Best Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUP)
Stand up paddle boarding, also known as SUP, has become a popular craze over the past few years. SUP has become a lifestyle choice for people looking for a rowing work out or just want a relaxing day out on the water. With the paddler standing, it offers a unique look at the water below or a look at the horizon. It is also not as expensive as most water sports activities because all you need is a stand-up paddleboard and a paddle. To ensure you have a great experience you need the right equipment. Before we go over the top 10 best stand up paddle boards, you need to know about the different types of SUPs.
- Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards – If you are short on storage space then an inflatable paddle board is your ideal SUP. They easily inflate and deflate so they can be stored in tight spaces or the trunk of your vehicle. They are lightweight but are not recommended to be used on the water where you will be hitting waves.
- Recreational (All-Around) Stand Up Paddle Boards – Recreational SUPS can be used for multiple lifestyle needs. If you are a beginner then these boards are perfect for you. They are a multi-purpose board that can be in different water types.
- Racing Stand Up Paddle Boards – If speed and/or competing is on your mind then this is the SUP for you. These boards are built to be long, narrow, have a pointy nose, and a long fin. They are recommended to be used by experienced riders because they are not as stable at slow speeds.
- Yoga Stand Up Paddle Boards – Yoga on a paddleboard is some of the most peaceful and relaxing times you can find. They are wider to allow you to have the balance you need and the deck padding is softer to allow you plenty of comfort. Most boards have places for you to attach resistance bands or an anchor so you do not drift into open water.
- Fishing Stand Up Paddle Boards – Fishing SUPs are gaining popularity among fishers. They allow you to get to those secret spot’s boats are not able to gain access to. They are wider than normal SUPs to allow the fisher plenty of stability for easier balance while reeling in that monster fish.
Stand Up Paddle Board Length
Length is what will determine your speed and how well your board can maneuver. Shorter boards allow you easier maneuverability while longer boards give you more speed. This is why determining the way you want to stand up paddle board is extremely important and should be decided first.
- Less than 10 feet – SUPs that are shorter than 10 feet will allow you to turn and handle your board easier. If you are looking to surf with your SUP then this is the perfect size for you.
- 10 – 12 feet – This size SUP gives you a balance of speed and handling. If you are not looking to surf or race then this is likely the size you will choose.
- Greater than 12 feet – Paddlers looking for speed or looking to paddle long distance then this is the size you will want. If you are looking at this size then you need to know they offer less maneuverability but is not needed when using to race or go for a leisurely paddle long distance.
Stand Up Paddle Board Width
The width of a SUP allows you the stability you need based on how you intend to use your SUP. Wider boards offer more stability for if you are fishing or doing yoga but takes away from speed and handling. Paddleboards will vary between 25 – 36 inches. Below are other factors that will influence your decision.
- Skill Level – Wider boards are recommended for beginners because they offer better stability and balance. As you get more experience you can venture into paddling a narrower board.
- Style of Paddling – As said before, wider boards are recommended for people who will be fishing or doing yoga because you will get the stability that keeps you from falling off your board. If you are looking to race or surf then you will want a narrower board because handling is not a major need.
Stand Up Paddle Board Thickness
This is the simplest decision you will make. The thicker the board the more buoyancy the board has. The reason you want more buoyancy is for if you plan on carrying more weight like heavier gear, kids, or dogs.
Inflatable SUP vs Rigid SUP
Over the years people are starting to turn towards opting for inflatable stand up paddle boards over rigid stand-up paddle boards. Both offer different advantages but below we go over each so you can decide which is best for you.
Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Advantages
Storage Space – If you are short on storage space then this is the SUP you want. They can be deflated so can fit in a closet or in the trunk of your car. If you are camping or hiking then an inflatable SUP can be easily packed away in a bag to tote with you.
Yoga – Inflatable SUPs offer a little more “give” to give you more comfort when doing your Yoga poses.
Traveling – If you need to drive a long distance or take an airplane to the destination then inflatable SUPS offer easier transport.
Rigid Stand-Up Paddle Board Advantages
Stability – Rigid SUPs are more solid and offer a more stable and often a faster ride.
More availability – They have been around longer than inflatable SUPs so they are available in more lengths and widths which allows you to choose the exact size that fits your needs.
More Durability – Rigid SUPs are solid so it cannot be punctured like an inflatable SUP. This allows rigid SUPs to last longer.
|Lahui Kai Sport Swell Inflatable||10' 6'' X 32''||225 lbs.||22 lbs.|
|SUP USA iVoyager Inflatable||10' 6'' X 32''||225 lbs.||25 lbs.|
|Lahui Kai Sport Carbon Fiber Pro (Racing)||12' X 27.5''||255 lbs.||26 lbs.|
|NRS Mayra Inflatable (Yoga)||10' 4'' X 34''||200 lbs.||26 lbs.|
|BOTE Rover Aero Classic Inflatable (Fishing)||12' 6'' X 40.5''||500 lbs.||63 lbs.|
Lahui Kay Sport Swell Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board – Best Inflatable SUP
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The Swell Inflatable Sup has a Poly Fusion Construction that adds a single layer of durability over its core of drop stitched PVC. This technology allows for a lighter board while ensuring the SUP can retain its stiffness at lower air pressure. The Lahui Kai Sport Swell SUP is only 22 pounds so is one of the lighter inflatable SUPs available. It is a SUP that can be used in multiple situations as it is recommended for recreational and cruising lifestyles.
SUP USA iVoyager Inflatable SUP
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The SUP USA iVoyager SUP also is lightweight but it is 3 pounds heavier than the Lahui Kay Sport SUP. It has a durable, double layer PVC with a drop-stitch construction which will allow it to hold high-pressure while keeping its shape. With its lightweight and stiffness when aired up, you will find this board to be very stable in the water plus easy to carry around deflated. The deck has an EVA memory foam which gives you a comfortable, non-slip platform for padding efficiency. It has a recommended weight limit of 225 pounds for those with beginner experience but more experienced paddlers can exceed that if needed.
Lahui Sport Carbon Fiber Pro Race SUP – Best Racing SUP
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If you are looking for the best racing SUP then you have found it. The 14’ model was designed to be able to compete at the highest levels of racing competition. It features a 3XCarbon construction which means there are 2 layers on top and 1 layer on the bottom. All 3 layers overlap onto the rails creating an I-beam of carbon fiber. This gives the board unmatched structural integrity and keeps the board super light. The deck is created to give you every edge you need to be competitive. The shape is finely tuned and is the result of years of testing in the California shaping room of world-class board shaper Brian Szymanski. His boards have produced more wins for top athletes than any other shaper in the world. The 27.25” wide silhouette is perfect for paddlers looking to step up into the race style of paddling without sacrificing too much stability.
NRS Mayra Inflatable SUP – Best Yoga SUP
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This is our recommended Yoga SUP because the Mayra Inflatable SUP brings fitness-minded paddlers an inflatable SUP board designed to provide more deck space and stability for better workouts on the water. It inflates to 20 psi which gives you a solid board to perform all your necessary Yoga poses with the support and stability you need from your SUP which rivals any rigid board plus gives you the advantage of being able to deflate for easy transport and storage. The Mayra features proprietary Axis Technology. Axis, an acrylic stiffening agent integrated into the deck, improves stiffness and performance without adding weight or making the board harder to roll up. The smooth foam deck pad gives you a comfortable surface for yoga positions while providing good grip for riding control. For maximum comfort, there are two sturdy webbing handles on the side of the board for easy carrying and remounting when that inversion pose does not go as planned.
BOTE Rover Aero Classic Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard – Best Fishing SUP
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The BOTE Rover Aero Classic is a combination of a paddleboard and skiff that can transform from a travel bag to BOTE and back again. It is constructed from military grade PVC using drop stitch technology the Rover Aero is not only virtually indestructible, but it’s also rigid as a plank. Use the included Moto Rac to attach an outboard motor (up to 6 hp) that can transport you at speeds up to 16 mph.
Its hull features:
- Rac Compatible by using the included Rac Receivers to utilize Bote’s Tackle Rac (Sold separately)
- Accessory mounting points allow for any 1/4-20 accessory attachment, found along both rails of the board
- Mounting plates for included Moto Rac installation
- Tie Down points on the deck of the board, perfect for lashing down a cooler or other gear
- Durable nylon rope with comfort grip handle, located on the bow, stern and midpoint of the board, plus a removable strap for stability while underway
- BVA Multi-Textured Deck Pad that is heat sealed to shed water and provides plenty of cushion to reduce fatigue and provide anti-slip traction
- Adjustable Bungee Straps provide quick and easy storage of extra gear
- Paddlesheath that is attached to the bow of the board and provides a convenient slot to insert the blade of the paddle and free up the hands for other activities
- A mountable stakeout hole that allows the use of a Sandspear (Sold Separately) for shallow water anchoring
- Power Pole Micro compatible using pre-installed mounting points for a Power-Pole® Micro (Sold Separately) wireless shallow water anchor. Starboard and port mounting locations