Have you been bitten by the SUP bug? The best stand up paddle board is one that will let you get out onto a body of water to enjoy some amazing sights, get a good workout, and not need to worry about a boat. It’s part kayaking, part surfing, and 100% fun. To get the best paddle board, however, there are some basics that you’re going to need to know about so that you don’t wind up being sunk in the middle of a lake, needing a rescue.
Here Is the Best Chart for SUP Boards
The best SUP boards are going to fit your specific needs. That’s why they come in a wide variety of shapes and styles. The chart below will help you filter through the results quickly and effectively so that you can find a high quality board at a price that you won’t feel too guilty paying today.
What Are the Basics of SUP Boards?
The best stand up paddle board is going to come in two distinct types: the all rounder style and the touring style. Both boards are just fine for several different types of paddling, so you’re not going to be locked into a single experience. The all rounder boards are typically a couple feet smaller than the touring boards and feel more like a traditional surfboard. They’re most suitable for sticking around the shoreline.
Touring boards, on the other hand, have a pointed bow that makes them fast and easy to control over long distances. They are a little narrower than the all rounder boards, helping to make them to be more efficient when it comes to paddling. Because of the narrowness of the board, however, it is important to make sure that the board is stable for your body size.
A third version of the SUP board, the hybrid board, is slowly becoming a choice that is available to those interested in stand up paddle boarding. These are about 11 feet long in most instances and can even be used as a sit on top kayak if it is preferred. They can be taken out fishing or even used for some light surfing. A deck hatch can be included on some models as well for long day trips.
How To Find the Best Stand Up Paddle Board
There are three primary components of the modern SUP board that should be considered when looking at them as an option for water recreation.
- Width. Smaller paddlers and kids should think about using a SUP board that is less than 30 inches wide so that they get the maneuverability they need without sacrificing balance. Larger users will want 31 inch wide boards, or bigger, to help displace their weight on the water.
- Length. Short boards are better for beginners and those who want to have a relaxed experience on the water. If there’s no destination in mind, then the short board will give maneuverability and stability. Longer boards are better for touring or racing and are a better option for those who want to paddle multiple miles.
- Fins. When fins are added to a SUP board, it gives the board some added stability and better tracking. The single fin design is the most common and is used for flat water situations. Thruster setups are more for surfing or paddling through chop, while race fins can come in a wide variety of configurations.
By finding the right design that works to meet your needs, you’ll be able to find the best board for stand up paddling because you’ll stay afloat.
What Are Some Common Problems with SUP Boards?
The one area of concern with SUP boards is the design of the fins. Sometimes a board can be almost too maneuverable and that can dislodge a person’s center of balance. At other times, a board needs a little more control and without the right fin alignment in place, the board can be slow to respond and difficult to control.
What Are the Advantages of SUP Boarding?
The best SUP board is going to be built to last over the long haul for you. The modern stand up paddle boards are made from several different types of materials, but an EPS foam core tends to be the most common. Fiberglass, carbon fiber, and plastic are also readily available on the market today. SUP boards can also be solid or hollow. Most plastic boards tend to be hollow just because of the manufacturing process.
Which type of board should you choose? Beginners will typically want a plastic board at first. It’s durable and affordable, but can be a bit heavy. They tend to provide the most overall versatility. If you’re looking for performance, foam core fiberglass boards tend to be the best option.
Soft tops have traction on the top that is good for beginners because it allows for walking on the board [or taking your favorite Salty Dog along for the ride], but they are also the heaviest boards on the market today.
A final option to consider are inflatables. These are surprisingly durable and can be used for many different types of paddling. They’re also a lot easier to transport to the water, especially if you’ve got a small car. Look for inflatables that have been made from PVC and have a drop-stitch construction to them to have the best overall experience.
What Are the Prices of the Best SUP Boards?
The best stand up paddle boards tend to be priced between $800-$2,000 in most markets. You can find cheaper SUP boards that are made from plastic and equally durable, but they are heavy and may be difficult to transport. Don’t forget to budget for paddles, life vests, and a leash as you’re purchasing equipment and most users are going to want a wetsuit and water shoes to have the best overall experience as well.
Here Are the Salty Dog’s Favorite SUP Boards
If you’re looking for a strong, rigid board, then this is one of the best paddle boards for you. It has a weight limit that goes up to 350 pounds on the water, so it will support most users. It’s an inflatable that’s nearly 10 feet long and made from military grade PVC so you won’t have to worry about dings or corrosion every again. It’s also incredibly easy to store, compressing down into a 1 foot diameter package that is just 33 inches wide. There’s no doubt about it: this board is priced right, portable, and one of the best values available today.
If you’re looking for a SUP board on a budget, then this could be the best paddle board for you. It’s a high pressure inflatable board that is lightweight, fast, and beautifully streamlined. It stays rigid and strong in a wide variety of environments and offers 4 stainless steel tie-downs that will help to support the rest of your gear. This item also comes with a kit that provides a carrying bag, a gauge, and a pump so that you can inflate on site. A detachable fin is also included and it will reasonably hold someone who weighs up to 225 pounds.
This beautiful SUP board features a 100% waterproof core made from high density EPS and is molded in laminated wood stringers for a classic surfboard look. It has a triple fin system for added stability and control that helps to give this board some racing characteristics, even though it’s more of an all rounder. The polyethylene bottom is nice and slick to give users a fluid movement over the water with every paddle. All in all, this is a great paddle board that comes with a competitive price tag.
This stand up paddle board is a massive 12 feet in length and comes with an adjustable 3 piece paddle that will give you everything you need to get going on the water today. The touring style offers a pointed bow for better long distance paddling, yet it still weighs just 32 pounds. It’s large enough to support multiple riders and is strong enough to get through choppy waters pretty easily. A 2 year warranty on material defect and craftsmanship is also in place. Out of all the inflatable stand up paddle board reviews, this particular board really stands out – give it a good look.
At 14 feet in length, this inflatable SUP board can actually double as a sit on top kayak if you prefer because of its sheer size. It holds up to 700 pounds on the water and is 32 inches wide. It’s more of a hybrid design than a touring design with a rounded tip and the high grade PVC materials are going to stand up to some of the toughest water conditions you’re going to face. A paddle and fin is also included to get you out on the water on a warm afternoon right away.
If you want the best hybrid SUP board that’s available right now, then you’ve got to take a look at what this board has to offer. It’s a sit on top that you can also stand up on and battle. It’s got some bungee for securing limited gear and a padded bottom well helps to prevent fatigue on longer journeys. There’s two side-mounted carrying handles for added convenience and the maximum capacity may reach up to 275 pounds in calm conditions.
How about a SUP board that rolls up just like a sleeping bag when you’re done with it? That’s exactly what this Isle stand up paddle board will do. Weighing just 24 pounds and perfect for small waves and flat water, it’s a great beginner’s board. Supporting up to 200 pounds and coming with a full repair kit and all of the accessories you need, you’ll find that the perceived value of this board stands up to reality very effectively.
If you’re looking for a premium SUP board, then this is one of the best paddle boards money can buy right now. It’s provides an epoxy performance that is 30% more durable without being super stiff or extra heavy. Choose the size that is right for you, enjoy the proprietary composites that add to the enjoyment of this board, and expect a high performance.
This inflatable SUP board feels remarkably similar to a traditional hard board once it is fully inflated. It’s so good that it can actually fool the casual observer. With plenty of on board storage available, a complete starter package included, and a drop-stitch construction that will stand up to repetitive use, the one place of difficulty is the weight limit: just 205 pounds. As long as you fit into the weight profile, you’ll find that this could be one of the best inflatable SUP boards around.
With an anti-slip deck pad, plenty of bungee storage in the bow, and a 5 inch flexible rubber fin, this beautiful SUP board is easily one of the best around right now. The integrated rail ramps give users some additional leverage and this really helps with balance as well. You won’t be getting an ankle strap with the board, however, so if you plan on some ocean or long distance paddling, you might want to make the additional investment. It does weigh 48 pounds, however, so it could be a little tough to carry over long distances.
If you haven’t been bitten by the SUP bug yet, then make this be the year that you give it a try. The best stand up paddle board is reasonably affordable, incredibly stable, and will give you the ability to enjoy a day of water recreation like never before. Use these reviews and tips to find the best board possible and then get out and enjoy a beautiful day.