Stand up paddle boarding has become a very popular sport recently, with many people taking it up not only as an excellent recreational activity but also as a way to get regular exercise.
The only equipment needed for this sport is a paddle board and a paddle. Inflatable paddle boards, commonly known as inflatable SUPs, have also become very popular with people pursuing this activity. This is mainly due to the fact that they are super easy to transport and to store when not in use.
What Are The Advantages Of An Inflatable SUP?
Inflatable stand up paddleboards have a number of distinct advantages over traditional or rigid paddle boards.
1. They Are Easy To Transport
Inflatable SUPs are easy to transport as they can be rolled up, when deflated, and carried in a bag. This means they can easily fit in the trunk of your car or you can take them on an airplane when you travel.
2. They Are Very Durable
Most inflatable paddle boards are made from a heavy duty material like PVC. This is the same material that river rafts are made from. This is especially useful if you plan to do a lot of river paddling over rocks as these boards are made to withstand this kind of treatment.
3. They Are Softer Than Rigid Boards
Most inflatable SUPs are much softer than rigid boards which is particularly useful if you are a beginner and are likely to fall down a bit in the beginning. It will mean less bruises and banged up knees.
4. They Are Generally Less Expensive Than Hard Boards
Due to their inflatable nature and the material they’re made from, inflatable boards are generally a fair bit cheaper than conventional rigid boards. This means it’s much easier and less costly to enter this sport as a beginner.
5. They Are Easy To Store When Not In Use
Once you’ve deflated your SUP, it’s easy to store in a closet or under your bed. This is especially useful if you live in an apartment and don’t have a lot of storage space.
6. They Allow Anyone To Take Up The Sport Of Stand Up Paddle Boarding
With inflatable SUPs this problem is completely wiped out. Now everyone, young and old, can take up this sport because they can just throw the inflatable SUP in the trunk and head off to their favorite water course.
What To Look For When Purchasing An Inflatable SUP
There are so many choices available when looking for the best inflatable SUP. Do you know what to look for and why? Here are some suggestions on how you should choose the inflatable stand up paddle board that’s just right for you.
The width of the board will determine how stable it is. The wider the board, the more stable it will be, so if you’re a beginner you should definitely choose a wider board. Wider boards are also generally slower.
The length of the board determines its speed. Longer boards are typically faster plus they are harder to turn. If you’re an intermediate paddler or a beginner, choose a mid length board of about 10 to 12 feet long.
A secure inflatable board should be around six inches thick to give you more stability when you’re standing on it.
If you’re planning to paddle in the surf or in fairly choppy water on a regular basis, then you’ll want a board that has a substantial nose rocker. This determines how far the front of the board can pull up when going over waves.
To help narrow down your choices, we’ve looked at many different inflatable SUPs and have chosen four which we think are the most outstanding. Read on for our detailed reviews on each of them.
#1 – Tower Adventurer Inflatable 9’10” SUP Package
Our #1 choice is the Tower Paddle Board Adventure Inflatable SUP. Here’s why we’ve chosen this board as our number 1:
- It’s extremely durable and almost as sturdy as a rigid board
- It’s the widest board of all the ones we’ve reviewed so it’s perfect for beginners
- It has a weight capacity of 350 pounds so it can easily accommodate two people
- It’s so stable that even children can use it
- Takes only 5 minutes to pump up
- Because of its width and stability, it’s a great Yoga board on the sea
Made from military-grade PVC material complete with drop-stitch construction, this board is extremely durable.
The board is 9 feet 10 inches long so it’s great for beginners and intermediate paddlers. It’s ideal to use in rivers and you can even go over white water rapids with it. You can inflate this board up to 15 PSI but it can be completely stiff and ready to ride at only 10 PSI.
The weight limit of this inflatable SUP is 350 pounds, so it’s solid. The board is 6 inches thick when inflated so it feels as stable as a rigid board. There are two D rings on this board, one at either end, for attaching items you want to take with you.
When not in use, the board rolls up easily and can be stored in the garage, a closet or even under your bed.
How Easy Is The Board To Deflate And Can You Take It On A Plane?
It takes only a few minutes to deflate and then you can roll it up and put into a duffel bag. The easiest way to deflate it is to open the valve and let out as much air as possible. Then, with the valve open, start rolling it up from the fin end and the rest of the air will release as you roll.
Because the rolled up board is about 32 inches wide and weighs about 25-30 pounds, it is much better to take it on the plane as checked luggage. It is most likely a little too large to take as carry on luggage on most airplanes.
How Many Fins Does This SUP Have?
The Tower Inflatable SUP comes with 3 fins in total. Two are permanently attached to the board and the third, larger one, you need to attach after you’ve inflated the board.
What Customers Are Saying
Of the many reviews that we read, we found that most customers were extremely happy with their purchase of the Tower Inflatable SUP. Most commented on how stable the board was when fully inflated and how it felt very similar to a rigid board.
A lot of customers use this SUP with either a partner, child or dog on the front. They’ve all said how much they love the stability of this board and how easy it is to use.
#2 – iRocker SUP Review
Our second recommendation is the iRocker Inflatable Sport SUP which is a slightly longer board measuring 11 foot. Here’s what we especially liked about this board:
- The pointed nose means it can glide through the water at a faster pace
- Being slightly longer than the other inflatable SUPs means that it is ideal for more experienced paddlers and traveling longer distances
- It has a weight capacity of 385 pounds so can easily be used with two people
- The included carry backpack makes it super easy to carry around while traveling
This SUP is 11 foot long and 30 inches wide with each end being less rounded and more pointed. This means it’s great for getting up more speed than the wider boards.
The board weighs around 30 pounds and can accommodate paddlers up to 385 pounds. It will handle both calm and rougher waters with ease.
The EVA diamond groove traction pad is non slip to ensure that you have a good footing while paddling through the water.
This board comes with an adjustable high quality aluminum paddle, a high pressure hand pump and a carry backpack with adjustable should straps. Also included is a handy ankle strap to keep you safe while you’re speeding through the water.
The iRocker SUP is backed by a 30 day money back guarantee and a 2 year warranty on workmanship and materials.
Does This Board Come With Fins?
The iRocker has 2 fixed fins which measure 2 inches and 1 removable 9 inch fin. These help you to glide through the water more effortlessly.
Is It Ok To Store For Long Periods?
It’s absolutely ideal to store this board rolled up. Make sure it’s clean and completely dry before rolling the board and storing it. This makes it super easy to store in a closet, in the garage or even under your bed.
What Customers Are Saying
Like our other recommended SUPs, this board gets excellent reviews from happy customers. Most people said they were happy with the durability of the board and loved the fact it could be easily rolled up and taken away on vacation.
Comments from experienced paddlers agreed that this board was fast in the water due to its length, with one customer saying that it was faster than a similar rigid board. Most customers also agreed that the iRocker was easy to inflate and only took a few minutes using the high pressure hand pump.
#3 – Isle SUP Review
Our third choice of the best inflatable SUPs on the market is the Isle Airtech Inflatable SUP. We like this board because it’s well constructed and ultra durable. It’s also very stable as it is six inches thick plus it comes with its own carry backpack.
This SUP is also made from Military grade PVC so it’s very durable even when paddling over rocks in rivers.
The Airtech construction utilizes drop-stitch technology which makes it lightweight at only 17.5 pounds. The drop-stitch construction includes a special seal and bonding layer to make it extra tough. The board is 10 foot long and can support paddlers up to 240 pounds.
The Isle Airtech SUP comes with a 3 part aluminum adjustable paddle, a good pump and a lightweight carry backpack. This makes it extremely easy to transport even on an airplane.
This board also comes with a 30 day money back guarantee and a 1 year warranty on materials. There is a D ring on the back and a handle type attachment on the front suitable for a water bottle. Plus there’s a small cargo net made from bungy cords for any other supplies you want to take with you like a towel for instance.
This board is suitable for paddlers of any skill level and can be used on flat water and in low surf conditions.
Does This SUP Have A Nose Rocker?
There is a small nose rocker at the front which is approximately 2 inches in size. With this in mind, this board is more suitable for calm water and only low surf conditions and would not be ideal in heavy surf.
Can This Board Be Used For Fishing?
It’s a good all round board and suitable for many other calm water activities such as fishing. Because this SUP is very stable and is 31 inches wide, it would be ideal to use for activities like Yoga. Doing yoga stretches on the water is a pleasurable experience!
What Customers Are Saying
Of the many reviews we read there were a lot of customers who were extremely happy with this board and plenty of comments like “I love this board”. Some mentioned that it was a little hard to inflate with the included pump, but one customer likened it to getting an upper body workout before going paddling.
Most customers agreed that this board was very stable and could easily accommodate two people. And there were quite a few people who commented on how lightweight it was and so easy to transport.
#4 – Ten Toes SUP Review
The Ten Toes Weekender Inflatable SUP came in as our fourth choice of the best inflatable SUPs due to its excellent stability and its durable construction.
The Ten Toes SUP is made from military grade PVC which means it’s tough and virtually indestructible. The board is10 foot long and 30 inches wide so it’s suitable for paddlers of all skill levels including beginners.
Because this board is also 6 inches thick it is extremely stable and very similar to a rigid board. There’s a D ring on the back of the board and some bungy ropes on the front to hold anything you want to take with you when you go paddling.
The EVA textured deck pad is extra soft which means you can be comfortable even if you prefer to sit or kneel on your SUP.
This board comes with a 3 piece adjustable and lightweight aluminum paddle, a manual pump, 3 removable fins and a repair kit. This SUP also comes with a 2 year warranty.
Also included with this board is a nylon strap to keep it tightly rolled and make it easy to carry around when deflated.
Is This Board Suitable For A Beginner?
The Ten Toes stand up paddle board is ideal for beginners because it is extremely stable and steady. It’s the perfect size and shape for any beginner to learn on.
Can You Use This Board In The Surf?
This SUP can be used with confidence in small surf conditions. It’s probably not ideal for really large surf though unless you’re an experienced paddler because it does not have a very pronounced nose rocker. It’s a very good all round board and does really well on calm water, on a river and in low surf.
What Customers Are Saying
Overall customers were very happy with their Ten Toes SUP, with a lot of people saying that it is very stable and tracks really well. Quite a number of people said that this board was better than rigid boards they had used in the past.
There were many comments from paddling beginners who were impressed with how easy and stable this board is to use. Most customers said it was easy to inflate and deflate, although it took a little extra effort to get it inflated to 15 PSI.
After reviewing many different inflatable stand up paddle boards, we concluded that the above four boards were the best inflatable SUPs available on the market today. Our decision is based on both the quality of the boards themselves and the many customer reviews we read.
Our number one choice is the Tower Paddle boards Adventurer Inflatable 9’10” SUP because of its solid construction and stability. This makes it almost as good as a rigid board. Being 32 inches wide makes this board the widest of the four we’ve reviewed which means it is an ideal board for beginners. This board can easily be used on calm water, for cruising down a river, even over rapids, and in low surf conditions.
The Tower SUP received excellent reviews with 4.5 stars out of 5 from many happy users and is ideal for the entire family. Its weight capacity means that it can easily accommodate two people on the board at the same time. All in all, it’s an good all round board and an excellent choice for your first inflatable SUP.
The Tower SUP is closely followed by our 2nd recommended inflatable board, the iRocker Sport which is the fastest on water out of the top 4 on the market we review above. If you want speed and the most durable with Triple Layer Military grade PVC then this SUP is of the highest standard.