How Much Does A Paddle Board Cost?

Paddle boards are light-weight and can be used for a wide variety of activities on the water. Some boards are designed for exercise and yoga, while others are for racing or touring the open sea. Although they can be great for recreational fun and for working out, they might not come as cheap as you might think.

How much are these paddle boards? Why do they cost so much? What is the difference between a low-end board and a high-end? In this mini-guide, we will examine these questions in closer detail:

How Much Are Paddle Boards?

The most popular paddle boards go for roughly $500 to $1,000. Most paddle boards go for less than $1,000 while the higher quality paddle boards are $1,300 to $1,500.

We also find low end paddle boards go as little as $300 to $500 (although these are inflatable boards we are talking about), but the lower price class is usually between $500 to $700.

In short, solid boards go for $500 to $1,500, with inflatables (typically as a kit with all paddling essentials) going between $300 to $500, up to $1000.

If you’re super in love with the sport, there are paddle boards that can go as high as $3,500!

Paddle Board Prices Breakdown

A whole world of differences go into each type of paddle board, and even more differences are in the details of each individual board. For example, surfing boards (one of the shortest lengths) are entirely different in design and pricing than racing boards (one of the longest lengths). Some times, the value of a board and its price has less to do with the board itself and more about the brand and customer service that comes with it.

To keep things simple and on point, we will examine the differences between types of paddle boards and their price classes:

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Price Range Quality/Material
$300 to $700 <— Inflatables that are great for beginners or leisure paddlers
$700 to $1200 <— Hard paddle boards picks for more serious paddlers
$1,000 to $1,500 <—  Decent paddle boards for touring and racing
$1,500 to $2,000 <— High quality paddle boards
$2,000+ <— Out-of-this-world special paddle boards


Where’s The Cost Coming From?

    • Market demand: Like cars and smartphones, people always want the latest and newest ones. when it’s paddling season, people usually paddle board with two or more friends. this means they need more than one.
    • Limited second-hand market: More often than not, people keep their SUP board because they wear out slower than kayaks, canoes, or other types of boats that touch the ground. The market for SUPs are not as big and popular as kayaks, either.
    • Serious R&D money: Although the process of making paddle boards is repeatable, companies spend serious money on research and development. They are making their SUPs the best quality possible that floats and won’t bend under your weight, and that means perfecting their manufacturing process. Money is also being spent on stocking stores worldwide, display and marketing them, and demoing models. The cost of labor is also part of the equation as each board is hand made.
    • The material matters: Inflatable stand up paddle boards might seem like a piece of plastic, but even they require proper stitching, layering, crafting, testing, and construction for rigidity and durability. Materials like wood, bamboo, foam, fiberglass, Kevlar, and other hard plastic shells require extra structure and waterproofing prevent the board from bending under your concentrated weight in a small area (standing) or becoming waterlogged and unusable.

The Difference Between Inflatable and Solid Paddle Boards

Aside from the cost, there are three important distinctions between the two boards:

  • Durability: Solid boards cannot bend making them much more reliable than inflatables that can pop. Solid boards can survive if they are roughed up by the sand or gravel. Inflatable although are made with tear-resistant material only needs to be damaged once to render them unusable. Patching a hole may not guarantee it’s reuse.
  • Portability: Solid boards have to be stored on top of a vehicle for safe transporting. Inflatable boards can be moved within a bag and stored in the trunk of a vehicle.
  • Performance: Solid boards can outperform inflatables by a large margin, with less give they can ride waves, track (go straight), and maneuver (turn) in the water much easier than inflatables.

All these differences reflect in the price differences between the two types of board, and why we only see inflatables at a the low price class. Although they can make for a quick and painless start for new paddlers, in the long run they aren’t durable or perform well enough when pit against a solid board.

Our Closing Thoughts

Paddle boards can be pricey, but for good reason. A lot of costs are involved between first designing the board to getting it to your doorstep. Other market factors also determine the cost of boards, including competition and the second-hand market.

Although there are boards that cost more than $2,000, you can fortunately find a market for boards that are as low as $500. Inflatable SUP boards are a great choice for those on a budget. For the enthusiastic paddlers, a dedicated and decent board made with a quality design and materials average $1,000.

We hope this guide provide insights to how much paddle boards cost.

The 7 Best Paddle Board for the Money (2018)

Paddleboarding has begun picking up steam in recent years. It’s an outdoor sport that has a low barrier for entry and can be enjoyed by all age groups. It’s always nice to have another excuse to go outside.

In recent years, the sport has been made even more accessible with the introduction of ISUP (inflatable paddle boards). They are cheaper, easier to store and are a better alternative for beginners. That said, there are a lot of them out there, some built towards surfing, white water riding etc. It can be a bit confusing.

In our guide today, we introduce you to the world of paddleboarding and describe to you how to pick the best paddle board for your needs. After reading our guide, you’ll have a solid idea of what you need to look for in them.

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Model Dimensions Accessories Price
SBBC Ultimate Deluxe Package 10’6″ long x 31″ wide x 6″ thick 8 $$$
Thurso Surf Waterwalker 10’6″ long x 31″ wide x 6″ thick 7 $$$
RoC Paddle Board 10′ long x 30″ wide x 6″ thick 6 $
Bluefin Paddle Board 10’8″ long x 30″ wide x 6″ thick 6 $$
SereneLife Paddle Board 10′ long x 30″ wide x 6″ thick 4 $
FunWater Paddle Board 10’6″ long x 33″ wide x 6″ thick 6 $
Tower Paddle Board 10’4″ long x 32″ wide x 6″ thick 5 $$$


Reviews of the Best Paddle Board for the Money

1. Best Value Paddle Board Kit – SBBC Ultimate Deluxe

The SBBC Ultimate Deluxe Package is an inflatable SUP that comes in at 10 feet 6 inches in length, 31 inches in width and 6 inches in thickness. It’s a great option for all skill levels, particularly beginners. It can support up to 350 lbs in weight and is made up of durable military grade PVC, with a dual-layer for extra durability and strength. The dual-layer allows it to still be a bit soft, so it’s a good option for SUP yoga.

It comes with a lot of accessories:

  • Coiled leash
  • Kayak seat
  • An ISUP High capacity hand pump
  • A patch repair kit
  • An ISUP cooler
  • Waterproof fanny pack
  • 2 fairly standard paddles with 1 stick
  • A 9-inch fin
  • A waterproof phone case

You don’t get the best value for your money with this package when you consider the quality of the paddleboard and paddles. However, the accessories are pretty good. They can add a lot to your experience, but only if you will make use of them. You also need to consider that you are paying a premium price and whilst a cooler is nice, it’s not worth that.


  • A lot of useful accessories – a waterproof fanny pack can help with storing food, books, notes etc.
  • The pump is of high-quality and works well
  • Multiple fin mounting options


  • Quality of paddleboard could be higher
  • The paddle sinks – it’s made from heavy materials
  • Expensive and not worth the money

2. Highest Quality Pick – Thurso Surf Waterwalker

The Thurso Surf Waterwalker is around the same price range as the SBBC above but offers an alternative when it comes to accessories and easily has the best paddleboard construction on my list.

At 10 feet 6 inches in length, 6 inches in thickness and 32 inches in width, the Thurso can hold 300L of air and weighs a maximum of 26lbs. You can also pick a slightly longer one that is 10 feet 11 inches in length. This paddleboard can support up to 330lbs (or 450 lbs for the longer one) so two people could ride it at once.

It has a quad-layer PVC construction that they quote to be nearly indestructible. Whilst we wouldn’t bet on that, you can expect this board to last a long time. Though it might be too stiff for some people. The paddles are made from two different materials, with the shaft from Carbon and the blades from composite nylon. The combination allows them to be lightweight and strong.

It comes with 3 removable fins that can be used differently for various conditions and various riding styles. The other extras that come along with it are a coiled leash, a cooler, a hand pump and a comfortable backpack.


  • It has a 2-Year warranty, allowing you to get the most out of your money
  • Lightweight, durable carbon paddles that float
  • “Indestructible”, durable, construction


  • A bit on the costly side, one of the most expensive options on our list.

3. Best for Beginners – RoC Paddle Board

The RoC Paddle Board comes in at 10 feet, 5 inches in length and 6 inches in thickness. It’s affordable and is a good option for beginners on a budget. It can hold up to 350 lbs in weight depending on how much you inflate it. Speaking of inflation, the valve on the board can leak and cause you to spend loads of time trying to fill it up, something to watch out for.

The SUP comes with a paddle, a hand pump, a leash, a backpack, and a waterproof bag, so the basic, but necessary accessories.

The paddle is made from plastic but it has foam inside that allows it to float so you won’t lose it if you drop it in the water. The accompanying backpack is also well padded and is fairly comfortable to use over a long period of time.
We would recommend this if your paddling spot is a bit out the way and requires you to walk some distance out.

However, the SUP doesn’t come with a manual which will make it a bit difficult to put together if you don’t have experience with other paddle boards. If it doesn’t float your boat, check out the Bluefin for something similarly priced but slightly better.


  • It is reasonably priced, costing half as much as the SBBC,
  • A 1-year warranty
  • Fairly lightweight at 33.3 lbs, meaning it will be easy to carry around
  • A comfortably padded backpack, perfect if you need to carry the board some distance


  • Leaky valve, we’ve heard that a lot of boards have experienced valve issues. Enough that yours probably would have an issue.

4. Great for Long-Distance Paddling – Bluefin Paddle Board

The Bluefin Paddle Board is our medium priced offering. It weighs a total of 33 lbs and it comes with a triple-layered PVC construction, meaning it will be both durable, strong and a bit stiff. We would recommend it for some white water use or for someone simply wanting something stiffer.

The SUP is available in 15 feet,12 feet and 10 feet 8 inches in length. The longer lengths are better long distance touring and the shorter ones for surfing and other all-purpose exercises.

It comes with a long tethered cable, a kayak seat, a backpack, 2 and a half paddles, a single detachable tracking fin and a high-pressure dual pump.

The dual pump will be the best and easiest to use out of all the pumps on this list. It will make filling up the paddle board easier and faster.

We suggest beginners stick to the 10ft 8in paddle boards for the best experience, but bigger riders may go for the 12 feet ones.

The quality of this board is mainly focused on its limited accessories and on the board itself. If you simply want more accessories, the Thurso or RoC are good alternatives.


  • An affordable option with a decent selection of accessories.
  • Dual pump for fast and easy inflation.
  • Strong construction for a stiffer feel or more durable board


  • Limited in number accessories, but the ones it has are fairly high-quality

5. Most Popular and Highly Rated – SereneLife Paddle Board

The SereneLife Paddle Board is similarly priced to the Bluefin but doesn’t work as well.

The SUP is 10 feet long and 30 inches in width and is built mainly for surf and choppier water. We wouldn’t recommend it for flat water riding because it’s 3 fins aren’t removable. This means it will feel wobbly or twitchy in the water.

Otherwise, it is constructed pretty well so most of the quality (and cost) comes from the construction of the board. However, it doesn’t come with a lot of accessories but it does have a a pump, a leash, a storage bag, and a repair kit.

If you don’t mind missing out on a kayak seat or an ergonomic bag, this option might suit you.

However, we would be hesitant to recommend it because it isn’t the best value for money when you consider our other options.

If you aren’t satisfied, check out the RoC or Bluefin boards for an alternative within a similar price range.


  • Lightweight at 30lbs. It will be easy to carry around, but we recommend you get a different bag than the one that comes with it.
  • It features a dual pump which means it inflates really quickly.


  • The bag isn’t handy at all, and you’ll probably have to get
  • Not easy for beginners to ride

6. Widest Paddle Board – FunWater Paddle Board

The budget option, the FunWater Paddle Board still comes with some creature comforts making it a worthwhile option (and even better than some others on the list).

The ISUP itself is fairly decent, it’s made with dual layer PVC, allowing it to support up to 330lbs. It measures in at 10 feet 6 inches in length, 33 inches in width and 6 inches in thickness.

Some of the accompanying accessories include a high-pressure pump, a travel bag, a coil leash, a repair kit, a waterproof bag, and 3 removable fins.

The paddle is made from aluminum, which will mean it will sink if you let it drop in the water and the 3 removable fins mean you have some customization over how you want your board to ride.

Finally, it comes with a 60-day guarantee and a 1-year warranty on the materials.

The package definitely sacrifices on some articles (like the aluminum paddle) and warranty, but it features a high-quality dual-layer board, removable fins, and as many other accessories as other boards on this list have to make it a competitive option.


  • It’s the most affordable option on the list
  • Removable fins allow for loads of customization and preparing your board for the environment you want to ride.
  • Travel bag allowing for easy transportation.


  • The heavy Aluminium paddle allows the package to be affordable, but it also means you can easily lose the paddle if you’re not careful.

7. Top Rated Performance – Tower Paddle Board

The Tower Paddle Board is in competition for the best board on this list and would be if it was slightly cheaper.

It comes in at 10 feet 4 inches in length and 32 inches in width, perfect for beginners with extra stability due to that width or for bigger riders. The board is made from a dual-layer of PVC so you can expect it to be rigid and to withstand knocks here and there.

It comes along with a fiberglass paddle, a high-pressure pump, a grooved deck pad (for extra grip), a removable center fin and a roll-up carrying strap.

However, it doesn’t feature a backpack so it won’t be easy lugging the deflated SUP around, it’s not the option if you’ll be chasing after lakes that you have to hike to get to. Check out the Bluefin for a similarly priced option with a different array of options (like a bag).

Finally, it has a 2-year warranty (which doesn’t cover wear and tear) and the removable center fin opens it up to some customization.

I would say this package isn’t the best but is great for those who want a high-quality board, paddle, and pump because Tower has not compromised at all on the price of those things.


  • You get what you pay for and the price is reflected in the high-quality dual-layer board
  • You get a high-pressure pump that will be easy and quick to use
  • It’s beginner friendly because of how wide and thusly stable it is


  • It is on the pricey side and you should be able to get a bag in that price range.
  • It is quite expensive.

Shopping Guide for the Best Paddle Board for the Money

What Makes a Paddleboard Set Up Worth the Money?

Quality of the Paddleboard

As you’ve noticed, we’ve decided to primarily focus on inflatable paddle boards. We think they are better value for money, especially when it comes to beginners. You can find out more in the section below this.

The inflatable paddle boards are basically made from layers of PVC woven together. You can get boards that have single, double, triple and even quad layers of PVC (like in the case of the Thurso). Most boards you see will have a double-layer at the least, as single layers will be too weak and inconsistent for use as paddle boards.

Generally, the more layers of PVC you get, the stiffer your board gets when it is inflated and the more durable it will be. It will also be a bit more expensive with more layers.


These basically tie to your ankle and allow your paddle board not to float away when you fall into the water. They come in two types; the coiled leashes and the standard ones. The coiled ones coil up when you’re paddling and stay out of the way, whilst the standard ones just hang about (dragging in the water sometimes). Really a matter of personal preference which you pick.

They also come in varying lengths, with the longer ones allowing your board to float further so it doesn’t hit you (in choppy conditions) and the others keep it close.

Removable Fin

A removable fin allows you to customize how the paddle board will feel in the water. It also allows you to customize how appropriate your paddle board will be for various environments.

For example, the two small fins featured on most SUPs are there for sideways stability and basically stop you from constantly spinning out.

Two fins are more than appropriate for flat water riding as having all three will create drag, ultimately slowing you down. If you’re setup allows, a single center fin would be perfect for flat water riding.

Using all 3 will allow you to turn faster and is more appropriate for riding in swells and waves.


Paddles are fairly standard but they can be made of different materials like carbon, Kevlar, aluminum, and fiberglass.

The carbon ones are the most durable, light and expensive, and are followed closely by the fiberglass and kevlar ones. The aluminum ones are a bit heavy and tend to sink, but are pretty affordable.

Air pump

Something not to be underestimated. You will have to pump your board every other time, so it’s key you get a high-quality one. Most pumps are the same and will require between 5-12 minutes of pumping. However, some boards like the Bluefin, come with a dual pump that makes the pumping process a lot easier and faster.

The above said and done, some people go on to buy cheap car pumps or electric inflators for an easier time.


Having the right bag really opens up where you can take a paddle board. Those beautiful lakes inaccessible by car can now be reached with you simply carrying your board on your back.

The bag will be heavy but if you get a comfortable one, it will make your journey a lot easier.

What Makes Up a High-Quality Paddle Board?

A high-quality paddleboard is one that works best for your needs. You can have the best of the best, but if it’s not right it will feel clunky, unbalanced and uncomfortable to ride.

Types of Paddle Boards

You typically have 3 main types of paddle boards; there are short (under 10 feet), medium (10 feet to 12 feet) and long (12 feet to 14 feet).

The short ones are better for kids and for surfing. They are more maneuverable and give you better control over waves and choppy water. However, they are too “twitchy” and don’t provide a very relaxing ride.

The medium boards are pretty much great for all around use and offer the best of both worlds.
The longer ones are the best for fast paddling and travel of long distances.

Finally, another thing to consider is the width. The wider a board is, the more stable and comfortable a beginner will feel on it. However, smaller people can feel fairly comfortable on narrower boards.

Why Inflatable SUP Boards s Offer the Most Value

We chose inflatable SUPs because they are simply better value for money when it comes to beginners. When you’re starting out in a new sport, it’s simply not a good idea to go all in and buy “the best gear”. Firstly, because the best gear will be very expensive and in the case of paddle boarding nearing the thousands, even a standard solid SUP will set you back quite a bit. Secondly, because you simply won’t be able to appreciate the quality without any reference experience.

Inflatable paddle boards allow beginners to dip their toe into a new sport at an affordable cost. They are even easy to store so if you regret buying them you can hide them in some corner of your garage never to be seen again. They also a offer a few more advantages:

  • They are more durable than hard SUPs and can take quite a few bumps.
  • They are easy to pack, store and carry around with you.

Editor’s Pick – Final Verdict

The clear winner for me was the SBBC Ultimate Deluxe Package. It’s an option that doesn’t break the bank and that gives a lot of value.

The durable and stiff triple-layered PVC construction, the high-pressure dual pump, and the detachable fins all make it worthwhile for me and they would be worthwhile for you too.

The price allows you to have a bit of money left over so you can buy upgrades as necessary.

The 7 Best Stand Up Paddle Boards for Dogs (2018)

We love hearing paddlers wanting to take their furry pals out in the open water! Taking your dog out on a stand up paddle board can be a great adventure for the both of you.

But first, we need to find the right paddle board for the both of you. Ideally, one that can support the additional weight of your pet, stability for balance, and has a no-slip deck for better grip.

In this guide, we will look at the top 7 best paddle boards for dogs and what makes them suitable for paddling with your pup.

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Model Material Type Supported Weight (Pounds) Dimensions Price
ISLE Versa Epoxy Epoxy Resin 275 10’5” x 32” x 4.5” $$$
Driftsun Orka Inflatable 550 12’ x 45” x 8” $$$
Driftsun Balance Inflatable 400 11’ x 34” x 6” $$
CBC Hydra Soft Top Foam 300 10’6” x 30” x 5” $$
Peak Expedition Inflatable 350 11’ x 32” x 6” $$
Aqua Marina Inflatable 250 10’10” x 30” x 4” $
Gili Paddle Board Inflatable 275 10’6” x 31” x 6” $


Inflatables Paddle Boards for Dogs or Not?

There are good arguments on both sides of this question. In the end, it rests entirely on preferences and experiences. Let’s take a closer look at both sides of what makes inflatable a great choice and why you would prefer a hardboard instead.


  • Inflatables are durable and will bounce off stuff: This is especially important for those going river paddling. The rough and demanding terrain will need all the durability and bounce your inflatable can offer.
  • They are easy to transport: The lightweight nature of PVC material and hollow interior means being able to take your paddle board to all bodies of water by hand or strapped over your shoulders and back. They weigh next to nothing compared to solid boards, and can be deflated for carrying and re-inflated when it’s time for paddling.
  • They are convenient for storage and to maintain: The inflatable boards can be deflated and rolled up into a carry travel bag. Most inflatables come with a backpack, so storage in a dry place, ready for transporting, is easy to do. They also don’t require much attention for maintenance. If a puncture appears, a repair kit can take care of it. Otherwise, it’s good for paddling.
  • Standing for your dog is a lot easier on an inflatable than a hard board: PVC is a material that is not only highly durable for rocks or sea beds, but can also survive well against dog claws. Inflatables back in the 90’s may not have been tough, but PVC has gone a long way in terms of quality.
  • Super affordable: Compared to hard boards, inflatables are extremely cheap. You can easily find boards that are up to 50% less than foam or epoxy boards.


  • Puncture of the board and the aftermath on the water is always a concern: Despite PVC materials being the best they can be to date, it doesn’t guarantee that a puncture will not happen. Dealing with the aftermath sinking should be part of your gameplan whenever you paddleboard with an inflatable. It can also be unfortunate that punctures are so bad, they render the paddle boards unusable.
  • Inflatables don’t perform as well as solid, rigid boards: When we talk about performance we are talking about traveling through the water efficiently with the least amount of paddling effort and the ability to track as straight as possible.
  • Doesn’t handle well on windy days or on choppy water: Inflatables don’t have a lot of weight, so are easily subjected to the direction of the wind and water. Your pet might not be comfortable on a paddle board he/she struggles to balance on.

Whichever you go with, all types of boards including inflatables work excellently for you and your pup.

(The brave German Shepherd pup chomps on some water at 1:33 minute mark.)

Reviews Of The Best Paddle Boards for Dogs

1. Best Overall Paddle Board for Dogs – ISLE Versa Epoxy

The ISLE Versa Epoxy is a thermal molded paddle board using epoxy resin for a lightweight and durable design. It is 10’5″ long, 32″ wide, and 4.5″ thick. The padle board also comes with an adjustable carbon shaft plastic blade paddle, a removable center blade, and coiled leash. The front part of the board also has a bungeed compartment for storing small bags. It also supports a weight capacity of up to 275 pounds, which works out great for a rider and a furry pal.

We like this paddle board because it has a large no-slip deck pad that goes all the way to the tail for much need space. The deck pad is non-abrasive and easy on the skin so you can paddle for long hours while standing, sitting, or laying down on your board. The outer shell is also durable and great against any pet claws.  and it handles great in the water. Durable outer shell, speed finish less weight and looks amazing.


  • Comes with everything essential you need to paddle
  • Hard outer shell durable for claws
  • Large deck traction pads for dogs’ paws


  • Maintenance and repairs are likely needed because it can chip or scratch easier than other softer/inflatable boards

2. Great for Two or More Dogs – Driftsun Orka Paddle Board

The Draftsun Orka is a mega monster inflatable paddle board that can support a maximum weight capacity of 550 pounds. You can literally float up to 3 people on this paddle board. It’s built to be 12′ long, 45″ wide, and 8″ thick. It also comes with a 9″ removable center tracking fin, a small front bungeed storage compartment, multiple D-rings along the sides for kayak chairs and more bungeed storage use, and two pumps

Most inflatable paddle boards are 4-6″ thick, but this 8″ thickness is massive. The extra thickness provide greater inflating capacity handy for improved buoyancy and load support. It’s no wonder the Driftsun Orka can support up to 3 adult passengers! The paddle board also has a significantly large traction pad on the deck that is great for your curious pets to maneuver on. For paddlers who want to bring two or more dogs, this paddle board is perfect for you. The multiple D-rings along the side also means you can carry more things on board, including coolers and large bags for, say, a fishing trip. And being able to attach kayak chairs means being able to make your paddle board more comfortable for those long hours in the open water.


  • Large deck space
  • Comes with all your paddler essential accessories
  • Whopping 550 pound load support, great for two or more dogs
  • 1 year warranty
  • Lots of D-ring tie down points


  • Paddles are sold separately
  • The bungeed storage compartment can only hold small bags
  • It will take time to inflate!

3. Best Paddle Board for Big Dogs – Driftsun Balance

The Driftsun Balance is an 11” long, 34” wide, and 6” thick paddle board designed for yoga enthusiasts. The board has a great surface area with an even better traction pad to give riders much needed grip when paddling or balancing in choppy waters. The paddle board includes everything essential a paddler needs, including a travel carry backpack with wheels, an adjustable aluminum paddle, a coiled ankle leash, a removable center fin, and a manual pump to inflate the paddle board.

Thanks to the large design of this paddle board, it provides stability greater than most inflatable paddle boards. Although it is still susceptible to waves and choppy water as an inflatable board, it does much better to stay afloat. The large deck space and traction pad is also great for your pets to walk around on, especially for the puppies that can’t sit still! The carry backpack is also great for storage and you can roll it on the floor if it‘s too heavy.


  • Wide deck space with a large no-slip pad for grip
  • Floats well for large and heavy dogs
  • Supports a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds
  • 1 year warranty


  • Sensitive to waves and choppy waters
  • There is a possibility of puncture as an inflatable paddle board
  • Might not track as straight as other types of boards

4. Best for Small or Medium Dogs – CBC Hydra Paddle Board

The CBC Hydra is a soft top foam board with a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds. It measures 10’6″ long by 32″ wide and 5″ thick. The insides use high density EPS, heat layered and laminated with wood stringers and waterproof resin. The Hydra also comes with an adjustable paddle, SUP leash, a removable center fin, camera mount, and a padded car roof rack.

The paddle board deck doesn’t appear to have any special deck traction pad, so you might need wax or your own pad if you want extra no-slip guarantee. However, other owners have commented how the top of the board feels pore-like and have had no problems with slipping, including with their pet dogs. The paddle board handles well, looks cool, and soft enough to lie on top. Paddlers sensitive to hard surfaces will appreciate this soft top foam paddle board.


  • Your dog can stand on it without slipping
  • Comes with padded roof rack for transporting on a vehicle
  • Soft top means more comfort on the hips and knee joints
  • Handles well in the water


  • Roof rack might be tiny (you can find a better one shopping online)
  • Some side indentation marks might be inevitable if you tie it too tightly onto roof rack

5. Best Paddle Board for Touring – Peak Expedition Paddle Board

The Peak Expedition is an inflatable board designed for long distance touring and cargo. It measures at 11′ long at 32″ wide with a thickness of 6″. It supports up to 350 pounds. The paddle board package includes a great look shoulder strap carry backpack for storage and transporting your board, an adjustable alloy paddle with nylon blade that floats on water, 10′ coiled ankle leash, a manual pump with a pressure gauge, 9-inch removable center fin, and a mini-bonus waterproof smartphone carry case. The board also comes with multiple D-rings and two bungeed compartment in the front and back for carry-ons.

First off, this board is bigger than most paddle boards. Although it’s not as large as the Driftsun Orka (we’re not sure what other paddle boards are as big), the Peak Expedition is big enough to carry a pet or two and small enough to paddle without too much effort. It also designs the surface of the deck with little dimples throughout the board to provide grip. Dogs  like the softer surface of inflatables better, and this paddle board does just that. Although you can expect some claw marks over time, the Peak Expedition material is tough enough to withstand the claws.


  • Comes with everything you need to paddle
  • You can stand, sit, or lay down comfortably
  • Supports a higher maximum weight capacity than average paddle boards
  • Great for companions
  • Lots of storage space available
  • Great for all-around use (fishing, touring, yoga)
  • 1 year warranty


  • It is an inflatable board so it requires pumping
  • No actual traction pad (might need to buy your own still)

6. Best Budget-Friendly Pick – Aqua Marina Paddle Board

The Aqua Marina is an inflatable paddle board built with a lot of deck traction padding. It’s dimensions are 10’10” in length, 30″ in width, and 4″ thick. Although it may not be as wide or as thick as other inflatables, it has maximum capacity of 250 pounds, and is much cheaper than other choices. It also includes accessories like a paddle, removable center fin, a manual pump with a pressure gauge, and a shoulder strap carry bag for storage and transporting the board.

The paddle board is very affordable entry-level paddle board for beginner paddlers. It’s deck surface also has a lot of traction and grip from the head to tail. This is great for dogs or paddlers who slip when they paddle. It also makes for a great board for yoga paddleboarding.


  • Great for comfortable long distance traveling
  • Comes with everything you need to get started
  • D-rings for the ankle leash and kayak seats
  • An inexpensive pick for those on a budget
  • Lots of surface traction on the deck top


  • Supports less weight so it might only be good with a small companion
  • Paddle included is not adjustable

7. An Affordable Choice for Leisure Fun – Gili Paddle Board

Last, but not least, the Gili is a sizeable inflatable board that is affordable and budget friendly. It measures at 10’6″ long by 31″ wide and 6″ thick. It comes in a complete bundle including an adjustable paddle, 10′ coiled ankle leash, a manual pump with a gauge, a removable snap-in center fin, and a good-looking travel carry backpack. The board also has a large front-end bungee storage compartment for use. This board supports a maximum weight of up to 275 pounds.

One thing we like about this board is the cost. It’s not over-the-top expensive, so beginners interested in leisure fun can consider this board. It’s also thick enough to provide more buoyancy than other lower end boards around 4-5″ instead of the Gili’s 6″ thickness. The paddle board has a large traction pad so your dogs won’t have trouble standing around on it. You can place your own traction pad in the front so your dog can stand and sit without slipping.


  • Comes with everything you need to get started
  • Large no-slip grip pad on the deck for you and your pet
  • Lightweight and easy to transport


  • Sensitive to choppy waters and small waves
  • Require pumping to inflate
  • Not as stable as other boards

Shopping Guide for the Best Stand Up Paddle Board for Dogs

Our furry friends deserve the absolute best. When you are looking for what paddle board to buy, there is a few criteria to keep in mind.

What Does A Paddle Board for Dogs Need?

Supportive of Extra Weight

On average, paddle boards have a buoyancy level that supports up to 275 pounds. Boards that are smaller than the average (10′ long by 30″ wide and 6″ thick), can have less load support. Watch out for this especially if you have a larger and heavier dog breed weighing over 100 pounds, like a mastiff or rottweiler.

Traction Pads for Dogs

Most paddle boards have traction pads for dog paws so they can stand better. Although most dogs can stand and sit with balance on any paddle boards, inflatable or solid, a large unspoken factor including the water you are in. Some paddle boards also lack traction pads in the front of the board, which is where most dogs are told to sit.

If a paddle board is slippery and you need more grip for your dog, self-adhesive traction pads for dogs are available. For example, the Punt Surf Ripper Traction Pad is one of the popular ones available. It comes in many colors, too. You can use it for both the front or back end of your paddle board.

Lots of Deck Surface Area

The two measurements we want to look out for is the length and width. Although the average 10′ long by 30″ wide board has a lot of space, more is better. This is important for dogs who wander around on the deck, for paddlers who want to bring carry-ons, and for more activity space (like for bathing in the sun!).

Choosing A Life Vest for Dogs

Most paddlers discourage their dogs to hop off their paddle board and swim when they are far from the shoreline for safety reasons. Even if your dog can swim, it’s important for your safety and theirs to wear a life jacket.

There are several reasons you want your dog to always wear a life jacket:

  • Buoyancy: Even if your pet knows how to swim, they might find themselves unable to because of exhaustion, panic, or other physical challenges in place such as climbing back onto the board. The added buoyancy makes it easier for them to stay float and gives you a chance to rescue them.
  • Visibility: On the off chance you lose track of your dog, a bright color life vest in a sea of blue can help you spot your dog quickly and easily.
  • Assistance: When your pet falls off the paddle board, they might have trouble climbing back on. With a life jacket, you can assist your pet better by grabbing a handle on their vest to pull them back onto the board.

One of the best life vest we found for dogs is the Outward Hound Granby. It’s a popular, market-tested, adjustable life jacket that fits both small and large dogs. It has foam panels on the side for added buoyancy and a secure neck float to keep your dog’s head above water in case of emergencies.

The Granby also has a dual rescue handle making it easy for you to pull your dog out of the water. The life vest also doesn’t get in the way of your dog’s swimming as it’s designed to provide buoyancy from the side of the body, away from the front and hind legs.

Our Closing Thoughts

Paddling with your pup is both a fun and amazing experience. The both of you can share an awesome adventure out in the open water, and you won’t have to feel bad for leaving them behind.

Choosing the right paddle board for your dog and yourself doesn’t have to be difficult, so we hope in this buyer’s guide helps you choose a suitable one for the great times ahead!

The 7 Best Lightweight PFD (2018)

For those of you that love water sports or activities, a PFD is a must. The only way to be completely safe out on the water, is to have one of these. We don’t want beginners or professionals without a PFD (personal flotation device).

We know for a fact, that there are lots of models, but there are certain features a PFD should have. But don’t worry about it, our goal for this guide is to clarify some of the major doubts you may have.

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Model Weight (pounds) Type Minimum Buoyancy When Inflated (pounds) Price
Absolute Outdoor Onyx 1 5 22.5 $$
Onyx M-24 Belt Pack 1.33 5 22.5 $$
Onyx MoveVent 1 3 22.0 $
Stohlquist Ebb 1 3 16 $$
Onyx Universal 3 2 50 $
Stearns Classic Series 1.4 2 50 $
Astral V-Eight 1.22 3 16 $$$


Reviews of The 7 Best Lightweight PFD

1. Best Overall Lightweight PFD – Absolute Outdoor Onyx

The Absolute Outdoor Onyx has two adjustable options: you can either keep it on the manual/automatic mode or change it to manual. We strongly suggest to keep it on the manual and automatic option, for safety reasons.

With this option, the PFD automatically inflates as soon as you’re in the water. You can also pull the red handle located on the right side.

In order for you to wear this, you must be over 16 years old, and weight more than 80 pounds. We think that this model might be a good pick for confident swimmers. As in for the price, it has an accessible digit, that could keep you safe at all times.


  • Durable fabric that resists tears
  • Lightweight model which is good for hard activities
  • Stretchable back that can be adjusted to your size
  • Low profile design to keep you cool inside the water


  • Collar can feel a bit uncomfortable
  • Doesn’t come with any pockets
  • The handle can feel somewhat uncomfortable when sitting down

2. Best Lightweight PFD for Experienced Swimmers – Onyx M-24 Belt Pack

The Onyx M-24 Belt Pack comes in a universal size. The item is manually inflatable, which can be done by repeatedly moving the T cord. It also has an oral inflation tube for emergent cases.

We like this model because of its size. It can be a great pick for those of you that love to paddleboard. Another alternative model could be the Onyx M-16 Belt Pack.

Another reason we think it would be a very fitting choice for paddleboarding, is the D-ring feature, as this is an advantage. Lastly, the model comes with small pockets that can be used for important identification. It has a suitable price as well.


  • Comes with pockets for important storage
  • Good size which makes storage easier
  • Does not restrict arm movement when paddleboarding
  • It’s easy to swim with


  • It’s difficult to fold after it’s inflated
  • Not recommended for back wearing
  • Can feel a bit heavier than other belt packs

3. Best Lightweight PFD for Kayaking – Onyx MoveVent

The Onyx MoveVent adapts to fit your body. It’s made from 200 denier nylon ripstop and nylon oxford. It comes with bubble foam on the back and neoprene pads on the shoulders, for greater comfort.

This model has vented channels which can keep the airflow going, and keep you cool. This PFD has a zipper pocket that can be used for storage. It comes with a whistle attached too.

We think this model has a good price considering its features. You should know it’s the only item in the review to include a whistle.


  • The arm holes are big for better maneuverability
  • It comes with a whistle which means you don’t have to expend extra
  • Comes with a rubber tab so you can attach items


  • The back is not high enough which could be an issue for people with high seats
  • It slides up behind head which can feel a bit uncomfortable
  • Can feel bulky at times

4. Best Lightweight PFD with Large Pockets – Stohlquist Ebb

The Stohlquist Ebb has ventilated pads on the sides and back, to keep you cool throughout the day. The arm holes are also quite big, in order for you to feel comfortable.

The model has two pockets on each side, where you can keep important objects. It has adjustable straps on both sides. Lastly, this model makes a great pick for high seats on kayaks.

Up until now, this is the only model suitable for high seated kayaks. As in for the price, it seems appropriate. One more thing, the Stohlquist Flo is a more suitable option for women.


  • It has a high back which makes it suitable for kayaking
  • It’s quite comfortable and it adapts to your body
  • Big armholes for increases comfort


  • The pockets are placed sideways and that can be inconvenient
  • Doesn’t have a tab to attach accessories
  • The excess straps can get in the way

5. Best Lightweight PFD for Calm Waters – Onyx Universal

The Onyx Universal should be used for activities that are not too far from the shore, where help can be delivered quickly. This model doesn’t have many features as it’s quite simple.

The product is very lightweight which makes it a great option for watersports, as it won’t limit your body due to weight. It comes with a clip strap for better and safer adjustment.

Something we like, is the bright color because you can be detected easily. We think this model might be right for you, if you stick to simple activities. This is the most budget-friendly item from the review. It has also received satisfying customer feedbacks.


  • Orange color makes you stand out which could be helpful in an emergency
  • Lightweight model which makes it convenient for simple activities
  • Keeps your head above water if unconscious


  • Can feel uncomfortable if wore for too long
  • Doesn’t have any pockets
  • Can’t be folded which makes it hard to store

6. Best Lightweight PFD for Beginner Swimmers – Stearns Classic Series

The Stearns Classic Series is made from nylon. It’s a 3 strap design for maximum security. It has a polyester shell and a cross-tech foam, to keep you floating. We recommend this model for adults as it comes in a universal size.

This model could be a great pick for activities in calm waters. We don’t recommend it for extreme sports. It’s a good product to purchase if you are looking for a simple PFD, to do kayaking. The price is very much accessible as well.


  • Good choice for people that can’t swim
  • Great price for a low budget
  • Lightweight model which makes it good to take on trips


  • The straps don’t seem to be very tight
  • Not recommended for extreme water sports
  • Rides up high which can feel uncomfortable
  • There have been a couple of issues with the universal size

7. Best Lightweight PFD for Fishing – Astral V-Eight

The Astral V-Eight is made from 200 x 400 denier ripstop nylon. The design has a zipper in the middle, and a clip strap placed on the bottom for increased safety.

This model has advanced technology, that allows the vents on the sides and back to release all the body heat being kept. We like the fact that it’s available in three bright colors, that make you stick out from long distances.

The product has two pockets on both sides, for essentials to be kept. It has a rubber square where you can attach extra equipment. This could be the PFD you’ve been looking for, even though it have a higher price than other models.


  • Comes with pockets for important belonging to be kept
  • It has adjustable straps on shoulders for resizing
  • Comes with rubber pad for equipment attachment


  • High price which could be more than you intend to spend
  • The sideways pockets can be difficult to open
  • Padding can feel a bit thick

Shopping Guide for the Best Lightweight PFD

Do Different Water Sports Activities Require Different PFDs?

There are definitely some PFDs that are more suitable for certain water sports. PFDs are not exactly made for each activity but there are surely some models more comfortable for each one.

We are going to go over some points, that you should consider for each activity.

PFDs for Kayakers:

  • The vest shape is commonly used
  • Zipper and adjustable straps to be completely safe
  • Pockets are helpful for licenses or permits
  • Rubber pads to attach tools
  • Material should keep you cool

PFDs for Paddlers

  • Both vests and belt packs are common
  • Both models should have pockets
  • Automatic inflation is quite important but mostly common in vests
  • Rubber squares for equipment attachment, whistles are required in some places
  • Should be very lightweight considering you’re going to be standing up.

PFDs for Snorkeling

  • There are two types of vests: the common one and a simpler one
  • Vest doesn’t have too many attachments as anything can get caught in corals
  • Adjustable straps
  • Oral inflater to help you stay afloat if needed

PFDs for Fishing

  • Vests are mostly common
  • Pockets to keep lures or any important equipment
  • Pads to attach tools you may need
  • Adjustable shoulder straps for maximum comfort
  • General adjustable straps to keep you secure in case you fall in

What Are the Different Types of PFDs?

As you may know, there are different types of PFDs. We want to explain each one, so you are clear about everything, once you decide to choose a model.

Type I: these models are used in offshore activities. In most cases it takes emergent help a while to get to you. It should leave the average person with their head above the water, if unconscious.

Minimum Buoyancy: 22 pounds (adults)

Type II: this type is for activities near the shore where help can get to you quite quickly. Mostly for calm and flat waters. It only turns some unconscious users with their head above the water. It doesn’t do well in rough environments.

Minimum Buoyancy: 15.5 pounds (adults)

Type III: this kind of model is suitable for paddlers, as it provides comfort for long hours of use. This is not a survival PFD, so help should be nearby.

Minimum Buoyancy: 15.5 pounds (adults)

Type IV: this type of PFD is not a wearable kind. It’s a floatable device, used to throw to aid anyone in need that is conscious. It should be kept within quick reach.

Minimum Buoyancy: 18 pounds (square cushion)

Type V: these types of PFDs are only permitted with certain activities. Must be worn at all times to meet the minimum US Coast Guard demands.

Minimum Buoyancy: 15.5 pounds (adults)

How to Pick the Right PFD Size for Me?

Picking the correct PFD size depends on the size of your chest. Some PDFs come in universal sizes, they all come with a maximum size they can hold. You can also find models that have 3 sizes available, each one is specified with the measurements.

If that’s the case, then you should relate it to your clothes size. You should know that it shouldn’t fully depend on that measurement, as it’s not always reliable when buying PFDs.

You should always try it out. We recommend you do so, with the type of clothes you’re actually going to be wearing with it. Try to move your arms or body around, depending on which activity you’re buying it for. Do the usual movement you do when in the water.

Our Closing Thoughts

We hope to have helped you make your choice and answered your doubts. We suggest you go over every detail very carefully. It’s always a good idea to read what customers have to say about each product.

Take a close look at the Shopping Guide, to make sure you don’t miss anything when choosing your new PFD. Remember to look for a model for your specific activity in order to feel comfortable at all times.

The 7 Best Inflatable Paddle Boards Under $500 (2018)

Paddle boards can be a blast for enjoyment. They are extremely long and wide, and can be used for a variety of fun. For example, some paddlers do yoga, race each other, and tour the water on stand up paddle boards. However, they can be pricey.

Fun doesn’t have to be expensive. Fortunately, there are inexpensive inflatable paddle boards that won’t break your bank. They include accessories, come in different designs for different uses, and are reliably stable.

In this guide, we will look at the top 7 best inflatable paddle boards under $500.

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Model Length Width Thickness Price
SereneLife 10′ 30” 6” $$
RoC 10’5″ 30” 6” $$
iRocker SPORT 11′ 30” 6” $$$
HydroForce 10′ 32” 4” $
Goplus 11′ 30” 6” $$
Vilano Journey 10′ 31.5” 6” $
Z-Ray FS7 11′ 32” 6” $$$


Quality iSUP Boards Under $500?

Paddle boards come in different shapes and sizes. Although more expensive boards may be designed for reliability or for specific purposes, it doesn’t mean that cheaper paddle boards can’t accomplish the same feat. For starters, a paddle board under $500 is highly doable with so many available on the market. Although they are not the absolute best, there are many well-rated paddle boards that are popular and reliably tested. It also helps that you have a global supply of paddle boards to pick and choose from thanks to the world wide web.

In this guide, there are numerous inflatable paddle boards that include the full kit of paddling essentials. Things like a manual pump with a pressure gauge, a storage and carry backpack with shoulder straps, and an adjustable paddle are some of many things that you can get along with a decent paddle board under $500.

Don’t Pick Based On Accessories!

Accessories can be pricey, but one of the worst things you can do is buy a board that bows or isn’t suitable for your type of activity. Although most shoppers for this guide are casual paddlers, we still want to be on the lookout for quality boards.

So how should you pick the best inflatable paddle board?

  • Supports your weight: There are two components to weight support. One is the maximum weight capacity that the manufacturer tells us the board can support. The other is the thickness of the board. Why is the thickness important? Concentrated weight when standing on a paddle board can cause the board to begin bowing (mild bend). This bend can make the board ridiculously difficult to paddle and use, so we want to find boards that are 4″ or 6″ thick (6″ being the safer). It’s important for heavier individuals (>250 pounds) to use a thick 6″ SUP board.
  • Lengthy and wide enough for you: This point is for fishers packing a lot of gear, yoga enthusiasts wanting to use the deck space, and taller individuals that want to lay on top of their board. 10′ to 10′ 6″ long and 30″ to 32″ wide is a standard board. If you’ve had trouble balancing from previous paddling experience or want a board that is as stable as possible, buy a wide board that is 32″ or greater in width.
  • Accessories, still! Although you shouldn’t pick solely on accessories (because not all boards are built the same), unless you plan on paddling with your hands or spending extra money and time finding a pump, a paddle, and a bad, then maybe it is worth considering the accessories that come with the paddle board. For starters, this is great. For the more serious enthusiasts, you might not be interested in “more stuff” because you have better choices to choose.

With these in mind, you can pick a SUP board that looks cool or sexy or great. Once you find a board that won’t sink under your weight and is suited for your type of activity, then you can pick your favorite color and design.

Reviews of the Best Inflatable Paddle Boards Under $500

1. Best All-Around Paddle Board – SereneLife Paddle Board

The SereneLife is one of the most popular paddle boards on the market. It’s also recommended by Amazon, and for good reason. This 10′ paddle board is designed with a wide deck with a soft no-slip top.

It also comes with a complete paddling kit, including a paddle, coiled ankle cuffs safety leash, a manual pump with a gauge, one repair kit, and a basic duffle bag for storage and carrying.

One of the things we like about the SereneLife is the triple fins. These fins seemingly insignificant provide a better tracking (going in a straight line) for the paddle board with better speed and efficiency. This means less work and more fun.


  • Comes as a complete paddle board set with paddling essentials
  • Designed for stability and grip
  • Wide deck for extra comfort
  • Comes with a front-end bungeed storage compartment
  • High maximum weight capacity (275 pounds)


  • Storage bag could be better if it was a backpack
  • Not built for racing or touring

2. Runner Up Contender – RoC Paddle Board

The RoC is one of the widest boards available on the market. At 10’ 5” long and 33” wide, it is a super stable board that can be great for bigger individuals that need more flotation or for those interested in a wider yoga paddle board.

It comes with all the paddler’s essentials accessories, including a decent knap sack carry bag, a manual pump with a gauge, paddle, and coiled ankle leash. It also comes with a waterproof carry bag for your belongings.

If you’re looking for a value pick, then the RoC is one of the top contenders as our runner up pick.


  • Comes as a full-set board with accessories, including an additional waterproof carry bag
  • Wider than most paddle boards for greater stability and deck space
  • Outfitted with triple bottom fins for improved tracking and speed
  • 1-year warranty


  • Not designed for speed or for long distance paddling

3. Best Paddle Board For Racing and Speed – iRocker SPORT Paddle Board

The iRocker Sport is an 11’ long and 30” wide paddle board designed with the shape of a missile for maximum glide and minimum drag. If you are a racer or into touring long distances, then this performance-oriented board is right for you. It also has a ridiculously high max weight support of 385 pounds making it great for nearly individual, big or small.

The paddle board also comes with all accessories you will need. It includes a knap sack for storing and carrying your board, a manual pump with a gauge, a coiled ankle leash, and a paddle.


  • Bungeed compartment in the front
  • Uses three fins for great tracking and improved speed
  • Comes with everything you need, including a backpack with adjustable shoulder straps
  • 2-year warranty


  • Not designed for yoga-related activities
  • Not as stable as other low profile and flat boards

4. Budget-Friendly Pick with Seat – HydroForce Paddle Board

The HydroForce is a 10’ long and 32” wide paddle board that is built for a kayaking experience. It comes with a two-head paddle and a removable kayak seat with a detachable footrest. The board is however thinner than most paddle boards at 4” thick, providing less buoyancy and supporting a maximum weight limit of 209 pounds.

The SUP board set also includes a good-looking travel bag with adjustable shoulder straps for carry and storage and a manual pump with a gauge. There is also a bungeed storage compartment in the front for carrying a small bag. There are also three permanent fins to help the paddle board track better.


  • Great kayaking experience with a seat and footrest included
  • Everything can be removed for a stand up paddle board experience
  • Inexpensive choice for those on a tight budget


  • Not as wide or spacious as other boards
  • It does have difficulty tracking (going straight) as a shorter paddle board
  • Does not support as much weight as other paddle boards

5. Best Paddle Board for Heavy Riders and Yoga – Goplus Paddle Board

The Goplus is a 10’ long and 30” wide paddle board that can support a whopping weight capacity of up to 440 pounds. This means heavier riders can also enjoy the paddle board.

The deck uses no-slip grip for ensuring a steady ride experience. This wide grip surface also makes it great for extra passengers and yoga enthusiasts. Although it is not as wide or long as other boards, it’s rigid soft top build is reliable for nearly all users to enjoy. There is also a bungeed compartment in the front.


  • Large no-slip grip deck space
  • Super supportive of heavier individuals with a max weight capacity of 440 pounds
  • Comes with all the accessories you need to get started, including a carry bag, pump, and paddle
  • Good for leisure paddling on calm waters


  • Might not be great for tall individuals (6’ or greater)
  • Not the greatest at tracking with only one fin and rounded front end

6. Great Value Pick – Vilano Journey Paddle Board

The Valino Journey is a 10’ long and 31.5-inch wide thick paddle board. It has several stainless D-rings (11 in total) that can be used for bungeed storage in the front or a kayak seat in the middle. The deck has a very wide no-slip grip which makes this board great for yoga-related activities. It’s also good for all-around use, although it does lack tracking (going straight). The board does maneuver very well in the water.

The Valino Journey also comes with a paddle, a manual pump with a pressure gauge, a removable single centre fin, a decent shoulder strap backpack, and a coiled ankle leash.


  • Comes with everything essential that you need to get started
  • Inexpensive choice for a board that can be used for many leisure activities
  • D-rings available for installing a kayak seat
  • Adjustable 3-piece paddle
  • 1-year warranty


  • Doesn’t come with a kayak seat
  • Not that great at tracking
  • Not suitable for racing and requires a lot of paddling effort for long distance touring

7. Best Paddle Board for Fishing – Z-Ray FS7 Paddle Board

The Z-Ray FS7 is a long 11’, 32” wide paddle board with a maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds. This angler paddle board although not super popular is designed for fishing. It has multiple D-Rings along the sides, so you can use them for coolers and/or a kayak seat. There is also a bungeed storage compartment in the front for storing smaller items. The deck is wide and uses a non-slip grip so you can stand with comfort.

The paddle board comes with all the essentials, including an adjustable paddle, a manual pump with a pressure gauge, a very good looking backpack with shoulder straps for storage and carry. It does lack an ankle leash that most other boards we reviewed comes with.


  • Many D-rings available for placing your fishing gears however you wish
  • High maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds
  • Wide and long deck, with no-slip grip
  • Comes with everything you need to start paddling


  • Doesn’t come with an ankle leash (sold separately)
  • Not suitable for long-distance paddling or for racing

Our Closing Thoughts

Enjoying the waters doesn’t have to be financially painful. There are a lot of paddle boards on the market that are affordable and offer the same experience as more expensive ones. Thanks to the World Wide Web, we have more selection and more competition that drives prices down. And in this guide, we look at the 7 best inflatable paddle boards that are under $500.

What Are Paddle Boards Made Of?

There are a variety of materials used to make a paddle board. You can own either an inflatable paddle board or a solid one. Manufacturers use the same material for inflatable boards, but many different types of material for solid ones. If you’re not sure what is what, then this guide will help you. We will examine the four types of paddle board materials, and how they differ between each other.

The Assessment Criteria

It’s one thing to know what a paddle board is made of. It’s another to know the materials’ pros and cons. We look at each paddle board construction based off of four criteria:

  • Durability: When we look at durability, we are judging a board on how prone they might be to damage and dings. For example, foam boards are prone to damage and dents, while
  • Portability: Being able to transport your paddle board from your home to the water can be challenging. Portability looks at minimal weight, storage capacity, and convenience of transporting. For example, solid boards will need a car rack, dolly, and/or strap sling to transport.
  • Affordability:  Not everyone wants to spend $1,000 on a board. Affordability looks at the price of the board, how much it costs to maintain and repair, and to rent.
  • Performance: Some we have a need for speed. Performance deals with the the maximum amount of travel distance with the least amount of effort in paddling. It’s also worth noting that performance is also highly influenced by the shape and design of the paddle board (racing paddle boards have significantly less width for greater glide than yoga paddle boards built with more deck space for yoga poses).

Paddle Board Construction Materials

There are two main categories of paddle boards: inflatables and solid (rigid) boards. Among the two categories, there are four types of paddle board materials:

  • PVC inflatable boards
  • Soft top foam boards
  • Wood-based boards
  • Resin-infused boards

PVC Inflatable Paddle Boards

PVC is short for polyvinyl chloride, a cheap and popular material used for most inflatable crafts, such as kayaks and air beds. PVC is durable and flexible.

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”]How it’s made:

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An example of a PVC inflatable paddle board:

  • Durability: 7/10
  • Portability: 10/10
  • Affordability: 10/10
  • Performance: 5/10



  • Extremely lightweight
  • Cheaper than other types of materials
  • Convenient and easy to start with
  • Takes up very little storage space
  • Forgiving when bumped into rocks


  • Can be punctured if not careful (usually fine for pets with trimmed nails)
  • Requires some effort in inflating for every use
  • Tracks poorly in water (not enough weight to maintain its course)
  • Sensitive to waves and water currents

Soft Top Foam Paddle Boards

These paddle boards are similar to epoxy SUPs (more on this later), but are wrapped in a soft ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) shell that makes the surface extremely elastic but tough, and use an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) bottom for resistance to physical impact. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam is another lightweight alternative that is rigid and withstand concentrated load.

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”]How it’s made:

[/wpsm_column][wpsm_column size=”one-half” position=”last”]
An example of a PVC inflatable paddle board:

  • Durability: 6/10
  • Portability: 9/10
  • Affordability: 9/10
  • Performance: 10/10



  • Lightweight
  • Padded for softness (great for those with joint pain when standing on hard surfaces)
  • Inexpensive and a great choice for the more enthusiastic paddlers/beginners


  • The foam compresses and bends over time (especially where you stand)
  • Can be damaged if you hit a rock

Wood-Based Paddle Boards

These paddle boards are made with a fishbone framework that creates a hollow interior for buoyancy and strength. Then, typically either plywood or wood veneer is used to layer around the framework to create the rest of the board. They are then covered with resin to protect the wood. Wood-based boards are heavier to carry and cost more, but can last for many years and handle well in choppy water currents.

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”]How it’s made:
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An example of a PVC inflatable paddle board:

  • Durability: 10/10
  • Portability: 4/10
  • Affordability: 3/10
  • Performance: 10/10



  • Tough and structurally sound
  • Great compression strength
  • Handles waves and and choppy water very well
  • Comes in a variety of beautiful wood types and designs
  • Easy to repair
  • Tracks very well with smoother glides thanks to the weight
  • You buy for life


  • Much more expensive up front than the more popular PVC inflatables and soft top foam boards
  • Heavy and will require other tools for transporting (car rack, dolly or shoulder strap sling)
  • Takes up storage space

Resin-Infused Paddle Boards

Paddle boards made with resin use a mold to craft its shell. A vacuum draws resin into an air-tight sealed membrane mould where it hardens into the structure of a paddle board. There are several methods for creating a resin-based board, and each process has it’s strengths and weaknesses. The two popular resin-based paddle boards are fiberglass resin and epoxy resin.

How it’s made:

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”]How it’s made:
[/wpsm_column][wpsm_column size=”one-half” position=”last”]
An example of a PVC inflatable paddle board:

  • Durability: 7/10
  • Portability: 5/10
  • Affordability: 7/10
  • Performance: 9/10



  • Lightweight
  • Durable and reliable
  • Lasts longer than inflatables and foam-based paddle boards
  • Tracks well and glides smoothly on water


  • Somewhat pricier than more popular inflatable or soft top foam paddle boards
  • Takes up storage space
  • Requires care and maintenance

Which Material Paddle Board Is Right For You?

Now that you have a better idea of the types of paddle boards available, it’s time to make a decision. Here is a table of all our ratings on the criteria for each board material and how you can decide on which is best for you.


If you have a budget you have in mind or want to spend the least amount for a good time, then PVC inflatables and soft top foams are the way to go. They are usually priced around a low $300 to a high $800, depending on accessories, board design (yoga, racing, all-around), and brand.

Buying For Life

For those interested in buying a paddle board that will last them a life time, wood-based and resin-infused paddle boards are the best choice. Well designed wood and resin-infused molded boards can last for years, while inflatables and soft top foams have a life span of 1 to 2 years depending on how frequent they are used.


When you buy a paddle board for a specific activity (yoga, fishing, touring), then material might not matter as much. Although fishers, racers, and long distance touring paddlers might be interested in a reliable and durable board made of wood or resin-infusion, yoga enthusiasts and people buying for fun can get away with inflatable and soft top foam.

Our Closing Thoughts

There is a lot that goes into making a paddle board, including the main materials used. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s up to you to decide what you are looking for and what you are willing to give up.

In this guide, we look at the four main types of materials and how they are different compared to each other. We hope this guide helps you in understanding what paddle boards are made of!

The 7 Best Inflatable Fishing Paddle Board (2018)

Is paddleboarding your new obsession? If that’s the case or you are just simply looking for a new inflatable board, then we certainly hope you find what you’re looking for.

These stand-up boards allow you to go places a regular boat won’t and they give you a clearer sight of the water, but we are aware of how many products exist and these are the best ones.

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Model Length Comes with Seat? Price
Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 12’6″ Yes $$$
Blue Water SUP 10′ Yes $
Aqua Marina DRIFT 10’10” Yes $$
Elkton Outdoors Grebe 12″ No $$
Zray Fs7 11″ No $
SBBC Hippokamp 11’6″ Yes $$$
Blackfoot Angler 11″ No $$$


Reviews of the Best Inflatable Paddle Board for Fishing

1. Best for Professionals – Sea Eagle FishSUP 126

The Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 has a total of 6 inches of thickness and 12,6 x 40 inches when fully inflated.

In terms of portability, it’s extremely easy to carry when deflated since it only measures 45 x 15 x 10 inches and it can be rolled to fit in the backpack which is included.

This previous feature also makes it a lot easier for storing your board at home and it gives you plenty of room in your car for the rest of your equipment.

With this model this will only take 7 minutes to inflate and assemble.

Now let’s go over the features, although this is a stand-up model it does come with a swivel seat fish rig; which we truly like because if you’re out for long you can get a bit tired.

The board includes two paddles: a SUP paddle and an AB30 paddle.

We really like the fact that it includes both of these paddles because it makes this experience a lot more comfortable and easier for you, especially if you are a beginner.

It also includes a multi-purpose storage box placed behind the chair for your lures and baits.

This item comes with a built-in 36 inches ruler.

One more thing, this model comes with 4 rod holders.

We think that the feature mentioned above is a great plus for those professionals out there that can handle more than 1 rod at a time.

Lastly it has a motor mount appropriate for those of you that don’t like to paddle too much or want to go a bit further.

We do have to say that it’s definitely an expensive purchase but it could be the best decision for professionals because of the many features.


  • Comes with a motor mount for faster speed
  • Comes with 4 rod holders which improves your chances of a successful fishing day
  • Includes a chair for better comfort during the day
  • Assembling and inflation only takes 7 minutes
  • Can be rolled up in a backpack for ease of transportation


  • High price for people just starting out
  • It doesn’t come with fins which prevents you from moving in a straight line
  • Can feel a bit heavier than the other models

Go check out the .

2. Best for Touring – Blue Water SUP

The Blue Water SUP and kayak is the best option for newcomers in this hobby, measuring 10 x 32 x 6 inches.

This board is made from drop stitch with fortified laminated edges which could last you years.

This model has great advantages with one of them being the easy transformation from a stand-up paddleboard to a kayak.

This easy-to-do transition only involves the clip-on seat and the 2 in 1 adjustable paddle appropriate for each activity.

It also has a footrest which can be removed for a bit more space or for performing different activities.

The model offers a wide 32-inch deck which provides greater stability and control.

If you’re a bit of an explorer then get this: it comes with its own backpack which means it can be rolled up for fast and easy transport.

An additional thing, it comes with a 3 fin set up which improves the maneuverability.

A feature we are genuinely fond of is the EVA deck pad which prevents you from slipping and is also comfortable on your feet.

For onboard storage, there are 9 D-rings and a military stitch from bungee cord to keep things secure at all time.

It takes you a minimum of 12 minutes to get the board inflated with the included high-pressure pump.

In terms of value we think this model has a good price considering it’s a 2 in 1 purchase.


  • Great for kids as it is very easy to use
  • Comes with a backpack which makes it easy to carry around
  • Great price for a start-up paddle board
  • The kayak seat is very comfortable for long hours of use
  • It’s good for plenty of water activities like yoga


  • The paddle can sink and we recommend the purchase of a leash
  • It doesn’t come with a rod holder
  • It doesn’t include an on-board storage box
  • Can be hard to pump at times

Get a look at the .

3. Best for Short Distance Fishing Trips – Aqua Marina DRIFT

The Aqua Marina Drift is a stand-up model with a total of 7 D-rings.

One placed on the tail to secure the leash, 4 on the nose attached with bungee cord and the other two in the center to maintain the cooler in place.

And another thing, the cooler has a chair attached to it for back support.

It’s built from double wall drop stitch. It has a large EVA pad to keep you from slipping.

It comes with 2 rod holders.

The model includes an easy to add fin for better control of the board.

An additional thing, it comes with a pump with gauge.

The air chambers placed in the center of both sides add extra stability and support to the board.

A backpack is included for ease of transportation and storage when deflated.

We think this model has an accessible price considering it has plenty of space to keep your catches, we think it’s a great choice for fishing.

One last thing we think you should know: this model does not include a paddle.


  • The cooler and the chair are a 2 in 1 item which gives you more space
  • It has two rod holders which increase your chances when fishing
  • The air chambers provide better stability and they keep you from tipping
  • The cooler comes with straps which makes it fast to adjust
  • It has a large non-slip pad which gives you a lot of room to walk on.


  • The air chambers can be a bit of a challenge during inflation
  • It doesn’t come with a paddle which means you are going to have to buy a separate one
  • You can’t attach a motor which makes your day a lot more slower

Have a look at the .

4. Best for Intermediates – Elkton Outdoors Grebe

The Elkton Outdoors Grebe is a stand-up board that measures 12 x 36 x 6 inches when fully inflated.

For on-board storage it comes with a bungee cord structure placed on both the nose and the tail.

It comes with 2 rod holders which can be removed if you just want some paddling time.

A high-pressure pump and valve are included for quick and appropriate inflation that lasts the whole day.

This model has many features to offer, when the model is completely deflated you can roll it up and secure it with a strap to keep it in place.

There is also a backpack with added wheels in which you can store it for fast transportation.

An adjustable length paddle is included, this feature is great because you can personalize the length accordingly.

It has quite a big EVA pad placed all throughout the center of the board for maximum use of space, which keeps you comfortable and safe.

The board includes an ankle leash that can be attached to the paddle to keep it close to you at all times.

This product is designed with two built-in fins and it comes with a bigger middle one that can be clipped on.

It has heavy duty D-rings that can be used for separately bought Elkton items which could be a plus for fishing.

We really like the fact that you can customize this model with a camera, anchor or GPS; these are all great add-ons to get the full experience.

In our opinion this model has an accordingly set price if you take in count all the features it comes with and all the options you can add later on.


  • It comes with bungee cords on the front and back which give you more storage space.
  • It includes an additional fin for more control
  • Comes with strap and backpack with makes storing and transportation incredibly easy
  • Has a grip handle right in the middle which makes it easy to carry when inflated
  • You can remove the rod holders if you’re not planning on using them


  • It doesn’t come with any form of back support which can be an issue after long hours
  • Doesn’t include a cooler which means you’re going to have to buy it separately
  • It only comes with a wide teardrop paddle which can make it hard to get far

Check out the .

5. Budget-Friendly Choice and Highest Rated – Zray Fs7

The Zray Fs7 has the lowest price from the review but varies with multiple features.

It comes with a length-adjustable paddle which floats and we consider this a great feature because it makes it a lot more easier if you accidentally drop it.

The board is designed with 2 small side fins and one central fin which can be removed when preferred.

It comes with Zray’s pump which takes anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes to reach full inflation.

When deflated, the model can be rolled up and stored in the included backpack which allows you to carry it freely.

The product measures 11 x 32 x 6 inches which makes this model very much suitable for a relaxing fishing trip.

It comes with 4 D-rings on where your equipment of preference can be attached.

There is an elastic cargo bungee on the nose of the board which can be used as a small storage unit.

One last thing, it includes a waterproof phone case which can be used to remember your adventure.

We think this model is a good pick because it has the best price, it could certainly provide you a good day of fishing or kayaking.


  • It comes with a backpack that can be used for ease of transportation
  • You can remove the central fin when you want
  • It only takes a maximum of 10 minutes to inflate
  • You can take your dog with you because it can handle the weight and it’s pretty big


  • It doesn’t include a cooler which means you have to buy it separately
  • When you use it for kayaking, the paddle isn’t appropriate for that activity
  • It doesn’t come with a leash which means you could accidentally lose your paddle
  • A rod holder isn’t included for fishing
  • It doesn’t include a chair

Take a look at the .

6. Best for Family Use – SBBC Hippokamp

The SBBC Hippokamp measures 11.6 x 32 x 6 inches.

It’s made from a durable drop stitch and it’s covered in military grade PVC layers and carbon fiber rails.

It comes with 2 D-rings suitable for a kayaking chair which can be useful when fishing for long hours.

It comes with two bungee straps, one on the nose and the other on the tail; this feature allows you to take more equipment if needed.

The board includes a 2 in 1 paddle that can be transformed appropriately for paddleboarding or kayaking.

One more thing about the paddle: it comes with a leash in order to keep it at sight at all times.

An additional detail, it comes with 3 mount locations and 2 built-in fish rod holders.

This item comes with 2 smaller fins on the sides and a bigger one for the center, which can be removed.

For storage, the board can be rolled up and put in the backpack which comes with wheels in order to make transportation a lot more efficient.

We recommend this model for use with your family as it can handle 400 pounds, it can very handy for some bonding time away from technology.

We do have to admit that it is a bit expensive but you should look at it as a way of only purchasing one paddleboard for your family.


  • It includes a small cooler which could be useful to store lures
  • Comes with a paddle that can be used for many activities
  • Comes with its own pump which means you won’t have to purchase one separately
  • Comes with a leash to attach to the paddle
  • Includes a waterproof phone case


  • High price for a paddle board
  • It can be a bit hard when attaching the kayak seat
  • Can be a bit heavy in comparison to the previous items

Go look at the .

7. Great for Heavy Equipment – Blackfoot Angler

The Blackfoot Angler can support a total of 450 pounds which is why we recommend it for fishermen with heavy equipment or for those of you that like to paddleboard with company.

Its measurements are 11 x 36 x 6 inches and it weighs 28 pounds which is fairly lightweight.

The weight of the board makes it suitable for transportation, the backpack that comes with it makes this process even easier.

One feature we extremely like is the 6 mounts that are distributed in the most easy-to-access places, you could potentially have 6 rod holders with plenty of activity going on.

It also has 4 D-rings which can come in handy for your cooler, these four rings will keep your equipment steady for your convenience.

There are two bungee storages located at the nose and tail for more of your essentials.

The board is made from premium grade drop stitch with a powerstrip material.

The main area of use is coated with an appropriate texture to keep you from slipping.

One more thing, it comes with a standard fin that can be easily replaced with one from another brand; this feature could save you time when in need on replacing it.

Lastly it has three straps all placed throughout the board evenly to make carrying it quite easy when inflated.

This is one of the highest budget paddleboards from the review but keep in mind it supports the most weight and it has useful features placed throughout the board.

Important note: you should know that the paddle isn’t included.


  • It comes with 6 mounts which is great for serious fishermen
  • It can be rolled up and stored in a backpack for greater portability
  • It has plenty of storage on the nose and tail
  • It’s large which makes it good for more than 1 person
  • It has a non-slip pad to prevent accidents


  • Doesn’t include paddles which means you have to purchase them separately
  • Does not come with chair which could get tiring after a few hours
  • A cooler isn’t included for extra storage

Give the .

Shopping Guide for the Best Inflatable Paddle Board for Fishing

How to Choose a Proper Inflatable Fishing SUP Boards

If you are a professional fisherman then you should already know the basics of what to look for in a paddle board.

If that’s not your case have a look at the following points:

  • Rod holders
  • Bungee storage
  • D-rings
  • Motor mount
  • Seat
  • Pump

Rod holders are extremely important for fishing, as you may know this job (or sport) takes patience and that means time, so you shouldn’t have to be holding your rod manually.

And remember the more rod holders the better because that means more possibilities.

Bungee storage is common on most paddle boards but you should make sure of this because it can come in very handy to keep your catches or to keep your paddle in place when not in use.

D-rings are also quite common but some boards have a few more than other, this feature keeps your equipment in place.

This is not a must but if you want to cover more water then this is pretty important because paddling through large areas can be very challenging.

In this point we go back to patience, you can’t possibly be standing while some action occurs so a chair (or any kind of back support ) is highly needed.

Since all of the products in the review are inflatable, a pump is an essential so make sure it’s included for your convenience.

Those are the main points a suitable fishing paddle board should have.

How to Pick the Correct Paddle Shape

The two basic paddle shapes are:

  • Wide teardrop
  • Narrow teardrop

The wide teardrop shape gives you a lot of power and speed as soon as the tip touches the water and it has a back angle to keep you in the correct direction.

It’s also mostly recommended for when standing up.

On the other hand, the narrow teardrop paddle is on both sides of the shaft and it’s appropriate for longer distances and the back angle is smaller.

This is suitable for when sitting down.

Some of the boards in the review have a 2 in 1 paddle that includes both of these, we recommend a model with this option because they can be quite useful for fishing.

How Does Fishing on a SUP Board Compare to Kayak Fishing?

We personally prefer SUP board fishing over kayak fishing.

They both have advantages and disadvantages but here are our reasons:

Pros of SUP Boards

  • You can approach your target without being detected
  • You can walk around the pad to change your fishing angle
  • You get a clearer view of the water especially when standing up
  • They are a lot more easier to transport and store when not in use

Cons of SUP Boards

  • You have less storage in comparison to kayaks.

Pros of Kayaks

  • You have more storage for lures and baits
  • You don’t require much balance

Cons of Kayaks

  • You will have a hard time storing and transporting your kayak
  • You can’t walk around as you are restrained to your seat which can get uncomfortable
  • You can’t be steady around fish
  • You have a limited sight

One last thing, for SUP boards we do recommend you to pick a model with both a stand-up and seat option.

What You’ll Need to Get Started Fishing on Your iSUP

These are the main things you need to get started:

We know that some of these are pretty basic but it takes a lot of consideration when picking these items.

We hope this review has helped you choose a fitting paddle board and as we previously recommended go for one that comes with a 2 in 1 paddle.

A leash can be very handy to keep yourself or your paddle safe.

And lastly your desired fishing rod that should help you make your first catch.

iSUP Fishing Tips

Here are some tips we highly suggest:

  • Have a look at the weather before deciding to go fishing
  • Only bring your essentials, you won’t have too much extra space
  • Beware of certain laws or licences you might need
  • Have every single item on the SUP secure, you don’t want anything getting left behind
  • If you decide to go to a new fishing spot then don’t go too far on your first time

Editor’s Pick – Final Verdict

Our top choice is the .

This model comes with 2 rod holders and 2 D-rings which are appropriate for a seat.

It has bungee storage on the nose and tail.

Lastly it comes with its own pump.

All in all this is our top pick, it comes with practically all the essentials needed for SUP fishing.

We hope to have helped you find the most suitable fishing paddle board.

How To Improve Balance In A Kayak

Balancing in a kayak can be difficult at times, despite using the most stable of boats. One of the last things we want to do is fall off our sit-on kayak or capsize and submerge ourselves in a sit-in kayak.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to ensure we improve our balance as we enjoy the stroll on the open water. We take a closer look at them in this mini-guide:

What Affects Stability?

Stability has to do with the ability for a kayaker to remain on top of a boat without feeling as if they are about to fall off. This means the more stable a boat is, the less sway the rider can feel. The feeling of stability will differ from person to person despite using the same kayak model, so we want to look at how a boat performs and reacts on the open water.

The general stability of a boat has to do with three factors:

  • The width of the boat: The wider a boat is, the more stable they can be. Wider boats can provide more surface area for it to be subjected to the buoyancy of water applied across the entire boat. When it comes to stability, it’s the swaying from left to right that causes the most frustration to kayakers, so with more width, there can be less sway.
  • The shape of the hull: The shape of the hull also has an influence on how a boat behaves when it moves on the water. Flat-bottom boats can provide noticeable stability but can be susceptible to tipping over from bigger waves. The reverse is true for round-bottom boats, where they can ride waves and remain upright easier, but require a lot of effort from the kayak to maintain balance.
  • The distribution of weight: The more gear or the higher a seat is, the more wobbly it can get. The location of the bulk of the weight can also cause some grief. If a kayaker stands at the tips of the kayak, they may find themselves wobble to a greater effect than if they were seated comfortably in the center. Some heavier individuals might find themselves prone to falling off their kayak because of where their center of gravity is located. Most kayaks have a weight capacity of at least 300 lbs, with tandems allowing for 600 lbs or greater. When our center of gravity is off center or too far from the boat itself (i.e., on a seat that is high off the deck), swaying can become inevitable.

The ability for a kayaker to balance during paddling is an important factor as well. training in techniques to balance and simple balance training (we cover this in a future article) can help tremendously. In the meantime, let’s look at the modifications we can take to make our ship balance easier on the water.

How To Stabilize A Tippy Kayak With Modifications

The type of kayak you use will play a significant role in whether you can balance properly. For example, racer kayaks tend to be thin and ocean kayaks tend to have a round hull. Both of these types of kayaks make it difficult to balance because they are designed for a specific purpose in mind (i.e., to reduce the resistance of water and to survive waves).

If you bought the right kayak and find it difficult to balance, there are several modifications you can make in order for your kayak to become stable enough for use:

  • Lower the seat: This can make paddling difficult, but the lower center of gravity (you) can help a kayak maintain its stability. You can also consider switching out the high chair for one that is low on the deck. This might subject you to sitting in water when it gets onto the boat deck, but it can provide a significantly noticeable difference in how much effort it takes to balance.
  • Adding weight or ballast: This allows you to lower the center of gravity enough so that the boat can sway less. You can add anywhere between 8 to 12 pounds of ballast for a difference in stability. Water as a ballast secured underneath or close to your seat can be optimal and out of the way.
  • Attaching an outrigger/stabilizer: Known as the training wheels for kayaks, kayak stabilizer systems/outriggers use arms that reach out far from the center of gravity of the kayak to prevent the kayak from tipping over. They work because buoyancy applied to the arms by the water helps keep the boat from tipping or swaying from side to side. Check out the Hobie Sidekick Ama and the Brocraft Outrigger for two great examples of stabilizers you can install onto your kayak.

Despite making modifications to your kayak, you might find that balancing is still an issue. In this case, it might be time to improve your technique and core strength. We mentioned how the same boat model can feel different from paddler to paddler.

One of the changes you can make is to practice techniques that help provide a greater balance as you kayak throughout the day.

Lessons might also be necessary in order to get better at balancing. A properly licensed instructor can pinpoint where the issue is and offer recommendations to help you balance properly on any or all kayaks.

Another idea that maybe the kayak is not right for you. If you end up buying a racing kayak as a beginner, and want to improve to eventually race competitively, you might have to take a step back to a friendlier model that can accommodate your skill level.

Which Type Of Kayak Is More Stable?

For those looking for a new kayak or shopping for one, we mentioned wider and flat hull kayaks have the greatest amount of stability.

Beginner kayaks that are built for either fishing or are sit-on-tops models can minimize the amount of sway. The wider and flat hull designs make it easy for fishers and recreational kayakers to enjoy the water without worrying too much about skill and core strength.

We should mention that other types of kayaks such as ones built for river, whitewater, ocean, and racing are unsuitable for beginners. They will require some skill and experience to balance well.

Our Closing Thoughts

Kayaking is a fun sport and can be a great pastime. When we first start out, balancing can be difficult. No one wants to fall into the water, especially when that isn’t why we kayak in the first place.

Kayak doesn’t have to be difficult. In this mini-guide, we look at ways to improve our balance so we can better enjoy ourselves. We hope the methods we outlined here can help you on how to balance a kayak and enjoy your experience on the water!

How To Outfit A Kayak For Fishing

The advice to those who want to start fishing from their kayak is to bring a rod the next time you go paddling. There is truth to this! In order to get started, you really don’t need a lot. Aside from a way to carry your rod on the kayak and wearing the appropriate attire, all you need is some storage space for any fishing gear that might be needed. Fortunately, most angler kayaks on the market now come equipped with everything you would need to start fishing today.

There are, however, a few extra details you might want to consider before launching into the open water. We will cover the specifics in this mini-guide on outfitting a kayak for fishing for the day.

How To Set Up A Kayak For Fishing

There are five things you need for putting together the best fishing kayak setup:

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  • rod holders
  • a comfortable seat
  • a way to carry and store your fishing gear
  • an anchor to keep your boat in place, and
  • a paddle holder and leash


Let’s examine each item in closer detail.

Comfortable and Adequate Seating for Long Hours

[wpsm_quote author=”” float=”right” width=”34%”]If you’re going to be enjoying yourself, you may as well be comfortable with the right kayak seat![/wpsm_quote]

If we are to find ourselves on the water for long hours, we may as well sit back and relax. A comfortable seating that is wide enough for the kayak will be one of the most important considerations to make. Seating should have a support and padding for the back and butt. A strong backrest is important.

Not only should they be comfortable for long hours of sitting, but also a few inches high off the deck when water gets onto the boat. It goes without saying any fishing trip would involve some water getting on board. Certain seat models can also come with some storage pockets to carry safety equipment in like a flare or a flashlight. For those that don’t, you can attach a backpack for some extra storage compartments. Learn more about the most comfortable kayak seats in our review guide.

If you are in a seat-in kayak, a spray skirt can also be considered to prevent water from getting into the kayak.

Using the Right Rod Holders for Fishing Rods

[wpsm_quote author=”” float=”right” width=”34%”]Are you carrying your rods properly? How long will the fishing rods be held for? The right rod holder can make fishing enjoyable and relaxing.[/wpsm_quote]

Most fishing kayaks come with rod holders or at the very least mounts for attaching rod holders. These are important because they help keep the rods separate from each other so that the lines are unlikely to tangle and to carry the rods in a way that won’t damage them. One of the last things we want is for our rods to fall off the boat and sink to the bottom of the water. Properly installed holders can help secure fishing rods to ensure you never lose them.

There are three types of rod holder mounts:

  • Flush mounted: These are the typical, lower-cost alternatives to holding rods. Flush mounted are essentially the cup holders that you can toss the handle of the rods into.
  • Secure mounted: Secure mount holders grip the handle of the rods. Unlike flush mounted ones, these can be locked or fastened to hold a rod in place.
  • Tube rack: This is the more old-fashion, do-it-yourself version of securing your rods. Plastic tubes attached to a milk crate or tackle box can be used to hold rods during a fishing trip. We should note the rods are typically placed very close to each other, so some care should be considered.

Tackle Storage to Carry Everything You Need

No fishing trip would be complete with a tackle crate, box, or tray to carry lures, spare lines, hooks, and other must-have fishing items. There are several solutions you can opt for carrying your fishing gear:

  • Tackle trays: Great for beginner or casual fishers. They fit well in most bungeed storage compartments on the kayak or can make use of any under-seat or side-of-seat spare space. They might carry a variety of fishing items, but if you can be selective in what you bring along the light-weight trays can make life easier with less to carry.
  • Tackle boxes: For the more enthusiastic fisher, these come with more storage compartments and allows you to carry a variety of tools. They can be either soft or hard boxes and can have fold-out trays for easy use. Both soft and hard boxes work great. Hard boxes provide more durability whereas soft bag boxes are light-weight with extra pockets. You should make sure that the bungeed tank well of your boat can hold the box.
  • Plastic crate: If you opt for a milk crate, find one with metal rims (or attach your own). The metal rims to provide durability as the plastic tends to break over time. The rims will ensure that if the plastic does break, it’s unlikely that everything will fall out. Plastic crates might not be the most organized fishing gear storage space, but they can work with a well-bungeed tank well. Of course, you can always add an attachment like this to turn your crate into a soft bag tackle box.
  • Deck hatch lure storage: If your kayak has a hatch storage compartment, you can replace it with one that allows you to store a number of lures. It might not be enough space for fishing enthusiasts, but it can save some space and let you make use of an unused dry hatch in some way. Make sure the deck hatch comes with a seal to prevent liquid from getting into the storage compartment.

Owning the Appropriate Anchor for the Bottom of the Body of Water

Nothing feels better than to land the holy grail honey hole filled with fish. When we locate the fish, we want to be able to keep our boat in position to start catching. The best way to do so is with a small anchor and some rope. There are two types of anchors you can consider:

  • Folding: A popular choice because it saves space and is easy to transport. The moving joints can make it susceptible to breaking.
  • Claw: Great for soft beds. The solid one-piece claw design and durability ensures the boat will not be going anywhere anytime soon.

If you want to move the anchor around between the stern and the bow of the boat, a trolley can be useful. This device runs the length of your kayak and has a rigging with a ring and rope attached to the anchor.

Avoid getting an anchor above 3 pounds in weight (1.35 kilogram). Unless you are looking to stay still in some serious moving water, this weight should be sufficient to keep your body steady for some good fishing. If you are using an inflatable kayak, 1.5 pounds (0.68 kilogram) can be sufficient for calm bodies of water.

Never Lose Your Paddle With the Right Paddle Holder and Leash

[wpsm_quote author=”” float=”right” width=”34%”]Going up a creek without a paddle isn’t fun. Secure your paddle! [/wpsm_quote]

One of the worst thing that can happen is to be out in the open water without a paddle. Whether you are using a motor or not, having a paddle handy lets you maneuver in the body of water as needed.  There are two things to keep in mind for holders and leashes:

  • We want a paddle holder along the side of the kayak. The latest kayak models come with a bungeed paddle holder to keep the paddle out of the way and within reach
  • We also want a leash to attach the paddle to the boat in case it ever falls into the water. Some kayakers like to attach it to their life vest, but we wouldn’t recommend it in case you find yourself overboard and struggle to float

Our Closing Thoughts

Fishing in a kayak is an enjoyable activity out in the open water. Kayaks offer a great mobility on the water while keeping you out of it and for carrying fishing gear. We hope this mini-guide on outfitting kayaks for a day of fishing is helpful to you. Happy fishing!

What Size SUP Board Is Right for Me?

Being able to float with enough balance is a pre-requisite. When we are shopping for a paddle board, we want to find one that can keep us afloat and stable as we enjoy ourselves out on the open water.

It wouldn’t be too fun if we couldn’t get to where we want to go. Paddle boards should also track relatively well. That is, they can go straight relatively well when in motion.

How Do I Figure Out What Size Paddle Board Is Right For Me?

Before we dive into the different types of boards and their typical sizes, we want to look at four consideration that influence what size paddle board you might need.

Image credit goes to for this awesome visual!

What Are the Most Popular SUP Boards?

The most popular paddle boards are 10 to 12 feet in length, and roughly 30 to 34 inches wide. They seem to do well for most people of the average build, with decent stability for easy standing and paddling, and for general speed and tracking for gaining some distance.

Consider Stability and Balance When Deciding

If you are looking for greater stability and balance, we want to find a board with a wider design. The width provides stability over the gentle waves and rocking as the board provides more surface area for greater water buoyancy.

A width of anywhere between 30″ to 36″ can provide a decent amount of stability. You can pick and choose from any length, depending on what you might be looking for. Speed and maneuverability tend to be traded away for improved stability and balance.

Feed Your Need for Speed (and Maneuverability)

If you are looking for more speed and better maneuverability, we want a board that is long and narrow. A paddle board that has a relatively sharper nose can cut through resistance and glide across water much quicker than wider, shorter boards.

A popular choice would be 12’6″ touring paddle boards or racing paddle boards. The boards may be anywhere between 28″ to 30″ wide. Even 26″ is possible, although seldom seen for recreational use.

The narrow board also makes it easier to complete turns easier and quickly with less water resistance against the sides of the board. Keep in mind stability is traded away for greater speed and maneuverability in these types of boards.

Cater to Specific Use Cases

[wpsm_quote author=”” float=”right” width=”34%”]Did you know there are boards designed for yoga? They have a wider deck space for yoga postures and a hull that can provide greater stability.[/wpsm_quote]

If there is a particular use you have in mind besides paddling around on the water, you want to find boards with specialized shapes and designs for specific uses. One popular use for paddle boards is for yoga. A board designed for yoga tend to be 10′ to 12′ and anywhere between 28″ to 35″ wide. The width provides a decent amount of surface to practice poses on while using a deck pad that provide your feet with a better grip.

Another popular use is for fishing. A paddle board meant for fishing also has a deck pad for comfort and greater grip. The difference is that there is noticeably greater storage space to outfit your fishing boat to hold tackle boxes and other fishing gear as you spend more time out in the water.

The 3 Categories Of Paddle Boards and Their Typical Size

The size of your paddle board is dependent on what kind of activity you will be doing. Although there are different designs that serve a particular activity, the width and length of the paddle board is similar in each category:

Surfing Paddle Boards

Paddle boards built for surfing are short in length with a relatively wider width. They are great for catching waves, capturing greater buoyancy and providing better stability in footing. Their small size makes this board great for kids to use, too. These boards are typically under 10′ in length. Here are the types of SUPs that fall under this category:

  • Surfing: 8′ to 10′ in length x 28″ to 35″ in width

All Around Use Paddle Boards

Also known as cruise paddle boards, all around use boards are have a slightly smaller width and longer length than boards built for surfing. They tend to be the right size for many types of activities, including yoga, fishing, and fun. If you aren’t sure what board to get and want a beginner-friendly choice, all around SUPs are ideal. These boards are typically 10′ to 12’6″ in length. Here are the types of SUPs that fall under this category:

  • Fishing: 10′ to 14′ in length x 30″ to 38″ in width
  • Yoga: 10′ to 12′ in length x 30″ to 38″ in width
  • All Around: 10′ to 12’in length x 30″ to 38″ in width

Speed and Distance Paddle Boards

SUPs built for speed and distance are much longer and thinner than the paddle boards from the other categories. Their sharp design allows for minimal water resistance, making them ideal for races and long-distance touring. These boards are typically 12′ 6″ to 14′ long. Here are the types of SUPs that fall under this category:

  • Racing: 12′ to 14′ in length x 24″ to 28″ in width
  • Touring: 12′ to 14′ in length x 24″ to 32″ in width

Our Closing Thoughts

Paddling on a board is fun. They provide a lot of use cases, and come in different designs and sizes that can make being out on the water an enjoyable experience. It can be confusing to pick out the right size, with so many boards available on the market.

In this guide, we look at what you can consider that may influence the type of board and its dimensions. We also look at why you might want one board size over another.

We hope this guide helps you in deciding what paddle board size to shop for. Have fun on the water! Stay safe!