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Ideal for long-distance paddles and multi-day SUP tours, today’s best touring paddle boards offer a blend of speed, stability, and maximum glide performance…
While the majority of people are still opting for the added stability and versatility of an all-around paddle board, inflatable touring SUPs have increased in popularity over the last few seasons as more paddlers are discovering the exciting world of SUP tours, camping, and overnight expeditions.
In this freshly-updated 2021 inflatable touring SUP buyer’s guide, we’ll compare our top-picks for this year, share some tips on exactly what to look for in a touring iSUP, and answer some commonly asked questions.
Best Touring Paddle Boards Comparison Chart
Top-Rated Touring SUPs
|11'6" x 34" x 6"|
|300 lbs||2-years, |
30-day money back
BLACKFIN Model V
|12'6" x 32" x 6"|
|485 lbs||2-years, |
30-day money back
|Read ReviewCheck Price|
|11'6" x 30" x 6"|
30-day money back
|Read ReviewCheck Price|
GILI Meno 12'6
|12' x 45" x 8"|
60-day money back
Other Touring SUPs
|14' x 30" x 6"|
60-day money back
|Read ReviewCheck Price|
Honu Sorrento 12'6"
|12'6" x 30" x 5.9"|
30-day money back
Top-Rated Touring SUP Reviews
NIXY Monterey G4
11’6″ x 34″ x 6″
Availability: US, Canada, Australia
Newly introduced in 2021, the NIXY Monterey G4 is designed with long distance paddling, multi-day adventures and serious fishing in mind. At 34 inches wide the Monterey is the widest board on this list, giving it an extra dose of stability for those who prefer it, but thanks to its light weight, straight tracking, and stiff design it doesn’t sacrifice any performance.
The Monterey is also serious about handling whatever gear you may throw at it with, we think, the most functional combined bungee cargo area square footage of the boards listed. It also has a unique toggle on the bungees allowing you to adjust the tension or remove them completely. The board also includes 18x D-rings, 10x action mounts (M8 thread), and 2x Scotty mounts for attaching even more equipment.
Like all of NIXY’s G4 boards, the Monterey features fusion laminated woven drop-stitch construction. In short this makes for a lighter paddle board that is stronger and stiffer when inflated and easier to roll up when deflated. Both side rails feature carbon fiber reinforcement for additional longitudinal stiffness and abrasion resistance. Finally, the Monterey is also the first NIXY board to feature a dual air chamber for added safety and rigidity.
Included with the NIXY Monterey is one of our favorite sets of accessories comprised of a top-rated rugged rolling SUP backpack, a carbon hybrid travel paddle, three-stage pump, 10 foot coiled leash, and repair kit.
Bottom Line: The NIXY Monterey G4 is ideal for those who want maximum storage and attachment options, prefer some extra stability, and place a premium on NIXY’s advanced, lightweight construction and top-notch accessories.
Blackfin Model V
12’6″ x 32″ x 6″
Availability: US, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia
The Blackfin Model V from iROCKER has been around for several years now and has become a popular model for touring and adventure paddlers. With the addition of Scotty mounts for the BLACKFIN fishing rack in 2020, the BLACKFIN paddle boards have also become popular fishing SUPs.
At a foot longer than the NIXY Monterey and 2 inches narrower, the Model V provides a nice medium ground of stability between the ultra-stable Monterey and the narrower SUPs on this list. Put another way, the Model V is as wide as the average 32 inch all-around paddle board.
In terms of storage, the Model V has two well-sized bungee cargo areas, if not quite as big as the Monterey’s. It also comes with 20x D-rings, 8x action mounts (M8 thread) and 2 Scotty mounts for attaching all your gear.
In terms of construction, iROCKER still uses a less advanced glued, three-layer, drop stitch construction which is reflected in it being the heaviest board on this list. However, once on the water the weight is less noticeable – maneuvering well and tracking straight. It does feature carbon fiber reinforced side rails for added stiffness and abrasion protection.
The Model V is includes BLACKFIN’s premium accessories including a nice roller backpack, carbon fiber shaft paddle (although with nylon blade), three-stage pump, 10 foot coiled leash, and repair kit.
Bottom Line: The Blackfin Model V is a nice balance of length and width – speed and stability – along with a good compliment of features and solid accessories. It also has the benefit of being nearly universally available.
THURSO Expedition 138
11’6” x 30″ x 6″
Availability: US, Canada, UK, Europe
The THURSO Expedition 138 is another touring paddle board that has been on our top pick list for quite a while. At 11’6” long and only 30 inches wide, it’s the smallest board on this list, so it’s best suited for lighter paddlers who prefer a nimbler board or who don’t plan on carrying a large amount of cargo.
The updated 2021 version now incorporates woven drop-stitch construction, like the NIXY, trimming the Expedition’s weight down to 26 pounds. It also incorporates carbon fiber reinforced siderails for longitudinal stiffness and abrasion protection.
For cargo, the Expedition sports a massive front cargo bungee area, although the rear cargo area is quite small, and like the Model V neither are adjustable or removable. The THURSO also includes 15x D-rings for attaching gear, but no Scotty mounts. It does include handy Velcro paddle mounts on both sides of the board, something we wish the NIXY and the BLACKFIN included.
As far as accessories go, THURSO is right up there with NIXY, including our favorite carbon fiber paddle, the exact same three-stage pump as the NIXY, a high quality wheeled backpack, a 10 foot coiled leash, and repair kit.
Bottom Line: THURSO’s iconic woodgrain appearance Expedition 138 provides a great option for those looking for a smaller touring paddle board.
GILI Meno 12’6”
12’6″ x 31″ x 6″
A new addition to our list for 2021, the GILI Meno 12’6” is very comparable to the BLACKFIN Model V. Both are 12’6″ long while the GILI is only an inch narrower at 31 inches wide. This gives the GILI a slight edge over the Model V on pure straight line speed while being a touch less stable – you’ll have to decide which is more important to you. It’s also worth noting that the Meno comes with a single center fin versus the Model V’s 3-fin thruster design.
In terms of features, the Meno has 4x action mounts, and 14x D-rings, but no Scotty mounts (unlike the Model V). While the Meno’s rear cargo bungee is slightly smaller, it is removable, which we appreciate. The Meno also has Velcro paddle holders similar to the THURSO Expedition, a feature we love, although only on one side.
In terms of construction, GILI uses a similar fusion woven drop-stitch construction to NIXY, with all of the same durability, rigidity, and weight benefits you would expect. Weighing in at 24 pounds, the Meno 12’6” is the lightest board on this list.
GILI’s included accessories for the Meno 12’6 are slightly different than some its competitors. They include a choice of two different carbon fiber paddles, a set of three different center fins, a high quality rolling backpack, a three-stage pump, a 10 foot coiled leash, and a repair kit.
Bottom Line: GILI’s Meno 12’6 provides a less costly alternative to the BLACKFIN Model V, especially for paddlers who aren’t interested in Scotty mounts for accessories like fishing racks. It may even be preferred by those who would rather trade off some of the Model V’s stability for the Meno’s slightly faster speed.
Other Touring SUPs To Consider
There are a few touring paddle boards that are either new enough that we’ve not yet had a chance to try them out (but think they look promising) or which didn’t make our main list but may be a good fit for you despite the caveats.
12’6” x 30″ x 6“
Availability: US, Australia
We’ve not yet had the chance to test the Honu Sorrento hands-on, but based on our experience with other Honu SUPs we would expect it to be a high quality option. Honu has been selling both hard and inflatable paddle boards in Australia for nearly 20 years. They recently made the decision to go all-in on inflatable and revamped their construction and designs. In the summer of 2021 they made the leap to bring their SUPs to the US market for the first time.
Like several of the other top touring boards on this list, the Honu Sorrento uses fused woven drop stitch construction. This ensures the boards are strong and stiff when inflated and soft and easy to roll when deflated while keeping them as light as possible. Somewhat differently, they incorporate a carbon fiber stringer on the top and bottom of the board, rather than the side rails, for additional stiffness.
Features-wise Honu prides itself in its minimalist approach. It provides front and rear cargo bungee areas, but otherwise there are no action mounts, scotty mounts, or paddle holders. Generally their goal is to minimize the amount of hardware and clutter on the board to reduce weight and clutter, instead leaving it to you to decide if you want to add anything after you buy the board.
Bottom Line: Minimalists and ultralight enthusiasts will want to check out Honu’s Sorrento ultralight touring paddle board.
Bluefin Sprint 14
14′ x 30″ x 6″
Availability: US, UK, Europe
The Bluefin Sprint 14′ presented a bit of conundrum that kept it off our touring SUPs top pick list for 2021, but has enough positives that we still wanted to mention it for those paddlers for whom it might be a good fit.
First off, at 14 feet it’s quite a bit longer than any of the other boards on this list. Meanwhile being only 30 inches wide it’s fairly narrow making it less stable than we think is ideal for many touring paddlers. If you look at Bluefin’s marketing materials you’ll see right away that sometimes they list it as a touring board while at other times they pitch it as a racing board. That’s the catch – it’s something of hybrid of the two niches and honestly it is closer to an entry level racing board.
Second, the cargo storage is only average and there’s only one action mount and no paddle holder. Third, the included accessories are decidedly lower-end: fiberglass paddle, basic backpack, two-stage pump, 10 foot coiled leash, repair kit.
On the plus side, the Sprint’s dimensions means it tracks straight and goes fast. It’s also the cheapest board on this list by several hundred dollars. While we think you would be better off spending more for one of our top-rated boards for multi-day touring or cargo-heavy trips, the Bluefin Sprint could be a good budget option if you’re looking for a low-cost SUP for single-day distance trips.
Bottom Line: The Bluefin Sprint 14′ may be a worthy budget touring option if you’re primary taking day trips for distance or speed as long as you’re comfortable with a narrower board and no-frills accessories.
SUP Touring FAQs
What is a Touring Paddle Board?
A touring SUP board is designed for paddling efficiency, carrying capacity, and stability. Faster than all-around SUPs and ideal for paddling longer distances and multi-day SUP tours, touring SUPs allow you to paddle faster without sacrificing stability as seen with boards designed for SUP racing.
Touring vs. All-Around SUP — Which is Better?
Both of these popular SUP board categories have their place and it’s impossible to say that one is better than the other in every circumstance. If you’re specifically looking to buy a SUP for touring and have no interest in other paddling activities like SUP fitness, fishing, etc., then a touring iSUP is what we’d recommend. For those who want a more versatile option and don’t mind some sacrifices in the performance department, an all-arounder makes the most sense.
What to Look for in an Inflatable Touring SUP Board?
In our touring SUP board reviews, there are several important things that we look for. First of all, the boards that we recommend the most are well-built and backed by rock-solid 2-year warranties. SUP touring can place significant demands on a board, so reliability is at the top of the list when it comes to priorities. Secondly, while there are plenty of touring iSUPs with minimalist designs, we prefer boards that come loaded with features such as bungee storage areas, plenty of D-ring tie-down points, and a variety of grab handles. Lastly, overall value is an important consideration, and all of our favorite touring paddle boards are affordably priced and include a high-quality SUP accessory bundle.
What Size Touring SUP is Best?
When it comes to SUP touring, paddling speed and tracking are far more important than maneuverability which is why we recommend longer boards. The sweet spot for touring SUP board length is 11’6” to 12’6” and the best width is 30” to 32”.
How Much Front Rocker Should a Touring SUP Have?
The question of what’s best for a touring SUP rocker depends largely on what type of conditions you’re going to be paddling in. If you’re going to be dealing with chop, wind, and waves, you’ll want a board with a larger rocker profile. For better flat water performance, a flatter rocker profile will provide more water surface contact, making it faster and delivering improved straight-line tracking.
What is SUP Camping?
SUP camping is an enjoyable activity that allows you to explore large coastlines and bodies of water over a multi-day period. A fun alternative to hiking, SUP camping trips give you the ability to access interesting new places and set up camp in breathtaking, off-the-beaten-path locations.
Who Has Touring Paddle Boards for Sale?
To find the best deal on an inflatable touring SUP, be sure to bookmark our constantly updated page of paddle board sales.
Recommended SUP Touring Gear
When it comes to SUP touring, it’s critical to understand that having the right gear is also important. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of SUP touring gear, the following accessories are a great starting point if you’re just getting involved with this exciting aspect of the sport:
- SUP Cooler – Capable of keeping food and drinks cold for extended periods, a good cooler is one of the first things we recommend to SUP touring newcomers.
- Waterproof Belt Pack – A piece of gear that’s worth its weight in gold, a waterproof fanny pack will keep your electronics and valuables bone dry and conveniently within arms reach at all times.
- Dry Bag – A high-quality waterproof backpack or dry bag duffel will keep changes of clothes, towels, and other gear safe and dry, regardless of the conditions. We highly recommend YETI’s Panga waterproof backpack with its easy-to-access zipper design and airtight seal.
- PFD – When it comes to paddleboarding in general, it should go without saying that a SUP PFD or life jacket is always a must-have accessory. Whether you’re embarking on a challenging SUP tour or just going out for a quick paddle, don’t leave shore without it.
While most people who are looking to buy an inflatable paddle board will continue to choose an all-around SUP because of the increased stability and overall versatility, touring SUPs are becoming more popular as our sport continues to evolve. Preferred for long-distance paddles and multi-day SUP tours, inflatable touring paddle boards are fast, fun, and can transport a ton of gear. If you’re serious about taking your paddling adventures to the next level, each of this year’s recommended touring boards will help you to do just that.