Updated on: September 19, 2022 12:30 PM PST
“In every walk in nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” - John Muir
Summer’s coming and we all could use some fresh air, sunshine, and a peaceful float to rejuvenate our spirit. When planning your upcoming water adventure, you’ll want the best inflatable stand up paddle board for your journey.
Finding the best inflatable SUP boards can be a daunting task. Sorting through the numerous options that flood the market can be confusing and overwhelming.
We’ll help you find it!
We narrowed down the vast field of the best inflatable paddle boards to our Top 12. In depth information about each board follows to help guide your hunt for the best iSUP.
Inflatable SUP Boards
Reason to Consider
Best All Around iSUP
Best High End SUP package
Best Budget SUP
Best Performance and Touring Board
Runner-Up for Best Touring Board
Best Multi-Person Use
Great Beginner Board
4 available sizes
Many Available Sizes
High Weight Capacity
Stable, Yet Fast
Why choose an inflatable paddle board over the rigid SUPs? Let me count the ways: inflatable paddle boards are durable, easy to transport and store, and versatile enough to adapt to many water environments.
Inflatable SUPs can travel with you across the globe in a convenient backpack and are easily inflated in 5-7 minutes. There’s no need for roof racks on your car or a large truck! Inflatables roll up to the size of a sleeping bag - convenience means a fast-track to the water without the hassle of a traditional epoxy board.
You can find an inflatable sup to enjoy activities such as yoga, fishing, touring, or for most any recreational need. Made of durable PVC materials, your iSUP can take a beating and will last for years of paddle boarding fun.
The Internet is inundated with opinions on inflatable stand up paddle boards and there’s multiple options to choose from, so why should you trust our opinion?
Because our business is paddle boards.
We developed GILI sports from our passion for paddle boarding, surfing, and our pure love of the water. We find and develop the best products so other water-lovers can share our passion.
The only way to know which inflatable SUP board is the best, is to try a ton of them. Only by knowing your competition and what an avid paddler wants, can you strive to bring them the best product.
Here’s our 12 top picks for the best inflatable paddle boards.
The GILI Komodo 10’6 inflatable SUP wins our pick for best all around paddle board. The durable and versatile design adapts to many different paddling environments and is perfect for any skill level. With an EVA deck pad that extends from nose to tail, it provides the comfort to accommodate multiple riders, yoga-enthusiasts, fishermen, and is perfect for your dog.
The inflated Komodo is 10’6 x 33” x 6” and inflates to 15 psi. This provides a broad platform for increased stability when paddle boarding. You can stretch out and catch some sun or pose into your downward dog with plenty of room to spare.
The 6” thickness of the Komodo provides the additional rigidity to improve its stability. It is built to handle up to 340 lbs and is one of the most stable boards on the market.
The GILI Komodo utilizes Triple Layer Fusion technology. This means the drop stitched layers are machine-bonded with fabric and then covered in a PVC coating. The extra rigidity of the build also means it is puncture resistant and durable.
The board is protected with military-grade material, yet 20% lighter than competing dual-layered boards.
The GILI Komodo has a pointed nose so you don’t lose speed despite the extra stability. It is easy to paddle and stays on course.
The 9” snap-in main fin and the detachable side fins are easy to install and provide additional maneuverability and better tracking on the water.
There are many bells and whistles in the Komodo design that makes it adaptable for multiple uses. A full-length EVA traction deck pad extends from nose to tail to ensure you won’t lose your footing when reeling in a fish or during yoga.
A 6-point detachable bungee system in front allows room for your waterproof dry bag, as well as a 4-point rear detachable bungee system for even more cargo room. Extra D-rings in the middle, provide an attachment for a seat to convert your Komodo into a kayak. A built-in paddle holder holds your paddle while you dive in to cool off.
Center, rear, and front grab handles are made of neoprene for easy transport. The Komodo has an aesthetically pleasing design and comes in blue, teal, or a unique yoga pattern. The turtle on the undersurface encourages everyone to save the oceans.
The GILI Komodo comes with a complete package. In addition to the iSUP, you receive a 3-piece travel paddle, a snap-in center fin, two detachable side fins, dual-stage pump, ankle leash, repair kit, and travel backpack.
The travel paddle is available in fiberglass or carbon fiber. They adjust to 67” to 86” in length.
The backpack is crafted from heavy-duty nylon and built to hold your SUP and all of your gear. It has an outer bungee pocket and padded shoulder and waist straps for comfortable hauling. Even the bag is thoughtful with a fin pocket, so you never leave your fins behind.
An added bonus at GILI is the 2 year warranty on each purchase, as well as a 60 day trial run.
The pros outweigh any potential cons to the GILI Komodo. The complete package and 2 year warranty provides extra confidence to purchase. The stability and tri-fin design means hours of fun cruising with your dog or kids. Knowing that your purchase supports our ocean is the icing on the cake.
The only con we can find is that the Komodo does not come with a dual-chamber pump - but this would also increase the overall price.
The GILI Meno is our top pick for the best high end, all-around inflatable SUP board. It's a stable board that is fun for the entire family. The “extras” in the included package make this a paddle board that’s hard to pass up.
The Meno is 35” wide and 6” thick making this board incredibly stable on the water. It can easily transport your child and dog with little chance of getting wet. It is a great option for beginning boarders or yoga enthusiasts.
The Meno has the capacity to carry up to 450 lbs. The extra stability means you can throw on more gear without jeopardizing stability.
Built with military grade PVC that is triple-layered and fusion laminated. You’d have to try hard to damage this board. The durability makes it a great, stable family option.
A Carbon Tech rail provides the extra rigidity to improve the Meno stability - a welcome feature found on high performance SUPs.
The GILI Meno has a tapered nose for increased speed on a stable board.
It comes standard with a snap-in fin box custom 9”, 4.5”, 3” river fin. This setup prepares you to track easily in different water conditions and the extra-versatility means it’s a board to travel anywhere.
The Meno is wide and stable with the carbon fiber rails, yet has a hybrid tapered design to minimize drag in the water.
An exciting new feature for 2022 is the 5 available action mounts. These attachment points in both the front and rear for your GoPro, fishing rod holders, or cup holders.
An extra-large grooved EVA traction deck pad ensured stable footing and a rear diamond pad with hold your gear without slipping. A front removable bungee and removable rear bungees mean you can carry your cooler, dry bags, or tackle box with ease.
There are 18 available D-rings, a paddle holder, and the 5-piece fin box make the Meno stand above the competition. As if all of this was not enough, the Meno comes in four color options: blue, teal, sand, and white.
Not only does the GILI Meno come with the usual items in a complete package, it adds in many additional bonus items to make this stand up paddle board package impossible to beat. Everything included here:
A carbon fiber travel paddle comes with the Meno as well as a coiled ankle leash and 3-Stage High Flow hand pump. The dual chamber pump upgrade means you will inflate your board in 30% less time. The carbon fiber paddle is lightweight, rigid, and sturdy.
The 5-piece fin set cannot be mentioned enough. Without needing to purchase additional fins, you’re ready to tackle waves, tour longer distances, or cruise your local river.
Even the backpack has been upgraded to a rolling backpack. Pull your gear as easily as you would a suitcase as you travel to your destination.
The biggest pro of the GILI Meno is the included monstrous package with upgraded, rolling backpack, 5 piece fin kit, 3-stage dual chamber pump, and carbon fiber paddle. The high quality package can’t be beat.
Another pro is the customer service with a 60-day refund if not 100% happy with your product as well as 2-year warranty means you can purchase with confidence.
The GILI Air wins for one of the best inflatable paddle boards when you’re on a budget. Coming in at $500, you get a stable, all-around board that is perfect for beginners, children, and those looking for general recreational use.
The inflated Air is 10’6 x 31” x 6” making this a broad stable board to support your entry level paddlers, dog, or for hours of yoga.
The 6 inches of thickness provides more rigidity and stability to allow up to 280 lbs of weight and up to 300 lbs for more experienced riders. You can inflate this SUP to 15 psi. At such a great price, it’s a perfect board to cruise along flat water or accessorize for different activities.
The Air is made from military grade PVC making it lightweight for easy transport. It’s only 19 lbs when inflated, so even your kids can carry it to the beach.
The nose of the Air is rounded to stay above tricky waves and make it more maneuverable. It’s not built for speed, but able to adapt to twist and turns with ease.
The Air manages the best on flat water, rivers, or lakes, and with a few hard strokes of your paddle, you can get it moving to a decent speed.
The 9” center fin and the addition of removable side fins for 2022 helps the Air track through the water.
The design makes this board rigid and stable and perfect for early learners, but it can also adapt to experienced paddlers looking for a fun durable board.
A 6-point front bungee system and removable 4-point rear bungee system mean you can load up your board with gear. With 15 D-rings and three action mounts provide attachment points for your rod holder, a kayak seat, or action camera for more paddle board fun.
The Air comes with three grab handles in the front, middle, and rear. It is a beautiful inflatable paddle board that comes in FIVE colors: teal, blue, green, coral, and camouflage.
The travel paddle is made of aluminum and breaks down into three pieces for easy transport, and it can adjust to your height.
The SUP backpack holds all your gear and is easy to carry with padded shoulder and waist straps. It includes a fin pocket in front to keep your fins safe (and not left on the beach.)
Every GILI Air comes with a 60-day trial period to return if not satisfied. A 2-year warranty makes it an even better deal when looking for a reliable and inexpensive iSUP.
The biggest pro is that the GILI Air is a stable, lightweight inflatable board that is very affordable. Even though you’re spending less, you’re still getting a quality, durable board for years of use. Great for entry level paddlers.
Potential cons relate to its lighter weight and rounded nose design. This board is not built for speed and may tend to drift more easily on a windy day. It would be nice to upgrade the aluminum paddle, but that also adds to expense on a great budget buy.
The GILI Adventure 11’ is a great inflatable paddle board for all skill levels with a design to make more challenging trips possible. It shines in design making it our pick for best touring sup board based on its performance.
When fully inflated, GILI Adventure measures 11’ x 32” x 6” and inflates up to 15 psi. The 11’ Adventure can hold up to 290 lbs while the 12’ can carry up to 330 lbs.
The board’s width improves its stability and combines with a sleek design to make for higher speeds. It inflates to 15 psi.
The GILI Adventure is crafted with military grade PVC using dual layer, fusion technology to make it durable and lightweight.
The build assures your board will not be damaged easily and provides extra rigidity.
Performance is the area where the GILI Adventure stands apart from the rest. While stable enough to use as an all around board, its sleek design makes for better maneuverability and speed.
The 9” main fin and the detachable fins on the side make for better tracking as you slice through the water.
The board features a pointed shape with sleek design and increased rocker makes this board fast. It’s an attractive sporty design that comes in Teal, Blue, Yellow, and Orange.
For your longer touring expedition, the Adventure is equipped with 16 D-rings and a front bungee system and rear removable bungee to secure your gear.
The 2022 Adventure’s feature scotty mounts (2 on the 11’ and 3 on the 12’) which is awesome if you’re into SUP Fishing. A Tackle and Bucket rack are both coming soon!
An extra large traction pad means more comfort and room to move around the board. A center, nose, and rear handle make carrying your lightweight board easy.
The Adventure comes with a complete package including board, travel paddle, 10’ coiled ankle leash, 2-stage pump, center and side snap-in fins, and travel backpack.
There are three options for paddles: fiberglass, carbon fiber with a nylon blade, or a full carbon paddle. The travel paddles break down into three parts for easy transport and adjust to your height. The higher quality carbon paddle provides extra durability.
The backpack is crafted of heavy-duty nylon with multiple attachment points, and a fin pocket on the side to ensure you never forget them on the beach.
GILI provides a 60-day money back guarantee. If you don’t like your Adventure, you can return it for a refund. A 2-year warranty provides the extra security that you are purchasing a quality, durable product.
A well-designed stable board perfect for all around use, but also designed for increased speed. A great inflatable stand up paddle board that is versatile for many uses and thrives on performance. A complete package with carbon fiber paddle. Great return policy and warranty. And you save the oceans!
The GILI Meno 12’6 is an inflatable paddle board great for touring, and it’s runner-up for the best touring board after the Adventure. It has the same excellent high-end package as all Meno Series Boards, but in a longer, narrower design to make it a stable touring master.
The Meno is 12’6” x 31” x 6” which means a broad, longer board that’s excellent for speed and distance. It is designed for touring to track well through the water.
A carbon fiber rail provides increased rigidity to also improve the stability and allow the 12’6 Meno to carry up to 300 lbs.
The GILI Meno 12’6 is made with Fusion Dual-Layer technology for a durable board that is lightweight. Built with military grade PVC, rocks or debris won’t damage your SUP.
Performance is where the Meno 12’6 shines. The hybrid shape of a longboard with a pointed nose cuts through the water with ease. With 31” of room, you can use the board for yoga, long tours, or a day of fishing with plenty of space.
The variety of fins mean it can tackle everything from rapids, waves, and wind as well as cruise across glassy waters. It includes two side fins and a 3 piece fin kit that snaps in easily for quick access to the water.
The Meno is designed for touring with the hybrid shape. The board features a grooved EVA traction pad means you won’t slip and the diamond pattern on the rear pad prevents your gear from slipping.
There are 18 accessible D-rings to attach fishing rod holders, cup holders and action cameras. You can use the 4 center mounted d-rings with a detachable kayak seat. An action mount on the rear of the board means your GoPro can record your journey. A built-in paddle holder means you can take a swim without worrying about your paddle floating away.
The front and removable rear bungee system allows for loading your board with coolers, a dry bag, or an anchor. A center grab handle and front and rear bungee handles make carrying the board simple. The Meno has an attractive design and comes in the color blue.
As with the Meno 10’6, the Meno 12’6 Touring board has an included package that is hard to beat. You receive the iSUP, the 3-piece fin set, and an 8’ coiled leash.
The package includes a 3-piece carbon paddle for extra durability, as well as a 3-stage high flow pump to make setup fast and easy to inflate.
A rolling SUP backpack is automatically included in the Meno package without the need for an upgrade. Unload your SUP backpack and roll it to your destination with ease.
As with other GILI products, their guarantee of satisfaction is hard to beat. A 60-day trial period is possible with the option for a refund if not completely satisfied. A 2-year warranty means that GILI stands by their products and trusts their durability.
The Meno 12’6 is a stand up paddle board designed for touring and speed, but a versatile design that even entry level learners would enjoy. The extensive package is hard to beat. The five included fins mean you can race your friends or ride the waves. And it feels good that your purchase protects the oceans we love.
The Manta Ray is a monster of a multi-person paddle board that’s ready for a party. It comes in a 12.6’ or 15.6’ length with a massive width to provide incredible stability. You could haul all your buddies, your buddies’ girlfriends, and a few dogs ALL AT ONCE for a great day on the water. It’s a board that can be used by paddlers of all ages and skill levels.
The inflated Manta Ray comes in two sizes: 12’6 x 45” x 8” and 15’6 x 56” x 8”. At 45 or 56 inches wide and the extra 8 inches thick, the SUP board won’t collapse or flex in the middle. It can comfortably carry 2-5+ passengers. This opens up the possibility to enjoy many adventures on the water. You could have your own fishing barge, a dock for all your paddler friends to connect, or a floating river barge.
The Manta Ray can hold a whopping 725 lbs for the 12’ board and up to 1125 lbs for the 15’. Whether you simply want more space to lay in the sun and soak up the rays, or you want to bring your whole family on the board, the Manta Ray has you covered.
Made from Military strength PVC, this board is durable without risk of damage on your paddling adventures. The Manta Ray may be large, but it’s still lightweight enough to manage. The 16’ needs two people to haul around, for sure!
It’s obvious that the Manta Ray is not built for speed given it’s large size, but it serves as a great platform for multiple uses.
It includes one 9” snap-in center fin as well as 4-detachable side fins. This means that despite its size, it can still track well on the water. The fins remove easily for safe storage.
The Manta Ray is designed for many users and provides the platform for fun. With multiple users, the Manta Ray comes with two paddle holders so you and your friends can float without worrying about losing your paddle. Two color options available: teal and orange.
The board features six grab handles mounted on the rail, so you can haul the Manta with (relative) ease, and also have handles to easily pull yourself aboard from the water. An oversized grooved traction pad allows more stability and grip.
With 22 D-rings, you can load up the everything and kitchen sink if you choose. Pack your coolers, clothes and gear in your dry bag, or enough fishing gear to snag a marlin. The front and rear removable bungee systems provide extra storage space.
Five action mounts and four additional Scotty mounts mean you can attach your rod holder, GoPro, cup holders, or even use them all at once given the tremendous stability and weight capacity.
The Manta Ray package comes with plenty of extras for such a massive board. The complete package includes not only one, but two Dual-Action pumps make the beast easy to inflate in minutes. It comes with two inflation valves so you don’t have to inflate it alone. It also includes two travel paddles in either carbon or fiberglass that collapse down for storage. Your passenger has their own paddle so you share the paddling effort.
In addition to the inflatable sup, your complete package includes the 9” center fin and four side fins. Additional speed or river fins can be added if you choose.
The rolling duffel bag is made of high-quality nylon and can easily transport and store your Manta Ray for many trips to the lake.
The 60 day trial period means you can return your iSUP for a refund if you’re not completely satisfied. A 2-year warranty is evidence that GILI stands behind the quality of their product.
A unique monster-of-a-board that will make you the envy of other boarders. Massive amount of space for many activities with room to attach anything you may need for a long day on the water. We’d love to see this board in more colors!
The iRocker Cruiser is a popular board that provides stability and ease of use that is perfect for beginners and all skill levels. It performs well and is a great all-around inflatable SUP.
The iRocker Cruiser 10’6 measures 10’6 x 33” x 6” to give a stable broad base with a wide tail. It can carry up to 400 lbs which is an impressive weight capacity to allow for multiple users or extra gear.
The 6 inches of thickness gives it the rigidity to support activities such as yoga, fishing, or floating with your dog pal.
The iRocker utilizes Dual Layer composite PVC to give the inflatable SUP durability without adding extra weight. It can withstand repetitive use without risk of damaging your board.
The pointed nose on the Cruiser means faster speeds and better tracking.
The iRocker Cruiser 10’6 design is balanced to provide stability with potential for speed.
Three removable flip-lock fins mean better tracking and maneuverability. This means you can tackle more than a day of calm water, you can also venture into the waves and wind.
The iRocker Cruiser 10’6 was built for stability and use by all levels of paddler. The extra-large EVA traction pad is easy on your feet and provides comfort for your yoga poses or for lying in the sun.
A front and rear bungee cargo area are nice in size to allow for extra gear. Front, middle, and rear grab handles make for simple transport of your inflatable stand up paddle board to the water.
An amazing 20 D-rings and 4 action mounts mean you can attach and accessorize your paddle board for almost any activity. Attach your rod holder and cooler for a great day on the water.
The iRocker Cruiser has a sporty design and comes in multiple color combinations including: sea-foam green, teal, green, gray, orange, and white/blue striped.
The iRocker Cruiser 10’6 comes with a complete package. It comes with a 10’ ankle leash and Dual Chamber Triple Action hand pump for quick inflation. Detachable fins pack up easily for their protection. Also includes a repair kit.
A durable SUP backpack can hold your iSUP to transport easily with padded straps and waist support. It has bungees and velcro pockets for extra storage. It can be adapted with wheels for added ease of use.
The paddle breaks down to 35” and floats. It can be adjusted from 72-86” and the stronger carbon material means more durability over time.
The iRocker Cruiser 10’6 is a great all around inflatable SUP that is stable for beginners and adapts to multiple water environments. High quality product with great complete package.
Would love to see a paddle holder to allow more floating comfort without fear of the paddle falling overboard. The carbon “blend” paddle is not full fiberglass, and it’s not quite clear from their website. The paddle blade is also small. Honestly, we tossed this paddle in favor of a better one.
The NRS Thrive is a stable inflatable SUP for all around use that has the added benefit of coming in four different sizes. A 9’10, 10’3, 10’8, and 11’ provides the variety of options to tailor your purchase to your needs.
The NRS Thrive inflates to 20 psi which is higher than average. This means extra rigidity of the board for more stability. It is stable enough for beginning paddlers, but also can be used by more advanced paddlers to explore more environments.
The 10’3 Thrive measures 10’3x32”x5” but if you’re looking for additional thickness and stability the next size is 10’8x34”x6” and can provide additional stability for your needs. These two inflatable SUPs are built to handle 200-250 lbs accordingly.
The NRS Thrive boards are designed with double side walls and heavy-duty PVC drop stitch construction. A well-designed board to withstand frequent use without risk of puncture.
With multiple sizes of the NRS Thrive to choose from, you can find the size that best fits your performance needs. You can choose a broad and shorter board for the stability for recreational use or for early-learners, or you may choose a long, narrower board to increase speed for touring.
The NRS Thrive comes with removable nylon-reinforced fins to improve your tracking and performance. Included are three Allwater fins and one touring fin.
The NRS design provides a stable inflatable stand up paddle board to adapt to many options for use. The multiple sizes allow you to choose what design best fits your needs.
The deck is created with an acrylic stiffening agent to allow for more rigidity without adding to the total weight of the board. The board is still easy to fold and store.
A total of 7 D-rings and a front bungee system provide attachment points for storage and attachments of your favorite accessories. Three handles in the center of the deck and one in the rear make for easy transport.
The color scheme of the NRS Thrive is fairly simple in blue with the NRS logo of different colors based on the size of board purchased.
NRS Thrive comes with a complete package. It includes 4 removable fins (3 Allwater and 1 touring fin.) It includes a high pressure pump with pressure gauge to prevent overfilling and also a top-quality inflation/deflation valve.
A repair kit and SUP travel backpack are also included. The backpack is made of durable PVC to withstand abuse while traveling. It includes a removable backpack harness and padded shoulder straps.
The biggest pro for the NRS Thrive is that it comes in multiple sizes for a great all-around inflatable SUP. A 3-year warranty is a nice addition to make your purchase comfortable.
One con is that a travel paddle is not included in the complete package. Even throwing in an inexpensive aluminum paddle with the option to upgrade would be better than no paddle. Also lacks a rear bungee system.
The Atoll 11’ makes the list of best all around inflatable stand up paddle boards and stands out due to its construction and durability. It has a streamlined appearance at 11’ to also make this a great touring option.
The inflated Atoll 11 measures 11’ x 32” x 6” and has been tested to hold up to 400 lbs, and even more for experienced paddlers. The nice size of the board makes it a great all around board for beginners as well as for experienced riders.
The 6” thickness increases the stability and rigidity to make this able to adapt to different water environments to try out fishing, SUP yoga, or experience a few waves.
The Atoll 11’ is crafted from machine laminated dual-layer PVC to make it incredibly durable while remaining light weight.
The sleek design at 11’ with a pointed nose means that the Atoll is not only stable, but built for speed. It makes a great touring board with its stability and design.
It’s universal fin box utilizes the tri-fin design for better maneuverability, stability, and tracking on the water. The lightweight of the board makes targeting your destination easier to achieve.
The Atoll 11 has a sleek, sturdy design with an awesome buffalo logo. It comes in army green, aquamarine, light blue of desert sand.
A large deck pad allows for padded feet with ample surface for yoga or fishing. A large front bungee system means you can pack plenty of gear for a day on the water.
Fifteen D-rings mean you can attach your dry bag or cooler for travel. Center and rear grab handles help with easy transport.
The Atoll 11’ comes with a complete package. Included with your inflatable SUP, is a 10’ ankle leash, repair kit, and a dual-action high pressure hand pump.
A universal fin box includes an 8” composite fin. The included quality SUP backpack has padded straps and good design to load your inflatable paddle board and gear.
It comes with a carbon travel paddle with a nylon blade for a durable design that breaks down into three pieces to transport.
Atoll offers a 2-year warranty.
Atoll 11 has great design for many uses from touring, to recreation, or yoga. Complete package with quality carbon paddle.
Cons are minimal. There are ample D-rings to be utilized but would like to see a rear bungee system. No paddle holder or reinforced front grab handle. The backpack is so-so and we can’t say we’re in love with the design, but the logo is cool!
The Black Fin Model X is another inflatable SUP by iRocker that is stable, versatile, and a great all around board. It stands apart with its high weight capacity of 450 lbs for a 10’6 board.
The Black Fin Model X is 10’6 x 35” x 6” provides a great width for a stable board. This iSUP can be useful for multiple riders, fishing, yoga, or use by early-learners for a day cruising.
With 6” of thickness on a wide platform, the Black Fin Model X can support up to 450 lbs of weight. This makes a great stable option for larger paddlers.
Made with triple-layer composite PVC, the Black Fin is durable, yet lightweight. The addition of a carbon rail means more rigidity but at a lighter weight to increase maneuverability.
The lightweight, easy to transport Black Fin is built to endure and can be enjoyed for all around adventures for years to come.
Even with the extra stability and durability, the Black Fin Model X can still glide well for longer journeys. The nose is pointed for better performance to tackle a few waves or tour down the coast. When built for 450 lbs, it is not built for speed but can stand up to many adventures.
A tri-fin set up and light weight means better maneuverability. The nylon fins have a quick-lock mechanism for easy insertion.
There are many design qualities that make the Black Fin adaptable for many uses. The large EVA deck pad would make yoga not only peaceful, but comfortable.
A large front and read bungee cargo area combined with a whopping 20 D-rings means you can pack your board for days. Throw in your dry bag, a cooler, or fishing tackle with plenty of storage space.
Eight action mounts mean you can attach your GoPro, cup holder, or fishing rod holder without risk of losing them. The sheer number of attachment points makes the Black Fin Model X ready for any adventure.
The Black Fin even includes compatibility for a sand spear attachment to make a sandbar party simple. Color options include white, teal, or blue.
The Black Fin Model X comes with a complete package. A dual chamber pump and a 10’ coil leash with key pocket come standard.
The included travel paddle is made of carbon fiber for a strong, yet lightweight paddle that also floats.
Three flip-lock fins fit easily into your SUP travel backpack. The backpack is compatible with wheel attachments if needed and made of heavy-duty material.
The build and design of the Black Fin Model X with wide board and carbon fiber rails makes this a rigid, stable option for inflatable paddle boards. Load up the kids and family dog and float away. A nice 2-year warranty and whopping room for storage are hard to beat.
The wide board may make paddling difficult for smaller riders. Only one style of fin. Heavier than other boards.
The Thurso SURF Waterwalker is a stand up paddle board with a sleek, streamlined design but with the stability for all around use. A great board for beginners but can be used by all for many potential activities.
The inflated Thurso Surf measures 11’ x 32” x 6”. The board’s stability is amped up with carbon rails to improve rigidity. Though it’s a narrower board than others on the list, the stability is bolstered by its build. Slightly heavier in weight also means more stability on the water.
The Waterwalker has a durable build due to quality construction. Two layers of military grade PVC are then secured with a drop-stitch core. Carbon rails add an extra protection to the side of the board to increase its rigidity and stability.
The 6” thickness provides a sturdy base that can manage an impressive 330 lbs of weight.
The Thurso Waterwalker performs well in many water conditions. The tri-fin design means good maneuverability and great glide. Hop on your inflatable SUP and tour the shoreline or catch a few waves on the surf.
The narrow design and longer board means you won’t lose speed from the rounded nose. Overall performs well as an all around great.
The Waterwalker has a great design that makes any activity accessible. The textured deck pad provides improved grip so you don’t lose your footing.
We must talk about the Waterwalker’s overall appearance - it’s fantastic. The natural wood tones that were “inspired by Mother Nature'' make this a beautiful board.
A paddle holder is an added bonus, and three fins quickly lock into place. Nose and tail bungees and 15 D-rings mean you can load up for a great day on the water. An action mount on the nose can attach your camera or cup holder.
Thurso includes a complete package. A dual chamber triple-action pump inflates your board easily. The three fin snap easily into place. A 10’ coiled ankle leash also included.
A travel paddle is carbon fiber for a lightweight alternative of good quality. The package includes a rolling backpack for ease of transport.
A beautiful inflatable stand up paddle board for multiple uses. Stable and durable build to withstand years paddling with your kids or pet. Upgraded carbon fiber paddle and 2-year warranty sweeten the deal.
A con is the additional weight makes it a little slower in the water.
The NIXY Newport is a great all around inflatable SUP that can be used for many activities. Perfect for beginners, yet streamlined enough to catch a few waves.
The NIXY Newport measures 10’6 x 33” x 6” and supports up to 350 lbs of weight. This board can be used by beginners with ease.
A tri-fin set up improves stability and tracking. Carbon side rails amp up the rigidity.
A durable build with fusion lamination and drop-stitching for extra rigidity. The military grade layer PVC fuses to make a durable and rigid board that can withstand benign tossed around without damage. Carbon reinforced side rails add to the rigidity and stability.
The NIXY Newport performs well on multiple types of water. The tri-fin setup means good maneuverability and the pointed nose means aerodynamically you maintain speed. The Newport also tracks well to make touring an option.
The NIXY Newport is a sporty inflatable SUP that comes in the colors teal, blue, purple, and two additional palm-printed designs that really pop.
A non-slip traction pad means good grip. A front and rear bungee system that can adjust or be removed to adapt to your journey. 16 D-rings and 8 action mounts allow capacity for many attachments.
Neoprene grab handles at the center, nose and tail make carrying easy. A side bungee paddle holder is added plus.
The NIXY Newport comes with a complete package. It comes standard with a carbon fiber paddle for lightweight ease of paddling.
A coiled ankle leash, repair kit, and three-stage dual chamber inflation pump are included. The quality action backpack includes three wheels for easy transport to the water.
A great all around board for many uses. Complete package with carbon fiber paddle and 2-year warranty. Great color options and unique palm design available.
A great touring board consists of a longer streamlined design built for long-distance paddling. Turning is of less priority than good tracking and glide. GILI 12’6 Meno Touring and Red Paddle Co Voyager+MSL are our best picks for touring inflatable SUPs given their aerodynamic design and durability.
A good beginner paddle board means stability. A wide board with at least 6” thickness will give it the rigidity. A tri-fin design means better maneuverability.The GILI 10’6 Air and the iRocker 10’6 Cruiser fit these criteria easily and also provide the durability for your inflatable SUP to last for years.
When choosing a yoga paddle board, space and comfort are valuable. Pay attention to the size, padding, and traction of the deck pad to protect your feet and prevent slipping. Yoga paddle boards tend to be wide and stable. Our favorite yoga boards are the GILI Komodo and the Thurso Tranquility Yoga. Both provide a broad stable base for plenty of room to strike a pose.
When looking for an inflatable stand up paddle board on a budget, don’t be fooled by knock-offs and big box store junk. The key is to find a quality board for a lower price while always remembering that you get what you pay for. Attention to a quality product that will have the durability for years of use led us to the GILI 10’6 Air as our best budget choice.
A great performing inflatable SUP will have the ability to maneuver turns to tackle the surfwithout losing its glide and tracking ability. The GILI Adventure and the Red Paddle Co Voyager are narrow streamlined boards to perform well. The GILI Komodo also ranks for its versatility
A stable iSUP is based on design and thickness. Find boards at least 6” thick with a broad base for support and built with quality products to increase the rigidity. A wide board may be slower, but more stable. Our picks for most stable inflatable standup are the GILI Meno and the Blackfin Model X. Both boards are perfect for general recreational paddle boarding that can also adapt to different water conditions and be fun on the water for the whole family.
A shorter board that is lightweight will maneuver more easily. A tri-fin design also means better turning power compared to a single central fin. The GILI Adventure and the Bluefin Cruise Carbon turn and maneuver well to ride the waves.
There are many considerations when choosing the best inflatable paddle board. You obviously want a high quality board that does not drain your wallet, and one that will last for years.
Buying an inflatable SUP board may seem like a daunting purchase, so it’s important to choose wisely. You want your purchase to be an investment for the long term with a durable board.
Cheaper boards are likely crafted with poor quality material and will not sustain years of use. To find a high-quality inflatable SUP consider spending in the $900-1300 range. More expensive boards are likely more specialized boards tailored to certain activities.
Determine whether you want a broad, stable board for general recreational use or a streamlined board for touring or racing. Maybe you want a shorter board that maneuvers well and is ideal for surfing. Maybe you want to trick out your board for a day of fishing or yoga. Many inflatable paddle boards have accessories to build your perfect setup. Your desired activities will lead you to the best board.
Many inflatable boards have the option for a kayak conversion kit to transform inflatable boards into a kayak.
In a world where you can find anything on the Internet, how do you choose where to shop for a stand up paddle board? Evaluate the information you are given and determine if that source is qualified to provide accurate information.
GILI Sports is, of course, our favorite place to shop. You can find cheap boards on Amazon, but the quality pales in comparison to what we’ve mentioned here.
A company that specializes in inflatable stand up paddle boards is going to have more detailed information than a big box store that also sells jockstraps. Paddle board companies are in the business of paddle boards and are typically run by avid paddlers.
Size of Paddle Board
The size of paddle board you need factors in many details. Consider your weight, how much gear you’ll bring, and the activity you’ll be doing.
A heavier person will want a thick, wider board for stability. If you want to paddle for miles, you’ll want a long, narrow board for speed and easy glide. A short board may be ideal for cutting in and out of the surf.
Knowing the kind of paddle boarding activities you want to do helps inform your decision of the right inflatable paddle board to choose.
Once you know the type of activities you want to do, then you can assess the inflatable SUP options for these qualities.
A long, narrow board with less fins will move faster through the water than a wider board with a tri-fin system. A tapered or pointed nose will reduce drag and be more aerodynamic, but potentially less stable. A thickness of 5” will work well for lighter paddlers, while a 6” thickness ensures that heavier riders have the stability.
When looking for stability, consider the width and length of the board. A shorter board is lighter and will sit lower in the water making it less stable and harder to maneuver. A wider board will provide more stability and the stablest inflatable SUP boards tend to be 32-35” wide with a rounder nose.
Tracking and glide is determined by number and placement of the fins. A single fin tracks well in smooth water and will move in a straight path. Tri-fins mean you can make better turns but they tend to be slower. The best of both worlds is looking for a board with three removable fins.
A lightweight board with a rounded nose will turn easier than a streamlined board. Tri-fin setups make a board easier to maneuver but may slow the speed.
The durability of an inflatable sup means you look at how it's crafted. Inflatable paddle boards are meant to endure with little risk of damage or puncture. Drop-stitch construction of dual layer fabric provides rigidity and strength in the best boards. Add in liquid PVC for side rails for even more rigidity.
One main reason to purchase an inflatable SUP board is so you can transport your iSUP across the globe and journey to different waters. Consider the weight and packability. Most packages include a SUP travel backpack, and heavier boards include a rolling bag.
SUP accessories can make your inflatable SUP board transform into a floating paradise. Pack everything you need for a day on the water. Consider the standard accessories in the SUP complete package such as pump, paddle, SUP backpack, and ankle leash. Many differ in the quality of products they offer.
Then consider what accessories are available to take your paddle board to the next level. For longer tours, you’ll want plenty of bungees for your cooler or the ability to attach a kayak seat to rest your feet.
Look for a sup board that has action mounts can, so you can attach your GoPro, fishing rod holders, and/or cup holders. The number of D-rings and action mounts allow you to bring gear and accessories.
When looking at your iSUP complete package, look at the quality of the manual pump. A dual action pump will inflate your board faster with less work - avoid single action pumps. Triple chamber pumps are the latest and greatest, and are usually only featured in high end SUP packages.
Paddles made with aluminum will be heavier than fiberglass, while the top-of-the-line carbon fiber paddle is the best lightweight option.
You’ll want easy inflation when anxious to get your inflatable stand up paddle board on the water. Look at the quality of the manual pump and consider dual-action pumps or even an electric pump for a faster fill that requires less effort.
Many companies offer and upgrade to an electric pump to make life even that much easier. Some pumps also come with a variety of nozzles to adapt to different paddle boards.
Why choose inflatable SUP boards over a hard board? There are many answers to that question. An inflatable SUPs are the best option for most paddlers.
The most important factor is that iSUPs are portable without transporting on roof racks (additional expense) or in a larger vehicle. Most are packaged in a lightweight backpack to throw into your backseat or trunk so you can hit your destination with ease.
Inflatable SUPs can be cozy under your feet for a long float and provide a softer landing in the case of a fall.
Inflatable stand up paddle boards take up minimal space for storage because they roll up and store easily when deflated. Despite your possible expectation, iSUPs are durable, rigid, tough, and able to withstand kids, dogs, a bayside tour, or an extended yoga routine.
Inflatable SUP boards tend to be more durable than hard boards that can be dropped, chipped, broken, or fractured with an impact. You could drop your inflatable board from a decent height, and the military-grade PVC will protect it from damage.
Knowing how you want to use your SUP helps determine the type of board you need. Inflatable paddle boards are not entirely designed for speed but are a great choice as an all-around SUP for most paddlers.
The inflatable board's lighter weight might force you to work harder in rough water or on windy days. But Still, inflatable SUPs tend to be more affordable than most hard boards.
PSI stands for pounds per square inch and is the measure of air pressure to inflate your board. An inflatable board will be stiffer when fully inflated. Boards made with multiple layers and reinforced seams will withstand higher pressures.
Single-layer SUPs can typically hold around 12 to 15 psi, while double-layer designs can manage a psi over 20. The higher the psi in an inflatable paddle board means a more rigid and stable ride.
The best inflatable paddle board should be versatile and adapt to the activities you want to enjoy. Our choice is the GILI Komodo 10’6 because it is perfect for most any activity such as recreational paddling on calm water, SUP yoga, and SUP fishing. It has a wide deck and a stable base for beginning paddlers or when you want to float with your children or your dog.
The GILI Air 10’6 is a great inflatable paddle board on a budget and has a quality build with the stability perfect for beginning paddlers. For those looking for a high performance board to tour, the GILI Meno 12’6 Touring board is the best choice. The Meno 12’6 Touring board is a quality SUP designed for long-distant journeys with
When choosing an inflatable paddle board, consider its construction, versatility, and stability. A reputable paddle board company will detail the materials used to make the board to ensure its durability for years of use. For the best protection against damage or puncture, look for multi-layered PVC with a drop stitch core. An added carbon fiber rail on an inflatable SUP provides even more rigidity to improve performance.
Versatility is the biggest advantage of an inflatable SUP over a rigid/epoxy board. Inflatable paddle boards are lightweight and can be transported anywhere to enjoy on at any destination. An all around design with a wide deck over 31 inches and a comfortable deck pad gives the stability to enjoy SUP yoga, SUP fishing, or for a casual float with your dog.
More experienced paddlers hoping to surf will want a shorter, lightweight board to maneuver. If hoping to take your paddle board on long-distance tours, then look for a long, narrow board with one center fin to provide more speed with better tracking.
The best all around SUP is the GILI Komodo 10’6. A versatile board perfect for general paddle boarding use, yet adapts to many different paddling environments. Perfect for beginning paddle boarders, but it can also accommodate multiple riders, yoga-enthusiasts, fishermen, and the family pet.
The most stable paddle boards are the GILI Meno and the GILI Komodo. Each board has a wide deck and makes it easy to enjoy the day paddling with your kids, a friend, or your dog. The boards have multiple attachment points to accessorize with a cooler, fishing gear, or a dry bag. Each board has a rigid, stable base built with durable materials. They have a tri-fin design to add to the stability without losing the ability to maneuver.
GILI Sports stands out from most other companies because of its Mission.
A percentage of every SUP purchase helps to save our oceans! As you float in the sunshine, you can take pride in knowing you’re helping conserve our reefs, clean our beaches, and protect endangered sea life.
GILI was founded by Jay, an avid paddle boarder and waterman. Every product is constructed with quality craftsmanship with attention to detail. They listen to their customers and make modifications based on customer feedback. GILI prides itself on customer service. That’s why GILI is a respected name in the paddle board business despite being a relative newcomer to the SUP industry.
As you can see, finding the best inflatable paddle board is not a decision you should rush into without careful consideration of what you're looking for. But once you’ve nailed down your interests and needs, you have great options to choose from!
We test a plethora of different boards, and we’re confident that we can show you what’s most important in your decision to find the best inflatable SUP board, but the ultimate choice is up to you!
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