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 tired 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.

How We Chose the Best SUP Kayak Hybrid

Some on-water testing with scenery!

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 our on-water testing, we fit the board we receive with a kayak kit and we see how comfortable the vessel is to paddle. Oftentimes the seat you get makes a world of difference in terms of comfort and being able to paddle the vessel while seated for a longer duration.

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. 

The Best Paddle Board Kayak Hybrids Go as Follows:

(Best Kayak Hybrid Pick)
Isle Switch

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.
(Most Size Selections)
Bluefin Cruise  10'8

Bluefin Cruise 10'8"

  • Dimensions: 10’8” x 32” x 6”
  • Construction: 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC & Pro Weave Drop Stitch
  • Weight: 24 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 330 LBS
  • Best For: Paddlers who want a bunch of different size selections to choose from. 
(Sit-In Kayak Pick)
BOTE Deus Aero

BOTE Deus Aero

  • Dimensions: 11’ x 33” x 14”
  • Weight: 41 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 300 LBS
  • Materials: Military-grade PVC skin with AeroBOTE construction
  • Best For: Paddlers who want a sit-in kayak experience.
(Seamless Intigration Pick)
Isle Explorer 2.0

Isle Explorer 2.0

  • Dimensions: 12’ x 31.5” x 6”
  • Weight: 23 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 325 LBS
  • Construction: Infinity Fiber construction
  • Best For: Paddlers who want a highly adjustable SUP for kayak formation. 
(Most Rigid SUP)
Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10'8

Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10'8"

  • Dimensions: 10”8” L x 32” W x 6” D
  • Weight: 24 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 330 LBS
  • Construction: Dual Bladder 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC & Pro Weave Drop Stitch
  • Best For: Paddlers who want a premium and rigid SUP/ Kayak Package
(Premium Pick)
BOTE Lono Aero

BOTE Lono Aero

  • Dimensions: 12’6” x 35.5” x 20”
  • Weight: 51 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 LBS
  • Construction: Military-grade PVC skin with AeroBOTE construction
  • Best For: Paddlers who want a sit-in kayak experience with potential add-ons.
(Budget Pick)
Tahe Beach 11'6

Tahe Beach 11'6"

  • Dimensions: 11’6”x36”x6”
  • Weight: 25 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 440 Lbs
  • Materials Used: 3 Layer PVC Reinforcement with Twin Stringer Stiffening Technology 
  • Best For: Tandem Paddlers who want a full kayak kit included. 
(Touring Pick)
Gili Adventure 12

Gili Adventure 12

  • Dimensions: 12’ L x 3” W x 6” D
  • Weight: 23 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 330 LBS
  • Construction: Dual Layer fusion technology 
  • Best For: Longer distance paddling with add-on kayak seat. 
(Popularity Pick)
iRocker All Around 11

iRocker All Around 11

  • Dimensions: 11' X 32” X 6”
  • Weight: 26 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 400 Lbs
  • Materials: Triple Layer PVC
  • Best For: Beginner Paddlers who want a SUP that can grow with them. 

1. Isle Switch (Stability Pick) 

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11’6” x 35.5” x 6”
  • Materials: Air-Tech Fusion Lite
  • Weight: 19 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 425 LBS
  • Kayak Conversion Kit Included?: Yes

Why is it a Good Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid?

The Isle Switch is a great pick for those who want a super stable SUP that will make them feel secure while paddling a wide range of environments. The Isle Switch gives you almost unlimited tie-down points to safely tie down the kayak seat and footrest to fit paddlers of all sizes. 

Unlike a few other SUP packages, it already features everything you need to get started. You would think that a board like this would be heavier but it actually weighs an astonishing light 19 lbs. Which is highly unusual for a board of its dimensions. But great news for paddlers that are a variety of different sizes. 

On-Water Performance

The board’s wide width offers a good level of stability which makes it not just a great beginner’s paddleboard kayak hybrid but also a great beginner’s kayak. At 35.5” wide the board is able to support a wide range of folks from different paddling experience levels and backgrounds

The board has surprisingly good tracking as well thanks to its flex touring fin that is included in the package. The speed is also very impressive for a 35.5” paddle board. I’m not suggesting this to be used as a touring SUP but it does offer a lot of cargo room for multi-day trips.

Board Design

One of the things that stood out to me the most was the multiple lashing points provided by the Isle-Link connect system. This allows you to adjust the height to almost any paddler’s specific positioning. Of course, we have to talk about the kayak kit itself. 

The thing I like about this system is the fact that it features an inflatable high-back kayak seat coupled with an ergonomic kayak foot brace. This actually helps stabilize your legs which helps you use more of your core while paddling. While this may sound like a minute difference it makes a big difference after even an hour of paddling and helps take some pressure off of your back muscles. All of this comes with this kayak paddleboard hybrid. 

Accessories

The switch comes with everything you need to transport the SUP from your house to the shoreline. The travel bag is big and bulky which allows everything to fit into the package. I’d rather have a bulky bag over a bag that doesn’t fit the package any day!

The paddle is made of aluminum alloy and comes with a kayak blade and handle attachment that you can bring to make the conversion switch on the go. 

Pros

  • The board is very stable
  • Comes with everything you need including a kayak conversion kit
  • Footrests are a nice touch with the seat
  • The board is very lightweight
  • Has won many awards in 2023 including Paddling Magazine’s Best SUP, Paddle TV’s Best in Class, and Men’s Health Outdoor Awards

Cons

  • Paddle is aluminum which is heavier 
  • Pump is average

2. Bluefin Cruise SUP Package (Most Size Selections)

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
  • Kayak Conversion Kit Included?: Only in Royal Blue 

Total Score 8.3 (Averages of Below Scores)

  • On-Water Performance – 8.1
    • Stability: 8
    • Tracking: 8.5
    • Speed: 8
    • Maneuverability: 8 
  • SUP Construction – 9
  • Board Features  – 8
    • Deck Pad: 9
    • D Rings: 7.5
    • Deck Bungees: 7
    • Action Mounts: 8
    • Handles: 8.5
  • Accessories – 8.1
    • Backpack: 8
    • Paddle: 8
    • Pump: 7.5
    • Fins: 9
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8

Why is it a Good Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid?

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 SUPs, Bluefin suggests the 15’ model. 

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. 

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 who 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.

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 of paddling so much easier.

See our detailed Bluefin Cruise Review over here.

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 Deus Aero (Sit-In Pick)

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11’ x 33” x 14”
  • Materials: Military-grade PVC skin with AeroBOTE construction
  • Weight: 41 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 300 LBS
  • Kayak Conversion Kit Included?: Only Seat, Paddle Separate

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 which creates a strong and durable platform. You can feel safe and stable while sitting or standing on the Deus Aero in either a kayak or paddleboard configuration. 

For those who like the secure closed-in feeling of a sit inside kayak its a solid choice. Whats even better is the seat is uplifted which created less tension on your lower back. Shout out to those folks who just got into their 30’s!

The high sides of the board also add to the stability of the craft. Even if a lot of it is mental! 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”

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 paddling journeys.
  • Not ideal for rough waters or rapids.

4. Isle Explorer 2.0 Pro (Seamless Integration Pick)

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 12’ L x 31.5” W x 6” D
  • Construction: Infinity Fiber construction
  • Weight: 23 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 325 LBS
  • Kayak Conversion Kit Included? : Currently, yes

Total Score: 8/10 (Based on Accumulated Scores Below)

  • On-Water Performance – 8
    • Stability 8
    • Tracking 8
    • Speed 8
    • Maneuverability 7.5
  • SUP Construction – 8
  • Board Features  – 7.8
    • Deck Pad 8
    • D Rings 7
    • Deck Bungees 8
    • Handles 8
  • Accessories – 8
    • Backpack 8
    • Paddle 9
    • Pump 7.5
    • Fins 7.5
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8

Why is it a Good Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid?

The Explorer 2.0 Pro is a great paddle board kayak hybrid because it offers many of the same benefits as the Isle Switch but in a more hydrodynamic package. This is a board to strongly consider if you want an all-around style board that can go that extra bit further. 

There are also plenty of lashing points to properly hook up the Isle kayak conversion kit as well as extras you would want on the trip such as coolers of most sizes. The seat is more uplifted and comes with an uplifted footrest to gives you more balance while padding those kayak strokes.

On-Water Performance

So why go for this package over the Isle Switch? It won’t give you that primary stability but what it will give you is a more sleep profile which allows you to go out in the water faster and longer. The tracking will also be a bit better as the board has a slimmer width meant for longer paddling excursions. 

The Isle Explorer Pro will be a bit more tricky to maneuver thanks to its longer length and touring fit thats included. But the difference between maneuvering 11’6” boards compared to 12’ boards is pretty minor. 

Board Design

The Explorer 2.0 has a sleeker design with what could be described as a touring nose. The board gradually widens out to the base and features a slightly tapered tail. In my experience with boards like these, they offer okay primary stability but offer better secondary stability (side to side).

It uses a few unique technologies like Infinityfiber which are plastic strips on the top and bottom and side rails of the board. They act as one of those snap wrist toys you used to have as a kid. How it works is that these stringers roll up when the board gets deflated, making it easier to roll. When the board gets inflated it becomes extra rigid. In Fact, this is one of the more rigid boards out on the market today. 

Accessories

The Isle Explorer Pro has changed up a bit and now comes with a kayak conversion package which is good news for you folks! The Explorer Pro comes with a wheeled bag, 4 piece kayak paddle, inflatable seat / foot rest as well as a straight leash, touring fin and a small dry bag to put miscellaneous odds and ends.

This package has moved up a few positions due to the fact that Isle has now decided to include this package

See our detailed Isle Explorer 2.0 Review over here.

Pros

  • The board has unique construction that aids in its rigidity
  • Great board for tracking and a bit of extra speed
  • Lots of lashing points for a kayak hybrid seat
  • US Finbox spec 

Cons

  • Not as stable as the Switch

5. Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’4” (Most Rigid)

Specifications (for Cruise Carbon 10’8” model)

  • Dimensions: 10”8” L x 32” W x 6” D
  • Construction: Dual Bladder 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC & Pro Weave Drop Stitch
  • Weight: 24 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 330 LBS
  • Kayak Conversion Kit Included? : Yes 

Total Score 8.4 (Averages of Below Scores)

  • On-Water Performance – 8.25
    • Stability: 8.5
    • Tracking: 8.5
    • Speed: 8
    • Maneuverability: 8 
  • SUP Construction – 9.5
  • Board Features  – 8.6
    • Deck Pad: 9
    • D Rings: 8
    • Deck Bungees: 8
    • Action Mounts: 8
    • Handles: 9.5
  • Accessories – 8.1
    • Backpack: 8
    • Paddle: 8
    • Pump: 8
    • Fins: 8.5
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 7.5

Why is it a Good Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid?

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon is a great paddle board kayak hybrid because of the board’s extra rigidity and storage space onboard. Making it a handly board to store miscellaneous paddling essentials.

 However we ranked it lower than the Bluefin Cruise because in our testing we felt the price difference compared to The Cruise compared to what else is on the market wasn’t worth the price difference.

On-Water Performance

After some head to head on-water performance testing vs the original Bluefin Cruise, we found that the board was not too different other than the Cruise Carbon being a bit more stable in the water. 

Standing on the board for the first time the board had good initial stability and I didn’t feel too much wiggle when going from kneeling to standing. 

When paddling in kayak formation the board paddled at about the same rate and had similar tracking numbers. It’ don’t be the best tracking board on the list as it is shorter compared to some of the others but its maneuverability rates well. Especially when you take the two side fins off. 

Board Design

The Cruise Carbon actually has two chambers in the board that gives the board more rigidity. This makes the board feel more sturdy/ stable when you are sitting on it or standing. It also has carbon side rails on the sides that give that extra bit of protection on the sides against scrapes from rocks and docks all the while adding that extra bit of stability to the board.

One of the things I really like about the Bluefin boards are their crocodile textured deck pads. I’ve noticed this gives the board a tremendous amount of grip on both your feet and the kayak seat. Which helps keep things in place even if there is water on deck. 

Accessories

The Cruise Carbon offers some good quality accessories like the bag, paddle, triple action hand pump and a kayak conversion kit. So for those who don’t want to spend extra money on a kayak seat and conversion paddle the Bluefin Cruise has all of that included in the package which keeps a bit extra in your pocket. 

One of the things I had a bit of trouble with was the paddle. Sometimes the lock likes to come loose (it fell off right when I was filming). We are not sure if this is by conscience or it was the board I got but it is something to be wary of. Have a screwdriver handy before going out and check the tightness of the snap lock. 

See our detailed Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8″ Review over here.

Pros

  • The board has awesome rigidity
  • An upgrade in stability compared to the Cruise series
  • Has extra bungee room to stash items in the front and rear
  • Paddles comfortable in kayak formation

Cons

  • On-Water Performance does not warrant price difference between Cruise and Cruise Carbon
  • No measurements on paddle make adjusting a more manual process

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

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 12’6” x 35.5” x 20”
  • Construction: Military-grade PVC skin with AeroBOTE construction
  • Weight: 51 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 LBS
  • Kayak Conversion Kit Included?: Paddle Not Included

Why is it a Good Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid?

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. 

Much like the Bote Deus Aero , the Lono Aero offers you a more upright seating arrangement which will be easier on the lower back. Especially when comparing it to sitting on traditional paddle boards. 

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 enough but be wary of more difficuly conditions with waves. The Lono Aero 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 paddling experience when in this mode. Once you attach the rear top and rudders, you can enjoy a traditional sea kayak set-up. It should be noted that the rudder does come separatly.

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 most remarkable additions is the Magnepod floor. The deck base is magnetic and keeps magnetic drinkware and accessories connected 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. Or you can choose a more lightweight custom paddle of your choosing. Many people who get this kayak hybrid also get angling paddles that have a little snare on them to help with snared lines.

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.

7. 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
  • Kayak Conversion Kit Included? : Yes

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 have 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 flat water 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.

One of the boards best features is that you can actively use it as a tandem or a single all around board. Meaning you don’t have to spend more of your hard earned money to get a single tandem and single all around SUP!

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.

8. Gili Adventure 12 (Touring Pick)

The Gili Adventure 12 is a solid pick for those who want a SUP that can do and hold a little bit of everything. Some of the selling features on this board are that it features ample bungee deck webbing as well as rack mounts, and action mounts. And of course, it wouldn’t even be mentioned on this list if it wasn’t compatible with a kayak conversion setup! 

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 12’ L x 3” W x 6” D
  • Construction: Dual Layer fusion technology 
  • Weight: 23 LBS
  • Maximum Capacity: 330 LBS
  • Kayak Conversion Kit Included? : No

Total Score: 8/10 (Average of Below Numbers)

  • On-Water Performance – 8.1
    • Stability 8
    • Tracking  8.5
    • Speed 8.5
    • Maneuverability 7.5
  • SUP Construction – 8
  • Board Features  – 8.1
    • Deck Pad 8
    • D Rings 8
    • Deck Bungees 8
    • Mounts: 8.5
    • Handles 8
  • Accessories – 7.75
    • Backpack 8
    • Paddle 8
    • Pump 7
    • Fins 8
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8

Why is it a Good Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid?

The Adventure 12 is a great SUP for those who want to go further with a SUP that features good tracking and speed. Gili’s Adventure 12 also offers a clearly labeled kayak conversion kit that does not come with the board. 

On-Water Performance

In my testing of the Gili Adventure 12, I found that the board tracked very well in paddle board formation. Actually one of the better all-around style boards with 8-9 paddle strokes per side before having to switch sides. The speed of the Adventure 12 is pretty good too thanks to the board’s thinner build compared to a board like the Isle Switch. 

The Adventure 12 also has fair stability, mind you, it’s not the most stable board on this list in terms of standing up. I would recommend this board for beginner paddlers who have at least a bit of experience with stand-up paddle boarding. In kayak formation, most paddlers will be able to navigate this vessel. 

Board Design

The Gili Adventure 12 is one of my favorite designed all-around SUPs. Because of its sleek design, the board can be used for touring purposes for those who don’t want to go all out with a more expensive touring SUP. And if you get tired of standing, the Adventure 12’s 4 D rings help house a kayak conversion kit on the board. 

The board offers a ton of customizability with items built in such as action mounts, Scotty mounts, 3 rows of bungee deck webbing in the front and 2 in the rear. With this set-up you can use the action mounts to stash things such as cup holders, rod holders and even fishing racks with the Scotty mounts. The deck bungees offer a good amount of space on the board 

Accessories

The Adventure 12 has one of the better accessory packages in the ISUP world. Especially for the price you pay. Unfortunately, they main downside here is that it does not come with the kayak conversion kit. You have to buy that separately. 

The bag is one of the better organized and well-made bags in the SUP industry with lots of room to put the folded board. I also think the fin pocket label is very smart as well. The paddle is fiberglass which is pretty standard with a SUP of its price range but it’s a well-designed paddle. 

See our detailed Gili Adventure 12 Review over here.

Pros 

  • The board offers great tracking and speed
  • Is a great pick for those who want to paddle standing or sitting down during longer paddles
  • The accessory package is well thought out
  • Lots of room to attach and stow away lots of different gear

Cons

  • Does not come with the kayak conversion kit
  • An extra row of deck bungees would be a good addition.

9. 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 get 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
  • Kayak Conversion Kit Included? : No

Total Score: 8.4 /10 (Average of Below)

  • On-Water Performance – 8.5
    • Stability: 8.5
    • Tracking: 8.5
    • Speed: 8.5
    • Maneuverability: 8
  • SUP Construction – 8.5
  • Board Features – 9
    • Deck Pad: 9
    • D-Ring Placements: 9.5
    • Deck Bungee Space: 9
    • Action Mounts: 8
    • Handles: 9
  • Accessories – 7.5
    • Backpack: 7
    • Paddle: 8
    • Pump (Electric): 8
    • Fins: 7
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8.5

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 its 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 friend 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 seat. 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.  

See our detailed iRocker All Around 11 Review over here.

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

What is a Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid?

A SUP Kayak Hybrid or paddle board kayak hybrid is usually a paddle board that has add-on accessories such as kayak seats and kayak attachment blades that can help transform your vessel into a sit-down kayak. SUP kayaks can come in a wide variety of shapes, makes and sizes. Below are some examples of paddle board kayak hybrids.

  • Inflatable Paddle Board Kayaks (Our List Above)
  • Sup Kayak Crossovers (Hard Boards)

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.

If you are looking for an unbiased post comparing inflatable paddle boards vs kayaks click here.

Pros

  • Hybrids give you flexibility and versatility allowing you to paddle in kayak or SUP formation.
  • 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.
  • The deck is more flexible in terms of areas you can stash gear
  • You don’t have that “trapped” feeling that you get with sit-in kayaks
  • Does not fill up with water
  • Getting back on is far easier compared to sit inside kayaks
  • Inflatable SUP kayak hybrids are more portable

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. 
  • More adjusting to do to make the kayak SUP hybrid comfortable
  • Your Stuff will most likely get wet so dry bags are essential
  • Most Kayak SUP Hybrids ride over waves instead of cutting through like traditional pointed sea kayaks that have displacement hulls

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? 

This is an important factor when looking for a kayak hybrid. A good amount of SUP companies will have add-on accessory packages that are separate from their SUPs. However if the “kayak factor” is important to you we recommend finding a package like the Bluefin Cruise, Isle Switch which comes with packages included with them. 

Plenty of Deck Space

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!

High Maximum Capacity

This capacity ended up being too much!

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

Extra D Rings

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. Kayak seats usually come with 2 or 4 lashing points. Make sure to keep note of this when shopping for a kayak seat that is separate from the package. 

A Rigid Board

You’ll want to look for a board that can inflate to at least 15 PSI. This helps keep the board’s rigidity which allows it to perform how it should. The higher the PSI recommendations the higher quality materials the board is made of. Look for fusion or dual-layer PVC boards and avoid SUPs that are single-layer as those have a shorter lifespan. 

More Width More Stability 

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 for beginners, especially in more wavy waters when you are standing.

As a rule of thumb…

  • Wider Width = More Stability
  • Narrower Width = More Speed 

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.  We personally liked the Isle Switch and Bluefin Cruise lines for people who like paddle boards.

For those who like the more shut in kayak style, the Bote Deus Aero and Lono Aero are great picks. they give you the secure feeling of being in a kayak without having to wreck your lower back due to its upright seating system.

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

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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.