Are you finally ready to give stand up paddle boarding a try? Have you been watching people do it and wondering if it is right for you?
Use this guide to find the board that is going to be a best for you. Reading stand up paddle board reviews is going to an important for you moving forward.
Stand Up Paddle Board Reviews
Since you’re taking the opportunity to plan ahead (great job!), you’ll definitely want to purchase the best stand up paddle boards for your needs. We have written loads of stand up paddle board reviews and created an interactive buyer’s guide (Consumer Reports style)!
Everyone has their own personal opinions (check out our blog), including us, on what makes a quality paddle board. I get questions all the time about the best paddles, best boards, inflatable or a regular board. Our goal is to make sure that you purchase the best stand up paddle board for your needs. We will provide all the information that you need to make a good decision.
Within the buying guide, we’ve included the following information and stand up paddle board reviews:
- Stand up paddle board photos
- Brand name and board type/model
- Overall length of the board
- Width of the board in inches
- Board Thickness
- Material (i.e. Polyethylene/EPS foam)
- Pricing (by range)
- Consumer opinion (ratings/reviews, up to 5 stars).
Quick note regarding the included pricing information, the Stand Up Paddle Board Buyer’s Guide is setup as follows for your convenience: less than $400= $; between $400 to $800 = $$; between $800 to $1200 = $$$, $1200 or more = $$$$.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the paddle board guide, we have added a search box to the bottom of the page that includes even more boards. Several of the boards included in the buyer’s guide come with paddles and other accessories. This is a feature of many popular paddle boards.
|Name of Board||Board Length||Board Width||Board Thickness||Material||Price||Amazon Rating|
|Sea Eagle SUP Inflatable Paddle Board||11'0"||30"||4"||Reinforced Drop Stitch||$$$||5.0|
|Naish 2015 Nalu Air Paddle Board, 11-Feet/30 x 6-Inch||11'6"||33"||4"||thick drop stitch||$$$$||5.0|
|C4 Waterman 10'11" BK Pro 150 iSUP Inflatable Paddle Board||10'6"||30"||4"||drop stitch PVC||$$$$||4.8|
|iRocker Paddle Boards® 10' (6" Thick) Inflatable SUP Package (Blue)||11'3/8"||30"||4-5/16"||Reinforced Drop Stitch||$$$||4.7|
|Surftech Blacktip Stand Up Soft Board||10'6"||30"||5.6"||Polyethylene Skin / EVA Foam Core||$$$||5.0|
|Surftech Lahui Kai Pro Elite||14'||27.83"||6"||Carbon Fiber Epoxy||$$$$||4.8|
|Ozoboard Cross-over||8'6"||25"||4-1/2"||Polyethylene/EPS foam||$$||4.5|
|KL Industries Sun Dolphin Seaquest||10'||33"||10"||polyethylene||$$||4.4|
|Conquest Adventure Gear Inflatable||11'||30"||-||PVC reinforced skin||$$$||4.1|
|Advanced Elements Hula 11||11'||30"||4"||PVC-coated polyester||$$||4.0|
|BIC Sport ACS Wind||9'4"||27.5"||-||Polyethylene/EPS foam||$$$$||3.7|
|Airhead AHSUP-1||10'6"||30"||-||Extra Rugged Drop Stitch/EVA||$$||4.4|
|Lifetime Freestyle Multi-Sport||108"||35.5"||6"||EVA||$$||3.5|
|11' SUP Soft||11'||31.5"||4.75"||EPS core||$$||5.0|
|Tower Adventurer 9'10" Inflatable||9'10"||32"||6"||Military-grade PVC||$$||4.7|
|Surftech Brown Rail||9'6"||30.5"||4.63"||EVA||$$$$||4.5|
|BIC Sport Classic||11'6"||30"||-||Polystyrene/Fiberglass||$$$$||5.0|
|Ocean Kayak Nalu||11'||31"||-||Polyethylene/Hollow core||$$||4.6|
|Surftech Universal||9'6"||31.5||4.65"||EPS/Foam core/fiberglass and epoxy lamination||$$$$||4.2|
Stand Up Paddle Boards 101: Finding the Best Paddle Board
A stand up paddle board offers a fun, relaxing way to play on the water. A paddle consists of a shaft, a blade and a handle. Stand up paddle boarding, also known as beachboy boarding, uses the paddle to offer a special and unique experience when cutting way through the waters.
The paddle boards can range from about 9-feet up to 14-feet in length & are sized so as to accommodate the user’s weight & skill level. The shapes may vary dramatically so as to meet different user expectations. The varying degrees of rocker (that is, the upward curvature of the board that’s viewed from the nose to the tail), thickness & shape of rails (the sides), and the overall width also usually determine the board’s performance characteristics.
Most paddle boards are constructed of a foam core. The core is wrapped in fiber glass and epoxy skin. This is quite similar to traditional surfboard construction. However, some of the excellent paddle boards are usually built from molded plastics, wood & other materials.
Inflatable paddle boards are extremely durable and can be designed for white water rapids or people with limited storage space. Most paddle boards usually come well equipped with pre-installed or an integrated deck pad, that’s essential for good grip and comfort.
A built in center handle will make transport to-and-from the water much easier. Low profile bungee cord deck rigging will provide a more secure means to lash down extra gear.
The sweet spot for “all around” boards is basically about 11 ft long by 34″ wide & about 5″ thick, with minimal rocker. These type of boards are easy to paddle, super stable and are capable of handling modest surf.
All around paddle boards are a great choice if you just started getting into this sport, or if you want a board to share amongst your friends and family members with different levels of skill & interest. The price can range mainly depending on the material and the design of the board.
As with the boards, SUP paddles vary in shape and size relative to the paddler’s interests and needs. Most users typically choose paddles with smaller blades, while the long distance racers & fitness paddlers normally prefer the wider blades. The average blade has a width of about 8″ and it is similar in design to modern canoe paddles except for the length. In order to get the right length, choose a paddle that’s 6″ to 8″ taller than the board paddler.
Alternatively, you may buy an adjustable paddle, that’s convenient for sharing among paddlers of varying heights. Select a paddle that has a bent shaft (an angle between 7-and-12 degrees) so as to maximize the length of each stroke while on the water. Good paddles are usually made from Kevlar, plastic, wood, fiber glass, carbon fiber, or any combination of these.
It is best you look for paddles that are both durable and light, and you should also consider spending a few more dollars for a lighter paddle since it can make a great difference in regards to comfort & enjoyment when you are on the water.
Reviews of the Top 5 Best Stand Up Paddle Boards
Why Stand Up Paddle Boarding?
Here is a link to Wikipedia if you would rather read about it there.
Stand up paddle boarding involves an individual or a paddler standing on top of the board and using the paddle so as to move the board through water. Click here for tips on becoming a good paddle boarder.
Unlike surfing, stand up paddle boarding is not limited to the ocean. Paddleboards can be used in any body of water. The paddle board can be taken and used in all types of waters including choppy or smooth waters with waves & boat wakes, or even the calm back waters of creeks.
The paddle boarding sport is a great way for you to exercise more so considering it will burn up to over 700 calories in an hour. It’s a great all round work out which helps you improve your overall balance and will allow you to gain more core strength after every work out.
Training on unbalanced surfaces is quite effective for building core muscle groups, (that is, the back and the stomach) and for the training muscles to fire in coordinated ways to ensure the benefits are instantly transferable to various other dynamic sports & activities, as opposed to the traditional resistance training where the body muscles are usually trained to work in isolated groups in the stable environment.
While standing on the paddle board, a rider will be able to see much more clearly down in to the water and get to observe the fish, the underwater plants & other great scenes that are under the sea, river or ocean. There are some SUP models which are set up for anglers with straps, seats & rod holders, which can be used for fishing almost anywhere.
How Paddle Boards Are Built
SUP boards are much larger boards & the desire to use them to travel has led to development of the inflatable system where boards and pumps can be easily carried in a backpack.
Thousands of locked nylon stitches typically keep the boards at a certain specified thickness. Pressure from the specially designed hand pumps can inflate the board to over 30-Psi. This creates boards much less rigid than the hard boards. 2 of the greatest advantages of the inflatable paddle boards are durability and transportability.
The blade of the paddle can come in different lengths and shapes depending on things like long distance, flat lake water versus ocean surf. Usually the blades have banana peel like shapes, sometimes with a slight keel on the blades’ back side. Some other popularly used shapes can include oar like blades or diamonds.
The blades usually range from 6″ to 10″ in width with round or oval shafts ranging from 67-inches to 86-inches in length with 1″ to 1.5″ diameter. This information will be easy to find when you are looking in to stand up paddle board reviews.
SUP originally came from Polynesians and then became popular in Hawaii in the 1940’s as a way of surfing smaller waves. That is what it is all about really, having lots of fun.
Popularity of this sport began to pick up in early 2000s when many surfers realized that it was a great way of teaching people how to surf whenever the tide is down. It gradually began to spread up-and-down the west coast, east coast, along the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, in the Caribbean, among other places. It did not take long for stand up paddle board reviews to become important for people getting into the sport.
Now, let me enlighten you on the most important things to consider when purchasing a board:
I recommended that you choose a board which suits your needs. For example, flatwater boards are designed to go fast by cutting through the water. They aren’t designed to be used for surfing in the waves. Be sure to keep that in mind. Reading stand up paddle board reviews will hopefully give you that information.
First and most importantly, use stand up paddle board reviews whenever possible. This is only going to help your cause.
Purchase a board while keeping in mind where you are going to paddle so as to determine the right weight for your board. Windy conditions may dictate you buy a heavier board, however in some areas like California, current trend is to always go light.
Think of your paddle as an extension of your body so as to help you turn and stabilize. Look for something six to eight inches taller than you, which has a large, a bit more scooped oval shape at the blade. Some surfers/paddlers prefer a slightly bent shaft for a much longer stroke.
Look at the length of your paddle board. Like the regular surfing boards, they normally come in lengths varying from 9 to 15 feet. The bigger boards will give you much more stability when you are learning.
Pay keen attention to the width of the board, plan on at least 26″. Though some people pay more attention to the length, most believe that the width is of more importance.
Note that there are some types of paddle boards which come with flat bottoms; others may feature a curve. This is based on the user’s preference. It would be better though if you could try out your friends paddle board before buying a stand up paddle board.
Remember to examine the nose and the tail of the board you are purchasing. A flatter nose will give you a bit more glide. The board’s tail will affect your turns.
If you are looking to purchase a good paddle board, consider all the features mentioned above. Be sure that you research all of the stand up paddle board reviews available.
The History of Stand Up Paddle Boarding
In the year 1777, ship’s surgeon of Captain Cook’s voyage is said to have described the act of paddleboarding at Tahiti: “I couldn’t help but conclude that this patient felt the most supreme pleasure while he was paddling, so fast & so smoothly on the sea.” Seems that act became a much more regular act and event years later. The oldest canoe ever found is from China. The utility of paddle boarding is apparent in the ease of paddle boarding, as seen in various historical & archaeological accounts from all around the world.
The boards that the ancients in the Mediterranean coast lines used are called Hasake. Nowadays, Hasaki is commonly refers to the stand up paddle boards in some countries like Israel. Arthur Klein, (an author of Surfing and Boarding) wrote that Hasake or Hasaki is bigger and much heavier than the modern paddle board. Ranging between 13 ft to 15 ft in length & weighing at 155 pounds, the Hasaki has evolved from its’ 8th century beginnings & contributed to today’s paddle board designs.
Peru & Latin America
The activity of paddleboarding in Peru is more than 5,000 years old & is still prevalent in its’ original form today. Made from reed, the sizes and the shapes differ based on the intended purpose of the SUP. The designs are very favorable for fishing & sporting and they give the paddler much ease when maneuvering. Today one can find these types of boards identified as Caballitos de Totora of “little reed horse.”
Now, let’s have a more detailed look:
One of the more common beginner complaints when paddle surfing is drifting. However, making some minor adjustments to the board can greatly improve or solve this problem. 1st, a larger fin will create maximum stability since it will sit much deeper in the water, it’ll create just enough drag to maintain the direction and also keep your board from tracking side to side.
Stand up paddling is listed as one of the most popular outdoor activity among 1st time participants. 56 percent of all the 1st time participants of outdoor activities 2013 tried stand up paddle boarding. These people for sure have read several stand up paddle board reviews. This was greater than windsurfing which had 43 percent of 1st time participants in the same year 2013.