Guide to Buying Stand Up Paddleboards

There has been a growing interest all across the world in stand up paddling (SUP) and for the very right reasons. With a stand-up paddleboard, you can have fun just about anywhere. From paddling into the ocean and coastal waterways to slow rivers and lakes – you can enjoy this sport just about anywhere. It doesn’t even matter if you are already a pro in balancing yourself in the open water, a stand-up paddleboard allows maximum support for even the newbies and those who aren’t super athletic to have fun without having to master the sport already.

Owing to its sudden boom the market is brimming with various types of paddle boards. Stand up paddle boards vary in width, length, shape and board construction material. It is crucial for you to pick one that matches not only your physique but also your paddling needs. The paddle board a 5.3” woman would pick to paddle on a lake will differ from what a large man will require in a slow-moving river. Thus, it is absolutely necessary for you to familiarize yourself with how to buy the best stand up paddle board to match your needs.

Here’s a handy little comprehensive guide to educate you on everything you ought to know about buying paddle boards.

Stand up Paddle Boards Buying Guide

Shopping for the ideal SUP or stand up paddle boards comes down to your preferences, lifestyle, budget, physique and storage facilities among other things. There are two basic types of paddle boards and then some crossovers, each more befitting to an individual than the other based on the above-described factors.

Planning Hull vs. Displacement Hull

The hull or body of a paddleboard is one of the defining factors to determine what sort of paddling experience you may enjoy in the water. The two major categories of a stand up paddle boards are: planning hull and displacement hull; then there is a third kind which basically entails a hybrid of these two.

A planning hull is the closest thing to a surfboard: flat and wide. Planning hulls are best suited for paddlers looking for easily maneuverable options since they are specially designed to ride on top of water surface. They are a perfect fit for beginners. If you’re someone who loves paddling for leisure or enjoy water yoga, this would be the perfect fit for you.

As opposed to a planning hull, a displacement hull possesses a pointed nose and ability to slice through water in a fast efficient manner. These are perfect for paddlers who enjoy racing and fitness paddling. They’re a little less maneuverable than planning hulls but perfect to paddle long distances at a faster speed.

Solid vs. Inflatable Paddle Boards

Solid SUPs or paddle boards are the traditional types, also known as epoxy; these are more agile, catch waves better and offers maximum speed if you want to paddle long distance or looking for paddle racing. Inflatable paddle boards, on the other hand, are budget-friendly, longer lasting and easy to store. Both have been tested to perform equally well but inflated paddle boards are the newest form with some additional perks and that is our focus for the options below.

Best Paddle Boards to Buy Online

Now that we have covered what to look for in a paddle board before buying, here are our top paddleboard recommendations. We have kept quality and flexibility to fit in any lifestyle and requirement in mind, so you’re bound to find something you’d love.

1.  SereneLife Premium Inflatable Stand up Paddle Board

The Serenlife inflatable paddle board is a wide SUP design with 10’ length and 30” of deck width. The deck width is crafted specially for beginners since it makes up for enhanced stability and improved balance while standing up.

What makes it stand out?

If you are just starting out with paddling, you cannot get on a more beginner-friendly SUP than this. It features a non-slip soft top deck that not only aids you to maintain your balance but also is less prone to injuries and accidents in case you slip during learning lessons. The soft top deck is ideal for all ages including kids.

For those of you looking to glide across open waters but were afraid of paddling, this is the perfect SUP to get paddling lessons on.

Pros:

  • Wide SUP design for increased aid in maintaining balance
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Comes with complete paddleboard kit
  • Features non-slip deck to avoid injuries

Cons:

  • Not ideal for paddle fitness-freaks
  • Not best suited for water racing sports

2. Peak Inflatable Stand up Board

Peak Inflatable SUP is a 10’6 x 31″ x 6″ size when inflated; it features a rigid and stable shape making it ideal for pros and water sports fun lovers who like covering long distance paddling. It is layered with military grade PVC so there’s no damage threat whatsoever.

What makes it stand out?

For starters, this is an inflatable SUP so even though it has a rigid hard surface, once deflated it is easier to store than a traditional solid paddle board. It comes packed with all additional accessories including paddle, carry bag, high-pressure pump and coil leash. The best thing is, it can carry up to 300 pounds weight, more if the rider is experienced.

This is perfect for those of you who are planning to take either their kids or furry buds on paddling this summer. Unlike many other inflatable paddle boards, this can carry more weight safely.

Pros:

  • Perfect for family vacations
  • Ideal to take pets along
  • Non-slip grip ensures minimum accidents
  • Suited for all skill levels
  • Highly durable

Cons:

  • Not on par with the traditional hard boards

3. Vilano Journey Inflatable Paddle Board Kit

This is a complete paddling board kit that comes with everything you’d need to set off on waters. The board, pump, aluminum paddle, integrated pressure gauge, remove able carry strap and backpack – everything comes already included.

What makes it stand out?

Have you been on a hunt for a paddle board that’s as hard as a traditional SUP but more portable, long-lasting and easy to store? This is where the best qualities of both types of SUPs come together. This paddleboard is made with premium grade PVC material featuring a Korean drop-stitch construction. It is rigid and made to last, yet easy to store once deflated.

Vilano Inflatable paddleboard is made for those of you who take paddling rather seriously; it can be carried around in a car trunk for far-away water expenditure. The built is perfect to stay for prolonged hours in water for racing or fitness paddling.

Pros:

  • Perfect travel-friendly substitute for hard boards
  • Budget-friendly
  • Includes D rings and bungee for storage on the go
  • Comes packed with all accessories needed

Cons:

  • Not suited for hard-core paddlers looking for water racing sports

4.  iROCKER CRUISER Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

iRocker Cruiser Inflatable SUP is right on par with a hardboard but weighs almost half, thus better in terms of carrying and storing. The wide shape and an extra wide tail allow maximum steadiness and control in water for beginners.

What makes it stand out?

The standard aluminum paddles have been replaced with advanced fiberglass in iRocker Cruiser that reduces the board weight to almost half while maintaining its sustainability. Moreover, the edges of blades are now made with standard TVR rubber material so you don’t have to worry about chipping your blade while paddling.

This is perfect for leisure paddlers who are looking for something smooth and sustainable. It would make an impeccable fit for water yoga and other SUP adventures. 

Pros:

  • Offers extra stability in the water
  • Less prone to wear and tear
  • Portable
  • Allows 400 lbs. weight on board, which is more than any in this price range.
  • Ideal for sightseeing, fishing and other leisure activities in water

Cons:

  • Not the best choice for racing on lakes

5. THURSO SURF Waterwalker All-Around Inflatable Stand Up Paddle

Thurso surf water-walker is one of its kind all-around inflatable stand up paddle that combines together the characteristics of a traditional paddle board with a tourist board. It’s beginner friendly but can work like a charm for water adventure pros as well.

What makes it stand out?

Thurso Surf SUPs are one of the best in market in terms of stability and track-ability. They boast the strongest double layered SUP structure that is coated with premium military grade PVC on the deck and sides. It features carbon shaft paddles rather than the conventional aluminum or fiberglass. Also, this is the only SUP manufacturers to offer 3 removable fins for maximum steadiness and maneuverability in water.

This is perfect for paddlers who enjoy a sturdy SUP for an advanced level of water adventures. It is recommended for those who want hardboard durability with incredibly enhanced smoothness and longevity.

Pros:

  • Incredibly durable
  • Best hybrid product in the market
  • Perfect for pro paddlers
  • An ideal choice for water sports

Cons:

  • Beginners may find this a little intimidating before getting the hang of it.

Final Verdict:

Paddling has taken surfing to an entirely new level. With the new advanced inflated paddle boards, paddling has become a lot less prone to accidents since a majority of them feature a soft top deck. Additionally, storing and carrying inflated paddle boards is a whole lot easier than the old-fashioned hardboard. If you are in the market to buy a new stand up paddle board, we strongly recommend you pick an inflated one; something like Thurso Surf, if you’re a seasoned paddler or an iRocker Cruiser, if it’s a relaxed family fun time.