Best With Seat Attachment: Bluefin Cruise Stand
Whether you’re paddling for recreation or sport, any paddleboarder can benefit from a cushioned seat attachment. With the Bluefin Cruise Stand-up Inflatable Paddleboard, you’re getting a durable easy-to-inflate, 30-inch long cruising board that transforms into a kayak in seconds thanks to its simple conversion design, which allows you to snap the comfortable seat attachment securely into place easily. This two-in-one option comes with a pump, extra fin attachment, coiled leg leash, and sleek fiberglass paddle, which explains its impressive 4.6-star rating.
“In my opinion, this board well-made construction durable materials, stable, easy to maneuver, and versatile,” one Amazon shopper wrote. “Easy to convert to a kayak. kayak seat provides great support easy to clip onto board for use and to adjust for user.”
To buy: , $505
What Were Looking For
Build: All of our experts agree: you cant deny the smooth feel of a solid board. Hard boards will perform better because theyre more rigid, says Kurt. The advantages are speed, efficiency, and glide you can get further with the same output you would put into an inflatable. But they have disadvantages: Theyre usually more expensive, easier to ding up, and harder to store.
For recreational use, inflatable SUPS will suit most people better because theyre easier to store and transport and tend to be more versatile and user-friendly. If you want to travel, hike to a lake, practice yoga, or use your board in various conditions, youll be better equipped with an inflatable SUP.
Intended use: The hull or shape of the SUP comes in two basic styles: a planing hull or a displacement hull . A SUP with a planing hull is wide and flat, and usually has a rounded nose, making it optimal for most activities because it sits on top of the water, is easier to maneuver, and typically has more stability. Theyre usually best for beginners but can also be enjoyed by intermediate and advanced paddlers. A SUP with a displacement hull is shaped more like a kayak, with a narrower tapered nose designed to better slice through the water and increase efficiency. These SUPs are best for touring, racing, and fitness.
The 14 Best Paddleboards In 2022
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Paddleboards may seem like an intricate balancing act, but they’re surprisingly easy to use because most have large, stable bases that keep you from toppling over. Beginners will want to look for an inflatable board that has a large non-slip surface and is at least 30 inches wide. If you are still concerned with standing, you can always start on your knees and work your way up. But don’t be afraid to fall, so long as you are in open water you are close enough to the water that it won’t hurt you, and most boards have soft surfaces.
Once you get the hang of it, not only is paddleboarding a ton of fun, but it’s also a great form of exercise. Since you’re using a slew of muscle groups to remain upright and balance on the board while paddling, it ends up being a great core workout. Plus, the rowing motion can strengthen and tone your arms, too. Some even enjoy practicing yoga on paddleboards because it helps improve form and stability since you’re forced to adapt as the water moves beneath you.
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The Best Standup Paddleboards Of 2022
If youre considering an inflatable standup paddleboard for exploring lakes, rivers, harbors, or even the ocean, check out our list of the best SUPs of the season.
Standup paddleboarding is one of the fastest-growing water sports of the past decade. Theres a good chance youre familiar with standup paddleboarding, but if you arent, heres what you need to know.
Standup paddleboarding, or SUPing, is the act of standing on a solid epoxy or inflatable plastic board tapered at both ends and using a paddle to move through the water. Whether youre floating a mellow river or lake, navigating Class 2 rapids, or exploring coastlines, a SUP offers freedom and exposure you dont get in a boat or kayak.
Some paddlers use their boards for multiday adventures, while others race, fish, surf ocean waves, do yoga, run whitewater, hike to glacial tarns, or hang out with friends and family at the local reservoir.
Paddleboards are similar in shape to a long ocean surfboard but also have fins that are removable or fixed on the bottom, which help the board track well in the water while being steered.
Inflatables, which we focus on here, are a great option because when theyre deflated, they can more easily fit in a closet, trunk, or truck bed. You can even take them on airplanes. Inflatable designs have benefits on the water, too, like durability against rocks or other debris.
Otherwise, hop into our top picks of inflatable standup paddleboards for 2022:
Does Paddle Boarding Attract Sharks
Simply put, yes, paddle boarding can attract sharks. However, paddle boarding doesnt make you more susceptible to shark attacks when compared to surfing, swimming, kayaking, or any other surface-level water activity. Although there are some incredibly rare instances where a paddle boarder may appear as food to a shark, a vast majority of the time sharks are either scared of the board or curious.
Your best course of action if you should ever encounter a shark on a SUP is to refrain from making erratic movements, dont attack the shark in an attempt to scare it off, and do your best to calmly paddle away.
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No 5 Isle Versa Epoxy Standup Paddle Board W/ Sup Package
The ISLe Versa is another slick paddle board by a reputable company. Ive already told you about the quality of the company so lets jump right into this board.
Its a good size board for the average height and weight but youll notice its only 4.5 inches thick. This makes it a lighter option for the rider at 27 lbs.
The board supports riders up the 275 lbs. so it can even work for NFL players . We like this board similarly as the other rigid ISLE board solid option for beginners and intermediate riders.
And just the same it comes with their SUP package including: a paddle, carry handle, and fin.
Inflatable Vs Rigid Stand Up Paddle Boards
Most people looking for a SUP consider the choice between inflatable vs. rigid a big decision. It was the same for me as I contemplated what was the best quality option.
Well, the more I looked into it, the more I realized that convenience and ease of use was the most important thing. Thus, an inflatable made the most sense for me.
For those of you looking to use a SUP in windy regions or for surfing, then a rigid SUP might be a good option. Maybe you have a beach house and a rigid SUP would be more convenient because theres no need to inflate the paddle board.
Just walk out to the beach and youre ready to go. Or you might want a rigid paddle board because you feel the need for speed rigid boards are better for racing and speed.
For most of us who dont live on the water, transporting our SUP on/in our car is one of the biggest considerations when purchasing a SUP. If my assumptions are correct, most of us will be using a SUP for recreation and leisure purposes.
If your situation is similar to mine, I strongly recommend considering the inflatable options on our list.
Pros of Rigid SUP Boards:
Pros of Inflatable SUP Boards:
- Portable for easier transport in the back of a sedan
- No roof rack needed
- Easier for travel
- Easier to repair
- Storage in a Backpack
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How To Paddleboard In The Ocean
- Know the basics of how-to Stand-up Paddleboard:
It is important for you to be familiar with the basics of paddle board for the ocean before trying paddling in oceans. Your paddling board will be more unstable because of winds and waves. Therefore, if you fall make sure you can get back on. Individuals tend to fall into the water more frequently in the oceans during ocean paddling than on a still lake. This is essential in order to lower your bow into the waves.
When your board enters the waves as opposed to the waves striking you on the side, it is simpler to balance. If you cant, you should make sure your life jacket fits you quite well. Nowadays, SUP is so popular that finding a session to teach you the fundamentals and get you prepared to paddle board in the ocean is straightforward.
- Realize that paddleboard in the ocean can be tough:
A picture of a paddleboarder gracefully gliding along the shore as the sun sets behind him feels incredibly beautiful and soothing. But if you zoom in on the image, you will see something different. You will observe someone struggling with all their best to hold on to the board because the waves keep yanking his feet out from under him. Dealing with waves and wind is a part of paddling in the ocean.
- Never paddle board alone on the ocean:
- Find a Good Entry Point:
No 4 Naish 2015 Nalu Gs Paddle
Naish is a premier boarding company. They specialize in paddle boards and surf boarding. If youre willing to pay a premium, youll get an awesome board from a great Hawaiian company thats been making boards since 1979.
This board uses wood reinforcement in the standing area with a comfortable pad. Its core is a molded EPS that makes it lightweight and resistant to potential water leakage.
Its is 11 feet x 20 inches wide and 6 inches deep. I believe the weight is 28lbs, given their other comparable boards that are this length and size. If you are interested in this board Id recommend visiting their site for more information and clarity .
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Best For Rough Waters: Bluefin Stand
Rough, choppy currents have met their match with the Bluefin Stand-up Inflatable Paddleboard. Ready for any adventure, this durable touring paddleboard is made to withstand lengthy expeditions. Its long, 14-foot length offers a fast, smooth ride on all types of water from lapping lakes to rolling waves to rocky rivers so you can paddle with ease knowing that it won’t succumb to damage. And since it comes with a paddle, a pump, an ankle leash, a removable fin, and a carrying backpack, you’ll have all of the accessories you need.
If the Bluefin Stand-up Inflatable Paddleboard is out of stock during your next Amazon visit, shoppers say you’ll be equally happy with the Gili Adventure Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard. It’s shorter in length but designed to swiftly navigate choppy waters so you can explore. And, it has an impressive 4.8-star rating from users.
To buy: , $699
What You Need To Know About Water Safety
Water safety is an important consideration if youre new to paddle boarding. Its a good idea to book lessons with a qualified instructor and to stick to safe, sheltered and non-tidal spots to begin with. Organisations like the Water Skills Academy, the British SUP Association and British Canoeing offer great SUP safety courses for beginners. Here are some tips to consider.
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Best Sup Boards Of 2022
After researching over 50 SUP boards, we bought 11 of the best models available for head-to-head testing to help you find the right one. We have over six years of experience in hands-on testing and reviewing paddleboards side-by-side, paddling lakes, rivers, and streams in a wide variety of conditions to rigorously compare performance. We evaluated and compared glide performance, maneuverability, and stability, all in our quest to find out which SUP is truly superior to the rest. Regardless of whether you are looking for a beginner board on a budget or one perfect for a professional paddler, our expert recommendations can help you find the board you need.
If you’re looking for other gear or accessories to complete your kit, our paddling reviews will help outfit you for your next day on the water. We’ve tested and rated everything from critical essentials like the best SUP Paddles and top kayak paddles to key accessories like the best dry bags and best PFDs. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun. Check out our men’s sun shirt review or women’s sun shirt review and the best sun hats.
Editor’s Note: This review was updated on September 7, 2022, to showcase the FunWater 11 as our standout for the best value for an inflatable board.
What Is The Most Stable Standup Paddleboard
Of the paddleboards weve tested and reviewed, wed mark the 11 6 BOTE HD Aero as the most stable on our list. This is due to its width, sidewalls, weight capacity, and overall construction. This is a middle-of-the-pack, not-too-heavy, and well-balanced board that measures a full 34 inches across.
Its got lots of D-rings for strapping down gear, or a kayak seat if you are looking to feel extra grounded and stable on your board. And the HD Aeros also clocks in at a great price point for its size.
Its worth noting that if you are looking for other stable board choices, fishing expeditions, yoga SUPs, and touring boards are commonly a bit wider across. Any board that is 34-36 inches across is a good choice.
Of course, other factors contribute to stability. But, width and sidewall depth as well as overall shape are the big ones.
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Best Paddle Boards For Ocean
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The Best Places To Paddleboard In The Ocean
Fortunately, the United States is full of awesome places to paddleboard on the ocean. You can head to any of the nations most scenic sea locations and youll find great paddle boarding waves.
Many people love paddling in:
- San Diego known for its iconic beaches
- California if you want more challenging waves and bracingly cold ocean temperatures
- Seattle for stark cliff sides and beautiful forests across the vista
- Key West if youre in the mood for a more relaxed, touristy vibe
Not seeing your bucket-list beachside paddling spot? Check out our tips for the: 16 most epic places to paddleboard on the oceans of the United States coast.
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Where To Buy Ocean Paddleboard
There are many manufacturers on the market who produce paddleboard. You can order your paddleboard directly from them. If you want to research a little, visit Amazon. There you can find a lot of paddleboards with different features, prices, dimensions and more. The board will arrive at your door, so you dont have to go to different places and looking for the best paddleboard.
Do You Want A Hard Board Or An Inflatable Board
There is a big difference when it comes to hard boards or inflatable SUP boards. I will just go over these differences again quickly:
- Hard boards are harder to store and transport because you cant just roll them up
- Inflatable boards are thicker when inflated and can often carry more weight
- Hard boards are thin and are more suitable for carving waves
So where for every other type of paddle board I recommend inflatable SUP boards, because of the added stability, the lower price and the ease to carry it along. If you are truly committed to SUP surfing a hard board will be worth checking out though, as you can reach more speed and you can be even more versatile on the waves.
However, inflatable SUP boards also have their advantages for surfing. When you fall down you will have a softer landing and you can be sure at some point the board will hit your head, which is a lot less painful when this happens with an inflatable board.
When learning how to surf you spend of lot of time practicing on your knees, which is also more comfortable on an inflatable board.
It will be more challenging to grab waves when you cannot adjust the board as quick, which will in turn be hard again. These are two really different styles that take practice to master.
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