One of the most exhilarating, yet still calm and entrancing ways to tame the murky waters ahead of you, is with stand up paddleboards, or SUP devices. These are designed to give you an insanely fun way to test the waters while remaining safe, thanks to included bungee leashes and no-slip grips found on most good quality boards. It’s the family-friendly activity you’ve been waiting for, a way to enjoy your timeshare on the lake a bit more, and extend your camping trips with a bit more fun in the sun.
There’s an absolute ton of information to cover with stand up paddleboards, which is why we’re going to do our best to make it entertaining as we go. We’re going to start with the top ten best stand up paddle boards for sale, and afterward, it’s time to dive into the logistics of what you need to get the most out of your SUP device. Tips, tricks, and maintenance care are all ahead.
The Best Stand Up Paddleboard
There’s a lot to cover with each SUP, but this model does its best to minimize the standard issues that you see on a lot of veteran brands. First and foremost, sun exposure is one of the leading issues with SUPs getting severely damaged or totaled. SereneLife included a UV-resistant coating, which not only prevents sun damage but provides extra durability to the entire board. The overall grit of this board is a great reason for beginners to invest in it, but the riding style isn’t aimed toward beginners at all. You’ll notice a rough time getting situated because this board’s abilities heavily rely on PSI.
There’s nothing wrong with that, it doesn’t make the board less viable, but it is better suited for experienced users instead of being treated as an introductory model. SereneLife made this board extremely lightweight in almost all aspects while retaining an excellent size, and included an oar that defeats most of the problems with standard SUPs. It’s built to actually contest the waters instead of bending with them, so you can row without fear of snapping a paddle. This also makes a great gift for swimmers in your life.
Wide design suitable for beginners
Non-slip top deck for safe use and the reduction accidents
Portable and inflatable design for easy carrying
Comes with complete paddleboard kit
- Weight34.4 pounds
UV-resistant protective finish mitigates sun exposure damage
Lightweight construction grants better handling and faster speeds
Durable oar is capable of multifaceted use regardless of preferred riding style
Relatively low weight limit compared to other leading brands
Singular foot loop on top of board appears to be an afterthought
Stability level is better suited for experienced riders, though this point isn’t brought up
Roc may be one of the best-selling SUPs of all time, but it comes with its fair share of issues. We have to give credit where credit is due, and for Roc, they did a fantastic job with the UV-resistant coating on the exterior to protect your SUP against sun damage. The last thing that’s going to happen to this board is foam overheating issues (which can make your board unusable). Between flotation balance and an excellent grip, it’s a reliable board, albeit for a few issues.
You get a few D-rings to provide an anchor for your leash, but they’re extremely small and fragile when you compare them to basic D-rings. Inflation can also be an issue because you need immense pressure in order to get enough air in. If you can figure that out after one or two uses and get a rhythm going, you can forego the wait time and get in the water faster. Roc includes a one-year manufacturer warranty with your purchase, as well as the best waterproof backpack you’ll ever use. It has enough room for everything included in this kit and feels comfortable as can be on your back (more backpack companies should take this concept into consideration). Be sure to combine this with a cool surfing wetsuits from our list.
Comes with complete paddleboard kit
Includes one-year manufacturer warranty
UV-resistant coating on the exterior for protection against sun damage
- Weight27.8 pounds
Roomy backpack is fully waterproof
Non-slip diamond weave deck pad provides superior traction when wet
Full UV protected exterior
Very difficult to inflate (requires a lot of pressure)
Small D-rings are essentially useless for leash use
Many complaints of package not including instructions
Stuck somewhere between amateur and professional? iRocker’s solution is designed to stick right in the middle of that price range, but feature plenty of the benefits that you’d expect to see in expensive boards. First of all, there’s a 400 lb weight capacity, which accounts for just about all pressure that you could stress on this board. No matter where your experience level lies, this board will fit the bill. There are a few grievances (as with anything), first and foremost being the fiberglass paddle. Fiberglass can be fairly tough and rigid, but when fully extended, this one feels like it’s not really holding up against the pressure of the water.
There’s a few removable fins, offering a great deal of versatility, but also proving difficult to attach and reattach. One of our personal favorite additions to iRocker Cruiser board is the small cargo storage area, which comes in handy for stashing an emergency repair kit, among other things. With this kit, you get everything you need to head straight to the water: a carrying backpack case, air pump, and your paddle. iRocker offers the quickest way to hop onto a durable, quality board and just get right into it. If you love water sports, check out our guide to the best kneeboards.
Total board length of 10’6”
33” deck width
6” total thickness
Includes full backpack, air pump and adjustable paddle
- Weight48.4 pounds
Excellent 400 lb weight capacity accounts for pressure/multiple riders
Cargo area doesn’t leave the board vulnerable to improper balancing
Versatile and universal SUP works excellent for beginners and experienced users
Adjustable fiberglass paddle feels weak when fully extended
Extremely heavy board (takes up most of the inclusive backpack)
Removable fins are difficult to get back onto the board
Come rain or shine, the Peak Expedition Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board is completely up to the task of delivering maximum fun and efficiency. No matter your overall skill level, this water accessory has the ability to provide a seamless experience. For that reason, the pack itself is filled with an extensive array of add-ons. In addition to the inflatable board, there is a paddle, coil leash, a top-notch pump, a detachable fin as well as a waterproof phone case. All this comes safely and stylishly packaged in a handy carry backpack. Thanks to its puncture-resistant exterior, this floatation device offers a superior experience altogether. It is nearly impossible for it to get damaged in and out of the water, so users can rest assured that they are completely safe.
Despite the fact that it is made with some heavy grade materials, the final product is a light and stiff board that can stand the test of time. Finally, thanks to the fact that it measures a mere 6 inches in thickness, this makes it more stable and safe for all users.
Fitted with Nose and Tail carry handles
It has a puncture-resistant, heavy grade constructed exterior
Comes fully equipped with a paddle, coil leash, high-pressure pump, fin, and waterproof phone case
It is lightweight and extra wide
- BrandPEAK Paddle Boards
The king of the hill is Tower Paddleboards and their innovative design. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so we’ll start with what you get in the kit. You’re going to receive a bottom fin, adjustable oar, pump, PSI gauge and a few other add-ons. The pump works excellently, but based on its capacity, it can take far longer to inflate your board than you’d like to wait. That being said, unlike cheap knock-offs you’ve found online, the board is meant to last for ages, thanks to the military grade construction.
You’re given plenty of deck space and depth, providing you with ample space to gain your footing. On the note of footing, it’s going to be difficult to lose yours, thanks to the durable no-slip grip on the base of your board. We’re ecstatic about the placement and durability of the attached carry handles, but the oar left something to be desired. It isn’t terrible, but it’s a lightweight fiberglass construction, and being adjustable allows you to feel its weak points during use. The bungee system and overall design is spot-on, so long as you feel comfortable mixing and matching an individual oar in the future. Make sure you also check our guide to the best swimming goggles.
Total of 6” thick
32” of deck width
10’4” deck length
Includes a two-year manufacturer warranty
- BrandTower Paddle Boards
- Weight26 pounds
No-slip grip keeps all hands on deck during use
Durable carry handles are strategically placed for proper carrying and even weight distribution
Made of military grade drop stitch technology for extended lifespan
Single bottom fin may need to be replaced after six months of use
Inclusive paddle is adaptable, but not sturdy enough for use of this size board
Inclusive pump works, but has a slow PSI rating
Different stand-up paddleboards exist for different purposes, as we’ll get into in our buying guide below, but Atoll managed to hit a very specific mark that fits most of those molds. You get a hand pump, additional fin, and a sturdy carrying case for this inflatable SUP, which are all quite nice and of good quality. The first persistent issue is in the oar, which is arguably the other half of a stand-up paddleboard purchase. It’s frail considering that this is an all-use board, and can’t match the physical strength of all riders.
That being said, the major strengths in this come down to the agility it grants you in the water. There’s a very quick inflation process and dual density fins that grant unbelievable stability during use. Atoll only has one structural issue with this, and that’s the valve. It’s held on with a questionably thin amount of sealant, leading a small minority of users to replace their valves after only about three to six months of use. Valves aren’t expensive to replace, and on all other fronts, Atoll hits home with many of the attributes we’re all looking for in a stand-up paddleboard. Put on your swimming trunks and enjoy your paddleboard.
Total weight of 19 lbs
11’ deck length
32” deck width
Total of 6” thick
- BrandAtoll Paddle
- Weight19 pounds
Double thick grade bottom fins improve movement in the water
Quick inflation process
All-inclusive carrying case is high quality
The extremely stiff hose makes usage difficult at times
History of valve leakage problems after six months
Oar is adjustable but extremely flimsy
The Pathfinder comes with all the aesthetics that you’d expect from a summertime SUP, and it’ll be with you for plenty of summers to come. The board itself comes with a ton of praise for the quality construction, made primarily from PVC. From the drop stitch interior to the balanced feel of the exterior, it’s excellent for the rock-bottom price. That’s not some introductory offer: they give you everything you need, but that’s also where you start running into problems. There’s an included D-ring to attach a board leash onto, but it’s about as basic as it gets.
They give you an air pump, backpack and everything you need in the kit, but some of those components are lacking. The air hose is extremely basic (as you might expect for the price), and should be switched out if you have the spare capital to get it done. When it comes time to deflate this SUP, be careful with how you proceed. It’s difficult to get the air to come out, but using a wrench on the valve is ill-advised. It’s lightweight, nearly 10 feet in total length, and lasts most users for 3-5 years before even needing a minor repair. Our guide to the best wakesurf boards offers more great products like this so check it out.
Total of 5” thick
9’9” board length
30” deck width
Drop stitch PVC construction
- Weight24.5 pounds
Adjustable aluminum paddle is as durable as they come
A fantastically inexpensive option for a full kit (case, pump and more)
Includes valve regulator to monitor PSI
D-ring for leash attachment is flimsy
Difficult to deflate after use
Air hose is basic at best
In our quest for the best, Gili paddleboard kept popping up everywhere we looked, and now we can see why. This kit sits at a median price range and comes with everything you need to get started. Where many kits include leashes and pumps as an afterthought, Gili’s work like a charm. You get 10 feet of leash clearance to account for any and all wipeouts, and the two-stage pump works like a dream to inflate this in an average of six minutes. The board is great and built for all-day, long-term use, but doesn’t come with UV protection.
The paddle doesn’t bend under pressure, but the adjustable range is fairly narrow, especially for a board that’s over ten feet in length. Gili made this lightweight as can be, coming in at just 19 lbs. That carry weight makes it simple to transport from A to B, but the carry handle is lacking, so grabbing your own sling would be the best option. Top notch traction, a two-year warranty from Gili, and a waterproof backpack to stash it in after the day is done: that’s all you need.
10’6” total board length
Total thickness of 6”
31” board width
Includes a two-year warranty
- Weight32.6 pounds
Ultralight at only 19 lbs
10 foot coiled leash
Superior traction with a wide surface area
Carry handle is awkward and doesn’t help to balance weight
No UV protection
Paddle has a short adjustment range
Fancy a long path around the island or along the shores? The Explorer is designed for leisure and fun above all else, which is why Isle made this with a high weight limit and fantastic board length (11’ or 12’ at checkout). Despite its massive size, it only weighs about 22 lbs when deflated, and takes about five minutes to pump back up with the inclusive pump that you get in your kit. Keep in mind that this is not a sport SUP; it’s lightweight because of the material used, which is a bit thinner than an average SUP, leading some users to end up with punctures when using it in rivers or other areas with a rocky shoreline.
Because of the length, it is slower to turn while in the water, which makes the aforementioned issue more prominent. This board takes a bit more mastery to get good with, but guarantees a leisurely day of sitting out on the ocean with you and another on the deck. Two layers of traction padding keep your feet grounded, no matter how slippery things get. Where most SUPs give weak paddles, Isle gives you a carbon shaft paddle that’s fully adjustable and works as well as any standalone paddle purchase you’ll make. If you love diving or snorkeling check out our guide to the best snorkels.
6” of board thickness
11’ or 12’ total board length
Includes a one-year warranty from the manufacturer
Average inflation time of five minutes w/ included pump
- BrandISLE Surf and SUP
High weight capacity of 350 lbs
Adjustable carbon shaft paddle
Two layer traction padding on surface
Thinner material doesn’t do well in variable environments
Many users have received bent or broken fins upon package arrival
Very slow and narrow turn radius
Xterra had an opportunity to make something phenomenal here, and while this SUP is still one of the best, there’s potential for it to be a #1 product with a few minor changes. First and foremost, you get an absurdly lightweight build here, weighing only 16.5 lbs thanks to the military-grade materials associated with construction. The main strength of this board is that it’s able to withstand far more stress than any SUP should ever go under, but it falls flat in one major area: inflating. It could be dense materials, but it’s difficult to inflate this and requires a lot of force.
With that in mind, the additional kit items are fifty-fifty on quality. The backpack is severely lacking, which is supposed to hold onto everything else in this kit. The pump is okay at best, but the fin is fairly low-grade. The good news is that Xterra includes a two-year warranty to protect you against defect and cover the cost of repairs, as well as a thirty-day money-back guarantee. Handling and traction on this go smoothly with an excellent turn radius, it just has its fair share of issues as well as benefits. You may also like to check our guide to the best snorkeling fins.
10’ total board length
Two-year manufacturer warranty for defects and repairs
Includes a 10’ coiled leash
Full kit comes with air pump, paddle, fin and more
- BrandXTERRA Boards
- Weight29 pounds
Wildly lightweight at just over 16 lbs
30-day money-back guarantee
Military-grade materials withstand more than any SUP should be able to
Included backpack is very basic
Requires high PSI to inflate properly
Some models arrive with bubbling on exterior
Last but not least on our list comes perhaps the most versatile SUP we’ve ever used. Not only can you use it for a multitude of purposes (racing, leisure, etc.), but it also converts to a kayak with a few pieces included in the kit. Strap on the seat and attach the other end of your paddle together, and in three minutes you’re cruising along in an inflatable kayak. Whether you’re standing or sitting, be wary of the lack of traction padding on top. It’s there, but it’s not as viable when the board is wet.
Bluefin Kayak Conversion board also takes a while to inflate, partially because it’s such a heavyweight item. This weighs a total of 33 lbs for a 10’8” model, and the 15’ model option weighs even more. Your kit comes with everything you need, from the pump to the storage bag and a couple of leashes. If you’re not sure what type of paddleboarding you want to try, this is the perfect place to start your journey.
10’8” to 15’ of board length
Kit includes a carry bag, pump, valve tool and more
30” board width
Durable PVC exterior
- Weight30.9 pounds
Converts to a kayak in about three minutes
High max weight of 410 lbs
Versatile design is great for cruising, racing and more
Slightly heavy at 33 lbs
Long inflation time
Traction control leaves something to be desired
Stand Up Paddleboard Buying Guide and FAQ
Standup paddleboarding is one water sport that has become increasingly popular over the years. As fun as it is, the wrong board could spell doom for its user. That is why it is important to take into consideration a number of factors.
Features to Look For A Stand Up Paddleboard
Hull Type - The hull type is a very important aspect that needs to be explored. Choose between a planing hull as well as a displacement hull. This choice is highly dependent on the type of paddling you have in mind.
Solid or Inflatable - For everything, there are advantages and disadvantages. So, when trying to pick between a solid or inflatable board, a number of factors can influence the decision. It could be based on performance, portability or just plain old preference.
Volume and Weight Capacity - Paddleboards come in a range of sizes, so it is safe to guess that they are equally suited for people of different sizes. Based on that, users should take their specs into consideration. Things such as height and weight, influence all-around stability and paddling performance.
Length, Width, and Thickness - These devices generally handle themselves in the water pretty well, nevertheless, it is wise to take their overall dimensions into consideration before making a purchase. The way it works in water is highly reliant on its length, width and thickness, so these are important things to look out for.
Solid VS Inflatable SUPs - Solid SUPs are a handy lightweight option which ensures high performance all-around. They are also a lot more stable in the water thanks to rigidity and are highly customizable. Their inflatable counterparts are a lot more suitable for bumpy rides and are great when it comes to mobility and storage.
Stand Up Paddleboards FAQ
Q: What is the Best Stand up Paddleboard for Beginners?
A: Beginners should stick to inflatable paddle boards, not only do they have the right amount of stability, but they also provide a more favorable landing for falls
Q: What Size SUP Paddle Should I get?
A: Though personal preferences may differ, ideally, the size is dependent on the user’s height. There are a number of online guides that can be consulted to get exact recommendations.
Q: Is there a Weight Limit for Paddle Boarding?
A: Yes, there is, and it is highly dependable on the size of the board itself. It is generally advised to use a 2-to-1 ratio of your body volume to body volume in order to stay afloat.
Q: How Do You Transport a Paddle Board?
A: With the inflatable ones, simply deflate it. Otherwise, you may need to strap it to a vehicle.