10 Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards Reviewed (2022)
When it comes to the best inflatable paddle boards, I’d say this list here is really a pick and choose matter. These are mostly all-around iSUPs and they’re all from reputable brands with good quality control and customer support. You’re bound to get a good experience out of whichever you decide to go for, assuming it suits your size and activities you embark on.
Usually I try to find faults in things, but doing that with these iSUPs would come off as nitpicking at best.
While you’re at it, open up this quick SUP Buying Guide article for more insights.
Or scroll beyond the list to get more guidance on choosing.
Best Inflatable SUPs – Comparison Table
|WEIGHT||OPTIMAL MAX PADDLER WEIGHT||PRICE|
|#1 Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride MSL||10’6”x32”x4.7”||21.89 lbs||243 lbs||Check here|
|#2 Atoll 11’ iSUP||11”x32”x6”||21 lbs||315 lbs||Check here|
|#3 ISLE Pioneer 10’6 iSUP||10’6″x34″x6″||24 lbs||285 lbs||Check here|
|#4 BOTE HD Aero 11’6 iSUP||11’6″x34″x6″||30 lbs||315 lbs||Check here|
|#5 Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8 iSUP||10’8″x32″x6″||25 lbs||330 lbs||Check here|
|#6 GILI Adventure 11′ iSUP||11’x32″x6″||22 lbs||290 lbs||Check here|
|#7 iRocker Cruiser 10’6 iSUP||10’6″x33″x6″||25 lbs||400 lbs||Check here|
|#8 NIXY Newport G4 10’6 All Around iSUP||10’6”x33”x6”||21 lbs||300 lbs||Check here|
|#9 Thurso Surf Waterwalker 10’6 iSUP||10’6”x31”x6”||24 lbs||300 lbs||Check here|
|#10 Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11′ iSUP||11’x33″x6″||24 lbs||280 lbs||Check here|
Best Inflatable Paddle Boards (10)
#1 Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride MSL iSUP
The Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride MSL iSUP board measures 10′6″ x 32″ x 4.7″ (length x width x thickness), weighs 21.89 pounds and has a volume of 245 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is around 243 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, almost everything you need to get on the water with the exception of a paddle which you ought to buy separately.
#2 Atoll 11’ iSUP
The Atoll 11′ iSUP board measures 11′ x 32″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness), weighs 21 pounds and has a volume of 238 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is up to around 315 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.
#3 ISLE Pioneer 10’6 iSUP
The ISLE Pioneer 10’6 iSUP board measures 10’6″ x 34″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness), weighs 24 pounds and has a volume of 326 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is 285 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.
#4 BOTE HD Aero 11’6 iSUP
The BOTE HD Aero 11’6 iSUP board measures 11’6″ x 34″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness), weighs 30 pounds and has a volume of about 248 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is around 315 pounds, though it can handle more. Apart from an ankle leash, the package includes premium quality accessories, almost everything you need to get on the water.
#5 Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8 iSUP
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8 iSUP board measures 10’8″ x 32″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness), weighs 25 pounds and has a volume of 260 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is 330 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.
#6 GILI Adventure 11′ iSUP
The GILI Adventure 11′ iSUP board measures 11’6″ x 32″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness), weighs 22 pounds and has a volume of 238 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is 290 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.
#7 iRocker Cruiser 10’6 iSUP
The iRocker Cruiser 10’6 iSUP board measures 10’6″ x 33″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness), weighs 25 pounds and has a volume of 234 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is 400 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.
#8 NIXY Newport G4 10’6 All Around iSUP
The NIXY Newport G4 10’6 All Around iSUP board measures 10’6″ x 33″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness), weighs 21 pounds and has a volume of 300 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is 300 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.
#9 Thurso Surf Waterwalker 10’6 iSUP
The Thurso Surf Waterwalker 10’6 iSUP board measures 10’6″ x 31″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness), weighs 24 pounds and has a volume of 270 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is 300 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.
#10 Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11′ iSUP
The Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11′ iSUP board measures 11′ x 33″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness), weighs 24 pounds and has a volume of 286 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is around 280 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.
Best Inflatable Paddle Board – Buying Guide
I’ll try my best to make sense of this mess for you. Questions you need to think about:
- Your height?
- Your weight?
- Where can you paddle?
- Which SUP activities are you interested in?
- Mandatory: SUP Safety (at the very least quickly glance over it unless you want to end up in the news one day).
PS! Since this list of best iSUPs is mainly compromised of all-around boards, I’ll inspect the various sizing factors in terms of general recreational paddling on calmer waters only. This way things don’t get too messy.
Simplified messy just for context:
- The wider the board, the more stable it is (all-around, fishing, fitness),
- The narrower the board, the faster it is (racing, surfing).
- The longer the board, the more speed it can build up (racing, touring).
- The shorter the board, the better maneuverability you get (whitewater, surfing)
- Additionally, the board’s outline shape and paddler’s experience adds extra complexity to it all.
This is to remind you to keep your expectations in check. If a board was super wide (e.g 34″), there will be more water friction because of that and thus lower speed build-up potential unless the board was super long (e.g 14′) to spread out the friction. But if the board was that long, you’d have way less maneuverability, especially if you weren’t a behemoth yourself (considerably taller and heavier than your average tall and heavy person) in order to make kick-back turns viable, though even if you could do them the turns would feel clumsy at best with such a wide and long board regardless (you’d have to be fairly fit at the same time, but that would make you one of a kind rare specimen meant to rock the field in WWE or NBA or something).
What Size Paddle Board Do You Need For Your Height?
With height comes higher point of gravity. To counteract, a considerably taller person might want a longer board while a considerably shorter person can – but doesn’t have to – opt for a shorter board. It becomes more prominent if you’re tall and heavy at the same time.
- Persons between 5′ and 6′ should look for 10′ to 11′ long and 30″ to 34″ wide of an all-around board
- Persons above 6′ might want to go for 11′ to 14′ long of a board (same width)
- Persons under 5′ might want to go for 8′ to 10′ long of a board (same width)
PS! Again, this is in the case of all-around boards meant for general recreational paddling on calmer waters only. This is to keep things simple.
What Size Paddle Board Do You Need For Your Weight?
Center of gravity is still an issue here and it’s amplified by how much you weigh. This is (usually) best counteracted by the width of the board. The following pointers are based off of paddling casually on calmer waters at a relaxing speed, sometimes even coming to a full stop. In such a case, we don’t want the board to be way too stable nor wobbly and we’re looking for a middle ground that’s a little in stability’s favor. There will be a learning curve at the beginning if you feel like you’re not good at balance, but it shouldn’t be a problem after a few runs as certain muscle groups get their exercise in.
- Persons weighing up to 150 lbs would want an all-around board measuring 31″ to 32″ in width
- Persons weighing 150 to 175 lbs would want an all-around board measuring 31″ to 33″ in width
- Persons weighing over 175 lbs would want an all-around board measuring 32″ to 34″ in width
NB! Remember, if you want a more stable experience, nobody can stop you from taking a wider board, and vice versa. General pointers are not set in stone. The 34″ width is already very stable by itself, it’ll feel even more stable, perhaps way too much so, if the nose and the rear of the board had a wide shape on top of the width.
Choosing Based on Where You Can Actually Use a Paddle Board
Where can you use the paddle board? Which bodies of water are near you? Where could you go?
Think in terms of wide VS narrow.
Very large and open water bodies, as you can imagine, require little in terms of maneuverability and instead it’s speed you wish for. It’s like driving along a wide and long road stretching out into the horizon where it feels like a real slog even when going over the speed limit slightly. Narrower waterways with a current, however, need more maneuverability in order to dodge the inevitable tricky situations the flow tries to pull you into. With a strong current, you’re like a log drifting along without even needing to paddle to keep things going forward. With that said, do check out this article on SUP Safety. In my case, and as an example, I have here smaller calmer lakes and rivers with a few rough sections. The sea is also relatively close by which is mostly calm, but can get angry, but never dangerously so. In other words, I’ve got a variety of water conditions I can paddle on. Something akin to a true all-around is perfect in my case. However, I don’t venture out into the sea and rather stick to the coastline because such an all-around is not a speed devil and it would feel like a slog to paddle on if I couldn’t see the land passing by me as I went (+ the bigger waves due to the coastline add a bit more fun challenge to the journey).
Next, on the matter of licenses…
In most countries, a stand-up paddle board is considered a manually propelled vessel and as such does not require much in the way of licensing. However, some countries or areas may require it in some form. Also, there can be some waterways that require you to have a permit, so do check online on that respective water body you have in mind to paddle on beforehand. The most I’ve come across personally is the requirement to have a PFD (personal flotation device) on you (iSUP accessories).
Type Of Paddling Activities You Do:
One of the most important factors to consider while looking for an inflatable standup paddleboard is the type of paddling activity you’re into. As you may have clearly noticed, there are wild differences between most “all-around” paddle boards. While some models are better suited for surfing than touring (short, narrow), some others might instead be better for touring than surfing (long, narrow), etc, and yet they’re all still considered an all-around.
I love creating order in chaos, so I’ve tried to classify those varieties in all-arounds:
It’s an inflatable that’s very round oval shape with a perfected length/width ratio as well as subtle construction elements that all create a good mix of stability, maneuverability and speed. They are suitable for general recreational paddling, also some surfing and river riding, but not so much for long-distance touring nor racing. Very similar to surfing-oriented all-arounds.
Very similar to “true” all-arounds, except the volume might be so low even an average-weight Westerner gets a better lift only when in motion (when riding an actual wave creating that motion, for instance; fast-flowing slope-ey river would be a different beast though). It’s an inflatable board that is aware of its unintentional (or intentional o.O) shortcomings and just goes with it while helping it along by being extra cheap and having a removable center fin, being a little shorter, wide rounded tail, removable center fin, etc. It’s either a poor man’s true all-around or it was meant for kids and they just “forgot” to mention it anywhere. ^^ Because if you were only really about surfing then I’d go for a dedicated board as they’re not so big and troublesome to store and carry which are should-be problems inflatables were made to solve.
These are all-arounds that are long but at the same time built stable. In other words, they are not fast enough for full-on long-distance touring or racing nor really maneuverable enough for full-on surfing or whitewater river riding. Perfect for general recreational paddling usually on calmer waters at cruising speeds with plenty of stability, but also some fishing and some yoga if it’s got enough necessary features for the former and/or has a big enough platform for the latter.
Very similar to cruising-oriented all-arounds. These all-arounds are long while also having elements for speed in their design. They’re not full-on touring boards however as they still want to be stable enough to catch a wider audience and not niche down too much. Good for cruising, general recreational paddling, short-distance touring, but also for surfing small waves, some river riding, and simple fishing if it’s got enough features.
This is my own wacky categorization attempt for a market that’s growing and throwing out new random ideas just to stand out, especially the cheaper segment of this INFLATABLE SUP market. It just would’ve been weird calling everything the same thing when they clearly look and feel different in their own ways. If I just stubbornly tried to use all-arounds with a certain orientation as true all-arounds then I’d simply have a bad day doing so. I’d have a weird day if I tried using them for their orientation alone as well, if that makes sense. They kind of don’t belong in anything that’s out there currently so I had to create room for them in my vocabulary just to keep up with things.
Inflatable Vs. Hard Paddle Boards
Inflatable stand up paddle boards are better suited for general use, hard boards for performance based activities like racing and surfing.
In other words, inflatable paddle boards are cheaper, easier to store and travel with, more durable against rough water conditions like whitewater rivers and the like, and hard (or rigid) paddle boards perform better in terms of glide and maneuverability (less water resistant material and thickness) though are prone to ding and crack in comparison.
Benefits of Inflatable Paddle Boards
One of the top advantages of inflatable SUPs is that they are lightweight (15 – 30 lbs).
Most iSUP packages come with their own carry backpack or bag that measure anywhere from 36 to 39 inches in height, 14 to 18 inches in width, and 9 to 15 inches in depth. Additionally, some heavier variants may even come with carry bags that feature wheels which only add more to your convenience. When the whole package is stored in the bag it can all weigh up to around 40 lbs.
Saves on storage:
An iSUP when deflated and rolled up measures roughly 12 inches in diameter and up to 37 inches in length. The deflated iSUP along with its accessory items all fit in the carry backpack I mentioned earlier. The paddle is usually adjustable from 65 to 82 inches and often times breaks into 3 pieces to also fit in the bag.
And so, as you can imagine, it’s all relatively convenient and portable when compared to hard boards. You can take this onto the beach even on your bicycle.
Durable & Rigid:
High-quality inflatable paddle boards use military-grade materials (true… a marketing buzzword, check with this: “iSUP Construction“) that are not vulnerable to dings and holes. To give you an idea, inflatables are favored in whitewater river riding over hard boards. It’s the one with a rocky bottom and a strong current (have a quick read: “SUP Safety“).
Of course, that doesn’t mean inflatable SUPs are immortal to tears and leaks. However, unless you paddle over a really sharp rock or drop it on a nail intentionally (though even then you might get away with it), the best iSUPs should last you for many, many years!
Though these boards are rigid and sturdy, they come with a softer deck. If we are to compare, standing on a high quality inflatable paddleboard feels nearly the same as standing on a rubber mat reducing fatigue. This means your feet will remain relaxed and experience less fatigue on an inflatable SUP due to reduced contact pressure.
Additionally, the softer deck is more forgiving if you trip and fall on the board. Not only that, but the traction pad offers extra cushioning, which also enhances your grip. Hence, this is why inflatable SUPs are ideal for exercise, yoga, and doing stretches.
As was hopefully made evident already, inflatable SUPs have evolved over the years. Consequently, now there are more types of boards available than ever! Among them you can find all-around iSUPs that allow you to paddle on nearly any type of water, including whitewater.
Besides, inflatable paddleboards are suitable for all ages and people with any skill level. Not to forget, you can even paddle with your canine friend on an inflatable SUP.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Inflatable SUPs worth it?
If you love paddle boarding as much as I do, then yes, inflatable SUPs are totally worth it!
Are inflatable or hard paddle boards better?
Generally, hard paddleboards are better for performance. But that’s about it! With inflatable boards, you’re exposed to a whole new world of advantages. The top advantage of inflatable SUPs compared to traditional hard SUPs is the very fact that they are inflatable, meaning they can be deflated and carried anywhere you go as they don’t take much space. Inflatable SUPs are also extremely durable, lightweight for their size, portable, and easy to use in comparison to hard paddleboards.
How long do Inflatable SUPs last?
The life span of an inflatable SUP ultimately depends on how well you maintain it. In general, high-quality inflatable boards should last you for around 5-6 years, even with daily use. On the other hand, low-quality iSUPs may last for around 1-2 years.
Can pets ride on inflatable SUPs?
Yes. It is completely safe and fun indeed, to ride with pets on an inflatable SUP. Just make sure that the iSUP has enough weight capacity and room to fit your four-legged friend.
Can I Leave My iSUP Inflated?
Yes, you can definitely leave your iSUP inflated. But is it recommended? No. Especially if you’re storing your iSUP for a long time, then it’s best if you deflate it completely and put it away from external elements such as sunlight and excess moisture.
How long does it take to inflate an inflatable SUP?
If you’re using a manual hand pump, then the entire process can take anywhere from 5 – 30 minutes. However, if you’re a frequent paddle boarder and want to do away with the task of manual inflation, then I suggest you get a good electric pump to speed up the process (iSUP Accessories).
By now, I hope you’ve found your ideal inflatable SUP that matches all your requirements. I may have mentioned this earlier, but remember, what works for your friend, may not really work for you! You should do your own research and pick the right SUP that ticks all the boxes for you.
Also, picking an inflatable SUP is not an overnight decision or a quick purchase. I understand you need time and lots of consideration to decide the final purchase. So, take all the time you need, but regardless of whichever iSUP you pick from my list, you can rest assured that your feet will stand on one of the best paddling boards that you can find out there in 2022.
(Links open in a new tab)
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