My Review Of The Three Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards My favorite iSUPs of 2018

Updated (01/21/18) Note: We constantly update all of our reviews to keep them up to date. We originally featured the iRocker Sport 11′ on our list but have replaced it with the newer iRocker Cruiser. You might see a lot of older comments referring to the old iRocker 11′ which is not featured anymore.

With the number of inflatable SUPs I have been reviewing of late, the time is just about right for a Top 3. I have been, quite literally, hop skip and jumping from one iSUP to another as the blow-up version seems to be on some kind of a renaissance mission. I can’t complain because the boards have been, for the most part, a joy ride.

Quick Answer: The Best Inflatable/Blow Up Paddle Boards in 2018

  1. The iRocker Cruiser 10’6″
  2. The Red Paddle Co Ride 10’6″
  3. The Starboard Astro Atlas Zen

1. The iRocker Cruiser

Cruiser 10'6You can find boards cheaper than the Cruiser, but you won’t be getting the same value.

If you are looking to buy the Cruiser, you should be someone who prefers flatwater conditions. It’s designed to do what the name suggests…being a cruiser.

The Value

Cruisers include everything you need to get started. Many other companies will include the paddle, bag and leash the same as iRocker. It’s a great way to sell the SUP, but for the most of it, the accessories you receive are low quality. iRocker has been constantly improving their boards and accessories along the way. The included fiberglass paddle and travel bag are exorbitantly better than most others we’ve seen.

Which gives the Cruiser it’s value, the board is made with care and lots of thought. The accessories are the same. So you get a full package that performs well and will last. We can’t think of many other package deals that match iRockers Cruiser for price and quality.

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Cruisiest Cruiser

The Cruiser is the most chill board of them all. It’ll hang out with you no matter what your experience or size is. It then will make you also feel great about yourself! What a cruiser!

A 10’6 board may seem small for some bigger riders. But we put this to you, its max capacity is 350 lbs. How can it hold such weight at this size? From careful and precise engineering when manufacturing their boards. It’s a thick board that can be inflated to high pressures so much that it resembles a hardboard.

Extra SUP gear
Backpack, pump, fin, leash, the paddle with the extra kayak blade, kayak seat, and a repair kit.

What else do you want in a Cruiser? Comfort! Because if you are cruising it tends to imply you’ll be out on the water for a little while. This board is incredibly comfortable to paddle. For a few different reasons too. The paddle is easy and light, the deck pad is thick and the main one, it’s stable. Which then also makes this board a perfect option for beginners too.

Got gear to bring too? Plenty of storage space that also includes cords to secure your load.

The Possibilities

SUP with a kayak seat

The Cruiser is so versatile in who can ride it, but also has the option of being turned into a Kayak. It’s a separate purchase, but the kayak bundle includes a seat and extra paddle blade. The seat attaches to the D-rings on the Cruisers deck. While then you just need to insert the paddles handle end into the other blade. Then you have yourself a sit on top kayak!

Comfort is assured now that ¾ of the surface has a deck pad. It also means your poochy friend can come along and have all the grip they need to not fall off. The durability of that materials also means that it won’t damage your board taking your SUP pup.

With 33″ in width it’s also one of the most stable inflatable SUPs you can buy. It’s beginner and kid-friendly and ideal for Yoga as well.

The iRocker Cruiser offers exceptional value for money, and it’s perfect for anyone from beginner, families, Yoga fanatics to advanced paddlers. It’s also extremely high-quality and comes with all the extras you could ask for. That’s why it’s our current No.1

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The Red Paddle Co. Ride

Red Paddle Co Ride 10'6Second, I have the 10’6” Ride from Red Paddle Co. This board is one of the best inflatables I have set my foot on, and not without reason. Before testing the Ride, I was very much a hardwood loyalist. Anything else was a compromise in my opinion. Then I tested the Ride. It was both, an eye-opener and a memorable experience. The board felt like nothing filled with air. It was strong, rigid, sturdy, and pretty much anything a hardwood board is.

Superior Make

Much of the reason why the Ride feels so rigid and upright, without the slightest hint of flex, is because of its sturdy construction. Red Paddle Co is using a brand new construction called MSL Fusion. MSL Fusion completely removes the hand gluing of the 2nd layer and the “board within a board” scenario that you know from other double layer constructions. The new construction process uses machines at the raw material stage. These machines inject the 2nd layer of high-density structural PVC to each board, creating a board which has all of the advantageous properties of a double layer board. However, it completely removes the human factor in producing the product and at the same time reduces the weight of the boards by up to 6lbs. The benefit of the superior construction is that the board can be pumped real hard, harder than most other inflatables. The Ride’s 25 PSI limit is more than a few points than what other boards can take: iRocker (15 PSI) or the Pathfinder Inflatable (15 PSI), for instance. The result: it doesn’t feel like an inflatable on water. Ride 10'6 inflating

Inflate And Deflate In An Instant 

The good iSUPs get the major details just about right. The great ones nail the finer details too. The Red Paddle Co. Ride has been blessed with one of the best air pumps that come along with the board – the Titan. Just like its name, the pump is big on performance. There are two chambers melded into one: a high volume / low-pressure chamber, and a low volume / high-pressure chamber. I could blow up the board in under 5 minutes. It comes with an accurate pressure gauge to easily monitor the PSI. Deflating the SUP is easy too. All you have to do is push in a little pin and twist it slightly, about 1/4th. Then roll it up, stack it in the backpack, and you are good to go. It sounds almost too easy, and it actually is.

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The Three Fins

This is where my opinion gets a bit divided. On the one hand, the triplefin system offers more control and maneuverability on choppy waters. You will find the iSUP easy to paddle across strong currents and even take on a wave or two like a pro. When it comes to white water and ocean paddling, the Ride is top notch. The problem is that the triplefin system lets the performance slip in flat waters. Beginners might find the board a bit difficult to keep in a straight line when paddling in flat water. The short fins are really not designed for tracking. This is a common issue you have with a thruster fin setup. While shorter fins allow for maneuverability, a more extended center fin helps track straighter. This leaves you with quite a bit of work to do. Inexperienced paddlers will have to paddle on both sides of the board to maintain a sense of direction.

Comparing the Ride Thruster fins to the iRocker 2+1 setup
Comparing the Ride Thruster fins to the iRocker 2+1 setup

The Ride Is Definitely A Good Ride

With the iSUP from Red Paddle Co., I finally understood the tremendous potential that inflatables possess. They don’t require a dedicated storage space, can be transported in a backpack, and offer a cost-effective option, especially for those wanting to test the waters of the sport. The Red is definitely worth the investment and definitely deserves to be named as one of the best inflatable SUPs in my eyes.

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Starboard Atlas Zen

Atlas by Starboard SUPsStarboard has been releasing a stellar line up of hardwood and inflatable boards each year, continuously working and improving on earlier models. At first glance, the Zen seems to be everything that has been said about it. The board feels like a true all-rounder that you can use for a variety of purposes. You can take it out for a short cruise on the lake, or get the adrenaline pumping by racing it on the flat water.

Born Tough

At its core, sits a 4.75-inch drop stitch construction that gives the board a thick, stable base. When inflated, this core becomes as tough as nails and will not flinch or flex one bit. Then you have a double layer PVC laminate that forms a durable skin over the inner core. Where the Zen is slightly ahead of the competition is in its 2+1 Rail Band feature. An airtight inner railband keeps everything nice and tight in the interior section. The outer railband adds to the toughness of the inflatable stand up paddle board’s body. The third railband sits on top of the board, acting as a strong compressor. The cherry on top of the cake is the heat resistant glue that acts a protective cocoon. You can stay out longer in the sun without worrying about the Zen heating up. Beautiful Paddle Board 12'

Superior Glide

The Starboard Atlas Zen feels light and easy on the water, allowing you to glide further with a single paddle stroke. This is because of the board’s shape. The SUP tapers nicely to the front and the rear as well. The smooth oval shape enables the board to streamline through the water surface with a minimum of fuss. Definitely one of the better cruisers available in the market today.

Fin Set Up

This is my favorite part of my third favorite iSUP. The reason the board turns out a good performance in varied conditions is because of its fin set up: A traditional 2+1 arrangement, with a large, detachable central fin and two smaller fixed fins. Attach the large fin and the Atlas Zen tracks in a smooth, straight line in flatwater conditions, which makes the board such a good touring option. You will find that a minimum of effort is required in keeping the board in a straight line, going forward. Remove the central fin when the time comes to take on whitewater challenge. The two smaller fins can cruise through the challenging waters of the open ocean and even take on small waves.

Atlas by Star-Board Fin Setup
Starboard Atlas Zen Fin Setup

The Small Details Matter 

I have already said that the small details separate the good boards from the great ones. The Zen is testament to this fact. The board’s nose has a slight lift that maximizes its aerodynamic shape for touring and speed. The bungee cord attached to the front of the board allows you to carry a nice lunch or additional equipment with you while cruising the river. Another detail that impressed me is the neoprene paddle holder at the tail of the board. You can simply dock your paddle as you carry the board around or get your daily dose of yoga on the lake.

Multi-Tasking All Rounder

Starboard’s Astro Atlas Zen is one of the top options for a lightweight, portable, all-around blow-up paddle board. It can be used in a variety of conditions and offers solid stability, enhanced glide, and good speed.

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108 thoughts on “My Review Of The Three Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards

    • It does. It also allows the board to be pumped up much harder than others while being a lot lighter. Red Paddle Co is known for their insanely durable boards. This video is from before they used MSL so by now the boards are even better!
      https://vimeo.com/84757199

  1. hi. can i transport one more person in red paddle co 10’6”. something i will transport my wife in the board. i’m 75 kg and she 65 kg

    • Hi Sergio. I’d recommend you go for the irocker in that case. It can carry a lot more weight than the Red Paddle Co. The Red Paddle Co is rated up to 220lbs. Even though I think it could easily carry more than that the iRocker is your safer choice.

  2. I was wondering: How many separate air chambers do inflatable SUPs have? Are there some with 1 chamber (yes obviously) but also some with 2 chambers, or 3 chambers?

    Thank you!

  3. I was looking at all 3 of these boards coincidentally enough. Wondering why the IRocker is always at a more economical price though?

  4. Looking to make my first isup purchase. I have zero experience with paddleboards in general. Realy could use a recommendation. I was an avid cyclist until last year when I herniated a disc skiing. I’ve been into enough hobbies to know there is no “quiver killer” and that conditions matter when you are choosing gear. With that being said, here’s what I’m looking to do.
    1. Tour in the Susquehanna River. Something that will go against the current and track rather well
    2. Handle the small rapids in the river (shallow water) without having to worry about ripping a fin
    3. Stable enough to do moderate to hard interval sprints since I can’t really get on the bike anymore.
    4. Occasionally, drop a line and fish. It is a smallmouth bass destination after all.

    With that being said, I’m not even sure what size I should be looking at so any input is appreciated.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Kevin,
      herniated disc. That sounds painful :/

      I’d recommend the Starboard Atlas. It’s a perfect touring board so it tracks straight even in smaller waves and against the current. The iRocker or Red Paddle Co Sport are just as good and a little faster as well since they are not quite as wide (30″ compared to 33″). However, since you want to go fishing, you will appreciate the extra stability of a wider board. The Atlas is also longer, allowing you to store gear easily.

      Let me know what you decide on and good luck recovering from your injury!

      • Would your answer be the same if I removed the “fishing” option from the equation? That is probably the smallest part of the purchase.

        • If you removed the fishing option I’d go for the iRocker. It’s great for beginners and reasonably priced. Also tracks well and is definitely faster than the Atlas. Less width=more speed.

          • Out of curiosity, in your review of the inflatables, why did you not recommend the Naish? Again, I have no familiarity with any of the models. I just thought that was the industry standard.

          • You’re right, Naish makes great boards. I wouldn’t necessarily call them the industry standard though. In fact, the Red Paddle Co Ride is the most sold inflatable paddle board. I tested a lot of boards and the three mentioned here stood out for different reasons. With the growing variety of inflatables only naming 3 boards is of course questionable. I know there are other boards that should be mentioned to really make the list complete. I already have some reviews planned to go more into inflatable race boards, inflatable touring boards, etc.

  5. Aloha,
    At 235lbs I would like to pickup an inflatable that holds my weight and tracks well. I SUP everyday rain or snow in a river upstream for 2 miles. I currently use a hardboard. Can I get your choice between the following:
    Starboard: 14’0” x 28” RACER INFLATABLE
    Starboard Atlas you show here
    irocker you show here.
    Which one based on features and not price would you recommend?
    Thanks
    Brian

    • Hi Brian,
      Both the Atlas and Race have a recommended rider weight of up to 240lbs so you are cutting it close. Even though I’m sure that both boards can support more weight, the performance might be a bit worse. The Atlas, for example, is the only one out of the three that is 4.75″ and not 6″ thick and the Racer is 14′ long. Both are factors that could cause the board to slightly bend in the middle, especially if your SUPing in bad weather or choppy conditions and are close to the weight limit.

      I’d say go for the iRocker. It’s thick enough and won’t bend.

      Hope that helps!

  6. I can’t find a review for the NRS thrive. Is there a reason? Has anyone tried it? I am trying to decide what board to buy, petaluma river and santa cruz bay would be the two main places i paddle. Mostly for exercise, maybe a little yoga. Mright now I am between a ten toes, red ride, and the nrs thrive. Anyone have any opinions, suggestions, advice? Thanks

    • Hi Dana,
      no specific reason at all. Unfortunately, there are just way more interesting boards on the market than we have the time to review. I’ve never tested the NRS Thrive but at 36″ wide it will definitely be the most stable one out of the three you named. The Red Paddle Co Ride is a great choice for sure. Here is a full review I did a while back.
      If you’re on a budget I would take a look at the new iRocker Cruiser. I like it better than the Ten Toes Weekender and it would be better suited for exercise and yoga. Here is my full Cruiser review.

      Hope that helps!

    • So I will say that I do work for a retailer that sells the NRS Thrive but I will try and provide a bit of unbiased information.
      When you choose a board you should be looking for a very specific set of criteria. Shape, Volume, Max Pressure, Valve Type.

      Volume will dictate how the board will behave with different sizes of paddlers, manufacturers will base their suggestions with this number in mind, if you find a high volume board that is also wide it will be very stable. If you go for a lower volume board it will be lighter to carry, be more responsive as your shift your body weight.

      Boards come in only a handful of Shapes.

      Angling check out the badfisher from Boardworks for a great example of what an angling board can provide in features, stability for casting. It has 3 chambers and is very stable.

      Surf
      Whether it is for ocean or river surfing these boards are designed to hand surfing on waves, standing waves or moving.

      Universal
      This shape is available from all brands, great first board, whether it is a hard board or inflatable. Pay attention to paddler weight suggestion, and pick a good brand that has updated their technology. Good boards are hitting 18-20 PSI and provide a much more stiff and better performing board.

      Touring
      Based of a Racing standard, touring boards often have more volume and more attachment points, they will track better than a universal shape but are less good for yoga, fishing, and aren’t as fun to play around on.

      Race
      People have started to race on inflatables as the technology improves, make great fitness boards also.

      I do agree that a Review of the 3 Best Boards seems suspect but I also understand that you can’t try every board on the market.

      Back to the NRS Thrive
      These boards are a really good change from the NRS inflatables from last season and earlier, they can be inflated up to 20PSI, they have a C7 valve which is standard for whitewater rafts which NRS has been a part of for many years. The fins on the Thrive series are removable and you get a selection to use depending on if if you are using it on flatwater, moving water etc. The deck is a thick layer of soft EVA which gives you good grip and a soft landing if you happen to fall on your knees. As with all Universal Shapes, choose the board based on your weight and ability level. Last thing to mention, make sure that whatever board you choose has a good warranty in case something happened at the factory, inflatables are durable but manufacturing mistakes happen in every industry great to see brands that back up their products.

  7. I’m 70 yrs female. Have bad knees, but can getup on the board slowly, I need stability as number one, more than speed. I love the water, but need one that isn’t wobbly and can make me feel safe on the water. I’m 5’8. thanks want isup. any suggestions please. My head is spinning with all these info. thanks

    • Hi Sandi,
      sorry for the late reply. Sounds like the iRocker Cruiser would be the perfect board for you. It’s super stable, inflatable and reasonably priced. You can read my full review here.

  8. We’re looking to purchase our first SUP. I have very little paddleboard experience, aside from renting one in Jamaica a few months ago, but am pretty athletic (Crossfit and running). We plan on using it on the lakes/reservoirs in CO and would like a board that I can take one of my kids on with me (ages 5 and 7).

    • It sounds like the iRocker 11′ is the perfect choice for you. It’s great for lake cruising and stable enough for 2 people. The board can hold up to 385 lbs so you can easily bring one or even both of you kids. Hope that helps 🙂

  9. Very happy I stumbled across your reviews of the 3 ISUP. It’s primary use will be on Lake Michigan, Traverse City bays and inland lakes exploring/touring. I weigh 190lbs and occasionally will have my 50lbs dog with me for shorter trips. Which of these 3 would be best? Any others I should consider?

    • I’d recommend you try the iRocker. It’s great for exploring/touring. If you want something slightly wider to make it easier for your dog you can try the All Around 11′. It’s 2 inches wider but still has a fairly sporty shape. So you get a more stable base without sacrificing too much speed.

      Another one I can definitely recommend is the Thurso Surf I tested recently. It comes with a super light carbon paddle which is great for longer trips and a single fin setup which is ideal for touring.

  10. I am sold on iRocker, but not sure which ones. I am 5’8″ 180 lbs, pretty athletic, beginner SUP’er. My daughter is 5’4″ 85 lbs, athletic and beginner as well. I want to buy boards that will fit our current level, but also boards that will serve us well as we get more accomplished. We will mostly use on flat water with occasional trips to the beach.

    • Hi Sammy,
      sounds like the iRocker Sport reviewed in this article would be a great fit. At 30″ wide it’s the sportiest board in the iRocker lineup and you will enjoy it as you get more advanced as well. It’s great for flat water cruising or short trips to the beach. The 10′ version would be fine for both of you. A more stable, yet slightly slower option would be the new Allrounder SUP from iRocker. It’s basically the same shape but it’s two inches wider and has a wider tail for added stability. Perfect if you want to bring a friend or some extra gear.

  11. I am interested in a first paddle board. It will be used mostly from a boat in sheltered water.I weigh 13 stone, the rest of the family want to use the board as well as children aged 14, 12 and 7 and of course my wife. My guess the children will subject it to abuse. With this range of use and users what would you recommend? Any help or advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

    Fraser

    • Hi Fraser and sorry for the late reply. Sounds like the new All Around range iRocker released this year would be ideal for you. It’s 32″ wide and stable enough for beginners and your kids but still maintains a sporty shape at the same time. There is a 10′ and 11′ version. I’d suggest you go for the 10′ to make sure your kids can handle it as well. It also has a weight capacity of 350 lbs. That’s enough for either all 3 of your kids or for you to bring one of them or your wife along. Last but not least it’s super durable and can withstand quite a bit of abuse. I reviewed the 10′ here and the 11′ here.

      Hope that helps
      Tobias

  12. Love this review, I am trying to decide between the iRocker and the ride, I assume it will by far mostly be used on flat water. I think what matters most to me is that smoother glide feeling through the water.

    • Thanks 🙂 Definitely go for the iRocker if that’s your priority. The large center fin causes it to track straighter and the 30″ width means there is less resistance. You basically glide further with every paddle stroke.

  13. New to the inflatable game. I paddle boarded in Florida most of my life. Now I’m looking for something to use on lakes in and around Austin area. Occasionally take back to Florida to use in the bay and gulf. I would like a board that is fast and tracks well in all conditions. Usually carry a small cooler.

  14. New to the inflatable game. Paddleboarded most of my life in Florida. Looking for something that tracks well and is fast for light conditions. I live in the Austin area now. I will take back to Florida to use in the surf in Bay from time to time. The Irocker has great reviews. How does it compare to the tower 2 adventure and also the peak?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hey Hudson,

      if you want a fast board the Peak isn’t really the one for you. The iRocker is 11′ long, the Adventurer 2 is 10’6″. It’s also 30″ wide while the Adventurer is 32″ wide. The extra length with less width brings obvious advantages when it comes to speed and glide.

      Tracking is not an issue with either board but given that your focus is on speed I’d say go for the iRocker or check out the Tower iRace if you want something even faster.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  15. Thanks for the reviews and comments. We decided on the iRocker two board special. For my husband (tall, beginner and over 220) we got the the iRocker Crusier and the 11′ for me. We couldn’t be more pleased with the quality ( metal D rings, bungee cords, fin options, ankle strap etc), total packaging (everything was included), pumps, ride, and responsiveness. They were easy to assemble, inflate/deflate and pack Nice side benefit was that the Crusiers’ stripes also helped my husband with his balance and foot placement since he’s a beginner. We’re new converts!

  16. Hello,

    Thanks for the great reviews.

    I’m a beginner (have rented a couple of times at the ocean and lake).

    irocker 11 sounds like a good beginner board for those environments?

    • Hi Marc.
      Yes, the iRocker 11 would be a good choice. If you paddle in really choppy conditions a lot or still feel a bit wobbly, the iRocker All Around offers a little more stability (2″ wider). I reviewed it here.

  17. Hi. I just posted a comment about deciding between Ten Toes Yogi and iRocker 11′. I meant the iRocker Cruiser, not Ten Toes Yogi. iRocker Cruiser or 11′. I’ve already owned one board and hated it because the top was almost completely covered with water while in use. I’m only 150 lbs and it says that it’s good for up to 250. It was a Lucky Bums board. I want a board that is good for Yoga and exploring. The kids and their friends will mess around with it too, so it needs to hold a lot of weight. I want it to be very stable, but at the same time fairly quick. Thanks!

    • Go for the Cruiser. It’s perfect for yoga and can hold a ton of weight. You definitely won’t have any of the issues you mentioned. The Cruiser can definitely hold the 350 lbs and it’s 2″ thicker than the Lucky Bums board (6″ compared to 4″). You will definitely feel the difference.

  18. Hi,

    My husband and I are shopping for our first iSUP’s and are overwhelmed by the choices out there (and very confused as to our best beginner board). We will be paddling in lakes and rivers mostly in Manitoba, Canada. He is 6′ and 190lbs. I am 5’6″ and 140lbs. We will also bring along our 15lb terrier. We just want an inflatable to cruise and tour around easily. We don’t need to go fast but want nice glide and tracking to tour around the large lakes in Manitoba. I’ve read lots of your reviews but what would you recommend for our first boards? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Colleen.
      Did you check out the iRocker All Around. It was released this year and sounds perfect for you. It’s very stable and beginner friendly yet still sporty enough to cover longer distances. Tracks well with a large center fin and you also have enough space to take your dog.

      Your husband would ideally get the 11′ board and youre better off with the 10′ one.

      Let me know how you like them!
      Tobias

      • Thanks so much for your reply. The iRocker is one of the boards I looked at after reading your wonderfully detailed review. The only thing I noticed is that it has no front and back carry handles. Is this something that riders really miss when carrying the board around or pulling it up on shore or a dock? The other board I read about on the net and seemed to have quite a fan base was the Isle Explorer 11′. But I don’t see it reviewed on your site. Our local board shop is really trying to steer us towards the Red Paddle Ride 10’6″ but it’s over 2x more money. I’m not sure if we should be dropping that much cash on our first boards.

        • Hey Colleen. You’re Right, one thing that is missing is some extra handles. However, even the Red Paddle Co doesn’t have a front handle.

          I honestly don’t think the Red Paddle Co is worth the extra money for a beginner. In fact I think the iRocker or Isle would be a better choice. The RPC thruster fin setup makes it great for waves but also hard to track straight, especially for beginners.

          Both the Isle and iRocker have a lange center fin which makes steering the board in a straight line a lot easier.

          The Isle is a great board and I will review it in the next few weeks.

  19. Thanks for the great reviews. I would like to purchase inflatable SUPs for both my wife and I to use on mountain lakes. I am 6′ (220 lbs.) and my wife is 5’3 (115 lbs.) We have both rented a couple of times and boarded on calm rivers and harbors. Which boards would you recommend?

    • Hi Eric,
      Sorry. I somehow missed your comment. The iRocker Sport is a good choice. It’s the quickest board iRocker sells but given that you have some experience and will paddle on calm lakes I think you will really enjoy it. There is a 10′ one for your wife and an 11′ version for you. It Tracks really well and is beginner friendly. Another really cool SUP is the Thurso Surf. It’s a new brand which I reviewed here.

    • Yup, great boards. I will publish in-depth reviews of ISLE boards in the next few weeks. What kind of board are you looking for? The explorer is a pretty good all around option.

  20. What are your thoughts on Sea Eagle Needlenose 116? Was it part of your review? Their site promotes the advantage of its Straight-line hull design with NO UPTURN increasing performance, speed and efficiency that slices through the water. The video show it tracking well without lots of switching side to side. Also any comments on the electric pump B12 single stage pump? 5’8 140 pounds. Thanks

    • I unfortunately never tested the Needlenose but it’s definitely on my to-do list. I can certainly imagine that performance, speed and efficiency are as good as Sea Eagle claims. Looking at the shape the pointy nose will definitely help cut through the water with ease and it looks absolutely perfect for touring and flat water. Tracking, speed and efficiency should be exceptional. Keep in mind though that it will be a bit less stable than other boards that have a wider nose.

      It looks like it’s really a flat water board though. I’m guessing it’s probably not ideal for choppy water and I’d certainly stay away from the surf.

      The B12 pump seems to have some issues (https://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php?topic=25307.0). One I use myself and can recommend is the Sevylor Pump.

  21. Tried paddle boarding just last week for the first time in Colorado while on vacation. It was just fantastic. Coming back to home, Oklahoma, we’re wanting to try it on some of our local lakes. We looked at a store today and didn’t even know inflatables were a real option but they had a Slingshot for us to look at and they seemed so durable and impressive. Your reviews seem to be excellent and well done. For my wife and I, we think the iRocker could be the best choice. She wants to try yoga on it so maybe she would get a shorter version but both of us try the All Around versions? What about the Slingshot? The iRocker comes with the paddle (are theirs the lightweight version?) but we’d have to buy one for the Slingshot…. which might make it just a little more $$$s. Your thoughts and opinions are appreciated. Great site.

    • Hi there. Thanks a lot! Glad you like the reviews. I’ve not had the chance to test Slingshot SUPs but have heard a ton of positive things about them. At 34″ it might not be the sportiest option though. The iRocker All Around is definitely a great option as well. They are super stable and perfect for beginners. The iRocker Cruiser might be an even better choice for your wife if she wants to do a lot of yoga. The All Around and Cruiser both come with the new backpack version and a fiberglass paddle which is significantly lighter than the aluminum paddles that are usually included. A carbon paddle would be even lighter but those usually start at $200+.

      Including a paddle, you’d be looking at around $1000 for the Slingshot compared to $600-$700 (depending on the length) for the All Around. Since I’ve not tested the Slingshot it’s hard for me to say whether or not the Slingshot is worth the extra $$$. Quality wise, the iRocker definitely won’t disappoint you.

      • Great feedback! Much appreciated. We’ve been looking at the iRockers and she’s also very interested in the Isle yoga model – see that you are getting ready to review those too! It sounds like the “taco’ing” issue doesn’t affect any of these newer boards- the guy at the store was telling us previous boards he had used had that issue (I think he means they fold in a little and take some water). Nevertheless, the ones you have recommended don’t seem to have that issue so that is good. Guessing technology has really been progressing and getting better and better quickly. Again, thanks!

        • Yup, the technology has definitely improved a ton. The first few inflatables were pretty useless. They would be insanely bouncy and not nearly stiff enough so they would bend under weight. The new generations don’t have that issue anymore and they are getting better every year. You still find these issues in the low-end models you get for $200-$300 but not in the ones I recommend here.

          • SUP-G,

            I might have missed it somewhere but are the 3 fins removable on the iRocker All Around 11′?

            Cannot find a video or if there’s text, I’m not seeing it … curious if they pop-off as well. Thanks.

          • SUP-G…. nevermind, I just found and watched a video over on irocker’s site and the two smaller fins are fixed while the middle/large fin is removeable. TIA

          • Yup, that’s right. The side fins are glued. The center fin I removable. There are unfortunately very very few paddle boards that have removable side fins. Most 2017 Starboard models have removable side fins though which is a pretty sweet feature since it just adds so much versatility. Huge plus I’m missing in the SUPs listed. However, that obviously comes at a price.

            You can find the Starboard SUPs here. At the moment they’ve got a pretty sweet deal with a free high-quality paddle and you also get another $75 off if you use the coupon code: SUPBOARDGUIDE

          • I think I’m really on the iRocker 11′ all around – you’ve done a good job reviewing them and we did buy an Isle (wife’s for yoga and pb’ing) and it is very very impressive. Think the 11′ all around will be nice as well

            thanks for the feedback

          • Sounds good. We’ve good a compare of the ISLE coming out soon. Let me know how you like the iRocker compared to the ISLE 🙂

    • One of the best places to paddleboard in my opinion in Colorado is Lake Irwin in Crested Butte. The town is amazing and the lake is beautiful!

  22. Hi there!

    Love your reviews! I’m having a hard time deciding between the irocker boards. I’m 5’6 and like a fairly fast ride and would be paddling flat water with possible boat wake. Have paddled before not a beginner but not an expert. Comfortable for sure. What board would you recommend?

    • Thanks 🙂
      The iRocker Sport is the sportiest board they offer and would be the ideal choice for you. It’s 30″ wide and performs really well on flat water. A bit of chop or board waker is no problem either. It’s also still stable enough that even a beginner could handle it so you won’t have any problems staying on your feet. The one drawback is, that it still comes with the old aluminum paddle and backpack. I mention that in detail here under “Update and more option”.

      Hope that helps

    • Thanks 🙂
      The iRocker Sport is the sportiest board they offer and would be the ideal choice for you. It’s 30″ wide and performs really well on flat water. A bit of chop or board waker is no problem either. It’s also still stable enough that even a beginner could handle it so you won’t have any problems staying on your feet. The one drawback is, that it still comes with the old aluminum paddle and backpack. I mention that in detail here under “Update and more option”.

      Hope that helps

  23. Very bad experience with Athleteshop and with Aquaparx . Paddle surf has manufacturing defect. They give no solution.
    Pésima experiencia con Athleteshop y con Aquaparx. Compramos un paddle surf que pierde aire por distintos puntos de la junta. No dan una solución. Producto defectuoso e inseguro. No responden de la garantía legal.

    • Sorry to hear that. Neither Athleteshop nor Aquaparx are recommended anywhere on this site and I’ve never had contact with them so I unfortunately can’t help.

    • I’d look at the iRocker All Around if you’re a beginner (10′ and 11′ version available). If you’re an advanced paddler or want to cover longer distances the Starboard Atlas is a great option. You can find it here. It currently comes with a free fiber glass paddle and if you use the coupon code SUPBOARDGUIDE you get another $75 off. I reviewed the 2016 version the 2017 board seems to be even better and Starboard added some nice features.

  24. Hey SUP Guide,
    We are an iSUP manufacturer in Southern California. Our new Gen 2 iSUPs will be ready to ship to customers in a few weeks. We would love it if you could review them on your website. Please contact me to set it up. 844-649-9787 x802. [email protected]. Hope to hear from you soon.

  25. My wife and I took your recommendations regarding the iRocker all around. We purchased the 11′ and 10′. We are loving the boards! The iRocker air pump works great, but could you recommend an electric pump that would work with the iRocker?

    • Glad to hear that. Do not buy the Sevylor 12V pump. I bought it and it fell apart the first time I used it. The Bravo BP12 is a pretty solid option. More expensive but well worth it. If you prefer a pump that plugs into your cigarette lighter you can try the electric pump by Tower.

      • I got a Bravo 20. We can get our 2 Red Paddle boards inflated on one charge. If the battery isn’t charged up, we just flip over to the 12 volt option. It’s great having the rechargeable option but this model does cost more.

  26. Hi Mike,

    I read many articals about SUPs posted on your website and surprised by your insightful ideas of SUPs, we think you are professional SUP enthusiast. We are a professional iSUP paddle board seller on Amazon.com and we want to establish business relationship with you. Is there any chance to add our sup board on your review essay, or would you pls tell us how to cooperate with your website?

    Yours Sincerely
    Helen He

  27. Thanks for the excellent reviews.

    Ive been SUPing for a long time and want to transition to an inflatable so I can bring it with me on my trips to Hawai‘i.

    I’m not a beginner and have been looking a lot at the Red boards.

    Wondering though if you would recommend something at a lower price point that would give me a similar feel to what I love of my wood and other hard SUP boards.

    Or is the Red co. really that much better for an intermediate paddler like me?

    I’d like something good for the ocean but not necessarily for surfing although that would be a bonus. Just something that can handle the chop.

    I’m 5’7” and 160lbs.

    Thanks!
    Amanda

    • Hey Amanda,

      glad you liked the review. If you’re an advanced paddler I’d recommend the Red. Check out the Red Sport if you want a great touring board. If you want to play in the waves as well I’d say go for the Ride.

      The cheaper boards like the iRocker are great. However, at basically half the price you can’t expect it to perform on the same level as the Red boards. They are as close to a hardboard as it gets.

      Cheers

  28. Hi thanks for your reviews.
    I Think i have decided to buy The irocker sport but not sure what size? 10 or 11 ?
    I want it for fitness and cruising. I’m fairly sporty and used to water sport, but it will be my first SUB
    I’m female, 5’9” (1.8 m) and 69 kg

    • Hey. You will be fine with the 11′. It’s better for cruising (more glide) but to much to handle for some shorter females. Given you’re fairly tall though and sporty you will be totally fine and get better performance

  29. I’m looking for an inflatable SUP to hike into Alpine Lakes with. What make / model do you think rolls down the smallest and is still a good all around board. Thank you

    • There are some boards that roll down really small but that’s usually because they use just a single layer of PVC. That makes there board light and allows it to be rolled down small but you sacrifice on quality a lot. I think the Nixy Newport is a great option if you want something that’s super light-weight (19lbs) but is still high-quality and offers a great paddling experience. The Nixy backpack is also one of the best in the industry and super comfy. You can also bring plenty of extra gear since it has a lot of pockets/additionals storage.

      You can check out my review here.

  30. Great thanks.. I will check Nixy out. I was thinking of the Tower Adventuerer 2, based on the price and size. I’m not as worried worried about the weight. I plan on packing one in a large backpack designed for long treks. I will use it for shorter trips. Thanks for providing all this information to us.

    • You’re welcome. The Adventurer 2 is a great board. However, the pump that is included is pretty large and bulky. The Nixy comes with a smaller pump. If you’re trying to fit everything into a trecking backpack you will feel the difference. The Tower pump also doesn’t have a deflate option. The Nixy comes with a Bravo 4 which can be used to deflate your board and suck out the last bit of air. It makes it much easier to roll it up.

  31. Glad I stumbled on your website today. I am Looking for a suggestion on ISUP.

    I am a 6’1″ and 270 pounds 50 year old male (looking to drop that down to 220 by becoming more active). I rented a 10’8″ hard BIC board last week and I don’t think it held my weight well as my feet were always wet. It was also very difficult for me to stay standing (not stable). I am a beginner in any board sports, but an avid cyclist and swimmer.

    Based on my weight and the need for a stable board as a beginner, would you still recommend the irocker, or is spending more money on a stiffer board a better option?

    • Hi Roland,
      absolutely. The iRocker Cruiser would be ideal for you. At 270 lbs all boards are going to feel a little more unstable than they would at 170 lbs. But a little bit of practice will work wonders. SUP is a really ann easy sport to learn.

      The Cruiser is awesome and will support your weight. At 270 lbs you’re still 80 lbs below the weight limit.

  32. I believe you are missing one board…The not yet forgotten ULI Board. The boards are designed and made in Carlsbad, CA. I have a Red Paddle and 3 ULI boards. I can honestly say that my 12’6 ULI touring is definitely my go to board. I paid just as much for my Red the major difference is the quality. You can really tell what board is factory made vs. hand made. The durability of red is great, but its hard to detect too much of a difference with my ULI with the Kevlar strips. Plus my ULI is thinner and lighter. Overall I like both red and uli but I have to stick with American made ULI.

    • I know ULI boards and I don’t doubt they are awesome quality. Unfortunately, we were just not able to review any of their boards yet so we can’t really write about them. Hope to include them in the next review though.

      • Awesome! They are really great boards which is why I’m surprised I can’t find many reviews on them. Plus they let you customize which is pretty cool.

        • I completely agree. It’s pretty hard to get review boards. That’s probably the reason why there are not a lot of reviews. We’ve been in contact with them though and are pretty confident that we will be able to review ULI boards this summer

  33. Hey guys,

    Nice site and reviews! I would like to know what you think of the blackfin from irocker? Is it much better than te normal ones, like the one from above?
    And do you know anything of the Indiana isup? It isn’t cheap but it sais it has one layer. I would like to know if it is a good sup? Thanks!

    • Thank you 🙂

      The Blackfin is awesome. We wrote a full review of the Model X here and of the Model XL here. They are better than the Cruiser and if you have the budget I’d go for the Blackfin. The three boards above will be updated soon. We’re already working on a new list of boards.

      I’ve never tested the inflatables by Indiana but the hardboards are pretty good. If they are single layer boards I’d definitely stay away from them though. Single layers are usually used in cheap boards that cost $500 or less. We tested a bunch of them and the results were not great, to be honest. You can read about it here. A single layer won’t be anywhere as durable or stable as several layers and it will bend under weight.

  34. Do you guys know much about BOTE ISUPs? Specifically the HD?
    Wondering how the compare because the prices are much higher. Am I getting what I pay for?
    I appreciate it!

    • Never got the chance to test them unfortunately so there is not a ton I can tell you about BOTE. They are definitely the go-to company for fishing SUPs though. They’ve got a bunch of extra features you don’t find on the boards mentioned above that make them perfect for fishing like the paddle sheaths and rack compatibility.

  35. This is by far the most helpful article I’ve read on this yet! However I’m still debating which to buy but leaning towards iRocker and would love your POV.

    I live in Miami and paddle board bayside (can be relatively flat or small waves and strong wind) and South Beach (waves), but am moving to Austin the end of this year (flat). I also love going fast and paddle boarding as a workout, but don’t want to eliminate the ability to do yoga and take it easy once in awhile. Is there a board that “does it all” with multiple capacities like this?

    • Thanks 🙂

      Your typical all-around board is designed to “do it all”. The iRocker All Around for example can tackle small waves, it’s reasonably fast, and it’s also wide enough to do yoga. We just reviewed the new 2018 model here.

      However, you should know that all-around boards come with drawbacks. You have to sacrifice a little speed to have a board wide enough for yoga. At the same time, if it was the perfect yoga board, it would be even wider like the Model XL for example.

      So while you can still paddle fast and cover some distance don’t expect it to be as fast as a proper touring board.

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