When you are looking to buy yourself a nice inflatable paddle board there are so many factors to consider. First of all, you are going to want to set yourself a budget and decide how much money you want to spend on an inflatable board. It is important to think about how much you have gone paddle boarding so that you can make sure that you like it before you spend a bunch of money, as well as how much time you plan on spending using your paddle board. It can be a very difficult procedure so to help you out with your issues we have created a buying guide below for the factors that you should consider, as well as a top ten list for the best paddle boards that are on the market.
Top Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard Comparison Chart
Inflatable Paddleboard Buying Guide
The first thing that is probably going to sway your eyes besides the price tag is the design that is incorporated onto the board. It is important to find a board that appeals to your own personality because there are so many options to choose from that it would be silly not to. Another important thing to remember about the design of the board is that you are likely going to be paying a bit of a premium if you want to buy yourself something that is made from a well-known brand.
Especially when you are looking to buy yourself an inflatable board it is extremely important to make sure that you meet the weight limit that was set by the manufacturer. Failing to meet the weight limit may cause the unit to pop and a big enough hole in an inflatable unit may mean that you have to purchase yourself an entirely new board. If you are unsure as to the weight limit of the board it is important to contact the manufacturer before purchasing because it is very likely that warranty won’t cover the unit popping due to excess weight being put on the unit.
Size is one of the most important aspects of a paddle board as the size of the board has a direct correlation to the level of difficulty in order to use the board. Different sizes of boards have certain advantages over other ones and it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of the different lengths available before you make your purchasing decision. Board’s that are under 9 feet in length have very good maneuverability and are generally designed for kids to use; you will definitely want to watch weight limits with extreme caution when purchasing a board at under 9 feet in length. A medium size board is considered to be in the range of nine to twelve feet and is ideal for use in calm water but still offers fairly good maneuverability. A long board is considered to be 12 feet to 14 feet and can be paddled faster than that of smaller boards. A longer board is much more difficult to turn and when paddling and attempting to stay straight it will be much easier than a smaller board will be. Races, as well as long-distance traveling, are the key uses for the longest paddle boards. Width is also something to pay attention to because it directly affects how stable the board is on the water. Generally, a wide board is considered to be 31 inches or more and offers the highest stability when paddling, a wide board will slow you down which is one thing to be aware of. A narrow board is generally considered to be 29-30 inches in width and offer much less stability than a wider board but is capable of traveling much faster if you can keep your balance.
When you buy yourself an inflatable paddle board you can expect to get a variety of accessories that come along with your purchase. Depending on how much money you spend on the unit you will see lower quality or higher quality accessories accordingly. All inflatable paddle boards should come with patches as well as a leash so that you can attach yourself to it and be able to find your board when you fall off of it. Other more expensive accessories that are common on high-end paddle boards include some kind of a pump that you can use to blow up the unit, paddles or a paddle, and you will even find some boats will come with a backpack of some kind to hold your personal items in.
Especially when you are looking at an inflatable board it is important to make sure that the material is going to be durable so that you don’t end up popping your expensive board the first day you go out on the water. Different companies have different ways that they reinforce the board and some companies just include extra patches so that they don’t have to reinforce their product which is something that you should be on the lookout for. If you are doubtful about the quality of a product the best thing to do is investigate further and see the issues others have had.
There are all different kinds of ways that paddle board manufacturers make the grip. Generally, the manufacturer makes more or less grip depending on whether they have their target market as a beginner or an inexperienced paddle boarder. Someone who doesn’t have a whole lot of experience is going to want more grip while riding the board otherwise they are going to have a tough time learning to use the board without falling off and losing their balance. Some boards actually incorporate extra-large traction pads on the deck so that two different people can use the board at the same time and have a bit of room to move around. It is important to think about what all you are going to be doing on the board so that you can decide how much grip you are going to need. For example: if you are going to be doing things like diving off the board or fishing then you are probably going to want a fairly large grip deck to give you more stability. Another thing that you are going to come across is a grooved board rather than a board with a traction pad. These boards do offer increased grip but they may not quite be as good as a traction pad which is something that you should be aware of before you make your purchasing decision.
One of the most important aspects of a paddle board for many people will be the price of a paddle board. Even inflatable boards can get very high in price and it is especially important to expect to get a quality board that is going to last you for a few years if you are going to have a really high budget. When you are attempting to set a budget for yourself it is important to consider your experience as well as how much you are going to use the board. Think about your financial situation and make sure you can afford the board that you are looking to purchase. It is important to think about the longevity of the board in your purchasing decision because if you plan on replacing the board if it breaks, you may want to spend a little bit more money so that you don’t have to do that as often; this could save you money in the long run. Even the cheapest inflatable boards on the market are going to cost you a fair bit of money so it is important to make sure that this is actually a product that you want to purchase. If you can it may be a good idea to try and find a friend or a rental shop to take one of these out on the water and learn to use it before you make your final purchasing decision. It would really suck to buy a board only to realize you didn’t like using it and you couldn’t return it because it was either past the deadline or damaged in some way.
The last thing you are going to want to heavily consider when looking at a board is how long the company warranty is on the product that you are purchasing as this can really save you. It is important to look at the finer details of the warranty to make sure there are no hidden clauses that make the warranty void; you will often find these with companies that are trying to rip you off with a bad product and it is good to know that companies like this actually exist. You will find a range of warranties on the market that only covers things like manufacturer defects, it is a good idea to look for something that also covers damage especially when you are buying an inflatable boat because you may run into issues a few years down the road.
Best Inflatable Paddle Board Reviews
The Bluefin SUP hits the top of our list because of its balance between value/price and features. Users are raving about it, and how it’s by far the best option for an inflatable SUP in its price range and beyond. Why are so many people so happy? Let’s explore!
It’s made from military grade triple layered PVC for strength, and it comes with a full kayak conversion kit so you can use it as more of a boat than a board. That means you’ll get a two-piece, dual-ended paddle, seat, ankle leash and of course, a high capacity pump. Most of that can fit into an included carry bag.
The board itself is quite long at twelve feet, and it’s over thirty inches wide. That means it’s capable of handling the weight of several people. In fact, it’s rated for 410 pounds! That can actually hold my entire family including me, my wife and my THREE kids! Crazy stuff!
Like many larger SUPs, you can use this board for Yoga, Pilates, racing, white water travel, surfing and lake touring. That’s a lot of value and diversity for an affordable price!
- 410 lb weight limit allows the majority of people (along with most of their family at the same time) to be able to use this board
- Very nice floatable, two-piece paddle
- Hand pump to pump the unit up, bag to carry your stuff around in
- Durable design is built to last
- very rigid
- Some have concerns over stability, while others say it’s really stable – not sure who to believe!
This paddleboard requires an average to high budget as far as paddle boards are concerned, but has some nice features incorporated into the design to attempt to make up for the higher price tag. This paddle board has a weight limit of 350 lbs meaning it can hold up the weight of the majority of people in the marketplace. The board is 9’10 in length making it a bit smaller than some of the boards on the market but increasing the overall maneuverability of the board. The board is quite durable as it is made out of PVC piping and has a two year warranty on it that covers everything besides regular wear and tear.
- Purchase includes a board, a pump, and a 3 part adjustable paddle
- Very durable PVC pipe material incorporated into the design
- Two-year warranty covers everything but wear and tear on the unit
- This unit is capable of holding a weight of up to 350 lbs
- Easier to transport due to its small size
- Average to high price as far as inflatable paddle boards are concerned
- Some users may want a longer board
If you are willing to pay a higher price tag in exchange for some extra features you may be interested in getting this paddle board. This paddleboard is 11 feet in length and offers a reinforced body that incorporates polyvinyl chloride. The eleven-foot length of the board combined with a 34-inch width makes the board quite stable on the water. The board comes with a variety of nice accessories which is something that you should expect at this high price range. Although the wide board is going to slow down your travel speed, this is an ideal board for a relaxing paddle.
- Comes with a wide variety of accessories including a pump, a paddle, a leash, a backpack a patch repair kit as well as a cell phone bag to keep your phone dry
- 11-foot long board makes for a very long platform to learn on
- 34-inch board is very wide and easy to maintain your balance on
- Polyvinyl chloride reinforced body for added durability
- Loses some speed thanks to the very wide base
- Very expensive price tag will not be affordable for a lot of people
This boat is available for a pretty low price tag and does come with some pretty nice features with your purchase as well. The board comes with a paddle, a detachable track fin, a footrest, a storage bag, a repair kit as well as a hand pump so that you can blow up the board. This board features a nice carrying handle which makes it very easy to transport from place to place so long as you can either handle the ten foot length or release the air in the chamber and fold it up to take it with you. The board has a large grip deck on the top to make it much easier to stand on and maintain your balance. The board itself is 10 feet long by 30 inches wide which makes it offer a combination of speed as well as s decent amount of maneuverability.
- Large anti-slip deck on the top to prevent slips
- Top end of the narrow board make this board fairly fast
- Medium size board offers good maneuverability
- Tons of accessories come with the board including a hand pump, a detachable fin, a footrest, a storage bag as well as a repair kit
- Convenient carrying handle
- Doubled outer layer for added protection and increased durability over time
- Only capable of holding up to 220 lbs at one time
The ROC is what we would consider an overall good value – especially if your price range is south of $300. It’s not an exceptional board on any count, but quite capable of whatever you put it through (even rocky rivers). It’s made of military grade PVC and ROC claims (of course they would – they have to!) it’s the lightest and most durable board on the market – PERIOD! Big claim ROC and I’m not so sure you’d know if you were or were not, but we’ll let it slide this time.
It’s 10.5 feet long and 32 inches wide (I really like those dimensions actually). Like most boards, it’s 6 inches thick and this board can hold 275 pounds which is adequate though not exceptional. You’ll get an alloy floating paddle, leash, pump, waterproof cell and key bag as well as a great backpack for the whole schmozzle!
ROC will give you a 1-year warranty which they actually sell (so they say) for $50, but you special customers, it’s free!
We do like the board, but some of the claims and semi-lame warranty are a little lackluster.
- Non-slip surface
- Comes with a backpack and air pump for your own convenience
- Lots of excellent reviews on Amazon (could 240 people be wrong?)
- Might be too slow of a board and too sturdy for experienced paddleboard riders
- Jack of all trades and master of none
This unit is one of the most affordable inflatable paddle boat packages that are available on the market. The package is available in a white and grey as well as a white and blue design to appeal to a broader audience. The board itself is 9.9 feet long and 30 inches wide as well as 5 inches thick. With your purchase, you get a lot of accessories including a 3 part aluminum paddle a pump with a pressure gauge so that you can properly fill up the board, a backpack and a carrying strap that is removable and located directly on the board for ease of transportation. The deck on this board is grooved in order to improve grip so that you don’t fall off when you are paddling as often. Amazingly for this affordable price tag, the manufacturer offers a one year warranty on the unit which can really help to give you some peace of mind with your purchase.
- Deflated the boat sits at only one foot in diameter making it extremely easy to transport
- One year warranty to give you peace of mind
- Three piece aluminum paddle
- The grooved deck offers improved grip strength
- Made from durable PVC material to help protect from chips and scratches
- Very hard to beat the affordable price tag
- Comes with a backpack, 3 piece aluminum paddle, a pump with a pressure gauge, and a removable carrying strap on the unit
- May be too thick for some users liking
This board is available for a medium to low price tag and comes in four different colors in order to suit a wide range of personal tastes. The board is 10.6 feet long, 31 inches wide and 6 inches thick which makes for a very sturdy board that sits quite high out of the water as a result. This board comes with a variety of accessories; some of which you won’t find even on boards that are a higher price tag at times. The board comes with a carrying backpack that can be used when the product is deflated. A high-pressure pump is in the package as well so that you can pump up your board according to specifications. You will also notice that this product comes with a three-piece paddle made out of aluminum, an ankle leash so that you don’t lose your board, as well as a removable fin to increase stability while out on the water.
- Capable of holding up to 300 lbs at one time
- Comes with a huge variety of accessories including a pump with a gauge, a three-piece aluminum paddle, an ankle leash, a removable fin as we;; as a carrying backpack to move the unit around when it is deflated
- Thick board makes for a very stable ride
- One year warranty against any defects that appear
- Four color options that you can choose from
- Exterior made from PVC pipe material to help protect against scratches and chips
- May take extra effort to fully inflate
Another board that is available for a pretty reasonable price considering all of the nice features that you get with the design. The design is agressive-looking (tapered to a sharper point at the front) and it offers the ability to be able to transport the board around quite easily without having to deflate it. The board comes equipped with a nice assortment of accessories. You will find all these included with your purchase: adjustable travel paddle, high-pressure dual action pump, fin & hardware, leash, repair kit, valve wrench and board bag. The unit is extremely lightweight and is still capable of holding up to 280 lbs. Inflation pressure is up to 18 PSI and it’s camera-ready too!
Based on the construction materials and techniques of military-grade inflatable boats, the Puffer is constructed of nylon and PVC. The drop-stitch core consists of a top and bottom fabric layer held together by an array of nylon ‘tethers’. The strength of the tethers within the structure allows the cavity to hold high levels of pressure while maintaining form and rigidity. The drop-stitch structure is then encased in double layers of seam-welded PVC. The result is a super stiff and light collapsible board.
- Comes with a fin, a leash, a paddle and a carrying bag
- 11.5 feet long and 31 inches wide for a great size for stability
- Super easy to transport the board around
- Works in waves and calm water
- Can handle up to 280 lbs
- Questionable construction and durability quality of included accessories
This is another board that is very friendly with your wallet. This board comes available in two different styles in order to suit a broad range of personality traits. The board is 9.9 inches long, 30 inches wide and 5 inches thick. The board comes with quite a lot of accessories in order to improve the value of this deal. The accessories included are: a large no slip deck, an adjustable aluminum paddle, a pump to blow up the board, a detachable center fin for extra stability, a backpack to carry the unit around in when it is deflated as well as a valve wrench so you can easily blow the board up and deflate as needed. The weight limit of the board is 240 lbs which means it can hold the majority of people with relative ease; you will also find that the board is made from PVC piping and is multi-layered which adds durability.
- PVC piping and multiple layers for added durability
- 240 lb weight limit can hold most people
- Large portion of accessories including adjustable aluminum paddle, a detachable fin, a backpack to carry the unit around, a pump to blow up the unit as well as a valve wrench
- Very budget friendly board of a reasonable size
- Instructions included for user convenience
- Sits high up in the water
- Some users may want a longer board for more speed
- Gets difficult to pump up at the end
If you are looking to buy yourself a paddle board on the really cheap side of things just so that you can give paddle boarding a try, then this product may be the one for you. This board comes with two side fins and a removable center fin that are all used for added stability. Like many of the other inflatable boards on the market, this comes with a nice amount of accessories. The board has a pump, an aluminum oar, a pressure gauge to pump your board up to the right pressure as well as a carrying bag for easy transportation. The board also features an anti-slip grip pad on the deck so that you have even more stability when using the unit. Drop stitch material is also incorporated into the design which helps to add more durability to the unit.
- Two side fins and removable center fin for added stability
- Medium size board at 10 feet 2 inches in length
- Anti-slip traction pad for increased grip strength and more stability
- Drop stitch material adds more durability to the unit
- Comes with a pump, an aluminum oar, a pressure gauge and a backpack
- Very cheap price tag compared to other inflatable boards on the market
- No repair kit
- No leash included
- Weight limit is 220 lbs which means it is lower than most on the market
Conclusion & Recommendations
It can be quite difficult to purchase yourself an inflatable paddle board especially due to the fact that there are so many options available on the market. It is very important to look at the finer details of the paddle board design so that you can uncover the potential issues that you may run into down the road. Look for things like extra thick padding, extra patches, and a high weight limit and it is much more likely that you will be purchasing yourself a durable board. It is also important to try and stick within whatever budget you set for yourself because you will find that there is a huge variance in price ranges available and some of them may be way over your budget. Hope that this list has helped to inform you a bit about paddle boards and that you maybe even found yourself a new board. Have fun on the water!