Vacation close to home this summer by exploring your local waterways. 

By Gabrielle Hondorp
Updated March 11, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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Three stand-up paddleboards
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

If you want to pick up a new hobby and explore the great outdoors, why not give paddleboarding a try? A favorite warm-weather activity for all ages, stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, suits every athletic skill set and doesn't require much gear — all you need is a board and a body of water. In fact, it serves as an opportunity to get better acquainted with the nature around you, which is always a nice change of scenery.

Some people assume SUP is too tricky for them to master, but all it takes is some practice and patience — and the boards are actually incredibly versatile. Paddleboards are great for fishing, yoga, and some can even double as kayaks. But unlike typical kayaks, which can be cumbersome to travel with, inflatable paddleboards can deflate to fit neatly into a backpack. Since they're easy to manage, paddleboards are also great for families; you can pack more than one in your car without having to invest in a rack or trailer like you would for most other types of water vessels.

Paddleboards may seem like an intricate balancing act, but they're surprisingly easy to use because most have large, stable bases that keep you from toppling over. Beginners will want to look for an inflatable board that has a large non-slip surface and is at least 30 inches wide. (The wider and thicker the surface, the more stable you will be.) If you are still concerned with standing, you can always start on your knees and work your way up. But don't be afraid to fall, so long as you are in open water — you are close enough to the water that it won't hurt you, and most boards have soft surfaces. 

Once you get the hang of it, not only is paddleboarding a ton of fun, but it's also a great form of exercise. Since you're using a slew of muscle groups to remain upright and balance on the board while paddling, it ends up being a great core workout. Plus, the rowing motion can strengthen and tone your arms, too. Some even enjoy practicing yoga on paddleboards because it helps improve form and stability since you're forced to adapt as the water moves beneath you. 

When it comes to choosing the right paddleboard, you'll want to consider where you'll be using it and how you plan to store it. Inflatable boards tend to be better for beginners because they're less expensive, easier to store, and typically simpler to ride. Some can even function as kayaks, making them all the more versatile. Inflatable options are also usually better for rougher waters where you may come across rocks or logs — since they're made from EVA plastic, they're generally more flexible and durable than harder boards. 

On the other hand, solid boards excel in the ocean where they can be used for both surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. For those experienced in water activities, they can also allow for a smoother, faster ride, and they're the better option for yoga because the hard surface offers a bit more stability. However, they tend to be heavier, more expensive, and tougher to store than inflatable boards. 

Whether you prefer an inflatable or solid board, you'll have no trouble finding the right choice in our list below. We chose 14 stand-up paddleboards to try this summer, spring, and beyond, including options that range in price and style to fit your individual needs. 

These are the 14 best paddleboards for 2021:

The best part is, all of these boards are available to order online and be delivered right to your door, so you can get out there and start exploring your local bodies of water in no time. 

Best Overall: SereneLife Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard

Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

The SereneLife Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard has nearly 3,000 positive reviews from shoppers who say it's easy to inflate and call it a "high-quality board at a really great value." Along with the inflatable board, you'll get three bottom fins, a foldable paddle, a safety leash, and a manual pump that all conveniently fit into the included storage bag — meaning this portable option is travel-friendly, too. It's also a great choice for beginners because it has a wide, soft base that makes it easier to stay balanced, and it weighs just over 19 pounds when inflated, so kids and adults alike won't have any trouble maneuvering it. 

To buy: amazon.com, from $300 (originally $399)

Best-selling: Roc Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard 

Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board W Free Premium SUP Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

The number one best-selling paddleboard on Amazon, the Roc Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard is built to last with durable PVC material that still remains lightweight. In fact, the popular paddleboard is designed to be 20 percent lighter than its counterparts, according to the brand, and is suitable for all skill sets with its wide 33-inch frame. The 17.5-pound board also comes stocked with a no-slip deck pad and side fins for added stability, ensuring that you can always find your center whether you're out in the ocean, lake, or river. Additional perks include a collapsible aluminum paddle, a safety leash, a hand pump, a waterproof bag that you can take out on the water, and a backpack to conveniently store and transport the board (once deflated) and all of its accessories 

To buy: amazon.com, from $390

Best Inflatable: Fbsport Premium Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard

Stand-Up Paddleboard
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

For just $300, the Fbsport Premium Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard and accessories kit comes with everything you need to get started. It has a soft, non-slip deck, a 30-inch width, and three bottom fins, making it super stable and ideal for all skill levels (even beginners). Since the durable, non-slip material covers such a large portion of the board, it also offers a great surface to practice yoga or take your pup along for a ride. With your purchase, you'll get the 22-pound board, a pump, an extendable paddle, one ankle leash, three removable fins, and a carrying backpack. Amazon reviewers raved about how happy they are with the board, and one called it "the best summer purchase!" while another said it's "worth the money" and an "amazing deal." 

To buy: amazon.com, $300

Best for Fishing: Bote HD Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard

paddleboard
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Stand-up paddleboards are often used for fishing since they're more versatile and stealthy than boats, allowing you to get closer to the fish without scaring them away. The Bote HD Aero Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard is a great choice for your next fishing trip thanks to its 34-inch width — which gives it impressive stability — and 315-pound weight capacity that'll easily hold all of your fishing gear and your catch of the day.  This heavy-duty inflatable board also comes with a removable fin, a pump, a three-piece paddle, and even a repair bag that all fit into the portable storage backpack.   

To buy: amazon.com, $999

Best for Long Distances: Isle Explorer Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard

paddleboard
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

No matter how long of a paddleboarding expedition you're planning, know that the Isle Explorer Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard is game. Perfect for long rides, its sturdy PVC material gives it the durability to go the distance while its slim shape and pointed nose will help you gain speed and navigate choppiness. But that's not to say it can't be used for more laidback rides, too.  Amazon reviewers praised its ease of use and smooth ride; one user said it's "stable and moves through the water very easily," even when conditions got choppy. Another called it a "great board for all levels" and said it's "stable, easy to transport, and [has] tons of bungees to hold your stuff." 

To buy: amazon.com, $695 (originally $795)

Best for Rough Waters: Bluefin Stand-up Inflatable Paddleboard

paddle
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Rough, choppy currents have met their match with the Bluefin Stand-up Inflatable Paddleboard. Ready for any adventure, this durable touring paddleboard is made to withstand lengthy expeditions. Its long, 14-foot length offers a fast, smooth ride on all types of water — from lapping lakes to rolling waves to rocky rivers — so you can paddle with ease knowing that it won't succumb to damage. And since it comes with a paddle, a pump, an ankle leash, a removable fin, and a carrying backpack, you'll have all of the accessories you need. 

To buy: amazon.com, $699

Best for Yogis: Bote Floating Yoga Mat

Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

The best option for yogis and fitness fanatics, the Bote Floating Yoga Mat can be used as both a floating yoga mat and a stand-up paddleboard. Made with a durable PVC material, it'll mimic the sturdy yet springy feeling of using a yoga mat on a wood floor. It has a 250-pound weight capacity and comes with other useful features like grab handles and bungee straps on the surface. Though it doesn't come with a paddle, you'll still get a hand pump, repair kit, and storage bag with your purchase.

To buy: amazon.com, $599

Best Solid Board: Boardworks Versa Stand-up Paddleboard

paddle
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

If you're in the market for a solid board, the Boardworks Versa Stand-up Paddleboard is a great high-quality option. While solid boards are certainly more difficult to transport, they also tend to provide faster and smoother rides, making them ideal for more advanced SUP and long-distance expeditions. Since this board is crafted from bamboo and fiberglass, it delivers incredible stability while also acting as an eco-friendlier alternative to the EVA materials commonly found on inflatable boards. Planning on being out on the water for long? This wide-based paddleboard comes with bungee cords to securely store your water bottle and other tiny must-haves for your ride. 

To buy: amazon.com, $999

Best Budget: Streakboard Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard

Stand-Up Paddleboard
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Stand-up paddleboards are notoriously pricey, but you can still get a quality option at a more affordable price. Case in point: the Streakboard Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard. This budget-friendly option comes with a 10-inch inflatable board and accessories for under $300. It has a wide non-slip deck area and a six-inch thickness that can hold up to 230 pounds. Since it's smaller than other options and weighs just 18 pounds, it's also a great choice for kids or to bring your dog on board with you (as long as your pup doesn't weigh over the 230-pound limit). And because inflatable boards like this one are softer, they're typically better for dogs because they're less likely to slip off.

Many Amazon shoppers raved over this lightweight board and how easy it is to inflate and use. One reviewer said it's a "great board at a great price," also adding, "This paddleboard is just as nice as my daughter's super expensive one! She actually likes mine more than hers! Easy to inflate, very durable, well-made. I took it out on the lake the day it arrived and paddled a couple of miles all over the place. It worked perfectly. I would recommend this paddleboard 100 percent." 

To buy: amazon.com, from $246

Best for Beginners: Nixy Newport Paddleboard

paddleboard
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

A great choice for beginners, the Nixy Newport Paddleboard ensures your first ride will be smooth sailing thanks to its stable and wide 33-inch design that'll help you stay balanced while you're still working out your rhythm. Pet-friendly and suitable for all types of water, this paddleboard is incredibly lightweight at just 18 pounds, and it's easy to inflate, something that paddleboarding beginners will appreciate. It also comes with an adjustable paddle and detachable fins so you can customize your paddleboarding style, plus other essentials like a hand pump, a repair kit, and a backpack to store everything in.  

To buy: amazon.com, $895

Best for Lakes: Yaska Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard

paddleboard
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

If paddleboarding is on the agenda of your next lake trip, you'll want to have the Yaska Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard on hand. With a wide, 32-inch rounded base, this versatile paddleboard is perfect for cruising and ensures that beginners and advanced paddleboarders alike are stable and secure while out on the water. It's also able to comfortably hold more than one passenger — one shopper said they can paddle on it with their "small dog and/or 7-year-old son" and it does great — thanks to its high-quality EVA material and stitch construction, which keeps it strong against damage. 

To buy: amazon.com, $230 (originally $250)

Best with Seat Attachment: Bluefin Cruise Stand-up Inflatable Paddleboard

bluefin cruise package
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Whether you're paddling for recreation or sport, any paddleboarder can benefit from a cushioned seat attachment. With the Bluefin Cruise Stand-up Inflatable Paddleboard, you're getting a durable easy-to-inflate, 30-inch long cruising board that transforms into a kayak in seconds thanks to its simple conversion design, which allows you to snap the comfortable seat attachment securely into place easily. This two-in-one option comes with a pump, extra fin attachment, coiled leg leash, and sleek fiberglass paddle, which explains its nearly 1,000 five-star Amazon ratings.

According to reviewers, it makes a great board for fishers as well as beginners: "We bought this paddleboard for my husband. He is six-foot, 270 pounds. Because he is a bigger guy, we had to find a sturdier board than most other boards that are out there. Since this has such a high weight rating we thought it would be perfect and it is! He loves to fish from it. He steps a cooler down and uses that as a seat. We have attachments on the cooler for road holders. It is the perfect setup for him."

To buy: amazon.com, $550

Best for Dogs: Drift Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard

paddleboard
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

If your dog loves sitting shotgun on your paddleboarding adventures, you'll need a spacious and durable board, like the Drift Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard. Made with an easy-to-inflate design that can securely hold your belongings in its bungee straps, this pet-friendly paddleboard has a 33-inch width that can comfortably fit you and your dog for hours at a time. It also has an "indestructible" exterior, according to the brand, thanks to its thick PVC material that's strong enough to withstand scratches from your furry companion. According to one Amazon reviewer, the board is roomy enough to support two adults and two small dogs, adding that they "have not fallen off it yet, even in big wakes. I never go paddling without my dog and I am especially impressed with how well this board held up to doggy nails."

To buy: amazon.com, $399 (originally $449) 

Best Lightweight: FunWater Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard

paddleboard
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Lugging your paddleboard around is never fun, so if you're looking for something more manageable, the FunWater Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard is a solid choice. Weighing just over 18 pounds, which is basically featherlight compared to many other paddleboards, this lightweight option has a weight capacity of 330 pounds and is constructed with a double layer of PVC to increase durability. It's ideal for all skill levels, and some reviewers even say it has the sturdiness of a solid board without the extra weight. One shopper wrote, "This board is SOLID, you almost wouldn't know it's an inflatable until you pick it up and feel how light it is."

To buy: amazon.com, $300 (originally $400)

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