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Best iSUP: Best Inflatable Paddle Boards on the Market

Taurus Paddle Board

Taurus Paddle Board

Updated on 7/10/2024
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail 👋 Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
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In recent years, outdoor water sports have been swept up by paddleboarding, with inflatable paddle boards becoming increasingly popular. According to a report by the Outdoor Industry Association, participation in stand-up paddleboarding in the United States grew by an impressive 61.8% between 2014 and 2019. Since it exploded onto the scene several years ago, it has replaced kite surfing as the activity of choice for water sports enthusiasts of all stripes.

The activity is ideal for people of all experience levels. Still, it's particularly suitable for beginners since it doesn't require a lot of unique skills, and there is very little gear needed to get started. Inflatable paddle boards, in particular, offer the benefits of easy transportation and storage, making them a top choice for those new to the sport. To that end, choosing a board, especially when just getting started, can be pretty daunting.

Why did the paddleboarder prefer an inflatable paddleboard? Because it "blew" the competition away!

When selecting an inflatable paddle board, consider size, weight capacity, and overall stability. Look for boards with a high-quality construction that ensures durability and longevity, such as those made from military-grade PVC material. Additionally, ease of inflation and deflation and the included accessories can make all the difference for beginners.

iSUPs: Why should you buy one?

An inflatable paddleboard is the best stand-up paddleboard for a beginner. The benefits of an iSUP outweigh the downsides:

  • There is no need to worry about securing it in your car or where you will store it when you are not using it. When deflated, most inflatable paddle boards are about the size of a small sleeping bag.
  • Inflatable paddle boards are 50-75% cheaper than solid boards. The key to getting started as cheaply as possible when you're new to a sport is to see if you like it. If you don't like it, you won't have to waste money on gear you don't use.
  • Despite popular belief, iSUPs are often more durable than traditional SUPs. A typical SUP often gets dented, scratched, or punctured. Despite being dropped or run over by your car or even running into sharp rocks and other obstacles, inflatable paddle boards still look and function as brand new.

Let's look at three of the best iSUPs today after discussing what sets inflatable stand-up paddleboards apart from the rest.

How do I choose an iSUP?

Despite the many inflatable paddle boards on the market, we have narrowed it down to the top 3 best-up paddle boards for your money based on extensive research.

Island Airtech 10' Inflatable Paddle Board - Package.

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.7

Things we like:

  • MOST POPULAR iSUP: The Pioneer is ISLE's most versatile board for all-around, top-rated fun. The stylish design makes this a great beginner paddleboard for adults and riders of all sizes who are looking for a versatile board. This shape is perfect for both flat water (lakes, ponds, etc), river runs, small surf performance, and everything in between. With room for cargo, pets, and kids!
  • LIGHTWEIGHT, DURABLE DESIGN: Run it over with your vehicle, throw it off the roof or ram it into rocks or a pier; Constructed with military-grade PVC making this board rigid enough for all paddle board activities and durable enough to last. This wide stance inflatable paddle board is six inches thick helping you stay balanced while you're paddle boarding.
  • INCLUDES iSUP PUMP AND ACCESSORY BUNDLE: All inflatable stand up paddle boards come with a complete package of paddle board accessories for compact carry and travel. This includes a paddleboard backpack, adjustable carbon shaft/nylon blade paddle, high-pressure pump, snap-in travel fin, coil leash, ISLE sticker pack & manual.
  • SIZE SPECS: The 10'6' model is a lightweight 24 lbs when inflated and the wide deck ensures standing stability for fishing, yoga, and family activities; grooved, EVA traction deck pad adds comfort for additional rider or dog, plus room for equipment; Up to 285 lb. weight capacity. Great for men, women, and teens.
  • WHY SHOP ISLE? Born and bred on the water in San Diego, California since 2004. Our team is committed to bringing you the best quality paddle boards designed and tested by people who surf and paddle daily. Ride it and love it for 60 days or return it! If you don’t love your board we will take it back + 2 YEAR WARRANTY ON MATERIALS!

Things we don't like:

  • May not be suitable for advanced/expert paddleboarders looking for specialized features
Show more
Read full review

SUPs from Isle are consistently among the best in quality. iSUPs are no exception.

As with most ISLE products, you get a carry bag for your paddleboard, a manual pump, a travel fin, and an aluminum three-piece adjustable paddle when you purchase an inflatable paddleboard.

Paddleboarding equipment can be transported in your car or on your back.

ISLE Airtech Inflatable SUP Review

A military-grade drop stitch PVC is used to construct the ISLE Airtech iSUP, providing supreme durability. The company offers a two-year warranty on its product to ensure that its inflatable stand-up paddleboards are just as durable as traditional epoxy/resin boards.

The thickness of the board makes it so durable and user-friendly. When you paddle the ISLE Airtech, you are well above the water because it has a solid 6 inches of thickness. The other type of board is only four inches thick and sits lower in the water, so one feels they're sinking or the council can't support them.

This also makes it an ideal board for small waves, lakes, rivers, and river runs. Its slightly higher center of gravity makes it unsuitable for whitewater, choppy waves, and medium surf due to its slightly higher elevation.

Even though the manufacturer lists the maximum weight limit at only 240 pounds (significantly less than some of its competitors, it should be noted), many users had no trouble maneuvering the kayak or paddling with extra weight. Even people who had two people on there with 400 pounds on them said it was fine.

There have been various assertions that all the additional weight is fine, but I think what is meant is that the board still floats and can still get from point A to point B. For those who use the board casually or socially, the loss of speed and maneuverability won't be as noticeable as it might seem.

A paddleboard made of inflatable material is relatively lightweight. It is now lighter than ever thanks to Fusion-Lite construction, weighing only 18 pounds. It is inflatable, meaning you can inflate it just a few feet from where you'll be paddling. If that concerns you, you shouldn't have a problem carrying it around.

The ISLE comes with a high-quality manual pump, but many users have used an electric pump instead. Most users report that manual pumping to reach the full PSI of 15 takes about 5-10 minutes, with some complaining that the final few PSI is strenuous, but others enjoy the pre-paddle warm-up. ISLE is not the only one with this issue; it will have the same problem.

Lastly, another great feature of this board is the bungee system mounted on the deck, which you can utilize to carry extra items. Clip-on a carabiner for smaller bags or boxes containing keys, wallets, or cell phones, or even store a towel, a dry bag with equipment, or water bottles.

Overall, there isn't much to dislike about this board. If you exceed its maximum weight limit of 200 lbs, its size, and chunkiness take away some of its speed and maneuverability. In any case, those buying this board are not too concerned about those things. This paddleboard package has many extras, so if you don't want to purchase anything else, this is an excellent deal for those looking to get into paddleboarding.

SUP Package Adventurer 9'10" by Tower Paddle Boards

The Tower Paddle Board is in second place for best iSUP, and the Tower brand is also well known for its paddleboards. There is a slight difference in size between their board and the ISLE board, and some of the same features are available: a 2-year warranty, military-grade construction, and extreme durability.

A few minor differences separate the Tower iSUP from the ISLE iSUP, but those might be the difference between choosing this board over another.

FA negative first: the Tower iSUP package does not include the convenient carry bag that ISLE provides, which is a significant selling point for some consumers.consumers.consumers. However, it has a manual pump and an adjustable aluminum paddle, just like ISLE.

Adventurer - Tower Inflatable SUP

This board also lacks a bungee system for strapping other items on the deck, as ISLE does, which is another big difference. Again, this is not a trivial selling point, especially since there is no satisfactory way to mount one yourself after the fact.

This board can support 350-400 pounds, almost twice as much as the ISLE board. Several ISLE board users stated that the board could carry over 200 pounds, so the Tower Adventurer board could handle such a load without compromising its performance and maneuverability.

Apart from this, the tower iSUP board has many of the same features as the ISLE board:

    Both boats have a 6-inch thickness, which provides excellent stability by elevating one a few inches from the water.Tower's 9 feet 10-inch length and 25-pound weight make it identical to the Isles.It is made with beginners and families in mind for flatwater paddling.

Since the Tower Adventurer iSUP and the ISLE Airtech iSUP have similar price tags, the difference between the two could be pretty substantial. The lack of a bungee system on the deck and a carrying case included with the ISLE iSUP might tip the balance to ISLE in this case.

While the weight limit of the boards is a significant difference, it has not been determined whether or not one board is more enjoyable or satisfying than another.

The majority of Tower iSUP users are still satisfied with their boards. However, all other things being similarly matched, ISLE's board may be slightly more valuable than Tower's for the money.

Stand-up paddleboard Solstice Bali

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.4

Things we like:

  • High-pressure inflatable paddleboard. Sleek, lightweight and fast
  • Extremely rigid and strong.
  • Includes 4 stainless tie-downs for securing gear
  • Durable 1000 Denier 3 ply PVC reinforced fabric material
  • Kit Includes: Carry bag, pump & gauge

Things we don't like:

  • May not be suitable for beginners or those new to paddleboarding
  • Inflation process may require additional time and effort
  • Carrying bag may not be large enough to accommodate extra gear
  • Pump and gauge may not be of the highest quality or durability
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Read full review

The Solstice Bali iSUP differs from both the Tower and ISLE boards.

The board measures 10 feet 8 inches, much longer than its predecessors. The weight remains 25 pounds despite its extended size, probably because it uses a three-ply reinforced PVC fabric instead of the other two.

Additionally, it is only 4 inches thick than the other two's 6 inches. Some paddlers prefer to paddle at a higher elevation so they don't feel like they're sinking or that their belongings will become wet while they swim. According to one user, it "... has more flexibility than I'd like".

Bali Standup Inflatable Paddleboard - Gear Basics

The accessories package with this board differs from the other two, and a paddle does not accompany the Bali board. As with the other two, it comes with a pump, a carry bag, and a center fin, which both offer.

The absence of a paddle can explain the significant price difference. Both the Solstice and the other boards are $200-250 cheaper. There's some wiggle room to play with here, so you can find a paddle that's right for you while spending less than the total Package of either of the others.

As a substitute for the ISLE board's on-deck bungee system, this board includes stainless steel tie-downs that can be used to mount your equipment securing system. It provides an excellent middle ground between ISLE's on-deck system and the complete lack of one (possibly mounting one yourself later) on the Tower iSUP.

This one will do the trick if you are looking for a paddleboard for the least amount of money. Reviews are mostly positive for this product, and it offers just enough to be a good value without all the bells and whistles other boards come with.

 

Related Pioneer inflatable paddle board Review

Three boards are already presented here that have high ratings and high quality. Any of these boards would be excellent for a beginner.

If you're still not sure which board to buy, here's the breakdown of the BAK lineup:

    ISLE Airtech Inflatable Paddle Board- This board is well-built, has a great accessories package, and has good customer reviews. It stands out because it has an on-deck bungee system, something none of the other boards have. There is only one negative: the weight limit of 200 pounds, but many users said it wasn't a problem.Solstice Bali Stand-Up Paddleboard - Although the most affordable of the three boards, this board offers several additional features that make it stand out. However, you can buy a paddle separately and spend less than you would for one of the other two.

A Tower Paddle Board Adventurer will be the best choice if you're a big guy and need a board supporting your weight. However, a few crucial features are missing from this board, such as an on-deck bungee system or a way to mount one later, and no carry bag is included in the Package, so it's not worth the price. With no corresponding reduction in price to compensate, it ranks below the other two boards regarding the overall value for money.