the SUP guru

The Best Stand Up Paddle Board Reviews

We cater to water lovers of all types. If you’re into fishing, surfing, whitewater rafting, or even some meditative yoga, we’ve got the latest info on the best SUP boards that’ll maximize your pleasure out on the waves, lake, or the ocean.

best hard paddle boards

Solid SUP Reviews

Looking for a solid stand-up paddleboard? Not sure where to start. We've got all the info right here in one place. Detailed reviews on all solid SUPs to make your choice easy.

Best inflatable stand up paddle board

Inflatable SUP Reviews

Need an inflatable SUP? We've categorized all SUPs according to brand, type, and size. We've done all the paddling work to get you on the water faster with your ideal iSUP.

Kids SUP

Kids SUP Reviews

Children are fearless, brimming to the top with excitement, and have unique requirements. These reviews take all of this into account to help parents make the ideal choice.

hard stand up paddle board in amazing sunset

If you’re not quite a SUP guru yet, you sure will be after checking out what we have to say about paddle boards of all kinds!

You can trust our expert paddle guru team to paddle you through every gritty detail there is about a SUP and compare stand up paddle boards on the market for sale, for both adults and the best paddle boards for kids. We even include ratings!  Why? Because, we’re more than dedicated to the sport, we’re fanatical about it!

Our solid SUP & inflatable reviews of paddle boards are helping you get as much out of your buy as possible, which means bodies on the water, kids outside and active, and a fun and fit way of life that embraces nature and the outdoors! Now, that’s a fantastic kind of fun and lifestyle!

All The Information In One Place

We do all the research, reviews and comparisons so you don't have to

With like-minded SUP gurus that make up our team, we explore the many available SUP boards and accessories to provide you with as much knowledge as we can before you buy. We aim to make every penny worth being spent!

relaxing-on-a-SUP-in-a-beautiful-landscape
different colored driftsun paddle boards lined up on the shoreline

What do the SUP Reviews Entail

Our expert knowledge helps you buy smart

Our SUP gurus have put together an informative, engaging, and concise review of each product. The articles are writen to give you an in-depth look at the many aspects of the product to help you make a well-informed purchase, because every penny should be well spent

Each SUP Buying Guide Considers The Following

  • Specs
  • Main Advantages/Drawbacks
  • Who is the board Best suited for
  • Customer Reviews
  • FAQs
  • Comparable Boards
  • Noteworthy Features
bic sport dura tec sup

Our Top SUP Picks For 2021

ImageSUPTypeLengthSuitable ForGuru RatingReview
atoll 11 foot isup 100pxAtoll 11’0″ SUPInflatable (PVC)11’0″All-round, flat water, surf, SUP yoga.9.6/10
Read Review
tower adventurer isup 100pxTower AdventurerInflatable (PVC)9’10”All-round, recreational9.4/10
Read Review
isle airtech isup 100pxIsle AirtechInflatable (PVC)10’0″All-round, flat water, light surf, SUP yoga9.2/10 Read Review
irocker isup 100pxiRocker 10’6″ iSUPInflatable (PVC)10’0″Flat water, SUP yoga, light-medium surf.9.2/10 Read Review
peak isup 100px

Peak Inflatable SUPInflatable (PVC)10’6″All-round, flat water, light surf, SUP yoga.9.2/10 Read Review
isle soft top sup 100pxIsle Classic Soft TopSoft Top (solid)9’6″, 10’8″All-round, flat water, light surf, SUP yoga8.8/10 Read Review
solstice bali isup 100pxSolstice Bali SUPInflatable (PVC)10’8″All-round, flat water, light surf.8.8/10 Read Review
california board co sup 100pxCalifornia Board CoSolid (EPS/ Polyethylene)10’6″All-round, flat water, light surf8.8/10 Read Review
aqua marina spk-1 100pxAqua Marina SPK-1Inflatable (PVC)9’9″Flat water.7.6/10 Read Review
bestway hydroforce 100pxBestway HydroForceInflatable (PVC)10’1″Flat water, light surf, recreational.7.2/10 Read Review

Our Top Kids SUP Picks For 2021

Thurso Surf Prodigy Junior SUP
  • Type: Inflatable (PVC)
  • Length: 7’6″
  • Weight Limit: 80 lbs
  • Guru Rating: 9/10
Check Price / Read Review

airhead popsicle 730 isup

  • Type: Inflatable (PVC)
  • Length: 7’0″
  • Weight Limit: 120 lbs
  • Guru Rating: 9.8/10

Check Price / Read Review

lucky bums inflatable sup

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Length: 7’0″/9’0″
  • Weight Limit: 180 lbs
  • Guru Rating: 9.2/10

Check Price / Read Review

liquid shredder softboard

  • Type: Solid Soft Top (X-EPS foam
  • Length: 8’2″
  • Weight Limit: 180 lbs
  • Guru Rating: 9.8/10

Check Price / Read Review

SUP Guru 101

Lesson #1 Best Types of Stand Up Paddle Boards

Lesson one of becoming a SUP guru is to know what you’re looking for. Avoid being “that” person that buys a paddle board when you lack the right info!

So, let’s paddle you through the types of boards you want to invest in!

Surf SUPs

This is what you would want if you’re looking to hit the ocean breaks. They’re short, narrow, and plenty unstable for beginner paddle boarders. But, for the more experienced riders that are looking for that adrenaline high from hitting the crest of a wave, a surf SUP’s dimensions are ideal for the surfer. They’re not made for long-distance paddling or even tracking in flat water, but they’re made for excellent maneuverability on the waves.

Stand up paddle surfer riding a wave

All-Round & Touring Paddle Boards

These types of paddle-boards are excellent entry-level boards for beginners or for recreational use. They’re versatile and multi-purpose boards that can take you through a variety of water conditions as you build up your skills. Since they’re wider and longer than surf boards, they’re very stable for riders to learn to track and glide for flat water paddling or open ocean touring. You can check out a great fishing & touring paddle board here.

Flat Water Stand Up Paddle Boards

While many all-round boards are perfectly apt for flat water paddling, the flat water paddle board is a product specifically made for it. It’s designed to slice through water to maintain perfect tracking with its pointed nose. The shape is akin to a race SUP board that’s made for optimum speed and performance, but it’s wider to accommodate for beginners.

Race SUPs

If you’re a fanatic, then you’re probably out for a gut-wrenching core workout or you’re extremely competitive when it comes to speed. They’re very slim and narrow which is great for velocity on surf, however, it’s not recommended for beginners. It’s also unstable to use in flat water conditions. But, there’s no room for flat water for a speed freak!

Inflatable SUPs

If you’re comparing the performance of a hard board to an inflatable, you’re looking at things with a narrow mind. iSUPs are excellent paddle boards but they truly shine when it comes to cost, storage convenience, and transportation benefits.

Because they’re inflatable, they can be inconspicuously stored and shoved in the trunk of your car – all within a backpack too! iSUPs are also typically sold as an entire package with all the fixings to get you on the water without having to dish out for extra accessories.

SUP Yoga

While many all-round and iSUP paddle boards can cater to SUP Yoga, there are specific paddle boards that are made a little differently for this calming but sweat-inducing activity.

They’re wider and longer, and they allow for anchoring so that you’re not floating away while you’re in the middle of a downward facing tree pose! They’re often soft top decks that provide a little cushioning for your entire body.

Woman doing yoga on a paddle board

Whitewater Boards

If river rapids sounds like your kinda style, then you’ll need the best SUP board that can handle the unpredictable terrain. Whitewater paddle boarding is dangerous, but it’s a ton of fun! These kinds of SUPs can come in a variety of lengths and shapes.

Depending on these aspects, you can take a river SUP for surf and waves to the flat waters for recreational paddle boarding to even getting some time in for a little yoga.

Windsurf SUPs

You either hate it or you love it! But, windsurfing has been a popular pastime for many ocean-goers! Most windsurf stand up paddle boards are compatible for use with and without the wind, meaning, if you remove the center sail, you can enjoy all the paddling you can dish out.

Like the Whitewater stand up paddle boards, they’re a breed of their own. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and their ability to handle various water conditions depends on the build and dimensions.

Lesson #2 How to Choose the Best Stand UP Paddle Board

Lesson two of becoming a SUP guru is learning the specs to make a well-informed buy, buying cheap is not recommended!

Unless you have done your homework. You probably want the best paddle board for the money, from materials and dimensions to fins, we’ll lay it all out!

Paddle Board Core Materials

Discussing every individual component that comes into the construction of a stand up paddle board deserves a whole page of its own. To condense things for you, it really comes down to two types – solid or inflatable.

Inflatable SUPs

These are made with PVC material for the exterior and a drop-stitch construction. This makes them extremely durable. Core materials and construction between varying iSUP brands are typically the same. Since they comprise of mostly air, they’re lightweight, uncomplicated to transport, and easy to store.

Solid SUPs

These can be a little bit different from solid paddle board to inflatable paddle board and brand to brand. They can be made out of a variety of materials. However, the most common core materials are the ones we’ll discuss.

  • Polyurethane Foam (PU): This is the original core material used for paddle boards until EPS came around. But, some people still prefer the soft foam because of the little bit of flex it provides in a solid board. It’s usually seen on entry-level boards or what you would call “soft top” boards.
  • Expanded Polystyrene (EPS): Since 2005, this has been the most commonly used material for solid tops. They’re always combined with some sort of resin or epoxy coating for strength and durability. They’ll last longer than PU boards and are 60 percent lighter.
  • Hollow Core: Some solid boards will feature a hollow core to maximize performance and reduce weight. The construction is unique as it’s a process of blow-molded polyethylene. These types of solid tops might be popular among whitewater stand up paddle boards for its toughness.

SUP Size

Does size matter? It sure does! We’ll break this down so that you understand each aspect of size when it comes to paddle boarding.

Why do you need to know volume? The volume which is represented in liters will tell you how much weight it can support while still being able to stay afloat. The more volume it has, the more it can hold.

Here’s a quick formula to determine what level of volume you’ll need to keep your feet dry.

  • Beginners – your weight (kg) x 2
  • Intermediates – your weight (kg) x 1.7
  • Advanced – your weight (kg) x 1.3

The result is the least amount of volume you’d want in a stand up paddle board. For example, if you’re a beginner and you weigh 80 kg, multiply by 2 and you’ll need at least 160 liters of volume.

Weight Capacity

Many SUP boards will list the weight capacity of the board for those not into doing math. It’s usually listed in pounds. Knowing this number will help you determine if you’ll stay afloat without sagging in the middle and compromising on performance.

Most boards can hold weight anywhere between 240-350 pounds. Also, the heavier and taller you are, you should look for a longer board. This leads us to…

SUP Length

The length of the board has a lot to do with performance and how you want to use the paddle board.

  • Shorter boards 9′ and under are either surf paddle boards or they’re kids paddle boards designed for smaller riders.
  • Medium boards 9′ to 12′ long are great for everyone of all skill types looking for all-round, recreational, flat water, and SUP yoga uses. Many all-round sups in the longer end of this range are great cross-over SUPs for versatile use in most water conditions.
  • Long boards 12’6 to 14′ long are for those with a lead foot. Because they’re longer and slimmer, they’re excellent for speed or for touring when you’ve got several miles to paddle back to shore.

When considering the length of your SUP, you’ll also have to take into account transportation. Is it short enough to strap to the roof of your car? Longer boards might be heavier and difficult to carry from the car to the water source, especially in wind, if you’ve got to hike in between.

SUP Width

The width will determine the stability and speed of the board for users of various skill levels and the type of activity you plan on doing.

  • Narrow boards of 29″ or 30″ are narrower than other boards making them less suitable for the beginner. Its width can be unstable for riders but they’re desired for its faster performance than wider boards.
  • Wide boards of 31″ to 36″ are much more user-friendly for the beginner male or female Yoga paddle boarder since they’re easier to remain standing on. Where they contribute in stability they typically lack in speed, making them slower than narrow boards.

Summing Up Size

To sum up size, you’ll have to take all measurements into consideration. Here’s a quick guide to sum things up! Match your type of most-commonly bought SUP with your weight for the right length board you’ll need.

Surf:

  • 48-150 pounds, 9′ or smaller board
  • 150-275 pounds, 9’1″ to 10’6″ board
  • 249+ pounds, 10’7″ to 11’6″ board

All-Round:

  • 48-123 pounds, 9′ or smaller board
  • 123-174 pounds, 9’1″ to 10’6″ board
  • 149-249 pounds, 10’7″ to 11’6″ board
  • 222+ pounds, 11’7″ to 12’6″ board

Flatwater/Race:

  • 48-123 pounds, 9’1″ to 10’6″
  • 48-174 pounds, 10’7″ to 11’6″ board
  • 174-224 pounds, 11’7″ to 12’6″ board
  • 200+ pounds, 12’7″ or longer board

The same numbers also apply to inflatable SUPs. Be sure to check these specifications before you purchase.

SUP Fins

Fins are mounted on the underside of a SUP for tracking and stability. Sometimes they’re removable, sometimes they’re not. Here are the variations.

Single Fin

A single, center fin is mounted into the underside of the tail of the board with a nut and screw. The rack it’s placed into is called a finbox that allows the fin to move back and forth.

Tri-Fin

The Tri-Fin Setup consists of three fins. One larger one in the center and two smaller ones on the side. It’s also referred to as the thruster setup.

They’re dual-purpose fins that allows for straight tracking when in flat water and excellent control when in surf. They’re a lot easier to remain stable and comfortable on for paddle boarding versus the lone, center fin system.[

aqua marina inflatable sup showing 3 fins

Race Fins

These promote speed and help to maintain tracking in those downward swells for longer boards.

Removable Fins

These are often found on iSUPs. Some inflatable iSUPs will allow for only the center fin to be removed while the other two are permanently attached.

The removable option allows for tighter rolling for compact storage without fin damage. However, fins are usually semi-rigid or made out of a flexible rubber that can easily be reshaped.

Become a SUP Guru in the Making With Our SUP Reviews!

We’re in the business of making every water sport lover a SUP guru! It’s in your best interest to know everything about a water vessel that will bring tons of enjoyment for the entire family. Plus, you want to know if you’re getting a top rated product for a great deal!

A SUP guru in the making is the start of a stand up paddle boarding lifestyle!

Latest Articles