Stand-up paddle boarding has really taken off around the globe as one of the most popular water-sports and hobbies around. As someone who has owned his fair share of SUPs, I know it can be a confusing process getting started with choosing the right board.
Well, we've got you covered here. At The SUP Guru, we provide thorough and helpful reviews of all the best stand-up paddle boards on the market today, including a hands-on summary and tips on where you can find the best deals.
To get you started, we've put together a comparison chart of the top 11 SUPs available today.
The Best Stand Up Paddle Boards
How to Choose a Stand-Up Paddle Board
When it comes to choosing a suitable stand up paddle boards that's best for you, there are a number of key factors that should be considered.
The first thing to figure out is what kind of paddle boarding you want to do with the board, and what your specific needs are. Here are some things to consider.
Size of the Board
The best way to think about the size of a paddle board is in terms of volume. As a matter of fact, when the paddle board is wide, long, and thick, it will have more volume. The more volume, the more stable the board will be out on the water. If you are a new paddler, you should choose a board with a more volume until you get used to the sport and then you downsize from there.
Types of Paddle Boards
There are a few different types of stand up paddle boards on the market today, and it's important to have a basic understanding of each type before making your purchase decision.
All Round / Touring Stand-Up Paddle Boards
All Round SUPs have rounded noses and are fairly flat on the bottom. They are much wider, longer, and have a greater volume. The volume of all round stand-up paddle boards normally ranges from as little as 150 liters to as much as 250 liters. In fact, the size and volume of these boards make them more stable compared to wave boards.
The shorter and lower volume boards work very well for children. When weight increases, you will need more volume to stay on the board since a higher volume board will provide a stable platform. These paddle boards are typically the best in case you are spending your time flat-water paddling on the lakes, or cruising outside of the surf zone on a stunning day.
Surf Stand-Up Paddle Boards
Surf SUPs are shorter, lighter, and usually have a narrower nose and tail. Their design enhances quick turns and high performance. The thinner rails with a sharp edge carve better and give a more high performance turn, whereas a fuller, thicker rail cannot turn sharply though can be more forgiving in face of a wave. Longer rail lines normally doesn’t turn quickly, but can give more glide and is easy to ride.
Generally, the stand-up paddle boards that are best at surfing normally range from about 7’ to 12’ in size and can specifically surf either short boards or long boards. Smaller boards are ideal for more aggressive turns, reverses, airs, and quick maneuvers. Bigger riders can manoeuvre the board like a short board at lengths of about 9'-10’ and can look for chined or stepped down rails.
Racing Stand-Up Paddle Boards
Racing SUPs are designed so you can stay on one track and cut through the water as fast as possible. They are able to cut through choppy water, glide for long, and keep your track straight. Racing SUPs are much narrower than the all round and touring models and yield more distance per stroke. A wider tail of a race board is more stable while a pulled in tail contributes to speed.
When deciding on what race board to buy, consider the type of rails: rounder rails are faster though less stable, whereas sharp, square rails are very stable and shed water quickly. Since race boards are generally longer and larger, it is advisable to pick one with a handle which is very comfortable and that gives a lot of control over the board when walking.
Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards
Inflatable SUPs are much lighter and easier to transport than the other types of boards. Inflatables came onto the scene to solve some specific problems: storage and transportation. With inflated boards, you will sacrifice the stiffness of a regular board, making wave riding a challenge but possible under light conditions.
Yoga Stand Up Paddle Boards
Yoga SUPs are generally quite wide and long and normally have a soft top to hook up various exercises tools such as safety equipment and resistance bands. Obviously, as their name suggests, they are designed so that you can perform yoga on your board, in the water.
Research Where to Find the Right SUP
As you can see, there's a lot to consider when choosing the best SUP for your needs, with all the various models and price points. That's the reason we started this website, to help you make an informed buying decision.
Read our reviews below of the best SUPs available today.
Reviews of the Top 5 Stand-Up Paddle Boards
If you’re looking for a good SUP for your first board, there is no need to spend thousands. The Tower Adventurer 9’10” inflatable is a great board that is affordable and is packed with features. Whilst the board may look a little basic when you take an initial look at it it’s actually got a great design and has plenty of great advantages.
Features of the Tower Adventurer
With it’s diamond grooved deck pad and the 2+1 fin configuration, this inflatable paddle board has been created with the user in mind. There are some great features that you can take advantage of when you choose this board.
- Excellent rigidity. This paddle board from Tower is manufacturers from materials similar to those that you’d expect from the most extreme of river rafts. Thousands of fiber strands hold the top to the base of this paddle board, and when inflated, this is what keeps its structure, which feels as strong as plywood.
- Range of uses. You can use the Tower Adventurer as a fun activity or safety craft in the cabin of a yacht or small boat, take it on vacation with you, or just take it on a road trip to the beach for some family time.
- Diamond-grooved deck. To ensure that you don’t slip off the paddle board when it is wet, the deck pad of this board features a diamond grooved grip surface. It is durable and will not wear through quickly.
Advantages of the Tower Adventurer
- This board is really simple to store, as it is only 1 foot in diameter and 33 inches wide when it is deflated and rolled up. There isn’t a case for it, but it does come with a handy carry strap so you can carry it around with you.
- Transporting this paddle board is also much easier than trying to transport most other watercraft. Simply roll it up and toss it in the back of the car. If you’re on foot, you could even throw it in a backpack for really convenient carrying.
- You’ll appreciate the softness of this paddle board and you wont need to worry about collisions with other paddle boards causing any damage, as it just bounces off everything. You wont be thrown overboard with the slightest wave either.
It’s a little disappointing that this paddle board doesn’t come with a carry case. For all its great features, it’s a little puzzling that the manufacturer left that detail out. There is, however a carry strap that is sufficient for transporting the board. It is possible however to purchase bags online that would be large enough to fit the paddle board into, so if you’d like a bag for this board, you should remember to purchase one additionally.
For a beginner or for casual users, this is an excellent choice in paddle board. With some features offering comfort and ease of use, whilst others ensure that your experience is as safe as possible, you won’t be disappointed when you choose the Tower Adventurer.
Atoll 11'0" Foot Inflatable
Stand up paddle boarding is becoming a popular activity for those who love water sports and with the Atoll 11'0 Foot Inflatable Stand up paddle board, you can enjoy a safe and comfortable experience. Even the novice user will be using this paddle board in no time.
Features of the Atoll 11'0" Foot Inflatable
This is a great paddle board that provides you with everything you need all in one package to get out on the water straight away. These great features are just some of the reasons why you should choose this board.
- Everything you need. When you purchase the Atoll paddle board, you’ll not only get the paddle board, but also a pump to easily inflate the board with and a 3 piece paddle.
- Backpack included. With all the additional accessories, and the board itself, you’ll want to be able to transport this paddle board with ease, so you’ll be grateful of the backpack that this board is provided with. You can easily fit the board, the pump and the paddle into the backpack, making it much easier to carry around than the boards that simply come with a carry strap.
- Detachable fin. This paddle board features a detachable fin that is there to help you stay on course when you’re using the paddle board. If you’re not a confident user yet, or if you’re going to be using this board in choppy water, you will be thankful of this feature. The fin is replaceable if it should break or get lost, and it is strong and reliable.
Advantages of the Atoll 11'0" Foot Inflatable
- The new and improved valve that keeps the air in this paddle board is completely airtight and you can be sure that it will reliably keep the air in the board for as long as you’re using it.
- The way that this board is wrapped on both levels with an additional layer of material keeps the board strong and rigid. Many people who have never used an inflatable paddle board before are impressed at just how solid the structure of this board actually is.
A specially designed layer of foam on the surface of the board allows you to stand on the board safely without slipping off it.
One thing to keep in mind with this SUP: this is a longer board, so if you are shorter, or have never used a paddle board before, you may like to consider a shorter board.
The Atoll Stand up paddle board is a popular choice amongst those who like to go out and ride the waves often. The handy backpack makes carrying around the entire ensemble as easy as possible, whilst the great package of accessories offered with the purchase of the board is a great deal that means you wont have to shop around for any more items for your board. You can literally head for the sea when this board arrives.
The Solstice Bali Stand-Up Paddle board is a great choice when it comes to strong and durable paddle boards.
You can enjoy a wealth of features with this board, such as improved material and a carry case for easy transportation. This board is affordable, lightweight and looks great too.
There’s not much more that you could want from a good paddle board.
Features of the Solstice Bali
This board is one of the more popular boards amongst those who are experienced and who want their paddle board to stand up to more wear and tear than a novice board. There are some great features provided by this board.
- Tie downs. This paddle board features 4 tie downs so that you can secure your gear to the board. The tie downs are strong and durable and will not rust, as they are made from stainless steel.
- Strong outer material. Unlike some of the cheaper paddle boards, this SUP features a particularly strong outer material that wont scuff or tear without excessive use. It is made from high quality 3 ply PVC, and is hardwearing and reliable.
- Useful accessories. With this board, you will also receive a foot pump that had a gauge on it so you know how inflated the board is. You will also receive a carry case, which is incredibly useful, as it will carry both your deflated board and the pump. This is a much more convenient option than the boards that only have a carry strap where you end up trying to compromise with finding a case that is suitable.
Advantages of the Solstice Bali
- Because it is possible to fill this board with such a high pressure of air, it not only becomes very rigid, but it also is much more lightweight than you would expect it to be for it’s size. It feels like you’re standing on wood, but because it is so lightweight, it’s easy to maneuver and use too.
- The tough PVC material ensures that your board will not become damaged, whilst this toughened material won’t wear through quickly so it can protect your board for a very long time.
- The foot pump that comes with this paddle board makes inflating the board as simple as possible so you can get on the water in no time.
On the downside, the carry bag, whilst accommodating for the deflated board and the pump, is a bit too small to carry the removable fin along with everything else. Users find that they either leave the fin at home, or find a different carrying bag.
This is a high quality board that is bound to impress with its great advantages and features. This board is strong and durable, whilst at the same time being lightweight. The provision of a pump and a carry bag make taking this board with you as simple as possible, whilst it isn’t heavy so could be carried even if you don’t have your own transport and want to travel by foot. It’s an affordable paddle board that is suitable for use by the more intermediate users.
Keeper Sports SUP
The Keeper Sports Stand Up Paddle Board is a great choice for a complete novice as a good starter paddle board. If you’ve never used a paddle board in the past, this board is sure to make you feel confident and help you to learn fast whilst not breaking your budget. It comes with a few accessories too so that you can get testing it out as soon as possible.
Features of the Keeper Sports SUP
There are some great features that are offered by the Keeper SUP. You’ll be surprised at just what you’ll be getting when you choose this highly affordable Stand up board.
- Non-inflatable. This is a board that is made from rigid materials, so it’s great for the novice to help build confidence. Rather than having to worry about causing punctures or damage to the valve when out on the water, the beginner only needs to focus on their technique.
- Accessories. To make your buying experience as simple and quick as possible, you don’t need to buy any special accessories. You’ll get an adjustable paddle with this board that is easy to lock to the length that you need it to be. You can also safely and easily transport this board with the use of the roof rack that comes with it.
- Surf leash & ankle straps. For added safety and confidence when out on this paddle board, you can make the most of the neoprene padded ankle strap and the surf leash, keeping you near your board if you do end up falling or being knocked off. Still being able to grab hold of your board when you are in the water is a great positive as you’ll be able to use it as a floatation aid.
Advantages of the Keeper Sports SUP
- This is the perfect paddle board for beginners as it is rigid, strong and has a wide platform to stand on.
- You can benefit from the rigid build of this board as you wont need to spend time pumping it up when you reach your destination. Just throw it on the water and jump on. The 100% waterproof core and the laminate wood outer shell will ensure that this board lasts a good while.
- This board is not only useful, but it looks cool too. You’ll be the envy of your friends with the Keeper’s lightweight and sleek design.
A few potential issues: this paddle board is made from wood, making it a little more robust than the inflatable versions, but for portability purposes, some users do prefer the inflatable versions that can be carried in a backpack when deflated. On the plus side, this board does come with roof racks for your vehicle, so you can still transport it without having to sacrifice space when traveling.
This is a great paddle board for beginners. It offers a stress free alternative to inflatable paddleboards. Simply strap it to your roof with the roof rack provided, drive to your destination and throw it on the water and get paddling. With a paddle included, and a robust design, this is the perfect choice if you’re just starting out with paddle boards.
Aqua Marina Inflatable
This no nonsense inflatable paddle board takes into consideration the needs of the backpacking paddle boarder. If you want to carry around your Inflatable SUP Stand Up Paddle Board without the need to have your own transport, you’ll be pleased to know you can do just that when you choose this paddleboard. Accessories such as the carry case and 3 part paddle make this paddle board easy to take anywhere you want to go.
Features of the Aqua Marina Inflatable
This is a great starter inflatable SUP. Whether you are a beginner, or if you simply want a stand up paddle board that is easy to transport and has everything you need to keep fit by paddle boarding, this is the choice for you. Just check out these great features.
- Everything you need. You can easily carry it home with the use of the carry bag, whilst the starter pump with PSI gauge is perfect for inflating the SUP to a rigid shape in as quick a time as possible. You also get a 3 piece paddle that has an adjustable handle so you can alter its length to suit your needs.
- On-board storage hooks. You can take your gear with you on this paddle board as it has 7 D rings and an elastic bungee cord. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that whatever you take with you is as lightweight as possible.
- Affordable option. This paddle board is at the entry-level end of the price scale and can be suitable for those with a low budget.
Advantages of the Aqua Marina Inflatable
- This inflatable board can be easily stored away or carried in a backpack or the carry bag provided, as it deflates easily and can be rolled up to save space.
- Although this is an inflatable board, it can be inflated to between 10 and 15 PSI and feels as rigid as a solid board would feel. You enjoy the benefit of being able to carry it home much more easily than a solid board. It even takes just over 200lb in weight, which is great for an inflatable watercraft.
- The durable PVC material that is used in the construction of this stand up paddle board is of the highest quality and is built to last. The standing platform gives plenty of grip so you wont slide off it.
Something to keep in mind: This is a particularly short paddle board. If you are taller, or if you want a larger paddle board, then this short 9 foot paddle board may not be the best choice for you.
This paddle board is easy to transport, simple to inflate and has all the accessories you need to get out onto the water and learning how to paddle board. Whether you’re a novice, or whether you want a cheap board that won’t blow your budget, this is a high quality board that exceeds expectations. It is a little shorter than most paddle boards, and would suit users of a more petite stature.