Best Inflatable SUP Boards (December 2018)

2018 Best Inflatable Paddle Boards

Welcome to Inflatable Boarder β€” we're a leading online publisher of inflatable paddle board reviews, and on our website, you'll find honest, in-depth reviews of the very best inflatable SUPs on the market for 2018. Our #1 rated iSUP reviews include a massive number of high-quality photos as well as a comprehensive video overview to help you find the iSUP board that is right for you.

For the vast majority of paddlers, we feel that iSUPs are a far better choice than rigid boards as inflatable paddle boards made with drop stitch construction offer an unparalleled blend of portability, durability, and performance. In our opinion, inflatable boards are the best all-around option for flatwater paddling, yoga and SUP fitness workouts, river SUP, families, touring, and more. They're also extremely safe for paddling around small children, and the tough military-grade PVC skin means you can even bring your dog along.

Regardless of your experience level, budget, and paddling interests, we're here to help you find an inflatable stand up paddle board that is perfectly suited to your needs. At Inflatable Boarder, we're passionate about inflatable SUPs and paddling in general, so if you're a beginner and need additional assistance or simply have questions that we didn't answer in a specific video or write-up, feel free to drop us a line! We're always quick to respond and are more than happy to help fellow paddlers out...

Latest Reviews

Scoprega’s Bravo GE 2 electric iSUP pump is a newly upgraded model for 2019 that features a larger dual motor for faster and more efficient inflation of inflatable paddle boards, boats, kayaks, rafts, dinghies, tubes, toys, and more. One of the things that really sets this electric paddle board pump apart from other models we’ve reviewed is the fact that the GE 2 comes with a built-in battery. After charging the pump, you can use it to conveniently inflate your board on the beach, next to the lake, etc. without needing to attach the pump to your vehicle’s battery or cigarette lighter. This is a game-changer as it gives you the ability to automatically inflate your iSUP without a car or truck β€” perfect if […]

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Brand new for 2019 and GILI Sports’ second inflatable SUP model, the 11′ GILI Adventure is an all-around board that is also excellent for touring, fishing, and even SUP fitness. This board offers some nice upgrades over the company’s 10’6″ AIR, and we’ll cover all of that and more in this review… A fresh name on the inflatable SUP scene last season, GILI Sports is spearheaded by founder Jay Regan. GILI currently has two models in their SUP lineup as well as a growing collection of accessories, and there are additional iSUP boards currently in the works. In this review of GILI’s 11′ Adventure paddle board, we’ll cover the improvements made in this new model, the board’s construction and features, specs, paddling performance, pros and […]

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Well, the 2018 Black Friday shopping season is upon us and there are some absolutely incredible deals to be had this year on some of our favorite inflatable paddle boards. In this post, we’ll give you the inside scoop on this year’s hottest Black Friday SUP sales and show you exactly where to shop (and when) to get the best prices and discounts. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to buy a SUP, it’s now… Pro Tip! While most aren’t paddling this time of year, the winter is the best time to buy a new stand up paddle board as prices are low and companies are moving inventory out for the upcoming season’s models. Black Friday is amazing if you act quickly as […]

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One of the main advantages of inflatable paddle boards is the fact that they’re so portable β€” traveling with an iSUP gives you a level of freedom that’s simply not possible with traditional hard boards. Inflatables can be rolled up and checked with luggage, easily transported in any vehicle (including taxis!), andΒ stored in the smallest of spaces. For paddlers who frequently travel, one seriously important piece of gear is a collapsible 3-piece paddle. While it’s true that many inflatable SUPs come with a paddle these days, they’re usually entry-level paddles that leave a lot to be desired when it comes to performance and overall durability. An obvious solution to this problem is to simply upgrade your SUP paddle, and one excellent option to consider is […]

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The newest addition to the company’s lineup of popular waterproof bags, the YETI Panga Backpack is a 28-liter, 100% submersible pack that’s built like a tank and designed to keep your gear totally dry β€” no matter what. As you’d expect with any YETI product, the Panga Backpack 28 features top-shelf build quality and the best design we’ve seen on any waterproof backpack to date. We’re huge fans of YETI’s Panga waterproof duffel bags, and when we heard that the company was expanding their bag lineup with a brand new backpack, we knew it was going to be a total game changer as far as waterproof packs go.Β In this review of YETI’s Panga Backpack 28, we’ll take an in-depth look at the bag’s features, construction, […]

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The 2018 BLACKFIN 10’6″ Model X is an extremely high-quality inflatable SUP that is part of iROCKER’s brand new BLACKFIN line. iROCKER’s popular lineup of inflatable paddle boards is well-known for their great build quality and affordable price points, and the BLACKFIN iSUPs are geared towards paddlers who want a higher-end inflatable paddle board with premium features and accessories. Founded by Dave Erwin and Steve Elder, Jacksonville-based iROCKER SUP has quickly become a well-known brand in the world of inflatable paddle boards. The company’s growing iSUP line currently consists of 7 models ranging in size from 10′ to 11’6″ in length, and their new premium BLACKFIN SUP lineup includes both the 10’6″ Model X (which we’re covering in this review) and the fasterΒ 11’6″ Model XL. […]

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One of the most important pieces of gear when it comes to SUP safety, a PFD (personal flotation device) is an essential accessory that you should never paddle without. These days, paddleboarding PFDs typically come in the form of inflatable belt packs and more traditional life jackets, and in this 2018 buyer’s guide we’re going to list the best SUP PFD options for adults, kids, and even dogs. In addition to keeping you safe on the water, wearing a PFD while paddleboarding is required by law in many locations and refusing to use one can result in a hefty fine. While stand up paddle safety awareness has definitely been on the rise in recent years, there are still far too many paddlers who aren’t using […]

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The BEARZ Outdoor microfiber towel set is a fantastic option for paddleboarding and SUP fitness, traveling, swimming, camping, and just about anything else you can imagine. These lightweight, quick-drying towels are super convenient and pack down into their included compact storage pouches. Like the BEARZ Outdoor blanket that we previously reviewed, these towels are an affordable SUP accessory and great gift idea β€” they’re incredibly absorbent, antibacterial, and very soft to the touch. Also, the included storage pouches have zippered storage pockets and come with handy carabiners that you can quickly and easily attach to your life jacket, backpack, or SUP. BEARZ Outdoor : Standard Set β€” Includes a small 15″ x 12″ face cloth and a 48″ x 24″ towel Large Set β€” Comes […]

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A SUP cooler is one of the best SUP accessories you can buy if you’re an angler or are simply spending a great deal of time on the water. A versatile accessory that can be used for much more than just paddleboarding, a high-quality cooler is an investment that you’ll enjoy for many years to come. In this 2018 SUP cooler buyer’s guide, we’ll compare this year’s best rotomolded cooler options as well as our favorite soft-sided models. In addition to comparing the specs of each cooler, we’ll also discuss some pros and cons to help you figure out which cooler will be the best choice to bring along on your paddling adventures. So without further ado, let’s talk coolers… Best SUP Coolers (2018) β€” […]

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Waterproof fanny packs are a great SUP accessory to have β€” they are comfortable, convenient, and do a fantastic job of keeping your wallet, keys, phone, camera, and other small accessories dry. For many paddlers, a regular-sized dry bag is overkill when you only need to stash away a few small items, and a waterproof waist pack is the perfect option for these times. When it comes to dry bags and waterproof pouches, we probably don’t need to tell you how important it is to choose carefully. Buying the cheapest waterproof protection for your valuables can often result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars of ruined electronics and other items due to leaks, so it’s far better to focus on reliability and overall quality […]

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Should You Buy an iSUP or a Hard Board?

Inflatable stand up paddle boards have absolutely exploded in popularity over the past few years due to the fact that they are affordable, convenient, and super durable. An iSUP can be stored in even the smallest of spaces which makes them perfect for apartment dwellers, high-rise living, and boat life. Also, if you happen to enjoy traveling, inflatable SUPs are a total game-changer as they can be deflated, rolled up, and brought along on planes, taxis, and even scooters!

But iSUPs weren't always such a compelling option. When blow up paddle boards were first introduced, they left a lot to be desired. The first boards to hit the market lacked the durability and rigidity that today's best inflatables offer, and performance was lackluster at best.

Fast forward to 2018, and the performance gap between the best inflatable paddle boards and their rigid counterparts continues to get narrower. Thanks to cutting edge advancements in drop-stitch construction technology, iSUPs are getting lighter, faster, tougher, and stiffer with each passing season. New manufacturing processes such as fusion construction are also helping to reduce weight, waste, and environmental impacts.

So should you buy an inflatable paddle board or a rigid board? Unless you're a competitive paddler who is only interested in top-line surf or racing performance, an iSUP offers the most benefits and is by far the best choice. While there are literally countless reasons to choose an inflatable stand up paddle board over a rigid board, here's a list of our top 7:

The best inflatable SUP boards are made from heavy-duty materials that are virtually indestructible. The tough outer skin is made from an ultra-durable PVC fabric that is highly-resistant to punctures, cuts, and abrasions. While cracks and dings are always a major concern with hard SUPs, inflatables are worry-free in this respect.

With iSUPs, you never have to concern yourself with things like car roof racks or trailers. An inflatable SUP deflates and rolls up like a sleeping bag, allowing you to transport it in your vehicle's trunk, backseat, or even on the back of a scooter, bicycle, or ATV.

Rigid stand up paddle boards require a ton of storage space and pose a serious challenge for anyone who lives in an apartment or high-rise condo. Inflatable SUPs, on the other hand, can be deflated, rolled up, and easily stored under your bed or in a closet.

While there are some exceptions, for the most part, inflatable paddle boards cost less than equivalent hard boards. In addition to being less expensive to buy, inflatables are also cheaper to maintain as you won't have to spend a lot of additional money on costly future repairs. Lastly, since you'll be able to bring your inflatable SUP along on vacations, you'll also save a lot of money on SUP rental fees.

Traveling with an inflatable paddle board is a breeze, and you can even bring your iSUP along with you when you fly. Just pack your board in a carrying bag or backpack, check it with the rest of your luggage, and pick it up once you arrive at your destination.

For camping and hiking enthusiasts, an inflatable SUP is a great piece of gear to bring along as you can experience off-the-beaten-path paddling spots that would otherwise be inaccessible. An iSUP also makes a comfortable sleeping pad as it can be used as an air mattress.

Last but not least, inflatable SUPs are safer than hard boards. While iSUPs are extremely stiff when fully inflated, they still offer a slight amount of "give" and are more forgiving than rigid boards when it comes to bumps, knocks, and falls. This also makes inflatables a better choice if you'll be paddling with children or pets.

What to Look For in an Inflatable SUP

When you're looking for a new inflatable paddle board, there are several considerations to take into account as you're doing SUP comparison shopping. These are factors that we look at each and every time we do an inflatable SUP review. While individual paddlers will obviously have specific things that are more important to them than others, this core list will give you some basic guidelines to follow as you're comparing stand up paddle boards...

  1. The SUP Company's Reputation - We highly recommend that you deal only with brands that have a strong reputation for standing behind the gear that they make. Does the company have a history of providing solid after sales support? How easy is it to contact the company and how long does it take to get a response from them? Are existing customers happy with the performance and durability of their boards, or are there a large number of complaints?

  2. Build Quality - When it comes to inflatables, look for boards that are well-built with quality drop-stitch material and military-grade PVC that'll hold up for many years. Avoid cheap, low-quality paddle boards that feature flimsy construction, low-quality materials, and a sloppy fit and finish. Cheaper, poorly constructed boards can't be inflated to higher psi pressures, so that's something else to watch out for.

  3. Intended Use - Another important factor to consider is how you'll be using your board. Are you looking for a multipurpose board that does a lot fairly well, or are you looking for a specialty model that is specifically designed to excel at one type of activity? What about water conditions? Will you be doing flat water paddling? Oceans? Rivers? While not built for speed, an all-around model is typically ideal for most paddlers as these boards are versatile, extremely stable, and easy to paddle.

  4. Thickness - When compared with thinner 4" boards, iSUPs that are 6" thick will be stiffer, more buoyant, and ride higher in the water. The additional thickness will help to keep your feet dry while paddling which is especially important with cold water paddling in the winter. With that said, if you're planning to spend a lot of time playing in the waves, we'd recommend a high-quality board with a thinner profile (4"-5") for better surf performance.

  5. Width - Wider paddle boards offer increased stability, something that beginner paddlers will find helpful. 32" wide is a good starting point.

  6. Warranty - Often overlooked, the warranty is a key factor to consider when you're looking to buy an inflatable SUP. Warranties typically range from 1 to 3 years, and a longer warranty period shows that a SUP company has confidence in the durability of their gear and is willing to make things right if manufacturer defects occur.

  7. Included Accessories - Last but not least, the SUP accessory bundle makes a huge difference when it comes to overall value. Does the board come packaged with everything you need to start paddling, or will you be required to spend even more money on additional items such as a paddle or leash? Also, what is the quality of the included accessories like?

What Can You Do With an Inflatable Paddle Board?

In reality, this section would be more appropriately titled, "What CAN'T You Do With Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards". Today, paddlers are using inflatable SUPs for everything from fishing to fitness, and their versatility and toughness are simply unmatched. Here are just a few of the things that you can do with an inflatable SUP:

  • -SUP fishing
  • -Fitness (yoga, pilates, etc.)
  • -Surfing
  • -Whitewater/river SUP
  • -SUP racing
  • -Touring and multi-day excursions
  • -Paddling around small children or pets
  • -Camping
  • -Hiking
  • -Adventure travel
  • -Multi-paddler group fun
  • -Windsurfing

What's the Best Inflatable Paddle Board for 2018?

We get asked this question a lot due to the fact that we review so many inflatable SUP boards, but the truth is, there's no single board that is right for every paddler. All inflatable paddle boards models (and brands) have unique pros and cons, and the right board for you may not necessarily be the best board for someone else. Also, keep in mind that there are a variety of board categories for different types of paddling.

How to Care for an iSUP

Inflatable paddle boards are designed to handle a lot of abuse and honestly don't require much as far as special care goes. First of all, you should avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. When your board's not in use, simply place it in a shady area and out of the sun's intense rays.

Next, it's essential to rinse your iSUP, paddle, and other paddling accessories off with fresh water after each use. Salt water will absolutely destroy your gear, so give everything a thorough rinse after you're done. If you find that your board is looking dirty, some mild soap and water will do the trick. Also, an occasional wipe down with some 303 UV Protectant Spray will prevent damage from harmful UV rays and keep your board looking newer, longer - just remember not to spray your board's traction pad.

Last but not least, make sure that your board is nice and dry before rolling it up placing it in the carry bag. Not giving your gear time to properly dry before storage will result in mold - something you definitely want to avoid.

In the event that your iSUP needs to be repaired at some point in the future, it's good to know that all boards these days come with a repair kit. Most repairs are simple do-it-yourself fixes that can be easily completed in just a few minutes, and there are plenty of easy-to-follow tutorials online that will walk you through the repair process.