Best Inflatable Paddle Board – Our Top 5 Recommendations (2022)

Gear

Inflatable paddle boards are convenient, easy to store, and fun for beginners and pros alike. The question is, how can you find the best inflatable paddle board? What are the advantages of using one? What features should you be looking for? We’ll answer all those questions and give you our top 5 recommendations for the best inflatable paddle boards out there.

The bottom line upfront: we like the GILI Adventure Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board. It’s a high-quality paddle board, with the option of changing the fins if you want to, and it makes a great investment for more experienced paddleboarders.

We also like:

We’ll be looking at:

  1. The best inflatable paddle boards, compared
  2. A quick overview of inflatable paddle boards
  3. What to look for, including portability, deck pads, rigging, and the fin system
  4. Our top 5 recommendations, including their key features and our honest opinions on their pros and cons
  5. Some frequently asked questions about paddle boarding
  6. Which paddle board do we like the best, and why

Keep reading to find out more about inflatable paddle boards!

Best Inflatable Paddle Boards Compared

Feature
Good All-Rounder
Best Value
Best for Advanced Paddleboarders
Best Glide
Best for Multiple People
Model
Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
DAMA Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard
GILI Adventure Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard
SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard
Freein' 14' Inflatable Paddle Board
Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Premium sup Accessories & Backpack, Non-Slip Deck, Waterproof Bag, Leash, Paddle and Hand Pump. (Black)
DAMA 10'6"x32"x6" Inflatable Paddle Board, sup Board, Paddleboard w/ Camera Seat, Floating Paddle, Hand Pump, Board Carrier, Waterproof Bag, Drop Stitch, Traveling Board for Surfing
GILI Adventure Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board: Lightweight, Durable Touring SUP: Wide & Stable Stance 11' x 32" x 6" Thick (Yellow)
SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with Premium SUP Accessories & Carry Bag | Wide Stance, Bottom Fin for Paddling, Surf Control, Non-Slip Deck | Youth & Adult Standing Boat
Freein 14' Inflatable Paddle Board | Large Multi Person Inflatable Stand Up SUP |6” Thick| Party Board and Bundle Accessory Pack | Stable Wide Stance | Up to 820 lbs
Construction Type
Triple-layer
Single-layer
Double-layer
Double-layer
Double-layer
Skill Level
All levels
All levels
All levels (better suited for experts)
All levels
All levels
-
7,320 Reviews
2,257 Reviews
198 Reviews
15,912 Reviews
7 Reviews
Feature
Good All-Rounder
Model
Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Premium sup Accessories & Backpack, Non-Slip Deck, Waterproof Bag, Leash, Paddle and Hand Pump. (Black)
Construction Type
Triple-layer
Skill Level
All levels
7,320 Reviews
Feature
Best Value
Model
DAMA Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard
DAMA 10'6"x32"x6" Inflatable Paddle Board, sup Board, Paddleboard w/ Camera Seat, Floating Paddle, Hand Pump, Board Carrier, Waterproof Bag, Drop Stitch, Traveling Board for Surfing
Construction Type
Single-layer
Skill Level
All levels
2,257 Reviews
Feature
Best for Advanced Paddleboarders
Model
GILI Adventure Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard
GILI Adventure Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board: Lightweight, Durable Touring SUP: Wide & Stable Stance 11' x 32" x 6" Thick (Yellow)
Construction Type
Double-layer
Skill Level
All levels (better suited for experts)
198 Reviews
Feature
Best Glide
Model
SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard
SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with Premium SUP Accessories & Carry Bag | Wide Stance, Bottom Fin for Paddling, Surf Control, Non-Slip Deck | Youth & Adult Standing Boat
Construction Type
Double-layer
Skill Level
All levels
-
15,912 Reviews
Feature
Best for Multiple People
Model
Freein' 14' Inflatable Paddle Board
Freein 14' Inflatable Paddle Board | Large Multi Person Inflatable Stand Up SUP |6” Thick| Party Board and Bundle Accessory Pack | Stable Wide Stance | Up to 820 lbs
Construction Type
Double-layer
Skill Level
All levels
7 Reviews

What is an Inflatable Paddle Board?

Young active person with inflatable stand up paddle board and oar in sea waves go surfing

An inflatable paddle board is exactly as it sounds: a paddle board that can be inflated and deflated again. They’re durable, easy to transport, and pretty stable to use. They also have the advantage of being cushioned, so it won’t feel so painful to land on if you slip over.

What to Look for in an Inflatable Paddle Board

There are a few things to look out for:

Portability

equipment for rafting on the river, an inflatable board and a paddle on the grass

A huge advantage of the stand-up paddle board is the portability factor. They should roll up into a small bag, allowing you to easily carry them. You can put an inflatable paddle board into a beach wagon or similar with no problems.

You will have to carry the accessories with you too (the pump, fins, and safety leash). Look for a model with a waterproof bag included, so you can keep these components together.

Durability/Materials

Inflatable Supboard with paddle on the surface of the water

Durability is a big factor when it comes to buying an inflatable paddle board, as the last thing you want is for it to tear while you’re using it.

Single-layer paddle boards are inexpensive. They have the advantage of being very lightweight, as they’re only made with one layer of material. However, you could choose a dual-layer paddle board for a more durable board. This has a layer of PVC attached to the main layer. These paddle boards are heavier but more durable.

You may prefer the feel of a lighter board, or the stability of a heavier one. This may take some trial and error, so it could be a good plan to try out someone else’s board before you decide which one to go for.

Inflatable paddle boards tend to be made from polyester or a plastic hybrid material. 

Board Size and Shape

Sports travel equipment rental store - rubber boats, inflatable canoes and kayaks, gliding board

This is a big consideration. Again, this could take some trial and error to figure out which board feels right for you. As a loose guideline, larger people should go for larger paddle boards, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule.

There are advantages to different sizes and shapes of paddle boards.

Longer boards have more glide than shorter boards. Wider boards tend to be more stable, while narrower boards have the advantage of being faster. If you like to be able to turn quickly, you could go for a board with a narrow tail, or if you prefer stability, you could go for a board with a wider trail.

While thicker boards may sound tempting for stability purposes, there are some drawbacks. Thicker boards are more prone to wobbling, and they’re harder to climb onto if you fall off.

Plus, they tend to be bulkier and heavier and require a little more effort to use. For this reason, you may prefer a thinner board instead. 

Deck Pads/Rigging

Man with SUP on beach go surfing at summer sunny day

The deck pad (or traction pad) is the area of the paddle board you will stand on. Located in the middle, these can vary in thickness and texture. Look for a deck pad with a good grip to enable you to stay upright without slipping over.

Some deck pads have a raised area called a kicktail. This helps to make some maneuvers, like tail drops and pivot turns, easier to manage. However, these tend to be found on more expensive boards.

You should also check out the rigging situation on your inflatable paddle board. There should be enough D-rings to attach coolers and other items, as well as high-quality bungee tie-downs, to secure items like a dry bag with extra clothes.

Fin System

A paddle board fin with donut inflatable ring outdoors

For beginners, look for a basic setup. This usually consists of 2 shallow fins, permanently attached to the paddle board on the sides, and a larger fin that is removable in the center. This will do for most beginner-friendly paddle board excursions, but if you want to deal with choppier waters, you’ll need something more advanced.

You can choose to go for a configurable fin system or a permanent fin system. If you want to keep things simple, a permanent fin system makes sense. A tri-fin system with three durable fins is the ideal setup if you want to avoid the possibility of losing fins while you’re out on the water.

However, if you’re into customization, you might prefer to go for a configurable fin system. You can buy inflatable paddle boards with interchangeable fins. This means you can go for two side fins if you want stability, or just one tall fin in the middle when you want to go faster. Shallower waters will benefit from a short center fin.

Accessories

Rowing paddle and bench oh PVC tube board, inflatable boat furniture

Your inflatable paddle board should include a range of accessories, including:

  • A pump
  • Fins
  • Safety leash
  • Paddles
  • A waterproof carry bag

Top 5 Inflatable Paddle Boards

Let’s check out our top 5 inflatable paddle boards. We’ll give you the key information you need to know, as well as our honest thoughts on their pros and cons.

1. Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board – Good All-Rounder

Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Premium sup Accessories & Backpack, Non-Slip Deck, Waterproof Bag, Leash, Paddle and Hand Pump. (Black)

Key Features

  • Construction Type: Triple layer
  • Fin System: Basic
  • Skill Level: All levels

The Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board is a durable paddle board, ideal for all skill levels. It has 3 layers of material, with a comfortable and grippy deck pad. It’s made from military-grade PVC, so you shouldn’t have to worry about any rips or tears.

It has a basic fin system (2 shallower fins and 1 removable larger fin in the center). Despite the thick PVC construction, it’s pretty lightweight and should move speedily through the water. It’s very stable and is suitable for all skill levels (it’s even suitable for dogs). It’s easy to inflate, even for beginners, and it’s pretty simple to deflate and pack down again.

The paddle board has secure, durable bungee tie-downs at the front, and a D-ring leash clip at the back. It comes in a range of colors and patterns, too.

It comes with several accessories, including the large center fin, the pump, paddles, and a safety leash, and it can all be packed away into a waterproof bag. The downside is the paddles included are not the best quality and are less durable than the paddle board itself.

Pros

  • Durable, triple-layer PVC construction
  • Comfortable, grippy deck pad
  • The basic fin system works well
  • Moves quickly through the water while remaining stable
  • Includes several accessories and a waterproof bag

Cons

  • The paddles included are not as durable as they could be
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2. DAMA Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard – Best for Filming

DAMA 10'6'x32'x6' Inflatable Paddle Board, sup Board, Paddleboard w/ Camera Seat, Floating Paddle, Hand Pump, Board Carrier, Waterproof Bag, Drop Stitch, Traveling Board for Surfing

Key Features

  • Construction Type: Single layer
  • Fin System: Basic
  • Skill Level: All levels

The DAMA Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard has a slightly lower price point, so it could be a more attractive choice if you can’t get out on the water as much as you’d like. It’s also ideal for vloggers, thanks to the camera mount. It has a single-layer construction, made from high-quality PVC, and the deck pad has good traction.

It has a basic fin system, with 2 shallower fins and 1 removable center fin. The fin is very easy to attach and detach, and it stays in place firmly during use. It’s lightweight, but still pretty stable, and it’s a good paddle board for beginners. It’s easy to inflate and deflate again, too.

This paddle board has a bungee tie-down area at the front, a D-ring at the back, and a camera mount if you want to film your adventures. It has an attractive natural wood design and comes in 3 different sizes.

It comes with several accessories: the center fin, a pump, paddles, a waterproof phone case, a safety ankle leash, and a repair kit, as well as a waterproof backpack, to hold everything. The downside is it’s not as durable as some of the others on this list, so you will want to keep hold of the repair kit.

Pros

  • Ideal for vloggers thanks to the camera mount and waterproof phone bag
  • The Center fin is stable during use and is easy to attach/remove
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Attractive natural wood design
  • Comes with several accessories including a large waterproof backpack to keep everything in

Cons

  • Not as durable as some of the others on this list
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3. GILI Adventure Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board – Best for Advanced Paddle Boarders

GILI Adventure Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board: Lightweight, Durable Touring SUP: Wide & Stable Stance 11' x 32' x 6' Thick (Yellow)

Key Features

  • Construction Type: Double layer
  • Fin System: Configurable
  • Skill Level: All (better suited for experts)

The GILI Adventure Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board is an excellent investment for serious paddleboarders. It has a strong, double-layer construction, made from strong PVC. It has an extra-large deck pad, large enough to fit two people.

All 3 fins can be removed, allowing you more flexibility. You can go for a center fin without the side fins if you want to go faster, for example. The board is large, and it does take some strength to put it together, which is something to keep in mind. The fins are easy to snap into place and remove again.

It has 2 bungee tie-down areas at the front and back, and 19 D-rings, so you can attach as much gear as you’d like. It comes in a few different color choices.

This inflatable paddle board includes a pump, fiberglass paddle, 3 fins, and a safety ankle leash. It comes in a large waterproof bag to keep everything together.

Pros

  • Good for advanced paddle boarders
  • Removable fins for greater flexibility
  • Durable
  • The extra-large deck pad is big enough for 2 people
  • Plenty of D-rings and 2 bungee tie-down areas
  • Comes with a large waterproof bag to keep everything together

Cons

  • Takes some strength to put it together
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4. SereneLife Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard – Best Glide

SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with Premium SUP Accessories & Carry Bag | Wide Stance, Bottom Fin for Paddling, Surf Control, Non-Slip Deck | Youth & Adult Standing Boat

Key Features

  • Construction Type: Double layer
  • Fin System: Basic
  • Skill Level: All

The SereneLife Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard is great for getting a smooth glide. Made from double-layer PVC, it’s strong and durable, with an anti-slip top deck. It has a soft top, so if you do fall over, you’ll have a cushioned landing. The board also has a non-slip deck pad.

It has a basic construction, with 2 permanent fins and 1 removable center fin. It’s fairly easy to inflate and deflate, although it’s large, so it does take some time to inflate. The center fin is easy to slot in and take out again, and it stays firmly in place during use. It’s nimble, moving quickly through the water.

This paddle board has a bungee tie-down area at the front, and D-rings to attach your gear. There are a lot of color choices, which is great.

It comes with a good amount of accessories, including the middle fin, a pump, a paddle, a safety ankle leash, and a waterproof bag to hold it all.

Pros

  • Nimble, and good for gliding
  • Soft top for a cushioned landing when you fall
  • The non-slip deck pad has a decent grip
  • D-rings and a bungee tie-down area to hold your gear
  • Strong and durable
  • Lots of color choices

Cons

  • Takes time to inflate
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5. Freein 14′ Inflatable Paddle Board – Best for Multiple People

Freein 14' Inflatable Paddle Board | Large Multi Person Inflatable Stand Up SUP |6” Thick| Party Board and Bundle Accessory Pack | Stable Wide Stance | Up to 820 lbs

Key Features

  • Construction Type: Double layer
  • Fin System: Basic
  • Skill Level: All

The Freein 14' Inflatable Paddle Board is a fun paddle board for multiple people. Made from a double-layer PVC material, it’s a durable paddle board, with a soft traction pad large enough for multiple people to sit on.

The fin setup is basic, with 2 permanent fins and a removable center fin. This is designed to be as easy as possible, with no tools required. It’s easy to inflate, but because it’s so large, it takes some time to do. However, it does include multiple valves with 2 pumps, so 2 people can inflate it at once.

It has a bungee tie-down area, a textured area at the back for a cooler or other gear, and reinforced D-rings at the front and back for you to attach your gear.

It comes with 2 paddles, the center fin, a repair kit, a safety ankle leash, and a backpack to keep everything safe.

Pros

  • Large enough for 2 people
  • Soft traction pad
  • Easy to put together
  • Includes a bungee tie-down area and a textured area for coolers and other gear
  • Comes with 2 pumps and 2 paddles

Cons

  • Takes time to inflate
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Frequently Asked Questions

Before we settle on our favorite inflatable paddle board, here are some commonly asked questions you might be wondering:

Is it better to use an inflatable paddle board or a regular paddle board?

standup-paddler-lake-during-sunset

They both have their advantages. Inflatable paddle boards are good because:

  • They take up less storage space
  • The boards provide cushioning, so don’t hurt if you fall from them
  • They can reduce fatigue, thanks to the soft deck
  • They’re more durable over time
  • They tend to be lighter to carry
  • They can perform better on flat water and small waves

Hard paddle boards have some advantages, too:

  • They can offer better performance in tougher waves
  • They’re better suited to surfing
  • They can handle wind better
  • The boards don’t have to be inflated, saving time
  • They can be easier to repair than inflatables

Can you attach a cooler to a paddle board?

floating cooler on wooden background

If you’re just chilling out on the water, you can attach a floating cooler to your inflatable paddle board using one of the D-rings on the side.

Are inflatable paddle boards good for kids?

boys kids sitting on paddle sup surfboard in water

Inflatable paddle boards are great for kids! They offer a softer landing if they slip over (which they probably will start with), which is ideal if you want to paddle board with kids.

Are inflatable paddle boards good for pets?

Border collie dogs having rest on the sup board

Yes! You can use an inflatable paddle board for your pet. The tough PVC is pretty hard to burst, even by claws, although you should take a repair kit with you just in case.

If you want to know how to get started, Keen Dog has a great video on How to Train Your Dog to Paddle Board With You.

Can you use an inflatable paddle board in the ocean?

Siluet of Woman standing firmly on inflatable SUP board and paddling through shining water surface.

You can, but there tend to be safety rules (depending on the area you’re in). Inflatable paddle boards tend to be classed as recreational gear and should be used close to the shoreline. If you want to catch some big waves further out, you’re better off using a hard paddle board, as they can better handle choppy waters.

The Winner Is …

Joyful smiling woman sitting on an inflatable sup board with raised up paddle

If we had to pick one favorite today, we’d go for the GILI Adventure Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board. It’s a bigger investment than some of the others on this list, but if you’re a serious paddle boarder, we’d recommend it. The quality is great, you can swap out the center fin or the side fins if you want, and it moves beautifully through the water.

However, if you want something more beginner-friendly, we’d recommend the Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board. It’s good quality, sturdy paddle board with everything you’ll need to get going.

Plus, it’s worth checking out the SereneLife Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard if you like to move fast through the water. It’s lightweight and moves quickly, and it has a soft top, so if you slip you’ll have a comfy landing.

We hope this has helped to find the best inflatable paddle board for you!