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7 Best Stand Up Paddle Boards

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is the trendiest water sport of recent times. Loved all over the world, the relaxing sport itself has actually been around for over a hundred years, born from the surf community in Hawaii. It’s fun, easy to master, and it allows you to explore new waters with just a board and a paddle.

Stand up paddle boards come in several styles and shapes. With its ability to suit most situations, we chose the Bote Breeze Aero Classic as our top pick. This inflatable board is designed for safe fun on the water, it’s ideal for touring, and it’s a great choice for novice and experienced paddlers alike.

In this guide, we’ve narrowed it down to the best stand up paddle boards to buy now. We looked for highly rated products popular in the watersports community, with a key focus on features such as durability, maneuverability, and stability. 

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The 7 Best Stand Up Paddle Boards for 2024 

Best Overall: Bote Breeze Aero Classic

best-stand-up-paddle-boards
Image by Bote

Specs: 

  • Type of Board: Inflatable 
  • Board Dimensions: 10’8” or 11’6” x 33” x 6”
  • Board Weight: 20 or 22 pounds 
  • Capacity: 250 or 315 pounds 

Most paddlers will agree that you can’t go wrong with a Bote board, and we chose the Breeze Aero as our top pick for its all-round versatility and quality construction. 

With its excellent on-board stability, the Breeze Aero Classic is perfect for anyone interested in getting into the sport, but it is also a solid choice for an experienced paddler looking for a great touring board. 

The board comes in two lengths, as well as a range of pretty colors and designs. You should choose your board size depending on your height and weight (more on this later).

Many reviewers noted the excellent cruising pace for gliding through the water. All in all, this board is very popular among the paddleboarding community. 

Best Hard Paddle Board: iRocker Blackfin Model SX

best-stand-up-paddle-boards
Image by iRocker

Specs: 

  • Type of Board: Hardboard 
  • Board Dimensions: 10’6” x 32”x 4.5”
  • Board Weight: 32 pounds 
  • Capacity: 250 pounds 

Although the popularity of inflatable SUPs has taken over in recent years, a hard, solid, or rigid board, such as the iRocker Blackfin Model SX, can have several benefits if you have the space to store it. 

Solid boards can offer superior performance, especially in terms of speed through the water. They might not be as stable to stand on, but for seasoned paddlers, a hardboard might be the preferred choice. 

This one offers a brilliant combination of maneuverability and quick responsiveness on the water. Its tri-fin set up offers several options to the paddler, and it has storage in the front and back. 

Best Inflatable Paddle Board: Starboard iGo Deluxe

best-stand-up-paddle-boards
Image by Starboard

Specs: 

  • Type of Board: Inflatable 
  • Board Dimensions: 10’8″ x 33″ x 6″ 
  • Board Weight: 19.8 pounds 
  • Capacity: 265 pounds 

You might recognize the iconic Starboard logo from professional windsurfing competitions, but in recent years, they have also become one of the most popular brands in the larger SUP community. 

They specialize in making super quick racing paddleboards, but they also produce some of the best inflatable paddle boards for all-round fun on the water or entry-level paddling. 

The iGo Deluxe is a durable, well-made, stable board, which you can feel secure standing on, even when the water gets a little choppy. It moves across the water with ease, thanks to its welded rails and PVC materials. 

Best Budget: Roc Inflatable SUP

best-stand-up-paddle-boards
Image by Roc

Specs: 

  • Type of Board: Inflatable 
  • Board Dimensions: 10’ x 33” x 6”
  • Board Weight: 18 pounds 
  • Capacity: 350 pounds 

The Roc Inflatable SUP includes everything you need to get out on the water for a package under $200. A lightweight board with incredible all-around appeal, it suits many skill levels and situations. 

The package includes an adjustable paddle, travel backpack, safety leash, detachable fin, and a hand pump.

With thousands of positive reviews on several sites, lots of paddlers are impressed with the quality and price of the paddle boards by Roc, a small company based out of Clearwater, Florida. 

Best Versatile: Sea Gods Skylla

Image by Sea Gods

Specs: 

  • Type of Board: Inflatable 
  • Board Dimensions: 11’ x 33” x 6”
  • Board Weight: 19.5 pounds 
  • Capacity: 350 lbs

The Sea Gods Skylla is not only a beautiful board to look at, with its eye-catching artwork set against a wooden base, but it is also known for its speedy performance on the water. 

The lightweight board, which weighs under 20 pounds, can also be used as a kayak with space for an attachable seat. It has storage space on the front and back of the board, too. 

If you are looking for a board that offers a little bit of everything, from stability to all-round touring, and maybe even a bit of yoga, this board is an excellent choice.

Best for Beginners: Isle Pioneer  

best-stand-up-paddle-boards
Image by Isle

Specs: 

  • Type of Board: Inflatable 
  • Board Dimensions: 10’6” x 34” x 6” 
  • Board Weight: 24 pounds 
  • Capacity: 285 pounds 

With its extra stability, beginners can trust the Isle Pioneer to kick start their adventures in the exciting world of stand up paddle boarding. 

One of the best paddle boards around, the Isle Pioneer is popular for its simple but effective design. At 34 inches wide, the board’s extra inch or so offers a little extra room for balance, without compromising on the speed or the ability to make turns easily. 

In the reviews, some paddlers mentioned that they’ve managed to use the board for yoga, thanks to its width and solid platform. 

Best Lightweight: SereneLife Inflatable SUP

Image by SereneLife

Specs: 

  • Type of Board: Inflatable 
  • Board Dimensions: 10.5’ x 32” x 6”
  • Board Weight: 19.6 pounds 
  • Capacity: 275 pounds

The SereneLife Inflatable is one of the most popular boards on Amazon, with its affordable price tag under $400, but it is also highly regarded for its beginner-friendly features. 

Weighing under 20 pounds, the lightweight board is a versatile option for many different purposes, and it comes in a selection of pretty color combinations. 

It comes with all the accessories you will need to get started, with an aluminum paddle, ankle cuff safety leash, manual air pump, and storage bag. 

Its light feel on the water makes it a firm favorite among many paddlers. In the reviews, many people complimented its stability, while several also mentioned it was a good board for novice paddlers.

How to Choose the Right Stand Up Paddle Board for You

When choosing a stand up paddle board, it’s important to check a few important features first, including the board’s durability, safety features, and weight capacity. You should also familiarize yourself with the different types of boards.

Types of SUP Boards

There are several types of paddle boards to choose from, including:

  • All-around: Versatile and suitable for various water conditions. Ideal for beginners and casual paddlers.
  • Touring: Designed for long-distance paddling with better tracking and speed. Great for exploring lakes and rivers.
  • Surfing: Shorter and more maneuverable boards for riding waves.
  • Yoga and fitness: Wider and more stable boards with ample deck space for practicing yoga or fitness routines.

Choosing the Right Size of Paddle Board

Length 

  • Short: Under 10 feet. A short board is ideal for surfing or teaching kids how to paddle board.
  • Medium: 10-12 feet. A medium board is great for beginners and all-around touring. 
  • Long: 12-14 feet. A longer board is best suited for speedy paddling and long distances. 

Width 

The width of a paddle board typically ranges from 28 to 36 inches. If you are a beginner, you might prefer a wider board to feel extra stable when standing up. 

Height 

The height, or thickness, of the board is usually around 6 inches. 

Weight Capacity 

Check the weight capacity of the board to ensure it will safely accommodate your body weight and gear. Larger paddlers will require more volume for better stability on the board. 

Hardboards vs. Inflatable Boards 

There are two main styles of paddle board. Hardboards (also called solid or rigid boards) are made from fiberglass, epoxy, or plastic. They can offer better performance in terms of speed and tracking, but they are heavier, less stable, and require more storage space.

In recent years, inflatable boards have become the most popular style of paddle board, loved by novice and experienced paddlers alike. Great for all-round paddling, they are usually made from durable PVC and require inflation from a hand or foot pump. They are portable, easy to store, and can usually be packed into a travel backpack for transportation. 

Stability and Maneuverability

Feeling confident on your paddle board is essential to enjoying this water sport. If you’re just starting out, choose one with a wider outline and more volume. Narrower boards are trickier to find balance on, but they are great for quick paddling or racing.

Maneuverability refers to the ease with which you can turn, steer, and navigate the board through the water. This is an important feature, and it’s worth reading user reviews from other paddlers to see how the board performs in the real world. 

Paddles

Some boards come in a package that includes the paddle, but some do not. Check before you purchase. 

Similar to a canoe paddle, a SUP paddle has a tear-drop shaped blade that angles forward for efficient paddling. To find the correct size, stand the paddle in front of you with the blade on the ground. Reach your arm above your head. The paddle grip should rest in the bend of your wrist. 

Accessories

Look for a comfortable and non-slip deck pad, especially if you plan to practice yoga or spend extended periods on the board. 

Double check that the board comes with necessary accessories like a paddle, leash, and fin. Some packages may offer these as a bundle.

Transportation and Storage

Consider how you will transport and store the board. Inflatable boards are easier to transport, as they can be deflated and packed into a backpack or car trunk. Hardboards will require roof racks to transport by car. 

Budget

The stand up paddle boards on this list are priced between $200 and $1,000. Your budget will depend on several factors, including your experience level and the space you have available to store the board.

Keep in mind that higher-quality durable boards may come with a higher price tag, but they can be worth the investment for frequent paddlers. 

If possible, try out different sizes of paddle boards and paddles before making a purchase. Many rental shops offer demos, allowing you to test various sizes and styles to find the best fit for you.

Reviews and Recommendations

Before making a purchase, read user reviews from other SUP enthusiasts to learn about their experiences with specific boards and to see how they perform in various conditions. 

Recommendations from friends or online forums can also help you make an informed decision. Pay attention to feedback on durability, stability, maneuverability, and overall performance.

Brand Reputation and Warranty 

Consider the reputation of the brand. Established outdoor brands, such as Starboard and Bote have a history of producing excellent equipment.   

Check the warranty coverage and customer service reputation of the manufacturer. A good warranty can provide added peace of mind and protection against any defects or issues with the paddle board.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What should I wear for paddle boarding? 

A PFD (personal flotation device) is essential for safety on the water, especially if you’re paddling in rough water or unfamiliar conditions. Choose a comfortable, Coast Guard-approved PFD that fits you properly.

In warm weather, a sun shirt or rash vest with board shorts or swim shorts will be enough. Choose quick-drying materials in case you feel like jumping in the water to cool off. Always be careful in the sunlight and protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays with SPF. 

You can go barefoot or wear water shoes or neoprene booties, depending on what you find most comfortable. Always wear a hat and sunglasses, too. 

In colder temperatures, a wetsuit will trap in warmth and keep you insulated for longer while you’re out on the water.

Find out the best places to go paddle boarding in the fall.

Can I use a paddle board for surfing?

Yes, you can surf waves on a paddle board, however there are some differences in the boards used for paddle surfing.

Surfing SUPs are usually shorter than paddle boards used for touring. This allows for greater responsiveness when wave riding. They will also have a different fin set up to provide control on the waves, and you will use a shorter paddle.  

If you plan to go surfing, make sure your paddle board is specifically designed for surfing waves. 

How do I care for and maintain my paddle board?

Rinse your paddle board with fresh water after each use, especially if you’ve been paddling in saltwater or dirty water. This helps remove salt, sand, and debris that can cause damage over time.

Periodically clean your paddle board with mild soap and water to remove dirt, grime, and sunscreen residue. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that could damage the board’s surface.

If you have a hardboard, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight when not in use. Avoid storing it on hard surfaces or on its rails, as this can cause pressure dings or deformations over time. If storing your board outside, use a protective cover to shield it from the elements.

For inflatables, clean and dry the board before deflating it. Once deflated, roll it tightly from tail to nose and store it in the carry bag. Find a cool, dry place to store it until its next adventure. 

Final Thoughts: The Best Stand Up Paddle Board 

A stand up paddle board allows you to explore waters freely without the need for cumbersome or heavy equipment. All you need is a steady base to stand on, a paddle, and you’re ready to explore lakes, rivers, and coastlines. 

You can’t go wrong with any of the boards from Bote, but the Aero Classic is our favorite choice. Light, stable, and durable, it’s perfect for laidback fun on the water. 

If you’re interested in trying the sport for the first time, start by renting a board to see if it’s the water sport for you. 

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