Top 13 Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards Tested
The blazing summer sun can mean beach days, outdoor fun, and family get-togethers. Unfortunately, it can also mean extreme heat! That sweaty uncomfortable sticky kind of heat that leaves you searching for a way to escape the high temperatures. Well, look no further than inflatable stand up paddleboards! These are a great way to beat the heat while enjoying an outdoor activity that’s both healthy and a lot of fun.
An inflatable paddleboard is a great choice both for people whose ideal vacation features a golden beach or a beautiful blue lake and for those people who are lucky enough to have those things in their own backyard. Inflatable boards are easy to pack, easy to transport choice for those of us who can’t always travel with a full-sized canoe or kayak.
The advantages of paddleboards over other forms of aquatic transport are pretty numerous. A paddleboard is well balanced, allowing you to stand up for a better view of whatever lovely body of water you happen to be on. Their smaller size allows them to be maneuvered in areas that larger craft couldn’t reach, making them a solid choice for adventurers and explorers. Inflatable paddleboards also won’t dent or scratch and will always retain their shape, enduring through things that some watercraft cannot.
- Serene Life
- Complete Kit
- XTERRA 10’
- Repair kit included
- XTERRA Touring
Stand up paddle boards have grown in popularity, due to their mix of fun and fitness, which is an appealing option for those who are looking for the best of both worlds. Brands who are recognizable names in aquatic recreation have taken notice of this popularity and are beginning to make high quality paddleboards available to vacationers and aquatic athletic enthusiasts alike.
Because of their popularity, we’ve come up with a list of the best inflatable paddleboards on the market. We’ve rated them for both usability and durability, as well as ease of use and transport. Every athlete is different, and this list should have something that appeals to everyone. This way, you can spend less time shopping for your inflatable paddleboard, and more time enjoying it!
12 Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards
1. Serene Life Stand Up Inflatable Paddleboard
SUPERIOR MANEUVERABILITY – The triple bottom panel fins help board improve overall speed, handling and steering for easier use by kids, teens and adults alike
NON-SLIP DECK – Perfect for beginners, this paddleboard is made for people who may still be learning the tricks of the trade, and helps to prevent accidents.
SUPER PORTABLE – The ease of deflating and inflating make this board ready to go on a whim!COMPLETE KIT –Comes with all essentials, including coiled ankle cuff safety leash, oar, manual air pump, and customized storage bags.
- Comes with everything you need to get started
- Extremely durable and easy to inflate
- Ready to go within minutes
- Materials can be pricey
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. Tower Paddle Board
The Hull of the Tower Paddle Board is constructed of military grade PVC with a drop stitch and is highly resistant to wear and tear. The Tower is also exceptionally rigid, being able to function the same as your standard hard board. The Tower supports an attachable fin as well.
The Tower measures at 124 inches by 32 inches by 6 inches and can hold up to 350lbs, making it an exceptional choice in terms of weight capacity.
The Tower, already a high quality paddle board, comes with an array of accessories. This board comes with a bungee cord, fin, an air pump, and a 3 piece fiberglass handle.
The Tower’s cost is slightly on the higher end of things, but still a decently affordable piece of equipment. The price is certainly well worth it considering the exceptionally high quality of the paddle board.
- Very rigid
- Height weight capacity, good for multiple passengers
- Easy deflation and storage
- Wide surface
- Good price
- Quality crastmanship and durability
- May have issues with pump durability
- Paddle doesn't float
The NIXY’s hull is made with advanced fusion laminated dropstitch technology and comes with three detachable fins that are placed beneath in a triangular pattern.
The NIXY measures at 10 feet 6inches by 33 inches by 6 inches and has a rider capacity of up to 300lbs. The oar that comes with the NIXY can be adjusted between 67 inches and 82 inches.
The NIXY paddle board comes with an adjustable oar, as mentioned, as well as a carry bag that has wheels, a high pressure pump, and a leash to make sure you won’t lose the board in case you fall off.
The NIXY is a pricier paddle board, but with its exceptional durable build and remarkable quality of performance, you will be getting what you pay for and then some if you deiced to go with a NIXY.
- Smooth and stable
- Easy to trasport
- Easy to store
- Quality durability
- Come with a leash
- Sets up quickly
- Paddle may have weight and adjustment issues
12. The PEAK Inflatable
The height when stood on end is 10ft 6ins andthe board is 6 inches in thickness, very light, durable, offers good performance.
Top performance boards for skilled paddleboarders it has very good functionality and will fulfill the aims of further developing paddleboat skills.
Made from very tough durable military graded PVC so durability is assured and held together by drop stitiching which has been bonded to hold, therefore you get a iSUP which is light and durable.
The thickness of the board is at 6 inches and gives good rigidity combined with nice stability, so you get a steady and stable ride on the board.
The board dimensions are set at 10 feet by 6 inches and 31 inches by 6 inches, the overall volume is two hundred and twenty five liters.
The board weighs in at twenty three pounds and can carry people up to a weight level of three hundred pounds, the paddle is asdjustable to suit people of different heights.
The accessory package includes a back-pack, high-pressure pump, coil leash for the ankle, an aluminum paddle which is adjustable and the fin is removable for convenient transportation.
This is available at a very user-friendly price, a good investment.
A really sturdy paddleboard
Nice choice of colors
Work to build up speed
13. Solstice by Swimline Bali
The Solstice is extremely durable and strong, made from 1000 denier 3 ply PVC reinforced fabric material. The Solstice also comes with an attachable fin.
The Solstice measures at 34.5 inches by 12 inches by 18 inches.
Swimline Bali provides several additional accessories with the Solstice. A pump, air gauge, 4 tie downs, and a carry bag. It is important to reiterate that the Solstice does not come with a paddle so that it doesn’t catch you off guard.
The Solstice from Swimline Bali is a reliable option, if not the best on this list. It does have one of the lowest prices available for a quality inflatable paddle board, so in that way it has high value. This makes it a good choice for beginners not looking to invest a lot until they are sure its a hobby they enjoy.
- Good price
- Keeps air well
- Light enough to carry comfortably
- Easy to inflate
- Rings on the front for easy fastening
- Easy to trasport
- May have quality/ bubbling issues
- Does not come with a paddle
The Criteria We Used to Find the Best Stand up Paddle Boards
Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. Inflatable stand up paddleboards (ISUP) come in many shapes and sizes. It’s easy to be swayed by looks, but quality needs to be at the top of your list when it comes to choosing the best ISUP for your needs. Just remember that higher cost doesn’t always equate to higher quality, and there are some fantastic options available at lower prices.
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
The hull refers to the body of the paddleboard while the fin refers to the portions that jut out into the water to control balance and speeds. Some ISUPs have detachable fins, and there are plenty of products that can help to improve your stability while in the water. A displacement hull is made to travel at a lower rate of speed. It’s based on the ability of the wide flat surface to “displace” the water as the paddleboard moves forward. A Planing hull comes to a sharp edge and works better to travel through the water at greater speeds. These are definitely better for those who want a little extra excitement when paddle boarding. One of the most important things to look at are the materials that the body of the board is constructed from. These need to be durable and well-stitched in order to prevent tears and to keep the ISUP intact as long as possible. No one wants to shell out money for a product that they have to replace five times every Summer! Our list will give you an idea f some of the most durable and easy to use ISUPs on the market!
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 a 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 Shopping Around
While paddle boarding is literally ‘the sport for everyone’ not every paddleboard 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 a lot? 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 are 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 the purpose – are you looking for a board that will support yoga? Fishing? Day-long tours? Be sure to review our list of 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 do I need to inflate my ISUP to?
A:As a rule of thumb, you should inflate it to 15 psi (pounds of pressure per square inch). Different boards may have different requirements, and it’s a god idea to test the limits to find out what you’re comfortable with. The typical range is usually between 10-17 psi. Inflate your board to the manufacturers specs for the best results.
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: How much weight your board can handle can vary quiet a bit depending on the type board. In theory, the only limit to the number of friends, family, or “dogs” you can have on the board is the weight limit. Tven if you come in under the weight limit every additional person makes the board more difficult to maneuver and manage.
Q: I have a leaky valve and don’t know how to repair it?
A:The solution may vary for some models, but generally a leaky valve is an easy fix. Turning it clockwise with a wrench should straighten everything out. There is even more good news, most repair kits come with the necessary wrench. If all else fails, call the manufacturer and check for a warranty and possible recommendations.
Q: Why are there so many fin options (1,2, or 3 and removable 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.
A few good sources:
- What are the things you didn’t know about an inflatable paddle board?, Stand Up Paddle Board.org, Mar 05, 2017 ,
- SUP Paddle Technique, SUPGuide.com, Apr 11, 2016 ,
- The fundamentals of SUP technique, Stand Up Paddle Athletes Associate, Jan 04, 2013 ,
- Why you should try stand up Paddle Boarding, Livestrong.com, Apr 10, 2017 ,
- Health benefits of stand up Paddle Boarding, Inflatable Stand Up World, Jun 30, 2017 ,
- Electromyography: The science behind SUP, Stand Up Journal, Sep 14, 2015 ,