The Best Paddle Boards
Buying guide for BEST INFLATABLE PADDLEBOARDS
Are you looking for a fun activity to add to your summer vacation? Try to stand up paddling (SUP). SUP, or simply paddleboarding, is paddling while standing up on a sturdy floating board. An inflatable paddle board is the perfect entry point for this water sport.
Inflatable paddleboards are cheaper than traditional fiberglass boards. Some models are even built for long-distance water travel, so you can comfortably spend a day paddling away. But with so many of these popular boards on the market, how do you find the right one for your warm-weather needs?
At BestReviews, we put in the research hours so you don’t have to. Our goal is to make your shopping decisions easy. If you’re ready to purchase an inflatable paddleboard, you’ll find our top picks here. For everything you need to know before you buy, keep reading our shopping guide.
WHAT IS AN INFLATABLE PADDLEBOARD?
An inflatable paddle board is a type of paddleboard that is inflated. They’re simpler to store than traditional paddleboards since they easily deflate, too. This makes traveling with an inflatable paddleboard easy. Inflatable models are an excellent choice for road trips, vacation rentals, and camping.
Inflatable paddleboards are easier to carry because they’re lighter than fiberglass paddleboards. They’re easier on the body should you fall because the inflatable surface is softer than traditional boards. They’re also typically less expensive than traditional paddleboards, which makes them great for beginners, families, or couples who want to enjoy the sport.
However, there are some downsides to choosing an inflatable paddleboard. Since they’re usually thick and wide, they don’t cut through the water as quickly as traditional paddleboards. While some inflatable models are designed for surf-specific scenarios, overall they don’t perform as well in wave-filled ocean environments. Because they’re inflatable, they’re not as rigid as regular paddleboards. Most inflatables work best in calm water. Finally, inflatable paddleboards must be inflated. This is an extra step that requires a pump, which may mean an additional expense.
BENEFITS OF INFLATABLE PADDLEBOARDS
Why choose an inflatable paddleboard to be part of your summer fun? Let’s take a look at a few compelling reasons.
- Great total body workout: Using an inflatable paddleboard requires balance as well as upper and lower body strength.
- Easy to use: With a few parts and accessories, all it takes is a bit of practice to get the hang of an inflatable paddleboard.
- Safe: As long as you take the necessary safety precautions, paddleboarding is an extremely safe activity. It’s difficult to get injured when using an inflatable paddleboard.
- Family-friendly group activity: If you want something fun to do with the whole family while on vacation, inflatable paddleboards fit the bill.
TYPES OF PADDLEBOARDS
There are different types of paddleboards for different uses and ability levels.
Touring paddleboards are a good versatile option for flat and choppy waters. They are usually wide and between 10 and 12 feet long. Good for long-distance, touring paddleboards are a great choice for beginners.
Surfing paddleboards are thick, narrow boards with rails for cutting into waves. These paddleboards lack stability and are not good for beginners.
Long and narrow, racing paddleboards have V-shaped hulls for fast movement through the water. They are not for beginners. Fiberglass racing boards are tough to store because of their long shape. Racing paddle boards are best for flatwater conditions.
Fishing paddleboards are thicker and more buoyant and feature an amount for rods. They are also much cheaper than buying a boat!
FEATURES TO CONSIDER
Here’s what to consider when shopping for an inflatable paddleboard.
Activity and ability level
Do you want to ride waves in the ocean? You’ll need a short paddleboard that’s easy to maneuver. If you want to go fast, choose a long, narrow board. For yoga and other water workouts, a wide paddleboard is best for maximum stability.
If you’re new to paddleboarding, stick with wide, stable boards. If you’re a total beginner, you might also prefer a thick board so you’re higher above the water.
Your height and weight matter with inflatable paddleboards. Short individuals should avoid paddleboards that are too wide. Too much room width-wise could make it hard to paddle comfortably, which may strain your back and shoulder muscles.
Check an inflatable paddleboard’s maximum weight limit to make sure you fall within the recommended range. Ignoring these guidelines will result in a seriously wobbly ride and not much fun on the water.
Beginners should opt for an inflatable paddle board with a width of at least 32 inches. Wider boards offer better stability and balance. Narrower paddleboards are best for speed. A thicker board lifts you higher above the water, while a thinner boards allows you to better connect with the movement of the lake, river, or ocean.
Shorter paddleboards are typically better at quick, agile turns. Longer boards are harder to maneuver but faster. Typically, longboards are between 12 and 14 feet, while short models are between nine and 12 feet.
If you’re looking for an inflatable paddle board for touring and full-day excursions, opt for a larger model to ensure you have enough cargo space. Inflatable paddleboards can be easily deflated and squished down to fit almost anywhere. Most inflatable paddle boards come with carrying bags for transport and storage.
Paddleboards feature one of two distinct hull shapes: a V-shaped hull or a flat hull. Also known as a displacement hull, a V-shaped hull is designed to move water out of the way. A flat hull, or planing hull, is versatile, suitable for all conditions, and an excellent option for surfing.
Fins are located at the rear of a paddleboard and help with board maneuvering. Different fin positions are better suited for different activities. You can attach additional fins to an inflatable paddleboard, and fins may also be removed. For calm water paddling, a single large fin is best. A three-fin design is a versatile choice for both tackling calmer glasses of water and surfing in the ocean.
Most paddleboards are equipped with some form of deck traction. If you want improved traction, you can purchase additional traction pads for extra grip. For practicing yoga on an inflatable paddleboard, a full-length textured pad is ideal.
For extra comfort, look for an inflatable paddle board with a padded deck. Inflatable boards already tend to be softer than traditional boards, however, so they’re an excellent choice for kids.
Most inflatable paddleboards are made of PVC. The most durable models have reinforced seams. The higher the inflatable paddleboard’s PSI, the more durable it will be. Look for a model with a PSI between 15 and 25. A higher PSI also provides a sturdier, more rigid platform.
How many people will use the inflatable paddleboard? If you’re sharing it, get a board that fits the needs of multiple users. Also, think about getting an adjustable paddle if you’ll be sharing your inflatable paddleboard with people of different heights.
Inflatable paddle boards are less expensive than traditional paddleboards. They typically fall in the range of $500 to $800.
Q. Are there inflatable paddleboards specifically for children?
A. Yes. Inflatable paddleboards are a great choice for kids since they offer a softer, gentler surface in case of falls. Children’s boards are typically shorter and lighter than adult models. But be careful when buying kids’ boards as kids can quickly outgrow youth-sized boards.
Q. What size paddle should I get to use with my inflatable paddleboard?
A. To determine paddle length, you need to factor in your height and the kind of paddling you’ll be doing most of the time. Surfing paddles are the smallest and measure between six and eight feet. For touring and calm water paddling, opt for a paddle between eight and 10 feet. For racing, you’ll need a longer paddle of 10 to 12 feet in length.
Q. How should I take care of my inflatable paddleboard?
A. Clean it regularly, and wipe or rinse it each time you’re done using it. Don’t leave your inflatable paddleboard in the sun, and avoid leaving it outdoors unprotected. Be careful when handling your paddleboard, too. Avoid bumping or knocking it against hard objects and surfaces.
Paddleboards are one of life’s greatest inventions. What other activity can give you a full-body workout while simultaneously allowing you to enjoy the beautiful water and surrounding nature? Not to mention — you can take paddleboards virtually anywhere water is; you don’t have to live near the ocean to give it a try. Lakes, ponds, even large rivers are great places to bring a paddleboard to.
Although the idea of standing up on a piece of plastic in a big body of water might seem a little intimidating, don’t let that scare you off. Paddleboards can be used at any age, and thanks to their wide base they’re actually a lot easier to use than you might think. Also commonly referred to as a stand-up paddleboard (SUP), paddleboards require you to use your arms, shoulders, quads, knees, and core to propel you through the water with little to no impact on your joints, which makes it a great form of exercise if running or other HIIT workouts are too painful for your body. From casually floating across calm water to a floating yoga session, to enjoying a peaceful fishing trip or building your endurance: paddleboards are a great way to encourage yourself and the family to get outside and try something new while enjoying the beautiful fresh air.
Finding the Right Paddle Board
Like most products, there’s a variety of different styles of paddleboards to choose from depending on where you plan to take it, what activities you want to use it for, and other factors like your height, weight, and price point.
You can also scroll down to the bottom of the article and you’ll find a quick guide on a few key elements to consider. Otherwise, check out this list of some of the best paddleboards to buy this year.
Enjoy a relaxing adventure for two on this large, durable, and stable DAMA paddleboard. When you don’t feel like going on an adventure alone, this DAMA paddleboard is big enough that you and a friend or two can head out and enjoy the open water with ease. Reaching 12’2” in length and supporting up to 550 lbs., you can lie down and relax,
Solid Vs Inflatable Paddle Boards
In general, there are two different styles of paddle boards: inflatable and solid.
Solid boards are made from a handful of different materials. Some boards use an EPS foam core that’s wrapped in fiberglass or epoxy, while other versions are made from carbon fiber or plastic. EPS boards are generally lightweight, durable, and affordable, compared to carbon fiberboards that are super lightweight but are usually more expensive. Plastic boards on the other hand are the cheapest option but lack the same performance quality as the other two versions.
Solid boards can travel faster and smoother on the water than inflatable boards and provide you with more stability. So if speed, distance, and ample stability are something you want from your paddleboard, a solid board is the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re a first-time paddler, inflatable boards make a great fit. They’re easy to store and won’t take up a lot of room in your garage and can easily be thrown into a backpack or suitcase if you plan to travel a lot or have to hike to your favorite lake. It also doesn’t hurt that they can be used for a variety of activities like whitewater paddling and SUP yoga and fall into a lower price range.
Types of SUPs
- Perfect for first-time paddlers
- Designed to make you feel stable
- Long, wide, high volume
- Best on flat water
- Family (and dog) friendly
- Great for intermediate and advanced paddlers
- Less stable
- Easy to maneuver but more challenging to paddle long distances
- Tapered design with an upturned curve in nose and tail
- Ideal for serious paddlers
- Great for long trips
- Long and narrow shape, thick volume
- Designed for speed
- Keeps you and your equipment dry
- Super long with bungee cords for storage
- Wide deck
- Doubles as a recreational board
- Built for calm water
- Feature extra full-length pad to help with grip
The length of your board can affect how fast you move in the water and how well it responds to turning and carving.
- Shortboards (under 10 ft.) are great for kids and for surfing.
- Medium boards (10-12 ft.) are the best all-around boards.
- Longboards (12-14 ft.) are ideal for racing and touring.
The hull refers to the shape or body of your board and plays a big role in how it functions on the water.
A planing hull is similar in shape to a surfboard — it’s flat and wide, and built to sit on top of the water to help make maneuvering around easy. This style is a great option for leisurely paddling, surfing, yoga, and white water.
A displacement hull features a pointed nose, similar to a kayak or canoe. This design helps these boards to cut through water so your ride is a smooth and fast one. That’s why this style of paddleboard is a great option for those who want to travel long distances at high speeds.
Weight & Volume
It’s a given that your board needs to be able to support your weight while out on the water. If you put too much weight onto your board, you’ll have trouble keeping yourself stable and paddling will become a bit of a challenge. To make sure that your board can support you, take a look at each board’s volume and weight capacity and keep in mind that the more volume the board has, the more weight it can support.
TYPES OF PADDLEBOARDS
There are different types of paddleboards for different uses and skill levels.
Paddle surfboards are a good all-around option for flat, rough waters. They are usually wide and between 10 and 12 feet long. Good for long distances, touring paddleboards are a great option for beginners.
Paddle surfboards are thick, narrow boards with rails to cut through the waves. These paddleboards lack stability and are not good for beginners.
Long, narrow race paddleboards have V-shaped hulls for fast movement through the water. They are not for beginners. Fiberglass racing boards are difficult to store due to their elongated shape. Racing paddle boards are best for calm water conditions.
Fishing paddleboards are thicker and more buoyant and feature a number of rods. They are also much cheaper than buying a boat!
FEATURES TO CONSIDER
This is what to consider when buying an inflatable paddleboard.
Activity and skill level
Do you want to surf waves in the ocean? You will need a short paddleboard that is easy to maneuver. If you want to go fast, choose a long, narrow board. For yoga and other aquatic workouts, a wide paddleboard is best for maximum stability.
If you are new to rowing, stick with wide, stable boards. If you are a total beginner, you may also prefer a thick board so that you are higher up in the water.
Your height and weight matter with inflatable paddle surfboards. Short people should avoid paddleboards that are too wide. Too much room in width could make it difficult to paddle comfortably, which can strain your back and shoulder muscles.
Check the maximum weight limit of an inflatable paddleboard to make sure it is within the recommended range. Ignoring these guidelines will result in a very bumpy ride and not much fun on the water.
Beginners should opt for an inflatable paddle board with a width of at least 32 inches. Wider boards offer better stability and balance. The narrowest paddle boards are best for speed. A thicker board lifts you above the water, while a thinner board allows you to better connect with the movement of the lake, river, or ocean.
Shorter paddleboards are usually better at fast, nimble turns. Longer boards are harder to maneuver but faster. Longboards typically measure between 12 and 14 feet, while short models are between nine and 12 feet.
If you are looking for an inflatable paddleboard for excursions and full-day excursions, opt for a larger model to ensure you have enough cargo space. Inflatable paddle surfboards can be easily deflated and crushed to fit almost anywhere. Most inflatable paddle boards come with carrying bags for transport and storage.
Paddle surfboards have one of two different hull shapes: a V-shaped hull or a flat hull. Also known as a displacement hull, a V-shaped hull is designed to get water out of the way. A flat helmet, or a planing helmet, is versatile, suitable for all conditions, and an excellent option for surfing.
The fins are located on the back of a paddleboard and help with board maneuvering. The different positions of the fins are more suitable for different activities. You can attach additional fins to an inflatable paddleboard, and the fins can also be removed. For paddling in calm water, a single large fin is best. A three-fin design is a versatile option for both tackling calmer water glasses and surfing the ocean.
Most paddleboards are equipped with some type of deck traction. If you want improved traction, you can purchase additional traction pads for additional grip. For practicing yoga on an inflatable paddleboard, a full-body textured pad is ideal.
For added comfort, look for an inflatable paddleboard with a padded platform. However, inflatable boards tend to be softer than traditional ones, making them a great option for children.
Most inflatable paddle boards are made of PVC. The more durable models have reinforced seams. The higher the PSI of the inflatable paddleboard, the more durable it will be. Look for a model with a PSI between 15 and 25. A higher PSI also provides a stronger and more rigid platform.
TIPOS DE PADDLEBOARDS
Hay diferentes tipos de tablas de remo para diferentes usos y niveles de habilidad.
Las tablas de paddle surf son una buena opción versátil para aguas planas y agitadas. Suelen ser anchos y de entre 10 y 12 pies de largo. Bueno para largas distancias, las tablas de remo de travesía son una excelente opción para principiantes.
Las tablas de paddle surf son tablas gruesas y estrechas con rieles para cortar las olas. Estas tablas de remo carecen de estabilidad y no son buenas para principiantes.
Las tablas de remo de carreras largas y estrechas tienen cascos en forma de V para un movimiento rápido a través del agua. No son para principiantes. Las tablas de carreras de fibra de vidrio son difíciles de almacenar debido a su forma alargada. Las tablas de remo de carreras son las mejores para condiciones de aguas tranquilas.
Las tablas de remo de pesca son más gruesas y más flotantes y cuentan con una cantidad de cañas. ¡También son mucho más baratos que comprar un barco!
CARACTERÍSTICAS A CONSIDERAR
Esto es lo que debe considerar al comprar una tabla de remo inflable.
Nivel de actividad y habilidad
¿Quieres surfear olas en el océano? Necesitarás una tabla de remo corta que sea fácil de maniobrar. Si quieres ir rápido, elige una tabla larga y estrecha. Para yoga y otros entrenamientos acuáticos, lo mejor es una tabla de remo ancha para una máxima estabilidad.
Si eres nuevo en el remo, quédate con tablas anchas y estables. Si eres un principiante total, es posible que también prefieras una tabla gruesa para que estés más arriba del agua.
Tu altura y peso importan con las tablas de paddle surf inflables. Las personas de baja estatura deben evitar las tablas de remo que sean demasiado anchas. Demasiado espacio a lo ancho podría dificultar el remar cómodamente, lo que puede tensar los músculos de la espalda y los hombros.
Verifique el límite de peso máximo de una tabla de remo inflable para asegurarse de que se encuentra dentro del rango recomendado. Ignorar estas pautas resultará en un viaje muy tambaleante y no muy divertido en el agua.
Los principiantes deben optar por una tabla de remo inflable con un ancho de al menos 32 pulgadas. Las tablas más anchas ofrecen una mejor estabilidad y equilibrio. Las tablas de paddle surf más estrechas son las mejores para la velocidad. Una tabla más gruesa te eleva por encima del agua, mientras que una tabla más delgada te permite conectarte mejor con el movimiento del lago, río u océano.
Las tablas de paddle surf más cortas suelen ser mejores en giros rápidos y ágiles. Las tablas más largas son más difíciles de maniobrar pero más rápidas. Por lo general, las tablas largas miden entre 12 y 14 pies, mientras que los modelos cortos miden entre nueve y 12 pies.
Si está buscando una tabla de remo inflable para excursiones y excursiones de día completo, opte por un modelo más grande para asegurarse de tener suficiente espacio de carga. Las tablas de paddle surf inflables se pueden desinflar y aplastar fácilmente para que quepan en casi cualquier lugar. La mayoría de las tablas de remo inflables vienen con bolsas de transporte para su transporte y almacenamiento.
Las tablas de paddle surf tienen una de dos formas distintas de casco: un casco en forma de V o un casco plano. También conocido como casco de desplazamiento, un casco en forma de V está diseñado para sacar el agua del camino. Un casco plano, o casco de planeo, es versátil, apto para todas las condiciones y una excelente opción para surfear.
Las aletas están ubicadas en la parte trasera de una tabla de remo y ayudan con las maniobras de la tabla. Las diferentes posiciones de las aletas son más adecuadas para diferentes actividades. Puede colocar aletas adicionales a una tabla de remo inflable, y también se pueden quitar las aletas. Para remar en aguas tranquilas, lo mejor es una sola aleta grande. Un diseño de tres aletas es una opción versátil tanto para hacer frente a vasos de agua más tranquilos como para surfear en el océano.
La mayoría de las tablas de remo están equipadas con algún tipo de tracción en la plataforma. Si desea una tracción mejorada, puede comprar almohadillas de tracción adicionales para un agarre adicional. Para practicar yoga en una tabla de remo inflable, una almohadilla texturizada de cuerpo entero es ideal.
Para mayor comodidad, busque una tabla de remo inflable con una plataforma acolchada. Sin embargo, las tablas inflables tienden a ser más blandas que las tradicionales, por lo que son una excelente opción para los niños.
La mayoría de las tablas de remo inflables están hechas de PVC. Los modelos más duraderos tienen costuras reforzadas. Cuanto mayor sea el PSI de la tabla de remo inflable, más duradera será. Busque un modelo con una PSI entre 15 y 25. Una PSI más alta también proporciona una plataforma más resistente y rígida.
¿Cuántas personas usarán la tabla de remo inflable? Si lo va a compartir, obtenga una pizarra que se adapte a las necesidades de varios usuarios. Además, piensa en conseguir un remo ajustable si vas a compartir tu tabla de remo inflable con personas de diferentes alturas.
Las tablas de paddle surf inflables son menos costosas que las tablas de paddle surf tradicionales. Por lo general, caen en el rango de $ 500 a $ 800.
Preguntas más frecuentes
P. ¿Hay tablas de paddle surf inflables específicamente para niños?
R. Sí. Las tablas de paddle surf inflables son una excelente opción para los niños, ya que ofrecen una superficie más suave y tersa en caso de caídas. Las tablas para niños suelen ser más cortas y ligeras que los modelos para adultos. Pero tenga cuidado al comprar tablas para niños, ya que los niños pueden superar rápidamente las tablas de tamaño juvenil.
P. ¿Qué tamaño de paleta debo usar con mi paleta inflable?