Best Paddleboard Kayak Hybrid

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Paddle Boards and kayaks have so many similarities, why not group them together to make a trifecta of awesomeness for both you and your legs. 

Let’s face it, there are many times when paddle boarders get tried on their feet and need to have a sitdown for a bit. But with no back support, this can really put a strain on your lower back which can cause a slipped disk. This is something I recently dealt with in the offseason. So in this list, we go through the best paddleboard kayak hybrids that make sense for your back.

IN this list I’m ranking the Bote Deus Aero as the top pick for the best paddleboard kayak hybrid.

The Deus Aero has many features that help it stand out from the competition. From its superior construction to the deep sidewalls, as well as its uplifted and surprisingly comfortable seat.

As someone that’s spent over 20 years involved in water sports across the U.S. and Canada, I’ve been lucky enough to test out a wide range of kayaks, paddleboards, and hybrids. 

In this article, I’ll cover what you should look for in a hybrid and my picks for the best paddleboard kayak hybrid on the market. Let’s start with the picks. 

Best Paddle Board Kayak Hybrids

A paddleboard kayak hybrid is all about versatility and trying to get the best of both worlds. In this list, we choose vessels that can be a great choice for bridging both worlds. 

1. Bote Deus Aero (Top Pick)

The Bote Deus Aero provides everything you need for a day on the water. This hybrid provides a firm but a comfortable platform to sit on to help ease the strain on your lower back.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11’ x 33” x 14”
  • Materials: Military-grade PVC skin with AeroBOTE construction
  • Weight: 41 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 300 LBS

Why is it a Good Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid?

The unique design of this inflatable board uses composite drop stitch fibers. This means you get an even distribution of PSI throughout the boat that creates a strong and durable platform. You can feel safe and stable while sitting or standing on the Deus Aero in either kayak or paddleboard configuration. 

The high sides of the board also add to the stability of the craft. This also allows you to keep your gear safe and dry while boating. It’s a great learning tool for SUP pups in training!

On-Water Performance

Bote classifies this craft as a beginner model. While it is classified as a beginner craft, you still get plenty of on-water performance from the Deus Aero. I found the high sit-on design to be stable and comfortable. As for paddleboarding, the high-wall design helps keep you and your stuff dry and secure in rougher waters. 

Board Design

The Deus Aero is one of the easiest hybrids to convert. You simply pop the top off and you are ready to paddleboard. Which is much easier than clipping and adjusting straps on kayak seats. 

Kayaking is incredibly comfortable on the Deus Aero. You can fish and sail for hours thanks to the comfortable uplifted seating position. Just don’t forget to keep your back straight!

This kayak has many safety features as well including a self-draining cockpit and plenty of bungee tie-downs to secure your gear. 

Accessories

Included with the Bote Deus Aero you’ll receive a 10” Aero center fin, removable foot bar, repair kit, hand pump, and travel bag. This is everything you need to quickly get the kayak ready. Bote offers an electric pump but you’ll have to pay extra for the convenience. 

There are additional accessories you can add to it to make it a decent fishing vessel as well. But if you are planning to go the full 9 yards with fishing take a look a bit further down at the Bote Lono Aero 12’6”

What Customers Think

Reviews of the Bote Deus Aero are great. With a whopping 82% of five-star reviews on Amazon, it’s hard to find any negative reviews about this kayak hybrid.

Reviewers tend to love the construction and the abundant space for gear on the kayak. There is also plenty of room for children or pets in the kayak. As for shortcomings, reviewers tend to have difficulty placing the kayak back in the bah without using an electric pump to properly deflate every last bit of air. 

Pros

  • Easily switches between kayak and SUP.
  • The tough construction resists scrapes and blemishes.
  • Collapses into a small backpack and can easily fit in your trunk.
  • The sit-on-top design makes it easy to stay dry while in use. 

Cons

  • There are no paddles included.
  • Difficult to put the kayak back into the bag without an electric pump. 
  • The seat is slightly uncomfortable for extended boating journeys.
  • Not ideal for rough waters or rapids.

2. Bluefin Cruise SUP Package (Most Size Selections)

Bluefin Cruise SUPs

Just like people, the Bluefin Cruise SUP package comes in a variety of sizes. Whether you’re a youth or an adult, Bluefin has a board that will fit you. You can choose from 10’, 12’, or 15’ versions. There’s even a Cruise Junior that is ideal for kids

Not sure which size is right for you?  As a general rule of thumb, Bluefin recommends riders under 6’ and 187 LBS to use the 10’8” board. Riders over 6’ and 187 LBS should upgrade to the 12’ model. For tandem riding, Bluefin suggests the 15’ model. 

Specifications (for Cruise 10’8” model)

  • Dimensions: 10’”8” x 32” x 6”
  • Construction: 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC & Pro Weave Drop Stitch
  • Weight: 37 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 330 LBS 

Why is it a Good Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid?

Of course, the number one thing that stands out about this package is the fact that it comes with a kayak seat and conversion paddle. 

The accessories included with the Bluefin also help it stand out. The dual action pump is one of the better ones I’ve seen. I also appreciate the secure action camera mount that lets me capture my boating adventures while keeping the camera safe and squarely secured to the board.

The backpack is pretty good as well. Packing up an inflatable kayak can sometimes be much harder than you expect. Bluefin gives you a bag that has plenty of breathing room inside. This will make packing up after a long day paddling so much easier.

On-Water Performance

The Cruise Package is a great option for all-around use. It has a hydrodynamic design that lets it glide smoothly across the water with relatively little effort.  

It also features a non-slip deck pad that helps you stay upright. Larger riders also have the option of upgrading to a larger board to ensure they’re stable while paddling. In addition, there is a secure cargo net to protect your belongings while paddling. 

Board Design

The Cruise is an ideal option for riders that want a light yet sturdy hybrid. While the nose is slightly narrow, the board opens up to a wide stance that is stable for most water conditions. 

The kayak conversion seat kit is well constructed and gives plenty of support. I found it fairly comfortable for prolonged use. Although truthfully there are more comfortable kayak seats out there.

Accessories

Accessories include a backpack, double-action pump, and camera mount. You’ll also find fiberglass paddles included with the paddleboard. There’s also a waterproof smartphone case and SUP repair kit.

What Customers Think

Most reviews of the Bluefin Cruise are positive and owners enjoy its sturdiness and value for money the most. Kayak owners also appreciated the customer service skills of Bluefin concerning repairs. They also noted the kayak is easy to pack into the backpack compared to other inflatable paddle boards (I’m looking at you Serenelife!). 

Pros

  • Available in 3 sizes to fit any sized rider.
  • A universal Camera mount makes taking pictures safe and easy.
  • The included fiberglass paddle is lightweight and adjustable. 
  • The pump is easy to use and inflates the board in minutes.

Cons

  • The slightly narrow board can be difficult for inexperienced riders.
  • Some users have had issues with the main valve leaking.
  • Heavier than some competitors.

3. Bote Lono Aero 12’6″ (Premium Pick)

If money is no object and you want one of the best SUP kayak hybrids on the market, I suggest checking out the Bote Lono Aero. This vessel offers excellent versatility and is one of my favorite hybrid options. 

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 12’6” x 35.5” x 20”
  • Construction: Military-grade PVC skin with AeroBOTE construction
  • Weight: 51 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 LBS

Why is it a Good Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid?

This board is well designed and built. It has tons of features you won’t see in cheaper inflatable paddle board models. It also gives you room to grow as you go from beginner to advanced kayaking. 

It features the genius magnet pod technology that allows you to magnetically place objects like cups onto the board without having to worry about it spilling. It also features a similar hassle-free seat set-up as the Deus Aero. 

On-Water Performance

This hybrid is a joy to use. It rides smoothly and is incredibly stable. In kayak mode, the boat is fast and reliable in rougher waters. While paddleboarding you’ll feel safe and stable but may have difficulty in winds due to the high wall design of the kayak.

If you need more speed or want to travel farther, I suggest adding the pedal drive. This converts the kayak to a pedal kayak. Who needs paddles anyways!?

If you fish in shallow water, this kayak features a keel guard and side bite fins to protect its underside. 

Board Design

The Lono Aero board design is top-notch. Built with Bote’s patented AeroBOTE technology, this craft is durable and tough as nails. It’s also incredibly rigid and gives the board a stable ride even in tough waters.

The deep sidewalls and high seat position give you a true kayak experience when in this mode. Once you attach the rear top and rudders, you can enjoy a traditional kayak experience. 

Do you prefer pedal power? The Lone Aero has a pedal port and you can attach the optional pedal kit to power your kayak. This gives you another way to propel your boat on longer adventures. You get an arm and a leg workout all in the same day! You can throw away that elliptical now! 😉

There are also a ton of ports, D-rings, and bungee connections to keep your gear secure on the kayak. One of the coolest additions is the Magnepod floor. The deck base is magnetic and keeps magnetic drinkware and accessories secured to the base without additional tools. 

If you plan to take a cooler with you there is a KULA port on the rear of the kayak that can secure a KULA 5 cooler

Accessories

The Lono Aeros does not come with a paddle but has many other accessories. You’ll find a hand pump, backpack, center fin, repair kit, RAC receivers, and sand spear sheath in the package. 

Bote also sells a great 5-piece adjustable paddle that makes paddling easy and comfortable from any height or position. 

What Customers Think

The majority of reviews of the Lono Aero on Amazon are glowing. Owners love the adaptability and ease of use of this kayak. They also state the Lono Aero is easy to set up and take down

Some of the reviews state the Lono Aero is difficult to get back into due to the high walls of the vessel. They also have a harder time in windy weather due to the high wall design. 

Pros

  • Extremely adaptable with tons of accessories.
  • Tons of secure space for your gear. 
  • 8 grab handles make carrying the kayak a breeze.
  • The rigid base makes this kayak quite stable. 

Cons

  • No included paddle
  • The high profile can make it difficult to use in the wind.
  • The high price tag can deter beginner paddlers.

4. iRocker All-Around 11 W/ Conversion Kit (Popular Pick)

iRocker accessories

The iRocker All Around is one of the most popular paddleboards on the market. Once you add the conversion kit to the SUP, you got yourself a solid kayak hybrid. I have personally tested this board with the conversion set-up and it works like a charm.

Specifications 

  • Dimensions: 11’ x 32” x 6”
  • Construction: Triple layer military-grade PVC – drop stitch core.
  • Weight: 26 LBS 
  • Maximum Capacity: 435 LBS

Why is it a Good Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid?

I find the All-Around to be a flexible and versatile paddleboard. You can take the iRocker All-Around 11 in a wide variety of environments, better yet it’s slimmer long board profile allows it to be an ample touring companion. 

This board features a high maximum weight capacity. This means you can take more gear or your kids along for the ride. It also has handles at the front so that your kids can hang on when that pesky boat comes flying around the bend. 

Finally, it’s easy to set up and takedown. The triple-action pump won’t tire you out as much as the single and the bag has plenty of room to fit the paddleboard once deflated. For this board, I personally recommend their electric pump if you plan on making this a weekly thing. 

On-Water Performance

This board is stable and stiff. It will allow you to carry a ton of extra gear or passengers. While not as fast as the iRocker Sport line, you should be able to maintain a good speed on the water. It also glides well and offers decent maneuverability. The below video I made with my friends Irocker 11 details how the board paddles.

With a 435 pound maximum capacity the board paddled just fine with the extra weight that I loaded onto it. Although I did have to exert a bit of effort to maneuver the board.

Board Design

The 11’ board is well designed and is ideal for novice to experienced riders. I find it has a great balance of stability, maneuverability, and speed. My friend tried his for the first time last year and had no problems standing whatsoever. 

To convert this board into a kayak, you’ll need to purchase a kayak conversion kit. Luckily the iRocker conversion kit is comfortable and relatively easy to install. 

Accessories

Included with the SUP you receive a carbon matte paddle, repair kit, triple action hand pump, 3 fins, and a safety leash. The kayak conversion kit is available separately and includes everything you need to sit upright and kayak on the SUP. 

What Customers Think

Many customers like that the iRocker all-around has room for plenty of gear or extra passengers. Its high weight capacity lets you bring your kids, pets, coolers, and more on trips. 

They also applauded its construction, rigidness, and durability. Although there are some reports about the company being a bit slow to get a hold of sometimes.  

Pros

  • Excellent maneuverability.
  • Includes lightweight carbon matte paddle. 
  • High maximum weight capacity.

Cons

  • Not ideal for very choppy water or large surf.
  • No sand spear or fishing rack mounts like on the Blackfin XL

5. Tahe 11’6″ Beach (Budget Pick)

Are you a paddleboarder on a budget? The Tahe Beach is a good bet that lets you enjoy endless hours on the open water. 

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11’6” L x 36” W x 6” D
  • Construction: 6” thick military-grade drop-stitch
  • Weight: 25 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 440 LBS

Why is it a Good Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid?

Besides being affordable, this SUP has many features. It is lightweight for its size making it easy to transport on land and simple to pack up once you’re done for the day.

It also has a high max capacity that lets you bring additional passengers or more gear. If you got a family looking to get out on the water this would be a solid pick. Save the effort of getting the canoe!

On-Water Performance

This paddle board has a wide stern that lets you have a smooth and stable ride. It tapers to a narrower bow that helps the craft glide and maintains speeds as well. While you probably should avoid heavy surf on this paddleboard, it is great for all-around flatware and touring and family use.

Board Design

You get a rigid and stable ride thanks to the reinforced rail stringers and 36” width of this board. 

Converting the SUP is simple using the included kayak kit. The kit comes with 2 chairs letting you bring along another passenger. You can also customize the location of the seats to give you a more comfortable ride

Accessories

Included with the paddleboard you get 2 paddles, 2 removable seats, and 2 footrests. You’ll also find a carry-all backpack, 2-way pump, repair kit, and 3 flex fins. In terms of what comes with the board, this is one of the more feature-rich boards on the list.

What Customers Think

Reviewers of the Beach Sup-Yak find it’s a good board for all-around use. They also find it easy to roll it back into the back. Some reviews complained that the package does not have detailed instructions. Instead, owners need to use a QR code to download the instructions off the internet. 

Pros

  • Budget-friendly but filled with pro features.
  • Excellent maximum weight capacity.
  • One of the lightest options on our list.

Cons

  • You need to download the quick-start manual to your smartphone.
  • Not recommended for advanced riders.

Pros and Cons of SUP Kayak Hybrids

Let’s talk about why you should invest in a SUP kayak hybrid. Here’s a list of pros and cons concerning choosing that can help you decide if a hybrid is right for you.

Pros

  • Hybrids give you flexibility.
  • A Great option for Big Guys
  • Save money compared to buying both a kayak and SUP.
  • Ability to use different muscles while on longer trips.
  • Ability to adjust the position to account for calm or rough waters.

Cons

  • A high-end specialized kayak or SUP will outperform a hybrid.
  • SUP conversions are not as comfortable as some kayak seating options.
  • There is an adjustment period for kayakers that start using a SUP kayak hybrid. 

Components That Make a Good SUP Kayak Hybrid

When looking for a high-end SUP kayak hybrid you’ll want to consider the following before investing in a new craft.

Does the craft include a conversion paddle that works while kayaking and paddleboarding? If not, you’ll need to purchase this separately.

I prefer SUP kayak hybrids that offer plenty of deck space. A large deck space gives you plenty of room for fishing gear, camping gear, or passengers. If you enjoy taking your kids or pets along on your trips. In my opinion, it’s better to get a bigger board and have more room available than a smaller board with less room!

A kayak that offers a high maximum capacity means you can take more stuff with you. Even if you don’t weigh a lot, a high maximum capacity lets you carry more gear or passengers.

Higher Maximum Capacity = More Possibilities

The more D-rings on your craft the better. D-rings let you attach items to your kayak. Most manufacturers will have at least 2 D-rings in the middle of the craft

You’ll want to look for a board that can inflate to at least 15 PSI. This helps keep the boards rigidity which allows it to perform how it should. Before following this advice, be sure that the manufacturer you bought from can hold this PSI!

You’ll also want a stable board. A good rule of thumb for beginners is to ride a paddleboard that is at least 32” wide. Anything smaller may be difficult to balance especially in more wavey waters.

Truth Be Told Many SUPs can be Turned into Kayak Hybrids

Do you already own a SUP? You’re in luck. Most of the time you can buy a conversion kit that transforms your paddleboard into a kayak. As long as your current paddleboard meets the criteria I’ve explained above, you should have no problem attaching a conversion kit to your SUP. 

Many manufacturers make SUP conversion packages that add a high-quality seat to your SUP. I’ve previously discussed the best SUP seats in a previous article. These packages offer ease of installation and comfort. They’re also less expensive than investing in a new paddleboard kayak hybrid

Should You Get A Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid?

If you want to enjoy paddleboarding and kayaking, then yes. Hybrids offer the best of both worlds and are ideal for boaters of all skill levels.  The Bote Deus Aero is our top pick. It is incredibly well designed and crafted. The board is rugged, stiff, and offers excellent stability for most riders. The high-seat position is comfortable and is ideal for fishing or long day trips on the water. 

Unique to the Deus Aero, the deep walls and self-draining cockpit keep you and your gear dry and safe while on the water. 

If you have deeper pockets and a keen interest in fishing then the Lono Aero would be the ultimate choice. 

Got any other good picks? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram!

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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.