Are you looking to purchase a new inflatable SUP board? If you are, take a moment to read over our newly updated 2020 best inflatable paddle board list. This list will continue to be updated as new boards hit the market – so be sure to check back often for updates.
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.
At SupBoardGuide.com, we not only physically 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.
The Best Blow Up/Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards of 2020
(scroll to the right to see all the boards)
|Board||BLACKFIN Model X||iRocker All-Around 11'||Thurso Surf WaterWalker||BlueFin Cruise Carbon||Gili Meno 10'6||Atoll 11'||NIXY Newport||ERS 10'7 V3||Red Paddle Co Sport 11'|
|Rating out of 10||9.9/10||9.8/10||9.5/10||9.4/10||9.4/10||9.3/10||9.2/10||9.9/10||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||High performance all-around SUP||High performance 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||Dual fusion layer construction + carbon fiber rails and large deck pad = stable, lightweight 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||Light, but not too light. 5" thickness improves feel and stability. High quality construction, great for whitewater, surfing, or just paddling the lake||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||Deck pad could be improved, little wide for smaller paddlers||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||ERS||Red Paddle Co|
|Weight||27 lbs||24 lbs||26 lbs||25 lbs||23 lbs||19 lbs||20 lbs||25 lbs||19 lbs|
|Capacity||450 lbs||435 lbs||330 lbs||286 lbs||450 lbs||400 lbs||300 lbs||250 lbs||280 lbs|
Just keep that in mind and let us know if you have any questions!
10 Best All-Around Inflatable 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 2020. As mentioned above, each of these boards have been fully tested in a variety of conditions by a variety of SUPers.
We will be updating this page continuously as new boards come to market, and will also include some boards that don’t just fit into the all-around category.
Best Stand Up Paddle Boards
- BlackFin Model X
- iRocker All-Around
- Thurso Surf Waterwalker
- BlueFin Cruise Carbon
- Gili Meno 10’6
- Atol 11′
- NIXY Newport
- Isle Pioneer
- Earth River SUP (ERS) V3 10’7 (Best Performance All-Around SUP)
- Red Paddle Co Sport (Best Performance Touring SUP)
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.
1. BLACKFIN Model X Inflatable SUP – 2020 Model! (Read Full Review)
As you can see, the BLACKFIN Model X is now rated our top all-around inflatable SUP for 2020! This is in part due to the upgrades that BLACKFIN made vs the 2019 board, but also because of how many people absolutely loved the Model X last year.
So why is the BLACKFIN ranked #1 in the all-around category? Simply put – it is one of, if not the most versatile board we have reviewed so far in 2020. Combine that versatility with quality materials, construction, and customer support and you end up with a fantastic iSUP that works for just about anyone in any situation.
The BLACKFIN carries over several of the key features that we loved last year to the 2020 model, and then added a ton of action mounts and d-rings to make stable, high quality board even more versatile. BLACKFIN kept the triple layer composite PVC construction, drop stitch inner core, and carbon fiber rails for 2020. They then went and added 7 (yes 7!) action mounts. In addition, they’ve added a 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.
One thing we liked is that the BLACKFIN maintained the triple layer composite PVC construction + carbon fiber rail system that we loved so much last year. This is one of the most rigid and stable iSUPs on the market this year. 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 a bit).
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 it will grow with you as you become a better SUPer!
Combine all those features with a great backpack, an upgraded full-carbon shaft + lighter nylon blade paddle, and killer triple action pump and you have our top pick for best inflatable stand up paddle board for 2020!
2. iRocker All-Around 11′ Inflatable SUP – 2020 Model (Read Full Review)
Why is it that iRocker’s All-Around is one of our top-rated All-Around inflatable SUPs again for 2020?
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.
*Keep in mind that we also asked half a dozen beginners to test all our boards so we could get a good, well-rounded view vs just an opinion of those of us who surf and SUP all the time.
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, 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. Thurso Surf WaterWalker All-Around SUP – 2020 (Read Full Review)
Coming in at #3 on our list of best iSUPs is the ThursoSurf Waterwalker All-around. The Waterwalker is available in 10’, 10’6″, and 11″ models.
The thing I love most about the 2020 Waterwalker is the board design – in both the aesthetics and board features. The founder of Thurso Surf is currently getting his Ph.D. in fluid dynamics. You can see the ‘academic’ side of things when you test the Thurso, as it is one of the fastest all-around boards that we have tested so far. One of our team members took out his 12-year-old son, and it was his son’s top pick simply because he could keep up with his Dad for once :). The iRocker is fast, but we do have to give it to Thurso in designing a board that is just slightly faster than our top board.
From a performance and turning/maneuverability standpoint the Thurso WaterWalker is also a very capable SUP. However, slightly less than the iRocker All-Around due to the higher weight, and more rounded shape.
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 triple-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 introduced some different tones this year to their range.
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!
4. 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!
5. Gili Meno 10’6 Inflatable SUP – 2020 (Read the Full Review)
Talk about improvement! Last year, Gili introduced their Adventures series iSUPs to go along with their Gili Air (one of our top rated budget friendly SUPs). We love the Adventures series, but were blown away by the new Meno series.
With both 10’6 and 11’6 options, the Meno SUPs come loaded with features. Dual layer fusion technology keeps the boards very lightweight at just 23 and 24 lbs, respectively. Where we are most impressed is that Gili paired this lightweight construction with carbon fiber rails. The carbon fiber rails improve rigidity, and with a 35” width you end up with a very stable, yet lightweight inflatable stand up paddle board.
Gili also includes 5 different fins, a carbon fiber shaft paddle, excellent dual chamber pump, and an improved backpack in the base kit. You can upgrade to a full carbon fiber paddle, but you basically get everything you need to paddle on the lake, ocean, or river right out of the box.
If you are someone who is looking for a larger, yet still lightweight board then you should strongly consider the 2020 Gili Meno series iSUPs.
6. Atoll 11’ Inflatable Paddle Board – 2019 (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.
7. Nixy Newport G3 10.6 All-Around Inflatable SUP – 2019 (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 2020, the ERS 10’7 V3.
2020 ERS 10’7 V3 Full Review
ERS isn’t a brand as well known as RedPaddleCo, Hala, or Starboard. However, they make killer performance SUPs at great prices. We love the ERS V3 because of how well it feels and performs in a variety of conditions.
From paddling around on the lake, to charging down some whitewater rapids, the V3 is a fantastic board. It’s also very lightweight, built with what we like to call ‘premium’ dual layer fusion construction, comes with a ton of different fin options, and is also only 5” thick.
While this may sound somewhat counterintuitive, as long as you fit under the weight capacity of the board, a 5” iSUP will perform better than a 6” iSUP. The reason is that your center of gravity is lower, and the board end up acting more like a hard board and glides through the water vs on-top of it like a 6” SUP does.
Best Premium Touring iSUP Board For 2020
Red Paddle Co Sport 11’ Full Review
Sporty spice is fast and nice.
With Red Paddle Co producing some of the best stand up paddle boards on the market, of course, one needs to make its way in here! Recently we reviewed the 11’ Sport and boy does it handle!
So speedy half the photos turned out blurred. Okay, so maybe that was also the camera. But it truly does fly. Not only does it fly, but it also holds you well. The squared off tail gives you loads of stability where the single fin keeps you tracking on point to your destination.
Other features to note that highlight this board as the best touring board are the strong materials, rigid wall design with rail bands, literally the best pump on the market and superb cushioned deck pad.
It’s a shame there isn’t more storage space on the nose, with a couple more D-rings, but this is a small downfall up against the long list of positives.
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||Thurso Surf WaterWalker||Bluefin Cruise Carbon||Gili Meno 10'6||Atoll 11'||NIXY Newport||ERS 10'7 V3||Red Paddle Co Sport 11'|
|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|
Front, Middle, Rear
Front, Middle, Rear
Front, Middle, Rear
Front, Middle, Rear
Front, Middle, Rear
Front, Middle, Rear
|1 center||2 Front, Rear|
|1 Front||1 Front|
|Paddles||Carbon Fiber shaft + lightweight vinyl blade||Carbon Fiber composite shaft + lightweight vinyl blade||Carbon Fiber shaft + vinyl blade||Carbon Fiber shaft + vinyl blade||Carbon Fiber shaft + vinyl blade||Aluminum (comes standard, can upgrade)||Fiberglass||Not included||Not Included|
|Fins||3 removable, snap lock fins||3 removable, snap lock fins||3 removable, snap lock fins||Snap lock removable center fin, fixed side fins||3 removable fins. Center US fin, side snap lock fins||3 removable, center fin is FCS||3 Removable, NIXY specific fin set||Deluxe fin set included (8 fins, US Fin box / FCS side fins)||1 removable center fin (US fin box)|
|Backpack||Great backpack with 2 wheels and extra compartments for pump, fins, etc.||Good backpack, extra compartments for fins, no wheels||Good backpack, 2 wheels and extra section for fins||Good backpack, extra zipper section for fins, +wheels||Good backpack, extra zipper section for fins, +wheels||Mesh, open air backpack, no wheels or extra compartments for fins||Fantastic backpack with loads of extra spots for fins + three wheels||Fantastic backpack with loads of extra spots for fins + two wheels||Fantastic backpack with loads of extra spots for fins + two wheels|
|Pumps||Triple Action, Dual Chamber pump||Triple Action, Dual Chamber pump||Triple Action, Dual Chamber pump||Triple Action, Dual Chamber pump||Triple Action, Dual Chamber pump||Double Action, single chamber pump||Triple Action, Dual Chamber pump||Double Action, single chamber pump||Triple Action, Dual Chamber pump|
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 2020 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.