Best Paddle Boards: Top 5 Stand Up Brands, According To Experts

Imagine the subtle rocking of waves beneath your feet, the warmth of the sun against your skin, and a vast stretch of shimmery water between you and the horizon. Are you there? Now feel yourself gliding across the water’s surface, drifting away into a peaceful retreat on one of the best paddle boards. Blending the tranquility of canoeing with the adrenal of surfing, paddle boards are among the few aquatic sports that support pleasure and adventure. 

Perfect for family and friends, freshwater or saltwater, paddle boards have a knack for waking up the outdoorsman within all of us. This is particularly important as a recent study revealed that adventurous outdoor play leads to improved mental health for kids. As Dan Paskins, Director of UK Impact at Save the Children says, “Every child needs and deserves opportunities to play. This important research shows that this is even more vital to help children thrive after all they have missed out on during the COVID-19 restrictions. More play means more happiness and less anxiety and depression.”

With roots deeply embedded in ancient Polynesian cultures, paddle boarding has morphed into a worldwide pastime where serenity and excitement help riders become one with nature. Combined with the findings of a newer study that showed two in three Americans regret not spending more time outdoors as kids and it’s clear that time spent outdoors is vital for positive mental health as we age. Perhaps equally shocking is how 54 percent of Americans are hesitant to pick up outdoor activities out of fear they’ll perform poorly. Fortunately, paddle boarding is not a difficult water sport to pick up and can be catered to fit many water experiences from peaceful getaways to adrenaline-fueled adventures.

However, not all paddle boards are created equally or for the same uses. For instance, some paddle boards cater more towards touring, yoga, or oceanic environments. Therefore, it’s essential to find a paddle board that meet your needs. To help you, we’ve compiled the best paddle boards as voted by popularity, durability, and user-friendliness. Don’t see your favorite paddle board on the list? No worries, tell us all about it in a comment below!

Paddle boarding at sunset
Paddle boarding at sunset (Photo by Ivan Rohovchenko on Unsplash)

The List: Best Paddle Boards, According to Experts

1. Roc Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board      

Winning the top spot for one of the best paddle boards at Exploring Life Mysteries, the Roc is “budget-friendly and has good quality, durability and performance of any inflatable on the market — even giving non-inflatable paddle boards a run for their money.” Capable of handling freshwater lakes and oceans, the Roc’s side fins provide increased stability making it a favorite for starters.

Roc Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board  
Roc Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board  

Durability is a strong suit of the Roc. As stated in the Boarders Guide, “ROC SUP Co. has built this inflatable SUP as a rock with the help of military-grade material. Therefore, this iSUP can last a lifetime.” Weighing less than 18 pounds, the Roc also supports add-ons like an electric pump and is “one of the few options that use a three-layer PVC laminate technology for under $500. So, it’s a great value iSUP at this price point because you can’t puncture or scratch it easily.” Best of all, it deflates allowing easier storage and transportation compared to traditional boards.

However, it doesn’t stop there. EDM Sauce states, “Roc’s Paddle Boards are now made with the highest-grade material that is 50% stronger than competitors’ boards.” Capable of supporting 350lbs, the Roc is a “top-rated paddle board on Amazon and across the world.” Additionally, their customer service is USA-based, should any issues arise they are always happy to help while their manufacturer’s warranty keeps you covered from A to Z. 

2. iRocker Inflatable Paddle Boards

True to the name, the iRocker Inflatable is one of the best paddle boards for those trying to blend big surf with stability. Designed as a surfboard, the V-nose design enables this paddle board to shred through waves. As stated in Paddle Board Thrills, “the bottom is solid when inflated, which helps with choppy surf too. And the three-fin tail will keep you riding solid.” 

iROCKER Nautical Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

iROCKER Nautical Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

Considered an absolute steal for an inflatable SUP, SUP Til Sunset states that “any beginner paddle boarder would be ecstatic with this board.” As a package item, the iRocker Inflatable also comes with a “comfortable backpack, single chamber dual-action hand pump, fiberglass adjustable paddle, 3 flip lock fins, and a 10’ coiled leash with built-in key safe pocket.” As a premium brand, this paddle board is the perfect all-rounder beginner board whose lightweight and agile frame allows it to remain stable for all activities. 

Perfect for beginners and famous amongst surfers, iRocker Inflatable paddle boards are “one of the most trusted SUP brands,” writes Surf Hungry. From the beginning, iRocker paddle boards have been centered around innovation, quality, and originality while “this company has grown from a local business to a progressive organization that continuously caters passionate surfers in improving their skills.” With such success, it’s no surprise that this is a professional riders’ board of choice. 

3. Atoll 11’ Inflatable Paddle Board

Rated as one of the best paddle boards in the Boarders Guide, the Atoll 11’ inflatable stand-up paddle board is made with “machine-laminated dual-layer PVC material and Korean drop-stitch technology.” As a result, this paddle board can take quite a bit of punishment without affecting its design. “Compared to similar models, this iSUP is 40% lighter, weighing only 21 pounds” yet it has a maximum weight capacity of 700 lbs. Measuring 11’ long, 32” wide, and 6” thick, this paddle board is available in Light Blue, Army Green, Desert Sandland, and Aquamarine colors

Atoll 11' Foot Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
Atoll 11′ Foot Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

Exploring Lifes Mysteries states: “The Atoll is durable, steady, and fully functional for flat water and surf, making it an excellent choice for both beginners and pros.” Offering competitive pricing for a high-quality board, this paddle board handles flat water and surf while some of “its bonus features include 14 D-rings so that you can bring along all your gear.” One of the most favored features of this paddle board is that it comes with “a universal fin box that fits most after-market fins.” This allows riders to swap out varying fins for different experiences. 

As explained by Stand Up Paddle Boards Review, “You will get everything you need to start paddling with the Atoll 11 paddleboard.” Sold with a travel bag, leash, and pump, the Atoll 11’ paddle board is the “highest-rated all-around paddle board for beginners.” Its three-fin system, with two side fins and one large fin, help riders maintain tracking and maneuverability while its sturdy construction will ensure “this paddle board will not flex or sink leading to a wobbly ride.” 

4. SereneLife Inflatable SUP

Debuted as “the most durable, stable, and best stand-up paddle boards for beginners” by Paddle Board Kings, the SereneLife inflatable paddle board measures 10’6″ long and 32” wide and provides superior balance. As a portable and inflatable paddle board, SereneLife paddle boards are easily transportable and are safe to use in oceans, lakes, and rivers. Best of all, “anyone can inflate it with a manual hand pump.” 

SereneLife Inflatable SUP
SereneLife Inflatable SUP

Voted as one of the best paddle boards by EDM Sauce, the SereneLife inflatable paddle board offers riders “the perfect way to explore the world around them.” Its soft, no-slip top makes it perfect for minimizing falls while this “all-in-one blow-up paddleboard kit comes with all the necessary accessories, including a 10’6” inflatable board, coiled ankle cuff safety leash, upgraded aluminum paddle, and patch repair accessory kit.” Excellent for beginners and perfect for surfers, the SereneLife paddle board makes handling the water a breeze. 

Experimenting on the water with the best paddle boards doesn’t come much easier than with the SereneLife paddle board. Dubbed as a “reliable board that really can take a beating and do it with a smile,” by SUP Til Sunset, this paddle board is perfect for those who expect to take a few falls while starting. Additionally, “If you want a reliable budget board I would have a seriously tough time not recommending this board.” All-in-all, this is the perfect board for beginners looking to explore and get started with paddle boarding.

5. Gili Komodo

The Gili Komodo is considered one of the best paddle boards for versatility and beginners. Capable of supporting 340 pounds, the Gili Komodo paddle board measures 10′ 6″ long, 33” wide, and 6” thick. As stated in Stand Up Paddle Boards Reviews, “the Gili’s construction method makes the board both rigid and lightweight – this makes it easier to maneuver, especially for shorter adults and teens.” In addition to sporting two bungee storage areas, “you get an action mount, mounting points for a kayak seat, and a paddle holder.”

GILI Komodo Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

GILI Komodo Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

Blending together popular paddle boarding features, iBoarder states, “the Gili Kimodo is very similar in dimensions and stability to the iROCKER CRUISER,” given its construction technology while its “full-length deck pad and removable cargo bungees,” are comparable to competing models. Additionally, unlike competitors, riders have the option to “choose between several paddle options with many of their boards.” Accompanied by a two-stage pump, the Gili Komodo is the perfect paddle board for awakening the adventurer within. 

As mentioned by Women Wondering Beyond, the Gili Komodo is “easy to maneuver and track and it can hold itself even in challenging water conditions.” Among the stand out features of the Gilo Komodo include its high-quality construction which keeps it lightweight and stable along with how the board comes with “two bungee systems, 18 D-rings, and built-in paddle holder.” All-in-all, this paddle board is perfect for those looking to bundle and save without sacrificing quality. 

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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