A standup paddleboard or SUP makes an excellent investment especially if you love having fun in the water or you enjoy water activities. Apart from getting a little fun under the sun, using a SUP is also a great way to get a full body workout!

There are different types of standup paddleboards available on the market and if you are shopping for one, it’s mighty important to consider all the important factors you need to know. After all, a single SUP will set you back at least $400, that’s why you need to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Paddleboarding

Image used under Creative Commons from bookfinch

Best Inflatable Standup Paddle Boards

Image
Name
Pros
Cons
Bottom line
Ten Toes Board Emporium Weekender
  • Made from military grade PVC
  • Supports up to 250 pounds of weight
  • Stable performance and adjustable firmness
  • Difficult to inflate
iRocker Inflatable Paddle Board
  • Made from rigid, military-grade material
  • Supports up to 350 pounds of weight
  • Ultra-portable design
  • 2-Year Warranty
  • Unstable in choppy waters
Tower Paddle Board
Tower Paddle Board
  • Made from rigid, military-grade material
  • Supports up to 350 pounds of weight
  • Leak resistant and durable
  • 2-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
  • Reported quality issues
ISLE Airtech Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
  • Made from rigid, military-grade material
  • Supports up to 240 pounds of weight
  • Comes with 30-day guarantee and 12 months warranty
  • May not appeal to some users

Ten Toes Board Emporium Weekender Inflatable Standup Paddleboard


Ten Toes Board Emporium’s Weekender paddleboard is an inflatable standup paddleboard that measures about 10 feet in length. It promises to provide stable support so it’s one of the best paddleboards to get for beginners. This product is made from military grade PVC so it’s totally lifeproof, durable, and resistant to extreme wear and tear.

The beauty of the Weekender is its portability. Since it’s inflatable, you can simply release the air, roll the product, and stow it away in your car or backpack conveniently until your next water adventure.The Weekender is a solid performer, able to provide a level of firmness that’s comparable to stiff standup paddleboards.

It’s lightweight and virtually indestructible, making it a great choice for intermediate and advanced paddle boarders alike. The Weekender comes as a set, which includes a paddle, 3 fins, a manual pump plus a repair kit so you have all the things you need to guarantee awesome fun on the water.

As for the negatives, pumping air into the paddleboard to inflate is a struggle especially for the uninitiated. The pump is manually operated so it might not appeal to everyone. For this satisfied customer, the Weekender belies its affordable price tag, offering impressive performance and stability that could rival that of more expensive SUPs:

A lot of these budget boards have pump issues, paddles don’t float, boards are poor quality, but not this board.The board is great quality, tracks straight, is as stable and solid (virtually no flex) as high end boards. I was very impressed. If you want a great budget priced board, don’t hesitate to purchase a 10 Toes Board.

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iRocker Inflatable Paddle Board


The iRocker brand is renowned for its quality SUPs and its inflatable SUP set is one of the brand’s hottest selling product ever and we can see why. Crafted from military grade materials, the iRocker inflatable standup paddleboard is virtually indestructible, guaranteeing almost supernaturally long life! This is one of the best SUPs for boarders of all levels.

The inflatable material is extremely rigid once it’s fully inflated, able to support up to 350 pounds of weight.What’s more, this paddleboard is so lightweight and portable; you can take it with you anywhere! We love the durability and portability of this paddleboard plus the 2 years’ warranty covers normal wear and tear for a worry free adventure!

In addition, the set comes with all the necessary tools you need, including a high-pressure hand pump, an adjustable paddle made from aluminum, and a repair kit.

We did not come across any issue with the iRocker inflatable standup paddleboard during testing but some users say the product is prone to leaking. What we did notice was that the board can get a little unsteady on choppy waters. As such, we recommend this to expert paddle boarders. That said, this Amazon user says the iRocker SUP is a great choice for beginners and the inflation process is pretty easy too:

A perfect inflatable, especially for a first purchase. They are very well made and extremely durable. The inflation process is a relatively easy and only requires a small amount of effort for a large amount of fun.

The board tracks truly and glides nicely whilst keeping the paddler high and dry on top of 6″ rails. I would highly recommend these boards to anyone who is looking for an inflatable. The portability combined with a board that doesn’t chip or ding itself or the paddler, are all great reasons to think seriously about purchasing one (or two as in my case).

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Tower Paddle Board

Tower Paddle Board
Tower Paddle Boards’ SUP is a 10 feet paddleboard that can support up to 350 pounds of weight. This inflatable paddleboard performs similarly to a traditional rigid standup paddleboard and it can be inflated up to 15 PSI.

Thanks to its double-stitch construction, the Tower Paddle Board’s SUP is leak-resistant and durable. It is also crafted from military-grade PVC material so it’s quite hardwearing, there’s no need to worry about board cracks and minor dings during an adventure. As such, this is a great SUP for those who are getting into paddle boarding for the first time.

Tower Paddle Boards’ SUP is also portable. Once deflated, it’s easy to roll away and stow in the car or your backpack. You can also travel with this paddleboard, perfect for an impromptu water adventure anytime. The Tower Paddle Boards’ SUP also comes as a set with all the tools you need to paddleboard. These tools include a 3-piece adjustable paddle made from fiberglass and a pump. Tower Paddle Boards is also offering a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, covering normal wear and tear for worry-free use!

As for the negatives, most users say their SUPs started leaking just after several uses. We did not come across the same issue but this is something worth noting when considering this SUP. Other users are having trouble with the pump that comes with this paddleboard. As for this Amazon reviewer who gave the Tower Paddle Boards SUP a five-star rating, this product is a family favorite thanks to its durability:

I LOVE this board. I had a question when blowing up and called in and they were very nice answering my questions. I recommend this board to all my friends. It is stiff and spent bend. I have had three of us on the board at once. We love it, my daughter is saving up to buy her own.

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ISLE Airtech Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board


ISLE AirTech SUP is an inflatable paddleboard that can support up to 240 pounds. It features a rounded design for smooth, stable ride every time. Thanks to its great design, the ISLE AirTech SUP is perfect for beginners, especially when used on flat water. This product is constructed from military-grade PVC so it’s so durable, you don’t have to worry about wear and tear as well as dings and bangs when paddle boarding.

The ISLE AirTech SUP’s firmness is also impressive when it’s fully inflated. The stiffness rivals that of more traditional paddleboards but without the bulk. This product comes as a set, which includes a paddle, a high-pressure pump, and a carry case. It also comes with a 30-day guarantee and 12 months warranty on materials for a risk-free purchase.

As for the downsides of using the ISLE AirTech SUP, we wish it could support more than 240 pounds of weight. Most of the SUPs on this list can support 350 pounds of weight and at this price point, we’d like to see a hardier SUP that can take on greater weights. Minor issues aside, this is a solid performer and this Amazon user agrees:

This SUP is exactly what I dreamed of. Easy and quick to set up, very sturdy on the water and it doesn’t take up a lot of space when I’m not using it. I have paddle boarded on vacations before, via rentals. This SUP exceeds every expectation I had and I can’t wait to take it back out on the water!

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Types of Standup Paddleboards

Did you know that standup paddle boards come in 5 different types? Each one has a specific purpose and they come with their own pros and cons. The five different types of stand up paddle boards are:

  • Surf specific boards
  • All-around/Touring boards
  • Inflatable stand up paddleboards
  • Racing Boards
  • Yoga Boards

Image used under Creative Commons from Nathan Forget

Surf Specific Paddleboard
A surf specific paddle board features a narrower nose and tail than your average surfboard. It’s made from a lightweight material and its shape is designed for quick turns when surfing the waves. As the name implies, this paddleboard is best used when surfing the waves.

All-Around Paddleboard
An all-around paddleboard features a wider, longer body and a pointed nose. The shape is designed for stability in the water, ensuring that the paddleboard remains stable on flat waters for cruising or water paddling. This paddleboard is excellent for beginners.

Inflatable Standup Paddleboard
An inflatable standup paddleboard is designed for travel and easy storage. Its inflatable material folds and stows away conveniently so it’s perfect for traveling. It may or may not come with its own pump. This paddleboard is designed for easier transport because it’s light, compact, and it won’t waste space in your backpack.

Racing Paddle Board
As the name implies, a racing board is a paddleboard designed for racing. It features an extremely long and narrow body as well as a pointed nose and long fin. The paddleboard is designed to slice through the waves with ease at a relatively high speed.

Yoga Standup Paddleboard
Designed for yoga exercises while on the water, a yoga standup paddleboard comes with a wider, longer body and a covered surface to ease abrasion when in use. This paddleboard is typically used together with various exercise tools including resistance bands.

How to Choose the Right SUP for You

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a SUP

The Type of SUP to Get
Perhaps one of the most important factors you need to consider is the type of SUP that suits your need. SUPs come in different varieties so choose the one that comes with features that you can maximize. Our advice is to get to know each paddleboard type and take it from there.

The Size
The right paddleboard size will depend on your weight and your paddleboarding experience. When choosing which paddleboard to get, keep in mind the length of the body.

Boards with longer, wider, and thicker body offer more volume and when the board has more volume, it’s more stable on the water. If you’re a beginner, go for a paddleboard with a wider body and leave the thinner, narrower paddleboards to experienced paddle boarders. An inflatable standup paddleboard is the best choice for beginners too!

Portability
Most paddleboards are about 9 feet long so if you’re traveling, the size and portability of the board are important. If you’re traveling by a small car, it makes sense to get a board that’ll fit your vehicle. Storing the board is an issue too if you’re traveling by plane so review the aviation guidelines of your chosen airline first before packing a paddleboard.