Inflatable SUP’s have already become the leading choice and most sought after and preferred type of SUP in a market that’s expected to grow at least 12% over the next decade.
iSUP’s have drastically improved the ease and ability to travel and store paddle boards around the world, and the SUP community isn’t turning back.
At this point, it’s no longer a question of which type of board is best, it’s simply a matter of finding the best inflatable SUP out there and our guide is here to help you do just that!
The Top 9
#1 Best Overall Inflatable SUP: SERENELIFE 10’ INFLATABLE SUP
Serenlife’s 10’ Inflatable SUP is the full package!
With an All-Around shape, measuring in at 10’ x 30” x 6” and weighing only 19.6 lbs. and an upper weight bearing limit of 275 lbs. this iSUP is designed with SUPpers of all skill levels in mind.
Combined with these dimensions, a tri-fin set up with a removable and adjustable thruster fin gives the SereneLife a boost in maneuverability over its competitors. You’ll notice a higher level of speed, handling, and steering with this iSUP.
A non-slip soft top deck helps soften the falls and spills for those new to the sport, while assuring the best grip for the more seasoned paddle-boarders out there.
Constructed of high quality PVC and extra rigidity at full PSI, the SereneLife Inflatable SUP can withstand its fair share of rocks, drops, and hits.
The rigidity also provides added - and necessary - stability.
If the SereneLife iSUP has a downside it’s that it can be noticeably unstable when it is not inflated to it’s full and proper PSI.
The SereneLife Inflatable comes with a full accessory set up as well. A 2-way high pressure pump to ease inflation, leash, storage bag, and adjustable aluminum paddle are all included!
Take note that while the adjustable paddle will make a world of difference in keeping you moving at your most efficient speed regardless of whether you are standing, sitting or kneeling, it is lacking in quality.
The paddle will float, but not for long. On top of that, this paddle is heavier than most. It’s not a huge deal, but a replacement paddle is worth a thought.
#2 Best Overall Inflatable SUP: Pathfinder 9’9”
A smaller and ultra durable inflatable SUP, the Pathfinder can withstand the toughest of hits and conditions!
9'9" x 30" x 5" and 21 lbs, the Pathfinder is a smaller Inflatable SUP. The smaller size can be daunting for some beginners as it does have an effect on stability. It is imperative that this board is fully inflated for the best performance in regards to stability! There’s going to be a learning curve with the Pathfinder’s stability, however it’s 10 times more manageable when properly inflated.
While the Pathfinder is definitely an All-Around shape, it’s smaller dimensions give it some hints of performing like a Touring SUP and what’s lost in stability is compensated in terms of speed and handling. Once you’ve got the hang of things in terms of stability, you’ll reap the rewards of one of the quickest iSUP’s on the market!
The Pathfinder is a single fin setup and it’s worth mentioning there is a plastic protector in the fin box that will make it impossible to securely install your fin if it’s not removed beforehand. The fin is detachable if you desire an upgrade but most SUPper’s find the provided fin to be more than enough.
A strong multi layered drop stitch construction and high grade PVC material combined with full inflation makes the Pathfinder an incredibly durable iSUP. If your main concern is about having the strongest iSUP with the longest shelf-life, the Pathfinder is going to call to you!
An adjustable aluminum paddle, an inflation pump, detachable center fin, carry bag, and valve wrench are all included. Most of the accessories are at least standard quality but the pump is lackluster and a replacement should be considered.
#3 Best Overall Inflatable SUP: ISLE Airtech 10’6”
The ISLE Airtech is a high quality versatile iSUP!
At 10'6" x 31" x 6” and only 21 lbs. and a maximum supporting weight limit of 240 lbs. you can take this board out in a variety of different conditions. From flat waters, to river rapids, and even surfing small waves, the ISLE Airtech performs surprisingly well!
The Airtech is 30% lighter than it’s competitors thanks to an innovative design in the drop stitch construction in which its coated with a special seal and bonding later before another machine-laminated higher density military grade PVC is added. Essentially giving you the lightest and toughest board out there.
A tri-fin set up and nose rocker make this a formidable choice for Inflatable SUP Surfing! You’ll still lack the responsiveness provided with a traditional SUP board, but you’ll be leagues ahead of most of the other iSUPs on this list out in the surf. The thruster fin is also removable in case you’re looking to upgrade.
ISLE has included a 3 Piece aluminum adjustable paddle, a carrying bag, a high pressure pump and a gauge, and a repair kit virtually covering all of your basic accessories.
So what’s the downside to the ISLE Airtech? In its pursuit to be a jack of all trades, the quality of performance takes a hit. This board is slower than other boards specifically designed with a purpose in mind. On top of that it really struggles to track straight.
Overall, this is still an excellent board with unparalleled versatility, just keep in mind that it’s not up to par for competition.
#4 Roc 10’5” iSUP
What a boat!
At 10’5” x 33” x 6” and 24 lbs with a maximum supporting weight limit of 350 lbs. this is the strongest board on our list by far! Constructed with drop stitch technology and military grade PVC, you’ve got an iSUP that’s as durable as it is stable!
Designed primarily for cruising around in flat water, the Roc should stick to what it was made for. For a board this big, it handles surprisingly well, but it’s not meant to be an inflatable SUP for surfing.
With an EVA non-slip diamond traction pad covering 2/3 of a 33” wide deck, the Roc iSUP is a beginners dream in terms of stability and ease of learning.
A tri-fin set up with an adjustable center fin assists even further in dialing this board in for stability.
Of course, it’s a little slower overall, but that’s to be expected with a board this big.
Roc included a carrying bag, 3 piece adjustable aluminum paddle, pump and gauge and repair kit with this board. The Pump has two different sized valve seals, but the truth is that neither one of them really works too well. This board struggles to inflate with the provided pump and an electric replacement should be considered.
#5 Atoll 11’ Fishing Inflatable SUP
This iSUP is constructed with machine laminated dual layer PVC and is 40% lighter than the other iSUP’s on the market. This provides the best of both worlds with maximum durability while maintaining an ultra lightweight!
Aside from keeping the board’s total weight at an incredibly low 19 lbs, it also leads to an unparalleled gliding experience out on the water for far less effort than competing boards.
Combined with a tri-fin set up, tapered nose, and a detachable, universal 8 in. composite touring fin, this iSUP provides extra stability for both beginners and intermediate paddle-boarders alike.
The deck of the the Atoll fishing iSUP is covered in an EVA diamond groove traction pad to prevent you from slipping and to keep your feet as comfortable as possible while you’re out fishing.
The Atoll Fishing iSUP is also outed with a total of 14 D rings spread across the board, making it incredibly convenient for storing anything from coolers for your fish, extra gear, or even a kayak seat cushion. With so many specific features in mind, this board is perfect for Inflatable SUP Fishing!
Included is a 2-way high pressure hand pump, 3 piece aluminum alloy paddle, 10 foot leash, maintenance kit, and backpack for carrying your iSUP. While most companies tend to throw these accessories in almost by default, Atoll goes above and beyond in selecting their accessories and they are of the highest quality.
All of this is the reason why it has made the list of top paddle boards on our main paddle board page.
#6 Peak Expedition 11’ Inflatable SUP
You’ll notice a Peak Expedition from a mile away with it’s colorful and stylish topographic deck design as well as its unique looking shape. A hybrid nose allows this board to function as a spear fishing, touring, or recreational iSUP.
At 11’ x 32” x 6” and only 19.5 lbs able to support up to 350 lbs. the Peak Expedition is a cut above the rest. This is an incredibly and remarkable lightweight iSUP for its weight bearing capabilities!
Fully inflated this board is as durable as it gets thanks to the military grade PVC and drop-stitch construction. A tri-fin setup assists with stability and overall you’re left with a speedy, stable, and durable iSUP that gives the rest of the market a run for its money.
The Peak Expedition includes all the accessories you’ll need and more! A carrying bag, a pump, a coil leash, an adjustable aluminum paddle, and even a waterproof phone case are all included! All of these accessories are great, but the paddle is a bit flimsy and will most likely need an upgrade if you decide to pick up SUPping as a regular hobby or activity.
The deck has front and rear cargo bungee storage space as well as 3 carrying handles spread out across the deck. Surprisingly, these features are slightly overkill. You’ll feel like you’re walking all over a bunch of stuff on the EVA deck pad from time to time and it can get a little obnoxious.
Overall the Peak Expedition is an impressive board with one or two relatively dismissible flaws.
#7 Hydro Force White Cap 10’ Inflatable SUP
The Hydro Force White Cap is an interesting approach at a hybrid Inflatable SUP. It aims to function as both a kayak and a SUP. The board pulls this off but with a good handful of noticeable flaws.
For starters, the core of the iSUP consists of 3 ply reinforced polyester mesh that’s encased in two layers of laminated PVC and drop-stitch construction. While this makes for a durable board it doesn’t exactly make for the most supportive in terms of weight bearing capabilities, capping out at a very low 209 lbs.
On top of that, the White Cap is 10’ x 32” x 4”. At only 4” thick, it’s the thinnest board on our list. It’s still long and wide enough to give it some stability, but the difference is definitely noticeable and you’ll find it’s shaky when using it as a SUP.
Surprisingly enough, this board also weighs a hefty 35 lbs. While that is significantly less than an actual kayak, it’s much more than the standard iSUP. The best use of this board is for the people that love to kayak but struggle with the weight of an actual kayak in regards to transportation and storage.
The White Cap goes with a tri-fin setup that does not have an adjustable or replaceable thruster fin, which further limits this board’s capabilities as a SUP.
Hydro Force has included a travel bag, a pump, an interchangeable oar / paddle , and a kayak seat with a back pad.
It’s best to think of this board as a work in progress. There’s a lot of potential in this design if they can figure out the kinks, but right now it feels incomplete and you’re most likely going to be a guinea pig in these early stages.
#8 Bluefin 12’ Inflatable SUP/Kayak
The Bluefin Inflatable SUP/Kayak has successfully created a hybrid Kayak/SUP design where others have failed!
12’ x 30” x 6”, weighing 37 lbs. and being able to withstand weights of up to 310 lbs. you find yourself with a heavier but well rounded iSUP with plenty of stability.
Military grade triple layered PVC provide excellent durability and will alleviate any worries you have of damaging this kayak/SUP.
When you’re ready to shift from SUPping to Kayaking, just attach the seat. You now have an inflatable SUP with a kayak seat ready to take you wherever you please thanks to the included interchangeable oar / paddle!
Using the kayak seat and the bungee storage area at the top of the deck will make your day of using your iSUP as a kayak as fun, convenient, and smooth as possible.
When you’re finished, just detach the Bluefin’s seat and store it back in the provided carrying bag. Along with the kayak seat you’ll also find a pump, leash, repair kit, and thruster fin included within the carrying kit! Be wary though, this is a bigger board and the pump provided will wear you out when inflating this thing. Consider an electric replacement if you want to skip the pre-SUP workout
Of course, a board the weighs this much will be slower out on the water than the other iSUP’s on this list. Just like the White Cap, this board should be considered for the kayak enthusiasts who need a break in weight from a kayak. Unlike the White Cap, the Bluefin is superior in it’s overall design and while it’s still slower than other iSUP’s , you can still have a great time using this board as an iSUP for paddling, Yoga, fishing, and even surfing small waves.
#9 Tower 10’4” Inflatable SUP
The Tower Inflatable SUP sports a simple deck design that pays homage to the company’s name for its deck design. Founded in San Diego two blocks from the beach, they decided to name their company Tower because of the Lifeguard tower they could see from their office, and hence, the black Lifeguard Tower on the deck of the board!
10’4" x 32” x 6”2 and a weight of 26 pounds and an All-Around shape makes this Tower iSUP a great overall board for beginners and intermediates.
With plenty of stability from the width of the deck as well as an excess amount of durability thanks to the 6” thick Military-Grade PVC material and Drop-Stitch construction, you’ll have nothing to worry about in or out of the water with the Tower iSUP. In fact, the company promotes being able to run over their iSUP’s with a car. I’m gonna go ahead and advise against messing up your new board regardless to whether or not it can withstand the weight!
The Tower includes a non-slip EVA traction deck to help beginners and experienced riders stick to the board. Handling and carrying straps are also built into the board, increasing the ease of transport of a fully inflated iSUP. There’s also bungee cargo and storage space at the top of the deck. It’s a little small, but it can be worked around without too much effort.
An adjustable thruster fin is included to complete the tri-fin set up, increasing the Tower iSUP’s versatility. Slide the fin forward if you’re looking to surf and loosen up your board. Slide the fin towards the back if you’re looking for tracking and touring qualities.
Included with the Tower iSUP is a 3 piece adjustable aluminum paddle, a carrying case, a “high pressure” hand pump with gauge, and a carrying strap that can be attached to the carrying handles.
If you noticed I put the high pressure pump in parentheses, its because the pump is a piece of garbage and will absolutely need to be upgraded. If you couldn’t have guessed this far along in our list, the adjustable paddle is prone to sinking and breaking due to its flimsy nature as well.
Overall, Tower included the accessories most SUPpers need, but it feels more by default due to the poor quality of most of what’s included.
Inflatable SUP Vs. Solid
The Inflatable SUP vs Solid or “Traditional” SUP debate boils down to a couple of key issues.
One of the key differences between Inflatable SUP’s and Solid SUP’s is the ability to transport your SUP. A traditional SUP is often big and bulky and requires a large amount of space for travel and storage. Roof racks for your vehicle are necessary on anything that isn’t a pickup truck and you’ll need to clear 10’ of space out in your house somewhere to fit a traditional SUP.
With iSUP’s on the other hand, you can deflate and roll up your paddle board into a compact and (usually) provided carrying bag that can easily be transported in your truck and stored anywhere in your house with the rest of the luggage.
iSUP’s are also extremely durable due to their PVC material and drop stitch construction and are able to withstand a ton of what you can throw at them. On the offset chance that you actually puncture one of these boards, a quick and easy to use repair kit is included with 90% of the boards out there.
Traditional SUP’s and their fiberglass material ding very, very easily. An uneventful brush into a rock or small drop of the board can, and most likely will, leave a mark or a ding on a fiberglass board.
What To Consider When Buying an Inflatable SUP
Length and Width: The Length and Width of your SUP will impact stability, maneuverability, and speed. Most SUP’s are around 10’ - 11’ long, and 30” - 32” wide. Typically, the larger the board is overall, the more stable but sluggish it will be out on the water.
Some advances in lightweight materials and experimentation in board shape have begun to make it possible to have both size and speed or maneuverability, but we are still nowhere near equal performance.
Touring iSUPs are typically longer but more narrow than your average All-Around iSUP. In this instance, a longer board will be (much) faster.
Thickness - The new standard for thickness has become 6”. With improvements in construction and lightweight materials, the increased stability in thickness usually does not come at a penalty on either speed or maneuverability. While a thinner board will be slightly faster and quicker to respond, the stability that’s sacrificed is often not worth it for most riders.
Weight - Sometimes a heavier board will mean a more durable board, but again, for the most part new materials and construction designs have rendered this obsolete. You’ll want to keep your eye out for the lightest iSUP’s so that you can have your stability, durability, AND speed too!
Material - Machine Laminated, Dual Layer, Military Grade, and Standard PVC are the building blocks of any iSUP worth its salt. Often combined in part with drop stitch construction these materials allow for an insane amount of air pressure which in turn results in superior durability and rigidity while still maintaining a lightweight, easy to transport SUP.
Attachments - Attachments can range from camera mounts to carrying carts and everything in between.
Some of the most common attachments for SUP’s are
Leash.- You’d be surprised how many SUP’s don’t come with a leash. You’ll definitely want to grab a leash for your SUP if you plan on surfing but it’s a good idea to have one regardless as it increases your safety by keeping you attached to something that’s floating at all times.
Bungee Cords and D-Rings - D-rings are used as an anchor point for bungee cords, and the cords are in turn used to secure gear to the deck of the board
Deck Bags - Deck Bags are used to stash personal gear and keep it from getting wet
Camera Mount - Can’t send it without a place to mount a camera
Lights - Can be as complex as a full on LED Light show, or a simple flashlight to help you look around if you find yourself struggling to get back in before dark
Coolers - Can be used to store food and drinks or bait if you’re fishing
Anchor - Great to have if you plan on fishing
Carrying Bag - Often included, but not always, a carrying bag will make your SUP life 1000 times easier
Carrying Carts - A luxury for the solo SUPper and an amazing addition for anyone looking to teach a group, you can carry multiple iSUPS down the beach at once with a carrying cart
Rocker - The Rocker describes the total curvature in the board from nose to tail. SUP boards that generally have very little rocker are those used for touring or cruising. This helps the SUP glide as efficiently as possible across flat water while also providing more stability.
A SUP used for surfing will typically have more rocker. More curvature in the board makes it easier to navigate the face of the wave when dropping in and turning or carving along the face of the wave.
Rails - The rails are responsible for your board’s “grip” to the water. This is primarily determined by the shape or design of the rails. In general, this refers to either Hard Rails or Soft Rails.
Hard - Rails are rails that have a sharp edge to them, providing a flatter surface and thus a quicker way for the water to give way and slip off. Hard Rails provide the sharpest turns at the fastest speeds. Most Touring SUP’s and Surfing SUP’s have hard rails for optimal performance. If you’re racing or trying to carve the face of a wave, you’ll want your SUP to have a hard rail design.
Soft - Rails - Soft rails are rounded all the way through and will provide a much stronger grip to the water than hard rails. This helps aid in stability and is often the preferred choice of most beginners, leisure, and Yoga SUPpers as a result of this superior grip. Many maneuvers are still possible with rounded rails, however your board will be significantly slower than a board with hard rails.
Fins - The Fins play a huge role in stability and maneuverability on (i)SUP’s. Without any fins, the board would be incredibly squirrelly and off-balance, as well as being more prone to tipping. Fin setups are almost always a single fin or a tri-fin setup when it comes to SUP’s and iSUP’s.
Single Fin - The Single Fin setup is primarily favored for Touring and Racing. A single fin placed near the back allows for better tracking (the ability to keep the board on a straight path) which is ideal in regards to racing and touring. Sliding the single fin all the way to the front will help loosen the board up and improve maneuverability
Tri-Fin - The tri-fin setup was designed to mimic it’s surfing counterpart and provide the best experience possible for (i)SUP surfing. Sharper turns on steeper waves while maintaining balance and improved stability is the main benefit thanks to the two side bite fins and the main thruster fin in the center.
Purpose Of the Board - Certain SUP’s and iSUP’s are designed with a specific purpose in mind. A Touring SUP will have a completely different size and shape than an iSUP designed specifically for Fishing. If you know you want to do Yoga, or SUP Surf, then there will absolutely be a board that is already and specifically designed for these activities and they are a great way to thin out the market and narrow in on meeting your SUP or iSUP needs.
Best Inflatable SUP Brands
Tower - San Diego based Tower created a business model that cut out the middle man and incorporated manufacturing their boards themselves, allowing them to experiment with creating the best boards for the lowest price. The name was inspired by the life guard towers they could see from their office.
ISLE - ISLE are like the seasoned Vets of the SUP Industry. They’ve been around since 2004 and have earned a rightful place as a trusted and top brand of SUP’s and iSUP’s.
Peak - Peak is another San Diego based company that’s been around since 2004. Peak is all about the adventures within adventure and they are constantly playing around with new ideas. Check out these awesome SUP LED lights they’re lighting the waters up with right now! https://www.peakpaddleboards.com/blog/
Atoll - Atoll are known for their high quality products and commitment to delivering the best experience for their customers. Based out of Huntington Beach, their passion for Nature and enthusiasm to share that passion is expressed in creating the most accessible iSUP experience for beginners and professionals alike.
Why Should I Buy an Inflatable SUP?
If you’re in need of an easy way to transport and store a SUP, travel the world with your own board for a fraction of the cost, or you need a board that can withstand damage from every direction, an iSUP is perfect for you!
Do I Need to Buy a Special Inflatable SUP Pump?
Do you need to? No. Will you want to? Maybe, and probably.
Most of the provided pumps are decent, some are exceptional and some are garbage. Whether you’ll need a specialized (i.e. electric) SUP Pump is entirely up to whether or not you enjoy the pre-workout of inflating your board before every session manually, or if you’d rather be in the water as fast and as conveniently as possible.
How Do I Take Care of My Inflatable SUP?
Use Freshwater immediately after any Salt Water sessions, and Soap, or Inflatable Boat Cleaner immediately after any other use.
You’ll also need to prevent moisture from getting inside the board through any dings or small punctures in your iSUP. Any moisture that gets inside the board can cause mold or mildew to grow, which will ruin the material of the board and lead to a premature death of your iSUP. You can get any unwanted moisture out of your SUP by turning your valve counterclockwise and locking it into the open position, and then blowing dry air into the valve.
Most boards have a UV Protectant on them already, but an additional UV Protectant can be added once or twice a year. Anything more than this is overkill and will actually cause more damage in the long run
Where Can I Use My Inflatable SUP?
Inflatable SUP’s are typically designed for flat water and/or small to moderate waves out on the Ocean. Lakes, Rivers, and Calm Ocean conditions are all acceptable and expected places to bring your iSUP. If you have a specifically designed or purpose driven iSUP, you may take your board out in larger waves or rapids!
Final Thoughts - Which Should You Get?
The world of SUP, specifically Inflatable SUP, is at an interesting stage at this point and time where boards are beginning to cool down in their experimentation and stick to what has proven to be tried and true over the last decade or so. While innovation will lead to vast improvements sporadically over the course of time, right now seems like the appropriate time to enjoy what we know already works.
The Serenelife Inflatable SUP has taken the best of all of its predecessors and created a simple and adequate iSUP for the broader population of iSUPpers.
The 10’ x 30” x 6” dimensions and an ultra lightweight of 19.6 lbs keeps this board versatile and ready to adapt instantly to all sorts of water environments. An upper weight limit of 275 lbs. looks to bring in as many single riders, couples, families, and Pets as possible without substituting performance for more weight.
High quality PVC materials and construction as we’ll as an adjustable tai-fin setup provide both durability and increased overall maneuverability while refusing to sacrifice speed or stability.
A non-slip deckpad to assist in keeping riders on top of the board and softening the hits when they fall as well as a fair amount of bungee cargo storage near the top provides ample room to move around while assuring your goods are safe to come along.
Quality accessories - with the exception of an adjustable paddle that needs improvement in its design but not its materials - shows us a company that cares about providing a great iSUP experience for its customers rather than just tacking them on for the sake of marketing and making a sale.
Overall, Serenelife has paid attention to what works best and removed what doesn’t without exception. Their simple approach and effective results of their Inflatable SUP is why we choose them as our #1 pick for Best Overall iSUP.