Stand Up Paddle Board Reviews
Best Inflatable Paddle Boards

Best Inflatable Paddle Boards

Best Inflatable SUP Boards

10 Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards Reviewed (2022)

 

When it comes to the best inflatable paddle boards, I’d say this list here is really a pick and choose matter. These are mostly all-around iSUPs and they’re all from reputable brands with good quality control and customer support. You’re bound to get a good experience out of whichever you decide to go for, assuming it suits your size and activities you embark on.

Usually I try to find faults in things, but doing that with these iSUPs would come off as nitpicking at best.

Best SUP Guide

While you’re at it, open up this quick SUP Buying Guide article for more insights.
Or scroll beyond the list to get more guidance on choosing.

 

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

Lightweight:

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!

 

Reduces Fatigue:

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.

 

Versatile:

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.

 

Best Inflatable SUPs – Comparison Table

BOARD

 

DIMENSIONS

LxWxThickness

WEIGHT OPTIMAL MAX PADDLER WEIGHT PRICE
#1 Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride MSL 10’6”x32”x4.7” 21.89 lbs 243 lbs Check here
#2 Atoll 11’ iSUP 11”x32”x6” 21 lbs 315 lbs Check here
#3 ISLE Pioneer 10’6 iSUP 10’6″x34″x6″ 24 lbs 285 lbs Check here
#4 BOTE HD Aero 11’6 iSUP 11’6″x34″x6″ 30 lbs 315 lbs Check here
#5 Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8 iSUP 10’8″x32″x6″ 25 lbs 330 lbs Check here
#6 GILI Adventure 11′ iSUP 11’x32″x6″ 22 lbs 290 lbs Check here
#7 iRocker Cruiser 10’6 iSUP 10’6″x33″x6″ 25 lbs 400 lbs Check here
#8 NIXY Newport G4 10’6 All Around iSUP 10’6”x33”x6” 21 lbs 300 lbs Check here
#9 Thurso Surf Waterwalker 10’6 iSUP 10’6”x31”x6” 24 lbs 300 lbs Check here
#10 Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11′ iSUP 11’x33″x6″ 24 lbs 280 lbs Check here

 

Best Inflatable Paddle Boards (10)

#1 Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride MSL iSUP

The Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride MSL iSUP board measures 10′6″ x 32″ x 4.7″ (length x width x thickness)weighs 21.89 pounds and has a volume of 245 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is around 243 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, almost everything you need to get on the water with the exception of a paddle which you ought to buy separately.

#1 Red Paddle Co 10'6 Ride MSL iSUP Board

Check its price here.

Apart from excellent quality and customer support, as is standard for all the higher quality board brands listed here, I’ve always admired Red Paddle Co’s overly thought-out board designs making them industry leading in my book. Take for example the thickness alone which in this board’s case is 4.7 inches as opposed to the 6 inches every1 else goes with. I think they know almost nobody gives a damn about that yet they still do it for the betterment of your experience without you being aware of it while making the board cost more because now they had to solve the problem of less rigidity from a thinner board which they did and even patented at some point. They’ve since removed the patented solution from many of their boards and seemingly replaced that with some other rail-stiffening method to allow for enough board stiffness at a lower cost probably because, again, nobody gives a damn and would otherwise simply increase the overall price of the board too much. One could say they’ve gone too far with making the best inflatable paddle boards and have had to pull back here and there in order to make the boards a little more affordable. And, mind you, that was just thickness… I could go on and on and write a wall so great it would put the Chinese one to shame on these seemingly many little things Red Paddle Co has been up to with not even just their boards, and not just the thickness either, but I’m sure the vast majority of you has no time to read such a book. Oh, and did you know that their boards are not made in Asia like most… I’ve already written too much… I, too, see you thinking of hitting the back button and disappearing on me.

 

Where and for What Can It Be Used For?

All-around iSUPs tend to be best suited for flatwater conditions. Also, due to the Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride MSL iSUPs’ high construction quality I’d be confident in saying that it’s suited for every other water condition as well, be it waves or even the river currents, but those are clearly not the most beginner friendly options if you were one (SUP safety). However, and I’m saying this just in case, try to level down your expectations, again, just in case. You can’t expect an all-around to offer you a better or even just evenly matched of a surfing experience when compared to a dedicated surfing board, and so on.

With that said, as it’s an all-around, mainly for recreational paddling on calmer waters, but also (emphasis on “some”) some surfing, river riding, challenging yoga, simple fishing, and perhaps some short-distance very calm touring. I can’t say I’d enjoy any of the mentioned additional activities full-on and certainly not long-distance touring nor racing on a competitive level with it, though they’re not completely excluded. And that’s okay. It’s an all-around. Probably the best all-around on the market for trying out surfing due to its 4.7″ thickness (when compared to other all-around iSUPs).

 

How Does Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride MSL iSUP Perform?

You’ve no doubt seen a sea of Red Paddle Co boards’ copycat designs out there most of whom all stem from this very board it seems like as it’s sort of referred to as the classic all-around design there is most demand for and might think it performs about the same way as them, and you wouldn’t be totally wrong, but you do get a significant boost to performance with this because of its vastly higher construction quality, mainly from the 4.7-inch thickness the aforementioned higher construction quality allows for. The cheap ones utterly fail at accounting for the needed durability in surf conditions Red Paddle Co, albeit at a higher price, has accounted for.

It’ll feel stable and maneuverable while gliding on the water mighty fine as well. The high sunk cost fallacy will further elevate that feeling and luckily not for the wrong reasons. ^^ However, and again, you can’t expect the stability of a dedicated yoga board nor the speed of a racing board. It’s just a highly praised true all-around and it’s hard to go wrong with it if expectations are kept in the realm of rational reality.

 

Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride MSL iSUP Board Features

1 – nose carry handle
Located at the nose of the board a reliable carry handle whose one end is connected by a mounting point and the other end to a D-ring. This handle can be used to help pull yourself up onto the board or to simply lift the board up from the water. It can also be used to hold onto by a companion.

2 – action mount
It’s a female threaded 6 mm action mount for various accessories, such as a GoPro camera or one of RAM mounts, etc. It’s located at one of the ends of the nose carry handle.

3 – bungee storage area
A 6-point bungee cord storage system which you can tighten to better hold stuff under.

4 – D-ring (2)
They’re located at the bungee cord which also goes through one of the stainless steel D-ring. The other is located at one of the bungee cord mounting points. They help with storing where the bungee cord alone wouldn’t have cut it.

5 – deck pad
Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride MSL iSUP board has a soft hybrid EVA foam anti-slip traction pad with the bigger center half and the rear half having different patterns on them for you to better orient yourself on the board. The center half has little “red” part of the logo engravings while the rear half where you step on to make turns has a diamond-cut pattern.

6 – center carry handle
Your typical carry handle at the center of the board for carrying the board when inflated or used to help pull yourself up onto the board when in the water.

7 – rear carry handle
Another carry handle at the rear of the board much for the same or similar purposes as the previous ones.

8 – D-ring (1)
Located at the rear of the board right next to the carry handle is another stainless steel D-ring which is mainly used for attaching the ankle leash.

9 – inflation valve
This is where the obvious happens, where you pump air into the board. It comes in different modes which are enabled by pressing and/or twisting at the same time. And again, the recommended PSI for the board is 18 to 25. Cheaper boards with glued-on rails only dare recommend a max of 15 PSI so in that sense anything above 15 will feel extremely rigid already.

10 – fins (2)
2 small fixed iFins with slight inward angle to them forcing the board track straight when in motion. They’re flexible, and when bent, for whatever reason, you can bend them back to original state after applying a little heat using a hair drier or the like. We’ll be seeing a lot of copycat cheaper boards trying to mimic this twin-fin setup going forward, no doubt.

 

What’s Included in the Package?

Apart from the board itself, the Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride MSL iSUP board package includes a high quality pump, backpack, ankle leash, waterproof phone case, and a repair kit. Paddle is NOT included!

Titan II Pump
Probably the best manual pump on the market yet again from Red Paddle Co and will likely see a new wave of copycats at some point, no doubt, but it features the same old with quality of life improvements. Dual chamber meaning more volume, 2 modes meaning 1st for higher volume at lower pressure and 2nd mode for when the pressure gets higher in the board and it would otherwise become too hard to pump. The recommended max PSI for the board is a whopping 25, however you don’t need to reach the max and already 18 PSI is good enough.

All Terrain Backpack
Sturdy and reliable backpack travel carry bag with wheels (though the wheels become a little redundant if you’re NBA-height of a guy because the handle doesn’t stretch out – but that feels like nitpicking…). It measures roughly 38 x 14 x 12 inches (height x width x depth) and fits the entire package. It tends to be the same for all the board packages and can fit up to around a 36-inch wide board (when deflated of course) meaning you’ll have some room left after everything’s in there.

Ankle leash
It’s a coiled leash measuring 8 feet in length when stretched out. I have to point out, because the board is good enough quality, that if you go for waters with stronger currents and entanglement risk you might not want to use it and instead opt for a quick-release leash or none at all. More info: SUP Safety article.

Waterproof phone case & repair kit
Repair kit includes a few PVC patches and a valve wrench for tightening the valve on the board from time to time and make sure the phone case is actually waterproof in a sink or something before relying on it blindly.

Paddle NOT INCLUDED!
This is a good thing albeit inconvenient. Instead of being forced to use an adjustable multiple-piece paddle that will see wear over time and start to rattle you can instead invest in a proper paddle made out of the best materials tailored specifically for your height and paddling style. More info: SUP paddles.

 

Pros & Cons: Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride MSL

Pros: no paddle, 4.7-inch thickness, handles up to 25 PSI;

Cons: no paddle.

 

#2 Atoll 11’ iSUP

The Atoll 11′ iSUP board measures 11′ x 32″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)weighs 21 pounds and has a volume of 238 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is up to around 315 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.

#2 Atoll 11' iSUP Board

Check its price here.

 

Where and for What Can It Be Used For?

As it’s also an all-around, much like the Red Paddle Co’s one mentioned above, the Atoll 11′ iSUP is also best suited for flatwater conditions. Additionally, it has also got high enough construction quality that almost every other water condition is suitable as well, but mainly lakes/seas and calmer rivers due to its design, but also smaller surf waves and even up to around class III rapids if you’re skilled enough (DO CHECK: SUP safety).

From activities, I’d say mainly cruising/recreational paddling on calmer waters, but also simple fishing, short-distance touring at cruising speeds, challenging yoga, surfing small waves, some river riding, casual racing, and anything in-between. Due to its design, full-on surfing, racing, and long-distance touring are kind of out of the question unless you were after a bit of a frustrating experience.

 

How Does Atoll 11′ Inflatable SUP Perform?

First and foremost, very stable, tracks well at cruising speeds, and plenty maneuverable as well.

It’s got a nice blend of length and width for good enough speed, but mainly very good stability. Depending on how strong you are, I suppose, you’ll find the right speed right away which if you exceed you’ll start to feel the board lose tracking (the board’s ability to go straight without too much correctional force while paddling). I tend to refer to it as “cruising speed” – it’s not too slow and not racing speeds either, you can put some force into your strokes before it starts to get out of hand. Compared to your classic all-around board shape, this one is more like a touring-oriented all-around.

Since it’s not a full-on touring board, you’re still left with plenty of maneuverability, but not so much you could make quick moves while surfing decent sized waves where it would feel a little clumsy instead. Perfect for flatwater conditions or some chop though.

 

Atoll 11′ Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Features

1 – bungee storage area
A bungee cord storage system with 6 D-rings as mounting points for the cord.

2 – deck pad
Diamond-grooved anti-slip soft EVA foam deck pad to stand on.

3 – center carry handle
Typical central carry handle used for carrying the board when inflated or to help pull yourself on it when in water.

4 – D-rings (8)
A whopping 8 D-rings at the edges of the board, 4 of which can be used to mount a hybrid kayak seat. Otherwise these D-rings can also be used to attach other accessory items on it, such as coolers you can also sit on and perhaps attach a rod onto, etc.

5 – inflation valve
Located at the rear of the board, this is where you inflate the board with air using a pump. The recommended max PSI is 15, but reaching to about 12 to 14 is fine too. Note that on a real hot and sunny day you might want to intentionally reach lower than 15 and if you’re out for a very long time might even want to let some air out at some point. Heat causes air to expand and thus the PSI to increase. Going over the recommended max PSI is not exactly a huge problem, but it can become a problem down the line.

6 – rear carry handle
Another carry handle at the rear of the board much for the same or similar purposes as the previous one.

7 – D-ring (1)
Just behind the rear carry handle and inflation valve is another D-ring mostly meant as the ankle leash attachment point at the rear of the board.

8 – fins (3)
Fairly typical but high quality tri-fin system wherein the 2 smaller side fins are fixed and the bigger center fin is detachable to the US fin box beneath the board.

 

What’s Included in the Package?

Apart from the board itself, the Atoll 11′ iSUP board package includes everything you need to get on the water: a high quality adjustable paddle, pump, backpack, ankle leash, repair kit, user manual, and a detachable fin.

Paddle
The package includes one of the best paddles you can find on this list of best iSUPs. It’s an adjustable (from 66″ to 83″) 3-piece paddle consisting of a fiberglass shaft wrapped in carbon and a nylon composite blade. The paddle weighs just 1.81 pounds.

Pump
Dual-action (pumps air in upward and downward motion) Bravo hand pump with a pressure gauge on top. Note that the recommended max PSI for the board is 15, but staying between 12 to 14 PSI is fine too.

Backpack
It’s a sturdy and reliable heavy-duty nylon backpack carry bag that also acts as a drybag (water resistant) and fits the entire package inside. The bag can fit a board roughly 36″ in width and itself measures roughly 38 x 21 (height x width) in size when the whole package is in there.

Ankle leash
The Atoll 11′ iSUP package includes a 10-foot coiled leash wherein the cord can swivel from where it connects to the adjustable neoprene strap that goes around your ankle and thus won’t get twisted in awkward ways as you move around on the board.

Repair kit & user manual
The repair kit includes a few PVC patches (but no PVC-glue), a valve wrench (for tightening the valve on the board from time to time), and a user manual.

Fin (1)
An 8-inch long composite detachable center fin that fits in all the standard fin boxes (a.k.a the “US” fin box) without the need of additional screws, keys, nor other tools. This one helps with tracking and stability.

 

Pros & Cons: Atoll 11′

Pros: suitable for heavier riders, good paddle;

Cons: if any, fin screw alignment mechanic can be tricky.

 

#3 ISLE Pioneer 10’6 iSUP

The ISLE Pioneer 10’6 iSUP board measures 10’6″ x 34″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)weighs 24 pounds and has a volume of 326 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is 285 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.

#3 ISLE Pioneer 10'6 iSUP Board

Check its price here.

 

#4 BOTE HD Aero 11’6 iSUP

The BOTE HD Aero 11’6 iSUP board measures 11’6″ x 34″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)weighs 30 pounds and has a volume of about 248 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is around 315 pounds, though it can handle more. Apart from an ankle leash, the package includes premium quality accessories, almost everything you need to get on the water.

#4 BOTE HD Aero 11'6 iSUP Board

Check its price here.

 

Where and for What Can It Be Used For?

I’d refer to BOTE HD Aero 11’6 inflatable SUP as a touring-oriented / fishing-oriented all-around, best suited for calmer waters, mainly flatwater conditions, such as lakes, rivers, seas, etc. It’ll be able to handle choppy waters, but at the cost of being more susceptible to winds due to its sheer size. Not to worry though, the wind will slightly hinder but not stop you from moving (unless it’s a flat out hurricane you’ve found yourself in, of course…).

Activities would include general recreational paddling on calmer waters, but also fishing, short-distance touring, and some yoga. Surfing is kind of a nope, same with whitewater river riding, a little too long for those, and long-distance touring as it’s a little too wide for that, though as always, doesn’t exclude them.

 

How Does BOTE HD Aero 11’6 iSUP Perform?

Very stable, good tracking, maneuverability not snappy but still responsive enough. Since you won’t be surfing with it you don’t need it to be highly maneuverable to begin with.

If you decreased the width then you’d get a touring board, but since BOTE HD Aero 11’6 iSUP is wide (34 inches), it’s more akin to a touring-oriented / fishing-oriented all-around. As such, it’s built to be stable, though you can still tip it over if you tried. The rocker at the nose helps keep it more stable even in choppy waters. Tracking comes mainly from the 10-inch hard plastic center fin and the length of the board (11’6), but since the board is wide and the sharp  planing hull nose becomes wide fast creating drag on the water (water resistance), you won’t be reaching racing speeds without being thrown off course.

When it comes to maneuverability more specifically, I’d describe it as being limited to slower, calmer, heavier turns rather than snappy sharper ones you’d pull while surfing or whitewater river riding on a smaller board which kind of goes without saying at this point.

 

BOTE HD Aero 11’6 Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Features

1 – nose D-ring (1)
Located at the nose of the board is a stainless steel D-ring for towing, anchoring (not included in the package by default), etc.

2 – nose carry handle
Also at the nose of the board is a carry handle generally used for lifting up the board from water, but can also be used for pulling yourself onto the board when in water, etc.

3 – paddle sheath connectors
Coming lower from the very top we’ll see paddle sheath connectors below the carry handle. The paddle sheath is included with the purchase of the board package. It’s an accessory item that essentially holds the paddle’s handle in the air for easy access.

4 – bungee storage area
A fairly large 6-point D-ring bungee storage area. This is where you can store stuff under.

5 – Magnepod
Below the nose bungee storage area is a magnetic tool-less drink retention system meant for drinkware with magnetic bottom to snap onto.

6 – deck pad
Relatively large anti-slip soft EVA foam deck pad for traction when standing on the board.

6 – center carry handle
Central carry handle for carrying the board when inflated or used to help pull yourself onto the board when in water.

7 – D-rings (4 + 2)
4 D-rings (2 on each side) for attaching a carry strap or an anchor (neither is included in the package by default) or various other SUP accessory items. Apart from the 4 at the sides, there are 2 extra D-rings closer to the middle but on either side on the deck for attaching additional accessory items to, such as coolers and so on (none of which are included in the package by default).

8 – rac connectors
Closer to the rear of the board are 2 rac connectors compatible with the included rac receivers which enable the use of various other BOTE rac system compatible accessories (compatible accessory items are bought separately).

9 – rear bungee storage area
Second 4-point D-ring bungee storage area at the rear of the board to store stuff under.

10 – inflation valve
Located at the rear of the board is an inflation valve from where you can inflate the board with air using a pump. The recommended max PSI is 15 and you’re meant to stay anywhere between 10 and 15 PSI as per the instructions.

11 – rear carry handle
Another carry handle at the rear of the board much for the same or similar purposes as the previous ones.

12 – fins (3)
BOTE HD Aero 11’6 iSUP has got a tri-fin setup wherein the 2 side fins are fixed and at a slight incline while the bigger 10-inch center fin is detachable. It’s a hard plastic fin with a slide-in mechanic with a little rope-tangling lock.

 

What’s Included in the Package?

Apart from the board itself and excluding an ankle leash, the BOTE HD Aero 11’6 iSUP board package includes everything you need to get on the water: a high quality adjustable paddle, pump, backpack, repair kit, user manual, and a detachable fin.

Paddle
BOTE HD Aero 11’6 iSUP package includes an adjustable (66″ to 86″) 3-piece paddle. The shaft is made of fiberglass and the blade of carbon fiber along with ABS outer edge reinforcing material. The paddle weighs just 1.88 pounds.

Pump
The package comes with a dual-action (pumps air in upward and downward motion – one mode for pumping more volume at lower pressure and another mode for when the pressure gets high and pumping becomes hard) hand pump with a pressure gauge on top that starts to reflect the PSI inside at around 7 PSI. Note that the recommended max PSI for the board is 15, but staying between 10 and 15 PSI is fine too. Additionally, it’s got a deflate port for the hose to get the air out of the board further for more compact storage.

Backpack
Decent enough backpack carry bag that fits the entire package inside but also allows for some accessory items to be attached outside of it by making use of the many straps. The bag measures: 39″ x 19″ x 12″ (length x width x depth) and weighs 48 pounds once it’s packed full. Note that the bag doesn’t come with wheels even though such a big board makes the whole thing as heavy.

Repair kit & user manual
The repair kit includes a few PVC patches along with PVC glue, a valve wrench (for tightening the valve on the board from time to time), and a user manual explaining a thing and two.

Rac receivers
These things connect to the rac mounting points on the board and can be used to hold various BOTE accessory items. The rac receivers are included, but the compatible accessory items you ought to buy separately.

Paddle sheath
This thing mounts to the paddle sheath connection points located closer to the nose of the board and it effectively hold your paddle upwards diagonally to temporarily store and easily grab the paddle when need be while fishing for example.

Fin (1)
A 10-inch detachable hard plastic center fin is also included in the package. It slides into the fin box and has a little fin key tangling on a rope to lock it in place. The fin helps with tracking and stability.

 

Pros & Cons: BOTE HD Aero 11’6

Pros: suitable for heavier riders; a ton of features;

Cons: bag has no wheels, no ankle leash.

 

#5 Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8 iSUP

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8 iSUP board measures 10’8″ x 32″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)weighs 25 pounds and has a volume of 260 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is 330 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.

#5 Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10'8 iSUP Board

Check its price here.

 

#6 GILI Adventure 11′ iSUP

The GILI Adventure 11′ iSUP board measures 11’6″ x 32″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)weighs 22 pounds and has a volume of 238 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is 290 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.

#6 GILI Adventure 11' iSUP Board

Check its price here.

 

#7 iRocker Cruiser 10’6 iSUP

The iRocker Cruiser 10’6 iSUP board measures 10’6″ x 33″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)weighs 25 pounds and has a volume of 234 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is 400 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.

#7 iRocker Cruiser 10'6 iSUP Board

Check its price here.

 

#8 NIXY Newport G4 10’6 All Around iSUP

The NIXY Newport G4 10’6 All Around iSUP board measures 10’6″ x 33″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)weighs 21 pounds and has a volume of 300 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is 300 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.

#8 NIXY Newport G4 10'6 All Around iSUP Board

Check its price here.

 

#9 Thurso Surf Waterwalker 10’6 iSUP

The Thurso Surf Waterwalker 10’6 iSUP board measures 10’6″ x 31″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)weighs 24 pounds and has a volume of 270 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is 300 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.

#9 Thurso Surf Waterwalker 10'6 iSUP Board

Check its price here.

 

#10 Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11′ iSUP

The Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11′ iSUP board measures 11′ x 33″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness)weighs 24 pounds and has a volume of 286 liters wherein the recommended max paddler weight capacity for optimal performance is around 280 pounds, though it can handle more. The package includes premium quality accessories, everything you need to get on the water.

#10 Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11' iSUP

Check its price here.

 

Where and for What Can It Be Used For?

Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11′ is a more akin to a true all-around iSUP best suited for calmer waters (seas, lakes, rivers, etc).

It’s good for recreational paddling in general, cruising, but also surfing smaller waves, river riding, simple fishing, and some yoga. It’s pretty clear they’ve gone for a board design that tried to do a bit of everything, like a true all-around. Full-on racing on a competitive level and long-distance touring would be a bit of a frustrating experience though, but they’re never really excluded.

 

How Does Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11′ iSUP Perform?

It’s more than stable, tracks well enough at cruising speeds and maneuvers accordingly (meaning it’s not a super snappy surfing/whitewater river riding board).

The length and width ratio (11′ x 33″) along with the rounded nose with a slight rocker, the squashed tail, and the 3-fin setup all make the Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11′ very stable. The relatively wide rounded nose however hinders the build-up of high speeds and so you can only really get cruising speeds or else the board kind of starts to stray off course a little too much. The outer fin inward incline helps with reducing rear strafe and further improves tracking though. It handles great for cruising on calmer waters and there’s enough maneuverability for casually riding smaller waves and river currents.

 

Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11′ Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Features

1 – nose carry handle
Located at the nose of the board is a carry handle for pulling the board out of the water, etc.

2 – bungee storage area
4-point bungee storage area with stainless steel D-ring mounting points. This is where you can store stuff under.

3 – deck pad
Honey fob embossed soft non-slip EVA foam traction pad to stand on when paddling.

4 – center carry handle
Another carry handle, but this time at the center of the board. This is used for carrying the board when its inflated but also for pulling yourself up on the board when in the water.

5 – rear bungee storage area
A second bungee storage area at the rear of the board similar to the one at the nose of the board and for the same purpose.

6 – inflation valve
Located at the rear of the board is an inflation valve from where you can inflate the board with air using a pump. The recommended max PSI is 15.

7 – rear carry handle
Another carry handle at the rear of the board much for the same or similar purposes as the previous ones.

8 – rear D-ring
Behind the rear carry handle is a D-ring to which you can connect the ankle leash or other accessory items.

9 – fins (3)
Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11′ iSUP comes with a tri-fin setup where the 2 side fins are fixed and at an inward angle that help with tracking and a bigger toolless detachable 9-inch center fin that’s compatible with the standard US fin box most boards come with.

 

What’s Included in the Package?

Apart from the board itself, the Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11′ iSUP board package includes everything you need to get on the water: a paddle, pump, backpack, ankle leash, waterproof phone case, dry bag, repair kit, and a detachable fin.

Paddle
The package includes an adjustable (roughly 68″ to 88″) 3-piece fiberglass SUP paddle (color: black). The paddle weighs roughly 2 to 3 pounds.

Pump
Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11′ iSUP package includes a double-action (use double-action mode when pressure is low and switch to single-action when the pressure gets high and pumping would otherwise be too hard). There’s a pressure gauge on top. Usually they start to show the pressure at around 7 PSI. The recommended max PSI is 15.

Backpack
Backpack carry bag with wheels that fits the entire package inside and measures 42″ x 15″ x 10″ (height x width x depth) and weighing between 40 and 50 pounds when packed full (with the items in the package).

Ankle Leash
Coiled ankle leash that can swivel and thus not get twisted up. Since the board is an all-around and can do some river riding where there might be risk of the leash getting stuck on something and forcing you under the water with the current, do check with this: SUP Safety.

Repair kit
The repair kit includes a few PVC patches but likely no PVC glue, and a valve wrench (for tightening the valve on the board from time to time).

Fin (1)
A 9-inch detachable center fin is also included in the package. It sort of slides into the fin fox and screws into place. Compatible with US-style fin boxes most iSUPs have. The fin helps with tracking and stability.

 

Pros & Cons: Boardworks SHUBU Kraken 11′

Pros: simple and effective;

Cons: they tease a nice looking paddle on the side but the package only includes the black one.

 

Best Inflatable Paddle Board – Buying Guide

Best SUP 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.

General pointers:

  • 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.

General pointers:

  • 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:

True 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.

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.

Cruising-oriented all-arounds
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.

Touring-oriented all-arounds
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.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Inflatable SUPs worth it?

If you love paddle boarding as much as I do, then yes, inflatable SUPs are totally worth it!

 

Are inflatable or hard paddle boards better?

Generally, hard paddleboards are better for performance. But that’s about it! With inflatable boards, you’re exposed to a whole new world of advantages. The top advantage of inflatable SUPs compared to traditional hard SUPs is the very fact that they are inflatable, meaning they can be deflated and carried anywhere you go as they don’t take much space. Inflatable SUPs are also extremely durable, lightweight for their size, portable, and easy to use in comparison to hard paddleboards.

 

How long do Inflatable SUPs last?

The life span of an inflatable SUP ultimately depends on how well you maintain it. In general, high-quality inflatable boards should last you for around 5-6 years, even with daily use. On the other hand, low-quality iSUPs may last for around 1-2 years.

 

Can pets ride on inflatable SUPs?

Yes. It is completely safe and fun indeed, to ride with pets on an inflatable SUP. Just make sure that the iSUP has enough weight capacity and room to fit your four-legged friend.

 

Can I Leave My iSUP Inflated?

Yes, you can definitely leave your iSUP inflated. But is it recommended? No. Especially if you’re storing your iSUP for a long time, then it’s best if you deflate it completely and put it away from external elements such as sunlight and excess moisture.

 

How long does it take to inflate an inflatable SUP?

If you’re using a manual hand pump, then the entire process can take anywhere from 5 – 30 minutes. However, if you’re a frequent paddle boarder and want to do away with the task of manual inflation, then I suggest you get a good electric pump to speed up the process (iSUP Accessories).

 

Conclusion:

By now, I hope you’ve found your ideal inflatable SUP that matches all your requirements. I may have mentioned this earlier, but remember, what works for your friend, may not really work for you! You should do your own research and pick the right SUP that ticks all the boxes for you.

Also, picking an inflatable SUP is not an overnight decision or a quick purchase. I understand you need time and lots of consideration to decide the final purchase. So, take all the time you need, but regardless of whichever iSUP you pick from my list, you can rest assured that your feet will stand on one of the best paddling boards that you can find out there in 2022.

 

EXTRA READING

(Links open in a new tab)

Best Cheap Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards in 2022 | post | sunsetpaddler
Exploring Inflatable SUP Accessories & Their Uses | post | sunsetpaddler
Pink Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards in 2022 | post | sunsetpaddler
Magnificent stand up paddle board Stickers | 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

sunsetpaddler.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.