The 6 Best All-Around Stand-Up Paddle Boards


Best All-Around Stand-Up Paddle Boards

If you’re looking for the best all-around stand-up paddleboard, you know that finding it can be tricky. The sport is growing in popularity, and new brands and models seem to appear constantly.

That’s why we set out to find the best all-around SUP. We wanted a board that works for an extensive range of users in most settings. It needed to be stable, smooth, and easy to transport.

We ended up finding 6 of the best stand-up paddleboard brands. Here we review their top all-around models. Then, we give a brief buyer’s guide, so you’ll know what to look for when you go to buy one.

So if you’ve been searching for the best all-around sup, keep reading. We can help you find it.

1) Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

The Roc Inflatable SUP is a versatile, lightweight board that’s ideal for beginners and families. With its rounded nose and 10′ length, it’s not going to be a fast board, but it will be fun. The generous 32″ width will keep you stable, even if you’re new to paddleboarding.

The only time this board may not work well is in choppy conditions. It’s so lightweight, at only 18 lbs, rough water can push it around, making it hard to stay balanced. Of course, the light design also means this board is more maneuverable. It can make tight turns, and you can use it to catch small waves.

This board is also incredibly affordable, and it comes with everything you need to get started in SUP, including a backpack, hand pump, dry bag, leash, and collapsible paddle.

Pros

  • Easy to travel with and store
  • Works well in flat water and small waves
  • Comes with everything you need at an affordable rate

Cons

  • Too lightweight for choppy conditions
  • Rounded nose and short length impede speed

2) GILI Adventure Inflatable SUP

This playful and lightweight board by GILI is one you can feel good about purchasing. Not only is it an excellent paddleboard, but GILI also gives back a portion of every board sold to help save our oceans and coral reefs.

The board has a few stand-out features too. It’s stable but still fast thanks to a slightly pointed nose and its 11′ length. It also can handle chop and small waves thanks to a relatively steep curvature at the nose and tail.

It’s not the most maneuverable board, and if you’re dealing with rocks and river banks, you may want to chart out a route in advance. Dodging obstacles will require a step-back turn which is harder for beginners to master.

However, we love the board’s bungee cargo area and 19 D-rings, both of which make it easy to attach and carry accessories like coolers or a kayak conversion seat.

Pros

  • Handles small chop and waves well
  • Fairly fast
  • Dual bungee cargo area and 19 D-rings for attachments
  • Portion of board proceeds go to saving ocean habitats

Cons

  • Not very maneuverable

3) ISLE Versa Rigid Stand Up Paddle Board

Inflatable paddleboards are popular because of their convenience, but there are some advantages to a rigid epoxy board like this one from ISLE. A rigid board provides better performance and durability. Unfortunately, that usually comes at a higher price point.

The ISLE Versa, though, is affordable. It also provides remarkable stability without sacrificing glide or speed. On top of that, it comes with a few unique features like the SUP lift handle. The SUP lift handle is a retractable handle in the center of the board. It works great as a locking point, so you can secure your board when you need to leave it somewhere.

It also has a four-point bungee to carry accessories. A little more bungee would be nice to attach larger items like coolers, but at least you can carry small things.

Finally, because this is a rigid board, it is a little heavier to carry. It weighs 27 lbs, and you’ll have to transport it on the top of your car. Still, it’s doable for one person to load and unload without much maneuvering. 

Pros

  • Very stable and smooth
  • Retractable center handle ideal for locking board up
  • Great durability

Cons

  • Small bungee attachment area
  • Heavy and difficult to transport

4) Aqua Plus Inflatable SUP

The 10′ inflatable SUP from Aqua Plus is ideal for beginners or those just looking to splash around. It’s not a super-fast or maneuverable paddleboard, but it’s great for a day on the lake, especially if you have kids or pets. The board can easily handle it if they want to come along for the ride.

It comes with everything you need, including a backpack and hand pump. Plus, it features 11 D-rings and bungee storage on the nose and tail, making it easy to attach coolers, kayak seats, or even a toddler.

For an inflatable, this SUP is a little heavy, at 20 lbs. Still, it’s more than manageable for most people. Unfortunately, the adjustable paddle it comes with isn’t the best. It has a quick extension grip that tends to unlock while in use, meaning your paddle could suddenly grow in length, which is unfortunate.

Pros

  • Huge weight capacity, so you can carry kids and pets
  • Complete set, comes with everything you need
  • Multiple D-rings and bungees for storage

Cons

  • On the heavy side for an iSUP
  • Poorly designed paddle 

5) Atoll Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

The Atoll Inflatable SUP is ideal for anyone looking for an all-around paddleboard. This board can stand up to adventure. It’s easy to pack and carry, provides excellent stability, and tracks well in the water.

It can carry up to 300 lbs without any loss in performance. For most users, that means they can bring their kid, pet, or a cooler full of drinks along without issue.

Despite its generous width and beginner-friendly nature, the Atoll maintains momentum better than most all-around paddleboards. Once you get going, it will continue to move smooth and fast across the water.

It also features a diamond traction pad that’s exceptionally easy to grip. That, along with its tri-fin set-up, will keep you stable, even in mild chop. The center fin is removable; the side fins, unfortunately, are not. Removable fins are ideal for river paddling and for customizing your board.

Pros

  • Great speed
  • Generous width
  • Diamond traction pad for easy gripping

Cons

  • Side fins are not removable.

6) Thurso Surf Water Walker Inflatable All Around SUP

Thurso Surf calls this an all-around board, but really it’s more of a hybrid. It combines the classic shape of an all-around board with a touring board, making it suitable for a wide range of adventures.

It’s very stable, but it’s also remarkably fast. Plus, this board looks classy thanks to wood grain PVC and a simple white traction pad. The pad itself is a little short, but there’s still enough room to be functional.

We wish it had a few more d-rings and bungees, though. There’s one set of deck bungees and 6 D-rings in total. Of course, the weight capacity on the Water Walker is only 260 lbs, which means you’re not going to carry as much as other options on this list allow. 

Pros

  • Very fast, but still stable
  • Gorgeous wood grain look
  • Great for wide range of settings

Cons

  • Very few bungees and D-rings
  • Lower weight capacity

What To Look For In A Stand-Up Paddle Board

When you’re purchasing a SUP, it’s important to think about your lifestyle and how you plan to use your new paddleboard. Below, we briefly discuss the different types of paddleboards and their features.

With this quick guide to buying paddleboards and the recommendations above, you’ll be well on your way to finding a SUP you love.

Epoxy vs. Inflatable SUP

All around SUPs are available as solid epoxy boards or as inflatables. Inflatables are convenient because they’re easy to store and carry. They can fold down into a backpack, making travel, especially with families, a breeze. And, they’re ideal for beginner users because they work in all conditions.

However, a solid epoxy board gives better performance to intermediate and advanced paddleboarders. They provide more maneuverability and speed. They’re also more durable than their inflatable counterparts.

Sizing

You can determine the correct size for your board using your weight and skill level—the longer, wider, and thicker the board, the more weight it can carry. A higher volume board will also be more steady. Volume here refers to the board’s buoyancy in liters.

Beginners should seek out a thick and high-volume board because it will be easier in the water. More advanced users can seek out a thinner model and take advantage of increased maneuverability and speed.

If you’re under 200 lbs, a standard paddleboard will work for you. For those over 235 lbs, a board with a higher volume of at least 175 liters is ideal for maintaining stability.

At over 275 lbs in weight, the volume of the board needs to be at least 242 liters. And, if you weigh over 300 lbs, seek out a board with a 272-liter volume or more.

SUP Hull Types

The hull on your stand-up paddleboard determines how the board will perform. There are two types of SUP hulls:

  • Planing Hull
  • Displacement Hull

With a planing hull, the bottom of the board tapers like the bottom of a boat. It’s ideal for casual paddling and works for surfing too.

A displacement hull is ideal for long-distance treks. With a displacement hull, the board will have a pointed nose. The point displaces the water from side to side, creating a faster, smoother ride than a planing hull can.

Most beginners use a board with a planing hull because it creates a little more stability. Intermediate and advanced users, especially those who like to paddle for distance, should seek out a displacement hull SUP.

Best All-Around Stand-Up Paddle Boards

Final Thoughts

The best stand-up paddleboard brands offer affordable boards without sacrificing quality. Boards from ISLE, GILI, Roc, or any of the other brands on this list are reliable, sturdy, and smooth in the water.

Whether you want a faster board, like Thurso Surf’s Water Walker, or something that can carry the kids, like Roc’s iSUP, there’s an all-around stand-up paddleboard out there that’s perfect for your needs.

Wes Avett

Wes has a passion for watersports! He has served as a contributing author to Best Boat Report starting in 2021. Wes loves sharing information about the latest gear for having the most fun out on the water.

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