Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboards (2023)
Who am I to say what the best inflatable paddle board is?
I’m a relatively simple paddle board enthusiast with the only exception being that I’ve been around for some time and at some point decided to start documenting my findings all those years ago.
I’ve got hands-on experience:
Over the past five years, I’ve immersed myself in the world of inflatable paddle boarding. I have paddled in various conditions and tested numerous inflatable paddle boards. This experience has allowed me to understand the intricacies and performance differences among various dimensions and shapes of inflatable paddle boards, which I believe is vital in making an informed recommendation on what the best inflatable paddle boards are.
I’ve done comprehensive research:
Beyond my personal experience, I have devoted considerable time to study inflatable paddle boards, e.g what inflatable paddle boards are made of. This includes seeking out, reading, and listening to manufacturers and other paddle boarders, and keeping myself updated with the latest industry developments best I can. I’d like to think that this kind of research obviously broadens my understanding of the sport as a whole as well as the market situation of the best inflatable paddle boards.
I’ve tried to remain impartial:
I’ve had the opportunity to use, compare, and review a multitude of inflatable paddle boards, which gives me a balanced view of their strengths and weaknesses, and I believe it carries over even to the ones I haven’t had the chance to use myself. I do not have any affiliations with paddle board brands specifically, so you can pretty much rest assured my recommendations on the best inflatable paddle boards are relatively unbiased and based instead on the quality and performance of the boards that I’ve had the chance to evaluate like that.
Everyone has unique needs when it comes to choosing an inflatable paddle board, and that makes it tricky to figure out and recommend the best inflatable paddle boards. Whether it’s your skill level, your size, the conditions you’ll be paddling in, or your budget, I have tried to take all these factors into account when making that recommendation. I’ve tried to cover this topic in a way that you may find yourself in it in some way and thus be able to make a more informed decision based on the information.
I hope these reasons reassure you of my ability to provide trustworthy and valuable advice as you navigate your way to purchasing the best inflatable paddle board for your needs.
Ready to dive in?
The 10 Best Inflatable Paddle Boards
So what makes the best inflatable paddle board?
Overall, there is no 1 size fits all scenario, but for beginners the best iSUP is typically an all-around that’s challengingly stable, but definitely sturdy and durable.
You might think you want something ultra stable (35″ width), but if you’re not appropriately overweight, or fishing from it, doing yoga, or essentially having a picknick on it, with regular recreational paddling on such a stable board, you’re not going to build much of any muscles for balance on it. It’s not supposed to be easy from the get-go. If it was easy, you probably got yourself the wrong board. Pray it wasn’t an expensive one because now sunk cost fallacy is actually working against you. You got got.
The thrill of falling off is supposed to motivate you to overcome your current limitations and hone your skills further. It’ll be a fun and fulfilling learning process, and overcoming that initial challenge, improving little by little, that will greatly boost your confidence. I can only imagine, being overweight would only have a positively compounding effect in that regard. Just keep at it and it gets better and better, and better.
In other words, the best inflatable paddle board is the one that can help you improve over time, build confidence, and enjoy SUPing to its fullest.
What else to look out for in the best all-around iSUP?
- Material and Construction
At what point is increase in quality an overkill?
We’ve started seeing variations of “carbon layers” being used instead of the good old and more cost effective PVC layers that have the same exact effect on durability and rigidity as long as the construction process is solid. At the cost of price increase, the brand utilizing carbon layers gets to stand out from their competitors. Great, but for whom? We, the consumers, have to bear the burden of covering the costs of that marketing trick. The problem with adding more PVC layers like every1 else is that after the first couple of layers any additional layers will have diminishing returns in terms of quality and the brands won’t stand out from their competitors doing the same thing.
Depending on the intended use, the design of the paddle board can vary. If you plan on using it more for touring, a longer and narrower design would be better. For surfing, a shorter and wider board would be better instead. And if that’s confusing, an all-around is intended to be the jack of all trades, master of none, of which this list is full of (they just have a bit of a leaning towards something, you just need to match it with your needs and possibilities a bit).
The best size for you depends on your weight and height. As a beginner, you want a board that is a bit wider and longer for added stability. As you progress, you can opt for a shorter and narrower board to increase maneuverability and speed. This is where you don’t want too wide of a board or else you have to start employing various coping mechanisms to deal with it later.
A good iSUP package should include essential accessories such as a paddle, pump, leash, repair kit, and a carry bag. Some may even come with a seat for added comfort. Most important piece to watch out for is the the paddle. Do have a quick read: SUP paddles.
- Weight Capacity
The best inflatable paddle board for you is the one that can comfortably support your weight without sagging or becoming too unstable.
This one can be deceiving. Would you say that 30 lbs is unbearably too heavy compared to 19 lbs? Some brands might make it out to look like the difference is unfathomable. Is it though? In other words, they saved on materials used and because the difference in weight is so obviously that insane, it now means you must pay a premium.
By now it should be clear, the best iSUP is not necessarily the most expensive one. Look for a board that offers the best value for your money in terms of features, quality, and performance. It’s that simple. Nowadays, with streamlined manufacturing processes, fierce competition, tried and tested shapes and dimensions, and so forth, finding something decent enough doesn’t cost all that much.
All that is to say: it’s really up to you to pick based on your preferences. There are a lot of iSUPs that I would consider “the best” and they come in different dimensions and shapes, with different feature sets and price points, making them suitable for some users and conditions more than others.
What’s YOUR preference?
- Your budget
- Your desires (stability vs speed vs maneuverability)
- Your possibilities (calm lakes, rivers, or seas vs whitewater rivers vs rough seas).
Just scroll through this real quick: SUP Buying Guide.
General rule of thumb for all-arounds:
- The wider the board, the more stable it is (all-around, fishing, fitness),
- The narrower the board, the faster it is (racing, touring),
- The longer the board, the more speed it can build up (racing, touring),
- The shorter the board, the better maneuverability you get (whitewater, surfing).
The most common beginner all-around iSUP board dimensions for a typical adult: 10’6 x 32″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness).
- The heavier you are, the wider of a board you may want to get,
- The taller you are, the longer of a board you may want to get,
- And vice versa.
On a sidenote, if you’re smaller than average, you can get away with a cheaper board because they tend to be smaller and have less flex than bigger guys on bigger boards at the same PSI and relative quality. On the other hand, if you’re a more heavier and/or taller type, you kind of want to get the more expensive and bigger board with better construction quality in order to get that same experience out of them when compared to a smaller person on a smaller board with worse construction quality.
In terms of construction quality specifically, these here wouldn’t be on this list if their construction quality and performance didn’t pass the sniff test. They’re built for purpose.
Best Inflatable SUPs (All-Arounds)
|#1 Red Paddle Co 11’3 (Sporty)
||11‘3” x 32” x 4.7“
243 lbs weight cap
24 lbs weight
|#2 Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12’ (Sporty)
||12’ x 32” x 6”
385 lbs weight cap
35 lbs weight
|#3 ISLE Switch 11’6 (Stable)
||11’6” x 35.5” x 6”
425 lbs weight cap
19 lbs weight
|#4 Nixy Monterey G4 11’6 (Sporty)
||11’6” x 32” x 6”
400 lbs weight cap
25 lbs weight
|#5 Body Glove Performer 11’ (Stable)
||11’ x 34” x 5.4”
320 lbs weight cap
24 lbs weight
|#6 GILI Meno 10’6 (Stable)
||10’6” x 35” x 6”
450 lbs weight cap
23 lbs weight
|#7 Atoll 11’ (Sporty)
||11’ x 32” x 6”
400 lbs weight cap
21 lbs weight
|#8 BOTE HD Aero 11’6 (Stable)
||11’6” x 34” x 6”
315 lbs weight cap
30 lbs weight
|#9 NRS Quiver 10’4 (River)
||10’4” x 35” x 6”
250 lbs weight cap
28 lbs weight
|#10 Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10’ (Stable)
||10’ x 34” x 6”
280 lbs weight cap
#1 Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 Inflatable Paddle Board
OVERVIEW of the Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 iSUP Board
Costs the most on this list. It’s a touring oriented all-around, so it has moderate speed and stability, manageable maneuverability. Suitable for beginner-intermediate paddlers (up to 240 lbs) for light touring and recreational paddling on calmer waters, can handle some chop. Industry leading construction (up to 25 PSI), the board is relatively lightweight (24 lbs).
It has good balance of minimal features, and included in the package are high quality accessories needed to get things started (paddle not included, admittedly the most important part). Customer support is present and a 5-year warranty is offered.
|Dimensions||11’3″ x 32″ x 4.7″ (length x width x thickness)|
|PSI range||18-25 PSI recommended|
|Weight||24 lbs (approx.)|
|Weight cap||243 lbs|
|Type||All-around (touring oriented)|
|Warranty||1-year warranty (board only), +4-year warranty extension upon registering within 3 months of purchase|
PVC and drop-stitch, Monocoque Structural Laminate (MSL), Rocker Stiffening System (RSS).
|Features||Front grab handle, action mount, 6-point cargo system + 3 D-rings, center carry handle, deck pad, rear grab handle, rear D-ring, inflation valve.|
|Fin setup||1 center fin (removable, Standard US Fin Box)|
|Accessories||Handpump, backpack carry bag, safety leash, RSS battens, waterproof phone case, repair kit, 1x fin, (paddle NOT included by default).|
PERFORMANCE of the Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 Inflatable Paddle Board
The 11’3 inflatable paddle board is quite impressive for an all-around iSUP, covering distance with just a few strokes due to its 11’3″ length and 4.7″ thickness, slightly pointed nose, and overall streamlined design that contribute to a faster glide compared to most other all-around inflatable stand up paddle boards. While suitable for casual paddling and light touring, boards with a 30″ width and longer length tend to have better speed and glide. Keep in mind that inflatable SUPs generally sacrifice some performance for convenience, so don’t expect it to outperform rigid boards.
It offers moderate stability due to its shape and dimensions. Its 32-inch width and streamlined design along with the squared off tail provide decent balance for casual recreational paddling and light touring. However, when compared to other wider all-around inflatable stand up paddle boards, the Sport 11’3 may not be the most stable option, especially for beginners or those seeking extra stability for activities like yoga or fishing in particular.
Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 inflatable paddle board offers somewhat manageable maneuverability due to its shape and dimensions. It’s long (11’3″), sure, but not overly wide (only 32″) nor heavy (weighs 24 lbs) along with a narrower squared off tail, which allows you to still make turns granted you’re heavy enough to lift the nose enough by stepping on the tail side (The 18-25 PSI makes the board rigid enough) while helping along with the paddle. However, when compared to shorter and narrower all-around inflatable stand up paddle boards, the Sport 11’3 might not be the most maneuverable option, especially in the case of paddlers navigating tight spaces or seeking quick, agile movements. It takes too much effort if you had to turn like that constantly. While suitable for casual recreational paddling and light touring, those with specific maneuverability requirements may want to explore other alternatives.
Who can use it?
Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 is suitable for beginners and intermediate paddlers weighing up to 240 lbs and seeking a balance between convenience and performance. However, its stability and speed limitations may not satisfy beginners requiring extra balance or advanced paddlers pursuing top-notch performance. It’s a decent, but not outstanding, option for casual recreational use and light touring.
Where can you use it?
Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 can be used in calm waters like lakes, bays, and slow rivers. Although it has a somewhat sleek design, it’s not ideal for choppy conditions or long-distance touring. While its versatility allows for various environments, it doesn’t truly excel in any specific setting, leaving more demanding paddlers potentially unsatisfied with its performance.
- Can you use it on a lake?
Yes, you can use the Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 inflatable paddle board on a lake. Its design is suitable for calm waters, making it an acceptable choice for lake paddling. However, don’t expect it to excel in terms of stability or speed, especially when compared to more specialized boards. It’s a decent option for casual recreational use, but may not satisfy more demanding paddlers.
- Can you use it on a river?
You can use the Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 inflatable paddle board on a river, as long as the conditions are calm and the water flow is slow. Its design is suited for gentle environments, but it may not perform well in rougher or faster-moving waters. While it’s an adequate choice for casual paddling on mild rivers, more specialized boards would provide better stability and control for challenging river conditions.
- Can you use it in the ocean?
I can tell you that the Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 inflatable paddle board can be used in ocean environments, but with some limitations. Its design is suitable for calm waters, light touring, and casual recreational paddling. However, it may not perform as well in rougher ocean conditions, strong currents, or large waves. Paddlers seeking a board specifically designed for ocean use or more challenging conditions may want to consider other options more tailored to those demands.
What can you use it for?
As a touring oriented all-around, Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 is suitable for casual recreational paddling and light touring. However, due to its limitations in stability and speed, it’s not the best choice for more demanding SUP activities like racing, intense fitness workouts, or tackling challenging conditions in surf or river riding. While it can accommodate some yoga and fishing, there are more specialized boards better suited for those purposes.
CONSTRUCTION of the Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 iSUP Board
The optimal PSI range for the Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 inflatable paddle board is around 18-25 PSI. While inflating to this range should provide adequate rigidity and performance, it still won’t match the stiffness of a rigid board. Maintaining the recommended PSI is crucial, but don’t expect it to completely overcome the inherent limitations of an inflatable board.
Like with every inflatable paddle board, the Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 also has a drop-stitch core material made up of thousands of threads connected to the base fabric creating a rigid structure when inflated. You can learn more here: what are inflatable paddle boards made of.
The exact specifics are left fairly vague. It seems relatively samey* as any other build, but they do say they’ve put more effort into the construction process itself which may very well be the deciding factor in what makes this board better than most others.
As for the specifics, from what I can decipher, it seems that the base fabric layer (thread structure) holding the threads together is simply coated with a specially formulated adhesive layer that acts as both a seal and a bonding layer. Which is essentially just an adhesive layer on top of the base fabric layer (with a specially formulated adhesive along with some sort of a higher quality bonding process). Then on top of that is machine laminated (machine heat pressed, essentially) “high-density structural PVC” (which can refer to a “sandwich” layer of PVC layer + mesh layer + PVC layer). Similar thing at the rails with heat welded seams.
In other words, it’s essentially a thinned-out but carefully put together (TecAir manufacturing process) double-layer reinforced PVC construction which they call MSL (Monocoque Structural Laminate) fusion technology.
There’s also the RSS (Rocker Stiffening System) battens, which look like flexible plastic rulers almost, that can be inserted into the rail sockets which will improve rigidity of the inflatable paddle board (even less flex when you stand on it or hit waves).
Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 inflatable paddle board’s long-term durability depends on factors like usage, care, and storage. Constructed with high-quality materials and processes, it could last several years with proper maintenance, say 3 to 7+ years. However, it’s crucial to remember that it’s still an inflatable board, which is more prone to wear and tear than rigid options. While Red Paddle Co has a reputation for quality, the board’s lifespan may not completely satisfy those seeking a lifetime-long durability.
FEATURES of the Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 Inflatable Paddle Board
The Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 inflatable paddle board has these features: front grab handle, action mount, storage area straps + 3 D-rings, deck pad, center carry handle, rear grab handle, D-ring, inflation valve, and 1 bigger center fin.
Front grab handle
Located at the nose of the board is a simple grab handle to lift the board from the water for example.
Located at one of the ends of the nose grab handle is an M6 screw bracket mount for any compatible accessory items that have the screw in the size of 6mm in diameter which you ought to buy separately as none are included in the package by default. You could use a compatible (with the screw sticking out) action camera for example.
6-point storage area
The Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 uses not a bungee cord but 3 elastic straps attached to two connecting points in each strap’s end. You can store your belongings under them for light touring trips for example.
D-rings are those metal rings in the shape of D. The 3 are located alongside one of those straps meant for storage at the nose area of the board for securing the stuff stored under the straps even more securely assuming there’s a rope-like string or a clip attached to those belongings to tie them down to or attach to the D-rings.
This is where you stand. The EVA foam deck pad is soft and anti-slip, provides grip. The tail area of the grip pad has a different pattern so you more or less know where about you stand without having to look down.
Center carry handle
A simple carry handle at the center of the board for carrying the board. The board weighs only 24 pounds, so shouldn’t be an issue for most.
Rear grab handle
Another grab handle located at the rear of the board, same function as the front grab handle, that is for lifting the board up from the water for example.
Rear D-ring (1)
Located at one of the ends of the rear grab handle is a D-ring mainly for connecting you with the board using the coiled leash.
At the rear of the board is the inflation valve. This is where you pump air into the board. The recommended PSI range is 18-25. It closely resembles a HR valve which is widely used by most inflatable paddle boards.
Standard US fin box
It’s standard US fin box, universal, some say, because it’s widely used fin box across most inflatable paddle boards out there and has variety of fin options out there.
ACCESSORIES Included In the Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 iSUP Package
The Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 inflatable SUP package includes: handpump, backpack, safety leash, RSS battens, waterproof phone case, repair kit, and finally the removable fin. Paddle is ought to be bought separately.
Paddle NOT included
They essentially have 3 options:
- No paddle
The board is good, but trying to include a paddle that’s suitable for most people comes with sacrifices. This option with no paddle allows you to invest in a proper paddle of the highest quality tailored just for you separately. More on SUP paddles.
- Hybrid Tough paddle
It’s an adjustable (67″-86″) 3-piece paddle with a nylon (a form of plastic) blade and a hybrid of fiberglass and carbon fiber shaft, altogether weighing just 26 oz.
- Prime paddle
This one is also an adjustable (67″-86″) 3-piece paddle, except it has composite blade (composite usually means nylon with carbon/fiberglass edges) and full carbon fiber shaft instead. It weighs about the same though, 26 oz.
Titan II Pump:
It’s a dual-chamber high-pressure handpump called Titan 2 designed to make inflation to the recommended 18-25 PSI faster and more efficient.
Backpack carry bag:
The backpack features padded straps, integrated wheels, and ample storage compartments, making it easy to transport and store the deflated board and accessories. You can even bike with that thing on your back, etc, good stuff.
The coiled leash keeps the board attached to you while out there on the water, reducing the risk of losing the board. You might not think much of it, but it ties into SUP safety again – the water truly doesn’t care about you and it can get very, very dark very, very quickly, so always go in prepared no matter what. If you’re planning to stay out there for long and paddle further away from the starting point, you should absolutely consider extra safety equipment on top of being more prepared, such as a PFD for starters, one that keeps you afloat even if you lose conscientiousness. Stuff can happen, stuff can go wrong in the most unluckiest ways possible, stuff can happen even to the best of us.
These are plastic battens you can insert into the rail sockets. They improve rigidity of the board (meaning it flexes less when you stand on it). The more rigid or stiff the board, the better it performs and the easier it is to control the board.
The package includes a phone case, typically waterproof, but do test it beforehand if it actually keeps the water out before putting all your trust in it. It comes with a little clip so you can attach it to one of the D-rings on the board.
A basic repair kit with a valve wrench and a few PVC patches. The PVC glue you may have to buy separately. You can use the valve wrench to tighten the valve from time to time as it can come loose for whatever reason. If the valve is leaking air even when closed, using the valve wrench may be a simple and quick solution to that problem.
It’s 9-inch RED plastic touring fin that mainly helps with tracking (keeping the board straight and allowing for longer glide). It connects with a hand-screwable bolt (toolless).
SUPPORT For Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 Inflatable Paddle Board
Red Paddle Co is a leading brand in the inflatable paddle board industry. The company was founded in 2008 by John Hibbard, a keen water sports enthusiast. Red Paddle Co’s focus on creating high-quality inflatable boards, coupled with innovative design and engineering, has led to the company’s success. Today, Red Paddle Co continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible with inflatable paddle boards and has become a go-to choice for paddle board enthusiasts worldwide.
Red Paddle Co stands behind its products by offering a comprehensive warranty for the Sport 11’3. The warranty applies only to the board itself, NOT the accessory items. The board comes with a 1-year warranty by default from the time of purchase, which can be further extended to 5 years by registering the product on their website within 3 months of purchase. The warranty covers manufacturing defects, meaning that you receive a high-quality product free from any issues that might have occurred during production. From my experience, even the high quality expensive boards tend to run into those issues, simply much less often than cheaper boards might.
Compared to other iSUP manufacturers, Red Paddle Co’s warranty coverage is above average, providing you with the peace of mind that you are investing in a durable and reliable product, though it has the hassle of extra steps involved with the 4-year extension part…
From what I’ve seen, Red Paddle Co is responsive to inquiries and addresses any concerns promptly and professionally. The company’s website features a comprehensive knowledge base with FAQs, instructional videos, and helpful articles to assist people with any questions or issues they may encounter. They also maintains an active presence on social media, engaging with the paddle boarding community and providing prompt responses to questions and concerns.
- Touring oriented all-around
- Very high construction quality
- Feature-wise minimalistic
- Good quality accessories
- Exceptional support and warranty
- May prove challenging for beginners at first (stability-wise)
- No D-rings for kayak seat attachment
- Paddle not included in the package by default or is optional
#2 Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ Inflatable Paddle Board
OVERVIEW of the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ iSUP
Also costs quite a bit. It’s a touring oriented all-around, so it has moderate speed and stability, manageable maneuverability. Suitable for beginner-intermediate paddlers (up to 385 lbs) for light touring and recreational paddling on calmer waters, can handle some chop. High quality thick and durable construction (recommended 12-15 PSI; max rated 28 PSI), the board is on the heavier side (35 lbs) and so is the whole package when in the backpack (40-50 lbs),
On the other hand, it comes with a ton of features, and included in the package are high quality accessories needed to get on the water. Customer support is present and a 5-year warranty is offered.
|Dimensions||12’x 32″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)|
|PSI range||12-15 PSI recommended|
|Weight||35 lbs (approx.)|
|Weight cap||385 lbs|
|Type||All-around (touring oriented)|
|Warranty||5-year warranty on the board, 1-year warranty on accessories|
PVC and drop-stitch, Exo Surface Laminate Technology (ESL), Flex Reduction System (FRS), Air Duo 2 air-chamber core, heat welded seam.
|Features||Front grab handle, D-ring, universal action camera mount, 4-point bungee cargo system with 2 handles, EVA foam grip pad, central air chamber inflation valve, 6 edge D-rings (3 on either edge), 2 grab handles on either edge, center carry handle, raised rear kick pad, rear 4-point bungee storage area with 2 handles, rear inflation valve, rear D-ring, rear grab handle.|
|Fin setup||1 center fin + 2 side fins (all removable; US center fin box + snap-lock side fins)|
|Accessories||Handpump, kayak hybrid SUP paddle + 2nd blade, backpack carry bag, safety leash, kayak seat, waterproof phone case, fins.|
PERFORMANCE of the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ Inflatable Paddle Board
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ inflatable paddle board is no sprinter. It’s a steady, solid all-around board, but when it comes to speed, it’s more of a cruiser, still. The 32″ width gives stability, but drags a bit in the speed department. Its pointed nose attempts to slice the water, but it can’t quite compete with leaner, meaner models. So, if you’re looking for speed alone, prepare for disappointment. But, for a relaxing day on the water at a faster pace than most all-around boards, it’s a fine choice.
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ shines in the stability department. It’s 32″ wide with a relatively wide tail, making it steady even for paddleboarding beginners. The broad surface makes it less tippy than narrower inflatable paddle boards, but it’s a double-edged sword, sacrificing speed for balance. Despite the carbon-reinforced structure, it’s still an inflatable, so it can’t quite match the rigidity of solid boards.
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ inflatable paddle board isn’t exactly nimble. Its dimensions – 32″ wide and 12′ long – make it stable and allow for some speed, sure, but they also make it a bit of a bear to maneuver. Its bulky nature and extra weight (35 lbs) further hamper agility. Compared to other inflatables, it’s more of a cruise liner than a speed boat. If you’re after quick turns and responsive handling, this is not it. But if you want a steady, predictable ride, this could be your board. Just be ready to work a bit harder for those turns.
Who Can Use It?
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ might appeal to beginners due to its stability, but its cumbersome nature might frustrate those seeking good maneuverability. It’s a hefty board, so lighter paddlers might struggle a bit. Its carbon reinforcement provides extra rigidity, which is great. Heavier or taller riders will appreciate the extra support from that. The lack of speed might deter the thrill-seekers. In other words, if you’re a beginner seeking stability, or simply a larger rider, this could be for you. If speed or agility is your thing, however, this inflatable paddle board might not be it.
Where Can You Use It?
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ inflatable paddle board is a dependable choice for flat, calm waters such as lakes, reservoirs, or slow-moving rivers. It’s not the board you’d want for choppier waters or for riding waves, as it lacks the agility and speed needed. Its size and stability make it great for more casual cruising, yoga, or even fishing, just don’t expect to be darting around or catching waves with it. So, if you’re seeking peaceful paddling, this could be your board. But for anything more adventurous, prepare for some limitations.
- Can you use it on a lake
Yes, you can use the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ on a lake. In fact, it’s where this board shines. The stability, the broad platform – they’re all great for the flat, calm waters such as lakes.
- Can you use it on a river
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ can be used on a river, but only on the calmer sections. It’s a solid, stable platform, perfect for drifting along slow-moving rivers. It’s not the most agile, so you’d better avoid tricky maneuvers or rapid sections. Its carbon reinforcement adds rigidity but also weight, which could make it a bit of a handful in stronger currents. For a leisurely river cruise, it’s a sturdy choice. But if you’re planning on tackling faster waters or needing quick turns, expect to be somewhat out of your depth.
- Can you use it in the ocean
You could use the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ in ocean conditions, but it may not be the best tool for the job. Its size and stability lend themselves well to flat water and calm bays, but in rougher seas or surf, its maneuverability and speed are lacking. Its heft and wide deck make it less than ideal for surfing or tackling choppy waves. If you’re sticking close to shore and the waters are calm, it’s passable. But if you’re seeking to conquer the ocean’s wilder moods, you might find this board a bit of a damp squib.
What Can You Use It For?
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ is a versatile, albeit bulky, all-rounder. It’s great for stand up paddleboard (SUP) activities that value stability over agility or speed. You can use it for leisurely paddling, SUP yoga, or even SUP fishing given its steady platform. It’s suitable for beginners looking to build their confidence, or for larger riders who appreciate its robustness. However, if you’re interested in SUP racing, surfing, or any activity that requires quick turning, you’ll find this board, to put it mildly, wanting. A jack of many trades, but master of none.
CONSTRUCTION of the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ Inflatable Paddle Board
Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ inflatable paddle board is designed to be inflated up to a range of 12-15 PSI for optimal performance and longevity of the board, though the air chambers are rated for 28 PSI. However, when inflating, be prepared for a bit of a workout; inflating to this level can be a tiresome endeavour. Overinflation could potentially damage the board, so don’t get too carried away. The extra rigidity from this high pressure should theoretically improve performance, but with its wide, bulky design, don’t expect miracles. It’ll still be a leisurely ride rather than a high-speed thrill. Stick to the guidelines, and you’ll have a sturdy board beneath you.
Starting with the materials, you’ve got the drop-stitch core, which seems to be denser than competitors’, and essentially a double-layer PVC around it holding things together (most likely machine laminated), which also seems to be of higher quality composition.
The rails have 3 layer tapes: PVC + FRS + PVC. The PVC tape layers are your typical rail layers, but the FRS (Flex Reduction System) layer consists of little carbon fiber rovings diagonally woven into the tape and then that layer is heat welded between the PVC rail tapes. Improves rigidity of the board, but I do wonder if a simple PVC heat welded tape wouldn’t result in more or less the same effect and at a cheaper cost at that.
They also have 2 air chambers inside the board as opposed to just 1 like in most other iSUPs. This Air Duo element adds extra rigidity to the board, especially to where you’re applying the most pressure as you stand. Both chambers are rated for max 28 PSI, but they recommend between 12 to 15 PSI for each for optimal performance and longevity of the board.
They also mention ESL (Exo Surface Laminate Technology) which probably refers to the construction process as a whole, including the weaving of the denser drop-stitch material and making the 2 air chambers work.
Overall then, this double-chamber dual-layer PVC fusion construction not only adds rigidity and strength but also makes the board more resistant to punctures and wear compared to some traditional hard boards and most other iSUPs for that matter.
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ is built to last with its military-grade PVC and carbon fiber rails, but longevity depends on how you use and care for it. With regular, gentle use and proper storage, it could last several years. However, if you’re hard on your gear or often encounter rough conditions, its lifespan may be shorter. Remember, it’s an inflatable; punctures and UV damage are real risks. For careful owners, it’s a solid investment. But if you’re expecting it to weather everything you throw at it and last forever, well, brace for disappointment.
FEATURES of the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ Inflatable Paddle Board
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ inflatable paddle board has these features: front grab handle, D-ring, action mount, bungee storage area + 2 handles, deck pad, center inflation valve, carry handle, side D-rings, side grab handles, rear bungee storage area, rear inflation valve, D-ring, rear grab handle, and 1 bigger center fin.
- Front grab handle
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ inflatable paddle board features a grab handle at its nose deck area. It’s mainly helps with pulling the board in and out of water. Small but practical design feature.
- Front D-ring (1)
Located just below the front grab handle is a D-ring attachment. D-rings are those steel rings in the shape of D, hence D-ring, attached to the board with a round PVC patch. This can be used to attach an anchor to the board or for towing the board, for example (note that anchor is not included in the package).
- Action mount
It’s a thread hole (6mm or 1/4″) for attachments, e.g GoPro action camera (attachments not included in the package). It’s integrated into the board, so to speak, via a specially built PVC plastic patch it looks like.
- Front bungee storage area
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ boasts a 4-point bungee storage with 2 grab handles area at its nose. A handy web of elastic cords offering a space to secure your gear. While not foolproof in rough waves, with careful packing, it’s a nice perk that could enhance your paddle boarding experience.
- Deck pad
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ inflatable paddle board features a durable and grippy deck pad designed for optimal traction and comfort. Made from high-quality EVA foam, the deck pad offers a cushioned surface that enhances stability and reduces fatigue during paddling. Its textured surface provides excellent grip, allowing riders to maintain control and confidently maneuver on the water.
- Center inflation valve
Since there are 2 air chambers in this board, it also have 2 inflation valves, one of which is located at more or less the center of the board. It’s looks to be the HR valve (almost all inflatable paddle boards use this one). The recommended max PSI is 15, so ideally you want to keep it inflated between 12 and 14 where it still provides decent rigidity. Note that with heat the air expands, so if you had it at 15 and left it somewhere in direct sunlight on a hot day then you might come return to a damaged iSUP.
- Center carry handle
Located at the center of the board, the carry handle, used for carrying the board. The board is not too wide, so most people should still be able to reach it. However, the board is a bit to the heavier side (35 lbs), so some people may want to get a shoulder carry strap separately (not included in the package).
- Side D-rings (6)
Usually there are 4 D-rings for a kayak seat, the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ iSUP has 6 of them on the deck at the sides of the board. Allows for more customization in terms of kayak seat placement. These D-rings can be used for many other accessories as well, such as a storage container (ought to be bought separately though).
- Side grab handles (2)
On the deck at either side of the board are 2 grab handles. They can be used to pull yourself back on the board should you fall in, they can also be used to stabilize yourself on the board in choppier water conditions, and so forth.
- Rear bungee storage area
4-point storage area with 2 grab handles at the rear of the board. The bungee cord is elastic and you can store your belonging underneath it.
- Rear inflation valve
The 2nd inflation valve for pumping air into the board. This one fills the bigger air chamber surrounding the smaller center air chamber. The max recommended PSI is also 15.
- Rear D-ring (1)
The final D-ring located at the rear of the board. This is mostly used for attaching the safety leash. Try to be mindful about SUP safety or else you might become another number in the statistics one day.
- Rear grab handle
Another grab handle at the at the rear (tail area) of the board for lifting the board out from the water for example.
- Fins (3)
They’re all removable. The bigger center fin uses the standard US fin box system and the 2 side fins a snap-lock system.
ACCESSORIES of the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ iSUP Package
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ inflatable paddle board package includes: SUP/kayak hybrid paddle, handpump, backpack, safety leash, kayak seat, waterproof phone case, repair kit, and finally the removable fins (3).
It’s a 3-piece adjustable (67″ – 88″ or 170-225 cm) carbon shaft SUP/kayak hybrid paddle with a polyurethane (PU, plastic) blade. The paddle weighs roughly 2 lbs. The package includes an extra blade to turn the SUP paddle into a hybrid kayak paddle with a blade on either end of the shaft. I’d say, in terms of quality, it’s somewhere between high and mid-tier paddles. More on SUP paddles here.
The double-chamber triple-action high pressure handpump efficiently inflates the board and has a built-in pressure gauge to ensure the proper PSI of recommended 12-15 PSI. Triple-action means there are 3 modes. (1) low pressure/high volume, (2) medium pressure/medium volume, (3) high pressure/low volume.
- Carrying bag
The package includes a heavy-duty carrying bag backpack that fits the whole package (board + accessories). The bag measures about 39″ x 15″ x 12″ (height x width x depth) and weighs (with everything inside) around 40-50 lbs.
The coiled leash keeps you safely attached to the board, usually via the rear D-ring. You might not think much of it, but take a quick glance: SUP safety.
- Kayak seat
A kayak seat that can be attached to the D-rings at the edges on the deck pad. Used for using the board as a hybrid kayak where instead of standing you sit down instead (the package also includes a SUP/kayak hybrid paddle for that purpose).
- Waterproof phone case
Always make sure it’s actually waterproof before taking it out for the real test.
- Repair kit
A simple repair kit, usually including the valve wrench and PVC patches. You can use the valve wrench for tightening the valves.
- Fins (3)
1x US fin box compatible removable toolless bigger center fin (9″) and 2x removable smaller side fins with smart-lock system (5″). More info on iSUP fins and fin boxes here.
SUPPORT for Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ Inflatable SUP Board
Bluefin SUP is a relatively young brand, founded in early 2010s. Despite its youth, it has established a reputation for solid, durable boards, though not particularly performance-driven. The focus is on all-around boards with an emphasis on stability, targeting a recreational demographic rather than high-performance athletes. It’s a decent choice for beginners or those seeking a reliable board for a relatively casual paddling.
Bluefin offers an impressive 5-year warranty on the Cruise Carbon 12′ inflatable paddleboard, covering manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship for the board. Accessory items have a 12-month warranty instead. The warranty does not cover damage caused by normal wear and tear, improper use, or unauthorized repairs.
Bluefin’s customer service has been exceptional in my experience. Their team has been responsive to inquiries, with most of the emails receiving replies within 24 hours. The customer service representatives have been knowledgeable about their products and helpful in addressing concerns, providing guidance on maintenance and troubleshooting.
- Touring-oriented all-around (speedy)
- High quality construction process and durable build
- Tons of features
- Good quality accessories and everything you need
- Exceptional support and 5-year warranty
- Not ultra stable, but stable enough even for beginners
- Heavy (35 lbs board, 40-50 lbs is backpack)
#3 ISLE Switch 11’6 Inflatable Paddle Board
OVERVIEW of the ISLE Switch 11’6 iSUP
This board falls into the higher-end price range. It’s a stable kayak-SUP hybrid all-around (11’6″ x 35.5″ x 6″ length x width x thickness), delivering moderate speed and impressive stability with decent maneuverability. It’s suitable for beginner-intermediate paddlers (up to 425 lbs), making it ideal for various activities such as recreational paddling, some light touring, mainly cruising, and kayaking on mostly calm waters, while also being able to handle some chop. The board is constructed with high-quality PVC and drop-stitch material, with the Air-Tech Fusion Lite adding extra durability (recommended 13-17 PSI; max rated 17 PSI). Despite its robust construction, the board is quite lightweight (approx. 19 lbs) which eases transportation and handling.
It’s packed with practical features including a 6-point front bungee storage area, an EVA foam grip pad, a rear 4-point bungee storage area, and more. The package comes with numerous high-quality accessories needed to get on the water, including a hand pump, a kayak hybrid SUP paddle with an extra blade, a backpack carry bag, safety leash, a high elevated kayak seat, and a removable center fin. Customer support is available and a 2-year warranty is offered.
|Specification||ISLE Switch 11’6|
|Dimensions||11’6″ x 35.5″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)|
|Fin setup||1 center fin (removable)|
|Type||All-around (kayak-SUP hybrid)|
|PSI Range||13-17 PSI recommended|
|Weight cap||425 lbs|
|Weight||19 lbs (approx.)|
PVC and drop-stitch, Air-Tech Fusion Lite, reinforced at rails, X pattern drop-stitch threads.
|Features||Front grab handle, ISLE-LINK connect system, 6-point bungee storage area, EVA foam grip pad, center carry handle, paddle holder, rear 4-point bungee storage area, inflation valve, rear grab handle.|
|Accessories||Handpump, kayak hybrid SUP paddle + 2nd blade, backpack carry bag, safety leash, high elevated kayak seat, fin.|
#4 Nixy Monterey G4 11’6 Inflatable Paddle Board
Quick OVERVIEW of the Nixy Monterey G4 11’6 iSUP
Priced in the higher bracket, this board is an all-around with a touch more speed orientation, offering good pace and stability, with satisfactory maneuverability. It’s suitable for beginner to intermediate paddlers (up to 400 lbs), light touring and recreational paddling on calm to slightly choppy waters. The board features top-tier FusionTech dual-layer lamination construction with PVC and drop-stitch, woven drop-stitch, carbon side rails, and a dual air chamber core (15 PSI max recommended), ensuring durability and rigidity. Weighing in at approximately 25 lbs, it’s not the lightest, but still manageable for most.
The board is packed with features including multiple action mounts, 6-point bungee storage areas at the front and rear, an EVA foam grip pad, and more. The package includes high-quality accessories necessary to hit the water.
A responsive customer support team is in place and warranties offered include a 2-year warranty on the board and a 1-year warranty on the accessories.
|Specification||Nixy Monterey G4 11’6|
|Dimensions||11′6 x 32″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)|
|Fin setup||1 bigger center fin + 2 smaller side fins (all removable)|
|Type||All-around (slightly more speed oriented)|
|PSI Range||15 PSI recommended|
|Weight cap||400 lbs|
|Weight||25 lbs (approx.)|
|Warranty||2-year warranty on the board, 1-year warranty on accessories|
PVC and drop-stitch, FusionTech dual-layer lamination, woven drop-stitch, carbon side rails, dual air chamber core.
|Features||front grab handle, front inflation valve, action mount, 6-point bungee storage area and 2 action mounts, EVA foam grip pad, central inflation valve, 4 edge D-rings, 6 action mounts and 2 scotty mounts, rear 6-point bungee storage area, rear action mount and D-ring, rear grab handle.|
|Accessories||Handpump, SUP paddle, backpack carry bag, safety leash, fins.|
#5 Body Glove Performer 11′ Inflatable Paddle
OVERVIEW of the Body Glove Performer 11′ iSUP
Also at the higher end in terms of price. This board is a wide and stable all-around, offering moderate speed, but great stability, with satisfactory maneuverability. Suitable for beginner-intermediate paddlers (up to 320 lbs) for recreational paddling and light touring on calm to mildly choppy waters. The board features superior construction with PVC and drop-stitch material, triple-layer carbon stringers at the deck and rails, and a reinforced nose bumper (15 PSI max recommended), ensuring both durability and rigidity. With a weight of approximately 24 lbs, the board is relatively lightweight, thus easier to handle and transport.
Features are fairly comprehensive, including a 7-point bungee storage area, action camera mount, grip pad with foot emplacement guides, and more. An impressive set of high-quality accessories is included, such as both a hand pump and an electric pump, SUP paddle, backpack carry bag, safety leash, and a dry bag pouch. Customer support is readily available and a 1-year warranty is offered.
|Specification||Body Glove Performer 11′|
|Dimensions||11’ x 34″ x 5.4″ (length x width x thickness)|
|Fin setup||Tri-fin system (3 fixed smaller fins)|
|Type||All-around (wide, stable)|
|PSI Range||15 PSI recommended|
|Weight cap||320 lbs|
|Weight||24 lbs (approx.)|
PVC and drop-stitch, triple-layer carbon stringers at deck and rails, reinforced nose bumper.
|Features||Front tow point, action camera mount, 7-point bungee storage area, grip pad with foot emplacement guides, center carry handle/paddle holder strap with 2 D-rings, 2 D-rings at the edges, inflation valve, rear D-ring.|
|Accessories||Handpump AND electric pump, SUP paddle, backpack carry bag, safety leash, dry bag pouch.|
#6 GILI Meno 10’6 Inflatable Paddle Board
OVERVIEW of the GILI Meno 10’6 iSUP
Still at a relatively high price point. This board is another wide and stable all-around, offering moderate speed and solid stability, with manageable maneuverability. Suitable for beginner-intermediate paddlers (up to 450 lbs) for light touring and recreational paddling on calmer waters, but can also handle some chop. The board employs high-grade construction using PVC and drop-stitch material, dual layer fusion technology, and Carbon Tech Rail technology (recommended 12-15 PSI), ensuring durability and rigidity. Despite its robustness, the board remains relatively lightweight at approximately 23 lbs, making it easier to transport and handle.
The board comes packed with features including a 6-point front bungee storage area, multiple action mounts, an EVA foam grip pad, paddle holder straps, and more. The package includes a comprehensive set of high-quality accessories needed to start paddling, such as a hand pump, SUP paddle, backpack carry bag, safety leash, and a customizable fin kit. Customer support is available and warranties include a 2-year warranty on the board and a 90-day warranty on accessories.
|Specification||GILI Meno 10’6|
|Dimensions||10’6″ x 35″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)|
|Fin setup||1 bigger center fin + 2 smaller side fins (all removable)|
|Type||All-around (wide, stable)|
|PSI Range||12-15 PSI recommended|
|Weight cap||450 lbs|
|Weight||23 lbs (approx.)|
|Warranty||2-year warranty on the board, 90-day warranty on accessories|
PVC and drop-stitch, dual layer fusion technology, Carbon Tech Rail technology.
|Features||Front D-ring, front action mount, grab handle, 6-point bungee storage area with 2 handles, and 2 action mounts, EVA foam grip pad, center carry handle, 8 edge D-rings, paddle holder straps, rear 2 scotty mounts, 2 action mounts, rear 4-point bungee storage area with 2 handles, inflation valve, rear D-ring, rear grab handle.|
|Accessories||Handpump, SUP paddle, backpack carry bag, safety leash, customizable fin kit (5 pieces).|
#7 Atoll 11′ Inflatable Paddle Board
OVERVIEW of the Atoll 11′ iSUP
Also holds a considerable price point. This board is a speed oriented all-around, offering a good mix of speed, stability, and maneuverability. It’s suitable for beginner-intermediate paddlers (up to 400 lbs) for light touring and recreational paddling on calm waters and can withstand some chop. In terms of construction, it’s built with high-quality machine-laminated dual layer PVC and drop-stitch material (15 PSI max recommended), the board offers superior durability while staying fairly lightweight at approximately 21 lbs for easy handling and transportation.
It comes with a balanced set of features, including a 6-point bungee storage area at the nose, an EVA foam grip pad, center carry handle, and more. Included in the package are high-quality accessories necessary to get on the water – a hand pump, SUP paddle, backpack carry bag, safety leash, and a fin. A responsive customer support team is available and the product comes with a 2-year warranty.
|Dimensions||11′ x 32″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)|
|Fin setup||1 bigger removable center fin + 2 smaller fixed side fins (universal US fin box)|
|Type||All-around (slightly more speed oriented)|
|PSI Range||15 PSI recommended|
|Weight cap||400 lbs|
|Weight||21 lbs (approx.)|
PVC and drop-stitch, machine laminated dual layer.
|Features||Nose 6-point bungee storage area, EVA foam grip pad, center carry handle, 8 edge D-rings, inflation valve, rear grab handle, rear D-ring|
|Accessories||Handpump, SUP paddle, backpack carry bag, safety leash, fin.|
#8 BOTE HD Aero 11’6 Inflatable Paddle Board
OVERVIEW of the BOTE HD Aero 11’6 iSUP
Comes with a hefty price tag. This fishing oriented stable all-around board offers moderate speed, excellent stability, and manageable maneuverability. It is well-suited for beginner to intermediate paddlers (up to 315 lbs) seeking for a stable cruiser for fishing and recreational paddling on calm waters, with the ability to handle some chop. The board’s construction utilizes PVC and drop-stitch material, employing AeroBOTE Technology and heat-welded seams, making for a rigid and durable iSUP board. With a weight of approximately 30 lbs, it falls on the heavier side but remains manageable.
The board boasts a range of features, including a bungee storage areas, D-rings, handles, removable paddle sheath/holder, rack mounting points, and even a Magnepod bottle holder. The package includes accessories such as a paddle, hand pump, backpack carry bag, rack receivers, paddle sheath, repair kit, and a fin. There’s a 1-year warranty, customer support is provided, but you have to conduct yourself properly and play nice (no funny business).
|Dimensions||11’6 x 34″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)|
|PSI range||10-15 PSI recommended|
|Weight||30 lbs (approx.)|
|Weight cap||315 lbs|
|Type||All-around (stable, wide)|
|Warranty||1-year warranty (limited information)|
PVC and drop-stitch, AeroBOTE Technology, heat welded seams.
|Features||Front D-ring, front grab handle, removable paddle sheath/holder, 6-point bungee storage system, Magnepod bottle holder, EVA foam grip pad, 4 D-rings at deck edges, center carry handle, 2 D-rings and 2 rack mounting points, rear 4-point bungee storage area, inflation valve, rear grab handle.|
|Fin setup||1 removable bigger center fin + 2 fixed side fins (slide-in fin box)|
|Accessories||Paddle, hand pump, backpack carry bag, 2x rack receivers, paddle sheath, repair kit, 1x fin.|
#9 NRS Quiver 10’4 Inflatable Paddle Board
This paddle board is, again, on the pricier side. The NRS Quiver 10’4 is a whitewater/river riding oriented all-around, providing moderate speed, excellent stability and maneuverability. It’s suitable for intermediate-advanced paddlers (up to 250 lbs) mainly for adventurous paddling through whitewater, but also for some recreational paddling in general although at a lower speeds, thanks to its durable construction (recommended 20 PSI) that features PVC and drop-stitch with Axis Technology, and weighs roughly 28 lbs.
The board offers a handful of features and a dual-fin setup, all intended to enhance its performance in whitewater scenarios. The package includes a few high quality accessories, such as a hand pump and backpack carry bag, though crucial items like the paddle and leash are not included and ought to be bought separately. Customer support is present along with a 3-year manufacturer warranty.
|Dimensions||10’4” x 35″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)|
|PSI range||20 PSI recommended|
|Weight||28 lbs (approx.)|
|Weight cap||250 lbs|
|Type||All-around (whitewater oriented)|
|Warranty||3-year manufacturer warranty|
PVC and drop-stitch, Axis Technology (acrylic stiffener additive), double side walls.
|Features||Front underside D-ring, frontal grab handle, deck D-ring, 2 forward grab handles, center carry handle, Leafield inflation valve, pressure relief valve, rear D-ring, and rearmost grab handle.|
|Fin setup||2 removable side fins (slide-in fin boxes)|
|Accessories||Hand pump, backpack carry bag, Leafield valve adapter, 2x allwater fins, 2x whitewater fins (not included: paddle, upper body mounted quick release coiled leash).|
#10 Boardworks SHUBU KRAKEN 10′ Inflatable Paddle Board
The Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10′ inflatable paddle board is a very stable all-around SUP that is designed to be stylish, stable, and versatile. It is built with Boardworks’ exclusive Dual Fusion laminate technology, which makes it durable and rigid. The board is also lightweight and easy to transport, making it perfect for travel.
Who is it for?
The SHUBU Kraken 10′ inflatable paddle board is best suited for any1, from beginners to advanced paddlers who are looking for a stable, high-quality, reliable, and expensive inflatable paddle board. However, if you are an experienced paddler looking for a performance-oriented board then the SHUBU Kraken 10′ might not be the greatest choice mainly because of its width that will hamper speed build-up.
What is it for?
The SHUBU Kraken 10′ inflatable paddle board is best suited for calm to moderately choppy water conditions, such as lakes, rivers, and bays. It is not recommended for use in rough or troubled ocean conditions, as its lack of rocker can make it difficult to get to where you want there. However, if you are looking for a board that can handle a variety of calmer water conditions, then the SHUBU Kraken 10′ is a great choice. It’s best suited for a variety of SUP activities, including cruising, yoga, and recreational paddling. It is not exactly suited for racing nor surfing, as its width and lack of rocker can make it hard to control when compared to other boards designed for those activities. However, if you are looking for a versatile board that can handle a variety of activities on calmer waters, then the SHUBU Kraken 10′ is a great choice.
1. Value for Money: Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10′
I understand the importance of getting the best value for your money when it comes to investing in a high-quality inflatable stand-up paddleboard (iSUP). In this section, I’ll discuss the price point of the Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10′ and compare it to other options available in the market to help you decide if it’s worth the investment.
Affordability Versus Quality
The Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10′ is considered a premium iSUP, and its price reflects that. While it might be more expensive than some entry-level options, you should consider the overall quality and performance you’ll get in return. When people first try the SHUBU Kraken 10′, they can instantly feel the difference in construction and stability compared to some of the cheaper boards they’ve used in the past.
Cheaper Alternatives and Their Drawbacks
There are definitely more affordable iSUP options on the market, but it’s essential to consider the trade-offs. Cheaper boards often use lower-quality materials and construction techniques, resulting in decreased durability and performance. Additionally, these boards might not come with as many accessories or have a shorter warranty period.
Also, the lower-cost boards tend to show signs of wear much sooner. In the long run, investing in a higher-quality board like the SHUBU Kraken 10′ can save you money on repairs or replacements. Not to mention, the accessory items that come with cheaper packages tend to be of bare minimum quality in comparison.
Performance and Durability Considerations
When evaluating the value of the SHUBU Kraken 10′, it’s crucial to consider its performance and durability. The Kraken 10′ is made with high-quality materials, featuring Dual Fusion Laminate construction technique making use of high density PVC layers and composite drop-stitch construction that ensures it can withstand rough conditions and regular use, from calm lakes to choppy coastal waters, with a recommended PSI range of 14-18.
In terms of performance, the SHUBU Kraken 10′ offers excellent stability (34″ width), making it suitable for beginners and experienced paddlers alike. It’s also highly maneuverable, allowing you to easily navigate tight turns and make quick adjustments on the water.
When determining if the Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10′ is worth the investment, it’s essential to weigh the benefits you’ll receive from its performance, durability, and included accessories against the cost. Though the initial investment might be higher than some other options, you’ll likely save money in the long run by avoiding frequent repairs or replacements. Plus, the overall paddling experience with the Kraken 10′ is far superior to many of its lower-priced competitors.
2. Performance, Construction, and Durability of the SHUBU Kraken 10′ iSUP Board
Durability and performance are top concern for many paddleboarders, as a long-lasting and reliable board will provide a better overall experience and value. In this section, I’ll explore the performance, materials and construction of the Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10′, as well as provide insights into its longevity and maintenance based on my personal experience.
Speed and Efficiency
True all-around shape
The SHUBU Kraken 10′ has a very typical all-around shape, with its rounded nose to add to the already stable performance, the ever so slight rocker to it helping it manage against ripple waves in flatwater conditions, and more rounded than rectangular tail that reduces drag on the water just a bit more… And to topple it off with the width of the board (34″), we’re looking at smooth calmer cruising speeds primarily in flatwater conditions. In choppy water the rounded nose won’t be cutting through water as efficiently as a pointier nose with more rocker would, rather you’ll be forced off course when coming against waves or bigger ripples, significantly hampering your speed.
Inflatable versus hard board speed comparisons
When it comes to speed, inflatable paddle boards like the Kraken 10′ typically go at slower than hard boards of the same size. However, the difference is often negligible, especially for recreational paddleboarders not looking to race with it. The SHUBU Kraken 10′ offers a satisfying cruising speeds that’s more than adequate for casual paddling on calmer lakes, rivers, and seas, but also calm and light touring, and even light fitness or yoga sessions on the water.
Stability and Maneuverability
Board dimensions and volume
The SHUBU Kraken 10′ boasts dimensions that contribute to its stability and maneuverability. With a width of 34 inches and a thickness of 6 inches, it provides a stable platform for paddlers of various sizes and skill levels. The board’s volume (253 L), which affects its buoyancy and weight capacity, is also sufficient to accommodate riders up to around 280 pounds.
Fin configuration and turning ability
The SHUBU Kraken 10′ features a tri-fin configuration, with a large removable center fin and two fixed smaller side fins. This setup enhances the board’s tracking, ensuring it maintains a straight course while paddling. Additionally, by removing the center fin you get better maneuverability with just the 2 side fins, ideal for shallower waters.
Materials and Construction
High-quality PVC and drop-stitch technology
The SHUBU Kraken 10′ is using Dual Fusion Laminate (DFL) construction wherein the drop-stitch core layer is laminated with a high density PVC layer. The drop-stitch threads themselves are composite yarn (1 thread made up of multiple threads spiraled together) making for a stronger core and allowing for recommended PSI range of 14-18 for the board. PVC provides excellent durability and resistance to punctures, and drop-stitch core allows the board to maintain its shape and rigidity when inflated, consisting of thousands of threads that connect the top and bottom layer of the board.
Reinforced seams and protective layers
One notable feature of the SHUBU Kraken 10′ is its reinforced seams that make the board even more stiffer. It’s a protective layer on the rails that guard against the board against scratches, dings, and abrasions from the sides. These extra measures have contributed to the board’s impressive durability. However, the exact details about the rail construction is very vague: “specialized sidewall”. No info if it’s heat welded or just PVC-glued there, etc. In any case, it’s good enough for flatwater paddling.
Longevity and Maintenance
Resistance to punctures and wear
The high-quality materials and construction of the SHUBU Kraken 10′ contribute to its resistance to punctures and wear. People have been using it in the more rough water conditions, including rocky shorelines and debris-filled waters, and it has seemingly remained remarkably resilient as hardly any1 has had any real complaints.
Tips for proper care and storage
To maintain the durability and longevity of the SHUBU Kraken 10′, it’s essential to follow proper care and storage practices. Here are some tips based on my experience:
- Rinse the board with fresh water after each use to remove salt, sand, and debris.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight when not in use, as UV rays are PVC killers.
- Ensure the board is fully dry before deflating and storing it in the provided carry bag for longer periods of time.
- Store the board in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.
By following these steps, you can help ensure the SHUBU Kraken 10′ remains in excellent condition and provides years of enjoyable paddling experiences.
3. Optimal PSI for the SHUBU Kraken 10′ Inflatable Paddle Board
Inflating your paddleboard to the appropriate pressure is crucial for optimal performance, stability, and durability. In this section, I will discuss the recommended PSI levels (14-18) for the Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10′, as well as proper inflation techniques to ensure your board stays in top condition.
Recommended PSI Levels
Boardworks recommends inflating the SHUBU Kraken 10′ to a pressure of 15 PSI to be safe (between the recommended range of 14 and 18 PSI), which provides a balance between rigidity and flexibility for the best performance on the water and longevity of the board. It’s essential to follow these guidelines to ensure that your board maintains its shape and integrity over time.
Signs of over or under inflation
Underinflated boards tend to feel soft and unstable, making it difficult to maintain balance and control. On the other hand, overinflated boards are excessively rigid and prone to punctures or seam failure.
Proper Inflation Techniques
Using the included pump
The pump comes with a pressure gauge, which, admittedly, might only start to show PSI levels at around 5 or 7 PSI). Reminder: the recommended pressure range is 14-18 PSI.
Monitoring and adjusting pressure during use
Temperature fluctuations and extended periods of use on a hot sunny day can cause your board’s pressure to change. Before each session, check your SHUBU Kraken 10’s pressure and adjust as needed to maintain the optimal 15 PSI. If you notice a significant drop in pressure, inspect the board for any signs of damage or leaks.
By adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines and using proper inflation techniques, you can ensure that your Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10′ performs optimally and remains in excellent condition for many paddling adventures to come.
4. Accessories Included in the Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10′ iSUP Package
When purchasing a paddleboard, it’s crucial to consider the accessories and add-ons included with the product, as well as the availability of replacement parts and additional accessories. In this section, I’ll discuss the items that come with the Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10′ and provide recommendations for enhancing your paddleboarding experience.
A simple high pressure handpump to pump the board to its recommended PSI of 15 (or 14-18). Takes about 5-10 minutes or 300 pumps to get there.
The package includes an adjustable (from roughly 69″ – 86″) 3-piece carbon fiber shaft paddle (fiberglass infused plastic blade). Not the most premium option, but still higher end and perfectly fine for recreational paddling on calmer waters and some surf even. More on SUP paddles.
A simple coiled leash to connect yourself to the board from your ankle and the D-ring at the rear of the board. You might not think much of the leash, but it can help out from the unexpected tricky situations every now and again. The water is not your friend: SUP safety.
Backpack carry bag
SA relatively simple backpack carry bag with shoulder straps and even wheels. It can fit the entire package inside for easier storage and transportation. It measures roughly 42″ x 15″ x 10″ (height x width x depth) and it all together weighs roughly 32+ lbs.
Dry bag pouch, repair kit
Compatibility with other brands
One advantage of the SHUBU Kraken 10′ is its compatibility with accessories from other brands. The pump nozzle is compatible with many other inflatable paddleboards, making it a versatile addition to your gear collection.
Replacement Parts and Additional Accessories
Availability and cost of components
When it comes to replacement parts, Boardworks offers a selection of components for their inflatable paddleboards, including fins, pumps, and valves. These parts are reasonably priced, and their availability ensures that you’ll be able to maintain your SHUBU Kraken 10′ for years to come.
Recommended add-ons for improved experience
To further enhance your paddleboarding experience, I recommend investing in a few additional accessories. A comfortable personal flotation device (PFD) is essential for safety, while a high-quality dry bag can protect your belongings from water damage. An electric pump is a worthy investment if you plan on inflating and deflating your board frequently, as it saves time and effort.
5. Portability and Storage of the Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10′
One of the main reasons people choose inflatable paddle boards is their portability and ease of storage. In this section, I will explore the Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10′ in terms of its size, weight, and inflation and deflation times, all from my personal experience as an avid paddleboarder.
Packed size and ease of carrying
When deflated and rolled up, the SHUBU Kraken 10′ is compact and easy to carry. The included backpack-style carrying bag with the board and accessories measures 42″ x 15″ x 10″ (height x width x depth) and weighs around 33 lbs, making transportation a breeze, with comfortable shoulder straps and ample room for the board, pump, and paddle.
Weight comparison with other iSUPs
The Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10′ weighs approximately 23 pounds, which is on par with other high-quality inflatable paddle boards on the market. Although it may not be the lightest option available, the Kraken’s weight is manageable for most users, and the backpack carrying system helps distribute the weight evenly for comfortable transportation.
Pump efficiency and user-friendliness
The Kraken 10′ comes with a high-pressure hand pump, which makes inflating the board relatively quick and easy. In my experience, it takes about 5-10 minutes to inflate the board to the recommended 15 PSI, depending on the user’s strength and pumping technique.
Techniques for quick setup and breakdown
Deflating the SHUBU Kraken 10′ is simple and quick, taking only a few minutes. To speed up the process, I recommend pressing down on the board while rolling it up starting from the opposite end of the inflation valve to force out any remaining air. Once deflated, the board can be easily folded and packed back into the carrying bag, ready for transport or storage. Remember to try to roll it up or semi-fold it in a way that the fin boxes don’t get bent.
6. User Sentiment: Real Experiences with the SHUBU Kraken 10′
Paddleboard enthusiasts often look to fellow paddlers for insight into a board’s real-life performance. In this section, I will share the experiences of other SHUBU Kraken 10′ users, highlighting the positive aspects, as well as the constructive criticism, to help you make an informed decision.
Common praises and standout features
Many users rave about the SHUBU Kraken 10’s excellent stability and maneuverability, making it an ideal choice for beginners and experienced paddlers alike. The board’s durable construction and high-quality materials have also been praised, giving users confidence in its longevity.
The versatility of the SHUBU Kraken 10′ is another standout feature. Users have reported success using it for various activities such as yoga, fishing, and even touring, making it a popular choice for those seeking a multipurpose board.
Ideal user profiles and use cases
The SHUBU Kraken 10′ is highly recommended for beginners due to its stability and ease of use. It’s also suitable for paddlers who value portability and storage convenience, as the inflatable design allows for easy transportation and storage.
Intermediate to advanced paddlers seeking a reliable, all-around board for various water conditions have also reported satisfaction with the SHUBU Kraken 10′, making it a solid choice for a wide range of skill levels and activities.
Reported drawbacks and potential improvements
While the majority of user experiences have been positive, some constructive criticism has emerged. Some users found the inflation process to be time-consuming, suggesting that the inclusion of an electric pump as an optional accessory would be a welcome improvement.
Weighing pros and cons for informed decision-making
When considering the SHUBU Kraken 10′, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons based on your preferences and needs. While the board’s stability, versatility, and portability are major selling points, you should also consider the reported drawbacks, such as the inflation process.
7. Warranty and Customer Service: Can You Rely on Boardworks’ Support
When investing in a high-quality inflatable paddleboard like the Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 10′, it’s important to consider the warranty and customer service offered by the manufacturer. In this section, I’ll discuss my experiences with Boardworks’ warranty coverage and customer service, giving you the information you need to make an informed decision.
Length and terms of the warranty
The SHUBU Kraken 10′ comes with a 2-year warranty on the board and 90-day warranty on the included accessories, which is a solid warranty period compared to other inflatable paddleboards on the market. This warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship, offering peace of mind to customers who are concerned about potential issues with their purchase. Depending from where you bought it, in order to activate this warranty, you should register it within 30 days of purchase here.
Common issues covered by warranty
Based on my experience and research, some common issues covered under Boardworks’ warranty include seam separation, valve leaks, and delamination. It’s important to note that the warranty does not cover damage caused by improper use, storage, or handling, so it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for care and maintenance.
Customer Service Experience
Responsiveness and communication
Based on what I’m seeing, Boardworks’ customer service team is highly responsive and communicative. They can be reached through multiple channels, including email and phone, and are always willing to address any concerns or questions about SHUBU Kraken 10′.
Resolutions and customer satisfaction
When it comes to resolving warranty-related issues, Boardworks has a strong track record of providing satisfactory solutions. They have been proactive in identifying potential problems, offering replacements or repairs as needed. Their commitment to customer satisfaction is evident in the way they handle warranty claims and ensure their customers are happy with the outcome.
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
What makes the best inflatable paddle board?
For beginners the best inflatable paddle board is typically something stable, sturdy, and durable. Overall though, there is no 1 size fits all scenario. From there it’s your preference that dictates the specific choice as the boards come in slightly different dimensions and shapes, with different feature sets and price points, making them suitable for some conditions and users more than others.
Are Inflatable paddle boards worth the money?
Yes, good quality inflatable paddle boards are worth it.
Good iSUPs can handle more rough handling and won’t get dinged or scratched like hard boards would. They’re lightweight, and when deflated, they take much less room, making it easy to store and transport.
Which is better: inflatable paddle boards or hard paddle boards?
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 paddle boards last?
In general, high-quality inflatable boards should last you for around 3-7 years, even with daily use. On the other hand, low-quality iSUPs may last for around 1-3 years. The life span of an inflatable SUP ultimately depends on its construction quality and how well you maintain it.
Can Dogs Go On Inflatable Paddle Boards?
Yes. It is completely safe for dogs to ride with you an inflatable SUP. That’s because the surface of an inflatable SUP is resistant to dings and scratches from their claws. Also, the surface area of an iSUP is not slippery, that means your dog can stay anywhere on board and not fall off.
Just make sure that the iSUP has enough weight capacity and room to fit your four-legged friend.
Can I Leave My Inflatable Paddle Board Inflated?
You can leave a good quality inflatable paddle board inflated, yes. Ideally you might want to let some air out if you leave it for a longer period of time (+-months). This way the board retains its shape and the seams aren’t left under pressure (sharp/acute angle) when rolled up too tightly.
Just make sure you don’t leave it under the sun at max PSI for such a long time. Although the materials used in iSUP construction is made UV resistant, sun’s UV rays are known as PVC killers (it’s the material all iSUPs are made of).
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 iSUP that ticks all the boxes for you.
Also, picking an inflatable SUP is not an overnight decision or a quick purchase. So, take all the time you need, but regardless of whichever iSUP you pick from this list, you can rest assured that your feet will stand on one of the best inflatable paddle boards that you can find out there in 2023.
(Links open in a new tab)
The TOP 10 Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards in 2023 | post | sunsetpaddler
Best Cheap Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards in 2023 | post | sunsetpaddler
Exploring Inflatable SUP Accessories & Their Uses | post | sunsetpaddler
Pink Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards in 2023 | post | sunsetpaddler
What Are Inflatable Paddle Boards Made of? | post | sunsetpaddler
How much do inflatable SUP boards cost? | post | sunsetpaddler
Is a cheap inflatable SUP worth it? | post | sunsetpaddler
How to choose a SUP paddle? | post | sunsetpaddler
iSUP care & maintenance | post | sunsetpaddler
SUP buying guide | post | sunsetpaddler
SUP boards list | post | sunsetpaddler
What is PVC? | post | sunsetpaddler
SUP safety | post | sunsetpaddler