- Are inflatable SUP boards any good?
- How to inflate an inflatable SUP board
- How to choose an inflatable SUP board
- 5 Top Rated Inflatable SUP Boards
- Final words
One of the easiest ways to navigate calm waters is through an inflatable paddleboard. Aside from the easy learning curve, inflatable SUP boards are convenient to transport. Wherever you’re going for a vacation, you can have an inflatable SUP board in tow. For this post, I scouted for the top rated inflatable SUP boards that I also use as an avid paddler.
Too long; didn’t read? Here are my top 5 picks in a nutshell:
|PADDLEBOARD||BRAND||EXPERT RATING||CHECK PRICE|
| Our Top Pick! |
TOWER Inflatable 10'4
|ROC 10' Inflatable |
|Bluefin Cruise Inflatable |
SUP Board Package
|FunWater Tiki Cruiser |
Inflatable SUP Board
|FBSport 10' Inflatable |
Are inflatable SUP boards any good?
Although some paddlers back off when they heard the word “inflatable”, the game has changed over the years. Inflatable SUP boards are far from flimsy. In fact, top rated options have a stiffness that can give rigid SUP boards a run for its money. The key here is investing your dollars in an inflatable board with the best material, construction, and features.
Inflatable paddle boards can last for years if you know how to maintain it. It’s also a good option if you’re often traveling to experience different waters. Instead of tying a heavy and bulky rigid SUP on top of your car, you can switch to an inflatable one. An inflatable SUP board can fit in a duffel bag that you can secure at your car’s trunk. That translates to less hassle and more peace of mind.
Just like any paddling gear, SUP boards aren’t made equal. You have to be meticulous with what you’re going to buy. I learned my lesson five years ago, so I really don’t mind spending top dollar on an inflatable SUP board with the right features.
So if you’re worried about buying inflatable SUP boards, one thing I can tell you is that you should try it for yourself. I also reviewed five of my favorites here so you can avoid the dud ones.
How to inflate an inflatable SUP board
Once you have an inflatable SUP board, one task you should master is inflating it. That way, you won’t be fumbling on the shore. Let Brock from Fit For Two TV show you how it’s done in this video:
How to choose an inflatable SUP board
There are so many top rated inflatable SUP boards in the market, so choosing one can be a daunting task for beginners. If you’re still comparing your options, it will help to consider the following points:
🚣Length and width
The first thing you should check is the length and width of the inflatable SUP board. Most SUP boards range from 9 to 12.6 feet. So which one should you get? It should be based on your body weight. Here’s a quick chart to help you choose:
Body weight in kg. x SUP board length
22 to 56 kilograms x 9′
56 to 68 kilograms x 9’1″ to 10’6″
68 to 79 kilograms x 9’1″ to 11’6″
79 to 102 kilograms x 10’7″ to 11’6″
102 to 113 kilograms x 10’7″ to 12’6″
113 kilograms and up x 12’6″ or longer
🚣Your activity on the water
Next, you have to consider the activity you’re going to do in the water while riding your inflatable SUP board. For example, if you’re just paddling for recreation, an all-around SUP will do. However, those who are going for a sports event, SUP boards made for speed is the best choice.
Moreover, if you’re a beginner and afraid of falling into the water, you must get an ultra-stable SUP board. Take note that activities like yoga, whitewater, and touring are tailored for such specific purposes. The same goes for SUPs intended for fishing or surfing.
One of the most important considerations when getting a SUP board is the material used in it. The best option is a board made of reinforced PVC with multiple layers. This can resist punctures and scratches, even in the most challenging conditions.
Another good option is a fusion material. Boards made of fusion material are light but still durable since it comes with reinforcements.
Take note that the more rugged the SUP board becomes, the pricier it gets. But like what I said earlier, I won’t mind splurging if that means getting topnotch quality.
🚣Deck pad design
The deck pad of the inflatable board will impact how comfortable you will be while riding it. While SUP board manufacturers use different deck pad materials, make sure that you look for one with textured surfaces. A raised back edge will also help you maneuver better, especially if you plan to surf with it.
When it comes to speed and tracking, the fin system of the inflatable SUP board makes a big difference. You can choose from three levels of fin systems:
Beginner fin system. This is an entry-level option found on affordable boards. It’s suitable for ideal water conditions like calm lakes and rivers.
Configurable fin system. This system gives you the freedom to tweak the fin settings to suit your paddling style and the water conditions. However, it tends to be pricey and quite difficult to get by.
Permanent fin system. If you don’t want the fuss of setting the fins, you must get a SUP board with fixed ones. The fins are usually short, which allows you to paddle on rocky and shallow waters.
5 Top Rated Inflatable SUP Boards
If you’re looking for top rated inflatable SUP boards, these five options will not disappoint:
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: TOWER Inflatable 10'4 SUP Board
Product Name: TOWER Inflatable 10'4 SUP Board
Product Description: If there's one inflatable SUP board I wouldn't get tired of using, it would be this one from TOWER. It's a 10'4" board with a wide deck at 32 inches. It's made for excellent balance and stability, so even beginners will find it easy to use. Aside from that, the TOWER SUP Board is made of 6-inch military-grade PVC to resist punctures and scrapes. It's also made with a drop-stitch construction for utmost durability. It can take the beating of strong waves and other harsh water elements. Overall, this is suitable for beginners and almost every skill level. Its extra stability will reduce injuries related to bad falls on the water. If this is your first time using an inflatable, you won't even tell its difference from a rigid one.
Offer price: $$$
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Aside from the inflatable SUP board, you will also get a 3-piece fiberglass paddle, grooved deck pad, SUP pump, strap, center fin, and a carrying strap. It has everything you need to start paddling. The board is very maneuverable, and it has excellent tracking on water.
The best part is that a two-year warranty covers all TOWER SUP boards. The only minor snag I noticed is that the paddle is a little heavier than most.
Made of military-grade PVC
The paddle can be improved
ROC 10' Inflatable SUP Board
Another 10′ inflatable SUP board I recommend is the one from ROC. It’s made of military-grade material that can take the beating of wear and tear. It’s also wide at 32 inches and very stable for beginners. This paddleboard is 6 inches thick and can support up to 300 pounds of user weight.
Aside from the inflatable paddleboard, you will also get a collapsible aluminum paddle, hand pump, safety leash, and a waterproof bag to stash all these.
Another thing I like about this SUP board is its premium deck pad. It’s very grippy even for active waters. For excellent tracking, this is fitted with a removable main fin as well as two side fins to boost the stability of the board.
Moreover, this SUP board is made with multiple layers to endure the strongest blows. It has a triple sidewall, two airtight coatings, and base cloth for the best performance on the water. To top that, this board has a UV-resistant coating and drop-stitch construction.
Overall, this ROC inflatable SUP board is perfect for all-around use. It works well for touring, fishing, and more! It’s also very lightweight for just 17.5 pounds.
Bluefin Cruise Inflatable SUP Board Package
For those who are looking for longer SUP boards, this 12′ bad boy from Bluefin is a great choice. This is made of laminated PVC with a pro weave drop-stitch construction. Also, it’s inflated at 28 PSI, so it’s very rigid you may even mistake it as a non-inflatable!
For the Cruise inflatable SUP board, Bluefin used a 1,000-denier Exo Surface material. It’s very resistant to punctures as well as wear and tear.
The best thing about this paddleboard is it comes with a kayak conversion kit. From being a SUP board, you can transform it into a sit-on-top kayak using the padded seat, D-rings, and handles. There’s even a GoPro mount at the nose of the board so you can capture the action.
Aside from the kayak conversion kit, this paddleboard is also bundled with a 3-piece paddle, storage bag, hand pump, and an ankle strap.
One thing I like the most about the Bluefin Cruise SUP board is that everything in the package is covered by a 5-year warranty. That’s more than any brand can offer! It just proves that Bluefin is confident in the quality of its inflatable boards.
FunWater Tiki Cruiser Inflatable SUP Board
If you’re on a budget and can’t splurge on expensive SUPs, you should consider this one from FunWater. It’s made of dual-layer PVC with an additional layer to boost its rigidity. This 10′ board is 33 inches wide and 6 inches thick, so it remains easy to use.
I also like that it comes with removable fins with one main fin and two side fins. There’s also a center carry handle that lets you transport the inflated board easily.
As for the deck pad, you’ll get a non-slip EVA surface, which is suitable for most all-around purposes. This is inflated at a rate of 10 to 15 PSI, which is rigid enough to support 300 pounds. It’s also stable and convenient to maneuver.
Aside from the inflatable board, you’ll also get a hand pump, coil leash, aluminum paddle, waterproof bag, 3 fins, and waterproof cellphone case.
Whether you’re paddling for fun, doing yoga, fishing, or surfing mild waves, the Tiki Cruiser is a great board to use. For a lower price, you will get a SUP board that can last for years.
FBSport 10' Inflatable SUP Board
Lastly, I recommend the FBSport 10′ Inflatable SUP Board. This is made of military-grade material with a soft top deck. It’s 30-inch wide, which is enough for small and lighter users. You will also receive accessories, including coil leash, floating alloy paddle, pump, and a carrying backpack.
This SUP board is considerably stable and easy to learn. I’ve taken this to snorkeling, touring, and recreational trips, and it really holds up well. I still have to test this on fishing, but I’m confident that it will perform well just the same.
If you’re a beginner or if you have kids who want to learn how to use a paddleboard, the FBSport SUP board is an excellent entry-level option.
Moreover, this SUP board is inflated at a maximum of 15 PSI that can support a decent 280-pound user weight. The board itself is 22 pounds, which is a tad heavier than other options here, but it’s not really a big deal.
If you want to get started with paddle boarding but not willing to spend a fortune, this FBSport board is a good start.
If you want to learn paddle boarding the right way, you must first invest in top rated inflatable SUP boards. The right board will give you peace of mind and confidence as you brave the waters. Most of all, it can grow with you as you improve your SUP skills.