Comparing The Best Inflatable SUP (Stand Up Paddle board) 2018

There’s a reason that in the last couple of years alone, thousands of paddleboarders have decided to buy inflatable SUPs over fiberglass ones:

Studies show that inflatable SUP’s sold now count for between 80-90% of the market depending on the country.

This trend continues to evolve:

It all depends where we look. Today for example 98% of SUP boards, in Germany are inflatables. But in countries like France, Spain, Portugal and also the Scandinavian countries we still sell a majority of hard boards.

So, should you choose inflatables SUP over a hard-shell paddle board?

With the advanced manufacturing process’s today, the best inflatable SUP’s (stand up paddle) boards, offer the same level of paddling, while being lighter, simple to store and easy to transport – all for a lower price than hard SUPs.

The wrong paddle board will give you a clumsy, strenuous experience: the perfect inflatable SUP for you will make paddle boarding a pleasure.

The problem is with so many boards to choose from it’s a tough decision to make.

Now:

How should you choose the best inflatable SUP?

It’s simple, to help you make up your mind, start with our inflatable SUP reviews and the buyers guide below.

I have tried and tested the market, comparing 42 of the best all round stand up paddle boards in the world.

I have chosen the top 6 inflatable SUP’s for your money!

Continue reading for the top model reviews. For good order, here is the full list of products reviewed.

You can also jump to the section that interests you. Use the simple navigation below:

Here is a comparison the 5 best inflatable stand up paddle board for your money:

Comparison Table

  NameSizeOverall Rating 
PEAK Inflatable SUP10'6 x 31 x 64.9/5Check Price

Read Review
Tower Adventurer 210'4 x 32 x 64.7/5Check Price

Read Review
PathFinder Inflatable SUP9'9 x 30 x 54.5/5Check Price

Read Review
Sportstuff 1030 Adventure10'6' x 30 x 44.0/5Check Price

Read Review
Red Paddle Co RIDE10'6 x 31 x 64.0/5Check Price

Read Review
Aqua Marina Monster12 x 32 x 63.6/5Check Price

Read Review
If you’re looking for something a little more specific, SUP boards have been designed for specific uses. Check out some of our other SUP inflatable reviews here:
Inflatable SUP’s Guide,
Best Inflatable SUP’s for yoga,
Best Inflatable SUP’s for Surfing
SUP Fitness and Training
11 SUP Yoga poses for beginners

Before we dive into the guide, let’s get inspired with the awesome bulldog SUP dog πŸ™‚
https://www.instagram.com/p/BYAgnwql_dC

Best Inflatable SUPS Over $500

The inflatable stand up paddle boards within this category feature superior build quality, advanced design features, unbelievably high weight limits and bonus accessories when compared to cheaper budget models. They might be more expensive (with prices rising higher than $1,000), but these are for serious SUPers who want more versatility and better value for money.

The Top Pick

PEAK Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Review

ISLE Surf & SUP are the brains behind the PEAK inflatable SUP boards, so you know you’re getting a specialist product designed by experts. Bringing the best of both worlds in terms of versatility and craftsmanship, this fantastic all-round board is aimed at beginners to intermediates. It might be above the $500 mark, but you get what you pay for. When you consider the versatility, the awesome design and the backing of the big name brand, there’s a reason why this is one of the best selling SUPs ever made.

Who Should Buy?

This is a no-fuss inflatable SUP which acts as a great entry point to the world of stand up paddle boarding. It might be an all-rounder, but this board is far from basic. According to our PEAK inflatable stand up paddle board review, buy it now and it will last for years – perfect if you’re ready to take your paddle boarding to the next level.

Click here for the Peak Inflatable SUP

Our rating: 4.9 /5

The Good

  • Suitable for all abilities and skill levels
  • Six point bungee cord allows for the secure storage of lots of gear
  • Stylish design comes in a range of colors
  • Supplied with a very supportive, high quality backpack
  • Isle is one of the Best SUP brands

The Bad

  • Physically demanding to inflate
  • Only supplied with one detachable fin

Click here for the Peak Inflatable SUP
PEAK Inflatable SUP in use

Read the full review here.

Best Quality

Tower Paddle Board Adventurer 2 Review

Look no further if you want exceptional build quality for a refreshingly low price. The Tower Paddle Board Adventurer 2 can be taken from flat water to white water rapids, giving you endless possibilities from just one board. When friends are ready to up their SUP game, this is the board that we recommend.

Who Should Buy?

With a super high weight limit, this inflatable stand up paddle board allows you to take your kids, your friends and even your pets along for the ride. The feel of this board might take some getting used to, but it’s made of tough stuff so you won’t have to worry about replacing it any time soon. For serious stand up paddle boarders, this is a great value, long-term investment.

Click here for the Tower Paddle Board Adventurer 2

Our rating: 4.7 /5

The Good

  • High maximum weight limit suits big and tall riders, groups or your SUP Dog (350 lbs)
  • Suitable for use on everything from flat water to rougher rapids
  • Excellent build quality
  • Created by one of the best SUP brands (Tower)
  • Comes with an adjustable fiberglass paddle and other accessories
  • Quick and easy inflation and deflation make it highly portable

The Bad

  • Tends to rock in the water so might feel unstable at first
  • Paddle is heavy
  • No bag is included with the board
Click here for the Tower Adventurer 2

Read the full review here.

Runner Up

Red Paddle Co RIDE Review

The Red Paddle Co RIDE MSL 2017 Series review features a curved stand up paddle board which has been specifically designed as an all-round SUP to handle flat water and light surf. At well over $1000 this is the most expensive of all our inflatable paddle board reviews, but in return for that you get the product that ranked the highest in both our inflatable SUP for yoga and inflatable SUP for wave surfing categories.

Who Should Buy?

The high price and special features make this inflatable SUP surplus to many novices’ requirements. Instead, it’s a high quality option best suited to those who already love SUP and who know what they want from a board.

Click here for the Red Paddle Ride 10’6

Playing wih the sun on a @redpaddlegreece @redpaddlexo board #redpaddleco #redpaddlegreece

A post shared by Giannis Labropoulos (@jlabro) on

Our rating: 4.0 /5

The Good

  • Curved design can be used for all-round SUPing on flat water and light surf
  • Easy to control but quick to turn and maneuver
  • Comes with an accurate, instant pressure gauge which doesn’t need to be connected to a pump
  • Great for securing technology and capturing your adventures – a RAM mount and waterproof phone case are included
  • Red Paddle Co is one of the top manufacturing brands around

The Bad

  • Expensive at over $1,000
Click here for the Red Paddle Ride 10’6

Read the full review here.

Best for Beginners (Best Under $500)

Coming in at under $500, the stand up paddle boards within this category are great for beginners. They don’t have as wide a range of features as more expensive models, but they’re great starting points for anyone who wants to try out a new hobby. However, if you’re serious about the sport we’d advise investing in a more advanced SUP.

Best For Beginners

PathFinder Inflatable SUP Stand Up Paddleboard 9’9″ Review

Our PathFinder Inflatable SUP review found that it really competes with more expensive stand up paddleboards as it brings together strength and durability, versatility and super quick inflation and deflation times. Considering that it’s one of the cheapest models you’ll find, it’s easily the best inflatable paddleboard for the money.

Who Should Buy?

If you’re looking for a basic, all-round stand-up paddle board without fuss or fancy features, you’ll find the PathFinder fantastic. Its size offers slightly more speed than other entry-level models, so complete beginners might prefer something with a larger surface area. This board has a relatively low weight limit which won’t be great for heavier or multiple riders, but as it’s a bargain buy you can’t go far wrong for the price.

Click here for the Pathfinder Inflatable SUP

Our rating: 4.5 /5

The Good

  • Size delivers quick speed and easy maneuverability (9’9″ x 30″ x 5″)
  • Quick set up (five minutes) and deflation (a few seconds)
  • Bungee cord offers space to secure extra kit for all hobbies
  • Comes with a spacious backpack
  • Moves quickly on the water but feels very stable for yoga

The Bad

  • Prone to slow leaks at the seams when over-inflated
  • Low maximum weight limit (240 lbs)
  • Paddle doesn’t float
Click here for the Pathfinder Inflatable SUP

Read the full review here.

Best Cheap Choice

Sportstuff 1030 Adventure Stand Up Paddleboard Review

When it comes to inflatable SUP boards, the Sportstuff 1030 is the best inflatable paddle board in the world if you simply want a travel board for fun on different types of water. It isn’t the thickest or best quality SUP in the world, but its large size, portability and storage space on the deck pad make it a great entry level buy.

Who Should Buy?

The cheapest of our inflatable paddle board reviews, the Sportstuff 1030 is great for kids, beginners or anyone wanting to have some fun on the water. It’s larger than the PathFinder so offers more versatility, but it’s thinner and can’t carry as much weight. As a result, it’s best suited to lighter SUPers who don’t mind feeling the water move beneath their feet.

Click here for the Sportstuff 1030 Adventure Stand Up Paddleboard

Our rating: 4.0 /5

The Good

  • Holds up well when used on flat and choppy water
  • Feels very solid and stable due to its large surface area (10’6″ x 30″)
  • Mesh backpack allows board and kit to be transported to different locations
  • Very low price (just over $300)

The Bad

  • Sits very low in the water when carrying a load over 180 lbs
  • One of the thinnest boards available (4″ thick)
Click here for the Sportstuff 1030 Adventure Stand Up Paddleboard

Read the full review here.

Runner Up

Aqua Marina Monster Inflatable SUP Review

The largest and thickest of all our inflatable SUP boards, our Aqua Marina Monster review presents a board which is unrivaled in terms of stability and durability. It might be big, but its sleek design makes this board an incredibly fast mover. With a high weight limit and a low price that comes in well under $400, this stand up paddle board offers versatility like no other.

Who Should Buy?

The sheer size of this stand up paddle board provides an excellent, stable platform for beginners, yoga enthusiasts or those who want to SUP with their kids and dogs. However, it also makes a great choice for experienced riders who are looking to build up speed, as with full rails you can even take this board racing.

Click here for the Aqua Mrina Monster Inflatable SUP

Our rating: 3.6 /5

The Good

  • Extremely large and thick board offers lots of space and stability (12′ x 32″ x 6″)
  • Picks up speed quickly and handles well for racing
  • Great for Yoga
  • Very large non-slip traction pad covers more than half the board
  • Gives a very smooth ride

The Bad

  • Needs some physical effort to inflate (takes around six minutes)
  • Unusual bag design isn’t as comfortable to carry as traditional backpacks
  • Paddles aren’t always included with every board
Click here for the Aqua Mrina Monster Inflatable SUP

Read the full review here.

The Definitive Buyers Guide

How to choose the best inflatable SUP?

At a first glance, all inflatable SUP boards look very similar, but there are actually many different design variations which can make a big difference to how and where they should be used. The first step in choosing the best inflatable paddle board in the world is to decide what kind of stand up paddling you want to do.

In these inflatable SUP reviews, we’ve been looking at how to choose a SUP for all-round paddling and general use. These SUPs are ideal if you want to try out lots of different disciplines, if you’re a beginner to intermediate SUPer or if you just want a basic board for a bit of fun. In general, the best all round SUP board should be large, thick and stiff enough to offer stability (especially for SUP yoga) but light, curved and thin enough to handle well over choppy water, light surf and waves.

If you’re looking for something a little more specific, SUP boards have been designed for many your specific use. Check out some of our other SUP inflatable reviews to compare inflatable SUP yoga boards, inflatable SUP for surf boards (more category reviews on the way).

Now that we got the base mindset how to choose down, here is the detailed checklist:

Size: As with any kind of inflatable SUP, you should select the right size based on your height and weight. Tall, heavy adults will need a larger board for more stability, while small, light adults and kids will need a smaller board as they’ll struggle to control a large SUP.

Makes sense, right?

As a general rule, if you’re under 140 lbs you should choose a short 9’6″ board; if you’re between 140 lbs and 200 lbs you’ll need a board that’s around ten feet long; if you’re heavier (or if you’ll be carrying extra passengers) you should look for a large SUP measuring 11 or 12 feet long.

However, there are slight variations between inflatable SUPs depending on how they’re used. The best yoga inflatable SUP boards are long and wide, providing a large, stable surface area for trying out ambitious yoga positions. Surfing SUP boards, on the other hand, tend to be narrower to help them glide over the waves smoothly.

Thickness of board: Inflatable SUP boards range from four to six inches thick: thicker boards usually feel stiffer and more stable than thinner boards. However, these boards are so well made that when they’re fully inflated, they feel just as solid as hard SUP boards, regardless of their thickness.

If you’re used to solid SUP boards, you might find thin four inch thick inflatable SUPs disconcerting at first. This is because you do get a greater sense of movement on the water than with solid boards. If you’re heavy or the water is particularly rough, you might feel like the board is buckling if it’s very thin, so experienced solid SUPers might prefer to opt for a thicker board first. However, these sensations are so slight that beginners to stand up paddling will hardly even notice the difference.

While you’re looking at the thickness of inflatable SUP boards, you should also consider their volume. This will have an impact on how long they take to inflate and how high they sit in the water.

PSI: The PSI (pounds per square inch) refers to the maximum pressure to which you can fill an inflatable SUP with air. When it comes to pressure, higher numbers equal fuller and stiffer boards. Most all-round inflatable SUPs (including five of our six inflatable SUP reviews) have a maximum of 15 PSI, but bear in mind that if you’re very light you can get probably get away with filling your board to a lower pressure.

The time it takes to fill an inflatable SUP to the required pressure depends on the type of pump which you’re using and – if it’s a hand pump – your arm strength. With a hand pump, you can expect to fill an inflatable SUP in around five to ten minutes, but topping up the last few PSI can be very physically demanding on the arms and lower back. If you don’t have a lot of strength (or if you want to save your energy for the water) you might want to get a separate electric pump which will inflate your board in a fraction of the time.

Board Surface: When you’re looking at how to choose a SUP, the top surface of the board might have several special features which could influence your decision. Many boards come with large anti-slip traction pads on the top side – perfect for doing SUP yoga without losing your footing. The largest of these can be seen in our Aqua Marina Monster inflatable SUP review, where the traction pad covers almost two thirds of the board.

Elsewhere, you might want to look for bungee cord or storage space for your belongings. The PEAK inflatable SUP has bungee cord which is secured at six points on the deck, giving plenty of storage that’s more secure than other four point bungee cords. Alternatively, the Red Paddle Co RIDE board comes with a RAM mount and a waterproof phone case so that you can record your travels without damaging your tech.

Some other features which you might want to look out for include D-rings to attach a leash, handles for easy carrying across the shore, or even rod holders for inflatable SUP fishing.

Conclusion

The best all round inflatable SUP boards offer so much versatility and fun – nowhere else can you find a single board that will let you try out so many different SUP disciplines in one place.

Check out our inflatable SUP reviews to find the best board for you – and once you’ve tried it out on the water, we’d love to hear your feedback!

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