The sport of Stand Up Paddleboarding (also known as SUP) has taken over the world by storm. In 2013 it was recognized by the sport with the most first-time participants in the USA. It may not be as recognizable as some other water sports out there, but it is certainly getting its fair share of attention. What makes this activity so attractive for a lot of people is the accessibility of it. Nearly everybody of water can instantly be your playground if you have the necessary toys. That brings us to the topic of actually getting a paddleboard. Join us for our review on some of the best paddleboards. We will also share some useful information and give you tips on buying paddleboards.
Why Is Paddleboarding So Great?
Apart from it being a super fun activity, paddleboarding is also a great cardio workout for anyone. It also helps you reduce your stress by bringing you a step closer to nature. From a fitness standpoint, what people most often say is that doing paddleboarding you will increase your core strength. Basically, no matter what shape you are in, this will easily make you feel and look better.
Imagine going to the fitness, but every time you look down, you take a glimpse into the sea world. Yes, this is why this sport is so amazing.
The learning curve of paddleboarding is really simple and doesn’t include any need for technical knowledge or prior experience with water sports. If you want to learn how to do it all, check out our detailed step-by-step guide on paddleboarding techniques.
Being a rapidly growing sport, you can expect that the market has already shifted its attention to it. As of today, there are tons of different boards available which vary in size, style, price and field of use. There are specific boards made for:
- Recreational purposes
- Long-distance touring
- SUPs for Surfing
Once you decided what you will be using your paddleboard for, it is time to get you the best possible one for the specific use. Before going through some of the best boards in their respective classes, here is a quick buyer’s guide.
Paddleboard Buying Guide
SUP is perhaps the fastest growing water sport today – and for a good reason. It is a fun activity which, at the same time, is a great workout. Most importantly, though, anyone can learn to do it and within this lies the attractiveness of it.
Choosing your first board can kill some of your excitement, however. It isn’t as easy as you might think and without proper knowledge you might end up getting the wrong board.
As we said, your choice should be determined predominantly by what you are planning to use the board for. The second thing that needs to be taken into account is the amount of money you are willing to spend on this. If you aren’t sure what you will be using your SUP board for, you will be in a few minutes.
In order to pick the right paddleboard, you need to know a little more about each kind.
Before we go on with listing the most famous types of SUP boards, know that there are a lot of crossover models on the market which are used in all sorts of ways by more advanced paddleboarders.
- All-around/Traditional SUPs
These are the best choice for beginners. They are versatile and work well in almost all conditions and waters. They also have the most common and iconic paddleboard shape.
They are family (and dog!) friendly so all the members of your family can use them, but make sure you get the correct sizing (more on that later on).
- Surf SUPs
Now, these are a bit more specific and targeted at a more narrow audience but still are one of the most famous types. They are a good choice for intermediate to advanced paddlers or those who want more action out of their experience.
The downside is that they are far more unstable which means it will be easier for you to fall off. In other words, they are oversized surfs with paddles.
- Touring SUPs
These are great for anyone who is up for an intense workout. They are designed for long distances in flat waters such as an open ocean, lakes or bays.
Their design allows you to get the maximum glide of them. All this while being fairly stable and wide enough for beginners.
- Fishing SUPs
If you love fishing but don’t want to pay big money for a boat or kayak this is the perfect alternative for you. Those SUPs are the biggest and have the biggest volume. This means that you will stay dry and high out of the water. Usually there are some pre-installed features that come with them – such as rod holders, fish finders, etc.
- Race SUPs
These SUPs are designed, as the name suggests, for races or any other sort of flat water competition. They are longer and wider, thus faster and with longer glide efficiency. If you are a beginner you might want to skip these for now.
- Yoga SUPs
Lastly, these boards present the perfect opportunity to spice things up with your yoga routine. They are generally designed for any type of fitness related exercise which you can perform out in the water. Stability is their core feature and they achieve it by having expansive deck which also gives you enough room for yoga.
How To Get The Right Size?
The answer to this question is based upon your weight and experience. In general, the more volume the board has, the more stable and therefore safer it is.
Some manufacturers offer size charts, like this one, for example.
If you are a beginner, you’d want a board which has more volume. The extra volume will provide more stability and will be able to support more weight. The only thing that goes down as size increases, is the speed. As you become better and more comfortable, you can get smaller and smaller boards.
Epoxy Or Inflatable
There are a few differences between those two types of SUPs. These differences can be divided into three categories:
1.Performance – in terms of performance epoxy boards are quite better than inflatable ones, although for first-timers the inflatable boards work great. Overall, if you are looking for better maneuverability, glide, or speed, epoxy is the way for you.
2.Transportation – In this category, inflatable boards win by a long shot. They are easy to transport compared to the epoxy ones as they deflate and can be rolled up to the size of a sleeping bag.
3.Storage – Things here are pretty much the same as with the previous category. If you are short on space, the inflatable paddleboard is great for you.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the additional features you have to pay attention to when buying a paddleboard.
- Bungee straps
- Attachment points for fishing rods, seats, cameras, etc.
- PFD (Personal Flotation Device)
About the PFD, since the U.S. Coast Guard classifies your board as a vessel you are required to wear a personal flotation device. You also have to always carry a safety whistle and a light source (if padding after sunset).
Also, it goes without saying that you will need proper clothing. For cold conditions, wear a wetsuit/drysuit. When the conditions are milder you can wear shorts with a t-shirt or a bathing suit.
Lastly, if you are getting an epoxy board you need to think of a car rack on which to transport it.
If you want to learn how to make your own paddleboard, check our step-by-step guide.
With this we conclude our buyer’s guide and it’s now time to get you more familiar with some of the better boards out there. We’ll divide them into different sections as follows:
- Best paddleboard for fishing
- Best stand up paddleboard for beginners
- Best stand up paddleboard for surfing
- Best all around paddleboard
- Best paddleboard for Yoga
At the end we will throw a little comparison table at your way to show you where these types of boards differ from each other.
|Product Image||SUP||Quality||Type||Good For||Weight||Customer Satisfaction||Warranty||Review|
|Vilano Sports||****||Inflatable||Fishing||25 lbs||*****||1 Year|
|Isle AirTech||******||Inflatable||Beginners||25 lbs||****||1 Year|
|CBC SUP||******||Solid||Surfing||31 lbs||****||2 Years|
|Boardworks Muse||******||Solid||All-arounder||29 lbs||*****||1 Year|
|Ten Toes Weekend||******||Inflatable||Yoga||26 lbs||*****||1 Year|
This stand up paddleboard isn’t designed for the sole purpose of going out fishing on it, but we think that it still beats its competition. What makes is unique is exactly the fact that it can be a multi-purpose SUP. It is just a great example of how you can take a great board and make it an even better fishing one.
The biggest advantage of the Vilano Sport board is that it is extremely affordable. Furthermore, since it’s an inflatable SUP, it is lightweight and easy to store and carry around.
It is made out of durable fabric and has a traction grip on most of the top part. This increases your stability when casting, reeling, etc. You get additional stability from the board’s width as well. This means that you also get more room to set your equipment and place all sorts of stuff.
On the contrary, though, this board doesn’t have a good method of securing your fishing extras, nor does it have any fishing attachments. This means that in order for it to work you will have to make some slight adjustments. All this can be ignored when you see the price tag of this thing. In fact the great value for money is what makes this an amazing board.
Since you saved quite a few bucks, you can spend them on some bungee straps and make it more convenient for your fishing needs. We believe that it is the best board to start with if you are into fishing and want to spice things up.
- Can be transported easily
- Doesn’t take much storage space
- Good traction grip on top
- Great width contributing to its overall stability
- Doesn’t have the best weight capacity
- Not a lot of features specific to fishing
- Not a lot of storage space
Final Words On The Vilano Sport Inflatable Paddleboard
All in all, this board does everything you need it to in a manner that its competition will do for a few hundred bucks more. We think that spending that extra money on equipment will be far more worth it in the long run, thus making this the best paddleboard for fishing.
This is simply a great paddleboard with few downsides. By being an inflatable SUP it is lightweight, compact, but this one is also cheap and extremely durable. It weighs just 24 pounds but supports up to 200 pounds.
The PVC material used here is durable and at the same time lighter than other inflatable stand up paddleboards. The package comes with a paddle and a pump which are of top quality as well.
You will also be getting an Airtech carrying back to get all your stuff in while paddling. What also makes this product stand out is the flare to its design. It simply looks different compared to its competition. Add that to all the other qualities and you will see why it’s our top choice.
- Can be rolled up into a bad (easy storage)
- Great for beginners
- Works amazing in flatwater, river runs and even small waves
- The paddle that comes with it is a three-piece adjustable aluminum paddle
- You get a high-pressure hand pump
- Amazing traction on top
- Deck-mounted bungee ropes
- 2 years of warranty with an included 30 day trial period
- Can’t carry weight more than 200 lbs
- Isn’t ideal for more active waters
Final Words On The Isle Airtech 10 ft Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard
If you are just starting to get into paddleboarding and are wondering which is the perfect board for you-you are on the right track with this one. This paddleboard by Isle SUP and Surf has all the features a beginner might need, along with enough stability to keep you out of trouble. All that, for a price that it’s competitors simply cannot match.
This board is perhaps the best out there for surfing right now. It is built for durability and ease of use, which are two of the fundamental qualities you need to look for when choosing your surfing paddleboard. The high-density EPS foam makes it lightweight but at the same time – super tough. That reduced weight makes it easy to carry around and since it’s made out of foam it is cheaper than the rest of the competitors in this price range.
This board is also an amazing board for beginners. We find it really easy to train with and many people have reported that they’ve had zero issues with learning on it – in fact, they felt that this board made the learning process far easier than it usually is.
It is also a great choice due to all the extras that it comes with. It has an adjustable paddle, surf leash and plenty of other accessories that will make you love it from the moment you buy it.
- Comes with bungees, padded roof racks, roof shield, and more accessories
- Cheaper than competition
- Cool design
- Perfect for any type of waters
- Limited warranty
- Foam isn’t the most durable material
Final Words On The California Board Company SUP
Overall, the materials used in this board might not be as high quality as some other materials used in other boards, but they provide a great ride in any type of waters while having weight and maneuverability which are hard to beat.
The Boardworks Muse is a super stable beginners board which is good for all-around paddling. It is non-inflatable and is covered in those gorgeous award-winning graphics, which are kind of oriented towards the female part of the market, but some men get this board due to the unique and exotic color patterns.
It has one of the lowest price points on the market for a multi-purpose paddleboard. While not being the lightest, nor fastest paddleboard out there, it is still the perfect one for recreational paddling and its quality materials and cool looks make it a great choice for anyone who will paddle in different conditions and wants something which handles with everything you throw at it well.
- Gorgeous designs
- Great value for money
- Handles all sorts of waters
- Made out of quality materials
- Great for beginners
- Not really lightweight
- Can be slow for some more advanced paddlers
Final Words On The Boardworks Muse Stand Up Paddleboard
If you want a great all-rounder – this is it. It has all the bells and whistles of a good paddleboard while being cheaper than its competition. It is also the most eye-catching paddleboard we’ve ever reviewed, if you are into that sort of things. Sure, you will sacrifice speed and ease of transportation, but in every other way this board is a great bang for the buck.
Before we move on to reviewing the actual product, we need to mention the company itself for a moment. Ten Toes makes your shopping experience a delightful journey. They truly care about their customers and answer any kind of questions you have. People have been praising them for their excellent customer service ever since the beginning of the company.
They make all kinds of paddleboards, including Yoga ones.
The Weekender is a slightly heavy, 10ft long board which is our top choice for the best yoga paddleboard. It has a 30” diameter which will make any paddler comfortable on it, especially beginners. It is super stable in most waters and has enough room for you to move around it.
This board comes with a non-slip deck which adds to the feeling of security and comfort while being on it.
The drop stitch technology on the inside gives you the feeling of a rigid board when it’s fully inflated, meaning you get all the benefits of a hard board while having the convenience of the inflatable ones. Basically, an easy to carry around and transport hard-feeling paddleboard. Furthermore, the PVC used in it is military-grade, making the whole thing practically indestructible.
Combined all this with a paddle, pump, and a repair kit and you got yourself an amazing paddleboard in general, not specifically for yoga.
- Good looking
- Extremely Durable
- Non-slip surface
- Perfect for yoga and for beginner paddlers
- A one year warranty period
- Easy to carry around and transport
- Excellent customer service
- Not very fast
Final Words On The Ten Toes Weekender 10 ft Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard
This paddleboard has all the features to make it your all-around paddleboard, but we just feel that it fits the Yoga category best, due to its wide and steady frame. This combined with the non-slip surface makes it the safest place to practice your yoga exercises when out in the water.
Buying your first paddleboard can be a challenging experience, as there are many things to consider, but our detailed buyer’s guide along with our top choices in every category should help you select the best paddleboard out there for you. Just remember that with paddleboards, the wider and bigger the board is, the safer you are and the more activities you can do with it, while sacrificing only speed and maneuverability.