Paddle Board Buying Guide

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddle boarding is the world’s fastest growing water sport and no wonder. Not only is paddle boarding super fun but it is a great full body workout. Paddle boarding will help you gain strength, balance and flexibility.

Anybody can paddle board – from complete beginners to experienced paddle boarders, there are so many fun things to be done on a paddle board – from fishing to surfing and even yoga.

Paddle boarder

Another great thing about stand up paddle boarding is it can be done on any body of water – lakes, rivers, canals and the open ocean, and it can be done in flat water or in surf.

To get started on paddle boarding you are going to need to learn all about paddle boards (also known as stand up paddle boards or SUP paddle boards). Here I share with you everything you need to know to help you to choose the right paddle board for you.

Paddle Board Comparison Chart

NameImageLengthWidth & ThicknessCapacityOur Rating
PEAK Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

10'6"31" x 6"300lb4.6
BIC Sport TOUGH-TEC Cross SUP11'34" x 5.5"285lb4.9
Tower Paddle Boards "Adventurer 2"10'4"32" x 6"350lb
4.8
Ten Toes 10' Weekender10'30" x 6"250lb4.8
Sportstuff 1030 Adventure Stand Up Paddleboard10'630" x 4"250lb4.6
PathFinder Inflatable SUP9'9"30" x 5" 240lb4.6
ISLE Classic Soft Top 10'8"31" x 5"275lb4.6

Types of Paddle Boards

There are different types of paddle boards for different types of paddle boarding. An all around paddle board can be used for many different paddle boarding pursuits but you can also find paddle boards designed for specific activities such as surfing, fishing, racing and yoga.

Paddle board types

Paddle board sizing is usually in feet and inches. Stand up paddle boards can range from 8 feet to 14 feet in length, from 28 to 32 inches wide and around 4 to 6 inches thick. There is no one size fits all for paddle boards and choosing a paddle board will depend on your size and weight. Most paddle board brands will recommend a maximum weight for use on their boards, although experienced paddle boarders may feel comfortable exceeding the recommended weight.

Generally, the wider the board the more stable it will be. A narrower board will be faster so may be preferable for more experienced boarders. Longer boards also tend to be faster than shorter boards, with a shorter board generally being the best SUP for surfing. Our top paddle board reviews below will help you find the right board for you.

All Around Paddle Board

The all around paddle board is the most common type of paddle board. This multi-purpose paddle board is the most versatile type of board – it is not the best at anything, but it is good at everything. An all around paddle board is thicker, wider and longer than most other specific boards (eg racing paddle board), giving it greater stability. All around paddleboards are generally considered to be the best paddle boards for beginners. They are also suitable for taking kids/dogs on the front.

Surf Paddle Board

A surf paddle board is designed for riding the waves. Surf SUP boards tend to be shorter than other paddle boards, making them less stable, but giving them better performance on the waves. Surf paddle boards are better suited to paddle boarders with more experience and those looking for a bit more excitement and action on their paddle surf board.

Paddle surfing

Racing Paddle Board

Racing paddle boards are designed for speed. They tend to be longer and narrower, with pointy-shaped noses to slice through the water. The shape of SUP race boards gives them faster sprint speed and longer glide-efficiency. Race SUP boards are better suited to more experienced paddle boarders.

Touring Paddle Board

Touring paddle boards are designed for maximum glide and efficiency for covering longer distances. The SUP touring boards are suitable for lakes, rivers and open ocean. They tend to be stable boards and therefore suitable for beginners.

Fishing Paddle Board

Using a stand up paddle board for fishing is becoming very popular these days as it offers a cheaper and more active option than a boat, and gives you the advantage of being able to see down into the water clearly. A fishing stand up paddle board is thicker to keep you high out of the water and wider to give you extra room for all your gear. The large volume of the board also gives it extra stability. Fishing stand up paddleboards may also come with pre-installed fishing mounts, rod holders, storage hatches etc.

SUP Yoga

Yoga Paddle Board

A yoga paddle board is designed for stability. It is thicker and wider than a regular paddle board to allow room for all those yoga poses and help keep you steady so you don’t fall in the water mid-downward dog! Some yoga SUPs also come with comfortable deck pads to help with your workout comfort.

Inflatable Paddle Boards

An inflatable paddle board is another good option for beginners and those looking for affordable paddle boards. A blow up paddle board can be inflated in around 10 minutes or less using a hand or foot pump and is easy to transport and stored. They can be deflated and rolled up to the size of a sleeping bag.

Inflatable stand up paddleboards are good for rivers or protected coastal areas. However, for regular surfing or choppy water an epoxy stand up paddle board (sometimes called a foam paddle board or fiberglass paddle board) will give better performance in terms of glide and speed.

Read some of our inflatable paddle board reviews below to help find the best inflatable paddle board for you.

Paddle Boards for Beginners

Those new to stand up paddleboarding should opt for a longer, thicker, wider stand up board for the greatest stability. An all rounder is the perfect beginner paddle board, with a size of around 11 feet by 30 inches being a good size for a beginner stand up paddle board. An inflatable paddle board is a good stand up paddle board for beginners as it is more lightweight and inexpensive.

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Paddle Board Prices

The paddle board cost can range from as little as $500 to well over $1,000, depending on the brand, quality and performance. People often begin by looking for cheap paddle boards but don’t just rush in and buy the first cheap stand up paddle board you find. Make sure you do your research and find the best paddle board for the money. Our top paddle board reviews below will help you.

Best Paddle Boards – Paddle Board Reviews

Here I’m going to run through a few brief stand up paddle board reviews to help you find the best stand up paddle board for you. I’ve included some of the best paddle board brands you will find, to ensure you end up with a good paddle board you can rely on.

You will find all these stand up paddle boards for sale on Amazon, using the links below and have one delivered right to your door. Paddle boards can be bought alone or as part of a paddle board kit, which includes all the paddle board accessories. If you are new to paddle boarding, paddle board kits are a good cost effective way to get started.

PEAK Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

This awesome inflatable paddle board from ISLE Surf & Sup is a great all around paddle board, suitable for all levels of competence and for varying conditions. The 10’6” x 31” x 6” board gives a good stable base for paddle boarding, while the military grade PVC offers great durability. It deflates and packs down as small as a sleeping bag for easy storage and transportation.

The diamond groove traction pad is comfortable to stand on and makes it easy to grip. A 6-point mounted bungee system is ideal for storage. A real selling point for this Isle paddle board is that it is a really lightweight paddle board – weighing in at just 23 pounds.

Click here to read our full review.

BIC Sport TOUGH-TEC Cross SUP

The most stable and user-friendly of all the BIC Paddle boards, this stand up paddle board is ideal for beginners and intermediate boarders. The keeled nose offers excellent glide and makes it an easy ride, especially on flat water and in low surf conditions.

BIC sup boards are known for their tough-tec epoxy construction, which make their boards extremely durable and lightweight. This stand up board delivers great performance at a reasonable price point.

There are 10 deck attachment points, which could allow you to add accessories for fishing, making this a good option for a fishing stand up paddle board. The large flat deck could also work for yoga and is great for families, making this a great all around paddle board.

Click here to read our full review.

Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer 2

The Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer 2 is the sequel to one of the most popular inflatable paddle boards worldwide, the Adventurer. This time Tower Paddle Boards have made some improvements.

The Adventurer 2 is longer at 10’6” (vs 9’10”) making it a little faster, whilst maintaining its stability and high floatation, so it is still a good option for beginners and intermediate boarders. This inflatable SUP is extremely rigid when fully pumped, giving it the performance of a hard board.

They have also added carry handles at the nose and tail for easy carrying, and bungee net on the front for securing a load when paddling. As with other top paddle board brands, they use military grade PVC and drop-stitch technology to make this board super durable (they famously test this by dropping it from a building and driving over it with an SUV).

Click here to read our full review.

Ten Toes 10’ Weekender

The Ten Toes Weekender, also known as the Weekender is a super stable inflatable stand up paddle board, ideal for beginners. This SUP board is made from military grade PVC and put together with drop-stitch technology, making it virtually indestructible.

The rigid construction makes it feel solid underfoot, allows it to glide smoothly on water and makes it easy to direct. The soft textured foam non-slip EVA pads provide cushioned comfort for standing or kneeling.

Unusually for an inflatable paddle board, the Weekender comes with three removable fins, allowing more experienced boarders to customize its performance based on the conditions. This board also comes in a choice of colors – so if you’ve always wanted a pink stand up paddle board, now you can!

Click here to read our full review.

Sportstuff 1030 Adventure paddle board

If you are looking for a cheap stand up paddle board, this could be your best option. At only 4” thick, this may not be as stable as some other paddleboards we review – but this paddle board kit gives you everything you need to get paddling, at a price point that is hard to beat.

It comes with a large anti-slip EVA deck for comfortable paddling, has on-deck storage and a carry handle. It also comes with a paddle, pump, backpack, leash and even a removable seat.

This SUP is best for flat water and is and it is definitely not as rigid as some others, making it best suited to paddlers under 180 pounds. This would be a great kids paddle board and also a great paddle board for travel.

Full review coming soon.

Pathfinder Inflatable SUP

Another good option for a cheap inflatable paddle board is the Pathfinder. Not only is this paddle board cheap, but it is also fairly stable, tracks well, is easy to transport and store and is easy to paddle. The kit comes with pump, paddle, fin, carry bag and valve wrench, giving you everything you need to get started with paddle boarding.

At 5” thick and with just a single fin, this is not the most stable board but it is still pretty good. It is not as rigid as some other inflatable boards, making it most suitable for boarders up to 180 pounds, and best for single riders. This would be a good kids stand up paddle board.

Full review coming soon.

Isle Classic Soft Top Stand Up Paddle Board

This Isle stand up paddle board is great value. The board is made from super durable EPS foam with a soft top deck and non-slip pad for comfortable paddling. At just 28 pounds it is lightweight for easy carrying to the water.

The length and width make this a stable paddle board ideal for beginners, while the large capacity make it a great SUP board for families. The package comes with an adjustable paddle, removable centre fin, carry handle and leash. The main downsides are no bungee mounts for on board storage, and no accessory mounts.

Full review coming soon.

 

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