There’s a lot of inflatable paddle boards out there.
Stand-Up Paddleboarding is gaining popularity worldwide and this means a plethora of boards.
Some rigid, some inflatable and a few, even a mix of both.
Inflatables are our focus here and have proven to handle pretty much whatever is thrown at them.
Tower Paddle Boards really take that to the next level.
Below we dive into Tower Paddle Boards review...in short though, their boards are tough, stable and float incredibly well.
The Top 4 Boards
The smallest board on our list, this SUP has supreme manueverability while still being quite stable. As it is with all of Towers SUP’s, this board is made from some of the toughest material around. This paddleboard is made with military grade 6in. PVC, the same material is used for Zodiac boats and river rafts which is really unheard of in this industry. Besides being incredibly strong, it is also small and this has it’s advantages; it’s easier to navigate small channels, lighter to carry / transport and moves quicker through the water.
Dimensions : Length - 9ft. 10in. / Width - 32 in. / Depth - 6in. / Carry Capacity - 200+lbs
The Tower Universal Inflatable 9’10’’ comes with a paddle, pump to inflate the board, removable center fin which is quite easy to install as well as two straps. It also includes a leash attachment on the rear and a tow ring on the front which comes in handy more than one would suspect. Since it’s a bit smaller than the other boards on the list too, it rolls into a real manageable carrying size.
#2 Tower Xplorer Inflatable 14’
Tower went all out on this one. It’s massive, amazingly stable and deflates into a suprisingly small roll. This size brings with it a multitude of options; bring a cooler filled with food and drinks, put multiple friends and family on board or even bring your dog or cat (goodluck with the cat). It gets constantly reviewed as one of the most stable inflatables on the market and we totally agree.
Dimensions : Length - 14ft. / Width - 32in. / Depth - 8in. / Carrying Capacity - 800lbs.
If you’re looking for a board which you can be absolutely sure of it’s stability and one that gives you plenty of exploration options this is an amazing choice. Personally, 14ft. is one of my favorite lengths and it provides the feeling of paddling a small boat while still being able to move it through the water with a single paddler.
#3 Tower Universal Inflatable 10’4”
This board is really a one size fits all. It’s ideal for simply paddling, great size for SUP yoga, fishing and even a floating “dock” for the kids. The Tower Universal Inflatable 10’4’’ is crafted, as is all of Tower’s inflatables, with extremely rigidity throughout. This comes from the drop-stitch pattern that binds the bottom and deck together and when fully inflated has the strength of plywood. This means no more feeling like you’re paddling a wet noodle through the water.
Dimensions : Length - 10ft. 4in. / Width - 32 in. / Depth - 6in. / Carrying Capacity - 220+ lbs.
Durability : You can drive your car over your board. While we don’t recommend you use them to park your car on, they will take quite the beating. Tower representatives say that they have tossed them off roofs and they are no worse for wear, besides a little dirt from hitting the ground.
#4 Tower iRace Inflatable 12’6”
Designed for speed and touring this board is the epitome of inflatable racing Stand-UP Paddle boards. Most other inflatable SUP’s (and there aren’t many) are 4 inches thick which brings with it the issue of sitting too low in the water. An immediate effect of that is wet feet and that’s not too fun. This iRace is 6 inches thick and quite long which helps it track through the water beautifully and keeps our staying high and dry.
Dimensions : Length - 12ft. 6in. / Width - 30in. / Depth - 6in. / Carry Capacity - 350lbs.
When rolled up it is only 12 x 33 inches which makes it simple to transport wherever you wish and is easy to store.
Company and History
Tower Paddle Boards was born in 2010 and in 2011, after pitching the idea on Shark Tank, Mark Cuban invested in the company and ever since then it hasn’t stopped growing. Tower is led by Stephan Aarstol who has been featured on countless media outlets and lists as a influential CEO both locally in San Diego and throughout the nation.
In 2014 Tower Paddle Boards was named the fastest growing private company in San Diego which is saying something with all of the start-up businesses that are coming out of Southern California. Since then, Tower has become a top seller on Amazon and is frequently mentioned as an innovator in the industry and online marketing. Tower isn’t stopping anytime soon by the looks of it and with every year they continue to improve quality, develop new models and keep the low prices that help set them apart.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Each of These Boards Best For?
There is no easy answer to this since there are many variables, and a lot depends on you and how you use the board. Simply put though, shorter boards are great for people who prize maneuverability and quickness while longer boards are really stable, have the ability to hold more weight and track straighter through the water.
Now to delve into each board...let's start with the smallest. The Tower Universal 9’10’’ is truly the go to for an all around paddle board which is why it lands first on our list. It’s an easily manageable size both in and out of the water as well as quick and lightweight.
The next step up is the Tower Universal 10’4’’ which is the same dimensions as the 9’10’’ except for an addition of 6 inches in length. Those 6 inches help bump up the carrying capacity of the board 20 lbs. and provide a bit more stability while stand up paddling.
On too the Tower iRace Inflatable 12’6’’and Tower Xplorer Inflatable 14’’. The iRace Inflatable is long and skinny making it ideal for straight lines through the water and is easily the fastest boat Tower has on the market. So, if you are looking for a board to do downwinders (paddling with the wind) or any racing...this is the SUP. The Tower Xplorer was created for adventure, unmatched stability and the ability to hold 800+ lbs. This makes this board ideal for multiple people, long paddles where food, shelter and other misc. items are needed aboard and works amazing as a floating dock to play on.
Does Tower Make Epoxy Boards?
They do! For a straight forward epoxy board Tower makes a Classic 10’6’’ that is a quite reasonably priced. Tower also produces a beautiful wooden Stand-Up Paddleboard, a Carbon Cross board which has layers on Kevlar, as well as Carbon Matrix board which uses the best in boating technology making it ultra tough and lightweight.
Can you surf with Tower Paddle Boards?
Yes, and no...Tower boards are made to paddle, not surf, but that doesn’t mean they wont catch a wave. In general, surfing inflatable stand up paddle boards is a bit tricky since they float high in the water and don’t really cut into the wave. Is it possible to surf with a inflatable? Absolutely, it just rides different than surfboard and I suggest sticking with the small waves if not the white wash. Each SUP if different though and should be approached that way; for example, attempting to surf the Tower Xplorer 14’’ though would likely lead to disaster since it’s not made to surf, it’s made to explore and fit multiple people upon its deck.
The epoxy and carbon based Hard Board that Tower offers do perform better in surf than the inflatables but the boards are still crafted after the focus of cruising and adventure, not surf.
Are Fins and Leashes Included With a Board Purchase?
Fins are included with the board; a removable center fin comes with every board and each model has two side fins that come installed. This is the case for all the boards besides the Tower Xplorer 14’’ and Tower iRace 12’6’’ which don’t need the extra bite in the water since the length of both boards yield excellent tracking through the water.
Do Tower Boards Come With a Warranty?
Tower has a 2 year manufacturer warranty that covers any defects or workmanship errors. This warranty doesn’t include regular wear and tear or sun damage that arises from customer neglect though, which makes sense and is standard with most SUP companies. Tower is known to be responsive and is focused on customer satisfaction on every level which definitely permeates their warranty on their inflatables.
Why are they so affordable?
This is another reason we dig Tower Paddle Boards, they provide direct manufacture to customer sales which allows them to cut out a third party stores and sales representatives and offer them at factory prices. Pretty rad if you ask me.
If you have the money and want to get something a bit more top-tier, make sure to check out our paddle board main guide for reviews of some of the best on the market!
What about the Pump and Paddle?
A hand pump comes with every Stand-Up Paddle Board which is specially made to inflate the boards to a rigid and firm state.
A 3 piece fiberglass adjustable paddle is also included on all the links above. Tower does sell boards without a paddle though. The paddle length is adjustable between 65 and 85 inches and an easy way to determine paddle length is to raise your arm above your head and bring the end of the handle up to your wrist while keeping the blade of the paddle on the ground.
Solid A+, for good reason.
Tower adds an extra step that most other companies look past and this is what really caught our eye. The material used for Tower Inflatable Paddle Boards is high quality, military grade 6’’ PVC which is extremely durable and is 2’’ more than other standard paddle boards. Another thing that caught our eye was the number of models Tower produces, besides their full range of inflatables they have created hard boards made out of the finest synthetic material and wooden SUP’s that look incredible natural and sleek. Overall, Tower gets our vote as one of the finest SUP manufacturers around.