SUP Paddleboarding

Stand up paddleboarding, or SUP for short, is one of the more popular water sports at the beach. There is minimal equipment needed and anyone can do it. The sport involves standing on a surfboard-like piece and using a paddle (like a kayak or canoe) to propel yourself through the water. The result is a satisfying adventure through the sea where the paddler gets up close and personal with the nature around them. Paddleboards can venture into tight and shallow waters where other boats may not enter. Moving through the waves, the motions are nearly silent, unlike motor boats or jet skis.

The key to a successful SUP is balance, you’ll engage your core. Anyone can do SUP paddleboarding. Novices may want to try on their knees first to establish a rhythm, and places with fewer waves and boats sure make the SUP life easier. The beach is the perfect place to hop on board, and is easy for any paddler to pursue.  Inflatable or hard boards?

Inflatable Boards

Inflatable boards for rivers, traveling, friends who are new to the sport, dogs, and basically putting the board through the wringer. Look for a heavy-duty board that you don’t have to worry about popping them through wear and tear as much as the worry for damaging a hard board.

Hard Boards

Hard boards are great if you like the feel of a highly responsive, rigid board. Although some inflatables can get very rigid, they don’t entirely match up to an actual hard board. But, unless you’re already familiar with board sports and used to the hard board feel, I doubt you will notice that a good quality inflatable board is not as rigid, because the differences can be minute.  Go for a hard board when you want to paddle long distances fast because it glides a bit easier on the water than an inflatable. Hard boards also are easier to surf (both ocean and river) than inflatable boards.

The Breakdown

Paddle boards are expensive, but if you find a SUP that’s less than $700, DON’T BUY IT! It’s no good!  Granted, there may be some outliers, but definitely approach cheap boards with caution. Good inflatable boards are not cheaper than hard boards. Accept the investment and go for a board that will fit your intended use.

A SUP is an investment regardless of what kind you get. They are expensive either way, so you might as well get a paddle board that will last several seasons. Cheaper boards, regardless of whether they are inflatable or hard, are much more difficult to repair than boards that are made of higher quality materials. So if you think about it, you will get much more use out of your money if you suck it up and get something that is higher quality. And if you don’t like it, selling a higher quality board that still performs is going to be much easier than selling your Walmart special.For other great watersports on the water, head back to our Water Sports Gear and find other options. Keep reading to find everything you will need to start SUP paddleboarding!

Inflatable Boards

Peak Inflatable 10’6 Stand Up Paddle Board – All Around Board

PEAK Paddle Boards brings the Ultimate beginner paddle board package to you! The PEAK team is committed to bringing you the best quality paddle boards designed and tested by people who surf and paddle everyday. A top quality, thoughtfully designed product for the every day paddler!  This PEAK 10’6 Inflatable Paddle Board is built tough from the highest quality military grade PVC and drop stitch material. The end result is a lighter, stiffer, more durable SUP board without any of the extra weight. The 6” Thickness makes it much more stable and rigid versus the typically 4” thick models and the non slip grip ensures a stable steady ride.   The perfect SUP board to fit all skill levels and an excellent choice for Sup Yoga Enthusiasts, SUP Fishing, Recreational Paddlers, Kids or carrying extra passengers or furry friends! 

Purchase Now:  PEAK Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Adjustable Paddle, Travel Backpack and Coil Leash

Atoll 11′ Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

Atoll’s flagship ISUP, the Cruiser Deluxe, is 11 foot x 6 inch x 32 inch ISUP ready with everything you need to paddle that same day. New Fusion Light Construction – 40% lighter than comparable models. Manufactured with a built in state of the art H3 valve. It comes with a the industry leading Bravo dual action hand pump. Replaceable, reliable and 3nd generation detachable fin, now compatible with Universal Fin boxes, no screws required. The use of aftermarket river fins or larger race finds has nver been easier. The stock 8 inch double strength fin keeps this inflatable stand up paddle board headed on its intended course. The tri fin design allows for the best tracking ( moving forward without turning). Dual Layer PVC, this board is wrapped with second layer of patented PVC on the top and bottom of the board that creats a stiff, rigid and sturdy ISUP. EVA foam on the top: prevents ISUP rider from slipping and loosing their balance. Pressure ranges up to 15 psi with Korean style drop stitching technology. Package comes with a new sleek 3 piece lightweight aluminum paddle and nylon blade.

Purchase Now:   Atoll 11’0 Foot Inflatable Stand up Paddle Board, Bravo Hand Pump and 3 Piece Paddle, Travel Backpack

*Top PIck*  iRocker All-Around Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board

iRocker used only the highest quality QUAD Layer military grade PVC in their inflatable paddle boards.  This provides extra protection, durability, and greater rigidity giving you longer lasting reliable performance.  Greater rigidity results in reduced flex over common single and double layer boards.  Their boards are designed, tested, and perfected in Florida.

Purchase Now: iROCKER ALL-AROUND Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

Hard Boards

Peak 10’5 Escape Soft Top Aqua Stand Up Paddle Board

Great for all types of paddling conditions: rivers, lakes, oceans and streams, it doesn’t matter. The perfect board for your kids or to share with the whole fam. Bring along an extra person, dog or cooler. The PEAK 10’5 Soft has all the features of a hard SUP wrapped in a soft EVA shell with an ABS bottom. If you drop this board, it won’t ding or scratch. This SUP is rigid offering a stable ride with soft cushion pad under your feet.

Purchase Now: PEAK 10’5 Soft Top Aqua Stand Up Paddle Board (Aqua)

Gold Coast SUP Paddleboard Orca Indestructo

Paddleboard is 10’6″ and 4.5″ thick.  Easily supports riders up to 275 + lbs.  Full coverage top deck fingerprint texture IXPE traction layer.  The board is lightweight, and extremely durable with EZ carry handle.  This is a family-friendly, long lasting SUP for all ages to have fun with!  Comes with 11′ paddle board bag.  100% satisfaction guarantee.  Ride risk free for 30 days or return it.

Purchase Now: Gold Coast Surfboards | SUP Paddleboard | 10’6 Orca Indestructo | Large Hard Shell Stand Up Paddleboard | Stand Up Paddle Board Package Includes SUP Board & Paddle Board Accessories


SUP Paddleboard Carrier/Storage Sling

With the Enhanced SUP-Now Paddleboard Carry/Storage Strap, you can easily carry your paddleboard, paddle and accessories and still have a free hand.  This has a triple-padded shoulder pad made from soft and durable Neoprene.

Purchase Now: SUP Paddleboard Carrier/Storage Sling

Best Kayak Boat Anchor Kit for Paddle board

Their galvanized anchor doesn’t need a painted coating to keep it resistant to rust. The anchor line is 40ft long and allows for more horizontal drag and a better hold. They also include a nylon storage bag, a buoy ball and a stainless steel hook for situations requiring a quick disconnect. It is only 12in x 3in when closed. It takes up minimal space and can easily be stored in kayaks, canoes, dinghy, paddle boards or wave runner PWC.

Purchase Now: BEST Kayak Anchor Accessories for Paddle Board

Paddle Board Storage Rack

Requires no assembly and is easy to install. They’re made from the highest quality materials and are built to last.  Made of rust resistant, powder coated steel, rugged nylon covered foam padding that won’t deteriorate over time, and adjustable straps designed to secure and hold your paddleboard in place.

Purchase Now: BEST Kayak Storage Rack Accessories for Kayaks, SUP Paddle Board and Surfboard

Paddle board Cooler & Mesh Bag

SUP Cooler and Mesh Bag in One! Your New Paddle Board Cooler Features a Thermal Insulated Lining To Keep Your Drinks Ice Cold For Hours. Fits 6 Cans Perfectly and Also Features A Mesh Top To Hold Any Dry Goods (Sealed With a Zipper). Also Included is 4 Suction Cups That Attaches Great To Any Hard Top Stand Up Paddle Board.

Purchase Now: Paddle Board Accessories SUP Cooler Bag and Mesh Top in One

SUP-Now Paddleboard Deck Bag with Waterproof Insert

With the genuine SUP-Now Paddleboard Pouch DELUXE Edition with Waterproof Insert, you can easily take necessities such as your life jacket, phone, keys, water bottles, sunscreen, snacks, sandals and even your SUP-Now Paddleboard Carrying Strap with you on your paddleboard.  Comes with a free waterproof insert.  Uses commercial grade suction cups, with easy release hooks built in, there is no need to use any messy glue or make any changes to your board.

Purchase Now: SUP-Now Paddleboard Deck Bag with Waterproof Insert

Unigear Premium 10′ coiled SUP Leash w/Waterproof Wallet

When it comes to stand up surfing or paddling, safety is always a concern. Unigear SUP leash perfectly solves this problem. You can tie the leash onto your ankle and tie the other end to the board so that you won’t be separated from your board in an emergency on the water. The coiled part is made of Super Strong 7mm urethane cord to handle the longest and heaviest of board while the ankle part is made of TPU elastic polyurethane with soft sponge. So you won’t feel any discomfort when surfing.

Purchase Now: Unigear Premium 10’ SUP Leash, Paddle Leash Coiled Swivel Ankle Cuff for Standup Paddle Boarding and Surfboarding Surfing

GoPro Hero 5 Session

Capture different with HERO5 Session. With its stunning 4K video, one-button simplicity and voice control, HERO5 Session may be the ultimate combination of performance and small size. Liquid-smooth image stabilization, waterproof design and go-anywhere durability help capture life as you live it. And when it’s time to edit and share, HERO5 Session can automatically upload footage to your GoPro Plus cloud account, providing easy access on your phone. Then you can use Quik, the GoPro editing app, to automatically create videos that wow.

Purchase Now: GoPro HERO5 Session

SEAWAG Universal Waterproof Case for Smartphone

The Seawag waterproof case for smartphone will be your ideal partner during your aquatic activities to protect your smartphone. All our products are completely waterproof and tested to a depth of 25 meters (80 feet), even resistant to sand, dust and snow. Its design allows easy access to all functions of your smartphone without having to remove it from the case. Featuring a transparent screen at the back of the cover, you will have the opportunity, even in the water, to take pictures and record videos. Universal, suitable for all sizes of phones.

Purchase Now: SEAWAG Universal Waterproof Case for Smartphone



  1. Stella Obiozor

    Glad to know that even somebody like me without any knowledge on how to paddle can do it. I have always seen a SUP as something that only experienced riders can do. I am envious of them because it looks so fun. You have given me hope to give SUP a try. I am ready! Great information for people to choose the best paddle board. All the best.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, anybody can use an SUP paddleboard. It is really much easier than it looks, and quite fun. Shoot you can have some fun and get some exercise at the same time! Thanks for visiting

  2. Irma

    I go water tubing every summer at a resort and I see more and more of these on the channel on days when the water flow is slow. I want to try one, but did not know how to get started, so your post is very helpful indeed.
    There is also a beach near where I live that has a large shallow section which would make learning this easier.
    Do you have to have an ankle strap attached? I have seen that in some articles.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I don’t have an ankle strap, but it is probably a great idea! You will actually love it. It is really a rewarding sport, personally. I am glad my SUP paddleboarding post was helpful to you!

  3. Amanda

    I have always wanted a paddle board and had no idea there was a inflatable option! Good to know because my want for one doe not come with ANY experience. You laid out some great options here and I look forward to getting more familiar with one of these babies once the lakes thaw out! Did you start with a inflatable or a hard board?

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I started with a hard board, because I knew I would love it. I actually got it from a friend though. If I had purchased new, I probably would have went with the inflatable. Thanks for reading!

  4. Stephanie

    Wow, very well put together, and I love how informative everything is. I have really considered giving SUP paddleboarding a try. With your post, I am ready. Can I rent one first to see how it goes?

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you are going to give this awesome sport a try. I know that here at the beach I live on, there are probably at least a dozen places that rent SUPs. That is a great way to give it a try and get started! Thanks for reading!

  5. jackie

    Paddle boarding looks so interesting. I have been interested in a while, so am glad I found your post on this sport. I just may be ready to try it out. I bet you get a good work out in your legs from trying to balance.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      It does give you somewhat of a workout Jackie. I love that I enjoy it so much, that the benefits are just an added bonus! You will love it and be hooked for sure!

  6. Melinda

    Stand up paddle board looks like it requires a lot of balance and core strength. The people who do it make it look effortless, but I know that your body’s motion and trying to balance on water isn’t that easy! I think your recommendation to start on your knees is a good one, but I still think that will be challenging.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I have bad balance because of issues with my ears, but I can still paddleboard. It really is fairly easy to do. Give it a try Melinda, and you will be glad you did! Thanks for reading 🙂

  7. Ruth

    I really like your explanation of why each type of paddleboard is beneficial. It is good to know the pros and cons to help to decide which type of board would be best to use personally. I like the descriptions and recommendations of all types of boards and the easy links if you decide to purchase one. Thanks for the info!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Ruth. I am glad I could help! It really is a fun sport for so many reasons. If you live near a large body of water, SUP paddleboarding is definitely worth trying. Thanks for reading!

  8. Fred

    I see lots of paddle boarders, and have thought about trying this sport. This looks like something fun to do. I love how you list all the different accessories that you can get. This will definitely have to be something I get started with. Thanks for the great info.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Fred, it is a blast. So peaceful, relaxing, warm, and just well fun. You should really try it. I know that you can rent a board (at least here on our beach, they rent them everywhere), and that might be the way to start out to see if you like it. I am betting you will. Glad you enjoyed your visit to SUP Paddleboarding.

  9. Sarae

    This is a really great post packed with so much helpful information! I have always been curious about paddle boarding, but I’ve never gotten the chance to try it. Now that we have moved down South and live close to some great bodies of water, I’d love to give it a go! I never knew that they even made inflatable paddle boards! That is really neat as well. Good to know that they aren’t cheaper than hard boards either. It is so easy to be fooled by cheaper prices, but I would definitely want quality with an investment like this!

    Thanks for the info. 🙂

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you enjoyed reading and learning about SUP Paddleboarding. It is quite fun and worth the investment for sure. Please come back when you are ready to get your gear!

  10. Tony

    Hi, Leahrae,

    This stand up paddleboarding is very intriguing! It seems like it is not very hard to learn even for a person who has never paddled before!

    I have a couple of questions:

    1. Where is better to start learning – on a lake or a beach?
    2. Is this popular already?

    Thank you!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Tony, First I want to say this is VERY popular. I wish I could post a picture here for you from the beach by me, Clearwater Beach. I think either is going to be the same for learning. Now, the lake might be calmer depending on the day and wave action. So for this reason, I am going to say the lake. It is fairly easy though 🙂 Thanks for visiting

  11. Jill

    What a fabulous post on a very exciting sport. I love the idea that it is silent and we are bombarded by noise so often. Lovely to be able to go where motor boats can’t go and to enjoy the nature around you.
    It was good to read about the difference in the boards and also about all the accessories available.
    Many thanks,

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Jill and I am glad you enjoyed reading! I absolutely love SUP’s. Peaceful, quiet, on the water, relaxing, and just plain fun! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Thanks for visit SUP Paddleboarding.

  12. Simon

    Thank you for explaining the difference between inflatable and hard boards. I had no idea there were inflatable boards.

    I can appreciate your advise on not buying a cheap board. There is an age old saying. You get what you pay for and to take it a step further, if you think buying a good product is expensive, try buying a cheap product.

    Not only will a person pay for the cheap product, but they will have to spend the money on a good product when the special breaks and they cant fix it because it was made to through away. In the end buying cheap will cost the price of the special, the time down, the money trying to fix it, and then the price of a good product.

    Great advise. research your needs and find a board that will meet your needs then save until you can afford what you want. If you like it you will likely use it more often too.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      So true Simon. Especially true with SUP boards. Some people buy the inflatable simply because they can store them easily by deflating. To me that is a hassle. I like the hard board 🙂 Thanks for reading about SUP paddleboarding!

  13. Carmen

    Thanks for sharing this article. I had never heard of SUP, it looks like lots of fun. The video that your shared was really good, now I want to give it a try. 🙂

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      It really is fun Carmen, and easy! You would have a blast! You will have to give it a try. Thanks for visiting SUP Paddleboarding.

  14. stefanie

    This looks like a cool sport to try and I LOVE anything that gives a core workout and burns calories. What’s not to like? I had no idea that these paddle boards were this expensive, though it makes sense why now you have explained it. Always best to go for quality with this type of thing because like you say, it will be easier to sell should you decide it’s not for you.
    I’m going to give paddle boarding a go this year for sure as they do lessons at my local beach where you can hire the boards out, which is good enough for me considering we only get a couple of months of summer here.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Sounds like a good idea Stefanie. It is a GREAT sport, being out on the water, getting exercise, and enjoying the sun. What is not to like? Right? Thanks for visiting
      SUP Paddleboarding!


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