Best Inflatable Paddle Boards

Inflatable Paddle Boards - Reviews & Guides - Reviews & Guides For 2020

THE WINNER
23
9.6 / 10
Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
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RUNNER UP
22
9.2 / 10
SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
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BEST VALUE
24
8.8 / 10
Tower Inflatable 9’10” Stand Up Paddle Board
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Our Top Inflatable Paddle Boards

1
23

Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

EDITORS RATING:
9.6 / 10

Strong and lightweight inflatable board that comes complete with all essential accessories. 10 foot long board perfect for adults and youths, beginners and advanced paddlers. 

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Rated To 300lbs
Comes With Pump
Detachable Fin
Sturdy And Stable
Available In Multiple Colors
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2
22

SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

EDITORS RATING:
9.2 / 10

Great all round paddle board suitable for for adults and youths. Non-slip top deck provides grip for beginners whilst the 6inch thick and  PVC board and 30 inch wide stance PVC board gives superior balance and stability.

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Holds Up To 275lbs
Safety Leash
Storage Bag
Non-slip Deck
Comes With Pump And Repair Kit
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3
24

Tower Inflatable 9’10” Stand Up Paddle Board

EDITORS RATING:
8.8 / 10

This premium stand up paddle board by Tower features a non-clip deck, superb maneuverability and comes complete with a pump and paddle. 

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Durable
Complete With Accessories
Non-slip
2 Year Warranty
Users Found Some Quality Issues With Supplied Pump
Only One Colour
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Need Help Choosing Inflatable Paddle Boards?

Inflatable Paddle Board Buyer’s Guide

Buying the best inflatable paddle board is tricky as there are umpteen options available in the market. From choosing the right board length to deciding what type of board to buy, things can get really complicated if you are buying it for the first time.

This buyer’s guide contains comprehensive information about stand up paddle boards (SUPs) that’ll assist you in choosing the best board for you.

Also, you can quickly funnel down the excel paddle board from the list with the help of this buyer’s guide.

Inflatable Vs. Solid Paddle Boards: Which is better, and why?

It can be confusing to pick the right type of paddle board when it comes to solid and inflatable. Here is an in-depth comparison that will help you discover the core differences between these two types of SUPs.

Storage Space

Inflatable SUP requires lesser storage space as you can deflate the air to make it compact and portable. On the other hand, solid SUP requires a particular storage space as you can’t deflate it.

Don’t have a dedicated storage area? Inflatable paddle boards should be your choice!

Weight

There's no doubt that inflatable paddle boards are way light in weight as compared to solid SUPs. Yes, some paddle boards like fiberglass are also lightweight, but inflatable boards are even lighter.

Versatile

Nothing can compete with the versatility of an inflatable paddle board. These boards are more versatile as that of solid boards.

Ease of handling

Handling a solid board can be cumbersome as you have to mount it on your car’s roof or the paddle board carrier which requires a lot of effort. On the other hand, inflatable paddle boards are easy to handle, and you can transport it in your car's trunk as well.

Stability

When it comes to stability, then solid boards are better due to the rigid board. We aren't saying that inflatable boards are not stable, but the fact is solid boards tend to be best in terms of stability.

Durable

If you want to paddle down the whitewater, then inflatable paddle boards are good as these can withstand the abrasion caused by logs and rocks. Solid boards, on the other hand, are prone to damages when used in whitewater.

These reasons are enough to prove why a lot of paddlers are inclined towards inflatable paddle boards. Let’s find out the factors you should consider before buying one.

Things you need to consider before buying an inflatable paddle board

You should consider a variety of things in a paddle board before clicking the Buy Now button. These factors will impact the performance and longevity of the board, and that holds paramount importance.

You can easily select the best stand up paddle board by comparing it based on these factors.

The shape of the board

You can start by choosing the right shape paddle board for your requirements. The shape has a significant impact on the paddle board, as you cannot maneuver a wider board easily than thinner boards.

Here are the criteria to select the shape of a paddle board:

  • If you want to move fast in the water, narrow boards are better than wider ones. Similarly, if you're going to move slowly, go for wider boards.
  • If you want a board with excellent glide, then consider longer boards. A shorter one will require you to paddle more frequently.
  • If you need a paddle board with excellent stability, consider wider boards than the narrow counterparts.
  • Paddle boards with wide tails have better stability as compared to the boards with narrow tails.
  • If you need quick maneuvering while racing or other sports activities, then paddle boards with a narrow tail are good.
  • Thicker paddle boards have more weight capacity and are stable even with a load.

With these generalizations, you can select the ideal shape paddle board based on your requirements. Now we'll move further to other important considerations to make while purchasing a paddle board.

Materials

Inflatable stands up paddle boards are manufactured with a plethora of materials, making it hard to make a choice. Here we have compared different materials and how it will influence your experience with the paddle board.

PVC

Paddle boards made using PVC have excellent durability while being lightweight. Also, these paddle boards are affordable, and you can expect a decent lifespan with them.

Hollow Core

The hollow core interior makes the paddle board even lightweight, in case you need to travel with one. Moreover, these boards have excellent performance and require less storage space.

EPS Foam

EPS foam paddle boards are another type that offers good performance. The interior of the paddle board contains lightweight foam, while the outer part is made using fiberglass.

Polyurethane Foam

A thick layer of polyurethane is used in these paddle boards with fiberglass exterior. These boards are generally heavier and more stable, thus ideal for beginners and learners.

Hull Types

The body or the hull of the paddle board contributes a lot to its performance on the water. There are two types of hulls available in modern paddle boards i.e., planning hull and displacement hull.

Each hull is good for beginners, but some primary differences can't be neglected. So it's better to choose the hull type before moving forward to other factors.

Displacement Hull

Inflatable paddle board with a displacement hull has a pointed nose just like a bow. These paddle boards are similar to canoe and kayaks from the front.

The shape of the hull makes it easier to slice through the water while pushing it to the sides along the nose. The displacement hull improves the smoothness and efficiency of the kayak.

Also, you can ride the paddle board faster as compared to planning hull boards. These boards require less effort and are good for longer distance with fantastic speeds. iSUPs with displacement hull track nicely, but you may face some issues while maneuvering the board when compared to planning boards.

Planning Hull

Paddle boards with planning hulls are wide and flat. Also, the nose of the board isn't too pointed like the displacement hull.

These paddle boards are ideal for beginners due to the easy ride these offers. Furthermore, the boards are easy to maneuver and are good for surfing, leisure paddling, whitewater, and SUP yoga.

Length of the board

The length has a significant impact on the paddle board’s performance, and you'll surely agree with it after purchasing an inflatable paddle board. Here's how to choose the right length paddle board.

Longer Boards (12’ and above)

Longer boards are best for long-distance touring and fast paddling. A majority of paddle boards in this size range usually have displacement hulls because avid paddlers buy them mostly. Also, these are faster than short boards, and you can track with the SUP in a straight line.

If you want to track for long distances at fast speeds, go with long paddle boards.

Medium Boards (9’ to 12’)

Medium paddle boards are good for all-round activities, including SUP yoga. You will get a variety of planning and displacement hull boards in this size range due to their popularity.

In addition, you can paddle with a medium-sized board in the ocean and calm lakes.

Small Boards (less than 9’)

Most of the small paddle boards have a planning hull. Also, these are easy to maneuver and are perfect for riding on waves. Shorter boards are generally ideal for kids and paddlers who aren’t tall.

While choosing the length of the board, make sure to check its volume and weight capacity as well.

Width of the Board

Choosing the right width is vital to get the desired performance from the paddle board. Wider paddle boards have more stability as compared to a skinny one, but you cannot go faster with a wide board.

Most of the iSUPs have a width ranging from 25 to 36-inches destined for different purposes. While selecting the width, you should understand why you need a paddle board and how much weight you are going to take along with you.

Ability Level

The width of an iSUP should depend on your ability. Proficient paddlers can control a narrow board pretty easily. On the other hand, novice paddlers should go for wider boards as these are stable and easy to manage.

Body Type

Select the width of a paddle board depending on your body type. If you are a big and heavy person, wide boards should be your choice for their better weight capacity and stability.

Short persons can handle narrow paddle boards well as they get enough space to maintain the balance.

Just like the length, the width of an inflatable paddle board also impacts its weight capacity and volume.

The thickness of the Board

Usually, most of the inflatable paddle boards have 6" thickness, but you will find some options available in the market with 5" thickness. The gap may look like just 1", but it has a dramatic impact on the performance of the board.

Thicker boards have more volume and weight capacity, so these are ideal for bigger persons. Similarly, shorter persons and kids can go with thin inflatable boards to get the desired performance with it, as these are easy to paddle.

Fin Setup

The fins enhance stability while adding good track-ability to the iSUP. Larger fins with longer front edges and a wider base, are better for tracking and provide more stability to the board.

When it comes to shorter fins, then these improve the maneuverability and help you go faster over the water.

Inflatable paddle boards come with different types of fins. Here's how to choose the right option.

Single Fin

Inflatable paddle boards with a single fin are good for paddling straighter or tracking. Also, the fin supports powerful strokes, and it becomes ideal for beginners or learners to maneuver the board.

2+1 Setup

In this fin setup, the center fin is bigger as compared to the other fins. These paddle boards are perfect for surfing and for paddling through waves due to better resistance.

3 Fin Setup

In three fin setup, all the three fins are of the same size. Most people also called the setup as a thruster. Inflatable boards with three fins are ideal for tracking in a straight line. Furthermore, the fins provide better stability and control to the board.

You can choose an iSUP based on any of the fin setup. Generally, inflatable paddle boards have detachable or flexible fins to the ease of storage.

Weight Capacity or User Weight

The weight capacity of the paddle board decides how much weight a board can carry while staying afloat. Most folks only account for their weight while choosing an iSUP, but you have to avoid this mistake.

Reckon the total weight you will be taking with you on the board, including your daypack, any of your friends, or your pet.

Make sure to go for boards with better weight capacity so that you can take all of your stuff on tour.

Accessories and extras to look for in the iSUP package

Buying these accessories will make it even rewarding for you to own inflatable paddle boards. Always go for a complete package so that you don't have to add the accessories individually to your cart because that's taxing!

Pump

A pump is an essential accessory you need to inflate the paddle board. There are two types of pumps available i.e., manual and motorized.

With manual pumps, you can inflate the board anytime and anywhere. On the other hand, a motorized pump that works with your car's battery is quick and efficient. The choice depends on you; if you want to explore remote areas on your paddle board, then go for manual pumps.

Paddles

It's pretty evident why you need paddles with an iSUP. The paddles can look like what you get with a canoe. The right length of a paddle is around 6-8 inches above your head. Bigger paddles allow you to deliver a powerful stroke, and the board will glide to a considerable distance.

Leashes

Leashes are typically sold separately, so you get multiple options to choose from. You can attach the leash with the D-ring available on the paddle board.

The purpose of a leash is to keep the board at your arm's length every time. For learners, a leash is nothing less than a boon as you can pull your board if you fall off it while riding.

The best use of a leash is in whitewater, where there are more chances of falling off the board.

Backpack

You will find some sellers that offer a backpack with the inflatable board. With the backpack, you can store the paddle board for portaging it easily. Just deflate the board, fold it, and pack it inside the backpack to continue your journey.

Personal Floatation Device (PFD)

As per the U.S. Coast Guard, iSUPs come under the category of vessels. Having a PFD is a must when you ride a paddle board off the swimming limits and to the deeper sides of the ocean. Moreover, keep a safety whistle with you every time so that you can call for help whenever required.

Gauge

With a gauge, you can evaluate the amount of air to be inflated in the paddle board. Overinflating the board can result in certain damages, so having a gauge is a must.

Dry Suit

You might be aware of the dangers of hypothermia. If you are planning to paddle on freezing water, then wear a dry suit. Also, for mild weather, you can wear a swimsuit or something that dries quickly.

FAQs about Best Inflatable Paddle Boards

  • Can I remove the fins off the paddle boards?

Yes, most of the inflatable paddle boards come with detachable fins for the ease of packing. If you have a paddle board of this category, then you can remove the fins at any time. Also, fixing the fins back with the board is easy, so that it won't be any hassle for you.

  • How long do inflatable paddle boards last?

It depends on multiple factors like the material type, brand, and how you are using the paddle board. Generally, inflatable paddle boards are durable, and they last longer if proper care and maintenance are done.

Lastly, protect the boards from UV exposure to enhance its longevity.

  • Can I leave my paddle board inflated?

Yes, you can leave the paddle board inflated, provided that it is in a safe storage area, and there's no direct sunlight falling on it. However, deflating the board after using will surely enhance its lifespan, and there are fewer chances of punctures and other such damages.

  • Is it safe to take my pet on the board?

Yes, you can take your pet along with you on the board, but make sure that it has a decent weight capacity. Wider boards should be your choice if you are looking to buy a brand new SUP.

  • Do inflatable paddle boards puncture easily?

In general, inflatable paddle boards are more durable as compared to solid boards. But you need to protect the board from sharp objects as they can easily blow a hole in it.

Always deflate the board during transportation, so there are fewer chances of the board getting a puncture.

  • Is it worth it to buy an inflatable paddle board?

Yes, inflatable paddle boards are indeed worth the money, and there are multiple reasons to prove it. Unlike solid paddle boards, you can transport an inflatable counterpart with ease. Also, these boards are lightweight and more durable.

Another benefit of having an inflatable paddle board is the versatility.

  • How to find out the leak in my paddle board?

Finding a small leak on a bid paddle board is hard, and there’s no doubt why! But we have a sure-shot trick that will help you in locating even the minutest of leaks.

Inflate the paddle board completely and put it under water. If you are home, then you can put the board under the pool to check for leaks. See if there are any bubbles popping out due to the air. Get a marker or something to highlight the leak and repair it at your convenience.

  • How to clean an inflatable paddle board?

Cleaning the iSUP is an essential part of maintenance. Even if you have paddled it over freshwater, you need to clean the bard thoroughly.

Use a mild soap solution and rub it gently over the board. Now take the garden hose and wash it thoroughly from top to bottom while covering every area.

Let the paddle board dry a bit and pack it for further storage.

  • How fast can I go with an inflatable paddle board?

There are multiple factors that will impact your speed, including the length and thickness of the board, the fin setup, and how aggressively you are paddling.

The speed also depends on the direction of water currents and the water conditions.

  • Where should a heavier person sit on a paddle board?

A paddle board tracks great if the weight is distributed evenly. The paddler should sit in the rear side while keeping the luggage at the front for a good balance. This way, the paddler can access the luggage while paddling with ease.

Summary

With this inflatable paddle board buyer's guide, you can choose a fantastic paddle board. Consider all the factors, including weight capacity, material, and dimensions, so you get the desired experience with the board.

Lastly, go through the FAQ section as well and find out some essential details about inflatable paddle boards.

Most kayakers and paddlers are choosing inflatable boards over solid boards, so you should also get an inflatable board to enjoy the extensive list of benefits it offers.


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