Best Family Paddle Boards

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Having searched the term “Best family paddle boards” I noticed a complete lack of results talking specifically about family paddle boards. Most of the articles you see on Google now will have the generic “Best paddle boards” or “best multi-person paddle boards”. But neither of these really hits home and tells you what makes a great family paddle board!

So in this article, we aim to change this. We will be going through our top picks of family paddle boards and tell you specifically what features make a great family paddle board! We have a few picks ranging from bigger all-around boards to multi-person SUPs depending on the size of your family. 

If you have a 2-4 person family check out our Best 2 Person Paddle Boards.

Why You Can Trust Us

At Inflatable SUP Authority we have spent the past few years filling up our paddle board database full of metrics that are based on the following criteria:

  • On-Water Performance
  • Construction
  • Board Features
  • Accessories
  • Set-up/ Take Down

The boards we have chosen have either been heavily researched by our team or have been tested by us. When looking at these boards we look at important metrics that matter for families such as stability, maximum capacity, construction (board rigidity) as well as on-board features and accessories that make the paddler’s life easier. 

Best Family Paddle Boards Reviews

As mentioned above these are picks that have been specifically noteworthy to us for family paddle board excursions. All you have to do is know how many members are coming with you! In each section, we will specify approximately how many people can go on one board. 

Best Paddle Boards for Families

  1. Gili Meno 11’6″ SUP – (Top Pick)
  2. Blackfin XL – (Alternative All Around Pick)
  3. Red Paddle Voyager 15 – (Premium Pick)
  4. Tower Xtreme Paddle Board – (High Capacity All Around Pick)
  5. Gili Manta Ray – (Big Family Pick)
  6. Sea Gods Diatom Ten6 CX – (Design Pick)
  7. Isle Switch – (Kayak Hybrid Pick)
  8. Bote HD Aero – (Family Fishing Pick)

1. Gili Meno 11’6” (Top Pick)


  • Dimensions: 11’6 x 35” x 6”
  • Maximum Capacity: 485 Lbs
  • Number of Paddlers: 2 adults and a child/ dog
  • Materials: Dual Layer Fusion Technology
  • Weight: 24 Lbs

Total Score: 8.3 (Average of Accumulated Ratings Below)

Why is it a Good Family Pick?

The Gili Meno 11’6” is a great family pick because of its impressive on-water performance metrics coupled with an impressive maximum capacity of 485 lbs which can carry two grown adults and a small child or two. It’s also versatile for a single adult who craves stability in conditions like boat wake and incoming waves. 

Infact we have tested this board with two full-grown adults and one of them was even able to stand while the other sat perched on the nose. The board handled admirably as we paddled to see the Kaslo Jazz Fest from the shore.

On-Water Performance

Families’ most important on-water metric is stability. You want to have a bunch of people able to ride the thing without constantly worrying about the board tipping right? The board’s maximum capacity is 485 lbs which is more than most all-around boards. You add to that the extremely durable dual-layer fusion construction along with the 35” wide board and you have yourself a pretty stable vessel! 

When we added 300 lbs (two full-grown adults) the board was still very stable when paddling. Even through waves that were brought by boaters. We feel like 2 adults and a child would be the ideal weight. You could try 2 kids but everyone would have to be seated

While the Gili Meno 11’6” won’t win any speed or races or be the best tracking board around it does a more than admiral job for the dimensions it’s given. Which makes it a great paddle board for a single adult to use when the family is doing other things. Why buy a multi-person SUP and a solo paddle board when you could have both on one board?

Board Design and Accessories

On top of being a very well-made board, we found the accessories and board features to be quite handy as well. The Gili Meno 11’6” offers 6 rows of removable bungee deck webbing which allows you to configure the board to how you want it. Got a few people onboard? Remove one of the bungees! 

It also comes with kid-friendly grab handles at the front and rear of the board that your smaller passengers can hold on to if your vessel encounters a big wave or two. 

The board also has action mounts that can support go pros to document the journey, fishing rod holders to drop a line or two in while paddling as well as Scotty Mounts which can transport this family vessel into a full-on silent fish stalker. 

The Scotty mounts can be used for racking systems which can give you more room for fishing rods and something to hang onto in case you encounter an unexpected wave. Just don’t tell the husband too much about this otherwise you may never see the SUP again 😉 

What We Liked

  • One of the most stable all-around boards we’ve tested
  • Has one of the highest maximum capacities of an all-around board
  • Can fit two adults and one child comfortably
  • Carbon side rails help with the board’s rigidity
  • The Meno 11’6” is very customizable

What We Didn’t Like

  • After 2 adults and 2 small kids on-water performance will start to suffer
  • May be considered expensive

2. iRocker Blackfin XL (Alternative All Around Pick)

Photo by Rich Loftin


  • Dimensions: 11’6” x 34” x 6”
  • Maximum Capacity: 485 Lbs
  • Number of Paddlers: 2 adults and a child/ dog
  • Materials: Triple Layer PVC Fusion
  • Weight: 29 Lbs

Why is it a Good Family Pick?

The Blackfin XL has a lot of similarities to the Gili Meno 11’6” including an equal 485 lb maximum weight capacity. So why is this board 2nd best? 

While the Blackfin XL does feature more action mounts, we felt that a lot of these add-ons would be better suited to fishermen as compared to the Meno 11’6”. The XL is also a heavier board thanks to the triple-layer PVC material that it is made of. 

At this point we are picking pins and needles but make no mistake, this board can be used as a tandem for two adults and a small child or two. The Scotty mounts can support a fishing rack in the back that can be used by the rear paddler for more stability for standing.

On-Water Performance

Photo by Shannon Scott

I have found in my testing though that heavier boards can be a tad bit more stable compared to lighter-weight SUPs but the extra width will still give the Meno 11’6” the edge. But really the shapes are very similar so there is not a lot between them.

In our research, we did find the Blackfin XL to be faster due to it being 1 inch less in width. Although its acceleration will take a bit more effort due to the board’s extra weight. 

In terms of tracking and maneuverability, this board blends these factors quite well. It will especially be easier for maneuverability compared to longer boards on this list like the Red Paddle Voyager 15.  Infact it can do a full 360 in 4.5 strokes or less!

Board Features and Design

The board offers a good number of onboard features that fishermen and add-on enthusiasts would love. Action and Scotty Mounts are a lot more prevalent on the deck which can make walking around the board a bit more tricky compared to the Meno 11’6”. This is especially true if you have 2 adults and a small child on board who want to find an uncluttered place to sit. 

The bungees onboard are removable both at the front and back which allows you to stow as much or as little onboard as you need. The board also features D rings on the side for a kayak seat which makes things more comfortable for passengers. 

For 2023 the iRocker Blackfin no longer comes with a carbon hybrid paddle or backpack. Instead, they allow you to build your own package separately which we believe should reflect the price point of the board. But the price has indeed stayed the same. 

What We Liked

  • Lots of Add-On Possibilities
  • The board has multiple reports of being stable
  • Blends a number of on-water factors very well
  • The board’s design is well thought out

What We Didn’t Like

  • Backpack, paddle, and pump are no longer included in package which is a shame
  • The Blackin line has had product recalls in past years

3. Red Paddle Voyager 15 (Premium Pick)


  • Dimensions: 15’ x 34” x 8”
  • Maximum Capacity: Not Stated
  • Number of Paddlers: 2 adults and 2 children or dogs
  • Materials: MSL Fusion Technology
  • Weight: 41.56 Lbs

Why is it a Good Family Pick?

The Red Paddle Voyager 15 is a great excursion pick that can comfortably fit 2 adults and a small child. It’s a great pick for those longer family paddling adventures where good tracking is of the essence. 

The board’s 15-foot length gives your family plenty of space to have their own designated area on the board. This gives you room to store other crucial items like drinks, snacks, and coolers along for the ride. There are also 3 sections of deck padding which gives your young ones confidence to move around without having to worry about slipping. 

The Red Paddle 15 foot is recommended to be paddled by at least 2 paddlers as it’s a bit of a heavy board and its 15-foot length will be easier being held by two people. One person on the nose and one on the tail when carrying it to the shoreline. 

On-Water Performance

A 15’ long 34” wide SUP will give you great tracking and a good amount of stability. Two people can easily paddle this board standing up. Although I would recommend that this board be used by paddlers who have a bit more Stand Up Paddle Boarding Experience. While this can be a decent pick for beginners, the board’s long length can cause a few issues for novices. 

Where this board will fall short is on the maneuverability side of things. It will take more effort to turn this board around compared to something shorter like the Gili Meno 11’6”. This is not so much the fault of the board but just down to simple physics and is the nature of longer/ narrower paddle boards. Especially 15’ ones.

This is why we suggest you use this board for longer paddling excursions that don’t have a lot of maneuvering to be done. Places like bigger lakes and coastlines seem to be this board’s calling. 

Boards Design and Accessories

The Voyager 15 offers a good amount of D rings that allow you to strap things such as coolers, tents, and children (just kidding!) to the board.  The front bungee system allows bigger gear to be stowed in the front of the board. Although we kind of wish they had some stowing in the back as well with some sort of removable bungee system. I often find that the back of the board is usually dryer compared to the front due to waves etc. 

The board also has a 2-center fin design which helps the board a bit more maneuverable compared to the common 2+1 fin setup.  The board’s 8” thickness also helps add more rigidity to the board which makes the board bend less and give it a more stable feeling when loaded up with more weight.

What We Liked

  • Lots of room for families to shuffle around and sit
  • Can travel a lot of distance due to the elongated shape
  • 8” thickness helps keep the board rigidity along with MSL fusion construction
  • Board has a 5-year warranty

What We Didn’t Like

  • This paddle board is very heavy and probably needs two people to carry it
  • Maneuverability will suffer on this board and the acceleration will suffer due to speed. 

4. Tower Xtreme Paddle Board (High Capacity Pick)


  • Dimensions: 10’4 x 35” x 8”
  • Maximum Capacity: 550 Lbs
  • Number of Paddlers: 2 adults and 1 child or dog
  • Materials: Dual Layer PVC
  • Weight: 29 Lbs

Total Score: 7.63/10 (The Averages of Below Scores)

  • On-Water Performance – 8.1
    • Stability 9.5
    • Tracking 7
    • Speed 7
    • Maneuverability 9
  • SUP Construction – 8
  • Board Features – 7.4
    • Deck Pad 8
    • D Rings 7
    • Deck Bungees 7
    • Handles 7.5
  • Accessories – 7.2
    • Paddle 7.5
    • Pump 7
    • Fins 7
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 7.5

Why is it a Good Family Board?

While the Tower Xtreme may be a bit shorter than what we are used to for a family board it more than makes up for it with its extremely high maximum capacity. Much like the Red Paddle Voyager board, the Xtreme features an extra rigid 8” thickness which is able to support extra weight that can go on this board. 

One of the reasons why we chose this board was the very clean deck layout. There are not as many action mounts, bungees, etc to step over so it’s a very clean layout that will keep you from tripping over items on deck

On-Water Performance

The Xtreme along with the Meno 11’6” are some of the most stable paddle boards we have tested. The Xtreme even helped my beginner friend who is not so great at balance stand in waves in its test paddle at Deep Cove! One of the other factors that impressed me was the board’s maneuverability. Because it is a 10’4” board (2” shorter than most all around SUPs) the board is able to easily steer compared to some of the longer SUPs on this list. But this comes at a compromise to tracking.

Ideally, this board is used more as a “family fun” type of board rather than for excursions as its tracking ability will not be as up to par as the previous boards reviewed. Things like a board for the family cabin or a casual family paddle in a small lake come to mind. 

Boards Design and Accessories

If a minimalistic design is your kind of thing then the Tower Xtreme could be a solid family pick. It’s definitely not a board that has a lot of features on it. The main things are what most standard SUP packages have onboard which are the bungees, deck pads, and the front/ rear handles. So if you were hoping to stash a ton of gear it may be a bit more tricky with this board. 

The accessory package is fairly basic as well like the Blackfin XL this board does not come with a bag to carry which can be seen as a pro and a con. The pro is it will take up less space with just the board rolled up while the con would be that it’s awkward to carry, even when rolled up. This can be a pain when you have a longer distance to walk to the shoreline.

What We Liked

  • The board is very stable on the water
  • Very rigid thanks to its 8” thickness
  • A clean deck allows a “stumble-free” experience
  • The board has great maneuverability ratings

What We Didn’t Like

  • The board does not come with a bag
  • Tracking is lacking
  • Its shorter than what we traditionally recommend for family boards

5. Gili Manta Ray 15 (Big Family Pick)


  • Dimensions: 15’x 56” x 8”
  • Maximum Capacity: 1150 Lbs
  • Number of Paddlers: 6 Adults
  • Materials: Military Strength PVC, Dual Chamber
  • Weight: 52 Lbs

Why is it a Good Family Board?

If you’ve got a big family then chances are an all-around board just won’t cut it. This is why we chose the Gili Manta-Ray 15’ multi-person SUP. It was rated the Best Giant Paddle Board on our list!

With an 1150 lb maximum capacity, you can have up to 6-7 paddlers on the board. Which makes it a pretty cool family bonding activity out on the lake! We do recommend that at least 4 people man this board as it will be very tough to get going with 2 people. 

On-Water Performance

Let’s get this out of the way now. I don’t recommend using this as an expedition board and I especially don’t recommend paddling this board in coastal conditions as its wide width can get you into some trouble.  This is more of a board for recreational purposes like an hour paddle in the lake at the cabin.

Being a 52” board the stability will be phenomenal. Similar to standing on one of those inflatable docks that you see accompany people’s cabins. Paddling the board straight and coordinating it with other family members is a different matter! Good communication and coordination are essential for paddling this board. Especially when you need to turn this bad boy around! 

Board Design and Accessories

The Gili Manta-Ray, like the our top pick the Gili Meno 11’6” offers a good amount of features on the board. The board offers 2 bungee deck storage areas as well as D rings on the side and 2 paddle holders as well to have someplace to put these paddles when they are not in use. The D rings can be used for coolers, kayak seats, or some other contraption your smart uncle or aunt could muster up!

This board has dual chambers and also comes with 2 pumps so that one person doesn’t have to do ALL the work. Whew just typing out that sentence makes me exhausted! The package also comes with 2 paddles and 5 sets of fins including a center fin to give the board some more traction in the water. 

Be wary, this is a heavy one as the board weighs 52 lbs! Thankfully the Manta Ray comes with 8 sets of grab handles to make this 2-4-person carry a bit easier. 

What We Liked

  • The Board is well thought out and comes with a lot of on-board features
  • Comes with 2 chambers and pumps to make pumping up this board more manageable
  • The board is supremely stable for 6 people
  • Lots of bungee deck storage room onboard for coolers etc.

What We Didn’t Like

  • This board is heavy and bulky
  • It will take at least 2 people to portage to the shoreline
  • Your family needs some coordination when paddling this vessel. 

6. Sea Gods Diatom Ten6 CX (Design Pick)


  • Dimensions: 10’6” x 34” x 6”
  • Maximum Capacity: 350 Lbs
  • Number of Paddlers: 1 adult and 1 child or dog
  • Materials: Cross Weave Drop Stitch Material with Fusion layering
  • Weight: 20 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 350 Lbs

Total Score: 8.7/10 (The Averages of Below Scores)

  • On-Water Performance – 8.5
    • Stability 9
    • Tracking 8
    • Speed 8
    • Maneuverability 9
  • SUP Construction – 9.5
  • Board Features – 8.2
    • Deck Pad 9.5
    • D Rings 8
    • Deck Bungees 8.5
    • Handles 7
  • Accessories – 8.6
    • Backpack: 8.5
    • Paddle 8.5
    • Pump 8.5
    • Fins 9
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8.5

Why is it a Good Family Board?

The Sea Gods Diatom Ten6 CX is a great family board thanks to the expansive deck pad and the rather uncluttered design of the board. Its ideal combination would be an adult and a child onboard. But if you have two smaller adults onboard you should be able to be accompanied by a child as well. 

The board is also one of the lightest on the list which makes travelling with the board a lot easier. Sea Gods have a solid accessory package included as well which makes transportation for this board a lot easier as opposed to some of the others on the list. Just throw it in the trunk and you are off! The bag also has wheels which means you can roll the package from the car to the shoreline with relative ease.

On-Water Performance

Having paddled the Diatom Ten6 CX I felt that the board was very stable. It was especially easy to walk across the deck and do more experienced maneuvers such as pivot turns. The board’s 34” width allowed it to be steady throughout as I walked from middle to tail. This translates well to families who have little ones who may want to move around while you are paddling

While you won’t win many races with this board (besides the point of family boards) it does have good maneuverability. Making it a solid all-around board for areas that require a bit more steering input. Its an especially stable board when it comes to encountering waves and wind. 

Board Design and Accessories

The Sea Gods Diatom TEN6 is rather unique in how it’s designed. They work with local and international artists to print their canvas onto the board design making each board a stunner. This particular design was done by Jamie Locke who specializes in designing mandalas. 

The boards offers 5 rows of bungee deck webbing and has 4 free D rings in the middle which can be used for Kayak seats or even coolers. 

What We Liked

  • The Diatom Ten6 is very stable for a board of its dimensions
  • Can carry 2 smaller adults and a child/ dog
  • A great board to also use for yoga
  • Lightweight and easy to carry to the shore
  • Has one of the better drop stitch constructions of anything on this list

What We Didn’t Like

  • Board’s length dimensions are shorter than what you would expect from a family sized SUP
  • Not the best board for long excursions

7. Isle Switch (Kayak Hybrid Pick)


  • Dimensions: 11’6” x 35.5” x 6”
  • Maximum Capacity: 425Lbs
  • Number of Paddlers: 2 adults and 1 child or dog
  • Materials: Cross Weave Drop Stitch Material with Fusion layering
  • Weight: 19 Lbs

Why is it a Good Family Board?

The Isle Switch is a great high-capacity pick that offers more than your standard ISUP package. This package comes with a highback inflatable kayak seat and footrest that allows you to activate your core more when paddling. 

It is also compatible with another kayak seat which will allow you to fit two grown adults. Making it a good tandem paddle board kayak hybrid. If you and your paddling partner are under the maximum capacity a small child or pup could even join you on their lap!

On-Water Performance

The Isle Switch has fantastic stability thanks to the board’s 11’6” and 35.5” length and width dimensions. These dimensions allow you to sit or stand comfortably with your kid or dog while you paddle through the still lake. 

You would think that this would be a slower paddle board but it is infact quite the opposite! Despite the board’s wider dimensions, it can still move at a decent clip. And when the board is transformed into kayak mode you can paddle at a slightly faster clip due to the kayak paddle extension piece. 

Board Design and Accessories

The Switch’s design is rather unique among paddle boards but also handy for having multiple passengers onboard. The Switch has a loop system on both sides of the board which allows you to clip the kayak seat and footrest attachments where you choose. Because of this feature, you can have this board go in a tandem setup. You just need to purchase an extra kayak seat and footrest to make it happen

Some other note-worthy features include the 5 rows of bungee deck webbing (3 in the front and 2 in the back) as well as a paddle holder on the side which is great for when you want to just have a little savasna in the sun!

What We Liked

  • The Board comes with a lot of useful accessories including a kayak conversion kit
  • Has a high weight capacity and can be used as a tandem
  • The Board is stable with one person and a child
  • The switch is actually pretty quick in the water for its dimensions

What We Didn’t Like

  • The deckpad is fairly small when compared to others on this list
  • The package will be bulky to carry due to all the accessories it comes with

8. BOTE HD Aero 11’6” (Family Fishing Pick)


  • Dimensions: 11’6 x 34” x 6”
  • Maximum Capacity: 315 Lbs
  • Number of Paddlers: 1 Adult and small child/ dog
  • Materials: AeroBote technology
  • Weight: 30 Lbs

Total Rating 8.25/ 10 (Averages of Below Scores)

Why is it a Good Family Board?

The Bote HD Aero is a good board for one parent and a kid. For example, a father (or mother) son/ daughter fishing trip comes it mind. Anything more and you may be testing the limits of the board due to its 315 maximum weight capacity. 

On-Water Performance

The Bote HD Aero is another very stable board that feels like you are standing on a square platform in the water. But not enough where I felt I could have two adults and a child standing on it.

It should be noted that this is a slower board that was made for fishing purposes and won’t be an excursion companion. I also don’t recommend paddling this board against the full tide. It was a lot of work to get through a kilometer I’ll tell you that much! See above video

Board Design and Accessories

The HD Aero has a relatively clean deck although there is a bit less room to stand on this board compared to some of the other boards that have the easy clip removable deck bungees. Still, the Bote HD Aero has a good amount of add-on possibilities such as the Magnepod system (magnetic pod that holds those drinks), free D rings that can strap a cooler as well as D rings on the side for a kayak seat. 

One of the more interesting innovations is the paddle sheath that is attached to the front of the board. While you do need tools to initially install it, it is handy to just be able to be standing and store your paddle in the sheath with relative ease. Especially when you are casting!

What We Liked

  • Good stability for an adult and child
  • Lots of fishing add-on possibilities
  • Magnepod system for your drink is cleaver

What We Didn’t Like

  • The capacity is not enough to be a tandem for two adults
  • Not a ton of deck room due to the bungee layout
  • This is a heavier package at 30 lbs weight 

How We Chose What Makes a Good Family Paddle Board

After testing many boards over the past years the ones picked above met a few of the below criteria. Even if none of these options suit you the below criteria will help you choose your boart wisely. 

Paddle Board Stability

Stability is the name of the game when looking at multi-person paddle boards. If there was one thing to pay the most attention to when looking for a family board it’s on-water stability. What determines what has good stability is:

  • Longer Length: Look for a board that is 10’6 and up
  • Wider Width: You typically want to see boards be at least 33” wide and above from the middle.
  • Boards Shape: Boards where the width tapers less aggressively will be more stable on a whole.

As you see on our list we have a wide range of different board lengths and widths. For example, the Gili Manta Ray will be a vastly different beast to paddle compared to the Sea Gods Diatom. 

The Gili Manta Ray will undoubtedly have more stability because of its size, but as a result, it is much more of an effort to paddle, hence why we recommend you have at least 4 people on board paddling the Manta Ray board.

The Sea Gods Diatom Ten6 CX is more than half the weight of the Manta Ray and will be considerably easier to maneuver and paddle. This board will be less stable and be able to carry fewer people because of its smaller dimensions. 

To get to the bottom of it, paddle boards with bigger dimensions will be able to hold more weight and therefore more people onboard. This brings us to our next criteria…

A High Maximum Capacity

In this case 3 big boys on 1 board didn’t go!

The next most important factor is maximum capacity and really this criteria goes hand in hand with stability.

When you are shopping for a family SUP you want something with a high maximum capacity. We recommend looking at a board that has 350 lbs and above loaded capacity. Meaning look for a board where its on-water performance is NOT disturbed by that loaded weight. As soon as you get over the maximum capacity of a paddle board the performance and stability deteriorate greatly. 

As you can see from the above examples the maximum capacity of the multi-person boards is almost double compared to the all-around boards. Making them better picks for 4-6 paddlers to be on the board at a time. While the all-around boards can get 2 adults and a small child or dog. 

Paddle Board’s Construction

What a paddle board is made of is more and more important as a higher weight is placed on the board. The bottom line is you don’t want the board to sink in and feel like you are paddling a banana! 

“Figuring out a board’s construction is not as cut and dry as the first set of criteria where you simply have to look at dimensions and capacity numbers. It can be tough the get a read on how well a board is built based on terms that get thrown around a lot like “fusion”, “military grade” and “Cross threaded drop stitch”.

Single-layer PVC is definitely a no-go and should not be considered for family paddling purposes as it is too flimsy and will make the board sag in the water.  

We usually like to see boards that have fusion layering as this process involves two layers of PVC being heat welded together taking away the manual work of glue. Dual-layer or triple-layer PVC is good as well although the boards that use this material tend to be heavier. “

– Editors Notes

Some ways to tell if the boards are made of good materials are:

  • Warranty Policy: Look for something that has at least a 2-year manufacturer defect warrant
  • Customer Reviews on 3rd party sites: Places like Reddit, Facebook reviews and reputable review sites will tell you exactly what you need to know about the boards. 

Lots of Deck Room

One of the most important things I look for is a wide expansive deck pad area. When you and your family are on one board you want grip on your feet and knees all over the board.  PVC becomes slippery when it is wet so having that deck pad area will help your feet or bum grip onto the board, even if you encounter waves. 

It’s also to look for a board deck that is relatively clutter-free. Meaning does the board have lots of action mounts, D-Rings, non non-removable deck bungees that get in the way? You can’t always watch your step when paddling and looking forward!

OnBoard Features

On the flip side if you want to bring a lot of gear with you then having onboard features can help clear up valuable deck space. 

  • Deck bungees: Can help stash cargo such as backpacks, dry bags, and small soft coolers onboard
  • Paddle holders: Give you space to clip your paddle so that it does not take up any valuable deck space or worse have someone trip on it
  • Action Mounts: Yes they can take up deck room but you want to document your family paddle then these are godsends. They can also be compatible with speakers, fishing rod holders, cup holders, and even cellphone holders. 
  • Scotty Mounts: While these may be uncomfortable to sit on they can support fishing racks which allows the rear paddler to grip onto it for extra stability should you come across waves and such. 

Accessories to Look For

Most paddle board packages come with a bag, pump, paddle, repair kit, and leash. Some come with more and some are better quality than others.  Here are a few things that you should look for when looking for a paddle board for a family. 

Backpack: Ideally you want a bag that is comfortable to wear IE it has a lot of paddling on the back and shoulder straps. I also look for extra pockets on the front and sides of the bags for odds and ends like leashes, repair kits, fins, etc. If you have a heavier board look for a bag that has wheels

Paddle: The quality of the paddle will not matter as much as having a paddle that floats and is durable. Families that are looking for SUPs are not looking for carbon paddles or anything like that. I personally think fiberglass paddles offer a good amount of durability while being lightweight enough to not really notice the paddle weight over time. Aluminum paddles are a lot heavier and can be noticed after paddling for a few hours.

Pump: Here is my recommendation, Get an electric pump, seriously just do it. Electric pumps save a lot of energy and allow you to have time to set up the board while it’s being blown up. I would personally rather spend that peak energy paddling rather than pumping air into the board. Fortunately, more and more paddle board packages come with electric pumps now!

Kayak Kits: Paddle boards don’t NEED to have this but it does make life easier, especially if all the family is seated. Kayak seats help save your back because you can lean on them, thus saving your back from aches and pains. The kayak blades that come with kayak conversion kits can help you paddle more efficiently giving you more paddle strokes per minute compared to just paddling with a just a SUP paddle. 

FAQ’s on Family Paddle Boards

Below are some of the common FAQ’s folks ask us about inflatable paddle boards for their families.

Should I Get an All Around Tandem or Multi-Person SUP?

What you should get will depend on the following factors:

  1. How Many Family Members of your family are going
  2. What the approximate maximum weight of you and your family are

The more weight/ family members the bigger the board you should get. If you have a large family who wants to paddle together then a Multi-Person SUP is ideal, if you have 2 adults and 1 to 2 kids then a tandem would be ideal. If you have two adults and a kid then an all-around board with a maximum capacity of at least 350 lbs will suffice. 

Can 2 Adults Go On an All Around Paddle Board?

Yes, two adults can go on an all-around board but you have to look at things like the board’s dimensions and maximum weight capacity. A longer and wider board like the 11’6” long 35” wide Gili Meno 11’6” will be able to be more stable than a regular 10’6” long 32” wide board. 

You also want to check the maximum weight capacity to what you and your paddling partner’s weight is. You can both step on a scale and add both weights together and compare it to the all-around board maximum capacity.

How Big of a Paddle Board Do You Need for 3 People

How big of a paddle board you will need for 3 people will depend on what the maximum weight of the 3 paddlers. If you are two adults and a child then you could get away with paddling a larger all-around board with a higher weight capacity. If you are 3 adults then a tandem board will be a better option for you. 

How Do You Paddle with 2 Or More People On a Paddle Board?

For maximum performance, you have to be synchronized when paddling a paddle board to give the board the maximum burst of speed. However, if you and your family are just casually paddling there is no need to be synchronized. Where you will need some coordination is when you both want to turn the board around. In this case, communication is key!

So What Is The Best Family Paddle Board?

Based on our research and extensive testing we found that the Gili Meno 11’6” was the best paddle board for families. It is lightweight and portable enough to throw into the trunk all the while having an impressive 485 maximum capacity and we well laid out deck plan.  We even tested the board out with 2 adults paddling to a music festival and it was perfectly stable, even through waves. 

For larger families, we recommend the Gili Manta Ray 15’ Multi Person paddle board. Especially in environments like small lakes or a family cabin. 

Picking a family paddle board can be straightforward when you roughly know who’s going with you and what to look for. We hope we helped you learn something! Got any other suggestions? Let us know on our Facebook page!

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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.