Best iSUP: Best Inflatable Paddle Boards on the Market

Taurus Paddle Board

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 9/29/2022

Outdoor water sports have been swept up by paddle board ing in recent years. It has replaced kite surfing as the activity of choice for water sports enthusiasts of all stripes since it exploded onto the scene several years ago.

The activity is ideal for people of all experience levels. Still, it's particularly suitable for beginners since it doesn't require a lot of unique skills, and there is very little gear needed to get started. To that end, choosing a board, especially when just getting started, can be pretty daunting.

iSUPs: Why should you buy one?

An inflatable paddleboard is the best stand-up paddleboard for a beginner. The benefits of an iSUP outweigh the downsides:

  • There is no need to worry about securing it to your car or where you will store it when you are not using it. When they're deflated, most inflatable paddle board s are about the size of a small sleeping bag.
  • Compared to solid boards, inflatable paddle board s are 50-75% cheaper. The key to getting started as cheaply as possible when you're new to a sport is to see if you like it. If you don't like it, you won't have wasted money on gear you don't use.
  • Despite popular belief, iSUPs are often more durable than traditional SUPs. A typical SUP often gets dented, scratched, or punctured. Despite being dropped or run over by your car or even running into sharp rocks and other obstacles, inflatable paddle board s still look and function as brand new.

Let's look at three of the best iSUPs on the market today after discussing what sets inflatable stand-up paddleboards apart from the rest.

How do I choose an iSUP?

Despite the multitude of inflatable paddle board s on the market, we have narrowed it down to the top 3 best-up paddle boards for your money based on extensive research.

Island Airtech 10' Inflatable Paddle Board - Package.

SUPs from Isle are consistently among the best in quality. iSUPs are no exception.

As with most of ISLE's products, you get a carry bag for your paddleboard, a manual pump, a travel fin, and an aluminum three-piece adjustable paddle when you purchase an inflatable paddleboard.

Paddleboarding equipment can be transported in your car or on your back.

ISLE Airtech Inflatable SUP Review

A military-grade drop stitch PVC is used to construct the ISLE Airtech iSUP, providing supreme durability. The company offers a two-year warranty on its product to ensure that its inflatable stand-up paddleboards are just as durable as traditional epoxy/resin boards.

The thickness of the board makes it so durable and user-friendly. When you paddle the ISLE Airtech, you are well above the water because it has a solid 6 inches of thickness. The other type of board is only four inches thick and sits lower in the water, so one feels they're sinking or the council can't support them.

This also makes it an ideal board for using on small waves, lakes, rivers, and river run. Its slightly higher center of gravity makes it unsuitable for whitewater, choppy waves, and medium surf due to its slightly higher elevation.

Even though the manufacturer lists the maximum weight limit at only 240 pounds (significantly less than some of its competitors, it should be noted), many users had no trouble maneuvering the kayak or paddling with extra weight. Even people who had two people on there with 400 pounds on them said it was fine.

There have been various assertions that all the additional weight is fine, but I think what is meant is that the board still floats and can still get from point A to point B. For those who use the board casually or socially, the loss of speed and maneuverability won't be as noticeable as it might seem.

A paddleboard made of inflatable material is relatively lightweight. It is now lighter than ever thanks to Fusion-Lite construction, weighing only 18 pounds. It is inflatable, which means that you can inflate it just a few feet away from where you'll be paddling. If that's a concern for you, you shouldn't have a problem carrying it around.

The ISLE comes with a high-quality manual pump, but many users have chosen to use an electric pump instead. Most users report that manual pumping to reach the full PSI of 15 takes about 5-10 minutes, with some complaining that the final few PSI are strenuous, but others enjoy the pre-paddle warm-up. ISLE is not the only one with this issue, and it will have the same problem.

Lastly, another great feature of this board is the bungee system mounted on the deck, which you can utilize to carry extra items. Clip-on a carabiner for smaller bags or boxes containing keys, wallets, or cell phones, or even store a towel, a dry bag with equipment, or water bottles.

Overall, there isn't much to dislike about this board. If you exceed its maximum weight limit of 200 lbs, its size and chunkiness take away some of its speed and maneuverability. In any case, the people buying this board are not too concerned about those things. This paddleboard package comes with many extras, so if you don't want to purchase anything else, this is an excellent deal for those looking to get into paddleboarding.

SUP Package Adventurer 9'10" by Tower Paddle Boards

The Tower Paddle Board is in second place for best iSUP, and the Tower brand is also well known for its paddleboards. There is a slight difference in size between their board and the ISLE board, and some of the same features are available: a 2-year warranty, military-grade construction, and extreme durability.

A few minor differences separate the Tower iSUP from the ISLE iSUP, but those might be the difference between choosing this board over another.

FA negative first: the Tower iSUP package does not include the convenient carry bag that ISLE provides, which is a significant selling point for some consumers.consumers.consumers. It does, however, have a manual pump and an adjustable aluminum paddle, just like ISLE.

Adventurer - Tower Inflatable SUP

This board also lacks a bungee system for strapping other items on the deck as ISLE does, another big difference. Again, this is not a trivial selling point, especially since there is no satisfactory way to mount one yourself after the fact as well.

This board can support up to 350-400 pounds of weight, almost twice as much as the ISLE board. Several ISLE board users stated that the board could carry over 200 pounds, so presumably, the Tower Adventurer board can handle such a load without compromising its performance and maneuverability.

Apart from this, the tower iSUP board has many of the same features as the ISLE board:

  • Both boats have a 6-inch thickness, which provides excellent stability by elevating one a few inches from the water.
  • Tower's 9 feet 10-inch length and 25-pound weight make it identical to the Isle's.
  • Made with beginners and families in mind for flatwater paddling.

Since the Tower Adventurer iSUP and the ISLE Airtech iSUP have similar price tags, the difference between the two could be pretty substantial. The lack of a bungee system on the deck and a carrying case included with the ISLE iSUP might tip the balance to ISLE in this case.

While the weight limit of the boards is a significant difference between them, it has not been determined whether or not one board is more enjoyable or satisfying than another.

The majority of Tower iSUP users are still satisfied with their boards. However, all other things being similarly matched, ISLE's board may be a slight bit more valuable than Tower's for the money.

Stand-up paddleboard Solstice Bali

The Solstice Bali iSUP differs from both the Tower and ISLE boards.

The board measures 10 feet 8 inches, much longer than either of its predecessors. Despite its more extended size, the weight remains at 25 pounds, probably because it uses a three-ply reinforced PVC fabric instead of the other two.

Additionally, it is only 4 inches thick than the other two's 6 inches. Some paddlers prefer to paddle at a higher elevation so they don't feel like they're sinking or that their belongings will become wet while they paddle. According to one user, it "... has more flexibility than I'd like".

Bali Standup Inflatable Paddleboard - Gear Basics

The accessories package with this board differs from the other two, and a paddle does not accompany the Bali board. As with the other two, it comes with a pump, a carry bag, and a center fin, which both offer.

The absence of a paddle can explain the significant price difference. Both the Solstice and the other boards are $200-250 cheaper. There's some wiggle room to play with here, so you can find a paddle that's right for you while spending less than the total package of either of the others.

As a substitute for the ISLE board's on-deck bungee system, this board includes stainless steel tie-downs that can be used to mount your equipment securing system. It provides an excellent middle ground between ISLE's on-deck system and the complete lack of one (and possibly mounting one yourself later) on the Tower iSUP.

If you are looking for a paddleboard for the absolute least amount of money, this one will do the trick. Reviews are mostly positive for this product, and it offers just enough to be a good value without all the bells and whistles other boards come with.

Three boards are already presented here that have high ratings and high quality. Any of these boards would be excellent for a beginner.

If you're still not sure which board to buy, here's the breakdown of the BAK lineup:

  • ISLE Airtech Inflatable Paddle Board- This board is well built, has a great accessories package and has good customer reviews. It stands out because it has an on-deck bungee system, something none of the other boards have. There is only one negative: the weight limit of 200 pounds, but many users said that it wasn't a problem.
  • Solstice Bali Stand-Up Paddleboard - Although the most affordable of the three boards, this board offers several additional features that make it stand out from the crowd. However, you can buy a paddle separately and spend less than you would for one of the other two.

A Tower Paddle Board Adventurer will be the best choice for you if you're a big guy and need a board that can support your weight. However, a few crucial features are missing from this board, such as an on-deck bungee system or a way to mount one later, and no carry bag included in the package, so it's not worth the price. With no corresponding reduction in price to compensate, it ranks below the other two boards regarding the overall value for money.