The 10 Best Paddleboards

Updated May 06, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Everyone enjoys fun on the water, so treat your family to a new hobby with one of these durable and exciting paddleboards that will have them scooting around on your nearest lake or ocean. They not only provide an enjoyable form of exercise that strengthens the core, back, arms, and legs, but are also great for relaxation. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best paddleboard on Amazon.

10. California Board Company 10 Six

Be the talk of the beach with the California Board Company 10 Six. Its high-density waterproof EPS foam core and laminated wood stringers make it attractive and give it enough buoyancy to support riders weighing up to 300 lbs. There is even a built-in camera mount.
  • very cool deck graphics
  • rides smoothly over light surf
  • included roof rack is sub par
Brand Keeper Sports
Model 67
Weight 30.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Pathfinder P73

The Pathfinder P73 is a smart buy for somebody who is just trying out the sport and not sure if they want to stick with it. At a touch under 10 feet, it is easier to maneuver than many of the longer models out there, and it comes with everything you need to hit the water.
  • bungee cord for holding gear
  • bottom fin is effortless to attach
  • difficult to deflate
Brand Pathfinder
Model 345-PATHSUP-ORG
Weight 25.8 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Ten Toes 10' Weekender

The Ten Toes 10' Weekender comes in nine different color schemes, so you can get one that matches your personal style and couples don't have to worry about having two identical boards. When deflated, it rolls up to a compact 11 x 36 inches for easy portability and storage.
  • length-adjustable paddle
  • backed by a one-year warranty
  • thick enough to carry large dogs
Brand Ten Toes SUP Emporium
Model 2811
Weight 36 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Sun Dolphin Seaquest

The Sun Dolphin Seaquest is a good choice for fishermen, as it has a recessed cooler area with straps, a dry storage compartment, gear tie-down points, and lots of handles. Plus, since it is solid, you don't have to fear accidentally puncturing it with a hook.
  • stands up to hard beach landings
  • comfortable to sit on while paddling
  • heavy at nearly 50 lbs
Brand Sun Dolphin
Model 52100
Weight 49 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Solstice Bali

The Solstice Bali is both rigid and strong when inflated to full capacity. It comes with a carrying bag, a pump, and a gauge, so you can be ready to hit the water with just a moment's notice, and the low price point makes it a good choice for those who don't paddle often.
  • four steel tie-down rings
  • feels just like a solid board
  • highly visible on the water
Brand Solstice
Model 35128
Weight 39.4 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Isle Versa

The Isle Versa is 10-and-a-half feet long and 4-and-a-half inches thick, which makes it feel very stable when underfoot. It is available in four cool color schemes, and sports an attractive logo on the top and bottom of the deck.
  • made for flat water and small waves
  • single center-fin design
  • good option for beginners
Brand ISLE Surf and SUP
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Tower Adventurer 2

The Tower Adventurer 2 has handles on both the nose and tail, which makes it easier for two people to carry it together, and comes with a bungee cord on the front for holding down any gear you might want to take along for the ride.
  • made from military-grade pvc
  • diamond-grooved nonslip deck
  • great choice for waterborne yoga
Brand Tower Paddle Boards
Model BD-TWR-2ADV2-PKG
Weight 37 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Isle Classic Soft Top

If you want to look good while cruising the waterways, the Isle Classic Soft Top can definitely help, with its modern two-color deck and clean styling. It offers suburb stability and buoyancy, and exceptional handling in light surf.
  • three interior stringers
  • includes a floating paddle
  • fin is removable for transport
Brand ISLE Surf and SUP
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Bestway HydroForce

Coming with a backpack-style carrying bag, paddle, seat, backrest, and pump, all for a surprisingly low price, it is hard to pass up the value the Bestway HydroForce offers. When fully inflated, it feels as rigid as many solid models, and can support riders up to 209 lbs.
  • lightweight for convenient carrying
  • durable dual-wall construction
  • handles well in the water
Brand Bestway
Model 65069
Weight 38.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Bic Sport Ace-Tec Cross

The Bic Sport Ace-Tec Cross is the Cadillac of paddleboards. It is suitable for people of any experience or fitness level, and all water conditions. A keeled nose allows it to glide through water smoothly and provides straight tracking, so you can go where you want.
  • six gear attachment points
  • feels extremely stable
  • deck offers a lot of usable space
Brand BIC Sport
Model 100391
Weight 46 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Finding Your Perfect Paddleboard

To the untrained eye, it might seem that most paddleboards are more or less similar. While they are all designed to be used by a standing rider controlling him or herself using a paddle, that's where many similarities stop. Before you choose the right one for yourself, first you need to think not about the board, but about your prospective activities.

If you're looking for a paddleboard you will use primarily for casual cruising across placid water, then a long, large board is the right choice. Size adds stability, and if your intention is to use your board to cover long distances or to get exercise, you'll appreciate having a stable platform on which to do so.

If you're more of an adventure seeker, and you want to ride your board in rough seas, catching waves and going with the current, then a shorter board with a more angular shape is likely a better choice. It's no coincidence that many paddleboards designed for more active use look very much like the surfboards that inspired them.

There is a surprisingly large number of factors to be considered even once you have defined the type of activity for which you will use your board. If you want a board on which to cruise over open water, what accessories interest you? Some paddleboards have cargo nets that can be used to secure a bit of gear, a waterproof speaker, or a water bottle, making long rides more pleasurable. Others can be fitted with as many as three fins, which allow for excellent tracking control as you cut a path through the water.

And then, of course, you must make one of the largest decisions a prospective paddleboard owner ever asks himself or herself: it is the choice of a rigid board or an inflatable paddleboard. Inflatable paddle boards can be impressively stable and durable, offering an agile platform on which to carve through moderate surf or a stable surface that can glide across water. Inflatables are also much easier to transport and store, of course, requiring only a spot in the trunk or under the bed when not in use. Inflatables are often more affordable than solid-bodied boards, as well, making them the smarter move for the newcomer to the activity who is not yet sure they will be a diehard enthusiast.

Ultimately, a hardbodied paddleboard is more durable than an inflatable option, though, and these boards do offer better control in waves, choppy seas, or the faster current of a moving river. If you have the space to store a paddleboard and the wherewithal to move it inside or atop a vehicle, then a hardbodied board is the better choice for the dedicated paddleboard user who will use his or her board often.

The Basics Of Paddleboard Safety

If you want to be safe on a paddleboard, it's first and foremost critical that you can be safe in the water. That means you should have at least basic swimming proficiency, and that you should wear a lifejacket if you are not a competent, strong swimmer. And in many areas, the USCG (United States Coast Guard) has established regulations that establish these boards as "vessels* and made lifejacket use mandatory for paddleboard users under the age of 13. Never take your board to a distance farther from shore (or from a boat) than you could easily cover by swimming alone should the need arise.

Beyond a lifejacket, it's not a bad idea to wear a helmet for those initial few practice sessions. Bad injuries have happened more than once when a boarder struck his or her head on their own board during a fall. A wetsuit can offer protection from scratches or scrapes, and of course can keep you warm in cool water. Sunblock is always a good idea for exposed skin, to prevent burns and reduce the chances of skin cancers later in life.

Don't attempt a given activity on a paddleboard, such as catching waves or running river rapids, until you have mastered the basics of keeping upright and balanced on flat water. Remember, practice not only makes perfect, but it leads to safety, too.

The Brief History Of The Paddleboard

People may well have been paddleboarding for hundreds or even thousands of years; we'll likely never be certain of the exact dates of the activity. What can be known for certain is that by the 18th century, it was an established enough practice to make its way into the artwork of Europeans visiting Polynesian islands.

Surfing has always been popular with Polynesian natives, and the practice quickly enthralled many Westerners, as well. Already a burgeoning surf culture existed in Hawaii and on the American west coast by the end of the 19th century. Modern paddleboarding took longer to catch on as a noted hobby, however. There were limited examples of paddleboarding seen throughout the 1900s up until the last two decades of the century.

In the late 1980s, interest finally began to grow in these large, stable boards. Paddleboards had traditionally been seen as boards suitable for bringing a surfer out to catch larger waves. Their popularity as a separate sport cemented at the end of the 20th century, as people finally embraced paddleboarding as its own distinct activity.

A series of paddleboard races, including the Waterman Race and the Catalina Classic, both orchestrated by Southern California area lifeguards, brought initial interest to the activity, which soon entered the mainstream. Today, paddleboarders ply waters worldwide, from sandy resort beaches to remote rocky coves.


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Last updated on May 06, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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