Reading Time: 20 minutes(Last Updated On: August 24, 2021)

QUICK ANSWER: MY BEST LIGHTWEIGHT PADDLE BOARDS

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT PADDLE BOARD COMPARISON

PRODUCT  SPECS PROS CONS RETURN/
WARRANTY
PRICE
Honu Airlie

Kids All-rounder with a Longer Warranty
Type: Inflatable
Length: 8’6
Width: 27″
Thickness: 4.7″
Weight: 135 lbs
Weight capacity: 11.9 lbs
PROS:
– Extremely lightweight paddle board
– Perfect for smaller paddlers and kids
– Easy to control by kids
– Can be used on small waves
– Significantly lighter than standard double layer fusion boards
– Years of free repair for any damage, not just the manufacturing faults
– 1% of all sales are donated to protect the ocean
CONS:
– No paddle included (20% discount if you buy it with the paddle board)
– The included hand pump is not dual-chamber
Return:
30-day risk free return
Warranty:
manufacturer’s 2 year warranty and 4 years of free repair (some exclusions apply)
Check Price on HonuBoards.com
Honu Byron

Best Lightweight Flatwater Paddle Board
Type: Inflatable
Length: 10’6″
Width: 32″
Thickness: 4.72″
Weight: 16.9 lbs
Weight capacity: 250 lbs
PROS:
– Strong durable construction
– Lightweight
– Very stable despite its thickness
– Turns very easily
– Fun even in light ocean surf
– 1% of all sales are donated to protect the ocean
CONS:
– Not designed for speed
– Doesn’t take much effort to paddle
– Requires your attention to stay stable in waves and chop
– The included hand pump is not dual-chamber
Return:
30-Day Risk Free Return
Warranty: 
2 year warranty and 4 years of free repair (some exclusions apply)
Check Price on HonuBoards.com
Nixy Huntington ULTRA Compact G4

Ultra-Compact and Lightweight All-Around SUP
Type: Inflatable
Length: 9’6
Width: 32″
Thickness: 6″
Weight: 18.75lbs
Weight capacity: 250 lbs
PROS:
– Lightweight and Ultra-Compact when deflated, making it awesome for backpacking
– Best suited for those who want to travel light
– Fun to paddle on lakes, rivers, and in light surf
– Easy to maneuver even in wind and chop
– Tracks straight
– Glides fairly well
– The included hand pump is the best of its type
– Inflating it manually takes less than 7 minutes
– Comes with everything your need except the
CONS:
– The hand pump is a little heavy
Return:
30 Days Risk Free Return within
Warranty: 
2-year covering everything outside of normal wear & tear
Check Price on NixySports.com
Thurso Surf Prodigy Junior

Best Beginner Kids Paddle Board
Length: 7’6
Width: 30’’
Thickness: 4’’
Weight: 19 lbs
Weight capacity: 165 lbs
PROS:
– Great for tweens
– Stable even in chop
– Excellent quality
– Pretty design
– Sturdy and solid
– Light carbon fiber paddle to not tire out your kid
– Beautiful design
– Great customer service
CONS:
– Does not come with a pump
Return:
30-day guarantee
Warranty:
2-year warranty
Check Price on ThursoSurf.com
Gili Air

Stable and Lightweight Affordable SUP
Type: Inflatable
Length: 10’6
Width: 31″
Thickness: 6″
Weight: 19 lbs
Weight capacity: 280 lbs
PROS:
– Lightweight inflatable SUP
– Fairly priced
– Stable and Versatile
– Durable enough to handle having a dog with you
– Very sturdy
– Glides well
– Maneuvrable even for 5 2′ and 110 lbs paddler
– Let you add a kayak seat
– Super firm like a solid board
– So many rings and bungees
– Easy to assemble and transport
– Great customer service
CONS:
– Pumping may be difficult for some (an electric pump solve this problem)
Return:
60 days money back
Warranty:
2-year manufacturer warranty
Check Price on GiliSports.com
Aqua Marina Spirit

Very Stable SUP for Up to 220 lbs Paddlers
Type: Inflatable
Length: 10’6
Width: 30″
Thickness: 6″
Weight: 19 lbs
Weight capacity: 280 lbs
PROS:
– A good single person board along with a medium-sized pet
– Great quality for a good price
– Super reasonably priced and worth every penny
– Handles wake much better because of the flex
– Stable even in the afternoon wind on the lake
– Lightweight to carry
– Easy to transport
– Excellent customer service
– Easy to maneuver
– Roomy backpack
CONS:
– Inflating can take a while for some (an electric pump solve this problem)
Return:
30 days – Only exchange
Warranty:
2 years
Check Price on OutdoorMaster.com
Nautical

Great Lightweight board for beginners
Type: Inflatable
Length: 10’6″
Width: 32”
Thickness: 6″
Weight: 20 lbs
Weight capacity: 240 lbs
PROS:
– Very stable
– Easy to maneuver
– Feels very sturdy
– Lightweight for carrying
– Rock-solid on the water
– Convenient transport
– Rides very smoothly
– Easy set up
– Nice for the money
– Lots of loops to attach things to
– Takes about 10 minutes to inflate it manually
– Multiple owners said they will get a second Nautical 10’6
– Amazing customer service
CONS:
– One user complained that the seam tape started peeling up on both boards after the first day out
– Another used complained that glue is showing on the handle and two places on deck
Return:
60 Day money back guarantee
Warranty:
1-year Manufacturer’s Limited
Check Price on iRockerSUP.com
Bote Breeze Aero

Beginner Lightweight Paddle Board
Type: Inflatable
Length: 10′8″
Width: 33″
Thickness: 6″
Weight: 20 lbs
Weight capacity: 250 lbs
PROS:
– Light weight making it easy to carry
– Very stable even in pretty bad chop
– Affordable
– Enough room for an adult and a 60lb dog
– Very rigid and sturdy
– Tracks well
– Plenty of room for a big dog
– Takes less than 10 minutes to inflate
– Hand pump is good, but you’ll be well served with an electric pump
– Beautiful design
– Responsive customer service
CONS:
– Not the fastest board
– The included paddle is not the best in the market
– The last bit of inflating it with the hand pump can be hard for some
Return:
Try it for 30 days and if for any reason you aren’t happy, return it to us
Warranty: 
Limited 2-year warranty
Check Price on
REI.com
Honu Sorrento

Best Lightweight Touring SUP
Type: Inflatable
Length: 12’6
Width: 30″
Thickness: 5.9″
Weight: 22.9 lbs
Weight capacity: 300 lbs
PROS:
– Board’s lightweight, making it so easy to carry
– Easy to manoeuver
– The finish feels high-end
– Beautiful board
– Very rigid
– Pretty stable
– Glides smoothly
– Tracks very well
– Enough room and capacity for a 140 lbs adult plus a 75 lbs dog
– The flatter nose helps with speed
– Excellent after-sales service is
– Fast and efficient
– Inflates to a state as good as a hard board
– Good for covering longer distances on flat water
CONS:
– One user complained that the center handle is a little sharp on the edges when carrying
– A non very strong owner said that she can not pump it up with the included pump and she will buy the electric pump
Return:
30-day free return – Unused gear/full refund – Used gear/store credit
Warranty:
manufacturer’s 2 year warranty and 4 years of free repair (some exclusions apply)
Check Price on HonuBoards.com
Surftech Bark + prAna Aleka

Small Surf Lightweight Stand Up Epoxy Paddle Board
Type: Solid
Length: 10’4″
Width: 30″
Thickness: 4.5″
Weight: 24 lbs
Weight capacity: 170 lbs
PROS:
– Lightweight
– Very stable yet easily maneuverable
– Glides nicely on the water
– Easy to carry and load on your car
– Reasonably priced
– Eco-friendly construction
– Gorgeous aesthetics
CONS:
– Fragile front end
– Easy to scratch
Return:
No money back guarantee
Warranty: 
Limited – 1 year
Check Price
on
REI.com

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT PADDLE BOARD REVIEWS

Honu Airlie 8’6 – 11.9 lbs

Kids All-rounder with a Longer Warranty

PROS:
– Extremely lightweight paddle board
– Perfect for smaller paddlers and kids
– Easy to control by kids
– Can be used on small waves
– Significantly lighter than standard double layer fusion boards
– Years of free repair for any damage, not just the manufacturing faults
– 1% of all sales are donated to protect the ocean
CONS:
– No paddle included (20% discount if you buy it with the paddle board)
– The included hand pump is not dual-chamber

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: X-woven and fused drop-stitch
  • Length: 8’6
  • Width: 27″
  • Thickness: 4.7″
  • Weight: 135 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 11.9 lbs
  • Return: 30-day risk free return
  • Warranty: manufacturer’s 2 year warranty and 4 years of free repair (some exclusions apply)

Honu Byron 10’6 – 16.9 lbs

Best Lightweight Flatwater Paddle Board

Best Lightweight Paddle Board
PROS:
– Strong durable construction
– Lightweight
– Very stable despite its thickness
– Turns very easily
– Fun even in light ocean surf
– 1% of all sales are donated to protect the ocean
CONS:
– Not designed for speed
– Doesn’t take much effort to paddle
– Requires your attention to stay stable in waves and chop
– The included hand pump is not dual-chamber

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: X-Woven and Fused drop stitch PVC
  • Length: 10’6″
  • Width: 32″
  • Thickness: 4.72″
  • Weight: 16.9 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs
  • Return: 30-Day Risk Free Return
  • Warranty: 2 year warranty and 4 years of free repair (some exclusions apply)

Nixy Huntington ULTRA Compact G4 9’6 – 18.75 lbs

Ultra-Compact and Lightweight All-Around SUP

Ultra-Compact and Lightweight All-Around SUP
PROS:
– Lightweight and Ultra-Compact when deflated, making it awesome for backpacking
– Best suited for those who want to travel light
– Fun to paddle on lakes, rivers, and in light surf
– Easy to maneuver even in wind and chop
– Tracks straight
– Glides fairly well
– The included hand pump is the best of its type
– Inflating it manually takes less than 7 minutes
– Comes with everything your need except the
CONS:
– The hand pump is a little heavy

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Dual layer advanced fusion laminated woven drop stitch
  • Length: 9’6
  • Width: 32″
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 18.75lbs
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs
  • Return: 30 Days Risk Free Return within
  • Warranty: 2-year covering everything outside of normal wear & tear

Thurso Surf Prodigy Junior 7′6 – 19 lbs

Best Beginner Kids Paddle Board

PROS:
– Great for tweens
– Stable even in chop
– Excellent quality
– Pretty design
– Sturdy and solid
– Light carbon fiber paddle to not tire out your kid
– Beautiful design
– Great customer service
CONS:
– Does not come with a pump

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Triple Layer Coating PVC – Woven Drop-stitching
  • Length: 7’6
  • Width: 30’’
  • Thickness: 4’’
  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 165 lbs
  • Return: 30-day guarantee
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty

Gili Air 10’6 – 19 lbs

Stable and Lightweight Affordable SUP

PROS:
– Lightweight inflatable SUP
– Fairly priced
– Stable and Versatile
– Durable enough to handle having a dog with you
– Very sturdy
– Glides well
– Maneuvrable even for 5 2′ and 110 lbs paddler
– Let you add a kayak seat
– Super firm like a solid board
– So many rings and bungees
– Easy to assemble and transport
– Great customer service
CONS:
– Pumping may be difficult for some (an electric pump solve this problem)

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Dual layer military grade PVC – Drop stitch
  • Length: 10’6
  • Width: 31″
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 280 lbs
  • Return: 60 days money back
  • Warranty: 2-year manufacturer warranty

Aqua Marina Spirit 10’6 – 19 lbs

Very Stable SUP for Up to 220 lbs Paddlers

PROS:
– A good single person board along with a medium-sized pet
– Great quality for a good price
– Super reasonably priced and worth every penny
– Handles wake much better because of the flex
– Stable even in the afternoon wind on the lake
– Lightweight to carry
– Easy to transport
– Excellent customer service
– Easy to maneuver
– Roomy backpack
CONS:
– Inflating can take a while for some (an electric pump solve this problem)

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: PVC
  • Length: 10’6
  • Width: 30″
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 280 lbs
  • Return: 30 days – Only exchange
  • Warranty: 2 years

Nautical 10’6 – 20 lbs

Great Lightweight board for beginners

PROS:
– Very stable
– Easy to maneuver
– Feels very sturdy
– Lightweight for carrying
– Rock-solid on the water
– Convenient transport
– Rides very smoothly
– Easy set up
– Nice for the money
– Lots of loops to attach things to
– Takes about 10 minutes to inflate it manually
– Multiple owners said they will get a second Nautical 10’6
– Amazing customer service
CONS:
– One user complained that the seam tape started peeling up on both boards after the first day out
– Another used complained that glue is showing on the handle and two places on deck

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Dual-Layer PVC – Drop Stitch Core
  • Length: 10’6″
  • Width: 32”
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 240 lbs
  • Return: 60 Day money back guarantee
  • Warranty: 1-year Manufacturer’s Limited

Bote Breeze Aero 10’8 – 20 lbs

Beginner Lightweight Paddle Board

PROS:
– Light weight making it easy to carry
– Very stable even in pretty bad chop
– Affordable
– Enough room for an adult and a 60lb dog
– Very rigid and sturdy
– Tracks well
– Plenty of room for a big dog
– Takes less than 10 minutes to inflate
– Hand pump is good, but you’ll be well served with an electric pump
– Beautiful design
– Responsive customer service
CONS:
– Not the fastest board
– The included paddle is not the best in the market
– The last bit of inflating it with the hand pump can be hard for some

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Single-layer PVC – Drop Stitch Core
  • Length: 10′8″
  • Width: 33″
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs

  • Return: Try it for 30 days and if for any reason you aren’t happy, return it to us
  • Warranty: Limited 2-year warranty

Honu Sorrento 12’6 – 22.9 lbs

Best Lightweight Touring SUP

PROS:
– Board’s lightweight, making it so easy to carry
– Easy to manoeuver
– The finish feels high-end
– Beautiful board
– Very rigid
– Pretty stable
– Glides smoothly
– Tracks very well
– Enough room and capacity for a 140 lbs adult plus a 75 lbs dog
– The flatter nose helps with speed
– Excellent after-sales service is
– Fast and efficient
– Inflates to a state as good as a hard board
– Good for covering longer distances on flat water
CONS:
– One user complained that the center handle is a little sharp on the edges when carrying
– A non very strong owner said that she can not pump it up with the included pump and she will buy the electric pump

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: X-Woven Drop Stitch Core
  • Length: 12’6
  • Width: 30″
  • Thickness: 5.9″
  • Weight: 22.9 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs

  • Return: 30-day free return – Unused gear/full refund – Used gear/store credit
  • Warranty: manufacturer’s 2 year warranty and 4 years of free repair (some exclusions apply)

Surftech Bark + prAna Aleka 10’4 – 24 lbs

Small Surf Lightweight Stand Up Epoxy Paddle Board

PROS:
– Lightweight
– Very stable yet easily maneuverable
– Glides nicely on the water
– Easy to carry and load on your car
– Reasonably priced
– Eco-friendly construction
– Gorgeous aesthetics
CONS:
– Fragile front end
– Easy to scratch

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Solid
  • Construction: Fiberglass wrapped with epoxy resin
  • Length: 10’4″
  • Width: 30″
  • Thickness: 4.5″
  • Weight: 24 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 170 lbs

  • Return: No money back guarantee
  • Warranty: Limited – 1 year

TODAY’S PRICE

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR LIGHTWEIGHT SUP

LET’S DEFINE YOUR NEEDS FIRST

Because the best lightweight SUP differs from one to another, you should define your needs first in order to get the best for you.

These are some questions that can help you in this regard:

  • What activity do you want to practice with your SUP? Surf, fishing, touring, or a little bit of everything.
  • What SUP activity do you want to practice? You can fish, tour, surf, or do a little bit of everything.
  • What is your skill level? Because the best lightweight SUP for a beginner will be wider than one for an experienced paddler.
  • In what water conditions you are more likely to paddle on? The lightweight paddle board for whitewater differs from one for calm water.
  • Are you able to transport and have enough storage space for a hard SUP?
  • What is your budget?
  • Are you urgent or do you prefer to wait for a good deal?

YOUR INTENDED USE – SUP TYPES

  • ALL-AROUND SUP

All-around standup paddle boards are what I recommend beginners to start with because they are stable enough and gives you room to try a little bit of everything till you get sure of what SUP activity you want.

The stability of all-around SUPs that come from the flat-bottom design and the rounded bow let them ride on top of the water.

Depending on the board size, some all-around SUPs let you share your paddling experience with your pet or your kid and being stable enough.

All-around SUPs tend to be more affordable than specialized SUPs like touring SUPs or race SUPs.

Most of the time, All-around SUP packages include the majority of what you need like the hand pump, leash, paddle, and backpack, but you still need the life jacket and the PFD that are usually are not included.

  • SURF SUPs

Surf SUPs range in length between 8’ and 10’ in order to stay maneuverable and they have the pointed nose and tapered skeg like regular surfboards.

Surf stand-up paddle board fin setup is usually the 3-fin setup.

I recommend you to get a surf, or specialized SUPs in general, only if you are sure of your intended use. Otherwise, an all-around will be better.

  • TOURING SUPs

Touring SUPs range between 11’ to 14’ in length and 30” to 32” in width. They are longer and narrower than all-around SUPs with a pointed bow that points upward.

They are good at gliding but less stable and less maneuverable.

If all you want is paddling long distance at a faster speed and less balance is not a concern, I recommend you this type of stand-up paddle boards.

  • RACING SUPs

Racing stand-up paddle boards usually are between 12’6” to 14′ in length and 24” to 28” in width, making them the longest and the narrowest SUPs.

They don’t feature things like cargo tie-downs because they are only dedicated to speed.

Racing SUPs are expensive and most of the time they are bought by competitive athletes.

  • FISHING SUPs

Fishing stand-up paddleboards are usually between 11’ to 12’6 in length and 32” to 38”, sometimes up to 40” in width.

Fishing SUPs are wider because the provided stability lets the paddler concentrate on his main activity which is fishing.

These SUPs are known to come with mounts and attachment points for things like fishing rods, GPS, tackle boxes, a seat, etc.

ARE INFLATABLE SUP BOARDS LIGHTER THAN HARD ONES?

The inflatable SUPs market skyrocketed around the year 2014 due to the development of technologies like drop-stitch that let them be close in performance to the solid and have many other benefits.

  • INFLATABLE SUPs

Inflatable SUPs chambers use thin threads to hold the layers of durable and lightweight PVC in order to have a flat and rigid platform.

PROS 

  • They are lightweight than similarly-shaped solid SUPs.
  • They are affordable than similarly-shaped solid SUPs.
  • Easy storage makes it convenient for people living in small apartments.
  • Fitting in a backpack makes transport possible even on a motorcycle.
  • More resistant if it hit a rock.
  • Support more weight compared to similarly-shaped solid SUPs.
  • Falling on it is less painful.
  • Does not require a car roof rack or straps.
  • Easy to travel with.
  • More adapted for yoga than solid SUPs.
  • Bumps up against logs and rocks make them ideal for whitewater than solid SUPs.

CONS

  • Needs to be fully dry before storage, especially for long storing periods, to prevent mold.
  • Requires inflation/deflation time and effort before/after use (electric pumps make this less of a problem).
  • Performance is close but not the same as solid SUPs.
  • SOLID SUPs

Solid SUPs use Polyurethane or EPS foam for the core and wrap it with fiberglass, carbon fiber, plastic, or be purely from wood.

PROS 

  • Overall performance is slightly better, but with SUP touring, racing, or surf, solid SUPs are way better.
  • Being solid and lower in the water gives them a stable feel.
  • Can be fine-tuned to perfectly fit you.
  • No inflation/deflation required before/after use.

CONS

  • Expensive, especially the lightweight and durable ones.
  • Loading it on top of a car can be challenging for some.
  • Storage requires enough space.
  • Needs having additional transport tool if you don’t have them like straps, car roof rack. or cart with wheels.

I recommend getting a solid SUP only if performance or speed is your top priority.

CONSTRUCTION

  • INFLATABLES

Inflatable stand-up paddle boards are made with a military-grade PVC because it’s lightweight and durable.

Inflatable SUPs with more chambers are more rigid.

The technology that is used in inflatables is the drop-stitch. Here, the top and bottom layers are connected by thousands of thin threads in order to be stiff and rigid., and the more layers the board has the more stiffness it becomes.

Some companies try to mislead the market by saying that their boards are double-layer when in reality the double layers are limited to the rails only.

  • SOLID

Solid standup paddle boards are made purely from wood or have cores that are made with EPS foam or Polyurethane with a wrapping of fiberglass, carbon fiber, or plastic.

Carbon fibers are lightweight, durable but expensive, fiberglass and EPS foam is fairly lightweight, durable, and affordable. The last wrapping option plastic is very heavy but the most affordable.

LENGTH

The SUP length plays a major role in how maneuverable the board is and especially how fast it is.

Longer boards have more speed with a maximum glide, and shorter boards are maneuvrable.

Stand-up paddle boards come in three ranges of length:

  • SHORT (<10’): This length is good for surf and kids SUPs. Paddleboards this size are more maneuverable, but slow and don’t stay in a straight line while you paddle.
  • MEDIUM (10’ to 12’): Boards in this length range are usually all-around SUPs, they are known to be good on everything but excel at nothing.
  • LONG (>12’): Long paddle boards are limited to touring and racing. They are faster and they track straight but they are hard to turn.

Aside from your use, consider also the type/size of your car, where you will store it, and how much you’ll walk till you get to the water.

WIDTH

The width has a major effect on the stability of the paddle board. The more width the board has the more stable it becomes.

  • NARROW(<32″): Boards this narrow are fast. Ideal only for advanced paddlers or
  • or lightweight ones on calm water.
  • WIDE (32″ to 36″): Boards with width in this range let you have a kid or a pet with you and are common between adult paddlers. Ideal for taller and heavier paddlers.
  • EXTREME WIDE (>36″): SUP boards this wide are not common. This width is only recommended if you have experience and you know your needs because if you get something wider for you, your paddle will be uncomfortable to reach the water and further away from the centerline, which will make your SUP turn instead of heading forward.

THICKNESS

The common board thickness of SUPs is around 6 inches, and more thickness makes the board less stable because your center of gravity becomes higher.

  • 6″ in board thickness is the sweet spot between stability, durability, and rigidity for adults or paddlers over 225 lbs.
  • 4” or 5” board thickness can support only smaller or lightweight paddlers.

WEIGHT

Paddle board weight should be considered because it’s what you will carry from and to the water and what you will struggle to load on top of your car if it is not inflatable.

Most of my recommended SUPs here are below 25 lbs, which is like carrying a little baby.

WEIGHT CAPACITY

Stand-up paddle board weight capacity is expressed in pounds its the total weight that it can support before starts losing its performance or start sinking.

I recommend you to get a larger SUP if your total weight is close to the weight capacity of the board to not struggle with it.

HULL TYPE

When we say the hull type, we are talking about the shape of the underside. It’s what determines the paddle board performance on the water.

The common types are two, the planing hull and the displacement hull.

  • PLANING HULL

This hull is flat and wide, and has a rounded upward front that makes the paddle board ride on top of the water.

Planing hulls make the paddle board maneuverable and help it keep balance in small waves.

  • DISPLACEMENT HULL

SUPs with a displacement hull have a pointed front, like in canoes, that cut and push the water to the side for a fast and smooth ride.

This hull type is found in touring and racing SUPs.

FINS

Fins play a huge role in SUP stability and how straight it tracks.

Removable fins are what I prefer because they let me customize the paddle board to what I want.

Bigger fins make the board more stable but less maneuvrable.

SUP boards come in different fins setup:

  • SINGLE FIN: SUP boards with a single fin have a minimal fin that makes them fast.
  • TWIN FIN: SUP boards with two fins are maneuverable in small to medium waves but loses traction in big waves tight turns.
  • THRUSTER (2+1): Two little fins on the side and a large one in the center let you adapt the board to multiple water conditions.
  • QUAD: Two fins on each side are ideal for larger SUP surfers and speed.

DECK PAD

The deck pad is what lets you have a good grip and be comfortable on your SUP.

What makes a SUP deck pad durable is the density of the foam. High-density deck pads are more durable and low-density deck pads are susceptible to early wear and tear.

It’s hard to differentiate between high and low-density deck pads from the outside look.

My best deck pad at the time of writing this line is one that is made of EVA foam and is textured.

Another little feature that is best to have is the kick tail, which means a little raised part in the rear that stops your foot from sliding off the board, lets you know it’s the rear end without having to look, and has more pressure while applying quick turn techniques.

ACCESSORIES

  • PADDLE

Yes, most paddle board packages include the paddle but not all of them.

The included paddles are typically adjustable or two or three-piece designs, but I recommend you the fixed paddles because they are more durable due to the fewer mechanisms.

The majority of paddles you get included are made of plastic or aluminum, which is not the best in the market.

The right size for a SUP paddle is 6-7” taller than your height for surfing, and 10-12” for racing.

  • PUMP

Hand pumps are common as the included pump in the inflatable SUP package.

The best hand pump in the market at the time of writing this line is dual-chamber triple-action. Compared to a super simple hand pump, it’s faster and requires less effort.

When most electric pumps need to rest after inflating two SUPs, OutdoorMaster Shark II SUP Electric Air Pump can inflate three SUPs in a row and this is why I recommending it.

  • LEASH

A leash is a safety tool that ensures your SUP stays close to you if you fall off from it.

Having your SUP board stays close to you does not only make sure you do not lose it but it can also save your life by helping you stay afloat.

Like the paddle, the leash is another item that some brands do not include in order to lower their brands.

The best leash at the time of writing this line is one that is a coiled cord, dual swivel, and has a soft cuff.

  • D-RINGS AND ATTACHMENT POINTS

D-rings are what let you attach things like keys, add seats, a cooler, and tie down personal belongings in a dry bag if a bungee cord is mounted to a set of D-rings.

Do not forget that you can always glue and add a new D-ring to your board.

ADDITIONAL UPGRADES

  • ELECTRONIC PUMP

Even if the included hand pump is a dual-chamber triple-action one, you are still able to get better performance with an electric pump.

If the best available hand pump requires a lot of effort and needs 5 to 10 minutes to completely inflate your SUP, with an electric pump you can get your SUP board inflated in 3 to 5 minutes without any significant effort.

When most electric pumps need to rest after inflating two SUPs, I definitely recommend  OutdoorMaster Shark II SUP Electric Air Pump because it can inflate 3 SUPs in a row.

  • LESS-TIRING PADDLE

Since plastic and aluminum are the commonly used materials in the included paddles, you can always get better performance with lightweight paddles.

Fiberglass and carbon fibers are both lightweight options.

Paddles made with raw fiber are slightly stronger than fiberglass ones.

Compared to aluminum, carbon fiber composites are 40% lighter, and about 15% lighter than fiberglass composites.

Paddles with a smooth molded carbon handle are more comfortable.

Another feature to look at is if it floats or not.

  • PFD AND LIFE JACKET

PFDs (Personal Flotation Device) are what help surfers to get to the top of the whitewater when they fall in big waves.

Even if you paddle on calm water, you are still in danger because simply people still drown in similar conditions.

If PFDs help you not drown, life jackets help you stay afloat and visible to help and people around you.

In the U.S and Canada, you are required by law to wear a life jacket and a PFD if you paddle outside the swimming and surfing area.

  • PROPER CLOTHING

If hypothermia is a concern, wear a wetsuit or a drysuit. If it’s not very cold, something that dries quickly and lets you move freely is enough.

  • CAR ROOK RACK

IF you went with a solid SUP option, tools like a car rook rack, straps, or a wheeled cart are needed in order to transport it.

BEST PADDLE BOARD BRANDS

In case you went after a product based on its brand solely, I recommend you not to do so because sometimes even respectable brands make mistakes.

  • TAHE – Former BIC Sport(1945): Yes, the pen brand partnered with another one, and they are making water sports products like including paddle boards.
  • NRS (1972): Bill Parks started this company with only $2,000 in his personal savings. In 2014, this brand became 100% employee-owned
  • ISLE (2004): Specializes in quality products.
  • BOTE (2009): Both founders have always been surrounded by water.
  • Tower (2010): Backed by the investor Mark Cuban.
  • iRocker (2016): High-quality products for affordable prices is what distinguishes this brand.
  • Thurso Surf (2016): Inflatable paddle boards it what specialize in.

HOW TO START WITH A LIGHTWEIGHT SUP

  1. Take your time to learn.
  2. Don’t be too cool to not be safe, wear your leash.
  3. Make sure that there is enough room for you and the people around you.
  4. Fall away from the board and not on it to avoid injuries.

LIGHTWEIGHT SUP TIPS AND ADVICE

  • Learn quick turning techniques.
  • Learn how to paddle forward with less turning.
  • Search online about the location you are heading to.
  • Leave information about your session to someone responsible.
  • Protect your body from the sun, and always wear a life jacket and a PFD.
  • Always have a whistle.
  • Be familiar with your electronics like power banks and GPS before going out.
  • Always attach yourself to your lightweight SUP using the leash.
  • Pack light, especially with a lightweight paddle board.
  • Know from people around what to look out for.

FAQ

CAN I HAVE MY DOG ON MY LIGHTWEIGHT INFLATABLE PADDLE BOARD?

If your total weight, including your dog, is below your SUP board weight capacity, you can safely have your pet with you.

To rest assured that he won’t damage it with its nails, lay down a towel in the front.

HOW LONG DO INFLATABLE LIGHTWEIGHT SUP BOARDS LAST?

It depends on the quality, how often you use it and if you take proper care of it.

Usually, quality lightweight iSUPs can last at least 3 years.

HOW TO PROPERLY STORE YOUR PADDLE BOARD?

  • Rinse your inflatable paddle board with clean water if you use it in saltwater.
  • Dry your iSUP is completely before long storage to prevent mold.
  • Store it deflated in its backpack away from sunlight and in a dry place.

CAN I LEAVE MY INFLATABLE PADDLE BOARD INFLATED FOR A LONG PERIOD?

Yes, it’s totally safe.

But, to avoid damaging the seams, I recommend you lower its air pressure because high temperature makes the air expand.

IS SUP PADDLING A GOOD EXERCISE?

Yes, you are working out your arms, shoulder, and core.

HOW DO YOU STAND UP ON PADDLE BOARD?

First days, stick to paddling while just kneeling, and after your get comfortable, tries to move on one knee and one foot then two feet, and it’s totally ok to fall while you learn.

HOW DO PEOPLE KEEP BALANCE ON A PADDLE BOARD?

In the center of your board, keep your feet parallel and pointing forward, opposite to what surfers do, and paddle with your core and shoulders.

HOW HEAVY IS A PADDLE BOARD?

Generally speaking, solid paddle boards are heavier than inflatable paddle boards.

For example, the average 10’6″ solid SUP will weigh about 26 lbs, and an average 10’6″ inflatable SUP will weigh about 21 lbs.

Last modified: August 24, 2021

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