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Take to the waves on an inflatable paddle board. This tranquil hobby is growing in popularity and if you love it too, take a look at these TFG picks so you can bring one on your next water-based vacay!
Best Inflatable Paddle Board
Written By: Laura Pulling
Table Of Contents
No matter in which glossy magazine you read, it seems like you can spot a celeb paddleboarding somewhere around the globe during the summer months. From Kate Hudson, Pierce Brosnan, and who could possibly forget the infamous Orlando Bloom and Katy Perry picture!
Obviously, you should definitely wear more clothes! The popularity of the relaxing sport of stand up paddle boarding is on the rise. And anyone who has tried it can see why!
Living a five-minute walk from the Caribbean Sea, I frequently attend my local paddle board club, with my favorite mornings involving grabbing a board before sunrise and taking to the ocean like a sea goddess to watch the sun creep up from the horizon.
The author enjoying a sunrise paddle in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
If it’s also a passion of yours, you might want to invest in your own paddle board, so you can go whenever you like to. And with an inflatable stand up paddle board (sometimes called an iSUP), the design means they can even pack down into your suitcase for your next trip—so no more rental fees and conforming to a club schedule!
However, if you’re a newbie at this and want to know a bit more information about this fun pastime beyond celebrity pics, let’s try to shed more light:
Is Paddleboarding Hard?
Not at all! This enjoyable sport is easy going and can be learned in the space of an afternoon. It gives you a full-body workout and lets you connect with some of the most beautiful spaces that the great outdoors has to offer.
What Is the Difference Between an Inflatable Sup Board and a Rigid Standup Paddleboard?
When investing in your own SUP paddle board for the first time, you may be thinking about the difference between an inflatable and a rigid board. Now, to an outsider’s brain, an inflatable SUP board sounds like a cheaper and more ‘temporary’ option, for those who can’t have a rigid board, but technically, this isn’t true.
Advancements in technology mean that inflatable boards can be as good at performing as regular boards, and actually have the added bonus of being easier to transport and store.
Other advantages of a blow up paddle board are:
- Durability– An inflatable paddleboard actually is a better option for rockier and shallower surfaces as they are less likely to damage if bumped, compared with a fibreglass rigid board that easily chips and dents.
- Softer landing– As a beginner, it’s likely you’ll fall off at one point or another! A softer inflatable board makes it less likely to bang your limbs or head on a harder surface!
- Portability– Most inflatable boards pack down into a rucksack sized bag, which can be easily carried, and stored within your home. You also don’t need a special roof rack for the car, just pop the carry bag in the trunk.
- Option to fly– While you can fly with a rigid board, it is awkward and expensive to do so for a regular hobby or vacation. An inflatable board can be checked along with your luggage and most airlines allow sports equipment for a small charge.
Watching the sun say hello in Playa del Carmen
The main disadvantages of an inflatable board are performance-related, mainly for speed in the water, but unless you’re planning to become competitive, this won’t be a huge consideration.
One thing, nflating a board is a tedious task with a hand pump and can take a solid 15 minutes of effort before you’ve even taken to the water. You can combat this though, by purchasing an electric pump.
If you’re a recreational paddler, an inflatable board will have all you need to enjoy the water, and at a much lower price tag too!
Now get ready to enjoy the water, and check out our TFG picks for best inflatable stand up paddle boards!
Best Inflatable Paddle Boards
Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board and Accessories Kit
The ROC inflatable stand up board is lightweight and provides good stability, making it a great board for beginners and seasoned paddleboarders alike. It’s 10 feet long, 32” wide and 6” thick when fully inflated, with a weight limit of 300 lbs. It has a D-ring at the back to attach the leash to keep it secured to you during use, The diamond groove deck padding is soft on the feet and non-slip, even when wet. The front of the board has bungee cords to keep some gear stowed safely when on the water.
The board comes as a package that has everything you need for a day on the water. As well as the SUP board, you receive a collapsible aluminum paddle, safety leash, waterproof bag, and a backpack to keep it all inside. It also has a hand pump, but reviewers say this isn’t the best and you may wish to invest in an electric one.
For this inflatable paddle board, reviews are great, and it’s the best ranked on Amazon, one user shares, “I researched for about six months and always came back to this board. If you do the same… just stop and buy this one.”
Blackfin Model X
The Blackfin SUP is wide and stable. Measuring 10’ 6” long, 35” wide and 6” thick, it’s great for all skill levels, but especially beginners. This board works well for multiple riders, or for those who might want to bring their beloved pooch onto the water with them and can hold up to 450 lbs.
It’s great for those who want to be adventurous, with a ton of attachment points for fishing gear, a GoPro, and other accessories, plus the soft underfoot coating works well as a yoga mat for yoga on the water too. This Blackfin paddle board comes with an option to add a kayak conversion kit, plus to upgrade to an electric pump too.
There is nothing but 5-star stand up paddle reviews for this board, with one user sharing, “Portable, inflates, and deflates easily, and is super sturdy! It was like standing on a solid board! I also highly recommend the kayak attachment—so versatile and easy and fits in the bag with the board! Definitely worth the investment! Can’t wait to take it out again!”
ISLE Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
Who says blow up paddle boards can’t look cute? This ISLE board is a lightweight option that you can use for fishing, snorkeling, or just paddling. At 10’6″ long by 34″ wide, and 6″ thick, It’s able to hold 285 lbs of capacity and is stable and easy to stand on for beginners and more advanced paddlers.
It’s made from a military-grade PVC which gives it a nearly indestructible outer skin. It has an EVA traction deck pad, for a soft underfoot surface, bungee straps, and easy to grab handles. These stand up paddle boards inflatable types come as a package, complete with all essential accessories, including removable fin, coil leash, aluminum paddle, pump, and carrying bag.
One review shares, “I’m so happy with this purchase! The paddle board is great quality and all of the products are well-made and just really pretty! Also, handles like a dream in the water.”
SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Accessories
The SereneLife SUP is a quality board, made of premium military-grade materials. Measuring 10’6 feet long, 32” wide and 6” thick, it makes balancing and stabilizing on it a breeze. The board is easy to maneuver and has fins to help steer and handling. It has an EVA non-slip deck and the reinforced construction makes it hardy and tough.
This board will have you ready to hit the waves, with everything you need including: board, safety leash, aluminum paddle, manual pump, and storage bag.
Serene Life paddle board reviews are great, One experienced paddler shares, “As someone who owns three inflatables and has used countless others, I can easily say this is the best one I own. It’s great for one or two people, is highly buoyant, very stable, and comes with a lot of great additional things that really sweeten the deal.”
Comes in multiple colors to suit your “board style”!
FBSport Premium Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Accessories
The FBSport is one of the best paddleboards if you’re on a budget. The durable boards are made of military-grade materials. The non-slip soft top deck makes it ideal for all skill levels. Plus it has triple bottom fins for easy maneuverability through the choppy surf.
The package comes with paddling essentials, including a paddle that floats, a coiled leash, a pump, and a carry bag! And, the board comes in several colors.
One stand up paddle review shares “Sturdy, comfy on the knees and bare feet, the bag holds everything well, and the straps are quality. You CANNOT beat this!”
Bluefin Cruise SUP Kayak Hybrid Inflatable Package
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon is thus named due to it’s integrated carbon construction making it strong and sturdy, in fact, it’s so tough it can be inflated to 28 psi, making it one of the most rigid inflatable boards available. It comes in two different lengths, 10’8” or 12’, and has plenty of D rings for attaching bungees and keeping your stuff safe.
This paddle board also comes as a package; with the pump, leash, fins, adjustable paddle, and repair kit included, with a large backpack to store it all inside, and also has a kayak conversion seat and a kayak paddle conversion end too, so you can kayak too if you prefer!
The inflatable SUP reviews are great for this and one says, “The boards came with everything as described and the quality matched the accessories of my friend’s boards from top name brands.” But they advise that as this board is a bit narrower, it may be trickier for a beginner.
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Most of the boards we have included in our list come as a full beginners kit, which includes paddles and leashes and carry bags. However, some don’t, or sometimes you may want to just replace one element of it, so here are the best accessories you can get and add to your gear!
Abahub 3-Piece Adjustable Alloy Stand Up Paddle
The Abahub paddle is great for beginners of casual paddleboarders. Made from an aluminum shaft and a fiberglass/polypropylene blade with a concave groove design to cut through the water. It can conveniently be transported, by breaking down into three pieces and can be adjusted from 68’’ to 84’’.
Users rave about it, especially for the price, but can warn the handle can twist a bit when being used.
Leader Accessories 3 Piece Adjustable SUP Paddle
This Leader SUP paddle breaks down into three pieces for ease of transportation. The aluminum shaft extends from 69-88” and adjusts and locks in seconds. The polypropylene blade is stiff and durable, with a triangular shape for pushing through the water. Plus it floats if you drop it in the surf.
WOOWAVE SUP Leash Premium
The Woowave is a straight leash that comes in a variety of colors. It works for any surf or SUP board, with a neoprene cuff that hugs the ankle, which also has a hidden key pouch. The coated cord is straight and tough, with a swivel connector to keep it from twisting when on the go.
Users rate it high, especially for the price, with one sharing, “Quality leash with very strong Velcro. Love the bright colors.”
NRS Coil SUP Leash
This NRS leash is excellent for all kinds of SUP boards, it has a long 11-foot coil, which relaxes to 20”, with a swivel that doesn’t get in your way. The calf/ankle strap is soft enough to wear all day too!
But don’t let us tell you, one user details, “This leash is outstanding. The neoprene ankle/calf closure is comfortable and has enough room to fit one’s ankle or calf. The coiled cord is substantial and stays out of the water, even when attached to the ankle. The hardware is high quality and the velcro grips securely.”
BPS ‘Storm’ Ultralite 10 Foot Coiled SUP Leash/Leg Rope
This BPS Storm leash is raved about by users with praising reviews on Amazon. The leash is made of sturdy materials that are coated in a bright color to customize your look, and it is coiled, so won’t get in your way or drag when you don’t need it. The ankle cuff is made os a soft neoprene with a quick release velcro cover and hidden key pocket inside
One buyer explains, “I love this. It is easy to put on, and really comfortable. I use it with my stand up paddleboard. It has a generous amount of velcro, so it can be loose or tight around my ankle. It is simple to attach to the paddleboard.”
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Suspenz SUP Stow & Go Paddle Board Strap
This easy to install Suspenz strap holds up to 100 lbs of weight, and fits paddle boards and kayaks up to 36” wide. The straps have padding behind the buckles to protect your beloved board from scratches as you clip it in. Plus it has a place to keep the paddle and padded shoulder strap for comfort.
One user shares, “The brackets are easy to hang and strap makes it even easier. Super handy for a single lady to carry her board!”
Jinvun SUP Carry Strap
This all-purpose Jinvun strap carries surfboards, paddleboards, and kayaks alike, its lightweight but tough material supports your board easily and has a comfortable neoprene padded shoulder strap to reduce pressure and tension as you carry it.
There’s also a built-in paddle holder for carrying both your paddle and board hands-free!
One user explains, “This shoulder strap makes it so much easier to move the paddle board to and from the water. This is a definite must-have that I will always make sure I have with me before leaving with my paddle board.”
SereneLife Digital Electric Air Pump Compressor
This SereneLife electric pump will make inflating your SUP board a breeze. The simple design works both from a mains outlet or can work from a car power using the cigarette jack.
You can set your inflation level on the digital display to prevent over-inflation and the flexible hose can be disassembled for compact storage.
You can also choose the model with the built-in battery, which is a little more expensive than the standard version but may be worth it for longevity and ease.
OutdoorMaster 20PSI High Pressure SUP Air Pump The Shark
This heavy-duty OutdoorMasteer electric pump has an active cooling system that keeps it working, even when inflating many boards in a short period of time. The sleek design is fast and powerful, with a digital display and an automatic cut off for when the target pressure is reached. It also has a deflation function, to make deflating quick and easy too!
The device has a car attachment, so you can use it anywhere, plus a range of nozzles for different inflatables.
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PFD – Personal Floatation Device
Some states have laws on watercrafts, including paddleboarding, classing them as a vessel. Meaning, if you use one, you need to wear a personal flotation device (PFD). PFDs are there to help you if you ever have a mishap or get into trouble in the water, and you’re better off having one and not need it, then the latter. Not to mention, you can avoid a fine from a coast guard if not wearing one. Here are some slim and manageable and non-bulky PFDs that are great for paddlers.
Stohlquist Women’s Cruiser Life Jacket
This slim and supportive Stohlquist life jacket won’t get in your way as you paddle. Its low-profile design is shaped for a women’s frame, with wide shoulder holes for ease of movement. It has easily accessible front pockets for keeping essentials close by while on the water.
One user shares, “I like the several ways to adjust the straps for a secure, personalized fit. The pockets and loop tab are convenient. Very comfortable, cool, and stays put, not riding up to choke me.”
Onyx m16 Belt Pack Inflatable Life Jacket (PFD)
If you prefer a device that feels like it’s barely even there—try this Onyx Belt PFD. The adjustable strap sits around your waist and it has an auto inflate for incase of an emergency.
One user raves, “After using it just once, I recommended the belt pack to all of my kayaking or paddle boarding friends. A lot of kayakers don’t like to wear a life vest because it restricts movement too much. With this belt pack one you don’t even notice you are wearing a life vest.”
Bluestorm Gear Stratus Inflatable PFD Life Jacket
This slim-fit Bluestorm PFD fits chest sizes 30”-56”, The slim design means you can still be flexible and move freely whilst wearing it, making it great for paddlers. It has a front handy pocket too, for keeping things close to hand.
The inflation is either automatic, but also has a pull cord too, with a back-up inflation tube.
One user shares, “This is an awesome option for expedition paddling. It’s comfortable to the point of forgetting that you’re wearing it. It inflates fast and has good buoyancy”
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Best Inflatable SUP Board Comparison Chart
|BRAND | MODEL||FEATURES | REVIEWS||RATING | PRICE|
|Best Inflatable Paddle Boards|
|Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board and Accessories Kit||“I researched for about six months and always came back to this board. If you do the same... just stop and buy this one.”||Check Price|
|Blackfin Model X||Portable, inflates and deflates easily, and is super sturdy! It was like standing on a solid board!||Check Price|
|ISLE Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board||“I’m so happy with this purchase! The paddle board is great quality and all of the products are well-made and just really pretty! Also, handles like a dream in the water.”||Check Price|
|SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Accessories||"It's great for one or two people, is highly buoyant, very stable, and comes with a lot of great additional things that really sweeten the deal.”||Check Price|
|FBSport Premium Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Accessories||“Sturdy, comfy on the knees and bare feet, the bag holds everything well, and the straps are quality. You CANNOT beat this!”||Check Price|
|Bluefin Cruise SUP Kayak Hybrid Inflatable Package||“The boards came with everything as described and the quality matched the accessories of my friends boards from top name brands.”||Check Price|
|Abahub 3-Piece Adjustable Alloy Stand Up Paddle||Users rave about it, especially for the price, but can warn the handle can twist a bit when being used.||Check Price|
|Leader Accessories 3 Piece Adjustable SUP Paddle||The aluminum shaft extends from 69-88” and adjusts and locks in seconds.||Check Price|
|WOOWAVE SUP Leash Premium||“Quality leash with very strong Velcro. Love the bright colors.”||Check Price|
|NRS Coil SUP Leash||“This leash is outstanding. The neoprene ankle/calf closure is comfortable and has enough room to fit one's ankle or calf."||Check Price|
|BPS ‘Storm’ Ultralite 10 Foot Coiled SUP Leash/Leg Rope||“I love this. It is easy to put on, and really comfortable. I use it with my stand up paddleboard. It has a generous amount of velcro, so it can be loose or tight around my ankle. It is simple to attach to the paddleboard.”||Check Price|
|Suspenz SUP Stow & Go Paddle Board Strap||“The brackets are easy to hang and strap makes it even easier. Super handy for a single lady to carry her board!”||Check Price|
|Jinvun SUP Carry Strap||This shoulder strap makes it so much easier to move the paddle board to and from the water. This is a definite must-have that I will always make sure I have with me before leaving with my paddle board.”||Check Price|
|SereneLife Digital Electric Air Pump Compressor||You can set your inflation level on the digital display to prevent over-inflation and the flexible hose can be disassembled for compact storage.||Check Price|
|OutdoorMaster 20PSI High Pressure SUP Air Pump The Shark||The device has a car attachment, so you can use it anywhere, plus a range of nozzles for different inflatables.||Check Price|
|PFD - Personal Floatation Device|
|Stohlquist Women's Cruiser Life Jacket||“I like the several ways to adjust the straps for a secure, personalized fit. The pockets and loop tab are convenient. Very comfortable, cool, and stays put, not riding up to choke me.”||Check Price|
|Onyx m16 Belt Pack Inflatable Life Jacket (PFD)||After using it just once, I recommended the belt pack to all of my kayaking or paddle boarding friends."||Check Price|
|Bluestorm Gear Stratus Inflatable PFD Life Jacket||“This is an awesome option for expedition paddling. It’s comfortable to the point of forgetting that you’re wearing it. It inflates fast and has good buoyancy”||Check Price|
What do you think is the best stand up paddle board inflatables? Share your top picks with us below!
For more water sports tips, please read:
- Best Rash Guards for Women to Scuba Dive, Snorkel, and Swim
- Best Snorkel Masks and Scuba Masks for Women’s Oceanic Adventures
- Best Scuba Diving Fins for Women to Tackle Any Aquatic Adventure
- What’s the Most Lightweight Travel Scuba Gear for Female Divers?
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