If you live by a beach, river, pond or lake, you would love having your own inflatable stand up paddleboard. This lightweight and portable paddleboard is the most versatile type of watercraft suitable for different kinds of water activities. You can use the inflatable SUP for cruising, which is the perfect alternative for flat days.
You can go rowing or fishing on it with your child or dog. You can use it as cross training for your other sports such as surfing or kite boarding. You can even do SUP yoga on it. ISUPs, as they have been popularly called, can open up limitless possibilities for you and the entire family. Read on below to know about the various ISUPs that have made their rounds in the ISUP scene today.
- 1 Top 6 ISUP Inflatable Padle Boards
- 2 Choosing Your ISUP Board
- 3 Getting Started With Your New Inflatable SUP
- 4 The Different Parts of an iSUP Setup
- 5 FAQ
Top 6 ISUP Inflatable Padle Boards
1) Atlantis 10' 6" ISUP Inflatable Paddle Board
The Atlantis 10’6” ISUP is one of the most talked about newcomers in the ISUP scene. While its brand is not as known as the other brands, its stability and construction quality have earned it a good reputation this early.
The Atlantis is made of industrial grade PVC that is bolstered by a first-of-its-kind industrial-type of drop stitching, making the board more durable. The Atlantis has been known to withstand even the rockiest of water conditions, and its large traction pad nearly covering the entire board is known to provide excellent grip.
- made of industrial grade PVC
- 6 inches thick
- weight limit: 350 lbs.
- good for use with a child or pet
- stainless steel D-rings
- 2+1 fin setup (removable)
- comes with an adjustable paddle
- folds into a transportable backpack
- comes with a high pressure hand pump (20 psi)
2) Ten Toes Weekender 10’
The Ten Toes Weekender is one of the most popular ISUP models around because of its sheer stability and no-brainer portability. The Weekender promises to be as rigid as a traditional epoxy paddleboard, but it can be deflated and rolled up into an easy-to-carry bag.
There are about 100 super strong threads per square inch of the board, making it almost indestructible. It was built to withstand the gnarliest conditions, but stable enough to accommodate SUP riders of all ages and skill levels.
- made of industrial grade PVC
- 6 inches in thickness (10 x 30 x 6)
- rolled-up size: 11 x 36
- weight limit: 250 lbs.
- comes with a 3-piece adjustable aluminum paddle
- 3-fin setup
- comes with a hand pump
- comes with a repair kit
- stocks come with 1 year warranty
3) Sportstuff 1030 Adventure 10’ 6” ISUP
The Sportstuff 1030 Adventure ISUP pack is one complete adrenaline package. It is complete in accessories and convenient to pack. It is made with strong PVC material that can withstand most types of beach breaks.
It comes with a long anti-skid traction pad that will help you achieve better footing while on top of the board. The Sportstuff Adventure SUP is 4 inches in thickness, which means its narrower that other ISUPs. This doesn’t make it a stable enough board for 2 passengers, so if you want to take a kid or a pup along, you should go for a board that’s 6 inches in thickness.
- dimensions: 10.6 x 30 x 4
- weight limit: 250 lbs.
- comes with an adjustable paddle
- comes with a removable seat (for kayaking)
- stainless steel row rings
- comes with a hand pump and pressure gauge
- comes with fin and leash
- mesh backpack to carry all the accessories
4) PEAK Complete ISUP Package
The PEAK Complete ISUP Package isn’t called complete for no reason. It truly is the all-in-one adventure and high performance package that ISUPs have become known for.
The PEAK ISUP has an excellent all-around board design with a shape that provides rigidity and stability to riders of all skill levels. You can also leave your ding or dent worries behind because this inflatable paddleboard is made of tough PVC material that is lightweight and ultra durable at the same time.
- made of industrial grade PVC
- dimensions: 10.6 x 31 x 6
- rolled up: 11 x 26
- weight limit: 300 lbs.
- comes with a 3-piece aluminum paddle
- coil ankle leach attached
- high pressure dual action hand pump included (15 psi)
- pressure gauge included
- fin included (removable, no screw needed)
- comes with a repair kit
- carry-on backpack included
5) California Board Company Classic 10’6”
The California Board Company (CBC) is known for producing traditionally good watercraft products such as the Classic Inflatable SUP.
It is a straightforward stand up paddleboard that can be ridden by all ages and skill levels in calm to choppy water conditions. It has a 100% waterproof core made of high density PVC material, which makes it stable, and at the same time, lightweight and compact.
- dimensions: 10.6 x 31.9 x 4
- weight limit: 275 lbs.
- comes with fiberglass single fin
- padded neoprene ankle leash included
- comes with a roof rack and bungee holder
- includes an adjustable fiberglass paddle with finger grooves
6) PathFinder P73 9’ 9”
The PathFinder P73 is the shortest of all the ISUPs mentioned here and that’s because it was built for wilder water conditions, where tight turns and maneuvers are necessary. It has all the features you will love about an inflatable SUP: it is compact, lightweight, and highly versatile.
The paddleboard is made of high grade PVC material and can be as rigid as a hard epoxy board when inflated up to 15 psi. It also comes with one of the user-friendliest pumps that are stocked in the ISUP set, and it usually takes 2-3 minutes to fully inflate the PathFinder to its full paddle boarding potential. Take note that the PathFinder can accommodate only up to 240 lbs. because of its shorter length, so if you want company on your ISUP, you should choose a bigger board.
- made of high grade PVC material
- dimensions: 9.9 x 30 x 5
- rolled up: 35 x 21
- weight limit: 240 lbs.
- comes with an adjustable aluminum paddle
- easy-to-use air pump included
- inflates in 2-3 minutes
- comes with a bungee cord that can hold speakers or coolers
- built for tough water conditions
Choosing Your ISUP Board
Now that you’re familiar with some of the best ISUP models available in retail stores, you may now proceed to fine-tuning your choices according to your needs. Remember that your weight is one of the primary factors in considering which ISUP is right for you. The heavier you are, the lower or deeper you will push the board into the water. If your board is sitting too low below the surface, you won’t be stable. Conversely, if your board is sitting way too high above the surface, you also won’t glide properly, which will heighten the possibility of you falling off the board.
You may refer to the size chart below to know exactly how much volume you need in your ISUP in accordance to your body weight.
1 liter = will float 1 kilo
For Beginners – use a 2:1 ratio
- For every kilo of your weight, double it to get the optimal volume.
- Example: If you weigh 70 kilos, you will need an ISUP with 140 liters of volume.
For Intermediate Riders – use 1.7:1 ratio
- Example: If you weigh 70 kilos, you will need an ISUP with 119 liters of volume
For Advanced Riders – use 1.4:1 ratio
- Example: If you weigh 70 kilos, you will need an ISUP with 98 liters of volume.
You may have noticed that the more advanced your skill level is, the less liters in volume you’ll need. This is because when you are an advanced SUP rider, you will be able to handle boards that may seem less stable, especially to a first-time rider.
Another thing to remember is where you plan to take out your ISUP. If you will be using it mostly on flat water surfaces or calm beaches, you can get away with less volume. However, if you need to cruise around currents or glide down the face of a wave, you have to make sure that your board will be able to handle such circumstances. One way of ensuring this is by getting an ISUP with a good amount of volume.
Choosing the board
Aside from volume, below are more factors to consider when choosing the right kind of ISUP for you.
Most ISUPs are more than 10 feet in length and these are great models for basic paddling, cruising, fishing, and even SUP yoga. You can even paddle around with a dog or a child when you take out a 10-foot board. Shorter ISUPs, however, are not as stable as 10-foot ISUPs, so these paddleboards are for solo paddlers. The difference in length spells a world of difference for maneuverability and the ability to gain speed. If you need a swifter board to pack in better turns, you should consider getting an ISUP that measures 9-feet or below.
The rocker is another important thing to consider when choosing the right stand up paddleboard. The rocker refers to how “curved” your board is from the nose to the tail. You can see the rocker of your board more clearly when you view it from the longer side of the board.
There are 2 main types of rockers: the nose rocker and the tail rocker. The more curved the rocker, the faster it can turn and the simpler it is to maneuver. Emphasis on nose and tail rockers is important when you are going to surf in your ISUP. However, if your plan is just to cruise along a flat or still body of water, you will need less rocker and possible more thickness to your board.
Inflatable SUPs are usually 4-6 inches in total thickness. The thinner the board is (4 inches), the less able it is to carry more than 1 passenger. The thicker it is (6 inches), the more capable it is to carry more than 1 passenger. Thinner ISUPs are also faster than thicker ISUPs, so consider where you will be taking out the board in relation to its thickness.
The hull of the board refers to the bottom part of the board. There are different types of hulls that serve different purposes in the water:
- Flat bottom hull – best for paddle boarding in flat water such as ponds or lakes
- V-bottom hull – creates a corner in the water that allows for more water to jettison outward, thus creating more speed.
- Single to double concave hull – creates less drag when surfing
Just like volume, the width also directly represents the stability of the board. The more width your ISUP has, the more rigid it is. However, if your ISUP is narrow, it means it was built for rougher water conditions that need more advanced turns and maneuvers.
The rails are the sides of the board. It is important to consider the type of construction and material used to produce the rails of your board.
- Hard rails – These are recommended for more advanced riders who need to perform advanced turns.
- Soft rails – These are recommended for beginners and other leisure users who need a stable ride.
Regular Fiberglass vs. Inflatable: Which one should you get?
If you are considering the difference between hard epoxy or fiberglass boards and lightweight ISUPs, you should really think about what you will use the stand up paddleboard for. If you live in a surf town where the beach is accessible from your home, you may consider a hard fiberglass board because it will be easier for you to park or store your board in the vicinity of your beach area and home.
However, if you are an avid traveler, or if you are someone who likes to visit different spots, you should consider getting an inflatable SUP because it is easier to transport and is light enough to carry with you.
Another factor to consider is price. ISUPs can be cheaper than regular SUPs, so if you’re only going to be a casual or leisure user, your best bet will be an ISUP.
If you are looking to invest on a stand up paddleboard that will last you a lifetime, you should get a hard SUP. But with enough care and proper handling, an ISUP can also last you for years to come.
Getting Started With Your New Inflatable SUP
If you’ve already purchased your inflatable stand up paddleboard and are raring to start using it in the nearest beach or lake, you should read these useful guidelines in starting up.
How to inflate your board
Inflating your ISUP can take only 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the pressure your air pump is capable of. The rule of thumb is, the harder your board, the better it will perform in the water.
1) Roll out your ISUP on sand or grass. Be sure to remove any sharp objects that may scratch the material.
2) Attach the pump hose and pressure gauge into your ISUP’s valve.
3) Make sure the valve is not pushed in, as this setting will deflate your ISUP.
4) Secure the end of the hose onto the valve. Make sure there is now way for air to leak out when you start pumping.
5) Positing your pump on leveled ground and start pumping.
6) Once you are satisfied with the pressure, carefully remove and cover the valve cap.
7) Go out for a paddle on your new ISUP!
How to deflate your board
When it’s time to pack away your ISUP, you’ll need to do the following:
1) Remove the valve cap.
2) Push the valve in.
3) Listen to the whoosh of air escaping your ISUP!
4) Once your board is fully deflated, remember that you need to roll the material as neatly and tightly as possible.
Transporting your board
Your ISUP needs to be fully deflated and tightly rolled into its backpack or carry-on bag for greater mobility and ease of transport. It is tempting to become lazy in rolling up and storing your ISUP after a tiring session, however, improper storage of your ISUP could damage your board.
Now that you know how to inflate and deflate your ISUP properly, you should also remember these useful tips in storing, cleaning, maintaining, and repairing your board when the need arises.
How to take proper care of your board
1) Rinse out with fresh water after every use. Salt water can cause even the toughest PVC material to wear away.
2) Roll it tight means you rolled it right! Only when your deflated board is rolled into a tight bundle will it become easy to transport via the backpack.
3) Stow away all the accessories in a cargo net or a similar contraption. You don’t want to lose your ISUP’s parts and accessories as these can be hard or costly to replace.
4) Store your ISUP is a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight.
5) Keep sharp objects away from your ISUP.
6) In case your ISUP gets dings or holes, you can easily patch these up with the repair kit that is usually sold with the ISUP set. The ding repair kit comes with a quick-dry solution that will have you rowing or paddling again in no time.
How to patch and fix a leak
1) If you are suspecting a hole in your ISUP, you should first be able to locate where it is. One simple way of doing this is to slightly inflate your board. Next, soap it down with a sponge. Now, the fun part: deflate your board and keep an eye out for bubbles! When you see bubbles form on the surface of your ISUP, you’ll be able to tell where the holes or leaks are.
2) Clean the area surrounding the hole and leave it dry.
3) Fully deflate your board and get ready to repair it.
4) Cut a piece of the spare material in your repair kit and carefully trace the area where you will be putting the patch on. The material and glue should be readily available in most ISUP sets.
5) Make sure that you glue the patch on the center or middlemost part of the hole.
6) Cover the underside of the patch with glue. Let the glue dry for 5-10 minutes before attaching the patch.
7) Once dry, put the patch over the whole.
8) Use the end of a spoon or any flat surface to gently “iron out” the patch onto the hole.
9) Let your newly patched ISUP dry overnight before you inflate it and use it again.
The Different Parts of an iSUP Setup
Surfer Today has called the ISUP as “one of the best inventions of the surfing world” today. Traditional stand up paddleboards are bulky and heavy, and are not that easy to tote around during surf trips. With the invention of the inflatable SUP, beachgoers, watermen and other water-loving folks, can enjoy hours of fun from paddling and cruising around any body of water.
The ISUP is lightweight, with most models in the market weighing only 20 lbs. And because it is made of inflatable material, it can easily shrink into a compact size that is easy to stuff in the back of your car or on top of your car’s surf rack. Now that’s a feat you can’t do with a heavy stand up paddleboard!
A standard ISUP usually comes with the following accessories:
Next to the stand up paddleboard itself, the paddle is the second most valuable piece of the set. You use the paddle to navigate yourself on the surface of any body of water, may it be a calm beach or a placid lake. There are different lengths for different paddles, so be sure to ask the guy in the store what the ideal length is for your height. The paddles also come in different construction material; some are made with heavy-duty aluminum, plastic, wood, and carbon fiber.
Most inflatable stand up paddleboards are made of hard rubber material and PVC, mixed with polymer plastic and thin layers of urethane.
This type of material composition makes the inflatable board stable enough to ride when fully inflated, but also easy to collapse and make portable when not in use. ISUPs typically roll into backpacks when fully deflated.
Most leashes are made of highly durable 8mm PU cords attached to neoprene straps with stainless steel swivels. They can either be attached on the calf or on the ankle.
They also come in two types: straight and coiled. Coiled leashes produce less drag on the water as compared to longer straight leashes, while straight leashes occupy less space on the surface of the board, making it less prone for the rider to trip on a bulky leash.
Some inflatable stand up paddle boards come with racks that you can strap on your vehicle. There are two main types of racks for ISUPs: namely, the car roof rack and the bicycle rack.
Whichever of these two your ISUP will come with, you can be assured of a simple packing process because the ISUP is portable and lightweight.
All ISUPs come with their own air pumps, which you can use to inflate your stand up paddleboard at any time. Board pressure is the most important factor when you consider the performance of an ISUP, so it’s equally important that you have a good air pump with you. Good air pumps should be easy to use, unlike most foot pump designs. You can choose to invest on an electric air pump because this will perform better than the manual hand pump that comes with the ISUP set. Good electric pumps can provide pressures up to 25-30 psi, and are packed in compact tubes that are easier to bring when traveling.
SUP fin setups can range from racer-type single fins to speed-inducing thrusters. SUP fins differ from standard surfboard fins because they are made to provide more stability for tracking on flat water surfaces, while still offering enough maneuverability to perform tight turns. There are no rules on what type of fins to use on your ISUP, but the practice has been to use an 8-10 inch single fin for flat water paddling, while the thruster or 2+1 setup is best used for stand up paddle surfing or surfing anywhere that may involve more water movement such as currents.
SUP stabilizers are attachments you can add to both sides of the paddleboard to provide more stability to the ride. Beginners who still have to get used to paddling around on the board, and also larger or heavier riders who need the extra support for their weight on the board usually use this. Stabilizers are also popular among families who want to paddle or cruise with the kids. Pet owners who want to bring their dogs along for the ride can also use them. Another use for stabilizers is for SUP yoga, where the extra support is needed to perform all kinds of yoga poses on the board.
Another important part of the ISUP is the anchor. It includes a rope, a floater and a metal clip that will keep your board stable when you need it to stay stationary on the water, such as when you do SUP yoga.
You can also use the anchor when you’re out fishing and need to be still in certain parts of the pond or lake.
The cargo net is used to safely keep all your ISUP gear together in one place.
The cargo net can be clipped onto the board or can be kept in place by stick-on deck plugs.
Having a traction pad serves to provide you with better grip as you balance and paddle on the board. It is made of textured rubber material that will give you a more firm footing on your board.
This is where you attach your air pump whenever you need to inflate or deflate your stand up paddleboard. Most ISUPs have their valves located in the tail end of the board, while some newer models have places their valves on the nose or the front of the board. Traditional SUP riders will say that having a valve near the tail is better because it is easier for you to pack away your fins.
Now that you are more familiar with inflatable stand up paddle boards and their different parts and accessories, you will have an easier time choosing which type of inflatable SUP is right for you. There are plenty of ISUPs available in the market, but you should choose which one is best in terms of glide performance, ease of maneuverability, ease of transport, and of course, price. Keep reading below to learn the specific criteria and sizing you'll need to know when picking out the right board for you.
Will an inflatable stand up paddle board be sturdy enough?
When you apply the proper handling and storing techniques, you can be assured that your ISUP will last a long time. It will also be sturdy enough to carry out a wide range of activities on any body of water.
Can they get holes or leaks?
No ISUP is indestructible, but they come pretty close.
Are the fins removable?
Some models offer removable fins, while some have fixed fins.
Can I take an ISUP on an airplane?
Definitely! This is one of the longstanding benefits of owning an ISUP. You can bring it anywhere you want to go!