Best inflatable paddle boards 2022: for cruising, touring and surfing

Get on board with the hottest hobby around with one the best inflatable paddle boards

Best inflatable paddle boards: Three people walking up the beach holding Red Paddle Co inflatable paddle boards
(Image credit: Jobe)

The best inflatable paddle boards provide an accessible way for many to join in with the stand-up paddle board craze. SUP-ing has never been so popular, with droves of new people accessing the sport in a vast variety of locations. This surge in popularity means that many new retailers have popped up, and many existing watersports outlets now stock a good range of SUP options. The best inflatable paddle boards cover a more diverse range than ever before, fortunately, as the technology continues to improve, and manufacturers up their game. 

Inflatable SUPs have certainly emerged as the most popular choice for pretty much all styles of the sport, due to the fact that 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 major benefits of a SUP are their very shallow draft, often around a foot or so, which means they can be used in anything deeper than a puddle. This opens up even smaller streams as well as rivers, lakes, ponds, canals, watersports reservoirs, and a host of coastal locations too. A second dual benefit is the standing up – great for sightseeing and clocking any hazards in the distance – but also a solid core workout and potentially a good cardio one too, depending on your pace. 

A good touring board can cover quite a decent distance over a few hours too, in almost complete silence, making them a good choice for nature-spotters of all types. There’s also a growing movement towards using SUP boards for Pilates and Yoga workouts, adding an extra dimension both literally and visually to a workout.

Most importantly though, SUP-ing is a lot of fun, as well as being a great way to access hidden and beautiful parts of the outdoors you probably wouldn’t see otherwise. One final notice before we start: 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. 

The best inflatable paddle boards for 2022

Red Paddle Co Ride MSL paddle boardT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Future)
This inflatable SUP package will take you anywhere and everywhere

Specifications

Dimensions: L10ft 6" x W32"
Thickness: 4.7"
Max weight: 100kg
Paddle included: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Ultimate all-rounder
+
Popular and well tested
+
Everything you need in one

Reasons to avoid

-
There are cheaper options

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... Find out more in our Red Paddle Co. 10'6 Ride MSL Package review.

Woman stand-up paddle boarding on the Wave Woody SUP packageT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Sian Lewis / T3)
The best budget inflatable paddle board

Specifications

Dimensions: L10ft x W30" / L11ft x W32"
Thickness: 4.7"
Max weight: 100kg
Paddle included: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to inflate
+
Looks good
+
Great quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Too wide and rounded for experienced paddlers

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; get more details in our Wave Woody SUP package review.

Portofino 10ft inflatable stand up paddle board reviewT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Rich Owen)
A beginner-friendly all-rounder that’s hard to beat

Specifications

Dimensions: 10' x 33"
Thickness: 4.75"
Max weight: 120kg
Paddle included: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Covers all the bases 
+
Excellent value for money
+
Lightweight and durable

Reasons to avoid

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Possibly too generalist? 
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No camera mount

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. Head to our Portofino 10ft SUP inflatable stand up paddle board review for more info.

Woman holding Decathlon X100 SUP touring stand up paddle board next to a lakeT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Sian Lewis / T3)
A budget-friendly inflatable touring paddle board

Specifications

Best for: touring
Length: 10ft (9ft and 11ft also available)
Size: 32" wide, 5" thick
Max weight: 230kg
Paddle included : no

Reasons to buy

+
Surprisingly speedy
+
Surface is nice and grippy
+
Very easy to set up and pack away

Reasons to avoid

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Pump and paddle aren't included
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Tricky to carry with flimsy handle

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 Decathlon X100 stand up paddle board review, our tester commented 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.

Surfstar 10’6" inflatable stand up paddleboard reviewT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Future)
A fantastic mix of quality, features and value

Specifications

Best for: value and stability
Dimensions: 10’6" x 32.3"
Thickness: 5.91"
Max Weight: 145kg
Paddle included: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Stable and robust
+
Action camera mount

Reasons to avoid

-
Single action pump
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Light colours get dirty easily

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 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. Find out more in our Surfstar 10'6" Advance Star inflatable stand up paddleboard review.

Shark Family Tandem SUP, top and underside views, plus accessoriesT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Shark)

6. Shark Family tandem stand up paddle board

The best tandem paddle board for sociable SUP-ing

Specifications

Best for: family fun
Dimensions: 15’2” x 36”
Thickness: 8"
Max weight: 300kg
Paddle included: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Underwater viewing port 
+
Six carry handles
+
Hugely stable

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky to transport and carry

The Shark Family Tandem SUP is a giant SUP for family groups or tandem adults, built to last and with an ingenious trick up its sleeve. Just aft of the bow cargo net there's an underwater viewing porthole, which is pretty much guaranteed to keep at least one child entertained for quite some time, and probably an adult too. 

The board is a substantial 8-inches thick to maintain stiffness under the maximum 300kg load, but only needs inflating to 15 psi, good news for parents struggling with the pump (included). Fortunately, there are a whopping six carry handles, so the kids can at least help out on the transport front. Also in the package is a carbon shaft paddle, as well as a waterproof phone case to top things off. 

Red 15'0 Tandem MSL Inflatable Paddle BoardT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Red Equipment)
Go large with this paddle board made for two

Specifications

Best for: Paddling with a pal
Dimensions: L15ft 6”xW34”
Thickness: 8”
Max weight: 110Kgs+ per rider
Paddle included: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Top quality build
+
Great design
+
All the extras you'll need
+
Easy to manoeuvre

Reasons to avoid

-
Unwieldy on dry land

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. Get all the facts in our Red 15'0 Tandem MSL Inflatable Paddle Board review.

Mistral Adventure Inflatable Paddleboard ComboT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Mistral)
An all-rounder that’s hard to beat

Specifications

Best for: All-round speed
Dimensions: 11.5’ x 31”
Thickness: 6"
Paddle included: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Good water manners 
+
Stable but fast
+
Packs down small

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricier than some
-
Pump is poor

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 Mistral Adventure paddle board review, our tester was very impressed with this board, although felt it was slightly let down by less high-quality accessories.

Gul Cross 9'8 Inflatable SUP Board PackageT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Gul)

9. Gul Cross 9'8 Inflatable SUP Board Package

A nice sturdy, stable beginner board at a very wallet-friendly price point

Specifications

Best for: beginners
Dimensions: L9'8" x W31"
Thickness: 5"
Max weight: 100kg
Paddle included: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Stable
+
All-rounder
+
Wallet-friendly

Reasons to avoid

-
Compromise on manoeuvrability

The Gul Cross 9'8 Inflatable SUP Board Package is a fantastic starter pack that has plenty to offer the more experienced too. Stable and easy to handle in the water, the Gul is perfectly capable of a little surfing as well as SUP, with a three-fin (two side & one longboard) array to increase handling predictability. The package includes a three piece alloy paddle, leash, simple pump and a backpack to lug it all around in – with the board weighing in at a mere 8kg, that's not too much of an ask either. Overall there might be compromises on outright performance here, but as a beginner setup for casual use there's nothing wrong with this popular package. 

iROCKER ALL-AROUND 11 inflatable paddle boardT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: iRocker)

10. iROCKER ALL-AROUND 11

The ideal all-rounder for family holidays and leisurely cruising

Specifications

Best for : heavier riders, or multiple people
Dimensions: 335cm x 81cm
Thickness: 15cm
Max weight: 197kg
Paddle included: yes

Reasons to buy

+
High weight limit
+
Incredibly robust

Reasons to avoid

-
Takes a while to get your balance right

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 paddle and ankle leash.

M.Y. PointBreak 10' Paddle board plus accessoriesT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: MY)
A decent cheap inflatable paddle board option

Specifications

Best for: occasional paddlers and beginners
Dimensions: 10' x 30"
Thickness: 6"
Max weight: 130kg
Paddle included: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Kit contains everything you need
+
Does the job
+
Low price

Reasons to avoid

-
Cheaper build quality
-
Not the most stable

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. Head to our M.Y PointBreak 10' paddle board kit review to find out more, 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 to choose the best inflatable paddle board 

The big questions to consider when buying an SUP is where and what you plan to use it for. Longer boards and better load-carrying abilities are vital for touring long distances, sharper lines and more pronounced rockers 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 close inshore. 

However, there are plenty of all-rounder boards that'll see you comfortably taking on the challenges and enjoying the pleasures of SUP life, without compromising on much at all. 

While choosing the best inflatable paddle board is of course the main event, it's important to not forget the accessories too, 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 spare kit, and most importantly in almost all situations a really good waterproof pouch for valuables like your phone and car keys (neither of which like salt water). Red Paddle Co's dry pouch (opens in new tab) delivers particularly well on the latter, being waterproof, big enough for a phone/keys/cards/etc, and – vitally – buoyant.

Mark Mayne
Mark Mayne

Mark Mayne has been covering tech, gadgets and outdoor innovation for longer than he can remember. A keen climber, mountaineer and scuba diver, he is also a dedicated weather enthusiast and flapjack consumption expert. 

With contributions from