacities not exceeding 300 makes this a comfortable ride for most body types. Board inflates to 15 psi for ultimate in stability. The Thurso’s lightweight construction makes it a cinch to transport while its packed-size lets you throw it in the backseat or trunk without bulk.
A unique (and smart) carbon shaft paddle floats and lets you cut through water with extreme smoothness. The 2+1 removable fin system allows riders to select the just-right equation for any adventure - turbulent waves or smooth waters are each accommodated by this unique design. Add a leash, deck bag and pump and a durable backpack for all and go!
Good price, great buy!
- Internal layer of drop stitch material
- UV technology
- 2+1 fin system
- Not optimum for children or smaller adults due to length
- Repair kit not included (see bundle option)
7. iRocker SPORT
The sports exclusive model is designed with iRocker’s unique “Fast Shape Rigid Construction” which includes a wider tail that reduces drag during paddling for a smoother, faster and more efficient ride. A 9” removable fin keeps paddlers in control even during maneuvers across 1-1/12 foot waves. The materials selected for this awesome paddler are meant to resist sag and fight back against typical paddling hazards like rocks or wood. These include triple layer military grade PVC making it impenetrable from all sides. An EVA no-slip diamond groove deck padding keeps you sure fitted for your most athletic endeavors!
This ISUP rolls up to a snug 33” x 13” diameter then inflates to a proud 11’ long, 30” wide and 6” thickness for journeys of a lifetime. All brought to paddlers at the miniscule weight of 22 pounds for simple transport and perfect storage. A weight limit of 385 pounds makes this our wonderboard when it comes to some serious capacity!
A high quality adjustable (63”-85”) aluminum paddle, an iRocker specially designed carry bag backpack, ankle leash and dual action hand pump with gauge are included for a streamlined purchase with less “additional, unforeseen” expenses down the road.
Slightly higher end, with lots of perks that make it worth it!
- Triple layer military grade PVC
- Durable carry bag specially designed with shoulder pads for comfort
- “Fast Rigid Construction” eliminates drag for a smooth glide ride
Accessories are a bit limited; no repair kit
8. ISLE Explorer
Just like its name, the Airtech ISUP is truly (fusion) lite. Trademark technology and engineering make this rockstar deck 30% lighter than standard boards with all the integrity of a heavier structure. A second innovative step ISLE has integrated into its design is found in its manufacturing process which provides special seal and bonding layers over the drop stitch. A final machine-laminated PVC layer is applied boasting uber high density. Add a removable fin for extra assistance as you navigate across stream, river, lake or ocean, 14 D-rings, tail carry handles and bungee systems. It’s time to stock up with gear and grub for hours of top-of-the-line paddling adventure!
The board weighs only 19.1 pounds while supporting weights up to 275. At 11’ x 32” x 6” and 238 liters, most heights are also accommodated comfortably.
A well-planned accessory bundle includes a high pressure gauge which inflates to 15 psi for no-sag rigidity, a removable fin, an adjustable aluminum paddle that quickly breaks down into 3 pieces for easy storage and a rugged carry bag that easily fits all the above compactly for throw-in-the-backseat easy, no-brainer storage and travel.
Medium price point.
- Excellent on-board storage for gear and food
- 14 D rings
- Durable, high grade stitching and other materials
- Weight capacity slightly less than some contenders
9. ISLE Airtech All Around
The trademarked manufacturing process ensures perfection with each board. A machine coating surrounds the drop stitch and then seals and bonds this layer before adding machine-laminated ultra high density PVC. This “airtech” technology reduces overall weight by 30 percent without sacrificing efficiency or rigidity. Add a removable fin then take off for stable adventures across lakes and even regions of oceans promising small wave thrills.
10’ x 31” x 6” and weighing only 17.5 pounds makes this a perfect ride for all skill levels. Easy to manage and just right for weight capacities not exceeding 245.
Removable airtight fin for easy on/off and storage, a high pressure pump with gauge guaranteed to inflate to 15 psi, an adjustable aluminum paddle and carry bag are all included with this ISUP. Everything you need for a safe, fun ride!
Budget friendly, great value!
- 14 D-rings and bungee system for excellent storage on the go
- Airtech design for lightweight, highest quality
- Durable carry bag
- EVA no-slip traction
- Repair kit not included
- Not optimum for hardcore, intense ocean waves or rides
10. Palma SUP by CaribeSUP
Military grade tarpaulin drop stitch protects the deck from dings and other damages while keeping it sturdy and rigid, while uniquely soft pads provide traction for smooth or rockier rides. White bands along each side add further protection from dents or blow outs when paddling through waters with wood, coral or rocks. An extra large sized D ring holds your ankle leash secure while D rings located on front and bottom offer sure-anchoring for yogis or fishermen. Add large bungee for storage and 3 removable fins (2 side and one 8” no tool center skeg). It’s time to ride!
At 23 pounds with a weight capacity of 300, this 10’x32”x6” board is the perfect fitness and fun companion for most. We love how easy it folds making it easy to take in your car, boat - even plane!
The accessory bundle includes a thorough repair kit (including wrench), an adjustable aluminum 3 piece paddle for easy portability and storage, 2 small finds and a center 8” fin (all removable). Add a carry bag to keep your things organized and accessible.
More pricey but excellent value
- Balmy, cool aesthetic
- 3rd center fin for better maneuvering
- Bands on sides for even more protection
- 10’ not optimum for taller people looking for more adventurous rides
This concludes our list of best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards. A sport that’s become extremely popular in recent years, we see ISUPs emerging all around us. Of course that begs the question “what qualities am I looking for in the best board for me?” After plenty of research and a few interviews, we have narrowed down which features can assure a sturdy adventure. Before all else, remember to look for hull and fin type (the materials used, the rigidity and stability, etc), the measurements that meet your unique standards and the just-right accessories bundle.
We love paddle boarding – it promises excellent adventure and a great workout as well as some much-needed summer zen. Whether you want to tour across ocean waters or chill out at the lake practicing asanas atop your deck, we’re certain we’ve listed a just-right match for you.
The Criteria We Used to Find the Top Ten Best Stand up Paddle Boards
Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. Inflatable paddle boards come in many shapes and sizes. It can feel daunting as you begin your search for an ISUP that meets your own wants and needs. It’s easy to be inspired by aesthetics – quickly opting for cool colors or a chic design structure. Some may connect cost with quality, making high end purchases and mistaking price for performance.
While good looks and bells and whistles are alluring, they can’t precede our well-researched list of factors that define the core necessities of a performance ISUP.
Hull and Fin Type
First, examine both the hull and fin type. The two basic hull (or body) designs are planing and displacement. Planing hulls are constructed with flat, wide shapes that cruise more “atop” the water offering excellent stability and versatility. Displacement hulls are V-shaped resembling a boat bottom which lets paddlers “slice” through water with greater speed. Be sure to be mindful of stitching and fabrics (our list is comprised of the most durable, high grade materials) to protect from sagging, deflating and easy dents, tears or blowouts. It’s preferable to select removable fins (though not absolutely necessary) as they “keep” better and cause less wear and tear over time on the board. Some ISUPs come with one, others two and some with three – the third being a center fin for extreme stability necessary more typically for intense ocean touring, tracking and stability.
The right measurements are vital to your ISUP’s performance, and also how well it’s matched to your own skill level. Shorter and lower-volume boards are great for kids and smaller adults (increased weight requires increased volume and width). The length of your board is also important to your own enjoyment. It’s common for less experienced paddlers to select shorter boards for easier maneuvering and greater stability. Consider the thickness of your board; our research tells us that 6” of thickness translates to the all-around durability and stability you’ll want for more versatile rides.
Finally, many ISUP companies today offer accessories bundled into purchase. Consider the products that come with your board when examining the price. You’ll need specific tools for the trade, and picking them up separately can get pricey quick. Look for packages that include ankle leashes, repair kits (preferably with patches and wrenches), paddles, smaller bags and carrying bags, and definitely pumps and gauges!
If you begin your selection process bearing these elements in mind above all others, you can feel certain that your ISUP will be well matched at its core for your skill, size, water region and fun!
Other Factors to Consider When Buying a Stand up Paddle Board
While paddle boarding is literally ‘the sport for everyone’ not every paddle board is the right fit for…everyone! It’s important to know who you are and what kind of fitness you’re bringing to your new ISUP adventure. Do you want to paddle a little – or alot? Boards meant for touring or faster speeds often require more intense work in this arena so it’s vital to understand your own capacity so not to feel disheartened or over-taxed.
It’s also important to consider your personal skill level when selecting your board. This translates not only to experience with paddling, but also swimming and comfort in different bodies of water. While some are looking for an ocean, rather turbulent challenge, others are quite content to drift over calm, shark-free lakes! Others enjoy a bit of variety and for this, there’s several versatile choices, too.
While hull type, accessories and measurements are your top three criterion to use when selecting your ISUP, also take note of other features to include rails. Additional buffers can mean greater durability and protection from blowouts. While not a first feature, rails are definitely a contender when it comes to key components.
While fitness and skill are relevant, so is purpose – are you looking for a board that will support yoga? Fishing? Day-long tours? Be sure to review our list for boards that meet you at your skill and fitness level but also help you to obtain your goals
The bottom line is this: ISUPs guarantee some of the most fun you can have in the water! Choosing a just-right fit will mean all the difference to your unique experience. An activity that uniquely provides athletic challenge and the ultimate in meditative fun, little else compares. Select a board that suits you, individually and begin the passionate journey that is ISUP’ing!
Q: What measurement will I inflate my ISUP to?
A: Typically 15 psi or pounds per square inch. Although boards will vary depending upon their size and volume. The absolute range is 10-17 psi. It is vital to make sure that your board is completely inflated for maximum stability and rigidity.
Q: What sort of maintenance should I expect with my ISUP?
A: Proper care is simple: make sure that before storing your ISUP it’s completely dry! Otherwise you may experience some mold. Because they are deflatable, storing is easy and should be done (preferably) in cooler areas like closets or a garage (and out of direct sunlight). A third possibility is to use 303 Protectant Spray to keep your board safe from UV rays, which means a longer lasting and more durable product.
Q: How many people can ride on an ISUP together?
A: It’s definitely doable to take one of your kids with you on your ISUP adventures – maybe two, depending. It’s also common to see paddlers sporting a dog on their boards. While more people equates to more weight, as long as you stay within the maximum capacity guidelines it’s fine to tandem. Just be aware that more body means a loss of stability and more difficulty maneuvering. Perhaps group rides are better with a little practice!
Q: I have a leaky valve and don’t know how to repair it?
A: While this depends on the model of your ISUP is some part, more basically you’ll simply need to use a valve wrench and tighten the valve by turning it clockwise. It isn’t common for valves to leak, but when they do, they are easy to fix! Sidenote: many repair kits include a wrench.
Q: Why are there so many fin options (1,2, or 3 and removeable and not)?
A: Depending on the size and type of your ISUP, a specific number of fins will be included. A third fin is typically the “center” fin, meant for simplifying your maneuvers over choppy water from a longer board. Most fins are removable, though some very small fins will remain attached. The option of removing them helps to keep the integrity of your board’s structure by not pushing against it for longer periods. It’s also easier for storage.
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