|Solstice Stand-Up Paddleboard||All-Around||10' 6"||$|
|Tower Adventurer||All-Around||10' 9"||$$|
|Wahoo Inflatable Paddle Board||All-Around||10' 6"||$|
Why Buy An ISUP?
I still prefer paddling on a traditional SUP, however there are a plenty of advantages of buying an iSUP.
- They’re extremely portable. A full sized SUP is going to run nine to fourteen feet. Unless you have a roof rack or you’re walking to the beach Stand Up Paddle Boards can be a pain to transport. Inflatables take care of both transportation issues: weight and size. An inflatable board also means you can travel with it, I’ve taken mine on vacations with me, with no problems.
- Overall they’ve brought the price of Paddle Boards down. Generally, the cheapest paddle boards on the market are inflatables. Of course, there are some exceptions to that rule, however it shouldn’t be a surprise that the cheapest paddle board on the market is a inflatable board.
- They’re durable. Tower Paddle Boards really raised the bar for all iSUP manufacturers. They’re now all made out of the same stuff the military use for their inflatable boats. Often times, an iSUP is actually better equipped for rivers and streams with rocks then a solid construction SUP.
Overall iSUP’s are often the better choice for beginners. They’re not as slick to ride as some of the larger solid SUPs but they are cheaper and easier to transport.
Top Inflatable Paddle Boards Reviewed
Tower Inflatable Paddle Boards: 14′ Explorer & 9’10” Adventurer
When you make a list of inflatable paddle boards you have to start with Tower. Other manufacturers are making great inflatables, but dollar for dollar Tower still does it better than anyone else on the market.
When I first started paddle boarding I wouldn’t have thought a 14′ inflatable board would’ve been terribly practical. Tower Paddle Boards pushed the envelope with great success. The 14′ might be the best travel race/touring board on the market. It rolls up small enough to fit into a duffle bag.
The 9’10” Adventurer is the most popular paddle board on the market right now. This shouldn’t come as a surprise – it’s one of the cheaper SUP’s on the market, durable and it’s a great board to learn on.
Bali Solstice 10’6″ Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
Surprisingly this board is actually fairly well equipped. One would think that a paddle board priced at just $469 would be of poor quality. The customer service at Solstice is lacking, but overall the product is quite solid. If you’re looking to buy a paddle board for the cabin or an occasional cruise the Bali Solstice is a great place to start.
Somewhat amusingly, one particular owner counted the number of strokes it takes to pump this SUP up by hand. 160 strokes! Needless to say, you’re going to either want to leave your iSUP inflated or, a better option might be to buy a quality electric pump.
Wahoo Inflatables: 10’6″ Cheap & Light Paddle Board
If you’re going to be doing a lot of walking with the board the 10’6″ Wahoo Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board is a decent purchase. It’s significantly lighter than say the Solstice, as it weighs just 21lbs. A standard iSUP will weigh anywhere from 30-40lbs.
The Wahoo also includes a backpack, a paddle and a pump. Once again, the pump leaves a lot to be desired but it does the trick if you’re in a pinch.
We made it a bit of a habit last summer to hike to smaller lakes in the Rockies and going for a cruise on them. One of my friends packed this unit around and I think we were all a little bit envious. It’s honestly pretty killer, you get all sweaty from hiking then you can jump in and dry off while paddling around a pristine piece of water.
Not sold on an inflatable paddle board? You can check out all of our reviews on the top iSUPs and solid boards.