Note: 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.
**NOTE: Right now is one of the best times of the year to buy an inflatable SUP: Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Not only do you have companies offering great deals, but in the SUP industry you also have a lot of companies getting rid of excess inventory. All this translates into AMAZING sales. Click below to see all the best deals that are live now!
The Best Blow Up/Stand Up Paddle Boards of 2019
|Board||iRocker All Around||Blackfin Model X||Thurso Surf WaterWalker||NIXY Newport||Isle Pioneer 10'6"||Atoll 11'|
|Rating out of 10||9.8/10||9.8/10||9.5/10||9.3/10||9.2/10||9.1/10|
|Pricing||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price|
|Best For Person Who Wants:||A stable, fun, great performing SUP board||A SUPER stable board or family board||A stable, fast board||A lightweight board that’s easy to turn for lighter or more advanced paddlers||A great looking, lightweight board||A 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 service||VERY stable and durable, great performance, can fit multiple people (high max weight capacity), great bag and accessories||Fast board due to unique shape, quality construction, nice velcro paddle holder||Very lightweight, can turn easily, Carbon fiber reinforced rails, high quality fins, great backpack and accessories||Great brand, airtech fusion lite makes for a lightweight board||Quality board, lots of D rings for attachments, ability to use aftermarket fins, great company logo, stable and easy to paddle, very lightweight|
|No handles at ends of board, bag has only one compartment and no wheels||A little harder to maneuver for lighter people||Pump and bag could use an upgrade||Not super stable for heavier people or beginners, deck pad a little slippery||Lower weight capacity, side fins are not removable||Side fins aren’t removable, accessories could be improved|
|Weight||27 lbs||25 lbs||26 lbs||20 lbs||21 lbs||19 lbs|
|Capacity||435 lbs||450 lbs||330 lbs||300 lbs||240 lbs||300 lbs|
Just keep that in mind and let us know if you have any questions!
- The Best Blow Up/Stand Up Paddle Boards of 2019
- Best All-Around Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboards
- 1. iRocker All-Around Inflatable SUP – 2019 (Read Full Review)
- 2. BLACKFIN Model X Inflatable SUP – 2019 (Read Full Review)
- 3. Thurso Surf WaterWalker All-Around SUP – 2019 (Read Full Review)
- 4. Nixy Newport G3 10.6 All-Around Inflatable SUP – 2019 (Full Review)
- 5. Isle Pioneer Inflatable Paddle Board – 2019 (Full Review)
- 6. Atoll 11’ Inflatable Paddle Board – 2019 (Read Full Review)
- Best All-Around Inflatable SUP For Performance
- Best Budget/Cheap Inflatable SUP Board
- Best Touring iSUP Board For 2019
- Best Yoga Board
- Top Pick Family Paddle Board
- Overall Comparison Of The Best All-Around Inflatable SUP Boards
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)
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:
2. BLACKFIN Model X Inflatable SUP – 2019 (Read Full Review)
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:
3. Thurso Surf WaterWalker All-Around SUP – 2019 (Read Full Review)
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!
4. Nixy Newport G3 10.6 All-Around Inflatable SUP – 2019 (Full Review)
The NIXY boards made a strong impression this year. They definitely improved their boards from 2018 with upgrades in both materials and accessories. As such, Nixy has made our list of best iSups for the first time this year.
The NIXY Newport was created by NIXY to incorporate the feeling you get when you go to Newport Beach in California. It’s the brand’s all-around board made to paddle in a variety of situations – and it does a great job.
If you are an intermediate to advanced paddler, and don’t need a high weight capacity board, then you should take a strong look at the NIXY Newport given the lightweight, quality construction and playfulness of the board. Out of all the top all-arounders, we think the Newport is the most maneuverable and playful of the group. With that extra maneuverability you do sacrifice a little bit of the stability that you get with the iRocker, BLACKFIN, and Thurso SUPs.
As far as materials go, NIXY has created a super light board due to their dual layer FUSIONtec technology. At just 20 lbs, the Newport is the lightest board on our top list this year, but with the addition of carbon fiber rails you don’t sacrifice the strength or durability of the board.
Essentially, the NIXY founders created the exact board they personally like to use – a great all-arounder that is a high performance board.
Looks wise, we love the fresh new look of the NIXY Newport. It’s clean yet stylish, and we love the attention to detail – down to their logo being imprinted on the deck pad.
The accessories on the NIXY Newport are also top-notch, especially when it comes to their backpack. The NIXY backpack feels the most comfortable in the group, and has tons of great little compartments and features (like 3 wheels vs 2) that you don’t find on other boards. They also include a triple action, double chamber pump like the iRocker and BLACKFIN. NIXY also includes high quality, removable fins (great for tracking), 3 handles for easy carrying, extra D-rings for a kayak seat and securing other accessories, and even a carry strap included in every purchase.
The Newport makes for a great iSUP that can be utilized for a variety of activities and is highly recommended for those people looking for a more nimble, playful, all-around board.
5. Isle Pioneer Inflatable Paddle Board – 2019 (Full Review)
(photo from IsleSurfandSup…ours are coming soon, but we didn’t want you to have to wait to see how beautiful this board is!)
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.
6. Atoll 11’ Inflatable Paddle Board – 2019 (Read Full Review)
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.
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!
Our Video Review:
Best Budget/Cheap Inflatable SUP Board
Gili Air Full Review
We know the reality that not everyone is lucky enough to be able to afford top of the range SUPs. But, that doesn’t mean people should miss out. Which is why we went on the hunt for some of the best budget board this year, where you can read the full review here.
Funnily enough, after we finished that comparison up popped the Gili Air and popped out way on top of the list, we had mustered.
The 10’7 Gili Air is not going to be your fastest inflatable board, nor will it be the most durable or high performing but it will at least track well and has an above average pump and bag. Its profile is basic but those paddling for the first time will still get a kick out of riding this blue beauty.
Much like most of the budget blow up SUPs it’s a single layer PVC. However, it’s put together nicely with hardly any bubbles or separation around seams. Again, these were features we saw happening lots on the budget list.
With everything included in the package to start you on your SUP ventures, decent manufacturing and a price tag that low, it’s amazing value.
Best Touring iSUP Board For 2019
Red Paddle Co Sport 11’ Full Review
Sporty spice is fast and nice.
With Red Paddle Co producing some of the best stand up paddle boards on the market, of course, one needs to make its way in here! Recently we reviewed the 11’ Sport and boy does it handle!
So speedy half the photos turned out blurred. Okay, so maybe that was also the camera. But it truly does fly. Not only does it fly, but it also holds you well. The squared off tail gives you loads of stability where the single fin keeps you tracking on point to your destination.
Other features to note that highlight this board as the best touring board are the strong materials, rigid wall design with rail bands, literally the best pump on the market and superb cushioned deck pad.
It’s a shame there isn’t more storage space on the nose, with a couple more D-rings, but this is a small downfall up against the long list of positives.
Best Yoga Board
Thurso Yoga Full Review
Yogi’s rejoice! You’ll be keeping your yogi toes dry on this buoyant and stable yoga platform.
A huge deck area at 34″ wide and its round shape makes this a perfect board for doing yoga on. Not only is it stable, but it’s also comfortable. The deck pad is super cushioned and extends over most of the board. You’ll also notice both the handles can be undone to lay flat on the board to keep the deck area unobstructed.
Then there’s the beautiful lotus design on the nose to set the tranquil mood you’re after. Before receiving the board and only seeing pictures on the internet, I did wonder if it would just look tacky, but I really like it!
The big reason it’s the best in our opinion though is that paddling the Thurso Surf Tranquility Yoga SUP is fun too. Many other yoga boards are just big rectangles that wouldn’t be much good for a casual paddle. I enjoy doing some stretches but still being able to go for a cruise too. I found the Tranquility to be a pleasure to ride and even handled pretty well for such a big board!
Top Pick Family Paddle Board
Blackfin Model X Full Review
All aboard! Family day out on the water. Let’s make it happen!
Rolling out this year was iRockers Blackfin models. They are a little heavier than other models this size but damn can they hold some weight. You can literally load a family onto them, and you’ll be still floating. I paddled 2 (questionable) adults, a child, and a dog,
What’s so impressive is despite the extra weight in materials, there’s still performance. The shape is thought out in accordance to its width, thickness, and weight. We found it on par with the Cruiser. Which is only just beaten in speed and glide by the All-Around.
Of course, to take this weight, you need a good deck area. It’s a huge deck at 35” wide, but the nose and tail tapered in for the pre-mentioned performance. The extra features are what make this board step into the family board spotlight though.
Handles everywhere, including on the bungee cord, purposefully added for your kids to hold onto. Also, the carbon rails mean that even after you load the whole family on, you keep that rigid feeling through the whole board, nose to tail.
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:
|Board||iRocker All Around||Blackfin Model X||Thurso Surf WaterWalker||NIXY Newport||Isle Pioneer 10'6"||Atoll 11'|
|Pricing||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price|
Front, Middle, Rear
Front, Middle, Rear
Front, Middle, Rear
|Paddles||Fiberglass||Carbon Fiber shafted||Carbon Fiber shafted||Fiberglass||Carbon Fiber shafted||Aluminum (comes standard, can upgrade)|
|Fins||3 Removable||3 removable, center fin is FCS||3 removable||3 Removable, FCS fins||Center fin removable, FCS|
Side fins not removable
|3 removable, center fin is FCS|
|Backpack||Good backpack, but no wheels or extra compartments for fins or repair kit, etc.||Great backpack with 2 wheels and extra section for pump||Good backpack, 2 wheels and extra section for fins||Fantastic backpack with loads of extra spots for fins + three wheels||Good backpack, extra zipper section for fins, no wheels||Mesh, open air backpack, no wheels or extra compartments for fins|
|Pumps||Triple Action, Dual Chamber pump||Triple Action, Dual Chamber pump||Triple Action, Dual Chamber pump||Double Action, single chamber pump||Double Action, single chamber pump||Double 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.
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.