Inflatable stand up paddle boards, known as iSUPs, bring convenience to the sport of paddle boarding. Because they can be inflated and deflated in minutes, as well as stored in a compact form, they are incredibly easy to store and transport. While some iSUPs fail to maintain their rigidity over time, bringing on water and making them unsuitable for less than ideal water conditions, the best iSUPs are almost as good as regular boards. Their rigidity and durability combine with their portability to create strong, lightweight, compact, and high performing boards. Following are the best inflatable SUPs of 2016.
|Image||Paddle Board||Best For||Rating|
|Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer 2||Best All Around Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board||4.8|
|Solstice Bali||Best Inflatable SUP for the Money||4.5|
|Isle Airtech 10'4”||Best Womens SUP||4.6|
|Isle Airtech 15' Megalodon||Best Tandem SUP||5.0|
|Isle Airtech 7'6”||Best Kids Paddle Board||4.1|
Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Reviews
1. Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer 2 10’4” Inflatable SUP
The Adventurer 2 paddle board from Tower is an upgraded version of the company’s original Adventurer paddle board. This board is longer than the original, at 10ft. 4in. long instead of 9ft. 10in. long. The result is a board that is faster and more maneuverable in the water. In addition, the board is capable of inflating to a PSI of 25 instead of the maximum PSI of 15 available in the original version. Finally, the board comes with an upgraded fiberglass paddle and possesses a bungee cord and carrying handles in the front and back to make it easier to use and carry.
These modifications make the Adventurer 2 more maneuverable, responsive, and convenient to ride and transport. At the same time, it retains the other qualities that make the Adventurer line outstanding. For instance, it, like the original, is made of military grade PVC arranged vertically. This material’s strength, along with the vertical construction, make it extremely rigid when inflated. In fact, reviewers note that the board is almost as rigid as a regular board. In addition, the Adventurer 2 boasts the durability that comes from such strong material. Tower has tested the board by running over it, and has found that it can resist damage even under such stressful conditions. As a result, the board possesses a high quality that makes it reliable and enjoyable to ride.
Finally, the Adventurer 2 possesses the light weight and portability that characterize the best iSUPs. Reviewers report that the board is light enough to carry easily. At the same it, it folds up into the size of a compact sleeping bag. As a result, it can be easily stowed in car trunks for transport, and in closets for storage in between trips and during the cold winter months. The combination of rigidity, durability, and portability, in addition to its modifications, make it an appealing choice for riders looking for a good value and excellent performance in paddle boards.
2. Isle 10ft. Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Package
The 10ft. iSUP from Isle is a reliable board that provides a good value for beginning riders and those who want a paddle board to enjoy on calmer waters. The board boasts a high quality that exceeds its reasonable price, receives praise from reviewers for its performance, and includes convenient accessories that add to its overall value.
The board is made of military-grade material in a drop stitch construction. This means that the fibers of the board are woven together in a vertical pattern to increase rigidity. As a result, when inflated to 10 or 15 PSI, the board looks and feels much like a regular board. Reviewers report that the rigidity is more than satisfactory, and allows them to enjoy the convenience of an iSUP along with the feel and performance of a regular board.
This convenience includes compactness and portability. The board, when deflated and rolled up, is only about 12in. X 36in. As a result, it stores easily and can be thrown in the trunk of the car for transport. Many reviewers report choosing this board because of the ease with which they can carry and store it. While most iSUPs offer convenience and portability, this board also offers solid performance. Capable of handling riders up to 200 pounds on relatively calm waters, the board provides stability and responsiveness that satisfies most reviewers. The combination of rigidity, durability, compactness, portability, and performance, along with a two-year warranty and included pump and paddle, make this board an excellent value and a high-quality purchase.
3. Solstice Bali Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
The 10ft. 8in. Bali paddle board from Solstice offers a fun way to enjoy the performance of a regular board with the convenience of an iSUP. The board, when inflated properly to 12-15 PSI, offers riders a firmness that rivals that of regular boards. In fact, reviewers praise the Bali for its rigidity on the water, and report that, unlike some iSUPs, it does not bend in the middle, even with a great deal of weight riding on it. Some reviewers report being able to ride with another person without experiencing any change in the performance and rigidity of the board.
In addition, reviewers report being pleased with the board’s portability and convenience. The board deflates and rolls up into a compact size that is small enough to transport in a car and store in a closet during winter months and in between uses. To top off this board’s pleasing performance, reviewers report that the board displays an admirable stability and responsiveness in the water, even in the presence of windy conditions. They also report that the board is best used in relatively calm water.
Finally, the Bali comes with a number of convenient accessories. These include a pump, a gauge, and a bag for carrying the deflated board. The board itself sports four ties in order to allow riders to bring along any items they may need on their ride. These accessories add to the board’s convenience and overall value. The result is a board that feels like a regular board, performs well, and comes in at a great value for paddle boarders of all kinds.
4. Tower Paddle Paddle Boards Adventurer 9’10” iSUP Package
The Adventurer iSUP from Tower is the first of the company’s two Adventurer models. This model is a more basic version of the updated Adventurer 2. As such, it is shorter, at 9ft. 10in. long, and comes with a simpler paddle and fewer design features. However, it still possesses the outstanding characteristics that set the Adventurer boards apart as some of the best iSUPs of the year. In fact, reviewers give it high ratings for its overall performance as a board for beginners and for riders in water with up to 4-foot waves.
For instance, the board is more rigid and durable than the average iSUP. It is constructed of military-grade PVC arranged in a vertical pattern. The combination of the material and this drop stitch construction make the board almost as rigid, when inflated, as a regular board. In fact, most reviewers praise the board for rivaling regular boards they have used in the past for feel and performance. In addition, the board’s construction makes it virtually indestructible. Capable of resisting damage from bangs and scrapes, it offers riders a worry-free way to enjoy the water.
In addition to rigidity and stability, the Adventurer boasts the portability that makes iSUPs such an appealing choice for many paddle boarders. The board only weighs about 25 pounds and, once deflated and rolled up, is a compact 12in. X 33in. The result is a board that can easily be carried and stored anywhere you need. Finally, included accessories, such as a basic pump and three-piece paddle, add to the overall value of this high-quality and enjoyable board.
5. Isle 12ft. 6in. iSUP Package
The 12ft. 6in. iSUP from Isle offers riders the same qualities of excellent construction, durability, and rigidity as does the 10ft. version. The increased length, however, lends the board stability in the water, allowing it to reliably ride straight ahead. This increased stability makes it a good choice for both flat water and choppy water. In fact, reviewers often note the board’s ability to perform satisfactorily in choppy water.
The board’s performance is matched by its rigidity and durability. Like Isle’s other iSUPs, the board is made of military grade material. This material uses drop stitch construction, which arranges the fibers vertically to achieve maximum rigidity. In addition, the board is designed to be tough, capable of resisting damage no matter how much abuse and how many bumps and scrapes it experiences. Reviewers testify to the accuracy of Isle’s claims in this area. Though the board is a bit difficult to pump up to the desired PSI, once there, it feels as rigid as a regular board. Despite hours of time on the water, the board does not soften or deflate.
The board also boasts features that make it more convenient to use and ride. In addition to deflating and folding up into a compact shape, the board comes with a number of useful accessories. These include a pump, a gauge, a fin that can be removed, a repair kit, and an aluminum paddle. These accessories join a bungee system for securing items to the board and carrying rings that allow you to tie the board up when desired. The result is a convenient, enjoyable, and reliable way to enjoy the paddle boarding experience.
6. Tower Xplorer 14′ Inflatable SUP
The Xplorer paddle board from Tower is a large board designed to be used on long touring rides or in races, due to its speed and durability. Part of its capabilities in this area are due to its 14′ length, that make it faster, more responsive, and more stable in the water. In addition, this board receives praise from consumers for its large weight bearing capabilities. The board can hold up to 700 pounds, allowing for multiple and large riders to enjoy paddle boarding without sinking or getting wet. Reviewers note being pleased with this feature of the board more often than any other feature.
Besides these unique qualities, the Xplorer boasts the rigidity, durability, portability, and performance that make all of Tower’s iSUPs stand out. Like their other boards, this board is made of military-grade material for added strength, and a drop stitch construction (material is woven vertically) for maximum firmness. In addition, the board, at 6in. thick, is 2 inches thicker than many other iSUPs, making it less likely to bend in the middle or to take on water. Also resistant to scratches and scrapes, it offers a high quality product for a lower price than similar iSUPs.
Finally, the board is portable, folding up into the size of a sleeping bag for easy storage and transport, comes with a pump and paddle, and performs admirably. Reviewers report reliable tracking, even with multiple people on the board, and responsiveness to the paddle, making for a satisfying and high quality iSUP experience.
7. Blue Wave Sports Stingray iSUP
The Stingray iSUP from Blue Ray Sports boasts extreme durability that has reviewers reporting hours of fun and enjoyment in a variety of water conditions. The board’s versatility and strength (it has the ability to hold up to 220 pounds) is due at least in part to Blue Wave’s practice of layering the board’s construction. This means that the board has a layered drop stitch construction as well as a double layer on the outside of the shell to create strength and rigidity within its 4in. thickness. The result is a board that resists damage when bumped or scratched and that takes on a minimum of water during the ride. The construction also make it ideal for use for beginners, seasoned riders, in calm water, in choppy water, and in other paddle boarding situations.
Finally, the Stingray comes with an array of accessories that make it both easier to use and a rewarding value. These include a pump that receives positive reviews for its ease of use, a removable fabric seat, a carry bag, a fin that can be attached or detached for easier navigation, a foot rest, bungee cords for securing items to the board, and a paddle that can be adjusted for use in a variety of ways. The result is an high quality, versatile board at a great value.
8. Isle Airtech 10’4” Yoga Fitness iSUP
For women who wish to pursue yoga out on the water, there are few better choices than the Isle Airtech Yoga Fitness. This women’s SUP boasts a colorful pink and purple design, while its design features make it ideal for pursuing yoga safely and comfortably in either the lake or the ocean.
First, the Yoga Fitness comes with a longer-than-average length of 10’4”. This length makes it faster and more maneuverable in the water, while also providing you with more room for your yoga. In addition, this iSUP comes wider (36 in.) and thicker (6 in. instead of 4 in.) to make it more stable in the water. Thanks to the width, the board will move side to side less often. Thanks to the 6 in. thickness, the board will not bend in the middle, even during your most complicated yoga poses.
Other features that make this board particularly suited to yoga include having the paddle bungee system mounted to the paddle board’s rail so it is out of the way and the placement of a bungee system for your drinks and gear just within reach.
In addition to its specifically yoga-friendly design, the Yoga Fitness also comes with the same high quality and durable construction that define the company’s other products. For instance, its PVC material is heavy duty and designed to resist dings, drops, and crashes. The board also deflates into a compact 6in. X 36in. size for easy transport and storage. Reviewers, while noting that it does not come with a storage bag, still give it high praise for its durability, reliable performance on the water, and the quality of its paddle and pump.
9. Isle Airtech 15′ Megalodon Tandem Paddle Board
For families and friends who wish to enjoy the paddle boarding experience together, the Isle Airtech 15′ Megalodon provides one of the best tandem SUP experiences out there. This board is designed with the space and accessories needed to enjoy a day on the water with multiple people riding the same board. For instance, the board is a whopping 15 feet long (many SUPs are 14 feet long or less). In addition, it is 50 inches wide (most SUPs are less than 36 inches wide) and 8 inches deep (many SUPs are 6 inches deep or less). These massive specifications mean that the Isle Megalodon can carry as many as seven people at once.
Despite is large inflated size, however, the Isle Megalodon comes through with portability that is hard to beat. Thanks to the fact that it can be deflated and rolled up, it becomes a far more compact 53in. X 14in. size for easy transport in the car. This smaller size means that you can store it wherever you like and easily carry it to the water to meet your friends and family for a day of fun.
In addition to being large enough to hold almost as many friends and family as you would like, the Isle Megadolon also comes with enough accessories for you to hit the water with a crowd. Its four paddles, pump, fins, and carry handle allow you to get out on the water right away, without needing to buy other accessories. Reviewers give this board high marks for its space, stability, and storage, confirming its place as one of the best tandem iSUPs out there.
10. Isle Airtech 7’6” Kids iSUP
One of the advantages of paddle boarding is the fact that children can enjoy it as well. One of the best kids’ paddle boards out there is the Isle Airtech 7’6” board. This board’s length, combined with 26 inches of width and 6 inches of depth, make it small enough for children to maneuver easily in the water while stable enough for children to be safe managing the board on their own. The board can handle weights of 30-120 pounds so almost any child and smaller adult can enjoy this kids SUP.
In addition to its kid-friendly size, this paddle board is strong and durable in order to last for years. It comes with a two-year warranty to guarantee Isle Airtech’s commitment to quality paddle board construction. The board inflates to a PSI of 15 to provide the rigidity needed to keep it strong and reliable in the water. Adding to the board’s convenience is the fact that it can also be deflated to a compact size for easy storage and transportation.
Reviewers give this board high praise for its child-friendly construction, despite the fact that it comes with an adult-sized paddle. They note that it is easy to get inflated and deflated and is easy for their children to use. The result is a durable, reliable, and ideal kids paddle board.
How To SUP
Stand up paddle boarding is a great sport and activity all ages of people love. The word paddle boarding is sometimes used incorrectly because paddle boarding is actually when you are on your knees using your hands to paddle. In stand up paddle boarding you are standing the whole time and using a paddle to steer yourself. SUP stands for stand up paddle board. You can use a SUP on lakes, large rivers, canals, and the ocean.
Who invented stand up paddle boarding?
Stand up paddle boarding or stand up paddle surfing originated in Hawaii. Surf legend Laird Hamilton wanted a way to cross train waves in the early 90s. The story goes that he grabbed a canoe paddle and stood up on his longest surf boards and began paddling. People think he invented this amazing sport but it actually dates back centuries ago. The early Hawaiian, Peruvian, and African cultures had some sort of stand up paddle boarding. The Hawaiians are given credit to being the first to stand up and ride waves.
Is stand up paddle boarding a workout?
Stand up paddle boarding is an intense workout. You are using your full body every time you paddle board so you will be able to work out every muscle. This activity has become wildly popular to cross trainers as an intense full body workout. It will help burn fat and gain muscle. Some people practice yoga in lakes on paddle boards.
How to Choose the Right Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)
Picking the right SUP can be a difficult and costly decision if you buy the wrong one. Some boards can cost the same amount as a luxury cruise! The first thing you want to think about when buying a SUP is exactly what you want to use it for. Most SUP boards are made specifically for a certain type of water. This article will tell all the different type of boards there are and you can choose from there.
Wave Board SUPS for SUP Surfing
SUP boards for surfing are a very unique type of board. They are different from racing a touring SUP board in three major ways.
These boards have more rocker; which means they are better for carving, top turns, and to help stop the nose of the board from diving into a wave.
These boards are also less than 10ft which is much shorter than the racing and touring boards. It may be more difficult to ride since it is much shorter but if you are an avid surfer you should be fine.
The fin setup on your board will be different as well. The difference it will give you is more stability and you should be able to make turns at high speeds.
Cruise and Exploring SUPS
If you are looking for a smooth sailing SUP that you can use in open water than the SUP touring board is the one you want. These boards have higher volumes so they are perfect for cruising unlike racing boards. Once you get these boards going they don’t need much more effort to keep them going. Usually you can bring coolers full of lunch with you on these boards and tie them down.
SUP Race boards
SUP racing has been growing at a rapid race. It has become a new favorite for people and athletes across the world. Racing boards are super long and skinny to make it face for racing. These boards are very quick but they are designed to have great stability.
White Water SUPS
To stand up while white water rafting you need a special designed board for the low water depths and giant rocks. The normal epoxy stand up paddle boards are not safe to use while white water rafting. These boards are designed with a lot of volume so you will get great stability. They are hollow on the inside to make them lighter in the water. Also since they are hollow you can put a sleeping bag inside for longer water rafting trips.
Yoga and Fitness SUP
A new trend emerging in the United States is to do yoga or Pilates on your SUP. These specific boards are balanced the whole time so it doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you’re doing you will be balanced. These special boards are called Boga Yoga SUPS. Specifically designed for any yoga or fitness exercises you want to do on the water.
When you are travelling with your SUP it can be a pain. They do get heavy and they are hard to lift on top of cars. All you have to do is blow it up and you have a portable paddle board to travel with! If you haven’t tried inflatable SUPS you might want to consider it!
Kid SUP Boards
Now they even have SUP board’s for children. This amazing sport isn’t only for adults; it’s for the whole family. Kid Sup boards are smaller and easier to travel with.
How to Ride Your Stand up Paddle Board
How to stand up on your SUP.
The first thing you will want to know is how to get up on your SUP. When your new to stand up paddle boarding you will want to start off in calm flat water. You may find it easier to kneel on your paddle board then to stand right away.
- First you will need to pull your SUP to the water and stand alongside it.
- Place your paddle across the board horizontally and usually there is a paddle grip to catch it.
- Hold on to the paddle grip and the rail and then it should be steady enough for you to climb on.
- Start in the kneeling position and hold on to both sides of the board finding your balance.
- Once you feel good about it stand up one foot at a time and place your feet where your knees were
How to keep the perfect SUP stance.
- Your feet should be parallel and a hip distance apart!
- That is the most important thing when finding your perfect SUP stance.
- Keep your toes and feet pointing forward and keep your back straight.
- Balance is all in your hips not in the upper body.
- Your gaze should be at the horizon and try not to look down at your feet
How to paddle
- This is where the real fun begins when you are able to tread through water.
- When you are trying to paddle towards the right you need to have your right hand on the paddle shaft and your left hand is on the top grip.
- It is important to keep your arms straight and to twist your body when you paddle.
- You have more strength in your upper body than your arms.
- Push the paddle down under the surface and pull it back by your ankles and out of the water.
- Start off small to not tire yourself out.
- To go straight paddle 4-5 times on one side then switch to the next and do the same thing.
- When you switch to the next side you will need to switch to the opposite hand positions above.
How to do SUP turns
Just say you want to turn right? You would paddle on the left and it will turn you to the right. Same for if you want to turn left? Paddle on the right and it will turn you left.
Place the paddle at the front of the board and sweep back to the tail of the board. You board will turn to the opposite side of the board.
This is for a faster way to turn. Drag the paddle on either side of the board and it should turn you the way you want.
If you look over your shoulder your upper abdominal muscles kind of will help turn your SUP the way you are looking. Sometimes paddling with your dominate hand will help push more weight on your feet and it should allow you to pivot and make turns that way too.
- Many people try to hold their paddle like a broom stick and with both hands on the shaft it will make it harder for you to move through water.
- Make sure that you are always holing your paddle from the top handle and the other hand is on the shaft.
- You need to keep those feet parallel and not a surf stance.
- The surf stance will make you fall off your board and lose your balance.
- Remember let your big muscles do the work don’t waste all your energy moving from your arms.
- Your upper body muscles will propel the board.
What should you wear while paddle boarding?
There are a variety of things you can wear when paddle boarding. It all depends in what kind of place your paddling. A variety of wet suits and swim wear is warm depending on the climate and temperature since you are standing up the whole time.
What gear do you need to stand up paddle board?
You only need a few pieces of equipment when stand up paddle boarding.
First would be you need the stand up paddle board. This is the most significant gear investment; your board choice needs to be determined on paddler weight and skill.
Next you will need a paddle. Stand up paddles usually have an angle or elbow which is important so you have maximum efficiency. You should use a paddle that is 6” to 8” taller than you are.
Proper clothing will be the next thing you will need. We talked earlier saying the type of clothing you wear varies and it does. But if it is cold outside you may want to think about wearing a wet suit. A wetsuit can help on cold days when you think you might get hypothermia. In milder conditions you can wear a swimsuit, short, tank top, just something that will move with you when it gets wet.
Next you will need a PFD – personal floatation device. A coast guard has advised that vessels and paddle boards need to have some sort of PFD. A popular option is an inflatable PFD that is compact until inflated. You should also carry a flashlight and a safety whistle in case of emergencies.
Lastly you should get a leash. A leash will tether you to the paddle board that way if you fall of the paddle board can’t get away from you. There are leashes designed for seas, rivers, and lakes so make sure you purchase the right one. They are usually sold separately from the stand up paddle board.
Sun protection would be good during the summer so your back and legs don’t get burnt.
Traction pad should come on your paddle board if not it is inexpensive and it will prevent falling.
How should I transport my stand up paddle board?
To transport your paddle board on your car you will need racks and padding so the racks do not scratch the board. You will want to put the fins facing the windshield that way it can’t slid back. If you want to stack a few paddle boards on top of each other you need to strap them down with straps. You should check the straps whenever you stop and tighten them if needed.
How to carry your stand up paddle board to the water
Most of stand up paddle boards have built in handles in them. Just lean the board on its edge and grab the middle in the middle and carry it under one arm.
If your board has no handle and you have the carry the board on your heads here’s what you do…
- Stand the board on its end with the top of the board facing you.
- Lay the paddle on the ground but make sure you can still reach it.
- Grasp the edge of the board with both hands.
- Walk under the board and make sure your head is about halfway in the middle.
- Stand up straight hold the rails with the board on your head.
Stand up paddle boarding is a fun and relaxing way to work out and play on the water.
Paddle boarding is an intense full body workout which will help you burn weight and fat.
You only need minimum gear and then you can paddle ocean, lakes, and rivers.
Safety should be your number one concern so make sure you have a personal floatation device and whistle in case of an emergency.
This is a fun exciting sport for every one of all ages!
Get your stand up paddle board today.