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May 25, 2022 13 min read

Touring SUPs

Woman wearing a red jacket holding her Gili adventure inflatable paddle board

Paddle boards come in all shapes and sizes and their purpose also influences the design of their particular deck. 

The purpose of a touring paddle board is to be able to paddle over long distances or at high speeds. With that in mind, paddle board companies have created longer, thinner, and more streamlined boards to help paddlers slice their way through the water with minimal effort.

Although most touring paddle boards are mainly designed for more experienced paddlers, some can also be used by beginners who are just learning the sport of SUPing. If you’re on the lookout for a touring SUP and you don’t know where to begin, we’ve narrowed down 6 of the best touring paddle boards that are currently available on the market. 

Characteristics of a Touring Paddle Board

Touring paddle boards have a distinctive shape that looks incredibly different to an all-around SUP. Touring paddle boards tend to be longer than a regular SUP ranging from 11’ and up. Their most distinctive feature is their narrow width which is designed to improve the board’s speed when it’s paddled through the water.

Another noticeable characteristic is that touring paddle boards will have a pointed nose. This pointed nose is called a displacement hull. Displacement hulls are ideal for long-distance paddling as they pierce through the water, forcing it down the side of the nose and board. 

All-around boards have planing hulls that are wider, arched, and round-nosed. Planing hulls were designed to float on waves with increased maneuverability and are also more stable which makes them a great option for beginners. 

Now you have a rough idea of what a touring paddle board should look like, let’s get into the 6 best touring paddle boards, all of which happen to be inflatables.

Inflatable Touring SUPs

GILI Adventure 11’/12’ Inflatable SUP

Yellow gili adventure inflatable paddle board

Dimensions Weight Weight Capacity Check Price

11’ x 32” x 6”

12’ x 32” x 6”

22 lbs

23 lbs

290 lbs

330 lbs

Check Price

Board Overview

The GILI Adventure Inflatable Paddle Board comes in an 11’ and 12’ length and is a fantastic example of a touring SUP. 

During the design process, GILI increased the board’s rocker and pointed nose to allow it to handle better on rough or choppy waters. The inflatable touring paddle boards design is one of GILI’s fastest and the added tri-fin setup improves the tracking, turning ability, and stability of the board. 

Even though the board was designed with speed in mind, the deck is still wide enough for SUP activities like fishing and yoga. Beginner paddlers could even jump on the Adventure and learn to paddle board like they could with an all-around SUP. 

When purchasing an inflatable SUP, durability is always a concern, but the Adventure Inflatable Paddle Board is made with military-grade PVC materials and dual-layer Fusion Technology to make it resilient against trees, rocks, and other hard surfaces.

When it comes to features, the GILI Adventure doesn’t disappoint and on the board’s deck, you can find Scotty mounts for attaching fishing gear, 20 D-rings for additional gear, front and rear bungees, and a diamond rear kick pad to aid in traction and maneuverability.

An integrated paddle holder will prevent your paddle from ever falling in the water, removable side handles make it even easier to transport the board to and from the water, and three action mounts are the perfect addition for attaching cameras, cup holders, or fishing rod holders.

One of the best parts about purchasing a GILI SUP is that the company is dedicated to giving back to the ocean and with every purchase, a donation is made to charities to help save the animals and reefs that call the ocean home.

Package

As with all GILI paddle boards, the Adventure Inflatable SUP comes with everything you’d need to get out on the water in an instant. 

Included in the package is a storage and travel backpack with cushioned shoulder and waist straps, a top pocket for fins, a zippered storage area and carry handles. The backpack makes transporting your SUP a breeze and the large main pocket can fit all your paddle boarding accessories and then some. 

When you go to check out on the GILI site, you have the option of choosing which adjustable paddle you want included with the SUP. The prices vary and you can choose from a fiberglass paddle with a nylon blade, a carbon fiber paddle with a nylon blade, or the most premium carbon fiber paddle with a carbon blade. 

Also included in the package is GILI’s 2-Stage hand pump, an 8’ coiled leash, a repair kit, and a snap-in center fin. 

Board Specifications and Features

  • Available in an 11’ or 12’ length
  • Designed to suit all skill levels and water conditions
  • Made with military-grade PVC materials and dual-layer Fusion Technology
  • Features Scotty mounts, D-rings, action mounts, and bungee storage areas
  • Rear diamond kick pad to improve maneuverability
  • Integrated paddle holder
  • Included full package
  • A portion of the purchase goes towards charities that help the ocean and its inhabitants
  • 2-year warranty

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Although the GILI Adventure is designed as a touring paddle board, it can still be used by paddlers of all abilities for a range of different activities.
  • It not only comes in an 11’ length but also a 12’ length for paddlers who need extra space or a higher weight capacity.
  • The tri-fin setup improves the tracking, turning ability, and stability of the board.
  • GILI made the Adventure with durable high-quality materials.
  • It has numerous mounts and storage areas for additional gear.
  • The integrated paddle holder will allow you to go hands-free should you need to.
  • The company gives back to the oceans through charity donations.
  • GILI designed the Adventure in four beautiful colors.
  • It comes with a 2-year warranty.
  • Although the colors are beautiful, we would like to see the SUP in a more muted color.

GILI Meno 12’6” Touring Inflatable SUP

GILI meno touring inflatable paddle board

Dimensions Weight Weight Capacity Check Price

12’6” x 31” x 6”

24 lbs

300 lbs

Check Price

Board Overview

The GILI Meno touring paddle board is GILI’s fastest SUP but even though it was built for speed, it doesn’t lack in stability. Advanced riders will thoroughly enjoy the longer, narrower deck that performs well over long distances and at higher speeds.

As with the GILI Adventure we mentioned above, the Meno Touring SUP is made from Fusion Dual Layer Technology and military-grade PVC material to produce a solid touring paddle board with an extremely durable deck. GILI’s Meno series also features Carbon Tech side rails to further increase the board’s rigidity and stability. 

The board has four action mounts and D-rings so you can attach additional gear or accessories like cup holders, fishing rod holders, and kayak conversion kits. At the front and back of the board are bungees with grab handles that work as a storage area and a place to hold onto if you decide to take a dip in the water. 

An extra-large brushed EVA traction pad improves the rider’s grip on the deck and also creates an extra layer of comfort when out on long paddles. All GILI Meno boards now include an integrated paddle holder to keep your paddle safe and secure during transport or when you are resting, fishing, or swimming. 

Just like the Adventure, a portion of your Meno Touring Paddle Board purchase goes to charities aiding in ocean conservation. 

Package

When you purchase a GILI Meno 12’6” Inflatable SUP you’ll also receive GILI’s premium rolling backpack which can be worn on your back or pulled behind you like a suitcase. The bag has three front pockets, a large main compartment, padded shoulder and waist straps, and heavy-duty wheels for easy transport.

The pump included with the SUP is a dual-chamber 3-stage pump to inflate your board twice as fast as any other pump on the market. A set of three fins including a 9” race fin, a 4.5” speed fin, and a 3” river fin come with the package, as well as an 8’ coiled leash, and your choice of an adjustable carbon fiber paddle with a nylon or carbon blade.

Board Specifications and Features

  • Available in a 12’6” length
  • GILI’s fastest paddle board model
  • Made with military-grade PVC materials and dual-layer Fusion Technology
  • Features D-rings, action mounts, and bungee storage areas
  • Large brushed EVA traction pad for improved grip
  • Integrated paddle holder
  • Included full package
  • A portion of the purchase goes towards charities that help the ocean and its inhabitants
  • 2-year warranty

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • The GILI Meno Touring SUP is GILI’s fastest board model.
  • The board can hold a decent amount of weight so it can carry additional fishing gear or even an extra passenger.
  • The board comes with a selection of fins.
  • Transportation of the SUP is easy thanks to its wheeled backpack.
  • It is made from high-quality and durable materials.
  • There are various mounts and storage areas on the deck.
  • The integrated paddle holder will allow you to go hands-free should you need to.
  • The company gives back to the oceans through charity donations.
  • It comes with a 2-year warranty.
  • The Meno 12’6” only comes in blue so it would be nice to see it in other colors.

iROCKER Blackfin Model V Inflatable SUP

iRocker blackfin model V

Dimensions Weight Weight Capacity Check Price

12’6” x 32” x 6”

30 lbs

485 lbs

Check Price

Board Overview

iROCKER created the BLACKFIN Model V to perform at high speeds on moderate and calm waters. The 32” deck is incredibly stable and glides through the water with minimal drag making it an excellent choice for high-intensity workouts like long-distance speed paddling.

The Model V touring boards are made with Triple Layer Composite PVC Construction and reinforced Caron Rails to provide an extra layer of durability and stiffness to the deck.

iROCKER included eight multi-use action mounts along with 20 D-rings to attach additional accessories like their fishing rack and sand spear attachment. Furthermore, they added front and back bungees to act as storage areas for additional gear and also included carry handles on either end to aid in the board’s transportation. 

Package

The Model V touring paddle board comes with a full carbon matte shaft paddle with a nylon blade. The paddle is adjustable and can be broken down to fit inside the included storage and transportation backpack.

Speaking of backpacks, iROCKER included their wheeled travel backpack with side and top handle carry points, adjustable cushioned straps, and heavy-duty wheels. The backpack features a large main storage compartment, two side mesh pockets, a front zippered pocket and a bungee cargo area.

Three removable flip-lock fins, a 10’ coil ankle leash, and a dual-chamber triple action hand pump also come included with the iROCKER BLACKFIN Model V Touring SUP.

Board Specifications and Features

  • Available in a 12’6” length
  • Made with Triple Layer Composite PVC Construction and Carbon Rails
  • Features D-rings, action mounts, and bungee storage areas
  • Included full package

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • The Model V can hold an extremely high weight capacity making it a great option for tandem paddling or SUP fishing.
  • Transportation is convenient because of the included wheeled backpack.
  • The board is made from high-quality materials.
  • There are numerous storage areas on the deck.
  • The Model V is compatible with iROCKERS fishing rack and sand spear attachments.
  • It comes in 3 colors.
  • It comes with a 3-year warranty
  • The color options are quite masculine.
  • The board is on the heavier side once inflated.

iROCKER Sport 11’ Inflatable SUP

IRocker Sport paddle board

Dimensions Weight Weight Capacity Check Price

11’ x 31” x 6”

25 lbs

385 lbs

Check Price

Board Overview

iROCKER claims that the Sport 11’ Inflatable SUP is their fastest SUP to date and is a great option for paddle board touring and other activities such as surfing or paddling in rougher waters.

The deck of the Sport 11’ is fairly narrow at 31” to reduce drag and increase the board’s tracking abilities. The company also improved the maneuverability of the Sport 11’ which is something that most touring boards lack in. 

Four multi-use action mounts and 20 D-rings make attaching additional accessories like action cameras, rod holders, and personal items a breeze.

iROCKER designed the Sport 11’ touring paddle board with Triple Layer Military Grade PVC materials that are joined together by Drop Stitch Technology. 

Package

The Sport inflatable paddle boards come with a complete package to get you out on the water as soon as your SUP arrives. Included in the package is a full carbon matte paddle that extends up to 86” and weighs just 28.8 oz.

To transport the SUP, iROCKER added in a premium wheeled backpack that can be worn on your back and dragged along behind you. A large pocket, mesh pockets, and a front bungee area fit all your necessary accessories and the additional carry handles at the top and on the side of the bag make it easier to transport.

iROCKER also includes a 10’ coil leash, a dual-chamber triple action pump, and three removable flip-lock fins with every Sport 11’ SUP.

Board Specifications and Features

  • Available in a 11’ length
  • Can be used for surfing, touring, or racing
  • Made with Triple Layer Composite PVC Construction
  • Features D-rings, action mounts, and bungee storage areas
  • Included full package

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Although the Sport is mainly used as a single rider board, it can hold up to 385 lbs which is more than enough to carry an additional passenger.
  • The wheeled backpack makes transportation easy.
  • The board is made from high-quality materials.
  • The deck features storage areas and mounts for additional accessories.
  • It comes in 3 colors.
  • It comes with a 3-year warranty
  • Larger people have trouble comfortably wearing the included backpack.

Bluefin 14’ Sprint Inflatable SUP

Advanced touring inflatable paddle board by Bluefin

Dimensions Weight Weight Capacity Check Price

14’ x 30” x 6”

Unknown

418 lbs

Check Price

Board Overview

The Bluefin Sprint Caron 14’ board is an advanced touring SUP made from military-grade PVC materials and stiffened with carbon rails. Due to the sturdiness of the board, the deck, even though it is only 30 inches wide, is incredibly stable and appealing for paddlers of all types.

A UV-resistant high-pressure laminated coating gives the board a shiny finish and an added large Thermosealed crocodile deck pad provides increased grip and traction while paddling.

The deck of the Sprint Caron features a front action mount, a front six-point bungee and a rear four-point bungee, 18 D-rings for additional accessories, and four neoprene handles for easier transportation.

Package

Each Sprint Carbon touring SUP comes with a durable wide strapped backpack, a triple action high-pressure pump, a coiled ankle leash, and a carbon fiber paddle. 

The board also has a US fin box system to securely lock in the included specially engineered fin. 

Board Specifications and Features

  • Available in a 14’ length
  • Made from military-grade PVC materials and drop stitch technology
  • Stiffened carbon rails
  • Laminated in a UV-resistant high-pressure coating
  • Large Thermosealed crocodile deck pad
  • Features an action mount, bungee areas, D-rings, and handles
  • Included full package

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • The board’s increased length means it can paddle at high speeds.
  • It can hold up to 418 lbs of weight meaning you can take additional gear, passengers, or a furry friend.
  • It comes with a complete package to get you out on the water in no time.
  • It is made from military-grade PVC construction with drop stitch technology and a UV-resistant high-pressure coating. 
  • You can add on additional accessories to the D-rings, action mounts, or bungee cords.
  • The board only comes in blue.
  • The long length could make it difficult for some people to carry.

Sea Eagle NeedleNose Inflatable SUP

Sea Eagle Needlenose touring inflatable paddle board

Dimensions Weight Weight Capacity Check Price

12’5” x 30” x 6”

30 lbs

224 lbs

Check Price

Board Overview

The NeedleNose Inflatable Touring Paddle Board has a unique design. The SUPs most distinctive feature is its patented razor-sharp wave-piercing nose that allows the rider to slice through waves, wind, and water. The interesting hull design of the NeedleNose gives riders the ability to customize their skill level with different geared standing locations.

A full-length electric pattern diamond EVA foam pad improves a paddler’s grip on the deck and a custom performance kick tail pad allows you to make snappy turns without falling off the end.

Sea Eagle also included a paddle pocket paddle holder, a swept-back skeg, convenient grab handles, D-rings throughout the deck, and front bungees for additional gear.

Package

The most basic Sea Eagle NeedleNose package comes with a travel backpack to store and transport your SUP when it’s not in use, an adjustable three-part paddle, a high-pressure SUP pump, a slide-in skeg, and a repair kit.

You can also upgrade the package to have it include a kayak conversion kit, an electric pump, higher quality paddles, or accessories for fishing. 

Board Specifications and Features

  • Available in a 12’5’ length
  • Made from unique drop-stitch construction
  • Patented razor-sharp wave-piercing bow
  • Customizable gear standing positions
  • Full-length EVA foam pad and kick tail pad
  • Incorporated paddle holder
  • Features bungee areas, D-rings, carry handles, and a swept-back skeg
  • Includes a full package that can be upgraded

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • The unique patented nose design allows the board to cut through the water at high speed.
  • Riders can customize their standing positions to make the board go slower or faster.
  • A full-length EVA pad increases grip and comfort on the deck.
  • The board also features a rear kick pad to help with turns and maneuverability.
  • An integrated paddle holder will keep your paddle secure at all times.
  • You can add on additional gear to the bungee areas or D-rings.
  • You can upgrade the package to include more premium accessories like fishing gear, kayak seats, and electric pumps. 
  • Due to the board’s unique design, it may be harder for new paddlers to use the board.
  • The NeedleNose only comes in blue.

FAQ’S

🏆 Should I get a touring SUP?

Touring SUPs are a fantastic SUP option for people who enjoy being out on the water for long periods of time. They are also great for more experienced paddlers that prefer paddling at faster speeds as their more streamlined body makes them cut through the water easier than regular SUPs. 

If you just want to use your paddle board for recreational purposes, we recommended purchasing an all-around SUP. All around SUPs tend to have a wider deck to give you more balance and to make your paddle comfier with a larger surface area. They are also great paddle boards for activities like fishing and yoga due to their increased size and weight capacity. 


👍 What is a touring paddle board?

A touring board is a paddle board designed specifically for long-distance or fast paddling. They usually have a thinner deck and a pointed nose, known as a displacement hull. The displacement hull helps the board cut through the water at faster speeds. 


🏝️ Which paddle boards are the best?

The answer to this question is completely down to your personal preferences. For experienced paddlers that enjoy paddling for long distances or at fast speeds, then they will say a touring board is the best.

Beginner paddlers will find it extremely difficult to paddle on touring paddle boards, therefore they would say an all-around board with a wide deck is best. People who take their SUP out fishing or use it as a yoga platform will also agree that all-around SUPs with wide decks are the more elite boards on the market.

In our opinion, all paddle boards are great for different reasons, and your ability level and what you want to use your board for will influence your decision on which paddle board is best. 

If we had to pick one, however, we would say an all-around board like the GILI Air 10’6” Inflatable Paddle Board is best as everyone can learn to paddle on it and it can be used for a wide range of activities. 


❓ Is a thicker paddle board better?

Thicker paddle boards create more buoyancy on the water and can hold a higher weight capacity. New paddlers would want to ride on inflatable paddle boards with at least 5” of thickness as the thickness is what keeps you above and stable on the water. 

SUP anglers or if you want to use your board for tandem paddling should look at boards with an even greater thickness to keep them afloat and to stop the board from sinking into the water. If the board begins to sink, even slightly, it will make paddling extremely difficult.

Megan Bryant
Megan Bryant

Based in Bali, her favorite SUP spot is the GILI Islands themselves. Travel is another passion of hers - she dreams to see the entire world one day.


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