The best inflatable paddle board market has exploded in recent years in terms of the range and affordability of products, a rapid reaction to the sport of stand-up paddle boarding going truly mainstream. Indeed, SUPing has never been more popular, with inflatable paddle board brands and retailers popping up left, right, and centre.
Going stand-up paddle boarding has now overtaken many other traditional water sports in terms of popularity. And that popularity is understandable, too, as paddle boarding is super fun and accessible to get into, and the boards themselves continue to get cheaper and more high-tech.
Inflatable SUPs are so popular now because they're easily portable in a small car boot, can be carried in a rucksack to the water's edge (a pair of the best water shoes will take you comfortably from shore to water), then inflated, often with an included pump.
Finally, storage is a simple matter of removing any salt, drying off, and stowing the rucksack bag somewhere dry. That's a pretty hassle-free package, and as inflatable boards now offer good performance, too, rigid boards are on the decline except for very specialised applications like racing. Many of our best paddle boards for beginners are inflatable options too.
The best inflatable paddle boards for 2023
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The Ride 10'6 is a bit of an SUP classic, and for good reason – the makers describe it as a 'Swiss Army knife of paddle boards', and there's plenty of truth in that. Equally, at home in surfing or SUP mode, it'll suit most casual board users to a tee. A versatile shape adds stability in all situations, while the near indestructible ‘iFins' on the underside don't require tools to keep in shape. A six-point bungee is perfectly capable of keeping your dry bag where you want it, and a simple diamond-cut rear deck and EVA deck pad prevent slips and increase control.
In a complete package format with a specially designed backpack for transport, dual-barrel pump to inflate on-site and a range of paddles to suit your taste, this is a strong all-rounder in a potent package and at a competitive price point. The only things left for you to decide are where to go, what to wear, and where to put the car keys...
Read our full Red Paddle Co. 10'6 Ride MSL Package review
If you're looking for your first inflatable SUP and don't want to spend a fortune but don't want to get lumbered with a cheap and nasty board, the Wave Woody SUP package is a tough one to beat. It's sold as an intermediate board, but in our tests, we found it to be easily stable enough for beginners, and while it comes at an almost suspiciously reasonable price, it's built to last and comes complete with everything you need to get out on the water, fast.
Once out of the box, you can have it unrolled, inflated and on the water in about five minutes, and you'll find it comes with features normally reserved for more expensive boards, including a GoPro mount, D rings for extra storage, or even adding a chair on the back, and a comfortable ankle strap that you can wear for hours. It won't take an age to deflate if you're in a hurry, and thankfully there's plenty of space in the backpack for you to put it away even if it's not completely deflated. In short, this one's an unmissable bargain for your first inflatable SUP.
Read our full Wave Woody SUP package review
Large, super stable and available for a good price, the Two Bare Feet Entradia 10’ 10” is one of the best SUP boards for beginners and bigger paddlers on the market, but it’s more than just that. It’s tons of fun even for more experienced paddlers, especially if conditions are lumpy or if you have small family members that want to get on board. The kit is really nicely put together too.
Constructed from ultra-lightweight DWF Double Wall PVC and featuring a single high-density air chamber, the Entradia 10’ 10” is a longboard. The extra few inches you get here from the more standard 10ft 6in boards makes a surprising difference – but the excellent buoyancy of these boards comes from more than the length. The width (34in/86cm) is exactly the same as the 10’ 6” SUPs, but the 6in (15cm) thickness of the 10’ 10” board is 1¼ in/3cm bigger, and this is where the extra stability really comes from.
The starter kit also comes with a standard aluminium 3-piece SUP paddle, which weighs 1080g and is easy to adjust to your preferred length, with a range of 162 - 210cm (64–83in), and a 90-litre backpack styled like a giant dry bag, with a fold-down top. If you’re new to SUP, or you struggle with the balance a bit, or if you’re a taller or larger framed person, or if you often have little passengers trying to get on board, then you’re going to need a bigger, more buoyant board than a 10’6”, and the Two Bare Feet Entradia 10'10" is a great option.
Read our full Two Bare Feet Entradia 10'10" Stand-up Paddle Board review
The Portofino 10ft SUP Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board earns a place in our best inflatable paddle board ranking thanks to hitting a sweet spot in size, being light and portable yet also stable in calm conditions. This complete kit is all you’ll need to get SUP-ing, so represents great value for money. The telescopic aluminium paddle is good and durable, the coil leash will cover all the bases, and the removable fin helps in-water tracking and handling but packs away neatly for transport.
The Portofino is 4.75 inches thick and features internal and external stiffening rails to improve handling over thicker 6-inch models. All the usual elements, such as a carry handle and cargo bungee, are present and correct, although there’s no camera mount for GoPro addicts. It’s such a flexible package that a small conversion kit is available to convert the Portofino 10ft SUP Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board into a kayak for those that really want to hedge their bets on a new watersport.
Read our full Portofino 10ft SUP inflatable stand-up paddle board review
If you're looking for an inflatable touring board that won't break the bank, the Decathlon X100 could be a good choice to help you get started. Available in 9ft, 10ft and 11ft versions (we tested the 10ft option), this paddle board feels robust, with a grippy standing surface. In our review, we said that the narrower nose makes it easy to get some good speed up, while the wider body still delivers good stability.
A nice touch is that Decathlon has printed setup and pack-away instructions on the inside of the carry bag, and overall it's a cinch to get onto the water – although we weren't too impressed with the flimsy carry handle. Be aware that you don't get the pump and paddle with this kit, so make sure you sort those separately. An excellent, fuss-free inflatable SUP for touring beginners or those looking to progress on flat water.
Read our full Decathlon X100 stand up paddle board review
For a beginner-friendly inflatable SUP that hits the perfect combination of price, quality and features, you should take a look at the Surfstar 10'6" Advance Star. For the price, you get pretty everything you need to start out with paddleboarding; the board itself has plenty of length and width and feels wonderfully stable, and its slightly thicker than the 10'6" Red Ride MSL, which means a higher centre of gravity (but also that it takes a bit longer to inflate.
The board comes with a paddle, pump, ankle leash, removable fin and repair kit, as well as a waterproof phone case and a backpack for carrying everything in. There's even an action camera mount with a universal thread, something you rarely see on cheaper boards.
Read our full Surfstar 10'6" Advance Star inflatable stand-up paddleboard review
Why SUP alone when you can SUP with a friend? Obviously, you can both go out on your own boards, but inevitably one of you will go faster than the other, resulting in you eventually getting separated or one of you having to wait around, muttering darkly. However, with the enormous Red 15'0 Tandem MSL Inflatable Paddle Board, two of you can paddle together with plenty of room left over to safely stow all your gear, making it ideal for a paddling and camping adventure.
This 15-foot board's a little unwieldy on dry land, but once you get it on the water, it's impressively nippy and manoeuvrable, and it comes with all the extras you're going to need: a backpack, pump, paddles, leash and repair kit. It's not cheap, but it's clearly built to last, and if you've ever fancied paddling with a partner, we're sure you'll get your money's worth.
Read our full Red 15'0 Tandem MSL Inflatable Paddle Board review
The Mistral Adventure is a fantastic all-rounder SUP that comes in a solid package with all you need to get out on the water in good order. The Woven Fusion Layer Technology provides good tip stability, and the longer 11.5 version here offers a little extra speed over the shorter 10.5 option, making distance paddling easier and longer trips much more approachable.
At six inches deep, it’s very buoyant, and that extra depth adds rigidity which in turn improves the handling. Handling is also aided by the triple-fin setup, with a removable 8-inch central fin playing the central role. As you’d expect, there’s a bow cargo net for drybag portage, a stainless leash D-ring, and a centre carry handle, which doubles as a paddle holder to allow you to lift both SUP and paddle at the same time with ease. In our review, we were impressed with this board, although felt it was slightly let down by fewer high-quality accessories.
Read our full Mistral Adventure paddle board review
The iROCKER All-Around 11 is an updated version of the original iROCKER 11. Released in 2020, this inflatable paddle board is 20% lighter, with a larger deck pad and a larger rear cargo storage area, and a lighter, stronger paddle. The higher weight limit of 197kg makes this board suitable for taller, heavier SUP-ers, as well as being a great option if you're hoping to take your kids along for the ride with you. iRocker claims that it has 'military-grade durability', so it should be pretty much indestructible – although there's a repair kit included for any mishaps that do occur. Also included in the price is a handy backpack and pump, as well as a paddle and ankle leash.
It's not the best quality SUP on this list by any means, but if you're on a budget, the M.Y PointBreak 10' paddle board kit does a decent job for a very affordable price. In this kit, you'll get everything you need to get started with stand-up paddle boarding in one handy backpack that you can sling into your boot or onto your back, ready to start finding your sea legs. The board itself is basic but perfectly serviceable and a good choice for children or occasional SUPers.
Read our full M.Y PointBreak 10' paddle board kit review, or see how it compares to our top pick in our M.Y Pointbreak 10' paddle board kit vs Red Paddle Co Ride MSL faceoff.
How we test the best inflatable paddle boards
At T3, we place a high value on the authenticity of the product advice we offer, and each of the inflatable paddle boards featured here has been extensively tested by our outdoor-expert reviewers. The boards have been taken out and tested on various aquatic adventures - on bays, beaches, rivers and lakes in different conditions - to assess how easy they are to carry, inflate, use and pack away again. Each has also been tested against a set of criteria, including design, functionality, features, stability, style, tracking, material quality and robustness.
How to choose the best inflatable paddle board for you
The big question to consider when buying a SUP is where and what you plan to use it for. Longer boards and better load-carrying abilities are vital for touring long distances, and sharper lines and more pronounced rockers are important for carving through the surf.
Beginner boards tend to be super-stable, which does compromise speed and wave handling but are much more tractable for casual use. If you're planning extended trips around the coast, then choosing a dual-chamber touring style board adds an essential layer of safety, too, something that isn't as useful in the surf and closes inshore.
However, there are plenty of all-rounder boards that'll see you comfortable taking on the challenges and enjoying the pleasures of SUP life without compromising on much at all.
While choosing the best inflatable paddle board, it's important not to forget the accessories, as they can make or break an otherwise perfect day out. That might be a leash if not already included in a package deal, a decent wetsuit for surfing in the cooler months, sun protection for the height of summer, a good dry bag for carrying a spare kit, and a really good waterproof pouch for valuables. One final notice: anyone but the most confident swimmers on the calmest waters (and perhaps even those) should invest in one of the best life jackets as a safety precaution.