The 7 Best Inflatable Paddle Boards For Every Experience Level & Budget
- Best for beginners: Roc Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board with SUP Paddle Board Accessories
- Best durable: SereneLife Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board
- Best convertible: Bestway Hydro-Force Oceana Inflatable Convertible Stand-Up Paddleboard
- Best for all skill levels: TELESPORT Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard
- Best budget: FunWater Inflatable Ultra-Light Paddle Board
- Best for stability & standing: Body Glove Oasis 10' Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board
- Best splurge: Cressi Solid Tandem Inflatable Paddle Board
If you’re someone who seeks adventure and wants to feel those endorphins without high intensity, consider giving paddle boarding a try. This water sport is a fun and accessible activity that builds strength and endurance while offering meditative perks. The best part? If you opt for one of the best inflatable paddle boards, you don’t need to stress over storage or portability.
“For the majority of paddlers, inflatable paddle boards offer an excellent paddle boarding experience,” explains Julian Kidd, owner and CEO of Green Water Sports, a specialty paddle board store.
“Inflatable paddle boards are typically cheaper, lighter, and more durable than equivalent composite or hard plastic paddle boards,” he adds, noting that these boards are particularly great for beginners, since there are no hard edges to clip if you fall.
Whether you’re brand new to the sport or have some experience and are investing in a new board, you’re in the right place. These are the best paddle boards when it comes to quality of materials, price, accessories, and ease-of-use. In other words, these options are totally worth the money.
How to choose the best inflatable paddle board
When shopping for an inflatable paddle board, Kidd says the four main things to consider are length, width, thickness, and volume. “These will dictate what style of the board it is, how it will paddle and track, how stable it will be, and whether it can carry you.”
Length: As far as length is concerned, most paddle boards are around 10 feet long, though some (especially ones built for tandem) can run a little longer. According to Kidd, the length of a board governs how it turns and how well the board will track (aka, go in a straight line). “Longer boards will paddle straighter and glide better while shorter boards will be easier to turn,” he notes.
Width: Most paddle boards range between 30 and 35 inches, though the common sweet spot is between 32 and 34 inches. “With is one of the major factors in the stability of the board,” Kidd explains. “It also affects the overall speed of the board,” he adds, noting that narrow boards are fast but not as stable, while wide boards are much more stable.
Thickness: It might not seem like thickness is a big deal, but it’s worth considering because, when coupled with the volume, Kidd says board thickness will control how stiff the inflatable board will be and how much weight it can carry.
Volume: “The volume is measured by how much water it would displace if completely submerged,” says Kidd. With that said, the volume gets a little tricky, and with an inflatable board, Kidd notes that it’s basically about how much the board can carry. If you’re concerned about how much weight a board can hold, most companies note the weight capacity, which is the same thing.
Our picks for the best inflatable paddle boards of 2023:
Best for beginners: Roc Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board with SUP Paddle Board Accessories
- Durable enough to hold 350 pounds, which is high compared to many other options
- Comes with many accessories, including a collapsable paddle and a waterproof dry bag for belongings
- Doesn’t come with a patch kit
- Accessories aren’t as high quality as the board
Dimensions:10 feet x 32 inches
Return policy:30 days
For those who aren’t looking to invest a ton of money in a paddle board, the Roc Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board with SUP Paddle Board Accessories is a great choice. This beginner-friendly paddle board is constructed from a durable PVC material. It comes with all the accessories you need to get started, including a pump, removable fin, safety leash, valve wrench, and a collapsible paddle for easy transportation. The board also has a waterproof dry bag to keep your belongings safe while you glide on the water.
One thing that stands out about this beginner paddle board is its weight, which is around 18 pounds and much lighter than similar styles, making it easier to maneuver when setting up and carrying it to the water. The board can also hold up to 350 pounds, which is more than other options on our list. The paddle board is designed for all skill levels, but beginners rave about how easy it is to use, the durability, and how stable the board feels for such a low price.
Best durable: SereneLife Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board
- Incredibly lightweight
- Comes with all the necessary accessories to get you started
- Constructed from durable material with a non-slip top
- More advanced paddle boarders might want something with more features
Dimensions:10 feet x 32 inches
Return policy:30 days
After researching dozens of models, we found the best durable inflatable paddle board is the SereneLife Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board. The paddle board is constructed from long-lasting PVC material and features a non-slip top, making it easier to find stability. This board is even stable enough to practice yoga while floating.
Despite its durability, the board is super lightweight (under 14 pounds). It also comes with all the necessary accessories to get you started, making it another excellent option for beginners.
Amazon customers rave about how easy this board is to inflate, its quality, and the overall value. While some say the board was a little too simple for more advanced skills, many love this paddle board for beginners.
Best convertible: Bestway Hydro-Force Oceana Inflatable Convertible Stand-Up Paddleboard
- Comes with a comfortable kayak seat attachment, so you can stand up or sit down
- Features a durable non-slip traction pad to practice yoga without worrying about stability
- Comes with a repair kit
- Lower weight capacity of 265 pounds
- Heavier than other options on our list
Dimensions:10 feet x 33 inches
Return policy:30 days
To get more bang for your buck, consider investing in a convertible paddle board you can use as both a board and a kayak. This two-in-one paddle board comes with a kayak seat attachment that allows you to sit comfortably while paddling through the water.
If you want to stand, you can ensure stability with the durable non-slip traction pad, which provides enough stability to practice yoga on the water. The paddle board comes with many accessories, including a repair kit, paddle, leash, and pump. You'll also receive a backpack to easily store everything when not in use.
Our only hangup with this inflatable convertible paddle board is its weight. At nearly 30 pounds, the board is on the heavy side of the spectrum (especially when considering other lightweight options on our list). Plus, it can only hold around 265 pounds.
Nonetheless, this is an excellent paddle board for the price, and we love that you can use it in multiple ways, which drives the value up for us.
Best for all skill levels: TELESPORT Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard
- Comes in two widths, depending on your needs and preferences
- Features triple-fin technology, which makes balancing and stability a lot easier
- Incredibly durable
- A little on the heavy side (though it’s not the heaviest on our list)
- Accessories aren’t very durable.
Dimensions:11 feet x 33 inches11 feet x 30 inches
Return policy:90 days
Whether you’re a beginner or an avid paddleboarder, the TELESPORT Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board is an excellent option, especially if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. This paddle board is one of the cheapest options on our list.
Despite the lower price, it’s constructed from durable and high-quality materials and features fun features that make using it a total breeze. The board is available in widths of 30 or 33 inches. The triple fin technology makes balancing and stability a lot easier for various skill levels.
The paddle board is designed using military-grade PVC with an EVA top mat that provides comfort and stability while paddling on the water.
Best budget: FunWater Inflatable Ultra-Light Paddle Board
- Comes in lots of colors
- pPump isn’t very durable
Dimensions:10.6 feet x 33 inches
Return policy:30 days
Paddle boards can run a high price tag, so if you want something more budget-friendly, we recommend the FunWater Inflatable Ultra-Light Paddle Board, which costs under $200 and doesn’t skimp on the quality. This lightweight paddle board is constructed from PVC with a durable two-layer design and comes in many colors, so you can choose one that fits your style, too.
Like other options on our list, the paddle board comes with necessary accessories, including a pump, removable fin, leash, and a paddle, along with a backpack for storage and a waterproof phone bag to keep your phone and other small belongings safe.
Some customers note that the pump isn’t all that thrilling and, in fact, broke on them after the first use, so it’s worth considering investing in a better option to avoid any faux pas.
Best for stability and standing: Body Glove Oasis 10' Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board
- Comes with a traction yoga mat for paddle board exercises.
- Features a water bottle holder for easy access.
- No side-carrying handle
Dimensions:10 feet x 34 inches
Return policy:30 days
The best paddle board for stability and standing is the Body Glove Oasis 10’ Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board, which comes with a carry-all backpack that fits the paddle board and accessories, and makes transportation a total breeze. While it is on the expensive side, it’s worth the splurge considering how functional, convenient, and high-quality the paddle board is. After testing the paddle board out, customizers raved about its value, ease for all skill levels (including beginners), and the overall stability factor.
For added stability, the paddle board features a grippy top mat with excellent traction designed for paddle board yoga. Despite not having a side handle, the lightweight construction makes this board easy to carry down to the water.
Best splurge: Cressi Solid Tandem Inflatable Paddle Board
- It’s a tandem board, so two people can fit on it
- Measures 12 feet long, which is longer than most models
- A little heavy compared to other options
- Paddle is not included
Dimensions:12.2 inches long
Return policy:30 days
For a splurge-worthy option, we love the Cressi Solid Tandem Inflatable Paddle Board. Since this board is designed to fit two people it has a longer length of around 12 feet. It is constructed from a highly durable PLF double chamber technology with an EVA soft pad on top for added comfort while paddling. And, while it’s an excellent option for personal use, it’s also professional-grade, making it a great choice for rentals.
With its larger size and durable materials, the board is around 28 pounds, which is a bit heavier than other options on our list. However, being a tandem inflatable paddle board, it's designed to hold more weight than other options—so you get a lot of durability for the extra lift.
How we picked:
When choosing the best inflatable paddle boards, we considered the quality by carefully examining the construction. Through this process, we chose boards made from high-quality and durable materials such as PVC. Additionally, we considered other features like the grip mat, handles, and different uses to determine the quality of experience, too.
Inflatable paddle boards aren’t cheap. However, you can buy some with lower and more accessible price tags. Throughout our research and evaluation, we carefully considered the price points and looked for long to mid-range options that have excellent value and are worth the initial investment. And, if a board was a little on the higher end of the spectrum, we ensured it featured noteworthy perks to justify the cost.
It’s nearly impossible to purchase a product without reading the reviews — after all, they tell us so much. With this in mind, we also looked at inflatable paddle board reviews to get an idea of real-world experiences and how those met our high standards. Through researching reviews, we were able to narrow down our selections and find some of the best inflatable paddle boards that come top-recommended online.
Extras are always a fun perk. But, in the case of paddle boards, they can be essential. When looking for the best inflatable paddle boards, we considered all of the different accessories provided — including a paddle, leash, and sometimes even a storage bag — and the quality of each. We also made note of extras such as waterproof bags for personal belongings.
Tips for your inflatable paddle board
Whether you’re brand-new to paddle boarding or have some experience, there are a few tips worth considering to maintain your board and get the most out of the water sport. First and foremost, Kidd says to always follow the manufacturer’s directors for maximum inflation pressures since board brands and models vary in what pressures they can handle and are designed to be used at. For example, just because one board can handle a certain inflation pressure doesn’t mean another one can.
According to Kidd, it’s also super important to store your inflatable paddle board out of direct sunlight to maintain its quality. “As with anything outdoors or marine, UV rays will eat into the materials and glues and accelerate wear and tear,” he explains. Speaking of care, Kidd says it’s also best to rinse your board with fresh water and dry it before putting it away. “This will prevent the build-up of any fungus or mold, especially during the off-season.”
Many inflatable paddle boards come with accessories to make the experience even more enjoyable. While it’s not essential a paddle board kit include one, it’s worth purchasing a storage bag for your inflatable paddle board if it isn't provided. This will help keep the board clean and maintain the overall integrity. It also makes for more compact storage, which is a benefit to an inflatable paddle board vs. a solid style.
And, of course, if your board doesn’t come with a paddle (surprisingly, some don’t!), you’ll definitely want to add one to your cart.
How this relates to longevity
Paddle boarding is a fun water sport to try at nearly any age. While the physical activity certainly has some health benefits, many additional factors can play a key role in longevity. First, paddle boarding is a highly physical activity that can impact body mass and increase endurance, which according to research1, impacts longevity.
Additionally, paddle boarding is an activity that many people actually enjoy doing, which is one of the biggest barriers of physical activity. In getting past that, those who paddle board can actually improve their health.
In addition to physicality, paddle boarding requires concentration and can be a meditative sport, which research indicates leads to improved longevity2. Plus, paddle boarding is an outdoor activity involving time in nature. According to research, time spent in nature can significantly decrease stress which can wreak havoc on health and interfere with longevity. If you can paddle board somewhere with greenery, such as a lake in the mountains, research shows that the green scene can also promote longevity.
How long will an inflatable paddle board last?
“With the proper care, boards can last many seasons,” says Kidd. The best way to care for your board after paddling is to rinse it with fresh water. This helps remove salt water and any bacteria or mold from the lake. You should also allow it to dry fully before storing.
Per Kidd’s previous suggestion, never let your paddle board sit in direct sunlight, as this can cause it to deteriorate and impact the overall quality over time.
How long do inflatable paddle boards stay inflated?
Considering natural changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure, Kidd says a paddle board can lose 1 to 2 PSI over a few days. If this happens, simply reattach the pump and add a little bit more pressure—but be sure not to go over the manufacturer’s recommended cap.
Do inflatable paddle boards puncture easily?
Inflatable paddle boards might seem like they are no different than pool floaties, but, in reality, they are constructed from much more durable materials, which means they don’t puncture easily. “You’d need some very sharp oysters or an unfortunately placed piece of glass on the beach (and then stand on the board) for one to puncture,” says Kidd. “In over a decade of using and selling inflatable paddle boards, I’ve never seen or heard of a board being punctured.”
Paddle boarding is a fun and relaxing outdoor water sport that promotes longevity and boosts mood and mental health by offering a stress-free and meditative experience. When shopping for the best inflatable paddle board, it’s worth considering the length, width, thickness, and volume (or weight capacity) as all of these can help you better understand the board and whether or not it will serve your needs. Once you choose a paddle board, don’t forget to take proper care of it so that your investment lasts longer. Looking for more endorphin-boosting activities that feel more like fun than exercise? Check out the best pickleball paddles of 2023.