Best Inflatable Paddle Boards of 2024

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In this best inflatable paddle boards review, we recommend what we think are the best boards for the most variety of people with different sizes and interests

We also input some of mine and other fellow paddlers personal tastes to give you a clearer idea as to what board is right for you. In our lists we not only label what the SUP is best for but also give you a detailed scoring system that we use for each of the stand up inflatable paddle boards we test and review

This top inflatable paddle boards list will consist of all-around style SUP’s as these are the most requested SUPs. But don’t worry, for those of you who like paddle boards for specialized Activities and Needs we got something for you as well! 

Let’s get into this review and find the right paddle board for you!

How We Picked The Best Inflatable Sups

Going out and testing all these boards is an honest days work but someone’s gotta do it 😉

All of these SUP boards have been put through countless hours of testing time in different water conditions. Living in British Columbia we have a lot of different types of water scapes which allows us to test many of these boards in all types of different conditions from wavey coastal waters to calm lakes. 

While it has been me primarily testing these boards I’ve also had a bit of help from my friends who are a variety of different shapes and sizes. Their input has greatly helped me understand paddle board behavior across different genders, sizes and skill sets. Hence how this list was created.

The problem with picking the top inflatable SUPs is that “Best” is a relative term. Instead you should consider what is important to you and find an option from the list that will best suit your needs. If you are unsure how to do that take a look at the buyers guide where we hold your hand and walk you through SUP’s that matter to YOU and your requirements

We also realize not everyone has $1300 + to spend on an inflatable paddle board. So we have included some high quality budget conscious picks that we felt impressed us. 

The Best Inflatable Paddle Boards Reviews

This best blow up paddle boards list is continually updated year after year for the most accurate information. Lets jump in!

When looking at the below reviews list, pay more attention to the labels I’ve given them as opposed to the number. This will help you better categorize what SUP fits your needs.

We also wrote about the Best All Around Paddle Boards based on our Star ratings systems here. This Article is more of a Comparison of different types of SUPs for a more broad range of paddler.

(Travel Friendly Pick)
1. Blackfin Ultra CX

1. Blackfin Ultra CX

  • Dimensions: 10’6 X 31.5” X 6”
  • Weight: 19.8 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 320 Lbs
  • Materials: Cross Threaded Drop Stitch with Carbon Rails
  • Best For: Paddlers who want a quick and manueverable SUP with portability.
(Editors Pick)
2. Nixy Newport G4

2. Nixy Newport G4

  • Dimensions: 10’6 X 33” X 6”
  • Weight: 21 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 300 Lbs
  • Material: Dual Layer Fusion Laminated Drop Stitch
  • Best For: 80% of Paddlers who want a great All Around SUP.
(Big Guys Pick)
3. Atoll 11

3. Atoll 11

  • Dimensions: 11’ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • Max Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Materials: Dual Layer Drop Stitch Technology
  • Best For: Paddlers who are Heavier/ Taller and crave stability.
(Excursion Pick)
4. Nixy Monterey

4. Nixy Monterey

  • Dimensions: 11’6 X 34” X 6”
  • Weight: 24 Lbs
  • Maxi Capacity: 400 Lbs
  • Materials: 2 Air bladders with Dual Fusion layering, woven drop stitch with carbon rails
  • Best For: Paddlers who want a board with lots of storage room onboard.
(Performance Pick)
5. Red Paddle Sport 11'3

5. Red Paddle Sport 11'3"

  • Dimensions: 11’6” X 33” X 4.7”
  • Weight: 24.9 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 242 Lbs
  • Materials: MSL Fusion
  • Best For: Paddlers who want a high quality and fast board.
(Versatility Pick)
6. Bluefin Cruise 10'8

6. Bluefin Cruise 10'8"

  • Dimensions: 10’8 X 33” x 6”
  • Weight: 27 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 287 Lbs
  • Materials: 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC & Pro Weave Drop Stitch
  • Best For: Paddlers who want a variety of different sizes to choose from.
(Tall Paddler Travel Pick)
7. iRocker All Around 11 Ultra

7. iRocker All Around 11 Ultra

  • Dimensions: 11' X 32” X 6”
  • Weight: 21.4 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 290 Lbs
  • Materials: Cross Thread Drop Stitch
  • Best For: Taller Paddlers who want a portable SUP.
(Budget Adventure Pick)
8. Gili Adventure 12

8. Gili Adventure 12

  • Dimensions: 12' X 32” X 6”
  • Weight: 23 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 330 Lbs
  • Materials: Fusion Dual Layer Technology
  • Best For: Paddlers who want a budget hybrid touring SUP.
(Best Kayak Hybrid Pick)
9. Isle Switch

9. Isle Switch

  • Dimensions: 11’6” X 35.5” X 6”
  • Weight: 19 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 425 Lbs
  • Materials: Cross Woven Drop Stitch with stringers
  • Best For: Paddlers who want a lightweight kayak/hybrid SUP.
(Onboard Featuresd Pick)
10. BOTE HD Aero 11'6

10. BOTE HD Aero 11'6"

  • Dimensions: 11’6” X 34” X 6”
  • Weight: 30 lbs
  • Max Capacity: 315 lbs
  • Materials: AeroBOTE Technology
  • Best For: Paddlers who want a stable platform to fish from.

1. Blackfin Ultra CX (Travel Friendly Pick)

Features:

  • Dimensions: 10’6” X 31.5” X 6”
  • Weight: 19.8 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 320 Lbs
  • Material: Cross Threaded drop stitch with carbon rails

Total Score 8.8/10 

  • On-Water Performance – 8.6
    • Stability 8
    • Tracking 8.5
    • Speed 9
    • Maneuverability 9
  • SUP Construction – 9
  • Board Features  – 8.6
    • Deck Pad 9
    • D Rings 8.5
    • Deck Bungees 8.5
    • Action Mounts: 7.5
    • Handles 9.5
  • Accessories – 8.9
    • Backpack 9.5
    • Paddle 7.5
    • Pump 10
    • Fins 8.5
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 9

Why Did it Make the Best Inflatable Paddle Boards List?

Ranked #1 in our Best Portable Paddle Boards list, the Blackfin Ultra CX is a board that is honestly just a lot of fun to paddle. It is a highly portable SUP that takes up about ⅓ of my trunk space in my Hyundai sedan! Compare that to a normal SUP bag which usually takes up at least 3/4s of space means you can bring extra gear with you to make your SUP excursion even more epic. 

The accessory package is something that really stands out with this SUP. Not only do you get a roll-up bag that looks like a drybag on steroids (its not a dry bag), but you also get an electric pump! I was honestly waiting for an inflatable SUP manufacturer to include an electric pump in their package and low and behold the folks at iRocker did it.

Yes, yes I know as soon as you read a review upselling you an electric pump you roll your eyes. But in this case, this package comes with it! Making the experience of actually pumping up the board that much more pleasant. 

On-Water Performance

I personally liked the maneuverability, speed and tracking that this board offered, it blended very well! The board is super responsive meaning you can effectively turn with fewer strokes. In fact, in my testing (below) I was able to dip my paddle in the water and it just turned like that! Normally if a board is very maneuverable it means tracking and speed are compromised. However, I didn’t feel that on this board whatsoever.

Instead, I felt that the board tracked well once you put some umph in each paddle stroke. I also thought that the board was very quick, almost the exact same clip as the All Around 11 Ultra which is 6” longer!

Now one downside of this SUP is the stability. If you are a smaller individual you will probably have little problem navigating this board. But if you are over 6’0 and 180 lbs things can start to feel a little bit squirrely. The Blackfin Ultra CX lacks the original stability of its predecessors like the model X, model XL and even the model v.  However it is more than manageable if you just accept there may be a few times you fall into the drink! 

For beginner paddlers, it is a board you have to grow with and accept that there will be a learning curve to it. If stability is your primary focus there are other boards on this list that will be better for you like the Atoll 11 or All Around 11 Ultra. 

Board Features and Design

The Blackfin Ultra CX comes with some rather clever innovations when it comes to both the package and the accessory bundle. First, the Blackfin Ultra CX has dropped the weight that its Blackfin siblings have from the 27 – 30 lb range all the way to 19.8 pounds. Making it a much more accessible board for smaller paddlers who don’t want to carry a whale of a board to shore. This is done thanks to the newly developed cross-threaded drop stitch material that uses fewer materials due to a different weaving pattern. 

The Blackfin Ultra CX is a relatively easy board to set up and fold back down thanks to its design. First off the board folds in half lengthwise first and then folds normally, trying to even the tail out. The good news is that the fold with this board can be less than perfect but still fit into the bag.

Speaking of the bag, the paddle board comes with a roll-top bag that holds the board and has several compartments like a front pocket, side pockets, and loops for the folding paddle. I have mixed feelings about the paddle. On one hand, it is one of the nicer paddles from the Ultra lineup due to its finish (especially on the handle) but it also has some bend to it due to the 5 piece nature. This is fine for recreational paddling but as soon as you want more performance I’d recommend upgrading to a full carbon paddle. 

The bag also comes with a tidy pouch where you store the eclectic pump, dual 9” fins as well as the pump hose. There’s also room to fit another small item or two inside. 

You can Read more in the Blackfin Ultra CX Review I did here.

Pros

  • Very compact and easy to travel with
  • The board is supremely responsive in the water
  • Has above average tracking and speed for a board of its dimensions
  • An electric pump that comes with the board is super handy
  • The accessory package is very well thought out

Cons

  • The paddle has more bend in it due to more connection points
  • The board may feel a bit more unsteady to newer or taller/ bigger paddlers

2. Nixy Newport All Around Paddle Board (Accessory Pick)

Me with Good Ol’ Nixy

Features:

  • Dimensions: 10’6 X 33” X 6”
  • Weight: 21 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 300 Lbs
  • Material: Dual Layer Fusion Laminated Drop Stitch with Carbon rails

Total Score 8.8/10

  • On-Water Performance: 8.5
    • Stability: 8
    • Tracking: 8.5
    • Speed: 8
    • Maneuverability: 9
  • SUP Construction: 9
  • Board Features: 8.5
    • Deck Pad: 8.5
    • D Rings: 8
    • Deck Bungees: 8
    • Action Mounts 9
    • Handles: 8.5
  • Accessories: 9.1
    • Backpack: 9
    • Paddle: 9
    • Pump: 9
    • Fins: 9.5
  • Set-Up/ Take Down: 9

Why Did It Make the Best Inflatable Paddle Boards List?

Nixy is rated the #2 Best ISUP because of the accumulation of small details both with the board and accessories it comes with. A Lot of it’s features are items you would find on boards that are higher than its price range! This company has been gaining a lot of steam in the last couple of years so let’s find out why.

On Water Performance

This SUP is a joy to paddle in waters that are a bit more calm. It’s like your own personalised balance board for the water, the more you use it the more you excel and improve your balance. The wider the stance the more “play” you have while paddling this board. Fantastic board for “edging” (leaning to one side to add more tracking performance to the board).

Despite the board being 33 inches wide I found it tracked almost as well as iRocker which I was very surprised with. I actually found it more maneuverable than the iRocker All Around board as well. Thanks to it’s 10’6” length. 

Would I recommend this board for a beginner? If you want a board that you can grow with and improve your balance and SUP skills with this is a fantastic board to do that with. But if you crave primary stability (the feeling of standing on a solid object) and want that security of standing on a platform this may not be the best board for you. Especially if you are of a taller/ bigger build. However, I’m 6’0 and around 185 lbs and I had little problems with the board stability. 

Board Features and Design

One of the big pluses I loved from Nixy was how they thought out not just the board but the design of the accessories. The accessories that come with the Newport are very close to on par with more expensive brands like the Blackfin

The Newport’s bag is especially well designed with 3 wheels on the bottom, plenty of space on the front pocket and smartly designed side pockets for the 3 piece paddle. The 3 Piece paddle is also excellent quality made of carbon hybrid material making the paddle blade particularly sturdy while paddling. 

The overall design of the board is very useful with 5 action mounts available on the front and back. The Newport features 14 D Rings with 2 on the sides for a kayak/ inflatable paddle board seat and one on the underside of the bow and one on the stern for towing and anchor capabilities. These features make the Newport very versatile with lots of adaptation for accessories.

One thing I did not like is the fact that on the stern of the board the deckpad goes around the D rings. In my experience, after continuous folding, the edge of the deckpad is starting to come off on those edges.

You can Read more in the Nixy Newport G4 Review I did here.

Pros

  • The board’s construction is fantastic and one of the first movers on that side of things
  • The accessory package is one of my favorites, the paddle is lightweight and carbon hybrid, and the bag is very well thought out
  • The board is lightweight and easy to carry
  • The Newport has fantastic ratings in all On-Water performance aspects
  • Ideal for smaller/medium-sized individuals, although taller people like myself had no problems

Cons

  • The deck pad around the stern D ring is starting to come a bit undone
  • People who are much bigger/ taller in stature should look at the Monterey instead of this model

3. Atoll 11’ (Big Guys Pick)

Derek standing with Atoll board

Features:

  • Dimensions: 11’ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Materials: Dual Layer Drop Stitch Technology

Total Score 8.2/10

  • On-Water Performance: 8.5
    • Stability: 9
    • Tracking: 8
    • Speed: 8
    • Maneuverability: 8
  • SUP Construction: 9
  • Board Features: 8
    • Deck Pad: 8.5
    • D Rings: 9
    • Deck Bungees: 7.5
    • Handles: 7
  • Accessories: 7.5
    • Backpack: 7
    • Paddle: 7
    • Pump: 7
    • Fins: 8
  • Set-Up/ Take Down: 8

Why Did It Make the Best Inflatable Paddle Boards List?

You may notice that this SUP has a lower score compared to some of the others on this list. So why is it ranked #3? In this list, I wanted at least one of the top 3 recommendations to be a true beginner-friendly and rugged board. Atoll checks off these boxes admirably. 

The main reason for the slightly lower score is the averages of the accessories that are provided. But in reality, these accessories are just what you need when it comes to portability for longer hikes. In terms of on-water performance aspects, this board really is a fantastic pick. 

On-Water Performance

One of the biggest things that stands out to me about this board is its stability. To really test this I decided to take this board out in the middle of March on Salt Spring Island. The water was chilly and the stakes were high but this board truly did an admiral job of giving me assurance that I wasn’t going to fall in.  Even when first standing my initial reaction was one of shock at how there was absolutely no wobble from the transition of me on my knees to standing. 

The Atoll 11 also blended maneuverability, tracking, and speed surprisingly well. Its 32” wide frame coupled with its 11’ length really gives it a good framework to allow the board to track without being a complete hassle to maneuver. 

The board’s tracking really surprised me as its fin set-up is a 9” center fin followed by two side bite fins. In my previous experience boards with these small side fins are usually pretty squirrely in the water. The Atolls tracking lay somewhere in between the All Around 11 Ultra and the Nixy Newport with the Newport having slightly better tracking thanks to Nixy’s 5” side fins. 

Board Features and Design 

In terms of board add-ons like Action Mounts the board does have a bit to be desired. However, it does feature 8 free D rings for coolers, kayak seats, and custom strapping you may want to do for those bigger bulkier items on overnight trips. In Atoll’s case, there’s beauty in simplicity and I don’t think they are ever going to change that aspect of the board. 

The accessories that come with the board are a bit underwhelming compared to the top paddle boards on the list. It comes with a single pump, a carbon hybrid paddle with a Nylon blade, and a lightweight bag with side pockets. If you are looking to do some hiking or backcountry paddling this could be a good thing though

The deck pad covers over 2/3s of the board and has a diamond-grooved texture which really helps grip your feet when you are wandering the board. My friend has done quite a bit of yoga on his and was really surprised at how much stability this board could provide compared to some other boards he’s owned in the past. 

You can Read more in the Atoll 11 Review I did here.

Pros

  • One of the best all-around boards for stability
  • The deck design is simple but offers lots of options for bigger items
  • The Atoll 11 tracks surprisingly well for its fin setup 
  • Has an FCS/ US fin box set up so you can swap fins with any FCS fin box manufacturer 
  • The board is relatively lightweight and backcountry friendly

Cons

  • The Accessory package could have been of higher quality
  • The way the front bungees are spaced its a bit tougher to place smaller items like water bottles on it

4. Nixy Monterey (Excursion Pick)

Features:

  • Dimensions: 11’6” X 34” X 6”
  • Weight: 25 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 Lbs 
  • Material: 2 Air bladders with Dual Fusion layering, woven drop stitch with carbon rails

Total Score 8.8/10

  • On-Water Performance – 8.4
    • Stability: 9
    • Tracking: 8.5
    • Speed: 8
    • Maneuverability: 8
  • SUP Construction – 9.5
  • Board Features – 9.2
    • Deck Pad: 9.5
    • D Rings: 9
    • Deck Bungees: 9
    • Action Mounts 10
    • Handles: 8.5
  • Accessories – 9.1
    • Backpack: 9
    • Paddle: 9
    • Pump: 9
    • Fins: 9.5
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8

Why Did it Make the Best Inflatable Paddle Boards List?

If there were an award for “Most Overlooked Paddle Board” the Monterey would probably take one of the top spots. It has lots of the features of more heavy-duty boards like the Bluefin Cruise Carbon or Blackfin XL but it comes in a lightweight package and comes with higher-quality accessories. 

Unlike any other boards on this list, the Nixy Monterey features a dual air chamber. What does that mean? Inside the Monterey, there is a built-in second chamber in the middle. This does two things, it adds rigidity to the board (infact this is one of the most rigid SUPs out there) and it adds a second layer of safety in case there is a leak on the original chamber

On-Water Performance

One of the first things that really hit me with this board was how stable it was on the water. It felt like I was standing on a floating tank (However that works)! Underneath my feet, the board felt super rigid. Even jumping up on down on it I could tell there was far less bounce even compared to the Newport.  Which allowed the board to keep low drag while doing some of those harder/ faster strokes.

The tracking on this board was also quite something. The board just went in a straight line and there was very little correcting that needed to be done when paddling. Infact I could muster out 10 strokes per side before correcting which is pretty good for the realm of inflatable paddle boards!

Since the Monterey is 34” it will be a bit draggier compared to some of the other boards on this list. But the tapered nose and tail help reduce a lot of that. I felt I could keep up with my friends just fine on this board, even when they were on boards that were 2” shorter width-wise.

The one area that will be compromised is maneuverability and that’s just due to the board’s 11’6” length. Longer boards will just have a harder time turning. However, you can tweak the fin set-up to make this board more maneuverable by taking the two side fins off and slotting a river fin in the center of the board. 

Board Features and Design 

One of the things that warrant this board as an “Excursion Pick” is the fact that the board has ample bungee deck webbing for smaller and bigger items alike. I did find that the extra row of bungee deck webbing is useful for putting a bit extra on the board. I personally like to use these areas to stash soft coolers, dry bags, speakers, and a few water bottles for when I go on longer paddle sessions. 

Monterey board profie

Another thing to note is that the Monterey G4 has an astonishing 10 Action Mounts making this a great board to hand a few fishing rods off of all the while having your handy dandy cup holder to stash your favorite beverage. 

On Top of this, the Monterey also has 2 Scotty Mounts which can absolutely turn this paddle board into a real fish-stalking vessel. The Scotty Mounts can house any Scotty accessory including rod holders and fishing racks that can hold even more fishing accessories. The board’s rigidity also makes it an extra stable pick while you are doing your casts on the water. 

You can Read more in the Nixy Monterey G4 Review I did here.

Pros

  • One of the most stable boards I’ve tested
  • A very underrated fishing vessel with lots of accessory capabilities
  • The board tracks extremely well thanks to the board’s shape and fin setup
  • Despite its wider width, the Monterey can hold its own against 32” width SUPs
  • Lots of gear stashing points makes this a great camping/ excursion board

Cons

  • This board may be overkill for smaller paddlers
  • The maneuverability is a bit compromised due to the length

5. Red Paddle Sport 11’3”  (Performance All Around Pick) 

Features:

  • Dimensions: 11’3” X 32” X 4.7”
  • Weight: 24.9 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 242 Lbs 
  • Material: MSL Fusion Technology 

Total Score 9.1/10

  • On-Water Performance – 9.4
    • Stability: 9
    • Tracking: 10
    • Speed: 10
    • Maneuverability: 8.5 
  • SUP Construction – 10
  • Board Features – 8.3
    • Deck Pad: 9
    • Deck Bungees: 8
    • Handles: 8
  • Accessories – 9.1
    • Backpack: 9.5
    • Paddle: 9.5
    • Pump: 8.5
    • Fins: 9
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8.5

Why Did it Make the Best Inflatable Paddle Boards List?

The Red Paddle Sport 11’3 SUP is meant for some of the more serious paddlers or those starting out who aren’t as budget conscious. This SUP provides some of the best on-water performance of any of the boards on this list. While the Sport 11’3 may look like a slightly pointed touring SUP it’s the little details that make all the difference with this board. 

Red Paddle is one of the few paddle board manufacturers that makes their board in-house. Meaning they have a very strict quality control process that has one of the lowest return rates in the industry. Red Paddle also comes with a 5-year warranty against manufacturing defects. 

On-Water Performance

The Red Paddle Sport is a great board for those who want better glide and a faster SUP in the water. Its shape and hydrodynamic construction rivals many inflatable touring boards which make this an excellent long-distance travel pick. 

Of Course, we can’t talk about speed without mentioning the 11’3 Sport’s speed tail. While it may not look like much, the tail has a rubber ridge around the back that helps release the hydrodynamic flow of water. After paddling many different all-around/ touring hybrid boards you can definitely feel that you get more glide per stroke with this setup. 

The Sport 11’3 is not just all speed and tracking. It’s also a decently stable board for even beginners to paddle on. This is helped by the board’s 32” width as well as the 4.7” thickness. The thinner width helps you feel more stable on the board because you are in closer proximity to the water. The best way to describe it is a halfway point between a traditional inflatable SUP and an epoxy board.

Board Features and Design

Red Paddle makes their boards thinner than most of the 6” all-around boards thanks to the MSL Fusion and RSS Battens that Red Paddle Places in their boards. These features allow them to make a thinner as well as a stiffer board than most inflatable paddle boards in the industry. This again is all thanks to their strict hands-on design of almost all the manufacturing processes. 

The 11’3” Sport features a two-textured deck pad. The middle section features embossed EVA deck padding while the rear features diamond grooved which helps give you more grip during more tricky maneuvers like pivot turns. 

You may also notice that Red does deck bungees a bit differently from other SUP manufacturers. The logic behind this is that horizontal bungees create more holding pressure compared to a crisscross formation. New for 2022 and beyond they also have a little loop on the last bungee to hold smaller items like a water bottle. 

Pros

  • The Best overall performance for an all around paddle board
  • Each paddle board takes 72 hours to make which means more time and effort is put into quality
  • Each board is made and manufactured in-house which means far more control and fewer defects
  • This board will be stable enough for most paddlers
  • This board is very quick on the water, rivaling a lot of inflatable touring SUPs

Cons

  • The biggest con is the price tag, it is more expensive than anything on this list
  • The Paddle is extra with this package

6. Bluefin Cruise 10’8” (Versatility Pick)

Features:

  • Dimensions: 10’8” X 33” X 6”
  • Weight: 27Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 287 Lbs 
  • Material: 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC & Pro Weave Drop Stitch

Total Score 8.3 /10

Why Did it Make the Best Inflatable Paddle Boards List?

The Bluefun Cruise series offers a wide variety of SUPs available for folks that are an array of different heights and builds. Not only does Bluefin offer the 3 sizes but they also offer the Bluefin Carbon series which has dual inflation chambers and better-reinforced materials. New for 2023 Bluefin also has a new Cruise line that weighs 7 lbs less. 

Bluefin is one of the most popular paddle boards in Europe and the UK and is starting to spread out to North America and Australia. One of the most attractive qualities of any Bluefin SUP is that it comes with a 5-year manufacturing warranty which is something that’s quite rare in the ISUP world. The regular Bluefin Cruise line is built to be an affordable introductory line

On-Water Performance

The Bluefin Cruise is a “jack of all trades” board in that it does many on-water aspects well, but won’t be the best in any particular area. One of the main strengths of the original Cruise lineup is its stability in the water. For folks 6’0 and under I would choose the 10’8 model, for those over 6’0 I would go with the 12’ version. For those who want multiple people onboard choose the 15’ SUP. 

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The board’s pointier profile glides through the water well while still offering a good amount of rigidity to make you feel like you are not paddling a banana in the water. This is also an underrated pick for those who want to bring dogs and kids on board as well. Depending on the weight or size of your cargo/ passenger, go up a size if you figure you are going to be carrying a heavier load onboard. 

Board Features and Design 

Out of the paddle boards on this list, Bluefin offers the most amount of accessories. Not only does the board come with the standard fins, bag, collapsible paddle and leash, but it also comes with a kayak seat and a kayak hybrid paddle! Which is something most manufacturers do not provide. This allows you to easily switch from kayak hybrid to paddle board in a matter of seconds. 

The Cruise comes in a nice hydrodynamic design which allows the board to track well and travel at a reasonable pace for a board of its size. What I particularly appreciated was the diamond-grooved deck pad that is prominent on much of the board. Another very handy feature that they added was a stomp pad on the rear. This stomp pad makes more advanced maneuvers like pivot turns that are much easier to achieve as you have more leverage for your foot to press down on the tail. 

You can Read more in the Bluefin Cruise 10’4″ Review I did here.

Pros

  • Fantastic Entry Level SUP for most paddlers
  • A wide variety of different sizes and models available in the Cruse line
  • Kayak hybrid paddle and seat is a great add
  • The bag is improved over previous versions
  • A good amount of carrying capacity on these boards

Cons

  • The package is one of the heaviest on the list
  • All the added accessories can be a pain to carry longer distances
  • No rear deck bungees

7. iRocker All Around 11 Ultra (Tall Paddler Travel Pick)

Features:

  • Dimensions: 11’ X 32” X 6”
  • Weight: 21.4 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 290 Lbs 
  • Material: Cross Threaded drop stitch

Total Score 8.7/10

  • On-Water Performance – 8.1
    • Stability: 8
    • Tracking: 8.5
    • Speed: 8.5
    • Maneuverability: 8
  • SUP Construction – 9
  • Board Features – 8.6
    • Deck Pad: 9
    • D Rings 8.5
    • Deck Bungees: 8
    • Action Mounts: 7.5
    • Handles: 9
  • Accessories – 8.6
    • Backpack: 9.5
    • Paddle: 7.5
    • Pump: 10
    • Fins: 8.5
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8

Why Did it Make the Best Inflatable Paddle Boards List?

The iRocker All Around 11 Ultra, like the Blackfin Ulta CX is a compact board. Meaning the board folds in half lengthwise making it easier to travel around with. So what’s the difference between the All Around 11 Ultra and the Blackfin Ultra CX? Mainly I give the edge to the All Around 11 Ultra for stability due to the board’s longer length. 

The board is labeled “Tall Paddler Travel Pick” because a board like the Blackfin Ultra CX may be too unstable for some tall beginner paddlers. We also like the fact that the All Around 11 Ultra has an electric pump included as well as a smartly designed roll-up travel bag. 

On-Water Performance

The All Around 11 Ultra is decently stable in the water, although I have to say after doing a direct on-water comparison test with the original All Around 11 I did find that the original All Around 11 was more stable, and had a hair better tracking ability. The speed and maneuverability went to the All Around 11 Ultra. 

Overall this pick will still be steady enough for a beginner but you will just need to have a bit more patience with both you and the board as the learning curve may be a bit steep on the first few tries

I found the All Around 11 Ultra tackled chop and waves pretty well in ocean conditions. This is pretty good considering it’s these things that usually catch a lot of new paddle boarders out. 

Board Features and Design

So why did we go with the All Around 11 Ultra instead of the All Around 11 paddle board for this list? The answer is in the accessories as well as the design of the board. While I would give a slight edge for On-Water activities to the original, the All Around 11 Ultra has the better accessory package and a little bit of a better design. 

First off the materials put into this board are lighter and are able to take more folds. iRocker was able to achieve this by changing their drop stitch weaving pattern from single thread to cross threaded which makes a sort of X pattern. This uses up fewer materials and makes the board lighter weight and more rigid. They also used a fusion laminate process instead of the 3-layer PVC which also drastically cut down the weight from 26 lbs to 21.4 lbs. 

You can Read more in the iRocker All Around 11 Ultra Review I did here.

Pros

  • A solid portable board that is better suited for taller/ bigger folks
  • The materials and construction of this board is lighter weight
  • The board still features action mounts, D rings and bungees for cargo and gear
  • The board is very maneuverable in the water, especially with sweep strokes

Cons

  • Lacks stability and some of the tracking of All Around 11
  • The handle gets in the way of your knees when knelt down
  • Cosmetic fold likes start to develop on these boards

8. Gili Adventure 12 (Budget Adventure Pick)

Features:

  • Dimensions: 12’ X 32” X 4.7”
  • Weight: 23 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 330 Lbs 
  • Material: Fusion Dual Layer Technology 

Total Score 8/10

  • On-Water Performance – 8
    • Stability: 8
    • Tracking: 8.5
    • Speed: 8.5
    • Maneuverability: 7.5 
  • SUP Construction – 8
  • Board Features – 8
    • Deck Pad: 8
    • D Rings 8
    • Deck Bungees: 8
    • Action Mounts: 8.5
    • Handles: 8
  • Accessories – 7.5
    • Backpack: 8
    • Paddle: 7.5
    • Pump: 6.5
    • Fins: 8
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8

Why Did It Make the Best Inflatable Paddle Boards List?

The Gili Adventure 12 board is a great value board in that it maintains a relatively cheaper price point while having accessories on it that you would often find on more expensive SUPs. The Adventure 12 is best for people who want a paddle board with some longer distance capabilities without the touring board price tag. 

The Gili Adventure 12 is ideal for lakes, calm coastal conditions, and bigger slow-moving rivers. For those who are bigger in build and crave a bit more stability, the Adventure 12 is the best bet. For those smaller paddlers, you can downsize and get the Gili Adventure 11 paddle board. 

On- Water Performance

While this may not be the most stable paddle board on the list it is sufficient for the price tag and the touring dimensions. The 12’ Adventure was selected for this list because of the longer length and therefore added stability it had over the 11’ paddle board. 

In terms of tracking and speed, no this won’t match the performance of something like the Red Paddle Voyager or Sport 11’3”. But it is a great option for folks who want to travel longer distances without having to spend over a grand. For those who seek a board that is more maneuverable, you can check out the Adventure 11 or something like the shorter Gili Mako paddle board.

Board Features and Designs

The Gili Adventure’s pointed profile gives the board a nice glide but Gili has also added some other features to the board. Some of the things that stand out are the 3 action mounts, an extra set of D rings in the back as well as the Scotty Mounts. This makes Adventure 12 or 11 a pretty good SUP to fish on. 

The Scotty Mounts allow you to add anything from the Scotty Mount company to the board as well as the fishing rack. 

The action mounts allow you to add things like fishing rod holders, action cameras, cell phones, or even a bluetooth speaker while you paddle.  The extra set of D rings in the middle can be used for a kayak seat while the set just above the rear bungees can be used to strap down a cooler. Another solid fishing accessory. 

You can Read more in the Gili Adventure 12 Review I did here.

Pros

  • Affordable price point for an “all around/ touring hybrid” board
  • Has a lot of options on the board that more expensive SUPs would have
  • Scotty Mounts are a great addition
  • Board tracks well in the water and can be used in most reasonable conditions
  • The stability is decent on this board

Cons

  • Maneuverability will be a sticking point with this board
  • The pump is fairly underwhelming
  • Construction quality will be on the lower tier of this list

9. Isle Switch (Best Kayak Hybrid Pick)

Features:

  • Dimensions: 11’6” X 35.5” X 6”
  • Weight: 19 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 425 Lbs 
  • Material: Cross Woven Drop Stitch with stringers

Total Score 8.4/10

  • On-Water Performance – 8.3
    • Stability: 10
    • Tracking: 8
    • Speed: 8
    • Maneuverability: 7
  • SUP Construction – 9
  • Board Features – 8.3
    • Deck Pad: 8
    • D Rings 9
    • Deck Bungees: 8
    • Handles: 8
  • Accessories – 7.5
    • Backpack: 8
    • Paddle: 7
    • Pump: 7
    • Fins: 8
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8

Why Did It Make the Best Inflatable Paddle Boards List?

The Isle Switch has replaced the Isle Pioneer on this list due to the pure versatility of the board and the fact that it is about as close to a good “Kayak Hybrid Paddle Board” that you can get.  The Switch 2+1 Hybrid has specialized patent-pending features such as the Isle Link system which allows you to move the uplifted kayak seat and footrest to just about any spot on the board. A very handy feature that allows you to get the perfect balance point on the board when sitting. 

On Top of that, this board has won many awards for its design including Paddling Magazine’s Best SUP, Paddle TV’s Best in Class, and Men’s Health Outdoor Awards. 

On-Water Performance

The Isle Switch has fantastic tracking and a surprising amount of speed for a paddle board that is 35.5” wide. Its seamless kayak kit integration also helps make this a perfect pick for traveling longer distances when your feet are getting tired. Of course, this is not meant to be a touring paddle board, but its integration from standing to sitting on a kayak seat will really help you on those longer journeys. 

The Isle Switch also offers a good level of stability thanks to its wider width and the 11’6” frame. In my experience 11’6” will be stable enough for most people. Add a few extra inches for width and you are golden. In terms of stability, this board will be a leader on this list. 

Board Features and Design

If you were to look at this board you would think it’s a wider paddle board with a pointy nose. But if you look closely there are some neat details that really stand out. The Isle Link system which is a series of loops that span almost the entire board helps make it a versatile choice for all sizes of paddlers interested in using the kayak seat and footrest

This board doesn’t just come with the same ol’ black kayak hybrid seat that looks eerily similar to all the others. No, Isle custom designed their seat to sit higher. This is especially key for poor suckers like me that have lower back pain. This also helps target your core muscles better as the footrest keeps your legs in place which allows you to activate that core more for a more efficient kayak stroke. 

Pros

  • The Best paddle board kayak hybrid package out there 
  • The most stable board on this list
  • Surprisingly lightweight for the board’s dimensions
  • The kayak seat is smartly designed to take pressure off the lower back
  • Isle Link System is ingenious as you can place the seat and footrest in almost any position. 

Cons

  • The pump that comes with the package is average
  • The paddle is aluminum which is a bit of a downgrade

10. BOTE HD Aero 11’6” (Onboard Features Pick)

Features:

  • Dimensions: 11’6” X 34” X 6”
  • Weight: 30 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 315 Lbs 
  • Material: AeroBOTE Technology

Total Score 8/10

  • On-Water Performance – 8.2
    • Stability: 9
    • Tracking: 8
    • Speed: 8
    • Maneuverability: 7.5 
  • SUP Construction – 8.5
  • Board Features – 8
    • Deck Pad: 8
    • D Rings 8
    • Deck Bungees: 8
    • Action Mounts: 8
    • Handles: 8
  • Accessories – 7.3
    • Backpack: 7
    • Paddle: 8
    • Pump: 7
    • Fins: 7
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8

Why Did it Make the Best Inflatable Paddle Boards List?

BOTE deserved to make the list of best inflatable paddle boards because their designs and features are unique to anything that’s out there. The Bote Aero HD is no different with respect to this. The HD Aero has a few features and possible add-ons up its sleeve that we will detail in the board features and design section. 

Out of all the All Around boards on this all-around list, the HD Aero makes a great fishing companion due to the board’s added width and longer frame. This helps you glide silently and stalk fish, something that inflatable paddle boards have an advantage over some of their hardshell cousins. 

On-Water Performance

The 11’6” HD Aero series offers a lot of stability thanks to the board’s dimensions. In my experience 34” wide paddle boards are usually the sweet spot for fishing as you need some of that primary stability when you are doing more jerky movements like casting and reeling in those big catches!

This board will also be adequate at tracking thanks to its 11’6” length although if you were to do some comparisons with the Nixy Monterey, it would be better suited to going further distances at a faster clip due to the Monterey being 6 lbs lighter and more pointy at the nose at the tail. 

Board Features and Design

While the accessories that come with the HD Aero 11’6” are fairly standard, the features you can add to the board is unique. The board has several add-on capabilities that make it a true fish-stalker companion. This is thanks to the Scotty Mounts that can house BOTE fishing racks, the D rings towards the reward of the board for the Bote all-in-one paddle board cooler. 

For those longer excursions, the HD Aero features paddle sheath capability, which is essentially a holder for your paddle so you can be hands-free while fishing or fiddling with something. And it also has magnepod capabilities. Magnepods are magnetic drink holds that can hold BOTE cups onboard without having to worry about them tipping over or spilling. 

For those kayak enthusiasts, you can also clip on BOTE’s Aero SUP Paddle seat which gives you an elevated seat while paddling. These are some of the more comfy kayak seats as the elevated/ angled seating position allows less strain on your back.

You can Read more in the Bote HD Aero 11’6″ Review I did here.

Pros

  • Stability is one of the packages major strengths
  • This is a great fishing companion for any anglers out there
  • Unique adaptable accessories transforms this board
  • The HD Aero has a good amount of storage room

Cons

  • One of the heavier boards on this list
  • May be too bulky for smaller/ shorter built folks
  • The entire package weight is heavier and the bag is just okay

The Best Inflatable Paddle Boards Compared

Below are a series of graphs and charts that we use to score all the paddle boards that we test and review. 

We use a very detailed rating system that breaks down exactly each feature of the board to show you how we exactly score the board. We then use the averages of each section to come up with the total score of each SUP. Many of these boards we have tested ourselves and have put them through many different environments from small lakes in Salt Spring to full-on coastline currents ar White Rock. 

Testing these boards in different environments allows us to get a complete perspective on how the boards handle in a variety of different conditions to give you a more complete picture!

In this case for simplicity sake/ visual chart representation we compared the top 5. The Top 10 will be put in a chart for statistical comparison’s sake. 

If you are wanting a comprehensive guide on How to Choose a Paddle Board based on YOUR needs check this article out!

On-Water Performance

We measure On-Water Performance based on 4 main factors. Stability, Tracking, Speed, and Maneuverability are all important factors that affect the handling of your paddle board in the water. We based our ratings on a 1-10 scale.

SUPStability RatingTracking RatingSpeed RatingManeuverability Rating Total On-Water Rating
Red Paddle Sport 11’3”910108.59.4
Blackfin Ultra CX88.5998.6
Nixy Newport G488.5898.5
Atoll 1198888.5
Nixy Monterey98.5888.4
Isle Switch108878.3
BOTE HD Aero 11’6”9887.58.2
Bluefin Cruise 10’6”97.5888.1
iRocker All Around 11 Ultra88.58.588.1
Gili Adventure 1288.58.57.58

In terms of On-Water Performance Red Paddle had the best out of any of them overall thanks to the board’s tracking and speed performance. It should be noted that the Sport is a hybrid of a touring and all-around paddle board. 

Stability

Stability is the most important On-Water Performance factor for paddlers starting out. You will notice that nothing under an 8 score made the best inflatable paddle boards list. That’s for good reason. What use is a paddle board if you can’t stand on the darn thing!? It’s also an important factor to consider if you are doing activities such as yoga, fishing, or paddling in waves and chop. 

In our tests and research, we found that the Isle Switch was the top dog in this due to the board’s long length and wide width dimensions. It’s also constructed very well making the board rigid while you have your weight in the middle of the board. 

Other note-worthy picks include budget-friendly models like the Atoll 11 and the Bluefin Cruise paddle boards which scored a high 9/10 score in these areas. 

Tracking

Tracking refers to how well the board paddles in a straight line. Basically the narrower and longer the board is the better it will track. But things such as fin set-ups also play an important part. It should be no surprise that the touring profile of the Red Paddle Sport 11’6” topped this list. 

Other boards that really stood out to me were the more budget-friendly Gili Adventure 12. While it won’t be the best-constructed board on the list, it’s 12’ profile allowed the board to track thanks efficiently in part as well to its 3-fin set-up. 

You may also notice that some 10’6” boards got similar ratings to 11’6” boards. Does that mean they track as well? No, but when rating this I like to compare these boards to others that have similar dimensions to make the rating system more precise. 

Speed

Speed AKA Glide is how well the board moves per each paddle stroke. Some of these boards were tested using GPS software to track the average speed while mixing it with comparisons to other boards of similar dimensions

The problem with testing speed is that conditions will always vary from minute to minute. Things such as wind, currents, waves, and boats are all grounds for interference. So sometimes you just have to hop from one board to the next and go off the feeling of the SUP.

In this case, the Red Paddle Sport 11’3” was the best-performing SUP here. The iRocker models of the Blackfin Ultra CX, All Around 11 Ultra as well as the budget-friendly Adventure 12 also did an admiral job of having a good amount of glide. 

Maneuverability

How well does the board respond when you try to turn it? There are certain environments where maneuverability is more of an important dimension than others. Places like winding rivers, mangroves, or hugging the shoreline are all places that garner boards that maneuver better. Typically for maneuverability shorter boards will be better picked as opposed to longer ones. This is something to note if you are a smaller paddler. 

The standouts here were the Nixy Newport G4 and the Blackfin Ultra CX. The Blackfin Ultra CX’s quick response to placing your paddle in the water to stop it really stood out to me. 

SUP Construction

An inflatable paddle board is just an inflatable paddle board and there’s no difference between more expensive boards and cheaper boards. It’s all a money grab right!?

Actually, this is far from true. Any person who has paddled for a few sessions will be able to feel distinct differences between a cheap paddle board and an expensive one. In this list, you won’t find any paddle boards that are below an 8 rating. This is for good reason too. 

Do you really want to fork out money for a board that will only last a summer? No, we want a board that will last a long freaking time!

All the picks have a minimum 2 year warranty against manufacturing defects. 

SUPMaterialsConstruction Rating
Red Paddle Sport 11’3”10
Nixy Monterey G49.5
Blackfin Ultra CX9
Nixy Newport G49
Isle Switch9
iRocker All Around 11 Ultra9
Atoll 119
BOTE HD Aero 11’6”8.5
Bluefin Cruise 10’6”8
Gili Adventure 128

Red Paddle once again is the standard due to how much control they have in their manufacturing. In Fact, in the last few years, they have had a 0% critical fail rate on their boards. Meaning you won’t have to worry about seams bursting or the board suddenly deflating while on the water. 

Nixy in my eyes also offers excellent board construction on all of their boards, and that goes for the Monterey and Newport G4 models. The Blackfin Ultra CX also got a good score due to the fact that they were able to improve their drop stitching technique all the while making their board lighter and allowing the board to fold in half lengthwise.

Board Features 

Board Features

Does the board have some noteworthy features? All boards on this list have Deck pads, Bungees and Handles with most having some free D rings as well. A few others have action mounts that allow you to add things like cup holders, fishing racks, action cameras, and more! 

While board features are not the end all be all when looking for a SUP they can hold a bigger level of importance depending on what activity you plan to be doing. For example, Deck Bungees will be a key thing to look at if you are on a touring excursion. Likewise SUP fishing rod holders give you extra deck space without having to worry about securing your rod.

SUPDeck PadD RingsDeck BungeesHandlesAction Mounts/ OthersBoard Features Rating
Nixy Monterey9.5998.5109.2
Blackfin Ultra CX8.5888.57.58.6
iRocker All Around 11 Ultra98.5897.58.6
Nixy Newport G48888.598.5
Isle Switch8988– 8.3
Red Paddle Sport 11’3”9888.3
Atoll 118.597.578
Gili Adventure 1288888.58
BOTE HD Aero 11’6”888888.2
Bluefin Cruise 10’6”987877.8

In this case, the Nixy paddle boards once again come out on top thanks to all the onboard amenities they offered. The Blackfin Ultra got high marks in this as well thanks to its full deck pad and comfortable handles. 

Accessories

Accessories are some of the most overlooked parts that come with an inflatable paddle board but boy are they important! 

When I started out I bought a no-name Craigslist board. It came with an aluminum paddle which had one of the worst adjusting features known to man and came in a mesh bag. After 6 months the bag would have tears in it due to the fins stabbing through.

This is something you don’t want to see from your SUP package. 

SUPBackpackPaddlePumpFinsTotal Accessories Rating
Nixy Newport G49999.59.1
Nixy Monterey9999.59.1
Red Paddle Sport 11’3”9.59.58.599.1
Blackfin Ultra CX97.5108.58.9
iRocker All Around 11 Ultra97.5108.58.9
Atoll 1177787.5
Gili Adventure 1287.56.587.5
Isle Switch87787.5
Bluefin Cruise 10’6”7.59777.4
BOTE HD Aero 11’6”78777.3

For accessories, Nixy, iRocker, and Red Paddle were the packages that really stood out to me. Nixy’s bag is one of the best organized SUP bags I’ve seen as well as coming with a lightweight carbon fiber paddle and dual chamber pump. 

iRocker’s Ultra packages also really stood out to me accessory-wise as their backpack is unlike anything I’ve ever seen and it was very easy to put the board back in. The electric pump that came with the package is also a full game changer. No more sweat before even going onto the SUP!

Set-Up/ Take Down Time

It’s all well and dandy when you find a SUP, purchase it, and imagine it just being blown up next to the lake. But the truth of the matter is you still have a bit of work ahead of you in the set-up and take-down time. 

Set-Up/Takedown can be a bit of a difficult thing to measure as there’s many variables involved. Was the SUP properly folded the first time? Did you pump using a manual or electric pump? Did you have to clean it before packing up? 

Instead we just simply do a rating based on factors that we felt made the board easier or harder to pack up. Is the bag too small or is it just the right size? Do the paddles fit? How heavy is the package to carry to the shoreline? These are all questions we ask ourselves when testing these inflatable SUPs. 

SUPSet-up/ Take Down Rating
Blackfin Ultra CX9
Nixy Newport G49
Red Paddle Sport 11’3”8.5
iRocker All Around 11 Ultra8
Atoll 11 8
Nixy Monterey 8
Isle Switch8
Gili Adventure 128
BOTE HD Aero 11’6” 8
Bluefin Cruise 10’6”7.5

In this table, if you had a lightweight package that properly fit everything you got a pretty good score. Boards that are bigger and heavier with a lot more accessories included got a lower score due to the bulkiness of the package. As well as sometimes having to take a few re-folds to fit the board back into the bag. 

In this case, smaller boards like the Nixy Newport and Blackfin Ultra CX had high scores due to their dimensions which made both boards easier to fit back into their bags. 

Inflatable Paddle Board FAQs

Below are some common Inflatable paddle board FAQs that I get asked. 

If you have specific SUP Activities or are thinking of using your paddle board for a specific need click on the below two pictures!

How Do I Choose An Inflatable Paddle Board That Suits Me? 

To find the best inflatable paddle board that suits you here is what you need to look for.

Where Are You Paddling and What do You Need?
The Price You Pay
Shape 
Length
Width
Volume and Maximum Capacity
SUP Brands and their Relationship with Construction Materials
Features and Accessories

Of course, this is a quick overview. We go through all of this in out detailed How to Choose a Paddle Board guide

What Do I Need To Bring Paddle Boarding?

You need to bring the following items paddle boarding at the bare minimum:

– PFD
– A Paddle
– SUP Leash
– Water
– Sunglasses
– Phone Case

We give you a complete rundown on everything having to do with Paddle Board Accessories here. 

Conclusion

We hope this list and explanation of our criteria has been helpful to you and has at least given you a better understanding into the world of ISUP boards. That’s our main goal here. 

Keep in mind this is not the be all end all of the top rated paddle boards. There are a lot of makes and models that are excellent for a wide range of people of different sizes and skill sets. And next year this list will probably look a lot different to what it looks like now. 

We hope you use this as inspiration to get out there and be present with the natural world and all of its wonders.

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Author:
Hey, My name is Derek Lenze and I'm the owner of Inflatable SUP Authority. I've had over 20 years experience with watersports and over 10 years of various paddle boarding experience. My new-found passion is bringing my stand up paddle boaring knowledge in an explainable and actionable way all the while giving you my unbiased takes.