2022 SUP Paddle Board Guide
Updated For 2022
Surf’s up! We’re about to catch some serious waves and we ask that you join us. On an inflatable paddle board, that is!
It’s the ultimate way to escape for some adventure this year. Whether you’re treating yourself or someone special, the perfect SUP (stand-up paddle board) is a gift of a lifetime.
Choosing the best paddle board to gift can be tricky, however. With so many different models out there, and a large range of paddling activities, it can all get a bit overwhelming. Don’t work up a sweat just yet though; you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s the ultimate paddle board buying guide. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
In this post, we’re going to cover:
- Why paddle boards are the best way to get away and enjoy the water
- The advantages of inflatable paddle boards
- How to choose a paddle board that’s tailor-made for the recipient
Why A Blow Up Paddle Board Is So Special
If blow up paddle boards have been on your mind for some time now, convenience is already at the top of your priority list. Or maybe it’s important to the person you’re thinking of buying one for. With an inflatable paddle board, you get all the fun of a traditional board without the extra baggage. Literally.
Inflatable paddle boards make for incredible fun, for so many reasons:
- Compact and convenient. No need to make additional space to store these.
- Take them with you - wherever you go. On the road, in the air, or on the sea.
- Your arms will thank you. Inflatable paddle boards weigh less and are much easier to carry.
- Easy set up. It usually takes less than 5 minutes to completely inflate your paddle board.
- They’re ideal for any skill level.
- Inflatable SUPs make for a stable ride. You won’t miss the wibble-wobble.
- Durability. There’s nothing flimsy about inflatable paddle boards.
- They provide cushion. For those inevitable falls. Or those relaxing yoga sessions. Or both.
- They are versatile. Inflatable SUPs can be used for a range of activities by people of any age.
An Inflatable Paddle Board: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
You’ve probably heard of the saying, “buy experiences, not things.” An inflatable paddle board is the gift that comes with unlimited experiences.
To be sure you’ve got the absolute perfect one for your recipient, you’ve got to understand what kind of thrill-seeker he/she is. And if you’re looking to purchase one for yourself, ask these questions:
- Are you competitive? Try a paddle board that delivers speed and stability in a stiff, yet lightweight model.
- Looking for unmatched performance with all the details? Paddle boards with a tri-fin set up and a double bungee are in a class of their own.
- Want to take the whole group along? You’ll want this whopper of a board that can fit up to five of your friends. Human or furry.
- Do you have a little one who’s getting into paddle boarding or would want to? A shorter SUP with superior stability will fit the bill.
- Love kayaking and paddle boarding the same? Here’s a hybrid watercraft that’ll allow you to enjoy both activities. Two birds, one stone.
- Seeking serious thrills in deep oceans or rivers? You need an inflatable paddle board that provides the perfect amount of rigidity, stability, and durability.
How To Choose A Paddle Board
Contrary to popular belief, inflatable paddle boards are much more sturdy and durable than rigid boards. Thanks to modern day advances, inflatable paddle boards can take some serious beating on the water without actually suffering the wear and tear.
So how do you find the right one? Look at lifestyle. Do you enjoy leisure paddling or much more intense thrills will ultimately help you find the right one. After all, this is a forever match.
Inflatable Paddle Boards For Recreation & Touring
If you’re looking to tour some local bodies of water, here are the best paddle boards:
If you want a versatile paddle board that is equally good for exploring and competitions, the Soltrain Galaxy is your best bet. From yoga and lake cruising to fishing and river running - you can use this paddle board for literally any excursion. Plus, with its 300 lbs weight capacity, you can even bring a small passenger along!
The most popular board in the Cala brand, whether a beginner or a skilled surfer, everyone loves the Chac. This multi-purpose inflatable board features HDX air system construction, which promises commendable durability and ensures great performance. Use this stiff and light board to surf your favorite water spots, and you won’t be disappointed!
If you’re an adventure seeker, the Hurly Phantom is definitely for you. The board features pro-laminate fusion technology, making it suitable for a range of uses, including yoga, fishing, touring, and racing. Plus, it is extremely compact.. All in all, this paddle board is suitable for different adventures not just in the ocean but also in rivers, lakes, and canals. Bungee and D-Ring to store all your stuff!
Inflatable SUP For The More Experienced Paddleboarder
If you or the person you’re buying a paddleboard for has clocked some serious hours on the water, you might want to choose something that is more streamlined for performance. And thankfully, we’ve got the perfect option!
Featuring a narrower base, this 12’6” paddle board allows you to quickly cover distances. It’s fast and slippery without compromising stability. And with an optimized kick pad and flat tail, you can make speedy turns in next to no time. Race on.
The SolSumo Carbon Galaxy is a multi-person, adaptive paddle board, particularly great for white water expeditions. In fact, thanks to the extra-wide platform, practicing yoga, casting a rod, taking your dog along, or loading gear for longer excursions has never been easier. And if you’re an angler, you’ll love the printed ruler on the board that tells you how big your catch is!
Boards With Amazing Performance & Gorgeous Design
If you’re looking to gift a board that is aesthetically superior and delivers top-notch performance, these SUPs are it. The Yolo models are designed by an artist and feature incredible detailed artwork.
With a double bungee and a triple fin system, these boards make your time on the water a beautiful experience..
The New Mermaid is lightweight despite its marine grade durability. Exquisitely designed, it makes for a beautiful gift. Oh, and we can’t forget...all of the Yolo boards come with a travel bag ! And not just one you sling across your back, but one with wheels. Cheers to easy maneuvering!
The Yolo Honu is one of the most popular designs in the Yolo brand. The redesigned Yolo Honu board features some of the most gorgeous original artwork you’ve ever seen on an inflatable paddle board. Yolo’s board are a definite upgrade. The backpack is on wheels for easy transport, the double bungee system holds all your gear, and the three fins provide the very best tracking you can get.
Pau Hana Solo 10'10"
For hikeability and backpacking adventures the lightweight Solo is the perfect SUP! At 23 pounds this paddleboard was specifically created for digital nomads ready to explore remote waterways. The backpack can double as a drybag once you inflate your SUP.
Love to surf both rough and calm seas? Check out the Cala Ikatere! This stand-up paddle board is great for not just for touring but also for endurance training. In addition to being lightweight, the Ikatere's rocker design keeps the tip out of the water for great maneuverability. For the environmentally conscious the Ikatere EVA pad is made from seaweed! And like other Cala boards, the Ikatere features the HDX Air System Technology ensuring great construction.
Searching For An Affordable Paddle Board?
You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy paddleboarding. There are some wonderful paddle boards that are easy on the pockets. Take a look below.
The Vapor is perfect for the petite adventurers. It’s also super maneuverable and stable. The “Vapor” even features extra stainless steel D-rings on the deck pad so you can add on an optional seat. How’s that for comfort?
Also on the more petite side, the Aqua Marina Breeze comes in at 9’10” long. It’s a very budget-friendly board that delivers an easy ride and plenty of space to carry extra luggage. And it comes in a bright, fun color.
Tired of lugging around your paddle board everywhere? Have a look at the Aztron Sports Nova 2.0 Compact SUP. Everything is designed to make your board compact and easy to transport. On top of that, due to Aztron’s double chamber construction, the board is super stiff. Twin fins make paddling easy because of placement and width.
Best Paddle Boards For Yoga
Do you enjoy the tranquility of being on the water alone or would you prefer a group session? Either way, practicing yoga on the water will likely be an exciting addition to traditional yoga. The water adds another element of instability and can challenge you to your core.
The Dhyana is our most popular yoga board, and rightfully so. With extra large dimensions, you get an uninterrupted workout. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and provides 1000% stability. The high end graphics will give you that beautiful breathe in breath out feeling! And, the sizeable bungee will hold all your gear.
This yoga dock is the ultimate yoga platform for a yoga instructor. It is specifically designed for instructing purposes as it allows attachments for up to 8 paddleboards. Go ahead and invite your yoga class to the water. It’ll be an experience that they’ll never forget.
If you want to practice yoga on a paddle board, you’re looking for stability. And the Lanai has got you covered. It’s made from super high-pressure drop stitched material that provides a strong and rigid core and can support up to 200 pounds. The Lanai also has a Bow Mount System, which allows you to attach a waterproof camera or safety light.
The Yolo Beach Bliss is a versatile paddle board that is suitable for all-around use. Best for spontaneous adventures, the Yolo Beach Bliss is super-easy to use - just unpack it, pump it, and start paddling! The Beach Bliss is not just gorgeous; it is also commendably durable and stable thanks to the reinforced seams and marine-grade PVC used in the board!
Regardless of the kind of paddling you have in mind - if you can think of it, you can do it on the SolStout Infinity! Providing excellent performance and stability, the SolStout Infinity doesn’t disappoint. Because of its short length, it is super-easy to turn and maneuver, while the 8-inch construction makes it possible to paddle through the water with a high profile. Apart from a large payload capacity, the SolStout Infinity features 4 tie-down gear adjustments to make it easy to haul gear.
The Perfect Choice For Paddle Board Fishing
For the fishermen (or fisherwomen), a paddle board designed for a relaxing afternoon of fishing is just what you need. Most fisherman are either stuck on the bank or need a boat to reach any distance. With a paddle board you can cover new water!
This paddle board offers maximum stability for a relaxing fishing experience. It’s got built in fishing rod holder mounts and the option to add a 2 compartment cooler that also makes for a comfortable seat. It’s made with super durable drop stitch material so you can make it to your favorite spot on the water, without a care.
As the name suggests, the Yolo Fisher is great for all fishing expeditions. Despite the highly stable and wide platform, the Fisher is easy to paddle and has sufficient space for the gear you need for your next fishing adventure. The displacement hull ensures that the board doesn’t make any noise that can alert your catch. Plus, the rounded recess molded into the deck keeps your bait bucket secure. Other features include integrated mounts to tie down coolers and attach anchors and a ruler to measure your catch.
Inflatable Paddle Boards For Big Family Fun!
Going solo on the water has its benefits, but taking the whole family along is fun you can’t beat. These paddle boards are large enough for multiple people without compromising stability or smoothness.
This giant of a board is 18 feet of pure joy. It has up to 13 heavy duty straps for easy handling and for the little ones that would prefer to hang on tight. It also has 2 air valves and pumps for fast inflation and deflation. So round up 7-8 of your friends/family members for an unbeatable experience. It’s both a staff favorite and a best seller.
As you might have guessed, the Aqua Marina Airship Race is best for multi-person races. With space for up to four people, the Airship Race is best for competing in events, paddling with family and friends, or training with your team.
If you’re looking for a paddle board to just play around with your family, friends, or even your dog, the Paradise Pad is a great option. It is suitable for up to 4 people and inflates within 10 minutes. It is also highly durable, rigid, and sturdy, thanks to the double thickness EVA foam and military-grade drop-stitch technology.
Enjoy a Summer Full of Adventure
Blow up paddle boards are truly in a class of their own. They last for years and provide dozens of unforgettable experiences. Experiences make memories!
With so many amazing models out there, we’re confident you’ll find the perfect board. Whether leisure or unmatched adventure is your preference, there’s a board out there for you.
We hope that our paddle board buying guide was a huge help. Now that you know your way around the boards, be sure to check out our must-have upgrades and paddle board accessories!
Your next adventure awaits. Order a paddle board today!