The Ultimate Guide to the Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards – 2021

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Paddleboarding is rapidly becoming one of the most popular water sports, and thanks to the emergence of inflatable stand up paddle boards, it’s an activity that is accessible to a wide range of people. 

The industry is booming, and inflatable SUPs are selling like hotcakes. If you’re new to the paddleboarding world or don’t know much about inflatables, it can be overwhelming to decide on a board.

But fear not – we’ve created a guide to help you pick out the best inflatable paddle board, along with all the specs you’ll need to consider before you make your decision. 

Why Get an Inflatable Paddle Board?

Inflatable stand up paddle boards have surged in popularity in the last few years, and it’s not hard to see why. 

Beginners and seasoned paddlers alike love inflatable SUPs because they are more stable, softer (which makes taking a spill at least slightly more pleasant), and oftentimes more rigid than hard boards. Not to mention they’re much easier to carry. 

Inflatable paddle boards are also extremely lightweight and easy to transport, and generally more durable than a hard board. Many are made with virtually indestructible PVC, so you won’t have to worry about cracks or crashes ruining your equipment, either. 

If all of this hasn’t sold you on an inflatable paddle board, just take a look at the price tags. Many inflatable SUPs are a fraction of the cost of hard boards, so if you’re just starting out or don’t have the means to invest in something spendy, an inflatable board is the board for you.

legs of a person on a paddle board at sunset

Quick Answer: Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards

Name
Image
Weight
Length
Width
Price
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Boardworks SHUBU Solr19 lbs10' 6"32"$$ 
Bluefin Cruise SUP33 / 42 lbs10' 8" / 15'32" / 36"$$$ 
iRocker Nautical20 lbs10' 6"32"$$ 
TOWER Adventure 225 lbs10' 4"32"$$
ISLE Pioneer24 lbs10' 6"34"$$
ISLE Explorer22 lbs11'32"$$ 
Roc Inflatable SUP17.5 lbs10'32"$ 
THURSO Surf Expedition28 lbs11' 6"30"$$$ 
FunWater Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board18.5 lbs11'33"$ 
SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board19.6 lbs10' 6"32"$ 

10 Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards

We’ve rounded up the 10 best inflatable stand up paddle boards, so there’s no need to scour the web for hours on end (and yes really, it would take hours). 

Boardworks SHUBU Solr

Weight: 19 lbs | Length: 10′ 6″ | Width: 32″ | Max Capacity: Up to 265 lbs

Features: Honey Fomb EVA deck | Drop-stitch core w/ PVC Tarpaulin | 3 piece paddle | Cargo bungee | Neoprene carry handles

Show up and blow up, that’s what this inflatable stand up paddle board is all about. You don’t want to spend a lot of time inflating your board, and with Shubu models from Boardworks, you won’t have to.  

Not only is this inflatable SUP quick to inflate, but it also has superior durability and construction compared to other inflatable paddle boards. It’s made from high-quality laminate, making it feel as stiff as a hard board once it’s blown up. It’s also a comfortable choice thanks to the soft honey fomb embossed deck. 

Beginners will find this inflatable paddle board to be nice and sturdy, being both wide and thick enough to take on some imbalance on the paddler’s part. The nine-inch fin will keep you on track, too, which isn’t always easy when you’re first starting out. 

This is a great all-around inflatable stand up paddle board, and whether you’re hoping to take it out on calm, flat waters or into the ocean waves, this board will perform like a champ. 

Another plus to this inflatable SUP is that the carrying bag is a rolling backpack – talk about easy transportation!

Bluefin Cruise SUP

Weight: 33 / 42 lbs | Length: 10’8″ / 15′ | Width: 32″ / 36″ | Max Capacity: 287 / 353 lbs

Features: Very rugged & rigid | Converts to kayak | Solo & tandem versions | Box fin system | 2 piece carbon fibre paddle | GoPro mount | Travel backpack

Versatility, stability, and durability all conspired to make this inflatable stand up paddle board from Bluefin is one of the best boards on the market. You can actually choose between the 10’8″ SUP or the 15′ tandem board, based on what works best for you. 

The pointed noses and high-quality construction make this board a great all-around option, but the accessory pack is really what makes this inflatable SUP stand out in terms of versatility. It comes with everything you’ll need to convert this inflatable paddle board into a kayak, including a comfy, adjustable seat. 

Of course, it has everything else you’d expect from an inflatable SUP, like a removable fin, bungee storage, and a non-slip deck pad. It even has a Go-Pro mount for when you’re ready to show off your skills. 

This is the perfect inflatable paddle board for beginners who want a board they can grow into once they get the hang of things. It’s wide and thick, offering top-of-the-line stability that’s perfect for learning the sport. 

At 33 pounds (42 for the tandem model), it’s not the lightest option on our list, but it does come with a handy travel backpack to help ease your transport.

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iRocker Nautical

Weight: 20 lbs | Length: 10’6″ | Width: 32″ | Max Capacity: 240 lbs

Features: Adjustable fiberglass paddle | Dual action hand pump | 13 D-rings | Bungee cargo storage | 3 removable fins | EVA deck pad | Backpack carry bag

For casual paddlers or those who are new to the game, we recommend this inflatable stand up paddle board from iRocker. This brand is known for making top-notch boards, and the Nautical design lives up to that reputation. 

It’s made from military-grade drop-stitch material, and even heavier paddlers will be able to feel the rigidity of this inflatable paddle board. Beginners can put this bad boy through the wringer without having to worry about any dents or dings. It’s also plenty wide and thick so paddlers can balance with ease. 

Popular features of this inflatable SUP include three removable fins (most models only allow you to remove one), a lightweight fiberglass handle, and a convenient and comfortable backpack carrier. 

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TOWER Adventure 2

Weight: 25 lbs | Length: 10′ 4″ | Width: 32″ | Max Capacity: 350 lbs

Features: Military-grade PVC & drop-stitch construction | Non-slip soft top deck | Backpack carry bag | 3 piece fiberglass paddle | High pressure pump | Removable center fin

A popular pick for beginners, this inflatable stand up paddle board from Tower checks all the boxes for a good entry level SUP. It’s also ideal for smaller paddlers due to its shorter length, but paddlers of all sizes will find this board suitable.

It’s wide and thick enough to provide plenty of stability, and the military-grade drop-stitching keeps this inflatable paddle board performing like a hard board. The center fin is removable and helps maintain both speed and maneuverability, and the adjustable fiberglass paddle allows you to glide over the water with ease. 

Other features that put this inflatable SUP in the top ten are its super soft deck top, easy portability, and high weight capacity, not to mention its affordability. 

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ISLE Pioneer

Weight: 24 lbs | Length: 10′ 6″ | Width: 34″ | Max Capacity: 285 lbs

Features: Military-grade PVC | Wide stance | iSUP pump & accessory bundle | Travel backpack | Adjustable paddle | Snap-in travel fin | EVA traction deck pad

Isle is another reputable stand up paddle board brand, and their inflatable SUPs are some of the best. 

The Pioneer is an all around inflatable paddle board with some unique features that make it popular with paddlers. It is wider than most, giving you enough room to bring along your furry friend for a cruise or stretch out with some yoga.

Other notable features include a Velcro paddle holder, two bungee storage areas, and easy-carry handles on the tail, nose and center of the board. 

In terms of an all around inflatable paddle board that will keep you stable in the water, the Isle Pioneer is a safe bet. 

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ISLE Explorer

Weight: 22 lbs | Length: 11′ | Width: 32″ | Max Capacity: 275 lbs

Features: Multiple layers of military-grade PVC | Front & rear bungee storage | Nose & tail carry handles | Hybrid travel paddle | Travel backpack | Center fin

Isle makes a second appearance on our list of the best inflatable stand up paddle boards, this time with the Explorer. This model is slightly longer than the Pioneer, making it a great option for touring. It’s also good as an all around board, and works well for yoga, fishing, and casual trips out on the water.

It has all the great features you’d expect from an Isle board, including a super soft traction pad, a paddle holder, and front and rear handles for easy carrying. 

The Explorer has a more pointed nose and narrow tail that make it easy to get up to speed fast. This inflatable SUP is a good board for both beginners and more experienced paddlers, making it a top choice for those who want to buy a board they can grow into.

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Roc Inflatable SUP

Weight: 17.5 lbs | Length: 10′ | Width: 32″ | Max Capacity: 300 lbs

Features: Extra lightweight | Collapsible aluminum paddle | Safety leash | Hand pump | Waterproof bag for essentials | Carry backpack | Detachable fin

If you’re looking for a high-quality inflatable stand up paddle board that won’t break the bank then look no further. 

Although somewhat basic in features, this inflatable SUP has everything you need for a successful day out on the water. It’s made with military-grade PVC, so it can handle all kinds of wear and tear and will keep you balanced while you’re out on the water.

It’s got all the run-of-the-mill features you’d expect from a quality board, including fins to help with tracking, a non-slip deck, and bungee tie-downs. 

This inflatable paddle board is great for beginners because it’s wide and thick, yet extremely lightweight. Did we mention that it’s one of the most affordable inflatable SUPs out there? 

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THURSO Surf Expedition

Weight: 28 lbs | Length: 11′ 6″ | Width: 30″ | Max Capacity: 330 lbs

Features: 2 layers of PVC coated tarpaulin w/ drop-stitch core | Carbon shaft paddle | 3 removable fins | Double action pump | Coiled leash | Carry backpack

Long tours are a breeze with this inflatable stand up paddle board from Thurso. Designed for long distances and multi-day trips, this inflatable SUP is decked out with some unique features that you won’t find with many other boards of this type.

It’s longer and narrower than your average all-around board, which can be a hindrance if you’re hoping to practice yoga or paddle with more than one person. However, if you’re going for a longer trip this board is perfect for you. The pointed nose and narrow tail allow you to glide across the water with speed and superior maneuverability. 

It can also handle some serious chop, and with high-quality materials like military-grade PVC and coated tarpaulin, you won’t have to worry about any dents or dings along the way. 

There’s a large bungee tie-down area, which shrinks your non-slip decking area, but as long as you’re paddling solo this shouldn’t affect you much. All three fins are removable, which makes this inflatable paddle board versatile in all types of water.

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FunWater Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

Weight: 18.5 lbs | Length: 11′ | Width: 33″ | Max Capacity: 330 lbs

Features: Ultra light construction | Dual layer of PVC | 3 removable fins | Adjustable aluminum paddle | Travel backpack | High pressure pump | Dry bag | Bungee storage

Another great budget option is this inflatable stand up paddle board from FunWater. It also works for touring and is about half the price of the Thurso. 

That being said, you won’t compromise on quality, as this inflatable paddle board is just as rigid as some of the more expensive boards out there. It’s constructed with high-quality PVC, and the soft, anti-slip decking makes for easy standing.

This inflatable paddle board is lightweight and comes with all the basic accessories you’ll need, including a convenient backpack storage bag. 

Although this is a solid budget option for touring, this inflatable SUP isn’t as stable as some of the other boards on our list, especially if you take it out on choppy water.

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SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

Weight: 19.6 lbs | Length: 10′ 6″ | Width: 32″ | Max Capacity: 275 lbs

Features: 3 bottom panel fins | Foldable paddle | Manual pump | Safety leash | No-slip soft top | Manual air pump

No one can deny that this is one of the best inflatable stand up paddle boards on the market… Just look at the thousands of reviews! It’s also one of the most affordable, making it a great choice for beginners or those who are on a budget.

Beginners also love it because it’s extremely stable at 32 inches wide and six inches thick, and the soft top, non-slip decking will keep you protected if you do happen to take a slip.

Perfect for fishing, touring, and yoga, this is a versatile, all-around inflatable paddle board. The triple-fin system helps with steering and handling, and the V-shaped nose allows you to cut through chop like a pro surfer. 

This inflatable SUP is super lightweight (under 20 pounds) and comes with a backpack storage bag that makes for easy transport. 

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What to Look For in an Inflatable SUP

All inflatable stand up paddle boards are not made equal! Everyone has different preferences and goals when it comes to paddleboarding, and a good board will be a combination of high-quality materials and a shape that fits your needs. 

Be sure to consider the following features before you invest, because the right inflatable SUP could last you a lifetime.

man at sunset paddling one of the best inflatable SUPs

Type

Inflatable paddle boards are great for a variety of activities. Whether you’re hoping to fish, practice yoga, take on some waves, or simply enjoy a relaxing cruise, you’ll need a board that can live up to all of your expectations. 

We’ve outlined the three main types of inflatable SUPs below to help you narrow down which board is best for you. 

Recreational

These are the most common type of inflatable paddle board, likely because they are the most versatile. They’re built for casual cruising, but can take on a bit of chop, and are a great option for beginners who are just starting out, as they are generally the most stable boards.

Touring 

If you’re paddling far and hoping to get there fast, then a touring paddle board is a great option. Inflatable SUPs in this category are usually longer and narrower but slightly less stable. They also have more storage space to accommodate any extra gear or supplies you might be carrying.

If you’re an experienced paddle boarder these are great, but if you’re a newbie and just learning the ropes, you may want to go for a more sturdy option.

Sport

Yoga, fishing, and surfing, oh my! Who knew you could accomplish so much with an inflatable paddle board!

Sport SUPs are usually made specifically for one of these activities, and come decked out with all the features you’ll need. From fishing rod holders to full-length traction pads, these boards are great if you’re committed to a specific sport.

Some recreational paddle boards will do just fine with these activities, but if you’re hoping to go all out, look for a SUP that’s made specifically for your favorite pastime.

Size

Size has a lot to do with stability when it comes to inflatable stand up paddle boards. 

Most boards range from 10-14 feet in length, though as a rule of thumb you won’t want to exceed 12 feet, especially if you’re new to the sport. The shorter the SUP, the more maneuverability you’ll experience. 

You’ll also want to take width into consideration. Most boards offer at least 30 inches in width, and the wider the SUP, the more stability you’ll have. 

When selecting an inflatable paddle board, thickness is also a key factor. Anything less than six inches is not a viable option for beginners or larger paddlers. Smaller, more experienced paddlers can get away with five inches of thickness, but you really don’t want to get any thinner than that. 

Shape

You know that wider boards are more stable, and narrow boards are best for touring, but you should also consider the hull shape of an inflatable stand up paddle board before investing. 

Most boards have a planing hull, meaning they are wider, flatter, and rounder. These SUPs do well on both flat and choppy water and provide more stability and maneuverability for the paddler. Most sport and recreational boards have this hull type, and if you’re a beginner, this is the shape you should look for. 

Touring SUPs, on the other hand, are known for having a displacement hull. These hulls are sharp and V-shaped and are made to cut through the water with speed and keep you going straight. The only bad thing about this shape is that it doesn’t offer as much stability as a planing hull. 

Fin Set-up

All inflatable stand up paddle boards will have a fin set-up, the most common being a tri-fin configuration. Three fins will make your board more stable and maneuverable, and on most inflatable paddle boards, the large, main fin is removable. This makes for easy storage once you deflate your SUP. 

Some boards allow you to remove the side fins as well, which means you can paddle with just a single fin or no fins if you wish. A single fin configuration is great for tracking on flat waters and gaining speed. 

Accessories

When you buy an inflatable stand up paddle board you can expect an accessory pack to come with it. The most basic packs come with all the gear you’ll need, including a pump, a fin, and a carrier bag. Some inflatable SUPs offer more than just the necessities, however.

Look closely at what’s being offered because you might be able to score a paddle, leash, repair kit, or dry bag in addition to the basic accessories. This can help keep costs down if you’re planning on decking your board out anyway.  

Portability

As mentioned above, your inflatable stand up paddle board is going to come with a carrying case. The best bags are those that will help ease your transportation of the board. Nowadays, many inflatable SUPs come with a carrying backpack, which can really come in handy if you’re hiking or have to walk a long way from your vehicle to the water. 

Another important factor of portability you’ll need to consider is the board’s weight. Most inflatable paddle boards are anywhere between 16-30 pounds, which is pretty lightweight when you compare them to a hard board. Smaller paddlers may want to pay more attention to weight if they are hauling their SUP solo. 

You should also look at the handle situation on inflatable paddle boards. Most have a central handle that makes it easy to carry once inflated, but the best boards will also have a front and rear handle to make getting it into the water just as easy. 

Inflatable Paddle Board FAQs

If you still have some question about the best inflatable paddle board, check out these FAQs for some more information.

Two guys on inflatable paddle boards with mountains in the background

How long do inflatable stand up paddle boards last?

A good quality inflatable stand up paddle board will last you many years. Make sure to look for a board that uses top-notch materials like military grade PVC and drop-stitch technology. 

What are inflatable stand up paddle boards made of?

Inflatable stand up paddle boards are made from a variety of materials, the most common being PVC plastic on the outside with a drop-stitched core.

How durable are inflatable stand up paddle boards?

If you invest in a high-quality inflatable stand up paddle board, it will likely last longer than a hard board. Inflatable SUPs are made from durable yet flexible materials and aren’t as affected by dings and drops. Inflatable paddle boards can take on quite a bit of abuse before they show signs of damage. 

Are inflatable stand up paddle boards worth it?

Inflatable SUPs are definitely a viable option, and some experienced paddlers even prefer them to hard boards. They are not only less expensive and more durable, but they’re also easier to transport and generally more stable. 

Travel Must: At the risk of sounding like your parents, make sure you get travel insurance before hitting the road. Trust us, it’s one of those things you don’t want to leave home without. We recommend either World Nomads or Safety Wing, depending on the type of traveler you are.

Now that you know what separates the best inflatable stand up paddle boards from the mediocre, you can make a sound decision about which SUP is best for you. No matter where you’re paddling or how much experience you have, a good board can make all the difference. Good luck!


Looking for more SUP guides? Check out these articles:

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