Is It OK to Leave Inflatable SUP Inflated?

There are many reasons to choose an inflatable SUP over solid boards. They are great for beginners and handle well enough in the water for a good time. They are lightweight, easy to handle, and only need a carry bag to transport. They are also quick for getting you into the water since all you need is a pump!

But.. Can you leave it inflated for a short period? How about indefinitely? What are the consequences of keeping your SUP board inflated for a long period?

Can You Leave a SUP Inflated?

The short answer: Absolutely. Although if you want to preserve the longevity of your inflatable SUP, you want to deflate it after use. The reason for deflating is to avoid damages to PVC plastic when it is at its maximum stretchiness.

There are 4 potential problems when you leave your SUP board inflated:

  1. Sun exposure damage
  2. Moisture build up
  3. Puncture
  4. Wear out

PVC material (the outer layers of your inflatable paddleboard) are quite resistant to UV rays. However, it isn’t perfect at blocking it completely. Over time, the bond that keeps the material together wears thin and weakens under the sun. This can cause the seams to break or make the PVC material prone to puncture easier than if it weren’t exposed to the sun.

Moisture build up can also cause an inflatable board to be prematurely rendered useless. The air you pump into your board will always contain moisture. This moisture allows bacteria to thrive. In turn, the bacteria can weaken the adhesive and material, causing deformities in the plastic and weaken the exterior’s durability.

Puncture is the last concern. Often times, inflatable SUP board users don’t think twice when placing their inflated boards against tree trunks, on the ground with peddles, rocks, and twigs, or drag the board along the sandy floor of beaches. Although the inflatable board is much tougher than it appears, over time, we wear out the plastic, causing it to thin out, and ultimately get punctured.

Keeping it inflated also wears out the useful lifespan of the exterior PVC plastic, especially when it’s stretched for a long period of time. We mentioned heat playing a role in causing the plastic and inflated air pressure to expand. When left in the sun on a hot day, they can explode. (But this is super rare!) The plastic is stretchy, but continuous stretching eventually erodes its stretchiness.

How Should You Care For Your Inflatable SUP?

If you intend to use it frequently over several days, it’s fine to keep your SUP inflated. We do recommend deflating after you are done, or releasing at least 20% of the air during long periods of use. This ensures the PVC layers are not overstretched, especially when the sun and heat increases the air pressure inside the chambers.

You should also avoid setting your inflatable paddleboard on the ground or laying it against a tree. Wind can topple your paddle board and the bark on a tree trunk or the sharp peddles or twigs can catch onto and damage the exterior. The ideal placement is on a smooth flat surface or completely deflated and dried entirely.

How Long Will an Inflatable SUP Last?

SUP boards, when properly maintained and cared for, can last between 1 to 3 years. We often hear iSUPs lasting only one year because of improper handling, care, or an accident. Otherwise, when used in the water, there is no reason for your iSUP to become unusable. Be sure to let the air out, dry it off, roll it up, and store it away in a safe place after use! Avoid over pumping your paddleboard with air, too.

How Do You Store an Inflatable SUP?

Most inflatable SUP sellers provide a carry bag for safe storage. All you have to do is dry your paddle board completely to prevent moisture damage or mold forming, deflate your gear, roll it up, then slide it into your carry bag. You can then store the carry bag in a dry and cool location such as inside a closet or in a basement.

If you want to keep your SUP board inflated, most users either keep it in their home laying sideways or standing up inside their garage. On outstandingly hot summer days, you should bring your inflated SUP into your home.

You should avoid leaving your inflated SUP board outside. Sun damage, wild animals, and the wind can wear out the PVC layers. This can cause prematurely render your paddleboard unusable.


When you have no plans on using your inflatable SUP board for a long period, deflate it! Dry it off first, then roll it up to store in a carry bag. Your inflatable SUP is very durable, but when you keep it inflated for a long period, damage can occur, rendering your board useless.

It sucks to pump your paddle board every time you use it, but if you want to use it for more than a year, deflating is necessary.

Can You Sit On A Stand Up Paddle Board?

You can absolutely sit on a stand up paddle board. Beginner paddle boards tends to be wide, giving you both the space to sit and stability for balance. But how does it compare to standing?

Paddle boarding can be difficult, but also fun and exciting. Being able to paddle through the waters with a minimal amount of gear and enjoy the waves can be thrilling in good weather and good company.

There are many things paddlers enjoy doing on their SUP board. One of them is to, as the name implies, stand on their board and explore the waters.

Standing On a Stand Up Boaddle Board a Good Idea?

By standing and paddling, there are several points you can achieve:

  1. You have greater control over navigation and speed: Standing gives you a great distance from the water, allowing you to maneuver your paddle around your body to your liking. It gives you the full leverage to paddle swiftly or change directions easily from a vantage point better than sitting.
  2. More space for carry-ons or passengers: Standing minimizes the amount of space you take on your paddle board. Most paddle boards can carry a +1 within a certain weight limit and to the extent the paddle board stability allows. However, there’s no doubt that standing and paddling gives you more space to work with for your adventures out in the open water.
  3. It can provide greater stability: Although counter intuitive, standing can provide the more experienced paddler the ability to shift their center of gravity as needed, especially while in unpredictable waters. Wind and waves are inevitable, and being able to adjust accordingly lets you enjoy your SUP board experience without getting too soaked.

These 3 benefits are great, which is why stand up paddleboarding exist. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t sit on them.

Sitting On a Stand Up Paddle Board a Good Idea?

Many popular paddle boards are designed to provide great stability with a wider deck and a hull that can smooth out your experience on mild waves. If you have a large enough of a paddle board, you might be able to sit a person or two, too. We should warn you that balance will be a challenge!

Standing has a few benefits as well:

  1. You can rest and enjoy the moment: By sitting, you can really enjoy the experience of being out in the open water. Simply lay back against your storage box, and enjoy the fantastic sun, water, and weather.
  2. More power for paddling: By maintaining a close distance to your paddle board, you can translate a greater force in your thrust to move your paddle board. This can be especially useful when you need to get somewhere quickly.
  3. Assured stability with your paddleboard: Although you can better adjust your stability with your paddle board while standing during rough waves, sitting down gives you greater stability with yuor paddle board. Your center of gravity is closer to your paddle board, making many beginner paddlers or those with challenges to balancing more comfortable.

By being physically closer to your paddleboard, the force you exert becomes more effective. You also balance better because your weight isn’t swinging around unlike when standing up.

What About Seating On a Paddleboard?

Many fishing paddle boards offer hooks for attaching seats on them. This means you can lay back comfortably with ease.

Some paddlers use a storage box to lay against. However, it’s not as comfortable as kayak seats that are round in design to cup your back and there is always the possibility of accidentally pushing your storage box into the water. Whoops!

In any case, being able to lay back to some degree can give you the chance to rest your legs from standing for an extended period of time. With a seat, you can keep your feet up on the paddle board while you lean back and relax. Maybe even fish or stroll around in the water peacefully.

Yoga Boards for Yoga Poses

Did you also know there are paddle boards for yoga? Yoga enthusiasts can enjoy the benefits of the serenity in open water by challenging themselves to balance on a paddle board on waves.

The difference with a yoga paddle board and other boards is the wide and lengthy deck for poses and a special deck pad for improved grip.


Whether you choose a yoga paddle board, fishing board, or a starter SUP, sitting is always an option. There are performance benefits to both standing and sitting, but having the option to do so let’s you choose what suits you best.

Sitting gives you a chance to catch your breath or to relax and enjoy the water, so give it a shot the next time you’re on a paddleboard! And let us how it goes!

The 5 Best SUP Boards for Surfing (2018)

Surfing can be a tough sport. Using the right paddle board for surfing can mean the difference between a great day of riding the wicked waves or eating them.

There are a lot of paddle boards available on the market, and many of them are designed for a variety of purposes. We found most guides to offer all-around boards designed with a large deck space, stability, and leisure paddling in mind. However, surfing SUP boards are anything but that; they are designed for performance, trading off both deck space and stability for wide arc turns and maneuverability.

Whether you are a beginner or not, using the ride paddle board can make your life much easier in the choppy waters or a difficult task for catching and riding the waves. In our guide, we look at the best 5 paddle boards designed for surfing.

Reviews of the 5 Best Paddle Boards for Surfing

1. Best of the Best Surfing SUP Board – ACE-TECH Performer

The ACE-TEC Performer is a 9-feet 2-inch epoxy composite with a foam core paddle board for surfing. Great on flat water and small waves, the Performer is lightweight and durable for long-term use. It has a large deck pad for grip as you surf and a single center fin for tracking well.  It also comes as a 10-feet 6-inch for people weighing 150 to 200 pounds and 11-feet 6-inch for people weighing 200 to 250 pounds.

The ACE-TECH Performer is designed with a pointed nose with a rounded rocker to help catch and ride waves. It’s great for beginners and for more intermediates surfers, with an excellent no-slip traction pad that is soft on the feet (no chafing). If riders are looking for a longer board for surfing and for carrying a passenger (like paddling with your pet dog), then those options are also available. Single surfers should use the shortest board possible for the best control and performance. We also love the square tail. It gives the board a greater maneuverability and wider arc when turning.


  • Comes in 3 lengths for different weight class surfers
  • Great thick traction pad for a great degree of grip
  • Designed for surfing with pointed nose, rounded rocker, and flat tail
  • Designed with rail guard to protect from dents and holes along the side of the board


  • Only two recess deck attachment points for securing some gears for transporting

2. Best Wood Surfing Paddle Board – Rico

The Rico is a wood surfing board, that uses a 1″ thick diamond Kevlar weave wrap with a carbon fiber wrapped rails.  It uses a quad fin set up, with a large center fin. The board weighs only 21 pounds, has an wide and long EVA deck pad, and a GoPro mount on the nose for capturing your best surfing maneuvers. The board is designed with a sharp nose and pulled-in tail to maximize responsiveness and maneuverability. The board is 9 feet long by 31 inches wide and 3 inches thick.

If you want the strongest and most durable board, then the Rico is a suitable pick. Although it is a pricey choice, this board is designed to withstand the toughest of conditions while offering the best performance for surfers. The Kevlar weave gives the board a very hard and durable exoskeleton while allowing the board to flex like fiberglass boards. The carbon fiber rails protect the board from damage by bumping into terrain or from unintentional paddle strikes. The quad fins with center fin also offers paddlers maximum customizability for optimal surfing on many water conditions.


  • Well-designed board for experienced surfers
  • GoPro mount available for capturing sick moments
  • Kevlar wrapped body with carbon fiber rails for extra strength and durability on top of the wood
  • 4+1 fins setup for optimal surfing performance
  • Beautiful craftsmanship


  • Not for beginners or for flat water conditions
  • An expensive pick
  • Low stability (designed specifically for catching and riding waves)

3. Structurally Strong Paddle Board for Surfing – Double Wing

The Double Wing is another well-designed surf SUP board with a 4+1 fin setup that is great for catching and riding waves. It’s great for reef and beach breaks, and can cruise flat water with ease. This hand-shaped and hand-finished board is 9-feet 2-inches long by 32 inches wide and 4.7-inch thick. It weighs 20 pounds and has a volume of 149 liters. The entire board is wrapped with carbon vector net.

This somewhat pricey paddle board is worth its money when it comes to surfing. With a rounded rocker and high pointed nose, surfers will find this board perform with minimal drag and increased speeds. The carbon vector net also increases the strength of the board to withstand the impact of waves and terrain, making it less likely to snap in half. It provides flexibility and durability without making the board susceptible to breaking.


  • Unique carbon vector net structurally strengthening your board from snapping under stress
  • 4+1 fin setup for customizing to the type of surfing you will do
  • Designed with surfing in mind with a pointed nose and rounded rocker


  • Not for beginners
  • Carbon vector net might look cool and improve your board’s structural integrity, but it can be uncomfortable to stand or lie down on

4. Best Inflatable SUP for Surfing – Tower Adventurer 2

The Tower Adventurer 2 is an inflatable paddle board that is 10-feet 4-inch in length, 32 inches wide, and 6 inches think. Although the board is not ideal for surfing waves, it makes for a great alternative for those interested in both learning how to paddleboard surf and enjoy their paddle boards for other activities, such as yoga or touring. The are made with PVC material with drop-stitch construction, making them durable and great for river paddling or other rough water sports. The Tower comes with a 3-PC fiberglass paddle, a manual air pump, a pressure gauge, a hand hold strap, and a roll-up carrying strap. It also has three fins, with the center fin removable for different surfing circumstances.

What we like about the board is that it comes with everything you need to start paddling. The board is also made inflatable so you can deflate and inflate as needed. Safe storage is simple and carrying is easy. The board has a raised nosed that makes it great for catching on waves. There is also non-slip traction pad for both a comfortable and no-slip standing and a bungeed compartment for storing small equipments. The board’s thickness also helps maintain its shape to prevent it from bending during use. If you want to use an inflatable for surfing or learning how to paddle board surf, then this is a suitable choice.


  • Comes with everything you need, including a paddle and pump
  • Convenient! Great for a quick start to surfing
  • PVC material lets it bounce off rocks, logs, and other hazardous terrains
  • Pulled-in tail offers minimum drag and maximum performance


  • Not the most ideal choice for surfing, but great for other activities
  • Good surfing paddle board for beginners
  • Sensitive to windy days and choppy waves

5. Most Popular Inflatable SUP – SereneLife

The SereneLife is one of the most popular inflatable paddle boards on the market. This iSUP is a 10-feet 5-inch long by 30-inch wide and 6-inch thick board that comes with every accessory you need to get started, including a paddle board, a pump, a center fin, a carry bag for storage and transport, and a coiled leash. The board has a traction pad nearly the entire deck top and a bungeed storage compartment in the front for carrying small items.

This paddle board is not designed specifically for surfing, so it’s not the ideal choice. However, there are numerous reviewers who use this paddle board for surfing. It has a pulled-in tail that gives surfers maneuverability to make turns. The three-fin setup also helps track straight in the water. If you struggle with getting onto a wave as a beginner surfer, then this paddle board will be easier with greater stability and balance. It works great for small waves, it’s easy to inflate and start using, and it is durable and tough against rocks, logs, and other obstacles. You can use this board for other activities as well.


  • All your essential paddling gears included
  • Built thick for stability and minimal bend
  • Reliable PVC material for durability and use
  • Inflatable makes it easy to get started – Super convenient


  • Susceptible to windy days and choppy waters
  • Not ideal for surfing enthusiasts, but great for beginners to get started

Shopping Guide for Surf SUP Boards

There are three types of paddle boards:

  • Surf specific paddle boards
  • All around paddle boards
  • Touring paddle boards (includes racing)

Surf paddle boards compared to the other two major types tend to be narrow and and short. The nose and sometimes the tail is pointy, which helps with hydrodynamics. Minimizing the length and width gives it minimal drag and maximum performance.

Their design trades away stability levels, but gain in speed and maneuverability. You’ll need both to catch a wave and ride it as long as possible.

Surf paddle boards also lack storage capacity (no bungee compartments).

What Makes a Great Paddle Board for Surfing?

There are a number of factors we will look at for the best surfing experience:

  • Length: The shorter the board, the better control you have for surfing. There is less surface area to drag your paddle board when you catch and ride a wave.
  • Nose: Noses should be pointed up. Higher noses makes it easier for you to catch and stay on top of waves.
  • Fin setup: Customizable fin set up and quad fins are the best, but having three fins will beat one with better stability during turns.

What You’ll Need for Paddleboarding Surfing

There are two things you need: a great paddle board, a proper leash, and a strong paddle. We already covered what makes a great surf SUP board, so let’s talk about the leashes and paddles.

The Right Type of Leashes: We wrote an extensive guide on the best SUP leashes before. There are two main types of leash: coiled and straight. During calm quiet paddleboarding, a coiled leash is a great choice because it brings your board back to you when you fall off. The coil also prevents the leash from entangling your leg. This is different when you surf.

The best leash for surfing are the straight ones. There is no recoil if you fall off the board so it won’t pull the board and hit you. Also, coiled leash tends to tangle around your paddle when you do fall off into a wave.

When you choose a SUP leash, pick one that is as the same length as your paddle board, rounded up to the nearest feet. This will keep your safe from your board catching you in the head or the board fins from catching you in the chin. Ouch!

The Strongest Paddle: The major challenge surfers will face is their paddles snapping during a wave. This can be dangerous with a sharp flying piece of plastic and will cause you to lose your balance the second after the break. There are several types of paddles you can choose:

  • Plastic <– Will break
  • Aluminum <– Good for beginners
  • Fiberglass <– Great choice
  • Carbon fiber <– The best paddle for surfing
  • Wood <– Beautiful, but heavy

Paddles with carbon blades is the best for paddling. They are lightweight, stiff, and often pricey. However, if you paddle frequently and intend to put your paddle to the test, then they are the way to go. You save on the expense of replacing your paddle and on the emotional disappointment of eating a wave.

Paddles using fiberglass blades is another great choice for efficient paddling. The material is fairly stiff compared to carbon, but it is more affordable.

When you pick a paddle for surfing, choose one with an offset of approximately 7 degrees. Paddles offset between 5 to 15 degrees. The less offset means more power behind each stroke, but this also depends on your stance and the angle you hold your paddle.

SUP Surfing 101

Interested in learning more on SUP surfing? Jimmy Blakeney from BIC SUP shares his insights on how to paddleboard surf properly in this 4-minute video:

How to Surf with an iSUP Board

Inflatable SUP boards are susceptible to instability from waves because they are lighter and have rounded rails. However, it is doable and can be really fun and challenging for both beginners and intermediate paddlers.

Reuben from SUPBoarder discusses in detail how to better control inflatable stand up paddle boards for surfing. Here are his five tips on how to paddle board surf with an inflatable SUP board:

  1. The right paddle board PSI pressure will make a difference
  2. Paddling to get over the waves, then force the nose of your board up by standing closer to the tail
  3. Choosing the right foot stance for better balance
  4. Learning to paddle straight towards the beach to catch waves a lot easier
  5. Riding your iSUP smoothly on turns as inflatable boards can be unstable relative to hard boards

Our Closing Thoughts

Surfing can be a difficult yet rewarding sport. Learning how to surf can be difficult when you use the wrong board. That’s why we researched and put together this guide of the top 5 best paddle boards for surfing. Whether you are a beginner or an expert looking to replace your board, ultimately picking one that is short, with fins, and a pulled-in tail will give you the easiest means to catching and riding awesome waves.

We hope this guide serves you well!

Step-By-Step Guide: How to Teach Your Dog to Paddle Board

Teaching your dog to paddle board can take a lot of effort, time, and love. But paddle boarding with your dog can be one of the most adventurous and memorable experiences for both you and your pup.

In this guide, we will walk you through how to train your dog for SUP boarding, the experience when you are finally out on the water, and some pitfalls and how to deal with them with your pup together. We will also link to other resources such as blog posts and videos to help you improve your paddle board experience with your furry pal.

What It Takes to For Your Pet to Become Comfortable with Paddleboarding

1. Taking Your Time is Important

We all know too well how your pet loves you unconditionally. Taking the time to help them develop good behaviors and listen to commands is important. Especially when they are excited and frisky to be out in the open water. Being patient and thinking about the long term will ease the frustration of small failures. It will also make it enjoyable when you both succeed through each step of the training.

2. Positive Reinforcement is Necessary

Dog training 101 states the need for positive reinforcement for developing good behavior. Your pet can be comfortable with paddleboarding if you can tell them they are a good boy or girl, receive treats for positive progress to a desired behavior, and gesture in ways to let them know they are doing the right things. Sweet talk your dog and pet them frequently, especially when they make eye contact and stay still on the board until you command otherwise. Your pet will learn, love, and enjoy paddleboarding in no time.

3. You Can’t Force Your Dog Into Liking It

Dead ends can happen. There will be cases when a dog does not like water, or want to be around water. Knowing when you have tried everything to make your pup comfortable and when you are forcing it is important. As much as we want our pets to enjoy the water the way we do, sometimes it isn’t happening. At least, in the time frame you want them to be comfortable within. There is always another day to build trust!

The Step-By-Step Guide on Teaching Your Dog to Paddle Board

If you want a video breakdown of how to teach your dog to paddle board, we posted the two-part YouTube videos by Chris De Aboitez from SUP DOG OZ on how to train your pet. The series is 9-minutes long and is worth the watch. Read on for more details on the step-by-step process.

1. Getting Familiar with The Area – Letting Your Pup Explore The Shoreline

For first time puppers at new bodies of water, letting them explore the shoreline will help familiarize them with the area. This will make it easier for them to get comfortable with the paddle board and being on the board when it is out in the water.

Let your pet explore on their own or walk around with them on a leash. Going a little further than usual will help them with their curiosity so it doesn’t become overbearing when they are on the board. The bit of exercise help reduce excessive movement that might throw the two of you off the paddle board.

2. Starting Off with Comfort To The Board – Walking On and Off and Around

Whether your dog is new to paddle boards or have had trouble in the past, the goal is to get them comfortable around the board they will eventually be on. Keep them on a short leash and walk with them back and forth over the paddle board. You may notice them curious about the board and sniff it. Other times, they may want to avoid the board entirely and that’s OK. We want them to get used to the paddle board until they can walk over it like a stepping stone.

3. Building Trust and Familiarity with Command – Teaching Your Pup to Sit, Lay Down, and Stay On Board

On this step, we work on teaching your pet to stay still on the board. This training will be useful when you are on the paddle board out in the water. The last thing we want is for your pet to hop off unexpectedly, throwing you off balance.

Your pet might wander and follow you off the board. Adjust their body and command them to stay. Then give them a treat for waiting patiently.

Walk around them a few times. Hop on and off the board. They should stay seated on the paddle board until you are confident they are waiting for your command.

4. Starting Slow – Paddling While Kneeling With Your Dog Close

Now that your pet is comfortable being on the paddle board, you can try for the water. Kneeling down with your pet between your legs can help reassure them that everything is fine. Keep the leash attached to your pet, and use your knees and feet to hang onto it. Be sure not to make it too tight.

With your back to the water, you can use your paddle to push off from the shoreline. Practice switching your paddle from side to side so you don’t hit your pet. Then, when you are ready, you can stand up with confidence.

Stay close to shore in case something unexpected happens. You can paddler further from the shore when your pet is visibly comfortable and enjoying the scene.

5. Rinse and Repeat – Standing Up And Going Back to Shore

It’s time to get rid of the leash, and make mistakes. Your pet will know what you want after some practice and feedback from you. You can paddle some distance from the shoreline and take your time. Keep a close watch to how your pet behaves, and if you notice any behavior that isn’t safe for the two of you, be sure to let them know.

We will be excited for the two of you becoming comfortable around the water and on the paddle board!

Note: We want to get rid of the leash for safety hazards in case your pet falls off and be strangled by it.

6. Enjoying The Ride – Treats, Verbal Cues, and Gestures of Appreciation and Love

Congratulations! You’ve done everything you can to train your pet. From here on, it’s all about enjoying the ride. There might be occasional incidents so sometimes you will revisit SUP training with your pup. And that’s okay.

Continue to use treats for training them to do things the safest way. Use verbal cues for climbing on the board, off the board, and while on board. And be sure to gesture and pet them for looking up to you and listening to your commands. Also, for having a great time!

A Great Two-Part Series on How to Put Your Dog On A SUP

Chris De Aboitez from YouTube Channel SUP DOG OZ created a great video content on training your dog. During the 9 minutes, he demonstrates how to train your pet to become comfortable each step of the way, and then trains someone else to do the same. If you have the time, it’s definitely a great to watch and notice how he teaches the pups on the show.

Some Challenges You Can Expect When Training Your Dog For SUP Boarding

Wandering Pup On Board

Your dog may wander around a lot, and this isn’t if left unchecked. Walking around causes imbalances and might throw both of you off the board. This will take practice close to the shoreline, but training your dog to sit and remain still when you command them to will make the experience much more pleasant.

They can look and turn their heads, but avoid letting them wander around. Don’t forget to give them a treat for their good behavior!

Pup Hopping Off the Board

This is similar to wandering around on the board. A common behavior is for pets to hop off the board when you approach the shoreline. This can throw your balance off. We also don’t want this to happen when you are out in the open water far away from the shore, so training to get rid of this behavior is important.

The best way is to stay at the shoreline. Train your pet to stay on the board. Try to hold the back from jumping. Tug their leash when you notice your pup is about to hop off. You can do this by dissuading the moment they get up from a sit position, and then practicing to wander around them. While out of the water, and then when you are in shallow water. Use your paddle if they wander to the nose of your board, as if they are about to hop off.

You will notice over time your pet will look at you for some signal. A unique gesture is perfect. Pet them for looking at you. Then, treat them to reinforce good behavior for staying still until you give them a command. They are working just as hard to understand you, too!

How to Help Your Pup When Falling Overboard

Dogs may wander around a lot, so a more stable paddle board is best. Your pet might be uncomfortable at first, so a lot of training and love is needed to get them used to standing on a paddle board and swimming in the water. However, even with the most stable of boards, your pet might find themselves overboard. Remaining calm and focused on the problem at hand will help you pull them up properly without causing a panic.

Most life jackets for dogs have handles at the top. Never grab your dog by their collar, but by the handles of the life jacket. The collar will choke them and make the experience unpleasant while the handles will lift them from their bottom. Wearing the right lift jacket for your dog will keep them safe from drowning and make it easier to lift them back on top of the board.

Scratches and Dings on Your Board

Dog claws can be an issue for inflatable paddle boards, so a traction pad for your deck is needed for your pet’s grip and sharp claws. If you aren’t using an inflatable, then you still might want a deck grip pad to prevent scratches and shredding up your new board. Foam and hard boards made from epoxy, carbon fiber, or fiberglass are susceptible to scratches. Paint can also scratch off over time, too. Repairing them is essential to prevent water from entering the board. Here is a video by Jimmy Blakeney from BIC Sport demonstrating how to repair a hole in a foam board:

Preparing to SUP Board with Your Dog

The Essentials Checklist

  • A decent personal flotation device for you and your pup
  • A great paddle board for dogs
  • Paddle and ankle leash
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, water shoes if necessary
  • Yummy treats for your pet
  • A dry towel for later along with…
  • A dry bag for your personal items (wallets, keys, phone, water bottle to stay hydrated)

Safety is a priority. Owning the right adjustable life jacket for yourself and your dog can save you during tough times. The right life jacket for your dog will fit snug to keep the afloat even during exhaustion or injury, and will give you handles to pull them back on board when they fall off.

If you don’t have one already, owning a suitable paddle board for your pet can make a huge difference in the early moments of paddleboarding. We wrote more in our guide on paddle boards for dogs, so here is the gist of what you want to look out for:

  • It can support the extra weight of your pup, which is especially important for breeds over 100 pounds
  • There is a great degree of traction to prevent your dog from slipping during paddling, with a traction pad preferably, and
  • Lots of deck space is available for both equipment and for your pup to curiously wander around on during quiet times

As for the rest of the items, they should help make paddleboarding much more comfortable and easier for the both of you. You can use treats to reinforce good behavior from time to time.

Our Closing Thoughts

Paddle board adventures with your pet is a rewarding experience. You get to bond over exploration and fun on the water. First and foremost, is properly training your pet to behave in ways that helps the both of you. In this guide, we look at what it takes to train your dog to be comfortable with paddleboarding, a step-by-step guide from getting comfortable with the board and finally paddling away, video demonstrations on how to command each step, and an essentials checklist for preparing to SUP board with your pup. We hope this guide helps get you started on paddleboarding with your dog, and that you and your pet enjoy the experience as much as it was for us to write this guide.

If you need a recommendation, we highly recommend choosing the best stand up paddle boards for dogs. They are easy to inflate, carry, and don’t require a lot of space for storing. The material is also highly durable, bouncing off rocks and logs without problems. The more modern PVC is also strong against dog claws, so puncture is unlikely. The large deck space and no-slip surface also helps with balance and shaky dog legs.

Helpful Resources:

Further Reading:

The 5 Best Inflatable Paddle Board for the Ocean (2018)

Have you had a hard time finding the correct paddle board? We know of how many products there are to choose from, as we have gone through them all.

We have picked the top 5 paddle boards that are appropriate for the ocean. Our goal is to help you pick a model that best satisfies your expectations.

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Model Dimensions Supported Weight Price
Atoll 11’ x 32’’ x 6’’ 350 pounds $$
Tower Adventurer 2 10’4’’ x 32’’ x 6’’ 200 pounds $$
Sea Eagle FishSUP 12’6’’ x 40’’ x 6 350 pounds $$$
Zray Fs7 11’ x 32’’ x 6’’ 330 pounds $
SereneLife 10’ x 30’’ x 6’’ 275 pounds $


Reviews of the 5 Best Inflatable SUP for the Ocean

1. Best Open Ocean SUP – Atoll Paddle Board

The Atoll model is an 11 feet long, 32 inches wide, and 6 inch thick paddle board made for open oceans. It’s covered in two layers of PVC and EVA foam. The board includes all the crucial items any person would need, it comes with a 3 piece adjustable paddle nylon blade, a 10-inch poly flex leash, a removable back fin, and lastly, a carrying backpack that’s big enough to store the manual pump.

What’s so good about it? This sturdy board was designed to do the job of a hard-board but with the advantages of an iSUP. It has 15 D-rings to attach all your belongings. The model was built for children, adults, and there’s even enough room for pets. The 10-inch center fin allows better control which can be a challenge during strong ocean currents. The board is 40% lighter than other models, making it easy to carry on long walks to the shoreline.


  • Supports a maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds
  • 2 years warranty
  • 40% lighter than competing models
  • Heavy-duty poly flex leash


  • High pressure valve can get weak after a few months
  • Pumping the board can get tiring
  • Doesn’t have a front handle grip

2. Runner-Up Pick – Tower Adventurer 2 Paddle Board

The Tower Adventurer 2 is a 10.4 feet long, 32 inches wide, and 6 inches thick paddle board, and it’s the next best choice for ocean SUPs. The model is built from strong materials such as fiber that connects the top and bottom deck to keep it in shape. It’s designed to withstand white water rapids and rocky shores. The board includes a 3-PC fiberglass paddle, a high pressure pump, a detachable center fin, a handhold strap, and an additional strap to keep the board in place when rolled up.

It’s a great pick for all paddlers, experienced or not. It has a branded diamond grooved deck pad to prevent accidental slips. This model is designed to last a very long time thanks to the military grade PVC and the drop-stitch design. The center fin also helps paddlers have better handling of the board. The model is also a good fit for flatwater sports such as yoga.


  • 2 years of warranty
  • Large surface area with room for a dog
  • Has room for snorkeling gear
  • The fins are a great add for better control
  • It’s a lightweight model which makes it easy to carry


  • The manual pump is a disadvantage
  • Not great for fast paddlers
  • Does not include carrying bag

3. Best Fishing iSUP – Sea Eagle FishSUP

The Sea Eagle is a 12.6 feet long, 40 inches wide and, 6 inches thick inflatable board designed for fishing lovers. It’s made from a reinforced drop stitch. The board has the largest surface which is convenient for all the fishing gear. It comes with four rod holders which users can access very quickly. This model is built for long hours of comfortable fishing thanks to the swivel seat. This board includes all the essentials a fisherman may need, including two paddles, a storage box, a manual pump, and a repair kit.

The board offers stability when making big catches. It comes with a built-in ruler for on-board fish measurements. Another advantage is that users have the option of attaching a motor in order to reach better fishing spots. It comes with various handles for easier side transportation.


  • Comes with motor mount
  • Has 4 rod holders for more possibilities of catches
  • Includes swivel seat
  • Comes with 14 D-rings for safe storing


  • Does not include leash
  • There’s only room for one person
  • Does not come with fins

4. Top Rated Angler – Zray Fs7

The Zray Fs7 is an 11 feet long, 32 inches wide and, 6 inches thick paddle board that can handle small waves, river runs, and flat waters. The model was built to give users the feeling of a hardboard. This board has a large deck which allows you to move freely with great stability. It was designed with UAL technology and a super reinforced drop stitch. It includes everything you need, it comes with a manual pump, an aluminum paddle, 3 fins, a waterproof phone case, and a backpack.

This board makes an appropriate pick for fishermen as well. It comes with multiple D-rings. A cooler can be attached and then used as back support. The model comes with elastic bungee straps to secure other equipment. The assembling of the board takes up to 10 minutes. When the board is fully deflated, it can be rolled up in the backpack for ease of transportation.


  • Multiple accessible D-rings
  • Elastic cargo bungee
  • Comes with waterproof phone case for safe keeping
  • Center removable fin


  • The pump isn’t top quality
  • The paddle does not float

5. Most Popular – SereneLife Paddle Board

The SereneLife is a 10 feet long, 30 inches wide, and 6 inches thick inflatable stand-up paddle board that can be enjoyed by kids, teens, and adults. The model has a great wide area which helps users obtain greater balance and stability. It has a rubber soft deck, that prevents accidental slips. The board is a great pick for both beginners and experts. The paddle board includes all the essentials, it comes with an adjustable aluminum paddle, a coiled ankle leash, and a manual pump.

For storage convenience, the board includes an elastic strap to keep it in place; as well as a carrying bag. It comes with two small fins and a third one which is removable. With all three fins, users have greater steering abilities, and can achieve a faster speed. The board has front bungee cords for on-board storage. It also has multiple D-rings for extra attachments. It has a carrying handle in the center for side holding.


  • Great pick for beginners and professionals
  • Comes with strap and carrying bag
  • The wide deck provides stability
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Can handle two people


  • The paddle can feel a bit heavy
  • The paddle sinks if left for a few minutes

Shopping Guide for the Best Inflatable Paddle Board for the Ocean

The Challenges We Face In The Ocean As Paddlers

There are a number of challenges that come with an open ocean:

  • Downwind vs. upwind paddling
  • Facing waves
  • Speed
  • Positioning

Downwind paddling is quite easy, as not much effort is required. Users usually prefer downwind paddling as it allows them to have better control of their board. It also depends on how far away from shore you are planning to go.

On the other hand, upwind paddling requires a lot more energy. When paddling on the ocean, it’s most likely for users to encounter upwind paddling because of the waves.

Other factors paddlers must consider are speed and positioning. You should stand closer to the nose of the paddle board if you want to lose wind resistance. When the nose drops down, you will feel as the speed decreases.

The current can eventually get you quite far from the shore so being able to decrease the speed of the board is very important.

If you’re a beginner, it’s necessary you learn how to stop the board as you may not be prepared for paddling with strong winds.

In situations, you may also need to do on-board repairing, which isn’t ideal, but it means that you will need to slow down.
The key is to go straight up the wind, not a little bit to the left or right, as this can make paddling difficult. This skill is necessary if you don’t want to get sidetracked. It also takes a lot more energy because you’ll have to do more strokes.

The waves are a big factor too. Paddleboards for this type of weather tend to be wider which require greater balance from the user. In this case, beginners might have a harder time learning with big waves, as they don’t have their balance figured out yet.

Picking the Right Open Ocean SUP

With all the different paddle boards out on the market, people tend to get confused. There are certain specifications a SUP should have for ocean paddling.

For starters, the waves are going to be crashing against the board which could throw you off your balance. So our recommendation is to look for a board with a wider deck for greater stability. Typically, boards for ocean paddling are longer than boards for other activities. This type of design is to ensure the board goes faster, and it makes the paddling smoother. Balance is a crucial skill every paddler should be able to control, considering the strong waves they can encounter.

As mentioned above, the speed is another factor to consider. Users should look for a paddle board with a surf rocker (nose) that’s sharper, in order to perform nose riding. Since you will deal with a lot of waves and potentially exhausting upwind paddling, a surf rocker tip will help get you over waves with as least of an impact to your speed as possible.

Can You Paddleboard Without a Fin?

Some of these boards don’t come with fins, and that’s definitely a disadvantage for ocean paddling since the board would turn radically with every stroke.

Paddling in oceans is quite different from doing so in rivers or flat waters. It’s quite easy to get sidetracked because of the waves and wind.

When going upwind, it’s important to go straight forward. Fins help you paddle in a straighter position and you get better control on the board.

Our recommendation for an enjoyable experience is to look for a board with fins, the center removable fin is always a plus.

Are These Paddle Boards Appropriate for Fishing?

Fishing paddle boards need specific features that not all boards have.

Our top recommendation for a fishing paddle board is the Sea Eagle FishSUP.

Here are the main features that a fishing paddle board should have:

  • D-rings to keep equipment stable
  • A seat for better comfort
  • A motor mount in order to move faster
  • Bungee storage for extra equipment
  • Rod holders

It’s also important that the board is big enough for the fisher to be able to change their position, as they can have many rods facing different directions and they need to reach it quickly.

There are also extra features like having a built-in ruler. This add-on detail can be great for those of you that do fishing as a hobby because you can measure your catches on-board.

Everyone fishes differently. Some prefer to take a lot of equipment, and others find it easier to go with the most crucial items. So it’s really up to every user to decide which paddle board is best for fishing.

Our Closing Thoughts

Every paddle board is designed differently depending on the activity. This should be easy to figure out by having a look at the features. The shape of the board can allow you to spend an enjoyable time practicing new tricks or positions, if picked correctly.

We hope you have found this inflatable ocean paddle board review helpful. Hopefully you have learned a few things you didn’t know about in the Buyer’s Guide. The five boards above are all great options for ocean paddling. One is more suitable than the other for fishing or touring, but the use is up to you. All in all, we hope to have accomplished our goal of helping you.

The 5 Best PFD for Paddle Boarding (2018)

Paddleboarding can be a great experience with lots of wild adventures. It’s a growing sport with a variety of activities available like surfing, yoga, racing, and touring. However, for whatever reason you are out on the open water, safety should always be the number one priority. Wearing the right personal flotation device (PFD) for paddle boarding might mean the difference between life and death.

What To Look For In a SUP PFD

There are three components we want to look out for when buying a SUP life jacket/vest:

  • Space around the arm area for paddling
  • Fits around your body
  • Will keep you afloat

Safety is a priority, but it doesn’t have to get in the way of the fun times. Being able to paddle without chafing the skin off your arms or be restricted in movement is the difference between a good life vest and a great one.

You also want a life vest that can fit over your body and feel snug. Bigger individuals with bellies will want a vest that can fit over their chest without popping off and needing to be pulled down from time to time. Skinnier people with smaller frames will want one that can be tightened sufficiently without feeling loose. Most PFDs come with adjustable buckles and straps, with multiple sizes for the chest area to help fit all types of body sizes.

Finally, the paddle board PFD should be able to keep you afloat when you fall out of the water with sufficient buoyancy.

In this buyer’s guide, we look at what makes a great PFD for paddle boarding and recommend the top 5 best PFD for SUPs.

Reviews of the Best Paddle Board Life Jacket

1. Best Overall SUP PFD – Onyx MoveVent

The Onyx MoveVent is a PFD made with heavy duty denier with nylon ripstop and nylon oxford. These two fabrics help prevent tearing from spreading while giving the fabric flexibility. The shoulder adjustments are padded with neoprene for comfort and durability. The backside uses a mesh drainage design on the lower back to keep the vest in place. There is also a lash tab for small accessories, an attached whistle, and an expandable zippered pocket with mesh drainage. The vest also comes with three different sizes for chest sizes between 28″ to 56″ (size chart is available on the next page).


  • Type 3 USCG approved vest
  • Designed for free movement and paddling
  • Available in three different sizes
  • Zippered pocket
  • Great for other sports aside from paddleboarding


  • Can be a little bulky on the front for some people’s taste

2. The Lightweight Pick – Onyx A/M-24

The Onyx A/M-24 is an inflatable life jacket that automatically inflates when you fall into the water from your paddle board. Made of soft neoprene neckline and durable tear-resistant fabric, this vest is designed to support people over 80 pounds. It has both an automatic inflation and a manual inflation both using a CO2 cartridge to inflate. When inflated, a yellow vest will pop out around your chest and neck. This vest is great if you want a lightweight design that barely gets in the way of your movement. It also goes over almost any clothing.


  • Type 5 USCG approved vest
  • Performs like a Type 3
  • Super lightweight design
  • Automatic inflation when submerged in water
  • Manual inflation when handle is pulled
  • Back-up oral inflation available


  • Design is a little more complex with handle pulling or oral inflation

3. Not So Bulky Choice – Astral V-Eight

The Astral V-Eight is front center zipper life jacket made with heavy duty denier ripstop nylon shell and a breathable polyester mesh liner on the interior. PE and EVA foam inserts are along the rib area when worn and on the back of the neck. The zipper is a self-locking teeth, with heavy duty acetal hardware that is waterproof. There are pockets available on both sides, and it comes in three different sizes ranging between 31 inches to 51 inches around the chest.


  • Type 3 USCG-approved
  • Zipper makes for a quick wear
  • Great for women with flotation and foam around the abdominal instead of the chest
  • Zippered pockets for storing small items
  • Adjustable buckles
  • Available in 5 different colors


  • Lower buoyancy rating than other vests (16 pounds)

4. The Belt PFD Pick – Onyx M-24 Belt

The Onyx M-24 Belt is a manual inflatable jacket that is compact and lightweight. It is secured inside the belt, and pops out when the handle is pulled. The belt is a very convenient design allowing for complete freedom of movement. It uses a CO2 cartridge to inflate with the pull of a T-cord attachment. As a back-up, an oral inflation tube is part of the vest that pops out of your belt. There is also a zippered pocket for storing small personal items.


  • Type 5 USCG-approved
  • Simple and out of the way design
  • Zipper pocket for storing small items
  • Reflective piping for visibility
  • Vest is bright yellow for visibility


  • Completely manual with pulling of the cord and wearing the vest that pops out
  • Not recommended for weak swimmers or non-swimmers

5. The Classic Life Vest – Stearns Classic

The Stearns Adult Classic is a unisex vest made with nylon with PE foam. It uses a classical design with foam paddings on both sides, with three buckles across the chest for securing across the body. There isn’t anything fancy about this design, but it offers sufficient movement freedom of the arms for paddling activities.


  • Type 2 USCG approved
  • Lightweight wear
  • Provides a high buoyancy (50 pounds)
  • Ready to keep you afloat when you fall into the water


  • It gets pushed up for those with big bellies
  • Might be too loose for skinnier individuals
  • Some mild chafing on the arms during paddling

Shopping Guide for Paddle Board PFDs

Reliable and Trusted Brand

It goes without saying buying a brand that isn’t respected by the community is going to lead you into trouble. Although there are many PFDs that are USCG-approved, we want to choose a model that is suitable for your activity that won’t get in the way of your fun and cause your grief. The best way is to follow the crowd’s most popular pick and best sellers online.

Soft, Comfortable, and Out Of Way

Paddleboarding is a sport that demands your full body. A lot of paddlers go without a PFD because they tend to get in the way. That’s why we did our best to pick the best ones that give you the space and comfort you need to enjoy paddling activities without getting in your way.

There are three main parts we concern ourselves:

  • The shoulder and arm rotation
  • The hips when bending, jumping, or rotating your upper body
  • The chest and back

First off, the arms must be free to do what they can. When you are off on a paddle board, you should be able to paddle with obstruction to your shoulder area. Paddling requires a lot of effort over a long period of time, so the last thing we want is to put resistance to it.

Some PFDs will use thin, padded shoulder straps that are just enough to hold the life jacket in place without it falling off or sliding around on your shoulders. They should also have a free open area underneath the arm pits, around the chest, to prevent chafing for the arms. Rubbing the inside of your upper arm against your life vest as you paddle isn’t fun.

Secondly, some paddlers, especially yoga enthusiasts, will want to have their hips free for movement. When you kneel down or sit down to cross your legs on your paddle board, the life vest shouldn’t be digging into your thighs or hips. Longer PFDs might offer better flotation, so this is a trade-off to keep in mind. However, if you are getting up and down from your board frequently, then the last thing we want is for your life vest to chafe your hips.

Lastly, some PFDs might be restrictive to breathing by place pressure against your chest and back. In general, life vests are lightweight and add only a pound of weight at most pulling down from the shoulders. However, there are ones that are built to be closer to the chest. Air circulation is something to contend with if a life vest feels too tight. For men and women, the feeling of their vest chafing their body isn’t a pleasant one.

What we want to lok out for is extra padding that allows for decent air circulation without putting unnecessary resistance against your breathing. Adjustable straps for the chest and bottom half of your vest is a great feature. You can loosen and tighten according to your need and body type without feeling weight to your chest.

The Right Type PFD for Your Paddleboarding Plans

Depending on what you are using your paddle board for, your best bet is to choose the right life jacket that will keep you safe. The use case for a paddler near the shore doing yoga is entirely different from a paddler doing long distance touring or fishing far from the coast and out in the ocean.

Here are the 5 categories of PFDs:

  • Type 1: These are offshore life jackets where rescue may take a while. They are bulky and the most buoyant, bright colored vests that will turn to keep unconscious people face up in the water.
  • Type 2: Great for calm inland water and near-shore use where rescue can be quicker. They will turn unconscious people face up often, but not always depending on the person’s body type. These are bulky, but not as much as Type 1.
  • Type 3: These are suitable for paddlers where there is a chance for a quick rescue. There is a lot of freedom of movement and are comfortable for long periods of wear. Much of the buoyancy is on the front to turn the person face up, but does require tilting your head back to avoid going face down.
  • Type 4: These are throwawable devices like cushions or ring buoys. They act as backup to a PFD and are absolutely not for non-swimmers, rough waters, or unconscious people. These are not required for canoes or kayaks.
  • Type 5: Special-use devices. These are PFDs designed for specific activities. They have to be activity-specific on the label and tested by the USCG in order to be approved. Some example activities with specific Type 5’s include kayaking, waterskiing, windsurfing, hybrid vests, and deck suits.

Most paddleboarders only need Type 3 and Type 5. Type 3 gives you the freedom of movement you need for paddling while Type 5 can do the same, specifically designed for paddleboarding.

Other Features To Look Out For

  • Pockets for storing items: Some paddlers will want to carry a safety whistle for calling for help. Fishers will want to carry their license. Although most PFDs don’t offer waterproof pockets, they can have zippers to prevent your items from falling out.
  • Reflective material for visibility: Paddlers who go out in the night will need a life jacket that have reflective points on it in the event of an emergency. Even if you don’t paddle at night, being seen when there is an emergency can mean the difference between life and death.
  • Adjustable shoulder and waist straps: Most life vests are designed to be universal with adjustable straps. This lets the vest to be tightened and snug for all body types.

Our Closing Thoughts

Picking the right paddle boarding PFD can be challenging with so many designs available on the market. There are a handful of decent ones that will let you paddle without feeling restricted and keep your safe when an emergency arises. In this guide, we look at what makes a decent PFD for paddleboarding and the top 5 we believe are suitable for the sport. We hope this guide has been useful for you and help decide on the best SUP PFD for you.

Should You Wax Your Paddle Board? Waxing vs. Traction Pads

Part of maintaining your paddle board means making sure it has enough friction so you don’t slip off. Some paddlers use traction pads for grip, while others use wax. Most starter paddle boards now come with traction pads.

Should you wax a paddle board? What are the advantages of using wax? If you will be using wax, how do you apply it properly?

Waxing vs. Traction Pads – The Pros and Cons

There are a lot of arguments for waxing your board. The reason for choosing wax over the latest traction pad fad is because paddlers feel more connected to their board when they ride on the open water. Wax provides the friction necessary for paddlers to maintain their footing, especially when they are on the move.

There are also paddlers who have surfed for many years before traction pads became popular, and love the familiarity of their feet touching the board.

Some new paddlers eventually use their SUP boards much more. As most start off with beginner paddle boards, they eventually find the traction pad peeling off and becoming useless. Traction pads can also cause chafing on the feet, thighs, or stomach when you rub it too often. Yoga enthusiasts might be too familiar with this!

Pros of waxing:

  • Feeling of connectedness with your board
  • Provides friction throughout the full deck surface
  • Familiarity of old-time paddlers before the traction pad fad
  • Not having to deal with traction pads peeling off
  • No chafing!
  • Your board will look dirty as wax collects dirt

There are a lot of arguments against waxing as well. For one, wax melts when exposed to the sunlight and heat. If you surf for hours, you might begin to feel the wax sticking to your feet. Not cool! This also means you have to reapply the wax more frequently than changing your traction pad.

Although it’s entirely up to the paddler and the activity they do with their board, you might find the cost of waxing adding up faster than replacing a traction pad.

An overlooked con for using wax is how old wax must also be removed. Not only does a paddler have to stay on top of their wax game, but the layer of wax has to be removed before it can be replaced. Imagine to your surprise when your chest rests against a board with little to no wax, and you slip off. Paddling with no grip is agonizing.

There’s also no denying that traction pads are way more comfortable in feel than wax. Can you imagine rubbing your buttcheeks on a waxed board vs. moving around on a traction pad? The difference is noticeable.

Paddlers with yoga paddle boards can enjoy a full-deck padding that feels like a comfortable cushion for their poses.

Cons of waxing:

  • Melted wax is lame
  • Waxing your board frequently can be costly
  • You have to frequently remove old wax and reapply new wax
  • It’s easy to forget to apply new wax
  • Traction pads simply feel way better than a waxed hard surface

So how do you decide which is best for you? Our recommendation is to simply try it out to find your preference.

If you already have a traction pad, keep it on until it comes off. Then you can apply wax to see how it feels. If you started off without a traction pad (since some boards cost extra to have them added!), then maybe it’s time to give them a shot. You never know what you might be missing!

What Type of Paddle Boards to Wax?

So there isn’t any confusion, not all paddle boards require wax. For example, yoga boards will often use a full-deck traction pad for the comfort of the user. Unless you are extremely accustom to hard surfaces and have a distaste for yoga mats, then you might want to set aside the wax for another type of board.

PVC inflatable boards are another type that doesn’t require any wax seeing as it won’t improve your grip in any way and the wax won’t do well with PVC material.

What about other types of paddle boards like epoxy or soft top foam? Epoxy, carbon fiber, and fiberglass boards using hard tops can use a good layer of wax. Soft top foam or other foam boards only need a thin layer enough to prevent slipping. You can wax more if needed.

Racers, fishers, and touring paddleboarders without traction pads will want to use wax to help keep their stance when paddling. If you have found yourself slipping in the past, then more wax is better!

Waxing to the Point of Glossy (Overwaxing)

This isn’t a good idea. The problem with waxing your paddle board until it becomes glossy and shiny is the amount of friction it creates for you when out on the water.

You can test this out by tossing a cup of water onto your board and watching what happens to the water. If beads of water form, then the surface tension of your board is high and will affect your paddle board performance out on the water. What you should hope to see is for the water to simply drip off along the sides. The less tension and friction, the smoother your paddleboarding experience will be.

Whoops! Water beads formed on this overwaxed paddle board. Source.

Should You Wax the Bottom of a Paddle Board?

Absolutely not! Unless you want the extra challenge, wax applied to the bottom of a paddle board will add unnecessary drag. This means more surface tension, friction, and less gliding and tracking. Paddlers that use wax at the bottom of their paddle board will perform worse on the water.

How to Wax Your Paddle Board

In the video below, Reuben from SUPboarder shows you how you can wax your paddle board effectively with a base coat wax then a top coat wax.

Our Closing Thoughts

Whether you choose to wax on or wax off, it’s up to your preference. There are benefits and disadvantages for using wax. You can also get away with traction pads to keep things simple without having to wax your paddle board frequently.

We hope this guide helps you in deciding whether to use paddle board wax, and how to apply it properly to prepare your board for the next session in the open water!

The 5 Best Paddle Board SUP Leash (2018)

Paddleboarding can be a great experience for amateurs who want to enjoy the water or enthusiasts who love the sport. Whether you are new or not, one of the most important equipment for paddleboarding is the leash.

How SUP Leashes Help You

The leash is what keeps you and your board together. For some unfortunate paddlers, it can mean the difference between life and death. There are three dangerous risks you can encounter when on a paddle board:

  • Underestimating your exhaustion
  • Overwhelming sense of panic, and inability to swim properly
  • Getting hit by your board in the ear, losing your sense of direction when submerged in the water
  • Fracture or injury preventing you from swimming

It’s easy to underestimate your exhaustion and find yourself unable to swim or float.

You could also get your head banged by your board and perforating your eardrum, causing vertigo and losing the ability to know which way is swimming up.

A strong and durable paddle board leash can show you which way is up to the surface when you are submerged.

You can also bring your board back and use to keep you afloat when injured.

Whatever the reason is for you to paddle board, being out in the water means difficulty getting help in a timely manner. A leash keeps your board close enough to you so you can use it to stay afloat during a crisis.

In this guide, we look at the top 3 SUP leashes, for ankles and calfs, that will keep you and your board together.

Reviews of the Best SUP Leashes

1. BPS Storm Leash

The BPS Storm Leash is a multi-color 10′ coiled leash with a cuff made from padded neoprene material for waterproof comfort. The cord is  7.2mm thick, with double stainless steel swivels and triple wrap rail saver. This leash can stretch up to 5 times its coiled length. BPS Storm also has a straight leash to choose from.


  • 12-month guaranteed return or replace policy
  • Can include a waterproof waist bag for your phone, wallet, and keys
  • Comes in multiple colors

2. Unigear Leash

The Unigear Leash is a 7mm thick urethane coiled leash, made of TPU elastic polyurethane with soft sponge for comfort. It uses molded-in double stainless steel swivels and a triple wrap rail saver to stick around during the tough times on the water. When uncoiled, it stretches to a maximum length of 10 feet. The leash also comes with a waterproof case with an adjustable waist belt. There is also a nice bonus of a hidden key pocket pull tab on the ankle cuff velcro. Unigear also has a straight leash for those who surf in choppier water.


  • Selection of colors available
  • Lifetime 100% money back guarantee
  • Hidden key pocket in the ankle cuff velcro
  • Includes a waterproof case for your phone or wallet

3. Dakine Leash

The DaKine Leash is a 8mm urethane cord with double stainless swivels for durability and triple wrap rail saver for security. It comes two lengths 10″ for coiled or straight leash and 12″ for straight leashes only. The cuffs use molded neoprene material for comfort and a posi-lock hook and loop closure. The DaKine also uses a marine grade stainless steel swivel and Opti-Flex leash ends.


  • Soft neoprene cuff to prevent blistering and chafing
  • Quick-release tab
  • Choice between 10″ and 12″ long
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty guarantee

What Makes Up A Great SUP Leash

There are three parts to a paddle board leash:

  1. The rail saver
  2. The cord
  3. The cuff

The rail saver is the piece that attaches to the board. The cord keeps the rail saver attached to the cuff. The cuff goes around your ankle.

The rail saver should be adjustable, to give you the movement you need to maneuver on your paddle board deck.

The cord should be strong and tough. Most cords are made from

Coiled vs. Straight Leash

Choosing a type of leash depends on the body of water you are on. For calm, flat water, a coiled leash is great to pull your board back to you. In choppier water with waves, the coiled leash can be dangerous so a straight leash is best.

Paddle Board Leash Length

A good rule of thumb on picking the right leash length is that you should be able to walk to the nose of your board when it’s attached to the tail end.

Some paddlers suggest a leash that is up to an extra foot longer than your board to ensure the board doesn’t catch you in the head or your board’s fin in the chin.

For example, if you have a 7″ board, then your leash should be 7″ to 8″ long.

How Do You Attach Your Paddle Board Leash?

A leash is only as good as its attachment to the board and you. There are several steps you must take in order to fully secure your leash. The video and steps outlined below should give you an idea on how attaching your paddle board leash is done:

Steps to attach a stand up paddle board leash:

Part 1: Attaching the leash to the board. 

As you see in the video, there are two main ways depending on the type of board and velcro you have:

1. For the rail saver velcro: Open the rail saver velcro, remove the string loop, insert through D-ring, close rail saver velcro, squeeze velcro firmly closed

2. For the string: Thread string loop through D-ring, thread cuff through string loop

Part 2: Attaching the leash to your ankle

Not sure which ankle to attach your leash to? Stand on your paddle board and pretend you’re surfing the waves. Whichever leg is in the back of your paddle board is your dominant leg. This is the best leg to attach your leash on!

3. For your ankle: Open the cuff, fit to ankle snuggly, wrap cuff around ankle

4. For below your knee: Open the cuff, fit below the knee snuggly, wrap cuff around below knee and above calf

Part 3: Removing the leash from the board

5. Open rail saver velcro, remove string if needed, replace string in rail saver velcro

Our Closing Thoughts

Leashes is one of the most important equipments when SUP boarding. They are an affordable gear that can keep you safe when you are in the water.

In this buyer’s guide, we recommend 3 of the best SUP leashes on the market. We hope it serves you well in choosing the safest and strongest leash for you.

What Stand Up Paddle Board Should You Buy?

It can get daunting when there are hundreds of paddle boards to choose. With the Internet, a greater selection of SUP boards are available, differing in designs and purposes. So how do you decide what paddle board to buy for you? In this guide, we look at 7 criteria to help you decide what paddle board is best for you.

How to Decide On Which SUP Board to Choose

What Are You Using Your Paddle Board for?

One of the first things you should decide on when you pick a paddle board is what you might be using it for. This will help you determine what type of paddle board should you buy.
Different purpose paddle boards are designed and shaped in different ways. The way you use your paddle board can also determine what material is suitable for you.

For example, hydrodynamic touring paddle boards are best for long distance touring paddlers who want to explore the shoreline or ocean. They are designed to glide across the water in an efficient manner. This means less paddling and covering more distance. A touring board is also more stable than other types of boards, making them better for balance in choppier water. They can also support a greater weight capacity for carry-ons.

On the other hand, those interested in leisure fun doing yoga on the open water would want a yoga paddle board that have more deck space with traction for poses, and have greater stability.

Buyer guides you might be interested in:

Frequency and Material

When we look at frequency of use, we want to know whether you need a board that is durable or convenient to use. Are you looking for a board to enjoy your summers on? Or are you an enthusiast that wants to use their paddle board every possible chance?

Knowing how frequent you might use your board can help us decide on whether you are buying a board for life (using as long as possible) or for convenience. In other words, should you invest more in a solid board (wood-based, soft top foam, or resin-based) or can you get away with an inflatable choice?

Tidbit: Wood paddle boards are great if you want to buy for life. Although they are heavy, they float better, are super stable, and durable for surviving dings and scratches.

Related reading: What are paddle boards made of?

What Size Should You Get?

The average paddle board is 10′ to 11′ in length, and 30″ to 32″ wide. Unless you are 6′ or taller, a 10′ board is perfect with lots of space to maneuver. The reason a taller individual should consider a longer board is so they have extra leg and head space when they lie down on it.

If you struggle or have concerns for balancing on your board, then a wider, longer, and thicker board will give you a greater balance. Heavier boards are also better at stability when on choppier water. Wood-based boards, for example, float and balance well against waves.

typical paddle board thickness goes between 4″ to 6″. thicker will be better for supporting heavier individuals with greater buoyancy.

Related reading: What size SUP board is right for me?

Buying for Convenience

This point ties into how frequent you intend to use your board. For those who want performance and quality over convenience, a solid board is a great choiec. They have weight to them for stability and are designed for long-term use and performance. However, they do take up a lot of space and will require a roof rack for transporting on a vehicle.

On the other hand, inflatable paddle boards are lightweight, takes up little space (they can be deflated), and can be easily carried in a shoulder strap travel backpack.

Buyer guides you might be interested:

Maintenance and Repairs

Solid boards like soft top foams and resin-based boards perform well in water. They can track in a straight line better, maneuver well (edging, turning sideways), and are much more stable than inflatable boards.. However, they do chip and wear over time, and will need repairs. This means finding cracks and dings, using repair kits and putty, and sanding and repainting your board.

Inflatables don’t need a lot of maintenance. But when they are damaged, it might be irreparable. Punctures and air leaks are inevitable, which is why most inflatable stand up paddle boards come with a repair kit or two. One of the worst ways for an inflatable board to go is when their seams burst, either because of excessive use, too much air pressure, or poor quality manufacturing.

Picking Color and Design

This point boils down to preference and taste. You might choose a board of a particular color or style. Are you looking for a bright, solid color paddle board or one that have cool flames on the side so it looks like you’re going fast? Will you pay extra for a particular appearance?


Paddle boards range between $300 to $1,500. Inflatables are cheaper while wood-based boards can be the most expensive because of the craftsmanship. We won’t dive into detail here, but we did write a guide on how much paddle boards cost, and why they cost so much.

Buyer’s guide you might be interested:

Our Closing Thoughts

Deciding on what paddle board to buy can be tough. There is a growing market for boards, and each board is different from the next. We hope this guide serves you well, and makes it easier for you on deciding how to pick the right paddle board. Happy paddling!

Is Paddleboarding Good Exercise?

Is Stand Up Paddleboarding a Good Workout?

Like most answers, it depends! A person’s current health and medical recommendations will play a role in whether using a SUP is a good workout for them.

We can tell you that brisk walking is an activity recommended by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and your pet dog.

If we can take casual paddling up a notch to “brisk” paddling, then stand up paddleboarding can be better than walking. Given the physical activity guidelines by the three administrations and your pet dog above, paddling a SUP board is a good workout!

What Paddle Board Exercises Can You Do?

Standard paddle boards are 10’ in length and 30″ wide. This provides a large deck space to exercise on, including exercises that involve laying down.

There are a lot of different exercises available on the paddle board. Much of it revolves around repetition, balance, and targeting the core abdominal muscles or arms (if you’re paddling). So what exercises can you do on a paddle board?


You might have heard of paddlers buying SUP boards for yoga poses. We have a buyer‘s guide on the best yoga paddle boards to help you find the most stable and biggest surface area boards, but even standard boards can be enough for any yoga enthusiast. No pose is off limits thanks to the wide and long surface area of paddle boards. Namaste!


Paddling by itself can be a tough exercise. When you consider travel distance on the water or speed and performance, you can expect your entire body to become sore.

Paddling in different positions will also work out different muscle groups. You can stand, sit, or kneel and paddling will feel like an entirely different sport!

Around the Board

Getting on and off the paddle board (known as Splash ‘n’ Sculpt) involves lifting your body out of the water on onto your board. You push into a board, trying to keep yourself balance, to put yourself over into a Superman pose. Then, you can lower yourself back into the water and start over again.

Going over and under the board is an extension of the Splash ‘n’ Sculpt, but the difference is you go all the way around the board only to submerge and swim underneath it to the other side. See how fast you can get around! (Make sure you use an ankle leash so you don’t lose the paddle board!)

Type of Water

We also can’t forget the water you’re paddling on. Calm and quiet waters give you minimal resistance while choppy and high wave water give you the workout of a lifetime. Powerful waves and swimming against currents test your strength and endurance altogether. Which type of water current will you paddle on?

How Many Calories Do You Burn Stand Up Paddle Boarding?

Thanks to the breakdown by Austin Cox of, we learn that paddling a SUP can burn anywhere between 305 to 1,125 calories an hour paddle boarding. This number can be even greater if you paddle into the headwind in choppy water and riding waves on your paddleboard.

They base the research them conducted on the average of three people of different sizes (165 to 200 lbs). Here are the numbers for other sports for comparison to paddle boarding:

[wpsm_colortable color=”blue”]

Popular Activities Calories Burned
Surfing <— 412 calories per hour
Cycling <— 483 calories per hour
Running <— 650 calories per hour
Swimming <— 840 calories per hour


Courtesy of Isle Surf and Sup on calories burned paddleboarding. Click to enlarge.

The infographic above is based on five different activities:

  • Casual paddling
  • Yoga
  • Touring
  • Surfing, and
  • Racing

As we might expect, the physical exertion of racing on a SUP burns the most calories while casual paddling consumes the least.

What Paddle Board Muscles Used When Out on the Water?

Stand up paddle boarding uses the major muscle groups in your back, arm, and core muscles. Legs are engaged, but not as much as the other parts of our body as the legs work to keep you balanced while standing still.

The specific muscles you can expect a good workout for are:

  • Mid back (latissimus dorsi)
  • Chest (pectoral)
  • Shoulders (deltoids)
  • Arms (triceps and biceps), and
  • Core muscles (abdominal)

These muscled used are from the motion of paddling and pulling (or pushing) against the water. You can work your core muscles even harder when you ride through choppy water and ride the waves.

Our Closing Thoughts

Is stand up paddleboarding hard? That depends entirely on you. As long as you can swim and paddle (sitting or standing), then you can paddle intensively or paddle as if you are out for a stroll on the open water. You can also exercise on your paddle board, battle choppy water and heavy waves, or do yoga while trying to balance on your SUP board deck.

Whether you are taking it easy or working out to break a sweat, one thing is for sure: paddleboarding is way tougher than walking briskly!