Nothing beats a great day at the beach with family and friends. But, while sitting in the sand, and dipping in the water are great ways to relax, sometimes you want to mix a little adventure into your leisure time.
Paddle boarding is an excellent way to combine the relaxation of the beach and the fun of playing in the water without even having to get wet. Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Boards (SUPS), make this sport an even more convenient experience by mixing it with portability and ease of storage! But, how do you know which inflatable Stand-Up Boards are the best in an ever expanding market?
Well, we did the research and found the best ones for kids, adults, and even those with tighter purse strings in order to help you find the best one for you!
10 Best Inflatable Stand-Up Boards 2020
11' x 32" x 6"
10’6”x 33”x 6"
10’6” x 32” x 6”
9'9" x 30.3" x 5.1"
10'6" x 31" x 6"
130" x 30" x 4"
118" x 32" x 6"
10'6" x 31" x 6"
50" x 25" x 14"
11' x 32" x 6"
Affordable, Durable, and stable are some of the key words you should be looking for, when searching for inflatable SUPs, the Isle Explorer gets great marks in all of these. You’ll find that the Isle Explorer is lightweight and easy to maneuver in the water, but is still solid enough to navigate the rockier sections of the river thanks to the quality of its build.
The maneuverability is due to the fin setup (2+1), square tail, and rockered nose which allows it to glide easily through most obstacles. However, you should know that for a light board it is still quite bulky and that can make it a tad slower to navigate when compared to other boards on this list. But if you’re fine with not being the first to the finish line, then this is definitely one of the best picks on the market.
Additionally, the board is big enough to help you carry all of the important stuff with you!
We definitely recommend the Isle Explorer for any paddle boarder regardless of their experience! Plus it comes with its own pump and is relatively economical to boot.
Another great SUP in the market thanks to its high-quality build, excellent durability, and has one of the highest weight thresholds on our list. The Cruiser, is made out of military-grade PVC, and thanks to is weight limits (up to 400 pounds), you can even bring your kids (several of them) along for the ride!
iRocker is a well-known manufacturer of inflatable SUPs and their Cruiser is a testament to their product value. This board is large, which is great for newbies and people who simply want to do the sport occasionally. Add on to the fact, that it’s inflatable (which means that it’s better at deflecting impacts) and you have yourself a solid buy for any beginner.
The Cruiser is a lightweight paddle board which will help you carry it anywhere you need to go, add on to the fact that it comes with a pump which can inflate it in around five minutes, and you’ll be getting it into the water in no time (rideable at 10 PSI, but has a max threshold of 15 PSI). Furthermore, it has a thick stance, allowing you to ride it fairly high above the water line (this helps you stay dry).
The board features a 2+1 fin system (which is known to help maneuverability) and that will help you navigate it to where you want to go. Once you’re done, simply deflate it, store it in its storage bag for ease of transportation and you’ll be good to go.
You’ll want the Cruiser if you’re just starting out in paddle boarding, but if you’re an experienced rider, don’t disregard it either as it still offers plenty of benefits for you as well.
A great performer in all categories, and one the best boards to hit the beaches, rivers, lakes and almost any body of water, the Hala Carbon Straight Up earns high marks in all fields. This board is durable, stable, agile, and is surprisingly versatile, so that no matter your intentions, you’ll be making the most out of your day.
While it might not have the highest weight capacity (around 350 pounds), this medium-sized board (10 ½ feet long) it makes up for it thanks to its high quality build. The board’s top and bottom panels are made with a carbon stringer for added stability meaning that even the most inexperienced of newbies will have no trouble riding this board.
But, even if you’re not a beginner, there are still some amazing benefits you can get from the Hala Carbon. A rear stomp pad and a progressive nose rocker, allow it to make some sharp turns and glide masterfully in the water.
As far as portability goes, the Hala Carbon comes with its own rolling backpack for transportation in the water you have on-deck bungees and D-rings that you can use to secure your gear or the board to your leg. Finally, the board does come with two pumps, one is an electric car pump and another is a manual one.
Regardless of your skill level, you’ll want to try out the Hala Carbon Straight Up, a fantastic inflatable SUP with great performance and a fantastic level of quality!
Maneuverable and durable are the best way to describe the Pathfinder Inflatable SUP. This fantastic board is great for both beginners and experts alike as it handles fairly similar to solid boards, but is also strong enough to take on almost anything nature can bring its way.
You’ll find that the Pathfinder is fairly fast, and thanks to its center tracking fin, you’ll be swiftly navigating the waters of your nearby lakes, rivers and beaches. But, in the case were to fall off, there is a bungee tie down where you can strap yourself in to avoid losing the board!
As far as portability, you’ll get a carry bag (that has shoulder straps) where you can safely store your board once it’s deflated, and it will fit comfortably in the back of your car. Additionally, it comes with its own valve wrench so you don’t need to go out of your way to buy any additional tools in order to inflate/deflate it, and also brings its own aluminum paddle.
This complete kit can be yours for a rather affordable price and that makes the Pathfinder SUP a fantastic choice for the thrifty paddle boarder who’s looking to get the whole package in a quick and convenient manner.
Brought to you by Isle Surf, and made from military-grade PVC, the PEAK Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle board is one well-balanced ride.
Thanks to the PVC build the PEAK Inflatable SUP is one of the sturdiest and most durable boards on the market. But, not only is it resistant to impacts, it’s also got a nice weight limit of around 300 pounds, making it easy to carry a small child and a dog with you along with some supplies. The non-slip grip will help keep both you and your passengers’ safe along the way (even during longer rides).
For an inflatable SUP the PEAK rides very similar to a solid foam board, and you’ll definitely feel stable even in rough waters thanks to how well it rides (normally sits around 6 inches high once its full at 15 PSI).
But, if you’re more interested in knowing about the extras, rest easy knowing the PEAK has everything you need to make it work included in its package.
You will get:
- Air pump
- A three piece paddle that can be adjusted (and even comes with a leash)
- Basic Repair Kit
- Carry bag
The PEAK Inflatable SUP is an awesome purchase for beginner and experts alike. While its weight limit is not the highest one out there, it’s enough to bring your kids or pets with you, and with the durability and stability required to keep them safe.
It also comes in a variety of colors!
Made from Ultra Violet light resistant polyester to reinforce the PCV material, and fortified by drop-stitching on the seams, the Aqua Marina Vapor SUP is as durable as it is light.
The craftsmanship on this board is fantastic and it even features an internal stitching build that allows the board to hold its PSI with ease when compared to similar products. Additionally, the polyester reinforcement helps protect the sides of the board for extra durability. But, that’s not all since it also has an anti-slip footpad to keep you safe while riding it.
However, if performance is more of your concern, don’t worry because it’s good excellent maneuverability and decent speed. Do keep in mind though, that it does perform better on calmer waters. It also feels extremely sturdy once it’s at full air capacity.
Finally, with your board, you’ll get the following extras:
- A paddle
- Hand pump
- A 2+1 removable fin set
- A carrying bag
- Repair kit
A great all-rounder with a solid feel and great performance, the Aqua Marina is a fantastic inflatable SUP for anyone looking to get into the sport, and since it comes with all the extras necessary to get started, you won’t need to look for anything else in the store.
Great design, features, and performance make the Tower an excellent choice for any paddle boarder regardless of their experience level. But, if you’re really interested in getting to know what makes this epic board so great, then take a look at what you can expect.
The Tower Adventurer is a solidly built and rigid ride that can take on any challenge, while providing you with the stability necessary to stay safely above the water. A weight capacity of 350 pounds ensures you can carry with you a small pet or child (or a few of them) without slowing down, and its military-grade PVC and drop-stitch construct ensure a long life for the board.
Finally, if you buy this board, it comes with its own paddle, pump, but sadly it doesn’t come with a bag.
Great for beginners and experts alike, the Tower Adventurer is one of the best inflatable SUPS on the market.
The Airtech is a solidly built PVC construct SUP that is ready to help you tackle the water! Overall, this board is light and agile, meaning it can maneuver well, but it’s a tad slower than other heavier models.
Excellent for beginners, the Airtech favors calmer waters and smaller waves. A 2+1 fin system with a removable center fin helps you with guiding it to wherever you want to go. Groove traction on the deck also ensures you have a comfortable and steady grip on the floor.
Made from PVC the Airtech is also extremely resilient and can handle bumps and bruises better than a regular solid built SUP. Overall, this board is extremely comparable to the Tower Adventurer except for the weight limitations.
As far as perks though it does come with the full package, a carrying bag, paddle, and pump.
Isle’s Airtech is great for beginners, but if you’re a pro, it’s probably best you look elsewhere.
9. Hala Daze
Built to last, and with a carrying capacity of 350 pounds, the Hala Daze is perfect for long trips at lake or beach. This particular SUP is built like a brick wall, and with five fins you’ll find that stability will never be an issue!
If you’re looking to tackle some whitewater paddling then the Hala Daze is for you. Not interested in the wild adventures? Then don’t worry as it is big enough to carry all your gear and one or two extra kids on calm trip around the water.
A raised stomp pad makes it rather nimble for such a big board, in fact you’ll find that by paddling forward or backwards you’ll turn fairly fast as the progressive rockered design makes the front (or nose) of the board lift above the water. But, this has the side-effect of causing it to be less maneuverable if the front is weighed down or if you’re going against the wind.
As far as weak points, you’ll find that it lacks glide, and it takes a while to fill up to its full PSI capacity, making it a tough call if you’re looking to spend just an hour or two at the lake or beach.
Additionally, it’s fairly hard to move when you’re on land due to its size which can be mitigated by filling it up closer to the water. But, is still an issue if you’re trying to fill it up at your campsite as its better to move it with a couple of people.
The Hala Daze is a great SUP for those looking to stay out the entire day and enjoy it with their family and friends. It’s big and bulky, and a bit hard to transport, but the amount of fun you’ll be having with your group is totally worth it. You’ll find that this is a family oriented board and it’s fun to ride with two people paddling! We totally recommend it for those with a big family or a large group of friends.
Light and agile, the Atoll Paddle needs little introductions. Crafted out of Military-grade PVC and with a capacity of 15 PSI, this board is known to feel as hard and stable as any solid board on the market (only lighter).
One of the coolest aspects of the Atoll is how it’s actually shaped like a surfboard, and at 11 feet long, you’ll definitely feel like riding the surf. Additionally, the gripping pad is there to help you keep a steady balance atop the board, and if you want to jump into the water? Then rest easy knowing it sits high atop the water thanks to its six inches of thickness which means you won’t really get wet nor have your feet touching the water unless you want to!
Getting back into the board afterwards is also easy thanks to the grip and riding it for longer periods of time is not an issue either.
But, the Atoll more than makes up for it by bringing all the essentials you need to get started!
Easy to maneuver and with a super cool surfboard design, the Atoll is definitely a great choice for those looking to spend a few hours by the beach or the lake and look cool while doing it.
How to Choose the Best Inflatable SUP Board
If you’re reading this, you’ve obviously decided that going for an Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle board is for you and have seen some of the most amazing models on the market. But, let’s discuss the benefits provided by these and a few other aspects you should consider when making a purchase.
Reasons to get an inflatable Stand-Up Paddle board:
- Transportability: an inflatable paddle board is certainly more manageable than carrying a solid one. You can take them anywhere and store them within relatively small places as long as they’re deflated. These boards will fit in closets, car trunks, and can be easily carried by one person if they’re traveling on foot or going to a hike near a lake.
- Ability to deflect bumps: Solid SUPs don’t handle bumping into the terrain (rocks, logs, etc.) as well as an inflatable SUP. The fact that their filled with air means their ends are softer and can deflect the energy with ease. You can definitely tackle rougher waters with them and enjoy more adventurous trips such as whitewater rafting.
- Use as a mat: Once you’re tired of paddling, you can usually plop one of these down for a bit and lay on it as they tend to be a lot softer and more comfortable than a solid SUP. You can even practice doing yoga poses on it!
Inflatable SUPs have PVC exteriors and tend to come with a pump that helps you inflate it as well as a storage bag. You’ll find that the iSUPs will actually feel quite sturdy and safe when filled to capacity (typically 12 to 15 Lbs. per square inch).
These are only some of the benefits provided by an inflatable Stand-Up Paddle board. However, you should keep in mind the following when making a purchase regardless of type:
Wide boards have more stability, but they’re also slower, it’s as simple as that. However, there are other aspects you should know as well, for example if the board is too wide for your body then you’ll have a harder time paddling. Typically, these boards are manufactured from sizes of 25” to 36” and you should consider testing one out before buying.
For beginners we always recommend going on a wider board due to stability, but if your body is too small for the board then that will cause problems with paddling. On the other hand, if you’re too heavy for the board then you’ll ride lower and that will cause a different set of problems. The rule of thumb is, look at your body type and go with that (larger bodies equal wider boards and vice versa).
For advanced riders or long distance tourers and racers we recommend keeping in mind the amount of supplies you’ll be bringing with you, and to remember that narrower boards might be faster and more maneuverable, but offer less space.
There are three types of SUPs available regardless of whether they’re inflatable or not. These are as follows:
- Long Boards: Anything over 12 feet
- Medium Boards = 10 to 12 Feet
- Short Boards = Less than 10 Feet
These all serve a distinct purpose, and you’ll want to keep in mind that short boards are great for kids, and tend to have higher maneuverability. Medium SUPs tend to be better for adults and teenagers who want to tour around short distances, and use them recreationally. Finally, long boards are great for long-distance rides and racing.
The thickness of a SUP will affect weight capacity and volume of the board. Thicker boards have more volume and as we’ll talk about a bit below in this article, different weight limitations. A good rule of thumb is a large person should choose a board with higher volume in order to get the best performance out of it.
4. Weight Capacity and Volume
Knowing a Stand-Up Paddle board’s weight capacity will help you know how much it can carry overall and most importantly if you can bring a family member with you for the ride. Additionally, you’ll know that the more water you displace the more stability and speed you’ll get out of the board.
The determining factors are typically expressed in the form of the aforementioned length, thickness, and width of the SUP. The combination of these three dimensions will give you an idea of the board’s performance, but you’ll also want to consider how the volume works. For inflatable ones, this is typically going to involve it being at its maximum PSI (around 15).
A SUPs volume provides the rider with an idea of how well the board will float while someone is riding it, a higher volume equals higher weight limits, and you can find typically find the specs for the board online.
However, remember that if you pass the weight limits on the board because you’re too heavy, you’ll ride too low in the water and that will cause you to slow down. Also consider the amount of additional weight you’ll be putting on the board when you’re riding (i.e. your gear, food, supplies, extra bodies, etc.).
The best inflatable SUPs come with their own pump and gauge in order to tell when it’s full. Though these tend to be hand-pumps, if you feel that it’s too much work to fill them manually consider buying a SUP that is compatible with an electrical air pump.
Inflatable boards tend to be more durable than hard ones when it comes to impact. But, keep in mind that PVC or double-layered SUPs are what you’re looking to get if you’re concerned with getting the most resistant one.
Single-layered boards tend to be faster than the double-layered ones though.
Inflatable SUPs have a variety of setups available for them in regards to fins. Just keep in mind that there are two specific types:
- Semi-rigid fins
- Flexible rubber fins
The different setups are as follows:
- 3-Fin: On calm waters, this setup helps you with tracking. On rougher ones it helps with control and the fins are usually close in size.
- 2 plus 1: Large center fin with smaller ones on both sides of the big one, typically used by surfers.
- Single fin: Helps with tracking and minimizing drag; it’s one of the best setups for calmer bodies of water.
- 5 Fin: Used on one of the models we mentioned and provides additional stability for bigger boards.
If you keep in mind the aforementioned factors you should have minimal to no problems in choosing the right board and setup for yourself. Overall, you should keep in mind your body’s dimensions as the second most important factor into your decision of which board to choose. The first factor should be the purpose of your board. If you know what you’re trying to do with your SUP, you narrow your options by a large margin, making your choice an easier one.
All of these great choices can make it hard to find the one you want? But, just remember that paddle boarding is all about having fun. Whether you buy the number one editor’s choice or the 10th one on the list, you’ll still be getting your money’s worth.
However, before you go out and finalize any purchases, consider the following aspects: what are your goals, budget, motives, and needs. Do you want a larger one for you, and your small children to ride together? Do you want a set of smaller ones for your kids to ride by themselves?
Do you need multiple boards for the whole family, or is it something you simply plan on doing sporadically on a lazy weekend? At the end of the day, these should be the deciding factors for your decision, and as always remember that your goal is to have as much fun as possible.