What happens when you cross the exercise of boat paddling with the fun of standing on a surfboard? You get the sport of paddleboarding. Like many great water sports, this practice began in the Pacific and spread around the world. Now, it’s one of the most popular games to grace the waters.
Despite how easy it may look, there’s a lot to paddleboarding. There’s learning how to paddle into waves, when to paddle, and how to maintain balance at all times. Most of all, though, it can come down to the type of board that’s used. From the best in the sport to the newest rookie, here are ten of the best paddleboards for the 2020 season.
10 Best Stand Up Paddle Boards of 2020
SereneLife Premium Inflatable
Pau Hana Endurance
Best for Longterm trips
CBC Classic Foam SUP Package
Best Classic Looking
ISLE Lotus Airtech Inflatable Yoga
Best Yoga Board
Zray X2 Inflatable SUP Board
Airhead SUP Kids Popsicle 730
Best for kids
Aqua Marina Race Competitive
Peak All Around Inflatable
Best Allround Board
10.5 ft / 11.2 ft
1. SereneLife Premium Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board – Best Overall
The number one paddleboard on Amazon, this is the SereneLife Premium Inflatable SUP. At 10’5″, it’s only average in length; it’s the width that makes it noteworthy. At a width of 30″, it has enough to keep stable.
It doesn’t stop there. The deck’s lined with a no-slip top that will provide grip for your feet. If someone falls, the top will keep their butts from getting sore.
To help with movement, this board has triple bottom panel fins. Steering in the water will be easy, even when in the surf.
The best part of all this is that it’s inflatable. It comes with a storage bag for easy carrying, and an air pump to blow it up. For extra help, this kit comes with an aluminum paddle and ankle leash.
- 10’5″x30″ measurements
- No-slip top provides traction and keeps bottom safe
- Comes with storage bag, air pump, paddle, and ankle leash
- The paddle sinks like a stone in water and breaks too easily
2. Pau Hana Endurance Stand Up Paddle Board – Best for Longterm trips
More than a hundred years ago, explorer Ernest Shackleton was one of many who set out to explore Antarctica. He made three voyages to the frozen south, with the second one ending with his ship, the Endurance, crushed by ice. Shackleton and his crew escaped to safety and returned to tell their story. Now, Pau Hana has a paddleboard named in honor of his ship: the Pau Hana Endurance.
The Endurance paddleboard’s built to be tough and last day-long trips. At 12’x30″, its a balance of speed and stability. The real draw, though, is the material its made from.
Made from fiberglass, the hull has a weight capacity of 271 pounds. It can hold 90 pounds of gear and glide through the water with ease. Even more impressive is its durability: it can resist impacts that deal damage up to 900 pounds per square inch. That’s tough.
As a bonus, it has SeaMount attachment points for nets, d-rings, and camera and cup holders. The deck’s padded to provide for a place to sleep. This thing’s like a ship in miniature!
- 12’x30″ measurements
- Damage resistant up to 900 pounds per square inch
- Padded deck for sleeping
- Nets, d-rings, camera and cup holers
- Very expensive
3. CBC 10’6” Classic Foam Paddle Board SUP Package – Best Classic Looking
The surfboards of yesteryear are famous for their smooth, wooden design. Most of them have gone out of fashion in favor of plastic and more durable materials. Even so, companies pay homage to the classics, and that’s carried over to this SUP from the California Board Company.
This CBC board’s almost 10’6″ long and 32″full, so it’s a made for stability. It may look like its made from wood, but it’s high-density foam; the core inside’s 100% waterproof.
This board’s features to spare. It can hold up to 300 pounds and keep going. It comes with a camera mount, a paddle that can adjust from 63-83″, and a tri-fin system to move in the water. It’s also got a full roof rack that will make moving it around easy as pie.
- Retro look
- Can hold 300 pounds
- Comes with adjustable paddle
- Padded roof rack
- Tri-fin system
- Made from foam
The flagship of Atoll’s inflatable SUP fleet, the Cruiser Deluxe is 11’x32″ and ready for the water. It’s made from materials that are 40% lighter than competing models, but the board’s as tough as any solid board. The deck and hull are wrapped in an extra layer of plastic. For bonus points, the deck has 15 D-rings to tie down anything needed.
As for its weight capacity, it can hold riders up to 300 pounds. In the water, though, it’s able to hold over 350 pounds at once!
If that’s not enough, it comes with a three-piece aluminum paddle, detachable fin, air pump, and heavy duty bag.
- Can hold up to 350 pounds
- 15 D-rings on the deck
- two layers of plastic protect deck and hull
- Comes with paddle, detachable fin, air pump, and bag
- Has a two-year warranty
- The threads around the valve can get loose after a while
5. ISLE 10′ Lotus Airtech Inflatable Yoga Paddle Board – Best Yoga Board
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as paddleboard yoga. The all-over nature of yoga, combined with the necessity of keeping balance on the water, can make for a great workout. Such a board will need a great deal of balance and durability. Introducing the ISLE 10′ Airtech ISUP Yoga Board.
At 10’x32″, this board can hold 240 pounds of weight, enough for most yoga practitioners. Made with military grade plastic over 6″ thick, this thing can stand dings and bumps.
To allow for yoga, emphasis’ placed on the nose and tail of the board. They’re longer than usual, allowing for stable posing. Also included are a backpack, paddle, and air pump.
- Holds 240 pounds of weight
- Full nose and tail perfect for yoga platform
- Comes with backpack, paddle, and air pump
- 60-day guarantee, 30-day risk-free returns, one year warranty
- Paddle sinks in water
- Pieces don’t always come with the board
6. Peak 10’6″ All Around Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board – Best Allround Board
For those who are looking for a paddleboard that works excellent in all environments, look no further. This is the Peak All Around ISUP, ready for fun in the sun on the water.
As the name implies, this board’s very versatile. At 10’6″x31″, it has the necessary stability to carry 300 pounds of weight. The width ensures that anyone can stand upon it; it can even hold someone’s pet on it. Thanks to its military-grade plastic, it won’t get damaged from claws.
According to the manufacturers, this board’s ready for fresh and saltwater and great for all forms of water sports. From surfing to yoga, this board can handle it. Accessories include a paddle, air pump, fin, carry bag, and a waterproof phone case — no worries about your phone.
- Great for all forms of water sports
- Can hold 300 pounds of weight
- Military grade plastic
- Works on freshwater and saltwater
- Comes with paddle, leash, pump, fin, and waterproof phone case
- 30-day guarantee and one year warranty
- Seams can blow after the first few times.
Another all-around board, the ISLE Versa is excellent for yoga, fishing, surfing, and beginners. At 10’5″x32″, it’s got the right amount of balance to it to handle most people. It’s able to hold up to 275 pounds of weight on it. The traction pad on the deck provides extra grip for the hands and feet, reducing the risk of falling off. For easy transport, the carry handle’s grooved to provide for extra comfort.
In the way of accessories, it has an adjustable blade and a central fin to provide tracking in the water.
- Holds 275 pounds
- Paddle with adjustable shaft
- Traction Pad
- Great for all water sports
- 60-day return guarantee
- Can chip easily
- The return has restocked fees
8. Aqua Marina Race Competitive Inflatable Stand-up Paddle Board – Best Racing
If you want to race on the water, then you need something that cuts through the water like a knife. It needs to narrow and sharp enough move as fast as possible. Fortunately, the Aqua Marina Race ISUP has mastered this ideal.
At more than 14″x28′, this board’s optimized for speed. The pointed nose’s shaped like a bullet, providing the best in speed, while the narrow tail reduces drag. In case a person needs some extra gear, the rear has a D-ring on the back for supplies along with nose-mounted bungee cords. The accessories include an extra fin, carrying bag, and air pump with gauge.
- D-ring on tail
- Nose-mounted bungee cords
- 14′ in length, narrow nose and tail
- Comes with air pump, extra fin, and bag
- Little stability
9. Zray X2 10’10” Inflatable SUP Board – Best Price
Even though something is cheaper doesn’t mean it can’t hold its own with the best of them. The Zray X2 manages to do all that and more. With its 10’10″x30″ measurements, it’s as stable as an all round board. Once inflated, it’s hull is 6 inches thick, giving it ample protection from damage. Underneath, there’s a second layer of plastic to guard the core even further, both made from heavy gauge plastic.
On the deck, the Zray X2 has a bungee cord for storage, 5 D-rings for attaching a leash or other gear, and a traction pad. It can hold up to 320 pounds of weight on, an impressive feat.
The accessories are great, as well. It comes with a foot pump, backpack for storage, adjustable paddle, and fin. It even has a repair kit and instructions on how to use it.
- Bungee cord and 5 D-rings for storage
- Foot pump, backpack, adjustable paddle, fin, repair kit, and instructions.
- Two layers of heavy gauge plastic
- Can carry 320 pounds of weight
- The paddle doesn’t always lock into place
10. Airhead SUP Kids Popsicle 730 – Best for kids
Paddleboarding’s fun for all ages, so why should kids have to miss out on it. Most paddleboards are too big for kids to use correctly, so parents need to find something smaller. That’s where this cool board comes in: the Airhead Popsicle.
At 7’x30″, it’s perfect for the young and intrepid paddler in your life. It can hold kids from 30-120 pounds without melting under pressure. On the bottom, there are four fixed fins to provide for tracking, while the deck has a traction pad and tail kicker.
For accessories, it comes with a mesh backpack, handpump with pressure gauge, valve wrench, board strap, and repair kit. The coolest part, though, is the tow ring. Hook it up to a boat, and kids can go on the ride of their lives.
- 7’x30″ makes it great for kids
- Holds 30-120 pounds
- Four fixed fins
- Deck has traction pad and tail kicker
- Comes with mesh backpack, handpump, valve wrench, board strap, and repair kit
- Kids will eventually get too big for this.
Types of Paddle Boards
All paddleboards can get broken into three main types: surfing, all-round, and flat water.
Surf paddleboards look like standard surfboards. They have a narrow nose and flat tail. With their sleek shape, they are great for the surfing element of their cousins. They’re manuervable in a wave, but they have a downside. They can’t move that well in flat water and will be less stable.
Allround boards are more extensive, thicker, and longer than standard surf models. They’re the most versatile of paddleboards and great for first-timers. They’re wide enough to be stable and can track great on both flatwater and the open ocean. It also does well in the surf. A windsurf option is also available, complete with a fitting for a sailing rig. These things are super versatile!
Flatwater boards are the best for flatwater, paddling on the open ocean, and paddling with the wind to your back. Longer than all-around boards, they cut through the water like a knife.
Last but not least, there are solid paddleboards and inflatable paddleboards. Most stable paddleboards contain material like Kevlar, foam, fiberglass, plastic, and wood. They have air vents on the deck, keeping them laminated at all times.
Inflatable boards are made from plastic fibers that connect to the top and bottom on the inside. They’re lighter than solid boards, but can be very rigid once they have air in them.
What Size Paddle Board Do I Choose?
The board size will depend on not only a person’s height and weight but what they are looking for in a board. The most common boards are between 10-11 feet in length and about 32-34 inches wide. If you want something stable, then go for the ones 33-34 inches in width. Any more comprehensive, and it will be sluggish and unhelpful.
For those looking for something that’s portable and great at moving, then go for a shorter board, around 9’6″. If the width is right, between 30-32″, then it’ll be plenty stable in the water. Word of warning, if a shortboard has a width of 32″ or more, it will be slow in the water.
If speed and straight tracking are essential, then opt for a longer racing board. Racing boards can have a width as small as 26″, making them very fast. The trade-off is the decrease instability that comes with it. A good alternative is touring boards. At 12’6″ long, they offer a right balance between speed and stability. As for issues with storage, an inflatable board can solve that.
How to Choose the Best Paddle Boards
There a few main things to consider before choosing the best paddleboard for you. Aside from the size and length, there’s also the hull type, volume and weight capacity, and thickness. There’s the choice between inflatable and solid.
The hull of the board plays a significant role in how well it performs on the water. Most stand up paddleboards have a planning or displacement hull. A planning hull’s flat and flat like a surfboard. It rides on the water and is excellent for whitewater, leisure paddling, and surfing. A displacement hull has a pointed bow, like a kayak. It slices through the water and creates a fast and smooth ride. The shape requires less effort paddling, but it’s not as maneuverable as a planning hull.
For people looking for the best in performance and stability, then solid boards are for you. Generally made out of a foam core wrapped in epoxy and fiberglass, there are some exceptions. Carbon fiber is lighter but costs more, and plastic ones are cheaper but lack the performance. These are the boards for people who know what they want and need something tailored to them.
Inflatable boards use a plastic exterior and an air core to give them their shape. They come with a pump and bag and are ideal for those who need to save space. Inflatable boards can go inside the closet or a car trunk when not in use, making them great for long trips. When inflated to their full capacity, they can 12-15 pounds per square inch of air and are super rigid.
Volume and weight capacity tie into the ideal size of a paddleboard. They decide how stable the board is and how well it travels through water. Volume shows how much weight the board can carry. The higher the size, the more weight it can hold. That leads to weight capacity, which is how many pounds a board can handle. Don’t just count yourself: think of any gear and supplies you take with you!
Length and width have already been discussed, but another critical factor is how thick the board is. Thickness will affect the volume and weight capacity. It’s like having stronger support: the thicker board is, the higher the volume. The higher that is, the more weight it can support.
Top 5 Best Paddle Board Brands
Isle’s by three words: surf, paddle, and explore. Two surfers founded this company out of college and dreams in their heads. Founded in 2004 in their parent’s storage unit, Isle is now one of the premiere board companies in the world. Based out of San Diego, they focus on being rider owned and operated and want to share their love of surfing with their customers. Their end goal’s always to please their customer and give the best quality boards.
2. Pau Hana
Deriving its name from the phrase “the time after work,” Pau Hana lives for playtime. For them, it’s all about getting onto the water and enjoying themselves. Their love of the water shows in their dedication to their craft. They make paddleboards for every kind of water sport imaginable, and they show no signs of losing their fire.
For those who have seen ABC’s Shark Tank, this company will be familiar. They got billionaire Mark Cuban to invest in their work, and they haven’t looked back. Knowing how hard it can be to get a starter board, their goal is to be the builder, marketing, and the store all-in-one. They will guide newcomers through the stressful process of finding the right board. The best part, they can help you save hundreds of dollars by selling their boards to you directly. No middle man needed.
Based in Huntington Beach, California, Atoll has its roots in two things: surfer culture and a love of mother nature. Their 11-foot boards are very versatile and can be used for everything from yoga to fishing. They can also work great on the ocean or the lake. They’re the Goldilocks of paddleboards: they’re just right
Founded in the 90s, Boardworks’ one of the best SUP and surf companies in the world. They’ve even worked with some of the big names in the industry. These days, they’re part of the Confluence Outdoor brand, an industry leader for 40 years. Their goal remains the same, though: stay ahead of the curb and keep innovating.
How to Stand Up Paddleboard Video
Paddle Board FAQs
Why is board length so important?
The longer the board is, the faster it will go in the water. But that speed means it stinks at turning, saying it can’t move out of the way of an obstacle.
Can paddleboards be used for surfing?
Paddleboards can be used for plenty of different water sports. They can work pretty well in surfing small waves. Don’t expect them to catch big waves, though.
How heavy are paddleboards?
Depending on their size, a paddleboard can weigh from anywhere between a few pounds to almost 50.
How can people move something like that?
That’s what the handles are for.
Paddleboarding is one of the oldest water sports in the world. Like it’s a cousin, surfing, people around the world also practice it. Something is alluring about standing on a board and rowing through the water in search of adventure.
People may fall in at times, but that’s part of the fun! So this summer, make sure you’re ready to get out on the water and start paddling.