Best Stand Up Paddle Boards in 2021 (non-inflatable)

Stand Up Paddle Board

Published: July 15, 2021

If you do not have enough time to inflate and set up a stand up paddle board, then these non-inflatable paddle boards may be your best choice. Paddle boarding is a fun way to enjoy the summer. This sport has become a worldwide phenomenon and has known more and more innovations. Hardshell, solid, or non-inflatable SUPs offer higher performance, are easier to manage, can handle wind better, and more.

Read along and let us help you decide what board is best for you.

 

Go to Comparison Table

Best overall SUP

1. Boardworks Kraken

Boardworks Kraken

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 26 lbs.

Board Volume: 326 L

Dimensions: 10’3” x 34” x 4-¾” (Length x Width x Thickness)

Max. Capacity: 290 lbs.

The Boardworks Kraken is an excellent all-around stand up paddle board that shows solid performance.

What we like about the Boardworks Kraken is that it is efficient in both calm and choppy water conditions. It is great for both beginners and experienced paddlers, and it remains stable even when the conditions are rough. It is quite maneuverable, and is not too long nor not too heavy, which means it is easily transportable. Besides, it weighs 26 lbs. and can be carried by an average person without assistance. The Kraken features an EPX-V construction which consists of a high-end, kiln-bamboo veneer sandwich layer and a low-density, stringerless, machine-cut, and hand-shaped EPS core, which is hand-laminated with epoxy resins and fiberglass cloth. All components, including fin boxes, finger wells, the leash, and deck plugs are set in high-density foam blocks. This board has a 2 1 fin setup and comes with an FCS II Connect Dolphin Fin that can be installed using no tools. It can also be set up for up to 5-fin configurations to match different conditions. The Boardworks Kraken also has a pop-out style handle for easy carry, a locking ability, and three front tie-downs with bungee cord included, allowing for easy storage. It can carry up to 290 lbs., making it a great option for almost anyone.

What we do not like about the Boardworks Kraken is that you have to be delicate with it and not push it too hard to avoid damaging it and to make it last longer. Overall, this is one of the best stand up paddle boards on the market because it can be used by paddlers of all levels, and in most conditions. It is a fantastic board that handles great, glides well, and is stable enough for beginners.


 

Best SUP for beginners

2. BIC Sport ACE-TEC Cross

BIC Sport ACE-TEC Cross

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 35 lbs.

Board Volume: 260 L

Dimensions: 11” x 34”(Mid) x 5.5”

Max. Capacity: 285 lbs.

The BIC Ace-Tec Cross is an amazingly stable and durable board, and one of the best stand up paddle boards for beginners.

What we like about the BIC Ace-Tec Cross is that it handles rough water and wakes well, is astonishingly stable, and awesome for carrying passengers or cargo. The board features a keeled nose with a low rocker and long waterline to enhance tracking and increase glide, giving you a smooth paddling experience. It has a full rail-to-rail volume to enhance stability and allow maximum use of the entire deck. This flat deck also has a full pad that is plush and comfortable for fitness, yoga, fishing, and also just for family fun. The embossed EVA pad also offers excellent traction. Plus, the BIC Ace-Tec Cross can handle choppy conditions with ease and remains stable even with toddlers or a dog aboard, or while doing yoga. It has 10 attachment points that are strategically placed along the deck area to secure gear, coolers, and other accessories. It also has an Ergo Grip carry handle to help you transport the board easily. If you notice that the board has a slightly different color than on the product photo, it is because BIC practices sustainable manufacturing and does not want to waste any material, which means they do not throw away foam just to make every board look exactly alike.

What we do not like about the BIC Ace-Tec Cross is that it is heavy and it doesn’t have that much glide for long-distance tours. All in all, this is a very stable stand up paddle board, which makes it great for beginners. Plus, it is resilient and also good for family use.


 

Best SUP for yoga

3. ISLE Cruiser

ISLE Cruiser

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 28.5 lbs.

Board Volume: 175 lbs.

Dimensions: 10.5′ x 32” x 4.5”

Max. Capacity: 235 lbs.

The Isle Cruiser is a soft top paddle board and is one of our top choices when it comes to the best paddle boards for yoga.

What we like about the Isle Cruiser is that it has enough deck space for a paddler to move around. Plus, it is wide and easy to balance on, and is 4.5 inches thick to help the board stay afloat. The board’s construction makes it rigid like an epoxy SUP, and durable like an inflatable paddle board. Its soft top deck is comfortable and has a built-in grip to prevent you from slipping. Besides, it has a molded EPS foam core with dual stringers for strength, and a super slick bottom for speed. The board also comes with a carbon hybrid adjustable SUP paddle with a nylon blade, an 8′ coiled leash, and a nylon touring center fin. The Isle Cruiser’s load limit of 235 lbs. mostly applies to beginners, which means that more experienced paddlers can exceed it. The board also features an all-around SUP design, so anyone can use it anywhere and in any condition. It is a lightweight, soft-top paddle board that can easily be transported thanks to its carry handle.

What we do not like about the Isle Cruiser is that the soft foam top can easily get dented, meaning it may be less durable. However, it can last many seasons with proper care. All in all, this is a lightweight, easily-transportable paddle board that will float excellently, and it is the best paddle board for yoga and for family use.


 

Best SUP for surfing

4. Pau Hana Oahu

Pau Hana Oahu

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 29 lbs.

Board Volume: 187 L

Dimensions: 10′ x 32” x 4.25”

Max. Capacity: 263 lbs.

The Pau Hana Oahu is an all-around stand up paddle board that is best for surfing, cruising, and all-around paddling.

What we like about the Pau Hana Oahu is that it has a classically shaped nose, which will keep you above water and will help you progress. It is a good beginner paddle board for surfing, and is designed to be fun and easy to ride. The Pau Hana Oahu has this spooned-out nose, a wide tail, and full rails to make it more stable in various conditions. It can be configured with a single, 3-fin/thruster and quad setup to offer flexibility and match the conditions of the day. It can be outfitted with a SeaMount drink holder, a paddle clop, and D-rings. It also has an integrated foil mount that is compatible with the Pau Hana Stinger foil. The Oahu is a great beginner and intermediate stand up paddle board that is stable enough for doing yoga, and maneuverable enough for surfing. It is made from an epoxy fiberglass sandwich construction of bamboo veneer and EPS. All of these components are reinforced with Corebrace, which are high-density PVC foam inserts integrated into the board’s core. It includes a 9” in center fin and two side bites. Finally, it has a soft-grip deck pad designed to drain and offer excellent traction.

What we do not like about the Pau Hana Oahu is that it doesn’t come with a paddle and it might be a bit small for some paddlers. But all in all, this is one of our top choices when it comes to the best stand up paddle boards for surfing. It is maneuverable, stable, and a fun all-around board that is good for beginners and even intermediate paddlers.


 

Best SUP for fishing

5. Imagine Surf V2 Wizard Angler

Imagine Surf V2 Wizard Angler

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 62 lbs.

Board Volume: 336 L

Dimensions: 11′ x 35” x 8”

Max. Capacity: 305 lbs.

The Imagine Surf V2 Wizard Angler is the best stand up paddle board for fishing because it has a little bit of everything you will need.

What we like about the Imagine Surf V2 Wizard Angler is that it is good for an all-day fishing trip, as well as for simple evening paddles, exploring bays, and paddling down the coast. This paddle board has four carrying straps located at the tail, nose, and on each side to make it super easy to lug to shore. It also has a 7-point bungee system for storage and to keep the seat strapped down when not in use. When you want a seat for a sit-down paddling, you just have to release the bungee, and the back of the seat will flip. The board also has a toolless snap-in fin, a deck pad in the middle, a cargo bay, four fishing mounts, two rod holders, and two drag-anchor cleats. The Imagine Surf V2 Wizard Angler is made from blow-molded polyethylene in order to withstand everyday use and abuse. It can hold two people, or you and your dogs, or you and your camping gear because the maximum load capacity of this board is 305 lbs. It is 10 feet long, 35 inches wide, and 8 inches thick to allow for absolute buoyancy in the water and excellent stability. Plus, it even performs well in rough conditions.

What we do not like about the Imagine Surf V2 Wizard Angler is that at 62 lbs., it is quite heavy, and it doesn’t include any paddle. Overall, this is an excellent stand up paddle board for fishing. It is tough, has great buoyancy, excellent use of deck space, and is great for fishing and exploring.


 

Best for big guys and ladies

6. California Board Company Hydra

 

California Board Company Hydra

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 25 lbs.

Board Volume: 179 L

Dimensions: 10’6” x 30.7” x 5.25”

Max. Capacity: 300 lbs.

The California Board Company Hydra is the company’s 10’6” Classic. They renamed the board and changed the graphics, but the technical aspects remain the same.

What we like about the California Board Company Hydra is that it is light, easy to transport, and can withstand daily use, even if dropped or if it falls off your car. The board is made of a high-density EPS foam and 100% waterproof core. It comes with a surf leash, an adjustable paddle, and pads for roof racks. Plus, it is not overly expensive. It is stable when transporting cargo and provides good maneuverability. Because it only weighs 25 lbs., it is very easy to carry and load onto a car without assistance. This soft-foam board can withstand damages well, and even if there are dings sustained, it really doesn’t affect its performance. It is 10’6” long, 30.7 inches wide, and 5.25 inches thick, which means it has enough deck space and can carry up to 300 lbs. Additionally, it has a camera mount. Also, the paddle can be adjusted from 63 to 83 inches, and comes with a 3-fin setup.

What we do not like about the California Board Company Hydra is that it doesn’t glide well and its foam material may be dented easily. All in all, this is one of our top choices when it comes to the best stand up paddle boards for big guys and ladies. It can be a good option for beginners and occasional paddlers.


 

Best budget-friendly

7. Pelican Flow 106

Pelican Flow 106

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 50 lbs.

Board Volume: 230 L

Dimensions: 10.6′ x 32” x 5.6”

Max. Capacity: 230 lbs.

The Pelican Flow 106 is an affordable, beginner-friendly stand up paddle board that performs well.

What we like about the Pelican Flow 106 is that it is very stable, even on windy days, and that it has excellent buoyancy. The board features a carry handle for ease of transport, a drain plug at the rear to prevent water infiltration, and a 5-inch single rubber fin for good tracking. Plus, its long and shallow form is unlikely to catch a rock and break. The board also has a large anti-slip cushioned deck pad to give you a more comfortable and secure footing. The Flow 106 is made of thermoformed plastic, has a good rocker and side-to-side volume distribution, and is a good option for playing on flatwater and easy whitewater up to class II. It also has a hatch that is very handy for storing small essentials that don’t need to stay dry. The aforementioned drain plug is simple and screws directly onto the hull. The said hull of this paddle board has a couple of channels in it that help in tracking and give the board extra volume on the sides to keep it stable.

What we do not like about the Pelican Flow 106 is that at 50 lbs., it is quite heavy. However, it is easy to carry around if you know how to. It can also be a bit frustrating for a beginner to use the board for long-distance paddling. All in all, this is one of the best cheap paddle boards on our list, and it may be a good choice if speed is not your priority. It is stable, easily maneuvered, and a fun recreational board.


 

8. Lifetime Freestyle Multi-Sport

Lifetime Freestyle Multi-Sport

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 40 lbs.

Board Volume: N/A

Dimensions:  9’8” x 35.5” x 6”

Max. Capacity: 280 lbs.

The Lifetime Freestyle Multi-Sport is also one of the best budget-friendly paddle boards that can be used by both adults and kids.

What we like about the Lifetime Freestyle Multi-Sport paddle board is that it is a fun and versatile paddle board that can be used by the whole family. It suits both beginners and more experienced paddlers. It is brightly colored, which is good for parents to spot their kid easily. It is also just 9’8” long, 35.5 inches wide, and 6 inches thick, so there is adequate space and it allows for good buoyancy. The board is made of high-density polyethylene and features an EVA-foam deck pad for increased traction, and a UV-protected exterior to resist fading, cracking, or peeling. Besides, it has a paddleboard leash loop and two injection molded retractable fins that can be adjusted for surfing or flatwater paddling. Additionally, it comes with an adjustable stand-up fiberglass paddle. The board can carry up to 280 lbs., and can be used as a tandem stand up paddle board for kids. It is awesome to use in lakes and rivers, and can be used for surfing too. Finally, it is easy to maneuver, wide, and very stable.

What we do not like about the Lifetime Freestyle Multi-Sport paddle board is that it is a bit heavy, but the built-in carry handle at the center makes it easier to carry it around. Overall, this is one of the best value paddle boards on our list that can be used by the whole family. It has a durable construction, great color options, and a nice shape, and it is very stable for both beginners and experienced paddlers.


 

9. Boardworks Riptide

Boardworks Riptide

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 30 lbs.

Board Volume: 236 L

Dimensions: 10’6” x 33” x 4-¾”

Max. Capacity: 275 lbs.

The Boardworks Riptide is a good value option for beginners and intermediate paddlers.

What we like about the Boardworks Riptide is that it is an all-purpose stand up paddle board designed for the whole family. It is stable for smooth water paddling and short excursions. It is constructed with Bombshell Molded composite, which includes an EPS core laminated with layers of fiberglass. ABS/Polycarbonate, Kevlar, and PVC rails. The board also has good graphics, coated with high-grade paint and polish. It features a honey fob heat embossed deck pad and an extra wide nose and tail, which makes it good for SUP yoga. It has an integrated handle for ease of transport and a locking ability. Furthermore, it has dual front-tie downs with a bungee cord for storing essentials and small gear. Plus, it comes with a 9” Flexi Dolphin Fin, which is high-performing in all conditions and can be installed with no tools. The Boardworks Riptide has a performance hull design and can hold loads of gear thanks to its weight limit of 275 lbs.

What we do not like about the Boardworks Riptide is that it does not come with a paddle, so you have to buy it separately. All in all, this is an affordable and durable stand up paddle board that tracks well and has a stable and comfortable platform.


 

10. Lifetime Amped 110

Lifetime Amped 110

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 47 lbs.

Board Volume: n/a

Dimensions: 11′ x 32” x 5.8”

Max. Capacity: 230 lbs.

The Lifetime Amped 110 is a perfect stand up paddle board for intermediate paddlers who want to progress.

What we like about the Lifetime Amped 110 is that it is stable, tracks well, and performs well in diverse water conditions. It is made with durable high-density polyethylene and its exterior is UV-protected to resist fading, cracking, and peeling. It also has an EVA deck covering for increased traction and a center carry handle for ease of transport. It also features a bungee cord storage area at the front and comes with an adjustable stand-up fiberglass paddle. It has a single fin setup and comes with a retractable fin, which can be used for surfing or flatwater paddling. The Lifetime Amped is 11 feet long and 32 inches wide to provide adequate space. It is very easy to steer and maneuver and will offer you a smooth and pleasurable paddling experience.

What we do not like about the Lifetime Amped 110 is that it is heavy, so you may need some assistance to carry it. Overall, it is an affordable paddle board which performs great in the water, tracks and glides well, and is very stable.


Best Paddle Board: Comparison table

FotoPaddle Board Weight Board Volume Dimensions Max. Capacity
Boardworks Kraken

1. Boardworks Kraken

290 lbs.10'3" x 34" x 4-¾" (Length x Width x Thickness)326 L26 lbs.
BIC Sport ACE-TEC Cross

2. BIC Sport ACE-TEC Cross

285 lbs.11" x 34"(Mid) x 5.5"260 L35 lbs.
ISLE Cruiser

3. ISLE Cruiser

235 lbs.10.5' x 32" x 4.5"175 lbs.28.5 lbs.
Pau Hana Oahu

4. Pau Hana Oahu

29 lbs.187 L10' x 32" x 4.25"263 lbs.
Imagine Surf V2 Wizard Angler

5. Imagine Surf V2 Wizard Angler

62 lbs.336 L11' x 35" x 8"305 lbs.
California Board Company Hydra

6. California Board Company Hydra

300 lbs.10'6" x 30.7" x 5.25"179 L25 lbs.
Pelican Flow 106

7. Pelican Flow 106

230 lbs.10.6' x 32" x 5.6"230 L50 lbs.
Lifetime Freestyle Multi-Sport

8. Lifetime Freestyle Multi-Sport

280 lbs.9'8" x 35.5" x 6"N/A40 lbs.
Boardworks Riptide

9. Boardworks Riptide

30 lbs.236 L10'6" x 33" x 4-¾"275 lbs.
Lifetime Amped 110

10. Lifetime Amped 110

47 lbs.n/a11' x 32" x 5.8"230 lbs.

 

FAQs

Do you wear shoes when paddle boarding?

No, you do not have to wear any shoes when paddle boarding because the grip of the board is designed for bare feet. However, depending on the temperature, you may want to wear neoprene boots or light barefoot trainers, which are a good option for winter paddling.

 

Can you lose weight paddle boarding?

Yes, you can lose weight paddle boarding because it is a full-body workout that can burn many calories in an hour. Plus, there are a lot of activities associated with paddle boards, such as yoga, if you are looking for a more enjoyable way to lose weight using a SUP.

 

Buying guide

Hull types

The hull, also called the body of the paddle board, is an important factor to determine how the board will perform. All hull types suit beginners, however there are some differences that make them a whole lot better for some activities than others. Therefore, it is important to know what hull type to choose.

  • Planing hull
    • Flat and wide
    • Similar to a surfboard
    • Very maneuverable
    • Designed to ride on top of the water
    • For leisure paddling, surfing, SUP yoga, and whitewater
  • Displacement hull
    • Pointed nose or bow
    • Similar to a kayak or canoe
    • Slices through water for more efficiency, creates a fast and smooth ride
    • Requires less effort to paddle for long distances and faster speeds
    • Tracks nicely and straight
    • Less maneuverable
    • For fitness paddling, SUP touring/camping, and racing

 

Inflatable vs. Non-inflatable SUPs

  • Non-inflatable/Solid/Hardshell SUPs

Most of these SUPs are constructed with an EPS foam core, then wrapped with fiberglass or epoxy.

    • Pros:
      – Offer the best performance

– Larger range of sizes

– Finely tuned shapes

– Provide more stability

    • Cons:

– Heavier than inflatable SUPs

– Less compact

– Less transportable

  • Inflatable SUPs

These boards are constructed with PVC exteriors and drop-stitch material that create an air core. They usually come with a pump and a storage bag.

    • Pros:

– Compact and easily stowed in small spaces

– Easily carried due thanks to the storage bag/backpack

– Softer than solid boards

– Best for traveling or hiking to a lake

– Handle whitewater better

– Comfortable for SUP yoga

    • Cons:

– Material construction is more delicate than hardshell SUPs

– Require more time and effort due to the need to inflate them

 

Volume and weight capacity

  • Volume

Volume is measured in liters and indicates the board’s ability to float with weight on it. The higher the volume, the more weight the board can support.

  • Weight capacity

Weight capacity is measured in pounds and is important to know if you are too heavy for a board. The weight capacity is the overall weight of your body weight, gear, food, and even drinking water that you’ll be taking with you.

 

Length

A SUP’s length determines how the board handles. Generally, longboards are faster, while shorter boards and more maneuverable. When choosing the length of your SUP, you have to understand how it relates to the volume and weight capacity. A long board can increase its volume and capacity, which will make it more stable. You should also consider your type of car, home storage situation, and mode of transport.

  • Short boards
    • Under 10 feet
    • Great for surfing
    • Good for kids
    • Most short boards have a planing hull
    • More maneuverable
    • Some are designed specifically for kids
  • Medium boards
    • 10 to 12 feet
    • Ideal for all-around use
    • Ideal for SUP yoga
    • Most medium-sized boards have a planing hull
    • Displacement-hull are common with these boards
  • Long boards 
    • 12’6”and above
    • Great for fast paddling
    • Great for long-distance touring
    • Most are displacement-hull SUPs
    • Faster than short and medium-sized boards
    • Track straighter

 

Width

Another factor that can affect how the board handles is its width. Wider boards are more stable but can be slower if they’re too wide for you. In such cases, it can be difficult to paddle. When choosing your board’s width, you should think about your body type, the type of paddling you do, and your ability level.

  • Body type

If you are small/petite, you should choose a narrower board because you can find your balance on it better. On the other hand, if you are a big person, you should choose a wider board.

  • Type of paddling

If you are required to carry extra gear, cooler, food or tent, you should choose a wider board so you can have more storage space. For SUP yoga, a wider board or a 31 inches wide board or above can offer you more stability and space. On the other hand, narrower boards are faster and more maneuverable, and therefore best suit racers and surfers.

  • Ability level

If you are a more experienced paddler, you may be more comfortable with a narrower and faster board. If you are a beginner, a little extra width is most suitable for you to feel more secure.

 

Thickness

A stand up paddle board’s thickness will affect the overall volume and weight capacity, so it is important to consider this factor too. Thicker boards have more volume than thinner ones, and a higher volume can support more weight. If you have a small body type, you should choose a thin board to keep its overall volume lower. This will allow for a more efficient performance.

 

Fins

Fins contribute to a board’s stability and tracking. Generally, larger fins that have wide bases and long front edges can track straighter and allow for more stability than smaller fins.

  • Single fins
  • Provide good tracking and minimal drag
  • Good choice for flatwater paddling
  • 3-fin or tri-fin setups
  • Also referred to as “thruster”
  • Promote straight tracking on flatwater
  • Offer good control while surfing
  • All three are usually of the same size
  • 2 1 setups
  • Include a larger center fin with two smaller side fins
  • Common setup for SUPs that are designed for surfing
  • Fins for inflatable SUPs
  • Can have any of the above fin configurations
  • Feature flexible rubber fins attached to the board
  • May also feature detachable semi-rigid fins

 

Accessories

Depending on how you want to use your stand up paddle board, you should look for extra features that may be beneficial for you.

  • Bungee straps/tie-down

Located at the rear or front, they’re used for securing essentials.

  • Attachment points/mounts

Useful for securing fishing rods, seats, cameras, and more. However, they are usually sold separately.

  • Paddle

Usually comes with the board. A paddle for stand up paddle boards looks like a stretched-out canoe and has a tear-drop shaped blade that angles forward.

  • Leash

This tethers the board to you, to keep it closeby if you fall off. It is also for safety purposes because a SUP is a large floatation device.

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