Our 2019 List Of The Best Inflatable Paddle Boards and iSUPs

Our Favorite InflatablesNote: Updated for 2019!
Are you looking to purchase a new inflatable SUP board? If you are, take a moment to read over our 2019 best inflatable paddle board list.

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).

At SupBoardGuide.com, we not only physically test each and every 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/Stand Up Paddle Boards of 2019

BoardiRocker All AroundBlackfin Model XThurso Surf WaterWalkerNIXY NewportIsle Pioneer 10'6"Atoll 11'
iRocker All-Around 2019 Review
Full Review
Blackfin Model X Review
Full Review
Thurso Surf WaterWalker Review
Full Review
Nixy Newport G3 Review
Full Review
Isle Pioneer Review
Full Review
Atoll 11' Review
Full Review
Rating out of 109.8/109.8/109.5/109.3/109.2/109.1/10
PricingSee Best PriceSee Best Price
See Best PriceSee Best PriceSee Best PriceSee Best Price
Best For Person Who Wants:A stable, fun, great performing SUP boardA SUPER stable board or family boardA stable, fast boardA lightweight board that’s easy to turn for lighter or more advanced paddlersA great looking, lightweight boardA good all-around board w/ a GREAT logo

Great performance, High quality accessories and pump, good value, very durable, high max capacity and very stable board, great customer serviceVERY stable and durable, great performance, can fit multiple people (high max weight capacity), great bag and accessoriesFast board due to unique shape, quality construction, nice velcro paddle holderVery lightweight, can turn easily, Carbon fiber reinforced rails, high quality fins, great backpack and accessoriesGreat brand, airtech fusion lite makes for a lightweight boardQuality board, lots of D rings for attachments, ability to use aftermarket fins, great company logo, stable and easy to paddle, very lightweight

No handles at ends of board, bag has only one compartment and no wheelsA little harder to maneuver for lighter peoplePump and bag could use an upgradeNot super stable for heavier people or beginners, deck pad a little slipperyLower weight capacity, side fins are not removableSide fins aren’t removable, accessories could be improved
SpecsiRockerBlackfin Thurso surfNixyIsleAtoll
Weight27 lbs25 lbs26 lbs20 lbs21 lbs19 lbs
Capacity435 lbs450 lbs330 lbs300 lbs240 lbs300 lbs
Note: It’s important to reiterate that SupBoardGuide judges boards based on their category and price level (i.e. how much the average consumer wants to spend). For example, with our top all-around SUP boards for 2019 we compared mid-level priced boards against each other and have another category, Performance SUPs, for the higher-end performance boards. If you are an experienced paddler or someone looking for an inflatable SUP with top of the line performance, then we would recommend checking out our best performance SUP, the ERS Skylake, below.

Just keep that in mind and let us know if you have any questions!

Best All-Around Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboards

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 below 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. iRocker All-Around Inflatable SUP – 2019 (Read Full Review)

iRocker All-Around Inflatable SUP

11' iRocker All-AroundSee Best Price & Customer Reviews

So why is it that iRocker’s All-Around is our top rated (#1) All-Around inflatable SUP?

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.

Our Video Review: 

11' iRocker All-AroundSee Best Price & Customer Reviews

  • Stable board, great for beginners through advanced paddlers
  • Turns easily
  • Extremely durable
  • 2-year warranty
  • Great Accessories (we especially love the triple-action pump)
  • Can add lots of accessories (kayak seat, etc.) due to extra D-rings
  • Action mount for GoPro or iRocker Speaker (which we love)
  • Upgraded deck pad vs 2018 model
  • Side fins are removable
  • Top-Notch Customer service
  • Clean, simple design
  • Color-coded paddle and leash
  • Multiple color choices
  • Handles on bungees
  • Doesn’t have handles on ends of board, only has one handle in the middle
  • We would love to see an upgrade to a US fin box for more advanced riders
  • Bag only has one compartment and no wheels

2. BLACKFIN Model X Inflatable SUP – 2019 (Read Full Review)

BLACKFIN Model X Inflatable SUP

10'6 Blackfin Model XSee Best Price & Customer Reviews

11'6 Blackfin Model XLSee Best Price & Customer Reviews

So what’s new about the 2019 Blackfins? They have shed 4 lbs of weight, and the X is only 25 lbs! That weight was one of the things we listed as an issue last year, but with an upgrade in materials, the board weighs less but still offers a HUGE weight capacity (450 lbs). You can literally load a family onto them, and you’ll be still floating.

Note: We easily paddled 3 adults weighing just over a total 500 lbs on the BLACKFIN X. The board only started to struggle when we tried adding another 100+ pounds to it!

With top rated stability (no other board we’ve tested is as stable), high quality materials, and great accessories, we decided to move the BLACKFIN to #2 on our list of best iSUPS for 2019. The only reason why it comes in #2 and not #1 is the fact that it isn’t as easy to maneuver as the iRocker All-around.

If you are someone who needs higher weight capacity, more stability, and want to paddle with your family then the BLACKFIN is your board.

In addition to being a great family board, the BLACKFIN 2019 models also are very impressive when it comes to performance. iRocker created the BLACKFIN with a slightly tapered nose and tail to improve performance. The board really handles and glides very well.

The BLACKFIN boards also come with a whole heap of other features. Much like the iRockers, they have an action mount that can host a variety of fun things like a fishing rod holder, Go-pro mount and the super awesome waterproof Bluetooth speaker! Tons of extra D-rings are included for mounting kayak seat and other gear (coolers, bags, ect).

The features don’t stop there either. You have 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.

Like the iRocker All-Around, the BLACKFIN comes in 2 different sizes. If you are someone who wants extra, extra weight capacity and a little longer board for a few extra people then go with the XL model.

Our Video Review: 

10'6 Blackfin Model XSee Best Price & Customer Reviews

11'6 Blackfin Model XLSee Best Price & Customer Reviews

  • The most stable board
  • Great performance
  • 450 lb weight capacity
  • Premium accessories
  • Loads of D-rings for all the great accessories and storage
  • Action mount for GoPro or iRocker speaker
  • Lighter than last year – only 25 lbs
  • US fin box compatible with other fins
  • Hatchet fin ideal for tracking
  • Big deck space, great for SUP fitness/sports
  • Wheels on bag
  • Handles on all bungees
  • Handles on front and back, great for portability
  • Smart design
  • Harder to maneuver for lighter paddlers (not a deal breaker for those couples with one larger and one lighter person though)
  • Would be great to have a paddle holder on side of board
  • We would love a dedicated pouch on the bag for the fins

3. Thurso Surf WaterWalker All-Around SUP – 2019 (Read Full Review)

Thurso Surf WaterWalker All-Around SUP

10'6 Thurso Surf WaterWalkerSee Best Price & Customer Reviews

Coming in at #3 on our list of best iSUPs for the first time is the ThursoSurf Waterwalker All-around. The Waterwalker is available in both 10’6” and 11” models.

The thing I love most about the 2019 Waterwalker is the board design – in both the aesthetics and board features. The founder of Thurso Surf is currently getting his PHD in fluid dynamics. You can see the ‘academic’ side of things when you test the Thurso, as it is the fastest all-around board 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, turning/maneuverability standpoint, the Thurso WaterWalker is also a very capable SUP, although slightly less than the iRocker All-Around due to it’s more rounded shape and higher volume in the nose.

Accessory wise, there are a lot of things that we love about the WaterWalker. The bag comes with 2 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 centre 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 front and back of the board for storing all kinds of things or setting up the optional kayak seat.

Thurso choose to make their boards with a triple layer PVC that’s both durable and has a high weight capacity (although not as high as the iRocker/BLACKFINs). They also add an extra layer of PVC 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!

10'6 Thurso Surf WaterWalkerSee Best Price & Customer Reviews

  • Well designed – very fast for an all-around
  • Unique graphic design
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Quality Carbon Fiber Shaft Paddle
  • 3 handles for easy carrying (front, middle, back)
  • Lots of D-rings and bungees for storage and accessories like kayak bundle
  • Velcro rail paddle holder
  • All fins are removable
  • Bag has wheels and extra pouch
  • Pump could be improved to triple action, double chamber
  • Would love to see the upgrade to a US fin box and compatible fin in the future

4. Nixy Newport G3 10.6 All-Around Inflatable SUP – 2019 (Full Review)

Sup package

10'6 NIXY Newport G3See Best Price & Customer Reviews

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.

10'6 NIXY Newport G3See Best Price & Customer Reviews

  • Very fun, easy to maneuver board
  • High quality, lightweight materials
  • Carbon fiber rails for extra stiffness
  • Great paddle
  • Fantastic tracking
  • One of the best backpacks on the market
  • Nice design
  • Several color options
  • Carry strap included
  • Extra D-rings for kayak seat and other accessories
  • Easy to use and efficient pump
  • Not super stable for heavier beginner paddlers (lighter beginners love the board though)
  • Deck pad a little slippery
  • Storage space on the nose could be bigger

5. Isle Pioneer Inflatable Paddle Board – 2019 (Full Review)

Isle Pioneer Inflatable Paddle Board
(photo from IsleSurfandSup…ours are coming soon, but we didn’t want you to have to wait to see how beautiful this board is!)

10'6 Isle PioneerSee Best Price & Customer Reviews

The Isle Pioneer Inflatable is the latest design from Isle Surf and SUP, featuring a killer design and good all-around performance. This is the first year we have been able to do a hands-on test of the Isle boards, so be on the lookout for our full in-depth review on the Isle Pioneer coming soon!

Again, we will update this section once our full review is done, but there are a few things we wanted to highlight quickly to show why we added the Isle Pioneer to our list of top rated inflatable SUPs.

First, the Isle brand and image. I know, I know – looks don’t matter, right? Well, we actually talk to a lot of people who really do care about the looks of their board, and Isle has some of the best designs we’ve seen.

From a materials and technology/features standpoint, the Pioneer is a very lightweight board at just 21 lbs, similar to the NIXY due to Isle’s AirTech Fusion Lite process. You also get a load of other great extras, like 2 handles, extra D-rings, and 2 bungee sections for storage and carrying of accessories and other personal items. One area we would like to see an upgrade to would be the fin set up. We like the removable center fin, but would also like to see the side fins upgraded so they could be removed as well.

Accessory-wise, the Isle Pioneer comes with everything you need to get started SUPing – a backpack, double-action pump, leash, and a hybrid travel paddle.

10'6 Isle PioneerSee Best Price & Customer Reviews

  • Lightweight SUP
  • Great looking design
  • 2 great color options
  • Easy shape to paddle
  • Nice square tail for stable pivot turns
  • All accessories included
  • Accessories could be improved (we’d like to see a triple action pump and better backpack)
  • Non removable side fins
  • Lower weight capacity (240 lbs) than other top all-arounders

6. Atoll 11’ Inflatable Paddle Board – 2019 (Read Full Review)

Atoll 11’ Inflatable Paddle Board

11' Atoll iSupSee Best Price & Customer Reviews

Cruising into the list at #6 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.

11' Atoll iSupSee Best Price & Customer Reviews

  • Cool logo/design
  • Good amount of storage up front
  • Loads of D-rings for versatile use, kayaking, more storage, fishing etc
  • Nice fin setup
  • Interesting shape that’s fast
  • Lightweight, fusion material
  • 2 year warranty
  • Carbon fibre paddle
  • Comes with all accessories
  • Pump could be improved
  • Another handle on the nose for better portability would be preferable
  • No 10’ 6” option for smaller or advanced paddlers

Best All-Around Inflatable SUP For Performance

2019 ERS Skylake 10’7 Full Review

It’s the lightweight nature of the ERS that makes the performance a little better. Lightweight because they use fusion technology for their layers. That saves extra layers of PVC, keeping it lightweight. This lightweight frame makes you agile on the water which results in fantastic turning and speed.

Look at the fins on the ERS Skylake 2018, they are interchangeable! Which we love. They even have small river fins for when you are in shallow water or reedy banks. Not only does that increase the value of this iSUP, but it also improves performance. Then for those who are starting out you can choose a large center tracking fin to help stabilize you into sticking straight.

The appearance of the ERS I love too, it’s simple and gender neutral. Combine aesthetics, materials, and performance, and you’ve got my vote! We did look at using the Red Paddle Co Ride as the top pick under this title too. Both ERS and RPC use high-quality materials but why we swung to the ERS is that it’s a little more versatile with the fin setup. While intermediates will definitely get more performance out of the Ride, as does it handle just that touch better, we believe that beginners will appreciate being able to start off with a large center tracking fin. Like you can on the ERS.

If the Skylake is for you don’t forget to claim your free paddle and use the coupon SUPBOARDGUIDE for an additional 5% off!

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Our Video Review:

Best Budget/Cheap Inflatable SUP Board

Gili Air Full Review

Gili SUP 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.

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Best Touring iSUP Board For 2019

Red Paddle Co Sport 11’ Full Review

RPC Sport 11

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.

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Best Yoga Board

Thurso Yoga Full Review

Thurso Yoga Board

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!

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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.

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Our Video Review:

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:

BoardiRocker All AroundBlackfin Model XThurso Surf WaterWalkerNIXY NewportIsle Pioneer 10'6"Atoll 11'
iRocker All-Around 2019 Review
Full Review
Blackfin Model X Review
Full Review
Thurso Surf WaterWalker Review
Full Review
Nixy Newport G3 Review
Full Review Coming Soon
Isle Pioneer Review
Full Review
Atoll 11' Review
Full Review
PricingSee Best PriceSee Best Price
See Best PriceSee Best PriceSee Best PriceSee Best Price
Front, Middle, Rear
Front, Middle, Rear
Front, Middle, Rear
Front, Middle
Front, Back
Front, Back
Front, Back
Front, Back
Front, Back
PaddlesFiberglassCarbon Fiber shaftedCarbon Fiber shaftedFiberglassCarbon Fiber shaftedAluminum (comes standard, can upgrade)
Fins3 Removable3 removable, center fin is FCS3 removable3 Removable, FCS finsCenter fin removable, FCS
Side fins not removable
3 removable, center fin is FCS
BackpackGood backpack, but no wheels or extra compartments for fins or repair kit, etc.Great backpack with 2 wheels and extra section for pumpGood backpack, 2 wheels and extra section for finsFantastic backpack with loads of extra spots for fins + three wheelsGood backpack, extra zipper section for fins, no wheelsMesh, open air backpack, no wheels or extra compartments for fins
PumpsTriple Action, Dual Chamber pumpTriple Action, Dual Chamber pumpTriple Action, Dual Chamber pumpDouble Action, single chamber pumpDouble Action, single chamber pumpDouble Action, single 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.

Some of our Top 6 like the BLACKFIN, NIXY, Isle, and Atoll use the US fin box and have more refined fins. It’s a premium feature for these boards!

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.


Our Favorite Inflatables
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 2019 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.

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Heyo! I'm Sarah or as many call me, Sacky! I'm an Australian lover of the outdoors. From losing teeth to rock faces and surfing with dolphins - it's all my second home. I do the online thing to fund my obsessions and keep me seeing this wonderful world. Hope you've enjoyed my content 🙂

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158 thoughts on “Our 2019 List Of The Best Inflatable Paddle Boards and iSUPs”

    • 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!

  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.

    • 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?

    • 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.

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

      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.

      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.

      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.



    • 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

  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!

      • 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 (//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 really solid option. 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.


    • 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.


  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.

  36. Hi,

    How come you haven’t mentioned the Billboard H4 paddle board? Have you tried it and in that case what do you think of it?
    As I am considering buying a stand-up paddle board, I would like to know how the Billboard would be compared to the other boards mentioned in this review.

    • Hi,

      we didn’t test the Billboard H4. The reason is that it’s just impossible to test every single SUP on the market. There are literally hundreds of boards and dozens of companies that bring out new products every single year. We’ve tested 40+ boards and the ones mentioned here were the ones we liked the best for the reasons we give in the review.

      We make sure we test boards from the most popular companies out there and also some smaller players like Gili for example. Billboard seems to produce a good product but it looks like they only ship from the UK so for anyone outside Europe it’s not really relevant.

  37. My question is about the storage of the inflatable paddleboards. Is I t better to deflate them and store them in the travel bag or leave them inflated and only deflate them when necessary?

    • Hi Judy,

      I’d suggest deflating the boards whenever you want to store them for a long time (over winter or for several days/weeks). Just make sure your board is completely dry before you roll it up and store it in the travel bag.

      However, you can leave your boards inflated if you use them regularly. There is no need to inflate/deflate them if you use your board every other day. What I’d suggest you do though is to let out a little bit of air and not leave your board inflated at the 15 PSI. Maybe just let out a little bit of pressure. The volume of the air inside will vary with falling and rising temperatures and it’s not great for your SUP long-term.

  38. Hi there – I’m debating between the Gili and the iRocker All-Around. New to paddleboarding . . . #1 want something both my young kids (ages 7, 10) and myself (5’10, 160) can mess around on coastal waters of Alaska where we live. Is $150 price difference between two brands a noticeable quality/performance difference for ocean use? Thanks so much!!!!

    • Hey Damara 🙂

      My personal opinion is that the price difference is mainly because of materials. So, yes there is a noticeable difference. The cheapest boards on the market are generally single layer PVC. The issues with this are the chances of damage is considerably higher, they aren’t as rigid (will flex under weight) and even though they are light (which is normally a good thing), they are more wind affected. So if it’s between one of the cheaper SUPs and a mid-range only $150 more, I would always highly suggest paying it. You’ll get a board that lasts longer and has better accessories (eg paddle) which makes paddling easier. Additionally, something that offers a little more performance means as you get into the sport more, you’ll get to keep experimenting and having fun!

      Hope that helps 🙂

  39. This is a great article, and I appreciate the knowledge, experience, and obvious passion you have for paddleboarding! Thank you for your work, as it would be impossible to try all of these out in Oklahoma. We have a couple of shops that offer the Red Paddle Co. boards, and then there are some no name cheapos available at the local stores, but the sweet spot for me was that $500-$700 range as I was just beginning, but didn’t want to keep renting at $20/hr.
    I decided on the Thurso Waterwalker 11′, and I couldn’t be happier. I absolutely love the way the board looks, tracks, and the stability is great. I’m 5’11”, and weigh in about 250 lbs. and I don’t get any water on top of the board. My 5 lbs. morkee, Teddy, has a great time going out with me too, but the front of the Waterwalker is a little too pointy for him. When my family goes out with me, they use sit on top kayaks, and I am constantly slowing down to allow them to catch up, so the board must be pretty fast (or maybe my family is just really slow.)
    Now I am looking for another inflatable, as the kayaks fill up the top of my Honda Pilot, and my kids are always wanting to take over my paddle board. I’m thinking the Thurso Surf Tranquility, as my experience with the company has been top notch, but I would be open to entertaining the Blackfin X, as it really looks like the real deal. Do you have any suggestions? We really go out to just spend family time together.

    • Hey there, thanks for the compliments! Appreciate the feedback 🙂
      So, I personally found the Blackfin and Tranquility to be very similar. The differences? The tranquillity is much lighter(easier for everyone to move it around) and you get the cool deck bag. The Blackfin has a better fin setup and way more handles for kids to hold onto. The overall shape is quite similar though. I would say the stability and speed are about the same. The Blackfin, however, does have a slight increase of rocker and the FCS fin system means you can change fins, so, it’s a little more versatile. I like both boards! Haha it’s a tricky call, perhaps if your kids are quite young the handles would be great. Both boards have wide noses too, so Morkee should be loving life up the front on either!

  40. Hello, I am an intermediate paddler, male, 5’9″, 195, and I am looking for a second board that I could take on road trips so I am looking at an iSUP. I really like to have plenty of tie downs as I take one of my retrievers with me (75 and 85 lbs) so my space is limited in the front. I also need one that is pretty versatile. I am thinking about picking up the Turso Surf 10’6″. I mostly paddle on flat rivers/lakes, but would like to also take it on an occasional trip to the ocean and even try some class I whitewater, and possibly class II just for fun. Would this board meet my needs?

    • Hi Mark,

      Sarah already replied to your comment on the Thurso review. To add to that I’d suggest that the Thurso is not the ideal board for you. The Blackfin for example can carry a lot more weight than the Thurso and with a heavy dog in the front it will perform way better. It is fairly wide though and won’t be as fast as your hardboard. It is however one of the few boards that has tie down straps in the front and the back. Another board I’d definitely check out is the ERS Skylake. It’s really high-quality and it can handle class I rapids. Class II will be a challenge though as it will be with most all around boards. Hope that helps

  41. Hi there! Wow. Such a great article and so helpful.

    I live in Canada and am wanting to make my first SUP purchase. I am 5’7 and am not sure if I should get the irocker all around 10′ or 11.

    I would like to take my dog around with me and hopefully convince my husband to use it once in a while. Just worried about picking the wrong size!

    • Hey Sandra!

      Thank you so much 🙂 Always lovely to know our efforts are appreciated.

      I would suggest the 10′ would be enough. Since introducing their quad-layer iRockers boards can really take some weight! The 11′ won’t make your life impossible, it’s just a little heavier and slower to turn. So if you really feel like you’d want to load up, you’ll be fine on the 11′ too. But, for ease, I would still suggest the 10′ is fine. Unless your dog is a great dane? Haha then maybe the 11′ is necessary.

  42. Thanks so much for all your amazing reviews. I’m debating my first board purchase. I am interesting in cruising on flatware lakes and some chop (lake ontario) so need something that is stable enough with a good paddle to do some distance along the shoreline if the weather changes a bit. I enjoying the idea of anchoring and doing some yoga and I have a 70 lb lab that I’ve been able to get on my friends so hoping he will join in some adventuring. I was originally looking at Ten Toes Weekender as it was on for an amazing price but now I’m looking at the Thurso Weekender 10 6, the irocker all around or the the blackfin. I have to admit I like pushing myself to paddle hard and get a bit of a workout so it’s nice to track well. I know there are so many options and I probably just have to pull the trigger but the ten toes is half the price of the others and maybe a decent starter board. Thoughts? Help… 🙂

    • Hey Michelle,

      We’re glad to help 🙂 I’d suggest you go for the all-around or Blackfin. Both are the most durable and stiff boards out of the 4 you named. The Tentoes is alright but not great. It’s definitely got more flex than the others and doesn’t perform. The Thurso is much better but with a 70lb lab sitting at the nose you will get some issues for sure. The Blackfin will be the best for Yoga and bringing your dog. You’ve got plenty of space and it is insanely stable. It also comes with the best accessories and is the highest quality. It’s not the fastest board due to it’s shape though. If speed is important go for the all-around. It’s faster and still comes with solid accessories. Hope that helps and let me know if you need anything else 🙂

      PS: I think the TenToes is $500 so not that far off the all-around price?

  43. Thanks. The ten toes was $500 and the all around is $900. The thurso is $800 and blackfin is $1000 for me up in the north with a ton of taxes to add. It’s been a tough choice because I only want the option to bring my pup but will mostly be alone on it tracking along the shores of the lake. Weather and wind changes in a day quite a bit so would need something that tracks decent and can cut the waves. I feel like the Thurso or the all around will do the trick. I think the blackfin will slow me down a lot when out with my friend who has a hard board. Less ideal. So for the price difference of $100 more (over the Thurso) is the irocker all around really that much better? I know it has the quad layers and the better pump but the paddle and added accessories on the Thurso make it a great package. And the debate continues…Haha.
    Thanks sooo much for all your help. Your reviews have been super helpful!

    • Did you check irockersup.ca?? The All-Around is currently listed at $900 CAD which is about $680 USD. That’s actually a little cheaper than the USD price on the .com site. That’s probably still a little bit more than the Thurso though. Both the Thurso and the iRocker are way better than the TenToes. You pretty much described the differences. The iRocker is more durable and a little stiffer. You will have an easier time with your pup on board with the iRocker. He/She will be sitting near the nose and the iRocker does handle extra weight better. Then again you the Thurso does have more accessories included. The paddle is a little nicer and the cooler bag is great for warm days. Both will have some trouble keeping up with hardboards but that’s the issue you have with every inflatable, unfortunately.

      Btw, if you value performance a lot you might want to check out the Sport as well! It’s definitely a little more streamlined and sporty 😉

      Happy to help 🙂

  44. I am looking for a cheap isup for my 16 year old daughter. I don’t want to pay a lot as she will not be able to use it that often. The aquamarina vapor and the goplus with the wood grain design are the two I am looking at. I love the design of the goplus and that it is 6″ thick and with the aquamarina I like that u can add a kayak seat but concerned about the 4″ thickness. Would you recommend either one or can you suggest another in the under $300 range. She will be using it in lakes, inlets and possibly in shallow river with very mild rapids.

    • Hey Christy
      Check out our cheap SUP article, it’s got some budget sups that we can recommend. The thing with the ones you’re talking about is that sometimes you end up with a SUP that isn’t even usable after a couple of times of going out. They are prone to damage, air leaks and the accessories make for a lot more effort. You won’t want to use the board at all if you can hardly pump it or if the paddle gives you blisters after a very short time. So it’s worthwhile to think about affording just that little more. The recent winner on that list, the Gili Sports, Gili Air is only $500 and it’s seriously good value considering.

  45. Thanks for the super job on iSUP reviews. Very informative and helpful. I’m wondering if you’ve ever reviewed the Isle Explorer for all-around/touring purposes and if you have, what your thoughts are about it? I’m also interested in the iRocker Sport 11′ to use mostly on lakes and the calmer sections of rivers for cruising and touring. I’m 5′, weigh 115 lbs, a newbie at this, but not afraid of a challenge while learning a new sport. Is there a noticeable difference in speed from a 10′ to an 11′ board on smoother water? Just unsure if the Sport 11′ is too much board for me to handle. Would the iRocker All Around be better suited?

    • Hey Eva!
      Thanks for the super comment! 😉
      I haven’t been on the Isle Explorer (yet!) but Tobias may have, he’ll comment too if he has. Though from what I have heard/seen is that it’s a fantastic board. It’s got a bit more room for taking things than the All-Around but iRockers Blackfin is comparable. However, the Blackfin would be a bit slower though on the plus side, more stable.

      You wouldn’t notice a huge difference in speed in the 10′ to 11′, the more noticeable thing is the stability difference. I can feel the difference in speed between the two but I’m not sure if that’s because I was looking for it or if it’s noticeable haha! The Sport is a bit more to handle and not as versatile as the All-Around and Isle Explorer. I would opt for one or the other over the Sport.

      I would suggest the Isle Explorer and iRocker All-around are comparable. The Explorer is made with fusion so it’ll be a bit lighter but I would argue the iRocker All-Around would be more stable. Though this is just my opinion of looking at the facts not having ridden then side by side. Just to make it harder haha the iRocker Cruiser is quite similar to the Explorer too.

      Hope some of that helps! Thanks for prompting us on another board to add to the list to review. Feel free to suggest boards to review anytime 🙂

  46. Lots and lots of great information in your “SUP” board comparison piece. However, I know absolute zero about any of the info mentioned! Like what does “SUP” even stand for?!?! LOL!

    I have close friends of 40+ years, whose daughter is getting married November 2018. We’ve watched her grow up, go on to graduate from LSU, and now she’s getting hitched! I’ve been thinking about getting them either one or two paddle boards as a wedding gift. As the saying goes, “Couples who play together, stay together!”

    Here my question:
    Which is the best choice for beginners and the best value (for me)!

    They are both VERY tall and slender; he is 6’7” and she is 6’ (she probably weighs 110 lbs.). They live in New Orleans and have a lake nearby, plus they are on the Gulf. She grew up in the Texas Hill Country, (where her parents and friends still live), and where there are shallow and deep river rapids. I am sort of leaning toward one board big enough for both of them and their two dogs (a miniature dachshund & a “Heinz 57” retriever). Then, if it’s something they really enjoy (I can’t even imagine how they wouldn’t – they both LOVE the water), they can purchase another board later that more specifically meets their individual needs. But, I am worried about the dogs “puncturing” the material. And, I don’t want to spend money on a board that doesn’t have any durability and longevity or is too difficult to transport/set-up. I saw one video from iRocker that had a paddle that switched from one-bladed end to a two-bladed end for kayaking, which I thought was a really great option. I’m willing to spend $500-$1,500 (if that’s even possible based on my “wish list”).

    Any recommendations would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!

    • Hey Karen

      You left two comments so going to just reply here to this one 🙂

      Well if you are wanting the versatility with kayak seat and having dogs on board (extra stability) and durability, the iRocker Cruiser is a bullet-proof and stable board. It’s not going to be the greatest in shallow waters/rocky rapids as the large centre fin would get damaged. It is removable but you’ll have a bit of a wobbly board! Twin-fin style down the rapids might be okay, but general shallow waters will be tricky. Your other option is the more premium line of Blackfin boards, they are a bit heavier and slower but more stable and have better accessories eg a bag that rolls and doesn’t have to be carried. So it’s just a matter of priority, stability, portability or versatility?

      So if you are wanting something that can be in the shallow waters, have a look at ERS Skylake. Its fins are flexible and can be changed out for smaller profile ones. The downside is it won’t be as stable for the dogs. If they are just starting out on SUP’s, I would suggest the iRocker or Blackfin over the ERS because they will appreciate the stability over the ability to have an occasional rapid run. Like you said, they can always buy their own to suit their needs once they figure out what style of SUPing is for them!

      Most inflatable SUP’s won’t puncture from dogs claws, they are built bit tougher than that 😉 The bigger thing to look for is the extra deck pad area so the dog has somewhere to sit!

      Oh and SUP = Stand Up Paddleboard! 😀

      Congrats to your friend’s daughter from us 🙂

  47. Sacky,

    Thank you SOOO MUCH for your very thorough and VERY prompt reply! I will definitely look into the iRocker Cruiser and Blackfin. I really think these two “kids” will enjoy having a “SUP”……seems to be wha”SUP” these days!!! 😜

    Have a wonderful day!

    PS: Sorry about the double post….my iPad was being quirky!

  48. Hi! I am new to boarding but am a fast learner and am athletic. I want a versitlle board. Tour, maybe paddle a child, relax and float, sometime sit and kayak, take with me when travel so can hop onto any water we see including some with current and small waves but mostly lakes. I am 55 so want it to age with me. I am 120 lbs. What do you recommend? Someone told me Ten Toes. My husband wants a board too. He will do the same as me and fish sometimes. What do you recommend for him? We want inlflatabke and economical. Thank you!!

    • Hey Ellenaor!

      So first up, the Ten Toes doesn’t have a kayak seat option as far as I’m aware of. The boards I can think of that do are iRocker and Thursosurf. Well, the ones you are worth spending your money on. There are some other brands like Aqua Marina that offer it but I can’t genuinely recommend their products as far as durability goes.

      So iRocker – I would look at the Cruiser if you want stability over speed, or the All-Around if you want manoeuvrability/speed over stability. Both are extremely stable, the Cruiser just has a squared tail so that you get stability the whole way through which can be great if you are taking two passengers and so you need to space the weight out over the board.

      The Thursosurf – either Waterwalker or Expedition. Though just having a quick look, looks like they’re sold out of the Expedition at the moment. The Waterwalker is a great touring board, speedy but stable.

      The difference between the two is weight and durability. I argue the iRocker is more durable due to better construction but it’s also a little heavier. It’s got the better pump while the Thurso has the better paddle. They are pretty tough competitors haha! Though for the diversity of wanting to go in small waves too the All-around is going to be easier, though again I can’t highly recommend it. The higher end boards that are 4″ thick and smaller are better for waves, they turn easier and not going to nosedive so quickly. Buuuut they aren’t as stable or fast for touring.

      With the new pump (which believe me makes a HUGE difference to your motivation to get out!) iRocker Cruiser or All-Around will be your best best. The Thurso is more fun for touring, picks up speed better but overall I’d still choose one of the iRockers.

      Hope that helps!

  49. Hello, I am looking to purchase an inflatable SUP and I have tried several but I am concerned about buying something that makes me feel unstable. For example, my wife has an F2 Star 125x33x6 max 330 lbs but for the life of me I can’t stay on without falling off. Once I start to wobble, I can’t recover and seem very much affected by the wind or waves. In Europe I tried an RVOLT Airvolt XL 126x32x6 max 330 lbs and felt as stable as a rock, even with small waves and some wind. I don’t seem to have any problems with rental boards either. I just don’t understand why seemingly identical boards can feel so different. The European one is not sold here in the US, so perhaps you could recommend something on which I would feel stable, like the Airvolt XL.
    I weight 150 lbs, 5′ 9″. My wife is 110 lbs 5′ 2″ and is very happy on her F2!
    Many thanks,

    • Hey Barry

      So a board that is the same size and shape can feel very different depending on how it’s made. There’s quite a difference between a single layer PVC board and one that is quad layered or uses some type of fusion. The more layers or the stiff result of fusion creates a fair bit of rigidity. So perhaps that’s what has been going on for you when trying different boards 🙂

      I would suggest looking at the Blackfins.They are easily the most rigid boards I’ve been on that also still offer a bit of speed/maneuverability.

      Let me know how you go!

    • What’s your budget?
      Red Paddle Co has some boards that offer up performance for intermediates and their bags are built tough + with wheels!

      Also, the ERS (Earth River SUP) range has some brilliantly designed boards with travel bags too.

      Depends what kind of conditions you’ll be in most too 🙂

  50. Hello, love your videos. Very helpful and informative, and you can tell you have a great time and love what you do! Thanks for sharing with us all! I’ve got my decision narrowed down to the Blackfin, I believe, but am not sure if the X or the XL is the better model for me. I’m 5’7″ about 130. (My husband will be using it occasionally and he’s 5’9″ and 200.). My ‘wants’ are the kayak seat option, stability, and leisure paddling around. Live in Wisconsin will be using on lakes mostly, some rivers perhaps, but would be larger, deeper rivers. One of your video’s on the XL said the X may be a better option for someone just wanting to go out by themselves or smaller… when I watched the X video, I’m just not sure about the steering and speed of it. I’m a beginner… like on a board once, but it was a cheap $200 model, and pretty squirelly. Not sure if your expert review saying the board is harder to steer and goes slower, is something that I should worry about that I won’t like it, or if it’s going to help me like it better. Any words of wisdom or recommendations for me? Thank you so very much!

    • Hey Heidi
      Thanks so much for your kind words, made me smile!
      I think the X will be plenty enough. It is tricky to review boards when your opinion has to be heard by people that are beginners-advanced haha my descriptions mean different things to different people. Which is why I’m so happy you reached out, always like to take the time to explain further. So it’s a slower board than a touring board as it’s a bit wider. It’s not so much slower that you won’t enjoy it though. The extra width also will initially aid you! The upgrades for 2019 also mean the board is a bit lighter so it goes a little faster. I’ll be putting up the review for 2019 over the next week or so, so keep your eyes open!
      As far as turning, I mean it turns slower, not harder. There’s a difference. It turns slower again because of its weight and width. A slower turn is actually easier for beginners too. They are really awesome boards! If you want to grab yourself a bargain I would be getting the 2018 while they are on sale though 😉 There are improvements on the 2019 for sure but I’d be just as happy with the 2018.

    • Thanks, Sacky! I truly appreciate the time and comments. I was looking at the close out prices on the 18, but then looking at the upgrades on the 19 boards thought they may be worth the extra money. Trying to make sure I get the right one so that I love it and use it, versus making a purchase that I’m not happy with and it ends up not being used. 🙂

      • Definitely, worth it! There are some significant improvements. Not just the board but also accessories, like the pump. Which will play a huge part in how often you use your board.

  51. Hi Sacky. I am a 6`00 complete newby. I am 83 kgs. I want a board for paddling in calm waters (reservoirs) and the ocean ( without waves) I would like a board that I can use alone and also with my wife 6,00 65 kgs and my kid (5 years old).
    I was thinking about IRocker or Blackfin. I was considering the all around 11, but I have seen good deals in blackfin 2018 models . The V model may be to unstable so I was considering Blackfin XL Blackfin X or All around 11.
    I don´t care that much about weight as I will be driving to the water, so I am leaning more to the Blackfin XL. For the family may be perfect, my only doubt is if it would be too much when paddling by myself.
    Last question (sorry so many doubts…) When you talk about passengers, you mean people sitting, or would it be possible to have to adults paddling together?
    Thanks a lot for your reviews, I have like 10 windows of them in my computer right now. 🙂

    • Heya Ivan!

      Thank you for choosing us to get some info 🙂 And thank you again for reaching out, I know it’s a little overwhelming with the amount of choice these days. The XL will be fine for you to paddle on your own, and if you are taking the whole family it may be the better option. The Model X would also hold you fine but the XL will just be more stable with a few extras on board 😉

      You could paddle together if you have enough balance! Haha it would be tricky, I’m more referring to having someone sitting…The 2019 Model has extra D-rings at the back so you could attach two kayak seats (have to purchase separately) and paddle together that way but I would only recommend doing that on the XL.

      Hope that helps!

  52. Hi Sacky, great website. I’m 5’9 158 lbs and will be occasionally paddling with my 5-yr old girl. The iRocker sounds like a perfect fit but I like the quality and features of the 10’6 Thurso Surf Waterwalker including the paddle holder, additional d-rings and carry handles and better paddle. Is there a significant difference in stability between these two boards? iRocker is 32″ wide and the Thurso is 31″ wide, but they do have a slightly different shape.

    Thank you! I’ll be sure to use your links.

    • Hey Ken
      Thanks for the compliments! The iRocker can take more weight, at 450 lbs and the Thurso at 330 lbs. Which will give you more stability when you take your daughter with you. Though I believe the Thurso is still stable enough to take a child along but I’m only 60 kgs! So you’ll just need to look at your combined weight and see how close you are to that max capacity. The Thurso is a faster and more responsive board too, for when it’s just you. The iRocker has more durable materials so I think the iRocker will last longer with repetitive use but I still recommend the Thurso too! Hope that helps you make a decision 🙂

  53. Hi Sacky,

    I wanted to compliment you on your website. You provide great reviews and advice. It has been the most informative of all the sites I have visited.

    I am an 5′ 10″ 175 pound intermediate paddler. Usually I rent boards and take my six year old son with me but I want to buy. I am looking at the 2019 iRocker all around or the 2018 Blackfin X as they are similar in price. Do you have a preference/recommendation?


    • Toshio,

      Thank you for your kind comments. We work really hard on providing real honest information and feedback on all the boards we test because we know it helps people find the board that is best for their needs.

      Based on your size and how you plan on using it with your son, the 2019 iRocker All-Around will be a great board for you. If you were going to be putting a lot more weight on the board I would recommend the 2019 Blackfin Model X or XL, but that wouldn’t be needed considering your size. We love the 2019 iRocker All-Around 11′, here is a link to it: iRocker All-Around 11′ 2019 Board

  54. Hi Sacky,
    Great review!

    I live in Florida, so I’ll be on the intracoastal when starting out and hopefully be able to get out on the oceans some too. I also like to camp so I can see myself going on rivers and lakes as well. I am looking for something that has a good trade off between maneuverability and stability. I’m new to paddle boarding, but love it already and would like something that will still be a good fit as I advance. I’m considering the iRocker Sport, iRocker All-Around 11′, or Thurso Surf (I’m 5’9 and 175lbs).

    Do you have a top suggestion between these, or an entirely different board you would recommend?

    Thank you!

    • Hey Lex

      Thanks!! Based off what you are looking for, I’d recommend the Thursosurf 10’6″. It’s got more of that balance of stability and performance as well as heaps of onboard storage area for your camping trips. iRocker and Thurso make competitive boards, both have certain features that out do the other so really it just comes down to personal preference. Either or, you’ll get a great SUP but for what you described I think the Thurso will do a great job. Here’s a link 🙂 2019 ThursoSurf 10’6″ Waterwalker

  55. A great review of some nice boards. I myself went with iROCKER board and I can say just the best things about it. Lately in search of bit more speed, so looking for some racing inflatable sup 🙂

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