Best Paddle Boards for Lakes

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I believe the iROCKER All Around 11’ inflatable stand-up paddle board is the best paddle board for lakes. It has many features and accessory functions, and it sells at a fair price when considering the quality and all that’s included with the board. I think that any stand-up paddle hobbyist or hardcore boarder would be satisfied with their purchase.

While the iRocker All Around 11 gets my vote for the best SUP for lakes, choosing the best paddle board for you isn’t straightforward. Price, durability, accessories, and storage are just some of the important factors to consider. 

I have over 20 years of experience with all kinds of watersports and paddle board activities in Canada and the United States. Lately, I’ve had a great time paddle boarding all over the beautiful waterways of British Columbia. With both lakes and bays alike. 

In this article, you’ll find five of my best lake SUP recommendations. Each one has its pros and cons; some are better for beginners, and some are better for veterans. 

I’ll be talking about the iROCKER All Around in more depth, as well as the Nixy Newport G4, the iROCKER Black Fin XL, the Atoll 11’, and the SereneLife Free Flow.

The Best Paddle Boards for Lakes

The Best Paddle Boards that I have found for lakes go as follows.

1. irocker All Around 11 – Best All Around

iRocker accessories

Specs

  • Length: 10’
  • Width: 32”
  • Maximum Capacity: 435 lbs
  • Weight: 24 lbs

On Water Performance

The All Around works well as both a flatwater SUP and in choppy waters. It’s designed primarily for maneuverability. While it isn’t the fastest paddle board on earth it can make a decent touring board/. It has a great balance of specs, making it suitable for beginners and experienced riders. It can be used for solo or can be loaded with gear . 

Stability

The All Around is designed with a tapered nose for stability, making it an excellent choice for both calm and rough water. It works better on windy days than many other SUPs and is ideal for paddlers under 5’ 9”. 

Board Features

In addition to the board itself, the All Around comes packaged with iROCKER’s new 2021 carbon matte travel paddle. It’s light, sturdy, and strong, making it easy to use and difficult to break. The paddle can extend between 72” and 86”, so you can adjust it however you like. 

Another selling point of the All Around package is the premium travel roller bag new for 2021 and beyond. It’s big enough to hold your deflated SUP and all of its accessories and can roll behind you in transit. The bag has bungee straps which you can use to store objects that won’t fit inside. 

2020 Package with Conversion Kit

Besides the paddle and the roller bag, each All Around comes with a two-chambered air pump, a 10’ leash, a SUP repair kit, and three removable nylon fins. In addition, iROCKER often does promotions where you can get a free electric pump with your purchase. However, the electric pump battery is not included. 

The repair kit doesn’t come with patches or valve wrench glue, so you will have to buy those separately. Despite that, this paddle board comes with an impressive array of features that make the price more worthwhile.

Lastly, the All Around comes with a two-year warranty if you aren’t satisfied with your purchase. 

Onboard Storage

The All Around comes with 20 D-rings that help with gear storage, attachments, and towing. The roller bag is a practical storage solution on the water, but other accessories like cup holders and splash-proof bags have to be bought separately. 

Pros

  • Great Tracking Ability
  • Great for beginners, veterans, and even dogs
  • Stable enough for flat and choppy waters
  • Comes with a great storage bag

Cons

  • Maneuverability is a bit tougher on 11′ board
  • Some essential items aren’t included, like the pump battery and repair patches

2. Nixy Newport G4 – Maneuverability Pick

Specs

  • Length: 10’ 6”
  • Width: 33”
  • Maximum Capacity: 300 Lbs
  • Weight: 21 Lbs

On Water Performance

The Newport flatwater SUP is approved for all skill levels. This board’s sturdiness and strength are its primary characteristics. It has a good balance of specs. The feel of the board is pretty on par with iRocker but this board has better maneuverability thanks to its shorter length and slightly wider width. It’s a little bit more lightweight, so you can expect higher speeds than you would have initially thought. 

Stability

The Newport is one of the most stable boards on the market. It suits being inflated to a pressure of 15 PSI, making the board very stiff and flat. 

Me testing the 2021 Newport

The design features carbon fiber rails which help the board retain its rigid shape. The no-slip traction pad helps you keep your footing while on the water. 

Board Features

The SUP itself has 16 D-rings, grab handles, and bungee cords for storage and stability. Mounting brackets for accessories are also included in the package. Each of the board’s fins is removable, so you can adapt your SUP to fit your needs. 

The Newport comes with a durable carbon fiber paddle. The length can be adjusted between 67” and 84”, meaning that both shorter and taller paddlers can effectively use it

The paddle has a wide nylon blade, letting riders reach higher speeds. The paddle has a comfortable T-grip for added convenience, and it floats in water. I was using a full carbon paddle before using the Nixy’s but since using the Nixy paddle, I actually use it as the go to paddle for my excursions. 

The NIXY G4 backpack is included with your order. This three-wheeled backpack is easy to tote and roll, with padded straps, cargo hooks, and more. I love using the roller wheels on grass and pavement. It makes life a heck of a lot easier! 

Lastly, the Newport package also comes with a 10’ leash and a dual-chambered pump. Once again, you can also enjoy a two-year warranty on the Newport. 

Onboard Storage

The Newport’s storage is restricted to the bungee cords on the board, as well as what the NIXY G4 backpack can hold. These bungee systems can be adjusted and removed if needed. 

While there isn’t as much storage space as the iRocker 11, this board does come with a paddle holder for when you want to drift on the water. 

Pros

  • Very stable and strong
  • Great for paddlers of all skill levels as well as large dogs
  • Good speed and surf control
  • The paddle accommodates shorter riders
  • Well manufactured and built

Cons

  • The weight limit is a little low
  • It’s a little bit expensive

3. iROCKER Blackfin XL – Premium Pick

Specs

  • Length: 11’ 6”
  • Width: 34”
  • Maximum Capacity: 485 Lbs
  • Weight: 29 Lbs

On Water Performance

Unlike the All Around, the Blackfin XL trades maneuverability for stability. This board is designed with fishers and kayakers in mind, both on and offshore. 

It has a large weight limit to support several fishing attachments like rod stands. In exchange for its durability, this board isn’t very good at surfing. Taller riders will have an easier time maneuvering this board.

Because of its size, weight limit, and attachment compatibility, this SUP works best when used for long adventures such as touring. It’s better at slower, more leisurely excursions rather than quick and exciting ones. 

Stability

The Blackfin XL is designed with a carbon rail layer, making the board more durable and rigid. Its considerable length and weight make it better at supporting large loads and a variety of attachments. Consequently, taller riders will feel the increased stability of this board compared to others.

Attachments to this SUP can also increase its stability. The board supports two kayak seats, allowing riders to sit down for added balance. 

Photo by irockersup.com

You can also attach a sand spear, which can be used as an anchor. It’s because of the stability and load-bearing that this board is well-equipped for fishing and camping.

Board Features

Like the others, this paddle board comes with 20 D-rings, removable fins, action mounts, a repair kit, a manual air pump, and a 10’ coil ankle leash. Like the All Around, the Blackfin XL is packaged with the iROCKER travel roller bag and the three-piece carbon matte paddle. The paddle extends between 72” and 86”. 

Depending on promotions, you may also be able to get a free electric pump with your order. Keep in mind, however, that this pump doesn’t come with a 12-volt battery. 

The shining feature of this premium SUP is the number of attachments that it can support, including fishing rod holders, kayak kits, a sand spear, waterproof speakers, and more. These are all sold separately, however. 

the Blackfin also comes with a Limited 3 year warranty to protect your investment. Which is longer than any picks on the list

Onboard Storage

Like the All Around, the BlackfinXL comes with the iROCKER premium roller bag, which has a generous amount of space both inside and outside. The Blackfin’s attachment capabilities add another dimension to onboard storage as well. Adding a cooler, extra bags, or a bucket is easy with this board, giving you more storage to play with. 

Bungee cords on the board are also useful for storing some tools or extras, as well as stowing your paddle when you aren’t using it. 

Pros

  • Very durable and supports a whopping 485 pounds
  • Supports a variety of add-ons to customize your boarding adventure
  • Comes with the convenient iROCKER roller bag and other storage options
  • Great for taller riders
  • Board will last a long time

Cons

  • This board is the most expensive on this list
  • Every attachment is sold separately
  • Does not include a patch kit
  • Not suited for surfing or tight maneuvering

4. Atoll 11′ – Cruising Pick

Derek standing with Atoll board
Me Testing the Atoll 11

Specs

  • Length: 11’
  • Width: 32”
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 Lbs (Can be 700)
  • Weight: 21 Lbs

On Water Performance

The Atoll 11’ is comparable in specs to the iROCKER All Around, making it one of the best SUPs for paddle boarding lakes, the coast, and more. This board is highly durable and has sustained weights of over 700 pounds in testing

Stability

This 6-inch thick board is made of machine laminated, dual-layered PVC, which is one of the most solid and lightweight materials used to create inflatable SUPs. 

The board is created with Korean drop stitching, adding to its rigidity. The Atoll 11’ can sustain a lot of damage without puncturing, meaning that you would be safer from accidents out on the water. 

While the weight recommendation is 400 pounds, experienced riders can exceed it and even accommodate as many as three people or large dogs. Like the iROCKER Blackfin XL, this board is suitable for kayak conversions, letting you enjoy the added stability of sitting down. 

Board Features

The Atoll 11’ paddle board comes with 15 D-rings so that you can bring your gear with you. A hand pump, 10’ leash, an 8-inch composite fin, and a universal fin box are also included. 

However, it’s important to know that the Atoll 11’ package price does not account for the added cost of the carbon fiberglass paddle, which the other board packages have included. The set price of the Atoll package only includes a stock paddle, which can be upgraded to the premium fiberglass one for $150 more.

photo from atollboards.com

The Atoll paddle board comes with its own travel bag, though this bag doesn’t have wheels. To make up for this, it has added support through a padded waist fastener. 

The bag is big enough to carry the paddle board, paddle, and pump. It’s made of heavy-duty material and zippers. The design lets your wet SUP dry off while it’s stored.

The bag is more ideal for those backcountry hikers that want to save weight. Compared to the other top 3 options the bag does not have wheels which saves on the package’s weight.  

The Atoll 11’ comes with a two-year warranty. 

Onboard Storage

While the Atoll 11’ is a solid, balanced choice, it doesn’t have anything new in terms of storage. Storage is relegated to the bungee cords on the board as well as the travel bag. 

While this paddle board does come with D-rings,15 are included in the package, meaning that there’s less room onboard for your gear compared to other picks

Pros

  • It has a balanced mix of speed, strength, and maneuverability
  • Very difficult to damage and durable on the water
  • It’s not the most expensive option on this list
  • Comes with some extras that other SUP packages don’t have
  • Bag is great for hiking
  • Brand focuses all its effort on this one board model

Cons

  • Depending on the site, the carbon fiber paddle may not be included
  • Comes with fewer D-rings and no action mounts
  • Little customizability and onboard storage options

5. SereneLife Free Flow – Budget Pick

Specs

  • Length: 10’ 5”
  • Width: 30”
  • Maximum Capacity: 275 Lbs
  • Weight: 19.6 Lbs

On Water Performance

The SereneLife model has three fins in the back which, coupled with its lightweight design, make paddling and maneuvering easy. Consequently, However, due to its shape you won’t be winning any races with this SUP

However, these perks don’t come without some downsides. This board comes with an aluminum paddle instead of carbon and nylon, which isn’t as flexible or strong. This also wastes some of your paddling effort as the material is more bendable and heavier. 

Stability

This board is not designed to carry heavy loads. The board itself is light and has the lowest weight limit on this list. However, when I tested it (I’m 6’1 and 180 pounds) I actually found it to be surprisingly stable! Its a solid beginner budget pick. 

Needless to say, this SUP is only suitable for a single passenger. The paddle board has a no-slip traction deck to help prevent accidents. 

Board Features

The Free Flow package comes with its own travel bag. The bag does not have wheels but has outside compartments for storing additional items. A hand pump, removable fin, leash, repair kit, and paddle are also included. 

The accessories are kind of cheap if I’m being honest. The bag needs more padding as it digs in when carrying it on your back. 

Me Inspecting Serenelife Bag

The paddle packaged with the Free Flow is made of aluminum, so it might be less flexible than a nylon or carbon paddle. It may be best to use a different paddle with this board if you want to capitalize better with on-water performance. 

Since this package doesn’t come with many bells and whistles, it’s primarily geared towards light hobbyists or beginners who want to try out paddle boarding before they invest a lot into it. It’s also a surprisingly good option for kids due to its light and simple design.

My friend recently bought it last summer and she loved it!

This board, while cheap, only comes with a one-year warranty. 

Onboard Storage

No D-rings or action mounts are included with the Free Flow package. The board itself has some bungee cords for storage as well as the carry backpack. 

This board doesn’t support any attachments, so onboard storage is a bit scarce. Because of this, I wouldn’t suggest taking the Free Flow on a long journey or day trip. 

Pros

  • It’s a very cheap board
  • It’s great for greenhorn riders or kids
  • Surprisingly stable
  • Good board to use for yoga

Cons

  • It’s not very strong or durable
  • The package doesn’t come with much
  • The paddle is made of aluminum and plastic
  • It only has a one-year warranty

How To Choose a Good Lake Paddle Board

So What characteristics make a good lake paddle board? Read on below

What types of lakes are you paddling?

A lake is a lake is a lake no? Well not quite… Some bigger lakes like Lake Superior or Okanagan lake have some features that coastal conditions have.

These bigger lakes can feature rip currents and bigger waves that behave to windy conditions.

Personal Note:
My friend’s father almost drowned because he was paddling in the late fall and he got swept by a riptide in lake Okanagan despite paddling close to shore. Luckily he was saved by on onlooker but he cut it pretty close!

If you are a beginner you probably want some on-water conditions that are easier to manage. This is why I reccomend smaller lake bodies that don’t have a lot of boat activity.

Each of these boards is well equipped for flatwater lakes. If your lake or marsh is rougher, I suggest a board with better surf and stability like the Blackfin XL.

For those paddling on bigger lakes wanting to dip their feet into touring check out out touring boards section.

Price vs. On Water Performance

Whether you want a budget board or a premium board depends on your skill level and experience. 

Beginners and hobbyists who want to try stand-up paddle boarding for the first time may want to get started with a cheaper board like the Serenelife Paddle Board.

More serious riders will want boards that perform better and last for a long time like the Nixy, iRocker All Around 11 and the Atoll. Many boards from our Best Inflatable Paddle Boards list will do well too!

Paddle Board Stability

Especially if you’re a beginner, the stability of your board is critical. Slips and accidents happen even for experienced riders, but a stable board can help prevent accidents. 

In general, width, weight, and the board’s air pressure all contribute to stability. You may have to sacrifice speed for a stable board, but you can always move to a faster board over time. 

Features of the Paddle Board

While the bulk of any SUP package’s price tag is the board itself, the extra features are also important. Paddles, pumps, and ankle leashes are three important items that you want to stay durable for a long time. 

Other features like D-rings, action mounts, and accessory attachments depend on your interests. If you board with a lot of gear, want to record yourself, or enjoy fishing while paddling, you may want to prioritize those extras. 

Lastly, style and color may influence your choices. Each board on this list comes in at least three colors, with some choices having as many as six. Some colors are in more demand than others, such as the army green Atoll 11’, so be wary of color availability when buying. 

What Have We Learned?

  • Strength, maneuverability, stability, and speed are the most critical traits of paddle boards. The best flatwater paddle boards have a good balance of these traits. 
  • Keep a close eye on what’s included in each SUP package
  • In general, the higher the price, the larger and more durable a board is
  • Keep your preferred board lake, marsh, or other body of water in mind when shopping for a paddle board

With all this in mind, I’d like to say once again that my pick for the best lake stand up paddle board is the iRocker All Around 11’.

I hope this list has helped you find the best lake stand-up paddle board. For more information on inflatable stand-up paddle boarding, check out our Facebook to discuss your preferences. 

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Author:
Hey, My name is Derek and I'm the owner of Inflatable SUP Authority. I've had over 20 years experience with watersports. My new-found passion is learning about and testing SUP's. I love teaching people what to look for.