It is impossible to underestimate the advantages inflatable stand-up paddle boards (iSUPs) have over their hardboard counterparts, which are heavy and difficult to transport.
So how do you decide which model is best for you? There are some amazingly huge differences between the various models.
In this article, we will recommend the best inflatable SUP for your needs based on a comparison of some top rated brands.
We’ve evaluated them based on weight, stability, and time to inflate, among other features.
Best Inflatable Paddle Boards 2018
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Inflatable Paddle Boards 2018
- 2 1. NIXY Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board – Best For Long-Distance Transport
- 3 2. Tower Paddle Boards “Adventurer 2” 10′ iSUP – Best Material
- 4 3. Supflex 10′ Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board – Fastest To Inflate
- 5 4. Isle Airtech 10′ Inflatable SUP – Best For Use In Rough Conditions
- 6 5. PEAK Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board – Best Value For Money
- 7 6. Aqua Marina Breeze Inflatable SUP – Best For Beginners
- 8 Things To Know Before Buying An Inflatable Paddle Board
- 9 Answers To Four Key Questions That Will Help You Make The Best Possible Decision
- 10 Our Final Review for Inflatable Paddle Boards
|NIXY Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Package|
|Tower Paddle Boards “Adventurer 2” 10′ iSUP|
|Supflex 10′ Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board|
|Isle Airtech 10′ Inflatable SUP|
|PEAK Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board|
|Aqua Marina Breeze Inflatable SUP|
1. NIXY Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board – Best For Long-Distance TransportInflatable boards have come a long way in the last several years, and the NIXY Newport is a perfect example of this.
It is designed with roller wheels, making it a great choice for long-distance transport – or any distance transport for that matter. You just pull it behind you like a suitcase on wheels.
There is also a lot of additional storage in the carry bag to bring a water board or life jacket.
The first thing you notice once you unfold the paddle board is the large deck pad and deck rigging in the front. A passenger would appreciate the comfort. The size of this board is 10’ 6” x 34” x 6”.
The manufacturer offers a 2-year warranty against manufacture defects. All in all, the NIXY Newport is great value for money.
You get a carry bag and better quality for about the same amount as other boards, plus all the accessories you need to get started.
2. Tower Paddle Boards “Adventurer 2” 10′ iSUP – Best MaterialThe most notable thing about the Tower Paddle Board Adventurer 2 is the material. It is made with military grade PVC construction with drop stitching for rigidity.
This is as close to a standard fiberglass construction paddle board as possible for an inflatable.
It’s definitely the toughest inflatable paddle board out there. It is literally impossible to damage – there was a show where they ran over it with a truck and nothing happened to it! It does not dent, scratch, or crack.
This paddle board also holds the most weight of all the boards we tested. The thickness of 6 inches is ideal. The board will inflate to a full 15 psi, but will be sufficiently rigid at 10 psi. When fully inflated, the board is 33 inches wide and just over 10 feet long.
It can also function as a tandem paddle board, because it can support the weight of two adults easily. There is a special backpack made specifically for this board. You can also get a 12-V pump to inflate the board faster.
The Tower Adventurer can be used in rougher conditions, like for surfing or in river rapids. It does cost a bit more than the other models we reviewed, but we believe it’s worth it.
3. Supflex 10′ Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board – Fastest To InflateSupflex is a relatively new player on the US market for inflatable paddle boards.
They started in Brazil around 10 years ago and gained a reputation for making a quality iSUP. Today, they are competing with leading brands like Tower Paddleboards, and their quality is just as good.
This board is 6 inches thick and made from military grade PVC. The Supflex comes with a complete package of equipment with everything you need to get started.
It is even double layered for extra strength. Thanks to the double action high volume pump, this board can be inflated in under 5 minutes. There is a great warmup before you get on the water.
The board comes with a very high quality backpack, in which it fits perfectly. It is easy and convenient to take the Supflex anywhere you go.
This paddleboard also comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, which covers all workmanship and material defects. The company has highly professional customer service in the unlikely event you have a problem – a real person will pick up the phone and help you.
More About The Supflex 10″
The included 3-piece paddle is made of light-stiff fiberglass that can float, a far cry from most included SUP package paddles.
The deck of the blow up paddle board is comfortable and slip-resistant thanks to its crocodile skin texture. It is ideal for all day on water, and you can do yoga on it as well.
A leash is included so the board doesn’t go far if you fall in the water. The item also comes with a D-ring in the back to connect the leash.
4. Isle Airtech 10′ Inflatable SUP – Best For Use In Rough ConditionsThe Isle Airtech is another reliable, stable contender in quality and features. It is made to last – the material is military grade PVC rubber with drop stitch construction.
It is impossible to destroy or puncture the paddleboard, provided you are using it normally.
You can use it in rough water – rapids, the ocean, a lake and more. We think it’s the best inflatable paddleboard for surfing. You get great traction with the diamond groove pattern on the deck. It has 3 fins for good tracking.
When inflated, the Isle Airtech is 10 feet (3 meters) long, 6 inches thick (15cm) and 31 inches wide (77cm). It will hold over 200 pounds (90kg) of weight. At this thickness, it provides optimal rigidity.
5. PEAK Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board – Best Value For MoneyThis item comes in squarely in the middle price range, making it great value for money, as it doesn’t bow down to any of the others as far as quality is concerned.
The Peak iSUP even offers features and quality construction of far more expensive iSUPs. It is 6 inches thick, making it a very stable board with ease of paddling when properly inflated.
The Peak inflatable SUP board may be less rigid than a hard-shell SUP, but it is definitely stable enough. It’s a great choice for light surfing, fishing and yoga.
The rigidity is ensured thanks to the drop stitch construction and military grade PVC material. It will never get dinged, punctured or scratched like a conventional SUP.
The top of the board is easy to grasp and hold, preventing you and your riding companion from sliding off the board. The board comes with all the standard accessories like a leash, carry backpack, high volume hand pump, and adjustable paddle.
6. Aqua Marina Breeze Inflatable SUP – Best For BeginnersThe Aqua Marina Inflatable SUP is the cheapest paddleboard on the market. It performs quite well despite this.
This board is made from high quality commercial grade PVC rubber. The drop stitching in the seams provide extra strength.
When inflated, the board is 30 inches wide, 4 inches thick and just under 10 feet long. The maximum weight load recommended is around 200 pounds (90 kg). The deck of the paddle board features an anti-slip deck pad for sure footing.
The thickness is less than the recommended 6 inches, but the board is still pretty ridged at 15 psi. You can use it at 10 psi, but it isn’t going to be quite as firm.
The Aqua Marina Breeze SUP includes 7 stainless steel D-rings for storage and has a 3 fin design to provide good tracking. Also included is a collapsible aluminum paddle for easy storage and transport.
In general, this board is the best inflatable paddle board for beginners because it inflates quickly – it is a mere 10 minutes from your car to the water.
What is more, the board can fit even in the smallest car you can imagine.
Things To Know Before Buying An Inflatable Paddle Board
The most important characteristics of an inflatable SUP you should look at when deciding which one to buy are the size, hull shape, and the nose rocker.
In addition, there are key questions that you ought to get answers to.
Novice boarders tend to prefer a shorter board because they are easier to control, while more experienced paddle boarders will tend to go for a longer board.
Ideally, you should look for a board that is between 10 and 12 feet long.
The thicker the board is, the more weight it will hold and the higher its volume will be. A thicker inflatable paddle board will also usually be more stable and rigid.
There is, however, a disadvantage to this. A thicker board will have a higher center of gravity, making it more likely that you or your riding partner fall off it.
As we already mentioned, the ideal thickness is 6 inches, but the bare minimum is 4 inches. A 4-inch SUP is suitable for most people.
The narrower the paddle board, the less stability it will have. The wider it is, the slower it will tend to be. This is why most beginners prefer a wider board.
The shape of the hull is very important. A flat bottom will give the paddle board more stability. It will also be easier to turn. On the downside, it will also be much slower. A displacement hull is the fastest of all hull designs, similar to a sailboat.
When it comes to the hull shape, the best choice would probably be a planning hull. A planning hull is faster and more rounded than a flat bottom, but it is relatively easier to tip over than a flat hull.
This is the optimal design irrespective of your level of expertise in paddle boarding.
The nose rocker refers to how angled the front of the paddle board is. This is especially important when surfing or in rough water. If you don’t have much rocker, the board’s nose will tend to dive under the water or submerge.
Answers To Four Key Questions That Will Help You Make The Best Possible Decision
Are All Paddle Boards Inflatable?
No, not all paddle boards you come across will be inflatable. A paddle board can either be inflatable or hard. Choosing between the two is dependent on what is right for you.
Since all the SUPs discussed above are all inflatables, here are four key benefits inflatables have over hard paddle boards.
When deflated, inflatables roll up to the size of a sleeping bag. As a result, you do not require a large truck or van to transport it. Even when traveling by air for vacation, you can quickly toss the inflatable paddle boat into a travel bag, and it will fit.
On the other hand, hard paddle boards require a large car or truck for transport. Also, they tend to weigh more.
Inflatables are usually deflated after use. Consequently, they need very little storage space. If you happen to live in an apartment where storage space is minimal, then an inflatable paddle board is the best alternative.
In contrast, hard paddle boards are between 9 to 12 feet long. You not only need to determine if you have the storage space but that you also have enough clearance to maneuver the board in and out of the space.
Inflatable boards tend to be more durable. If you drop it, it will not break, get a scratch or a ding. However, if you drop a hard board, then damage is the likely outcome, and it will necessitate a repair.
Also, thanks to this durability, inflatables are perfect for paddling rocky rivers.
Inflatable boards tend to be less costly than hard paddle boards. Consequently, they are perfect for people on a budget and for beginners who are on a learning journey.
If you are a paddler with minimal storage space, are a first-timer, you travel often and need to take your board with you and are on a budget; then go ahead and pick one of the inflatable boards discussed above.
However, if you are a paddler who participates in SUP surfing /racing and long distance expeditions, then a hard paddleboard is a better fit. That is because they tend to have optimal performance in terms of agility and catching waves.
What Are Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards Made of?
Research shows that the best inflatable SUPs are made from a hardened rubber material, heavy-duty PVC, and multiple layers of urethane and polymer. These materials ensure the boards are both rigid and portable.
Also, the inflatable boards come with an easy to use inflate/deflate system in addition to in-built fin setups.
When purchasing a board, check to ensure all these elements are incorporated to facilitate the best possible purchase.
How Long Does It Take to Inflate a SUP?
The time it takes to inflate a paddle board is not dependent on the board itself but on the kind of pump you have.
If you happen to have a K-pump or regular hand pump, then it will take anywhere between 4 to 8 minutes. On the other hand, if you have an electric pump, then it takes 30 seconds to 1 minute to inflate the board.
That means when purchasing a board, ensure you also purchase a good pump. The pump will help you save the inflating /deflating time. Note that some boards come with pumps which is a benefit because it will cost you less.
Is Paddleboarding a Good Exercise?
Yes, it is. This is one of the foremost questions among people who intend to purchase paddleboards. Essentially, most want to know that they are investing in equipment that will benefit and improve their lives.
Paddleboarding is a low impact exercise that is not only good for a core workout, but also arms neck, toes, legs, back, and shoulders.
Our Final Review for Inflatable Paddle Boards
As you can see, there are many great iSUPs on the market. We have done our best to review them comprehensively. If you are a beginner, we advise you get a stable paddleboard.
The NIXY and Tower are two of the best in this respect. If you are on a budget, then the Aqua Marina would be your best choice.
Have fun paddle boarding!