The 13 Best Stand-up Paddleboards of 2023

The Hala Rado Inflatable SUP Kit includes everything you need to ply the waters.

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Epic Boardsports / Amazon / Amazon

The stand-up paddleboard (SUP) craze has been growing for years, and there’s no sign its popularity will wane any time soon. Try it, and it’s easy to understand the attraction. SUP has a low barrier to entry, with boards that provide a stable, wide surface to let first-timers and kids get the hang of the sport quickly. Most boards are also very family-friendly, with space for multiple paddlers or your dog to splay out on the deck. And the latest inflatable boards, like our top pick, the Hala Rado Inflatable SUP Kit, make storage and transport a breeze, whether you’re tossing them in the car for an all-day outing or flying off to an international waterway.

In evaluating the best paddleboards, we ranked each product on its versatility, stability, speed, control, and tracking ability in all types of water, including flat and whitewater, surf, and lakes. Ease of assembly and durability were also key considerations, as were sport-specific features for activities like fishing, surfing, or practicing yoga. We also spoke to Curt Devoir, director of the Professional Stand-up Paddle Association, for detailed advice on the key factors one should consider when shopping for a paddleboard. 

These are the best paddleboards.

Best Overall

Hala Rado Inflatable SUP Kit



Why We Love It: The Rado Inflatable SUP Kit comes with everything you need to get started and grow into the sport, from hour-long outings to full-on expeditions on both flat and whitewater.

What to Consider: If your ambitions are more modest and you don’t plan on overnight or gear-intensive outings, the board may be too big.

Ready to handle both whitewater and flat, the Hala Rado Inflatable SUP blends the brand’s Progressive-river Rocker profile and a retractable 9-inch fin system with a long waterline to help you track in rapids or on a mellow lake, making it one of the most versatile SUPs on the market. A higher-than-average onboard weight capacity of 325 pounds and a riggable open deck with 12 attachment points let you transition from day trips to overnight expeditions and simplify hauling loads of gear, and it’s spacious enough to accommodate your kid or dog.

The kit comes with everything you need to get started, including a rolling backpack, a Leverlock Carbon Travel Paddle, two click-in fins, a hand pump, and a repair kit — although the thick fusion construction, welded seams, and a PVC stringer may make that last aspect moot, even after the five-year warranty expires. A network of handles at the tip and tail and on the sides make the Rado easy to maneuver in and out of the water, and the diamond-patterned EVA deck pack has a 1.5-inch raised stomp pad for assured grip and max control.

Price at time of publish: $1,299

Dimensions: 130 x 35 x 6 inches | Weight: 28.5 pounds | Weight capacity: 325 pounds

Best Budget

High Society ZG Inflatable SUP

High Society ZG Inflatable SUP


Why We Love It: The modestly priced ZG Inflatable SUP is ready to go after 10 minutes of pumping and can handle all types of water.

What to Consider: It only has one carrying handle in the center, so it might be tricky to get it in and out of water with a steady current.

Made with durable commercial-grade PVC, the High Society ZG Inflatable SUP comes with a versatile profile that can handle rivers, lakes, and oceans. It won’t intimidate beginner paddlers, and more experienced SUPers will appreciate the rocker profile and the stable, wide deck that enables quicker turning and solid control. The quick-clip fin adds a bit of extra tracking, and the diamond-patterned EVA pad provides no-slip traction. You also get a D-ring bungee system at the nose to secure gear, along with a D ring at the tail so you can attach a leash or other accessories you might want to pull behind you, though the board isn’t suitable to support longer expeditions. The kit includes the SUP as well as a standard two-piece collapsible aluminum paddle, a 10-foot ankle leash, a storage backpack, and a repair kit with a valve wrench and patches (though it doesn’t come with glue).

Price at time of publish: $269

Dimensions: 126 x 32 x 6 inches | Weight: 27.3 pounds | Weight capacity: 265 pounds

Best Inflatable

Blackfin iRocker CX Ultra



Why We Love It: Immensely portable and super-fast in the water, the CX Ultra caters to experienced paddlers who want to go fast, and the five-piece paddle also fits neatly into the included travel backpack.

What to Consider: It’s a bit pricier than other inflatables and is only suited for advanced SUPers.

The iRocker Blackfin CX Ultra SUP kit includes a 12-volt electric pump, which inflates the SUP in 12 minutes flat, saving you from the hassles of manually inflating the board. Targeting experienced paddlers, the CX Ultra is built for speed and stability, with a modest weight and solid rigidity. And it’s also travel-friendly — the SUP fits inside a compact backpack that’s nearly 50 percent smaller than previous Blackfin models. The two detachable fins improve tracking, and a tethered system helps you keep track of them when disassembled. You also get a coil leash with a cool spot to stash your key, and a lightweight carbon fiber paddle that breaks down into five pieces, fitting into the included backpack. Its large weight capacity can support a tandem paddler or your dog, and bungee lashes at the tip and tail max out the gear-hauling options.

Price at time of publish: $850

Dimensions: 126 x 32.5 x 6 inches | Weight: 19.8 pounds | Weight capacity: 320 pounds

Best for Fishing

Bote HD Aero 11’6” Bug Slinger Bonefish Inflatable Paddle Board Fishing Package



Why We Love It: The HD Aero Bonefish Fishing Package includes everything an angler might need, including a high-quality board, paddle, carrying backpack, and loads of fish-centric accessories.

What to Consider: It’s a touch pricey.

Bote’s claim that the HD Aero was built to “do everything” is a pretty big boast — but the Slinger Bonefish Inflatable Paddle Board Fishing Package lives up to the hype. The board itself has been designed with an entry rocker profile and a wide base, making it very stable and easy to maneuver in all types of water, and a military-grade PVC skin means it’ll stand up to serious punishments. But it’s the array of accessories included in the package that really makes it shine. A Bote Tackle Rac keeps things organized and anchors to the frame, which adds additional stability when casting or reeling; the Sandspear fits into a slot on the right of the board so you can stick it into mud or sand to stabilize the boat; and the Kula Cooler will keep your catch fresh — and also serve as a seat, bait well, rod holder, or cast net holder. You can also slide the blade of the included three-piece adjustable paddle into the “Paddle Sheath” at the bow of the board to free up your hands. The kit includes a coiled leash, Highwater Tackle Pouch, carrying sling, hand pump, repair kit, water bottle, and one 10-inch removable fin. The board’s AeroBote construction makes it easy to pack down and transport everything in the included backpack.

Price at time of publish: $1,149

Dimensions: 138 x 34 x 6 inches | Weight: 30 pounds | Weight capacity: 315 pounds

Best for Long Distances

Badfish Selfie 14 Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard



Why We Love It: Built for paddling for days, the Selfie 14 boasts plenty of storage options that won’t destabilize the board and a mellow profile to make paddling easier.

What to Consider: It’s not offered as a full package, so you’ll need to buy a paddle and other accessories.

Inspired by the sea kayaking trips in Baja taken by one of Badfish’s co-founders, the Selfie 14 focuses on making self-supported, long-distance paddling a pleasant reality. Shaped to glide smoothly over the water for miles, it comes with a removable tri-fin to help you track, with a low-profile bow and stern handles. That frees up space on the deck so you can attach your equipment to the network of cords that line the nose and tail, which are connected to 19 stainless steel D rings that have been engineered to provide a stable platform — and the 350-pound max weight capacity will handle even the most gear-intensive of outings. Extra-large, padded carrying handles make the craft easy to maneuver, and the dual-action pump makes quick work of inflating the board. It also comes with a standard storage backpack and an 11-foot coil ankle leash.

Price at time of publish: $1,149

Dimensions: 168 x 30 x 6 inches | Weight: 32 pounds | Weight capacity: 350 pounds

Best for Beginners

Red Ride 10’6” MSL



Why We Love It: Ready for all types of water and blissfully stable and smooth, the Ride 10’6” MSL is the perfect gateway to the sport, and its high-quality materials and revolutionary carrying bag are designed to work with you as your skills improve.

What to Consider: Tentative first-timers may suffer from sticker shock.

The Ride 10’6” MSL SUP ranks as Red’s most popular model for a reason: It provides a smooth, predictable ride that first-timers will appreciate, with a wide center for stability and a modest thickness that still feels plenty stiff, making it easier to maneuver. Carrying handles sit at the tip and tail of the board, along with a center handle so you can easily transport the inflated boat to the water. When choosing the paddle, go with the lightweight Cruiser Tough, which has a durable nylon blade and flexible nylon shaft that works great in rivers or in shallow water. And perhaps best of all, the board can grow with your skill level; it can handle all types of waters, from placid lakes to surf. The included ATB Transformer Bag employs a skeletal system (rather than a traditional bag design) so you can access more remote waterways, and it has large all-terrain wheels to clear rough surfaces if you don’t want to shoulder all that weight.

Price at time of publish: $1,096

Dimensions: 126 x 32 x 4.7 inches | Weight: 21.75 pounds | Weight capacity: 220 pounds

Best for Kids

iRocker Nautical Kids



Why We Love It: Ready for any type of water, the 9-foot-long Nautical Kids provides the perfect length and optimal stability for young paddlers.

What to Consider: Kids may struggle with carrying the 17.2-pound weight.

Ideally suited for flat waters, calm lakes, and marinas, the iRocker Nautical Kids Paddleboard can also handle ocean paddling, so it’s ready to accommodate the most adventurous kid paddler. Designed to be lightweight, stable, and safe, the board glides smoothly and is easy to control, with storage straps on the tip and tail. Three removable nylon SUP fins add more finesse for confident tracking, and its shorter-than-average length is great for young first-timers. The kit also includes a three-piece fiberglass paddle that can be adjusted to match the paddler’s height, a 10-foot leash with a key stash pocket, a single-chamber pump, repair kit, and a storage bag.

Price at time of publish: $300

Dimensions: 108 x 32 x 6 inches | Weight: 17.2 pounds | Weight capacity: 220.5 pounds

Best for Yoga

Glide 02 Lotus Inflatable SUP Yoga Package


Olympic Outdoor Center

Why We Love It: The inflatable version of the first board to be designed specifically for yoga, the 02 Lotus Inflatable provides one of the most stable, grippy rides available.

What to Consider: Given the board’s ample width, it’s not built for speed.

Paddleboard manufacturers have put yoga-inspired graphics on stable boards ever since the exercise rose in popularity among paddlers, but the O2 Lotus from Glide was the first board designed specifically for yoga, and they recently introduced the travel-friendly inflatable version. The board is the official board of Wanderlust, one of the world’s largest yoga festivals, and boasts a 35-inch width throughout the length to improve stability and make it easy (and safe) to use for first-timers or expert yogis. The standing area remains completely flat to mimic a yoga mat, and the brushed EVA deck pad provides serious traction, wet or dry, whether you’re standing, lying on your back, or executing an expert-level pose. A rocker profile at the nose and tail makes it easy to maneuver in all types of water, while a slight tapering at the sides helps track and add a bit of speed so that it can be used for more than just yoga. Glide placed the carrying handle at the center of the board to make it easier to handle given its width, and they also include a carry strap. Numerous D rings line the rails of the board to lash gear (or that carrying strap). And the kit maxes out the accessories, including a kayak seat, leash, and adjustable paddle, pump, and backpack with wheels.

Price at time of publish: $899

Dimensions: 120 x 35 x 6 inches | Weight: 25 pounds | Weight capacity: 400 pounds

Best for Surfing

Fanatic 7'8" Bee Crossover SUP


Epic Boardsports

Why We Love It: Designed for all types of surfing, from traditional SUP to foil boarding, the Fanatic Bee provides one of the most versatile ways to play in the surf.

What to Consider: Outfitting the board for other activities requires purchasing accessories like foils or a windsurfing setup.

If your SUP ambitions are focused on riding crashing waves, the Fanatic Bee is a one-quiver solution for all types of stand-up paddleboarding. The versatile setup lets you use the board as a standard SUP, as a SUP foil, a wing foil, and a windsurf foil. The secret lies in the foil mounting system underneath the board, which allows for quick adjustments and the use of different foils and fins. A compact outline with a clean parallel mid-section reduces drag, and hard release edges in the tail provide direct acceleration and a light and easy release when using the foil, while the thin rails max out carving when riding a wave. That control is further buoyed by a double-winged shallow tail shape with a slightly domed deck that adds stability and float to make paddling easy. The solid board is composed of a variety of long-lasting, durable materials including a bamboo heel patch, a glass-reinforced rail band, a full layer of carbon and high-density PVC, along with layers of light fiber and EPS at the core.

Price at time of publish: $1,699

Dimensions: 94 x 30.75 x 6 inches | Weight: 15.8 pounds | Weight capacity: 187 pounds

Best for Lakes

Nixy Newport G4



Why We Love It: With a larger-than-average length, the Newport G4 is built to move on flat water, with loads of accessories to accommodate different types of paddling excursions.

What to Consider: A skilled paddler can navigate small surf on the Newport G4, but it’s not optimal for bigger waves.

The sporty and nimble Nixy Newport G4 is suitable for paddlers of all skill levels, with enough deck space for your dog, front and back storage bungees for overnight or gear-intensive outings, and a large deck outfitted with an edge-to-edge non-slip, UV-protected EVA pad that’s stable, making the board easy to maneuver. Carbon fiber lines the side rails to increase rigidity once inflated and to protect the military-grade PVC from impacts. Instagrammers will also appreciate the placement of mounting brackets for accessories like an action cam, as well as the paddle holder that lets you secure your paddle when not in use. The kit includes the inflatable board, along with removable fins, a 10-foot angle coiled leash, a three-stage dual-chamber pump, a three-piece carbon fiber paddle, repair kit, and a carrying backpack — all of which maxes out at a very travel-friendly 37 pounds.

Price at time of publish: $595

Dimensions: 126 x 33 x 6 inches | Weight: 21 pounds | Weight capacity: 300 pounds

Best With Seat Attachment

Isle Switch


Greenbelt Sports

Why We Love It: The Isle Switch's connection system allows you to quickly attach accessories like a kayak seat and footrest, making it one of the more versatile water vessels on the market, and the lightweight construction is very travel-friendly.

What to Consider: The board is more focused on flat water or mild rapids, so riding in surf or heavy whitewater may require more experience.

One of the lightest “hybrid” SUP/kayaks on the market, the Isle Switch weighs in at a feathery 19 pounds and employs a “Isle-link'' connection system that runs the length of the board so you can install the included kayak seat and footrest (as well as other accessories) to transform the stand-up paddleboard into a boat. The 18-inch high-back fiberglass seat includes a 4-inch inflatable cushion for all-day paddling comfort, and you can also use the seat as a stand-alone place to rest when camping. A center fin under the board provides solid tracking in flat water, while the soft and grippy traction pad on the board’s surface is large enough to practice yoga or haul your kids or pets. Bungees at the tip and tail provide lash-down options for your excess gear, with a generous 425-pound weight capacity. The package also includes a four-piece adjustable travel paddle, a manual dual-action hand pump, and a travel bag that can carry everything, along with a bit of extra space for additional gear.

Price at time of publish: $995

Dimensions: 138 x 35.5 x 6 | Weight: 19 pounds | Weight capacity: 425 pounds

Best for Dogs

Thurso Surf Max Multi-purpose



Why We Love It: Stability is assured in the Max Multi-purpose, which was designed to accommodate pets, kids, and tandem paddlers, with loads of accessories to support yoga, fishing, and expeditions.

What to Consider: That stability does sacrifice a bit of agility in terms of board control.

Described as the “SUV of stand-up paddleboards,” the Max Multi-purpose board from Thurso Surf has a generous, full-length traction pad to accommodate your dog or kids, as well as a tandem paddler. As you’d expect from such a big board, the Max is plenty stable, and loads of leash points and bungees accommodate gear and add-ons like an action cam or foot leash. Grab handles at the front, back, and center make it easy to maneuver this slightly heavy board, and paddle holders on the right of the deck make it easy to use the SUP for fishing or yoga. The included three-piece carbon hybrid paddle weighs only 32 ounces and, thanks to a locking shaft mechanism, can also be converted to a kayak paddle by adding a second blade. The package itself also comes with extra fins, a dual-chamber triple-action manual pump, a 10-foot double-swivel coiled ankle leash, and a storage backpack with wheels.

Price at time of publish: $759

Dimensions: 138 x 34 x 6 Inches | Weight: 29 pounds | Weight capacity: 300 pounds

Best Lightweight

Retrospec Weekender



Why We Love It: The Weekender provides a quick and easy way to get to the water and start paddling, with compact storage in the included backpack and an adjustable three-piece paddle.

 What to Consider: That light weight means that the max-weight-carrying capacity isn’t terribly generous, and a lack of bungees at the tail limits your gear-hauling options.

Weighing in at only 17 pounds, the inflatable Weekender SUP from Retrospect was built for weekend warriors who want a quick, easy way to get on the water. The texture deck pad provides grip underfoot, with ample gear storage via the six-point front bungee and three removable slide-in fins to improve steering and stability as you paddle. Better still, it rolls into a compact package (11 x 36 inches) for easy transport in the included carrying backpack. You also get a dual-action hand pump, a three-piece adjustable paddle that can extend up to 7 feet, and a waterproof case for your smartphone.

Price at time of publish: $350

Dimensions: 120 x 30 x 6 inches | Weight: 17 pounds | Weight capacity: 275 pounds

Tips for Buying a Paddleboard

Consider solid vs. inflatable

“A lot of people are going to inflatables for ease of storage and transportation,” Devoir says. 

These types of boards inflate via a hand or electronic pump in 10 to 15 minutes and boast materials that lend rigidity to the board. Inflatables are also more forgiving when paddling in shallow water or when contending with rocks or fallen trees. But Devoir, who also runs a SUP touring company in southern Mexico, notes that inflatables don’t handle hot climates well, and he’s seen inflatables only last a few years after near-constant use. Solid boards are typically more stable and rigid and come in a broader array of shapes and sizes. They can last for decades and repair easily “unless the board has a hollow core, which can get dinged and be harder to repair,” Devoir says. Rigid boards also require a sports rack or a larger vehicle to transport, while inflatables can be collapsed into a carrying backpack, which typically includes space for all your accessories, making them very travel-friendly.

Buy for your environment and skill level

“There are so many specific types of boards,” says Devoir, including those made for whitewater, touring, flushing, racing, and surfing. “But the basic thing people start with is an all-arounder, which can be used in all different conditions. These boards are typically 31 to 32 inches wide, and 11.5 to 12 feet long, and [they] come with rocker profiles, which makes it easier to stay stable and paddle.” Racing boards tend to be longer and narrower and require more experience, touring boards provide ample stability and plenty of bungees to secure overnight gear along with higher weight capacities, while boards that cater to fishing or yoga provide greater stability, with a wider width and plenty of additional attachment points to host sport-specific accessories.

Devoir also encourages paddlers at every experience level to consider taking a lesson. “About a year after my wife and I taught ourselves how to paddleboard, we took a lesson and learned a lot of what we were doing wrong,” he explains. “This’ll give paddlers a chance to try out a couple of different boards and sizes to see what works for their body size and height.”

Choose a paddleboard with accessories suited for your use

At bare minimum, you’ll need a paddle as well as a pump to inflate your board if you go that route, but most kits include other nice-to-haves like an ankle leash, repair kit, carrying bag, and a handful of detachable fins that you can configure to provide more stability, control, tracking ability, and speed. Delve into sport-specific boards like those designed for fishing, and the accessory options increase, including a paddle holder to free up your hands, integrated lure carriers, mounts for action cameras, water bottle holders, and plenty of D rings to let you attach even more accessories.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What size paddleboard do I need?

    “The typical length is 11.5 to 12 feet, unless you're racing,” Devoir says. “Then you want a narrower, longer board.” Longer boards also provide more stability, and wider boards include extra deck space for a kid, dog, or a tandem paddler. Shorter boards, meanwhile, improve control and are better suited to more experienced paddlers.

  • What is the lifespan of a paddleboard?

    Devoir noted that his line of inflatable boards didn’t last more than a few years, but that’s with near-constant use. Casual paddlers should get five to six years of active use of an inflatable, but those models definitely don’t stand up to the elements as well as a solid board, which can last up to a decade.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Nathan Borchelt has been writing, reviewing, and testing outdoor products for decades. In addition to consulting experts in the field, all the characteristics of each SUP were evaluated, with special emphasis on durability, versatility, stability, ease of assembly, and maneuverability. We also focused on the key features of sport-specific boards for activities like yoga or fishing, and profiled boards that cater to carrying kids, dogs, or tandem paddlers to assure all our bases were covered.

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