Sadly, the internet is full of false information from people who have not tested any of their top-rated iSUPs (some of them have never even paddle boarded before). Instead, they simply throw up a list of ‘top 10 rated inflatable stand up paddle boards’ and move on to the next post. Or you have a paddle board company who puts together their top rate list, which is inherently going to be biased towards their brands and unfair to others.
At SupBoardGuide.com, we not only paddle and test each board we recommend, but we spend hours talking with manufacturers and give them advice on how to better improve their boards every year. We are a team of people across the globe, from the USA to Germany to Australia and have one goal – to give you the best inflatable stand up paddle board reviews so you can find the right iSUP for you.
Below you will find our current 10 Best All-Around Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards for 2021. This list is our attempt at putting together recommendations based on how well each board performs on the water, how well the SUP is built (we want to make sure any board listed is made with high quality materials and is going to last), and what people old and young, short and tall, small and large think about the boards. This list is not just a list from industry pro’s who are so far removed from the average paddler that they only recommend $1,500 inflatable paddle boards. We know that most people are budget-conscious, and also take cost into consideration when creating this list. Finally, we also vet every company and make sure that you will be given the customer support after you make your purchase.
The Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards of 2021
(scroll to the right to see all the boards)
|Board||BLACKFIN Model X||iRocker All-Around 11'||BŌTE HD Aero 11'6||Thurso Surf WaterWalker||Gili Komodo||Atoll 11'||NIXY Newport||BlueFin Cruise Carbon||Sea Gods Diatom Ten6||Red Paddle Co Sport 11'3"|
|Rating out of 10||9.9/10||9.8/10||9.7/10||9.5/10||9.3/10||9.3/10||9.2/10||9.4/10||9.7/10||9.9/10|
|Pricing||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price|
|Best For Person Who Wants:||Best SUP Board for 2020, a SUPER stable board or family board||Best All-Around SUP Board, stable, fun, great performing SUP board||Stable, great-looking, high weight capacity SUP||A stable, fast all-around board||A stable, lightweight SUP with large weight capacity||A lightweight all-around board w/ a GREAT logo||A lightweight board that’s easy to turn for lighter or more advanced paddlers||A super rigid, lightweight board with lots of accessories||Very stable Around SUP with one of the best designs||High performance all-around/touring SUP|
|High Quality & Durable board with a super high weight capacity. Carbon Fiber Rails, tons of d-rings, and action mounts. Can be used for fishing and comes with a 2 year warranty||Great performance, high quality accessories and pump, good value, very durable, high max capacity and very stable board, great customer service||High quality construction, amazing graphics, super stable and high weight capacity. Also tons of great accessories available from BŌTE||Fast board due to unique shape, quality construction, carbon rails, nice velcro paddle holder||Triple layer fusion construction, all around shape, and fully covered deck pad means a versatile, rigid board||Quality board, lots of D rings for attachments, ability to use aftermarket fins, great company logo, stable and easy to paddle, very lightweight||Very lightweight, can turn easily, carbon fiber reinforced rails, high quality fins, great backpack and accessories||Most rigid board (up to 28 psi), great construction, kayak seat comes included||Stunning SUP with great stability.|
Single fin box leads to great tracking.
Premium range of SUP accessories included. Kumano fin, carbon fiber paddle, and more.
|Light, well-built. 4.72" thickness gives a more hardboard feel. Great tracking and glide, fantastic pump|
|No US Fin box, and can be a little wide for smaller paddlers||No US Fin box and could move the back 2 action mounts to the side||Fixed side fins, no leash included in the kit, a little heavier than what we'd like to see||Board slightly heavier than others on the list||A dual chamber pump would make pumping the board up more enjoyable||Side fins aren’t removable, accessories could be improved||Very sporty, but not super stable for heavier beginners||No removable side fins||Not much 🙂||Does not come with a leash or paddle|
|Specs||BLACKFIN||iRocker||BŌTE||Thurso surf||Gili||Atoll||Nixy||Bluefin||Sea Gods||Red Paddle Co|
|Weight||27 lbs||24 lbs||30 lbs||26 lbs||21 lbs||19 lbs||20 lbs||25 lbs||21 lbs||22 lbs|
|Capacity||450 lbs||435 lbs||315 lbs||330 lbs||340 lbs||400 lbs||300 lbs||286 lbs||340 lbs||240 lbs|
Just keep that in mind and let us know if you have any questions!
10 Best All-Around Inflatable/Blow-Up Stand Up Paddle Boards
This year we have chosen to set up our best stand up paddle board page a little different. Below you will find our list of the best iSUPs for 2021. As mentioned above, each of these boards have been fully tested in a variety of conditions by a variety of paddlers.
Best Stand Up Paddle Boards
- BlackFin Model X
- iRocker All-Around
- BŌTE HD Aero
- Thurso Surf Waterwalker
- BlueFin Cruise Carbon
- Gili Komodo
- Atoll 11′
- NIXY Newport
- Sea Gods Diatom (Best Designed Performance All Around)
- Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3 (Best Performance Touring SUP)
*Note – We update this list to prevent listing boards that are not currently for sale (or at least try our best).
So what makes a good all-around stand up paddle board?
Versatility really! As the name suggests, an all-around iSUP is going to be good at doing most things. All-arounders may not be the best for paddling long distances (that would be a touring board), or the best for surfing (that is probably not an inflatable to begin with), but they are the best if you are looking for a great board that you can take just about anywhere in a variety of conditions. From the lake to the ocean in smaller waves and a little chop. Essentially, it’s the jack-of-all-trades that is easy enough for a beginner to paddle but also still enjoyable for someone more experienced.
Next, an all-around iSUP also lets you do a lot of different things, from normal SUPing around to kayaking, fishing, or even yoga. If you want to do it all, then an all-around is a great choice.
So with that in mind, our best rated iSUPs on this list all have: higher weight capacities, great stability, and quality performance that allows beginners and advanced paddlers alike to have a great time on the water.
Read Full Review Here | [Check Latest Price]
As you can see, the BLACKFIN Model X is once again rated our top all-around inflatable SUP for 2021!
The BLACKFIN Model X carries over several of the key features that we loved last year to the 2021 model, and then added a crisp, new design that we think is killer. The BLACKFIN Model X kept the triple layer composite PVC construction, drop stitch inner core, and carbon fiber rails. They kept the 7 (yes 7!) action mounts as well as the larger rear cargo area, and some great mounts for fishing racks and seats, making this a fantastic fishing SUP in addition to all the other great things you can do with it. Essentially, iRocker kept everything that made the BLACKFIN lineup great last year, and added the new look.
This is one of the most rigid and stable iSUPs on the market. As such, it performs great for beginners to advanced paddlers, and also can be used as a family board. We’ve even physically tested the board beyond the 450 lb. weight capacity (FYI – if you put more than 450 lbs on the board it does slow it down quite a bit but still can be paddled).
Basically, the BLACKFIN Model X is a great board for anyone looking to paddle in flat water conditions (lakes, slow moving rivers, marinas, bays, etc.), open ocean paddling with a little chop, white water river SUPing, and even small surf conditions. It’s a great beginner board and will grow with you as you become a better paddler.
Combine all those features with a great backpack, a full-carbon shaft / lightweight nylon blade paddle, and killer triple action pump, and you have our top pick for best inflatable stand up paddle board for 2021!
2. iRocker All-Around 11′ Inflatable SUP – 2021 Model
Why is it that iRocker’s All-Around is one of our top-rated All-Around inflatable SUPs again for 2021?
Simple – the iRocker All-Around is a great jack-of-all-trades and is extremely versatile for all riders. Beginners particularly love the board as it’s easy to use but not so easy you’ll get over paddling it after your first year. It’s packed full of board features, with an action mount that supports a Go-Pro mount, fishing rod holder, their waterproof bluetooth speaker, and probably more to come yet! There are handles on the bungees for moving around, but more importantly for kids to hang onto! Loads of D-rings for extra storage / the optional kayak seat, plus a high weight capacity to handle it all. Really, you can’t beat it!
The iRocker All-Around is also very durable. iRocker uses the term ‘military tough’, and they mean it. In fact, iRocker has a return rate of less than 1/10th of 1% (that’s .001, or 1 out of every 1000 boards), and they have a full 2 year warranty.
When you buy an iRocker All-Around Stand Up Paddle Board, you are also getting a high-quality triple action dual chamber pump, fiberglass paddle, ankle leash, supportive and comfortable bag, and a repair kit. In other words – everything you need to get out and start paddle boarding!
You also have two size options to choose from – the 10’ or 11’ models. They are both the same, with the exception of higher weight capacity on the 11 foot model. Because stand up paddle boarding is so new, we recommend the 11 foot option to people who need a more stable board. So, if you are a beginner and weight more than 160 lbs we would recommend the 11’. If you are shorter and weigh less, or you are more experienced, then go with the 10’ option.
Finally, iRocker is now even offering financing through affirm, so if money is tight that might be a great option for you.
3. BŌTE HD Aero – 2021
New to our list for 2021 is the BŌTE HD Aero Inflatable 11’6 stand up paddle board. BŌTE is known as one of the highest quality brands in the industry, and their 2021 HD Aero model doesn’t disappoint. At 11’6 and 34″ wide, this is the longest board on our best all around paddle board list – and it’s also the most stable of the bunch. It’s also loaded with great accessories like BŌTE’s super cool paddle sheath, rack mounts, loads of d-rings, along with front and back bungees.
It’s also one of the best looking boards in our opinion, with 4 different color and design options to choose from. And note – these color options are not just different colors of the same design. BŌTE offers 4 completely different designs with this board, so we are pretty confident you’ll be able to find one that suits you.
From cruising across flat water lakes and marinas, to fishing all day with friends, and even paddling in open ocean waters loaded with gear or kids, we’ve found the BŌTE HD Aero to perform very well.
4. Thurso Surf WaterWalker All-Around SUP – 2020
Coming in at #4 on our list of best iSUPs is the ThursoSurf Waterwalker All-around. The Waterwalker is available in 10’, 10’6″, and 11″ models.
The 2 things we love most about the 2021 Waterwalker are the board design and how the board feels in the water. Thurso cut some weight on the board this year, moving to a higher quality drop stitch (woven) and we really like what that has done to the feel the board. The SUP paddles really well, and is a very stiff board – it has so far outperformed other similar boards (like the iRocker AA 11) on the bend test.
Accessory wise, there are a lot of things that we love about the WaterWalker. The upgraded bag comes with two wheels and an extra zipper pouch for fins and other accessories (leash, repair kit, etc.). Looking at the board, we love the velcro paddle holder on the side of the board that safely secures your paddle out of the way. On other boards, the center handle that can undo and wrap around the shaft acts as the paddler holder. This kind of design still leaves the paddle in the way for anything like SUP Yoga. Thurso’s design is the best for a paddle holder I’ve seen yet! It makes this one of the best-suited boards for any kind of extra activities like SUP fitness or yoga. I also love the extra D-rings and the bungee cords on the front and back of the board for storing all kinds of things or setting up the optional kayak seat.
Thurso chose to make their boards with a dual-layer PVC that’s both durable and has a high weight capacity. They also add an extra layer of PVC + carbon fiber to the rails for better protection and stiffness. Finally, Thurso kept with their well-known style of a wooden grain print but have a few different color options that we just love.
Overall the board is awesome, and we are excited to see what Thurso Surf comes out with in the future as they continue to grow!
5. BlueFin Cruise Carbon 10’8 All-Around Inflatable SUP -2020 (Read the Full Review)
Bluefin is the newest company to make our best inflatable SUP list. However, they are not new to making stand up paddle boards. Located in the United Kingdom, BlueFin is a dominant player in Europe (perhaps the largest iSUP manufacturer there). Now, BlueFin is entering the US market in a big way. BlueFin makes excellent quality boards, and we love how the BlueFin Cruise Carbon feels. With two distinct air chambers, carbon fiber rails, and excellent build quality, the Cruise Carbon is one of the stiffest iSUPs we have tested.
In addition, the BlueFin Carbon literally comes with about every SUP accessory you could ever need, including: lightweight carbon fiber shaft paddle, leash, double chamber triple action pump, phone dry bag, and kayak conversion kit! Yes, it makes for a larger than average backpack, but it’s a great value!
We are excited to welcome BlueFin from across the pond, and think they have made a fantastic board at an excellent price point!
6. Gili Komodo Inflatable SUP – 2021 (Read the Full Review)
The Gili Komodo is a true all-around SUP with a little bit of something to offer to everyone, providing great performance at a more affordable entry-level/mid-tier price. The 10’6’’ board balances speed and tracking, with a 33’’ wide deck and 6’’ thickness that makes it very stable to paddle on as well. Like all other GILI Sports paddleboards, $12 to $15 dollars of the proceeds from every Gili Komodo 10’6’’ sale goes to ocean wildlife charities, which is why it has the Save Our Turtles logo on the bottom of the SUP!
There are a number of other features that make the Gili Komodo worth considering as well outside of its lightweight build and solid multi PVC layer durability. There are 15 D-rings and an action mount for add-on support, with a removable nose bungee cargo system as well. This is one of the few GILI SUPs with true traction grooves, while also staying soft in order to accommodate those who want to practice yoga on this paddleboard. Snaplock fins take just seconds to install while improving performance, while the carbon fiber paddle is lightweight to help you paddle from dusk to dawn. There is even a paddle holder on the side of the SUP, allowing you to enjoy the sun or practice your asanas without worrying about your paddle floating away.
If you are interested in a more affordable all-around, especially one that you can use just as much for yoga as for cruising while aiding ocean cleanup efforts, check out the Gili 10’6’’ Komodo!
7. Atoll 11’ Inflatable Paddle Board(Read Full Review)
Cruising next onto the list is the Atoll 11’. At 19 lbs, it’s a zippy board on the water, and is a great option for someone looking for a solid all around board that is ultra light but still stable.
With only one board option, Atoll does a good job of covering its bases with a board that is a mix of all-around and touring yet still lightweight and stable. Atoll is able to keep the weight down by using fusion technology in the manufacturing process.
The difference that the Atoll has compared to many other all-around boards is it’s shape being more tapered in the front and back, giving it more of a touring/cruiser shape. This design makes the Atoll a super fun board to paddle. It’s fast and glides through water very easily. The downside is that if your are smaller it can be a little hard to move easily and there is not a 10’6” option for us smaller people :).
It’s got great features on board with the nose having a good amount of storage and loads of D-rings on the rest of the body. The extra D-rings can be used for more storage, a kayak seat, anything you can clip on really! Though I would like to see one more handle on the nose, especially given its length, it’d make the portability better.
The pump could be improved but it’s an absolute score you get a carbon fibre paddle and high quality centre fin. Overall the actual board, I like it a lot! It’s a super fun board for beginners to intermediates alike. It comes in a few different color choices and a 2 year warranty.
8. Nixy Newport G3 10.6 All-Around Inflatable SUP(Full Review)
The NIXY boards made a strong impression this year. They definitely improved their boards from 2018 with upgrades in both materials and accessories. As such, Nixy has made our list of best iSups for the first time this year.
The NIXY Newport was created by NIXY to incorporate the feeling you get when you go to Newport Beach in California. It’s the brand’s all-around board made to paddle in a variety of situations – and it does a great job.
If you are an intermediate to advanced paddler, and don’t need a high weight capacity board, then you should take a strong look at the NIXY Newport given the lightweight, quality construction and playfulness of the board. Out of all the top all-arounders, we think the Newport is the most maneuverable and playful of the group. With that extra maneuverability you do sacrifice a little bit of the stability that you get with the iRocker, BLACKFIN, and Thurso SUPs.
As far as materials go, NIXY has created a super light board due to their dual layer FUSIONtec technology. At just 20 lbs, the Newport is the lightest board on our top list this year, but with the addition of carbon fiber rails you don’t sacrifice the strength or durability of the board.
Essentially, the NIXY founders created the exact board they personally like to use – a great all-arounder that is a high performance board.
Looks wise, we love the fresh new look of the NIXY Newport. It’s clean yet stylish, and we love the attention to detail – down to their logo being imprinted on the deck pad.
The accessories on the NIXY Newport are also top-notch, especially when it comes to their backpack. The NIXY backpack feels the most comfortable in the group, and has tons of great little compartments and features (like 3 wheels vs 2) that you don’t find on other boards. They also include a triple action, double chamber pump like the iRocker and BLACKFIN. NIXY also includes high quality, removable fins (great for tracking), 3 handles for easy carrying, extra D-rings for a kayak seat and securing other accessories, and even a carry strap included in every purchase.
The Newport makes for a great iSUP that can be utilized for a variety of activities and is highly recommended for those people looking for a more nimble, playful, all-around board.
Best All-Around Inflatable SUP For Performance
If you are looking to take your SUP game to another level, then you are most likely looking for a high performance SUP. These SUPs cost more, but they will also outperform less expensive SUPs in certain areas. From fast touring to whitewater rapids, if you are someone who has $1K+ to spend on a SUP and know exactly what you are looking for, then you should consider one of our top rated performance SUPS. Below is a short summary of our top rated all-around performance SUP for 2021, the Sea Gods Diatom.
2021 Sea Gods Diatom Ten6 (Read Full Review)
One of our new additions for 2021, the Sea Gods Diatom 10’6’’ is almost worth considering just because it’s one of the most beautiful paddleboards we’ve ever seen. If you ever wanted a SUP to make other paddlers on the water jealous with envy, the Diatom 10’6’’ is the board to go with.
Of course, performance and features do matter and fortunately, the Diatom 10’6’’ meets the mark. The lightweight board weighs just 21 lbs, with a 10’6’’ length, 34’’ width, and 6’’ thickness able to support over 350 lbs. The paddleboard is very beginner friendly, with a nice, clean deck perfect for practicing yoga on without having to buy a dedicated yoga SUP. It doesn’t have any center D-rings if you want to try out SUP kayaking, but it does have two bungee cargo cord areas for storing other pouches, dry bags, coolers, and small containers.
We’re also very impressed with the included accessories as well. The ultra lightweight paddle is one of the lightest paddles we’ve reviewed included with a SUP out of the box. The unique Kumano fin setup fits into the US fin box in seconds, without having to deal with a screw and plate like typical FCS fins. While the pump is rather basic, the fantastic roller backpack isn’t, with a design that looks just as good as the paddleboard itself. That this is all backed by a lifetime warranty is absolutely astounding too, and a testament to the high quality work by Sea Gods.
If you want a paddleboard that is equal parts stunning to look at as it is fun to paddle with on the water, you should check out the Sea Gods Diatom 10’6’’ iSUP!
Best Premium Touring iSUP Board For 2021
Red Paddle Co Sport 11’3″ Full Review
Red Paddle Co makes some of the best paddleboards in the industry, so it’s hard to pick which board we want to include on our list. From what we’ve tested though, we think that the 11’3’’ Sport is one of the best iSUPs on the market that anyone can enjoy.
The 11’3 Sport is very lightweight, weighing just 22 lbs, but has great rigidity and stability thanks to its premium MSL/Tec-Air construction and RSS fiberglass rod reinforcements. New to 2021 is the brand new speed tail, which breaks up the water for reduced drag for an even faster SUP. The 4.7’’ is ultra thin, helping you ride real low to the water for greater SUP control, with a 32’’ wide deck and very comfortable RED hybrid deck pad for a cushy yet grippy foot hold. Oh, and can we highlight the great accessories, including the brand new Titan II manual pump, the fastest manual pump out there able to inflate the 11’3’’ Sport in less than 5 minutes?
A truly premium paddleboard, enjoy great speed, tracking, and overall performance with the 2021 Red Paddle Co 11’3’’ Sport!
Best Budget/Cheap Inflatable SUP Board
Gili Air Full Review
We know the reality that not everyone is lucky enough to be able to afford top of the range SUPs. But, that doesn’t mean people should miss out. Which is why we went on the hunt for some of the best budget board this year, where you can read the full review here.
Funnily enough, after we finished that comparison up popped the Gili Air and popped out way on top of the list, we had mustered.
The 10’7 Gili Air is not going to be your fastest inflatable board, nor will it be the most durable or high performing but it will at least track well and has an above average pump and bag. Its profile is basic but those paddling for the first time will still get a kick out of riding this blue beauty.
Much like most of the budget blow up SUPs it’s a single layer PVC. However, it’s put together nicely with hardly any bubbles or separation around seams. Again, these were features we saw happening lots on the budget list.
With everything included in the package to start you on your SUP ventures, decent manufacturing and a price tag that low, it’s amazing value.
Best Yoga Board
Thurso Yoga Full Review
Yogi’s rejoice! You’ll be keeping your yogi toes dry on this buoyant and stable yoga platform.
A huge deck area at 34″ wide and its round shape makes this a perfect board for doing yoga on. Not only is it stable, but it’s also comfortable. The deck pad is super cushioned and extends over most of the board. You’ll also notice both the handles can be undone to lay flat on the board to keep the deck area unobstructed.
Then there’s the beautiful lotus design on the nose to set the tranquil mood you’re after. Before receiving the board and only seeing pictures on the internet, I did wonder if it would just look tacky, but I really like it!
The big reason it’s the best in our opinion though is that paddling the Thurso Surf Tranquility Yoga SUP is fun too. Many other yoga boards are just big rectangles that wouldn’t be much good for a casual paddle. I enjoy doing some stretches but still being able to go for a cruise too. I found the Tranquility to be a pleasure to ride and even handled pretty well for such a big board!
Top Pick Family Paddle Board
Blackfin Model X Full Review
All aboard! Family day out on the water. Let’s make it happen!
Rolling out this year was iRockers Blackfin models. They are a little heavier than other models this size but damn can they hold some weight. You can literally load a family onto them, and you’ll be still floating. I paddled 2 (questionable) adults, a child, and a dog,
What’s so impressive is despite the extra weight in materials, there’s still performance. The shape is thought out in accordance to its width, thickness, and weight. We found it on par with the Cruiser. Which is only just beaten in speed and glide by the All-Around.
Of course, to take this weight, you need a good deck area. It’s a huge deck at 35” wide, but the nose and tail tapered in for the pre-mentioned performance. The extra features are what make this board step into the family board spotlight though.
Handles everywhere, including on the bungee cord, purposefully added for your kids to hold onto. Also, the carbon rails mean that even after you load the whole family on, you keep that rigid feeling through the whole board, nose to tail.
Overall Comparison Of The Best All-Around Inflatable SUP Boards
Something to keep in mind when taking all of this information in.
We have judged each boards performance based on the following:
- Performance and Versatility. A good all-around SUP board is one that performs well in multiple conditions as a jack-of-all-trades.
- Stability. From beginners to intermediate/advanced paddlers you want to make sure the board will support its weight limit. Nothing is worse than buying a 300lb capacity board, only to find it extremely difficult to balance on if you are 220 lbs (this is what happens when you buy a cheap board from a store like Costco).
- Tracking. Tracking refers to the ability for the board to paddle straight. A good all-around board might not track as well as a touring board will, but with a good fin set up the all-arounder will do a great job.
- Durability. The last thing we want is for you to be dragging your deflating board behind you, paddle sunk to the bottom of the lake.
- Features and Accessories. You want an iSup that comes with good paddles, bungees for storage, and D-rings for adding accessories like kayak seats. Another big selling point for iSUPs is how portable they are, so you are also going to want a quality backpack to store and carry your board in.
How they Compare: Performance and Versatility
The first thing you need to understand when it comes to performance is that your personal performance on each board will vary depending on:
- Skill level – an experienced SUP boarder will be much better on boards with lighter weight capacity and might find they enjoy how such boards are more maneuverable and playful.
- Weight – if you weigh 120 pounds your experience is going to be much different than someone weighing 180 or 220 lbs.
We found great performance with each paddle board on this list (we don’t just put up any board on this list). Each board performs really well, and the differences are slight, but important.
Overall, the performance on the iRocker All-Arounder was the best – it worked great for beginners to advanced and from lighter to heavier paddlers. For larger people (190 lbs+) and for those really concerned with balance issues we found the BLACKFIN X performed the best. Smaller individuals typically liked either the iRocker All-Around or, if they were more experienced, they preferred the NIXY Newport. And for those who aren’t strong paddlers, the ThursoSurf Waterwalker glides and moves just a little bit faster in flat conditions than the iRocker All-Around. The BLACKFIN X also glides well given it’s more touring-geared shape, but is bigger so it’s a little harder to get going. Both the Atoll 11’ and Isle Pioneer were great all-around performers but aren’t quite as versatile in all conditions as the rest of these boards.
Now the only other thing that comes into the performance is the paddle. So what paddle you get with these boards will determine a bit of your performance. However, I don’t make a huge remark about the paddles as you can easily just upgrade a paddle. Most companies will offer you a discount on an upgrade if you are already buying a board (so don’t be scared to ask!!). The best paddle here is the NIXY I believe. It’s a got a slim blade that is also quite light thanks to less materials. Though because it’s been shaped with the ridges it is still quite strong and doesn’t flex. The Blackfin and Atoll paddles – both carbon fibre, are quite similar as are the iRocker and ThursoSurf – both fibreglass. The ISLE paddle comes in last here as it’s aluminium and bit heavier/clunkier than the others.
How they Compare: Stability
There is a strong correlation with weight capacity, width and length with stability. That is the case with the top all-around SUPs on this list.
The most stable board here is the Blackfin Model X family board (450 lbs capacity). The iRocker and Thurso are pretty close, followed by the Atoll 11’ and the NIXY and Isle boards. Of course, there is a trade-off between stability and maneuverability, so keep that in mind.
Also, remember that if you are 110 lbs you are going to be much more stable than someone weighing 230 lbs, so you might want to choose an iSUP that is a little more nimble.
How they Compare: Maneuverability / Turning
The ability for the inflatable SUP to turn easily and maneuver makes for a fun board long after your first year of SUPing. The move maneuverable SUPs on this list are pretty much the opposite of the stability winners – like we said, stability and maneuverability are trade-offs. The NIXY Newport was the most nimble, maneuverable board on this list, which is one of the reasons we recommend it so highly for advanced, smaller paddlers. It’s a ton of fun! From and all-around perspective, the iRocker All-Around again did a great job of balancing the ability to turn and maneuver while still being stable. The Thurso and Atoll were very similar here.
Finally, if you are a taller, more heavy SUPer then you are going to be able to maneuver the BLACKFIN X or XL much like a 120 pound person will maneuver the NIXY Newport.
How they Compare: Tracking
Tracking is a function primarily of fin setup and board shape/quality. Rubber, bendy fins that are short simply won’t grip the water and don’t help you track well. Larger, more firm center fins provide the best tracking, so if you are looking for long, straight adventures you want a very large, firm center fin set up. If you want to SUP in a river where there are shallow spots then you are going to need shorter fins, and you are going to sacrifice some ability to go straight for the ability to move and be agile around the rocks.
As far as tracking goes, every board on this list does a fantastic job. We brought out a group of beginners to intermediate SUPers and not a single one could tell us which board tracked better. That being said, there are some slight differences. The BLACKFIN X comes with a fantastic, large center fin. Combine that with the super stable platform and you get a SUP that tracks exceptionally well. The NIXY has the next best fins and does track very well for such a nimble, maneuverable board – tracking on par with the iRocker All-Around, Thurso Waterwalker, and Atoll, which is surprising. The Isle could use a slight upgrade on the fins as it lags the group in overall tracking (again, almost all beginner to intermediate users didn’t notice though).
How they Compare: Durability
Durability comes down to what materials are being used in the manufacturing of the iSUP, and every manufacturer on this list prides themselves in using the highest-quality materials available. You won’t find a board on this list that isn’t durable and dependable. We’ve talked and reviewed in depth each company’s manufacturing process and materials – and you can feel comfortable on each of these boards.
One thing to note – iRocker, BLACKFIN, and Thurso use 3+ layers of high quality PVC for added rigidity and durability. Isle, NIXY, and Atoll use a fusion process that mechanically fuses two layers of high quality PVC. This fusion process allows the boards to be very rigid (up to 20 PSI) and durable but also lighter due to using less materials.
So which is better? It kind of depends on who you talk to. Each manufacturer claims their process is the best and most durable(of course). From our testing the last several years we have yet to see a problem with either process and can fully recommend both. I will say we are intrigued by the fact that iRocker/BLACKFIN spends more money to manufacture their boards for durability and higher weight capacity when they could spend less and use a fusion process.
How they Compare: Features and Accessories
We think it’s easiest to compare what key features and accessories each board comes with in the following table:
|Board||BLACKFIN Model X||iRocker All-Around 11'||Thurso Surf WaterWalker||BlueFin Cruise Carbon||Gili Komodo||Atoll 11'||NIXY Newport||Sea Gods Elemental Wave Ten6||Red Paddle Co Sport 11'3"|
|Rating out of 10||9.9/10||9.8/10||9.5/10||9.4/10||9.3/10||9.3/10||9.2/10||9.3/10||9.9/10|
|Pricing||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price|
|Best For Person Who Wants:||Best SUP Board for 2020, a SUPER stable board or family board||Best All-Around SUP Board, stable, fun, great performing SUP board||A stable, fast all-around board||A super rigid, lightweight board with lots of accessories||A stable, lightweight SUP with large weight capacity||A lightweight all-around board w/ a GREAT logo||A lightweight board that’s easy to turn for lighter or more advanced paddlers||Lightweight All Around SUP with one of the best designs||High performance all-around/touring SUP|
|High Quality & Durable board with a super high weight capacity. Carbon Fiber Rails, tons of d-rings, and action mounts. Can be used for fishing and comes with a 2 year warranty||Great performance, high quality accessories and pump, good value, very durable, high max capacity and very stable board, great customer service||Fast board due to unique shape, quality construction, carbon rails, nice velcro paddle holder||Most rigid board (up to 28 psi), great construction, kayak seat comes included||Triple layer fusion construction, all around shape, and fully covered deck pad means a versatile, rigid board||Quality board, lots of D rings for attachments, ability to use aftermarket fins, great company logo, stable and easy to paddle, very lightweight||Very lightweight, can turn easily, carbon fiber reinforced rails, high quality fins, great backpack and accessories||Stunning SUP.|
Lightweight with great stability.
Single fin box leads to great tracking.
Premium range of SUP accessories included. Kumano fin, carbon fiber paddle, and more.
|Light, well-built. 4.72" thickness gives a more hardboard feel. Great tracking and glide, fantastic pump|
|No US Fin box, and can be a little wide for smaller paddlers||No US Fin box and could move the back 2 action mounts to the side||Board slightly heavier than others on the list||No removable side fins||A dual chamber pump would make pumping the board up more enjoyable||Side fins aren’t removable, accessories could be improved||Very sporty, but not super stable for heavier beginners||Not much 🙂||Does not come with a leash or paddle|
|Specs||BLACKFIN||iRocker||Thurso surf||Bluefin||Gili||Atoll||Nixy||Sea Gods||Red Paddle Co|
|Weight||27 lbs||24 lbs||26 lbs||25 lbs||21 lbs||19 lbs||20 lbs||19 lbs||22 lbs|
|Capacity||450 lbs||435 lbs||330 lbs||286 lbs||340 lbs||400 lbs||300 lbs||250 lbs||240 lbs|
Top 6 All-Around VS Performance All-arounds
So how does our Top 6 shape up next to the performance all-arounds? Generally speaking the performance all-arounds excel in the variety of conditions they can tackle. They handle waves and rapids, any bodies of water that are bit more turbulent.
That’s because (again generally speaking) they tend to be thinner at 5”, not 6”. They can be thinner because they use the best quality materials so that they don’t have to sacrifice rigidness or durability to use less materials. Another factor is performance board features. Namely the fins. Your fins play a huge part into how well your board will track,respond etc. Performance boards tend to use better quality fins and also a US fin box so you can even upgrade your fins with anything compatible including the world leading FCS fins.
Top 6 All-Around VS Budget Boards
The difference between out Top 6 and the budget boards is everything from materials to accessories. Of course, each board exceeds in some places and others don’t. Though in the case of our choices it comes down to the accessories, the materials, the board features and the shape of the board and how that shape affects performance.
Now we’re done analyzing, it’s your time to shine.
What will it be? This is the exciting part where you get to decide who’s going to be arriving on your doorstep soon. If you are in need of some more reassurance, refer to our graph again. Or even better, leave us a comment below.
Like we mentioned, this is our list. It’s what we think is best. We might share different preferences than you, but we spend hours every week testing different boards and get our friends to come along, so we don’t get too biased. We’ve paddled in rivers, seas, rapids, and lakes. Sometimes not all that successfully, but we try!
Choosing from this list, you can be assured that it’s really been put to the test. The only reason why we would suggest overlooking this list is if you are in the market for particularly niche boards. Racing or surfing hardboards for instance. Otherwise, there is something here for absolutely everyone. It doesn’t matter your experience, budget or preference, our best inflatable SUPs for 2021 is an all-inclusive list!
Till next time! Keep on enjoying the beautiful sport that SUPing is!
Note: We constantly update our content to make it as up to date and relevant as possible. That’s why you will see some comments about boards no longer listed in this review. Also, we’ve recently revamped this list to focus on the All-around iSUPs. We are working on new, more in-depth lists for best performance All-Around SUPs, best touring SUPs, best SUPs for Yoga/Fitness, and more. Finally, boards we previously recommended include the iRocker Cruiser, Starboard Atlas, and Red Paddle Co Ride. They are all great but boards but just didn’t make it on the list this year.
Justin Taylor, Head Paddler
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