Best Stand-Up Paddle Boards for 2023

Warmer weather is finally upon us, and while you can paddle at any time of year, there’s nothing like it during the spring and summer. The sun is shining, the longer days offer more prime paddle time, and the water is refreshing rather than freezing.

Whether you’re a paddle board beginner looking to get your feet wet, a veteran SUPer or somewhere in between, I likely have a good matchup for you on this list. This best paddle board review roundup is a selection of my favorite picks from the SUPs I’ve tested, including rigid boards and inflatables. Some are built for speed, some are best for balance and others offer a great value — it all depends on your skill set and what you’re looking to use your board for. 

Scroll on for the best paddle board picks, from best lightweight paddle board to best yoga SUP. 

A look at the BOTE breeze paddle board and its included accessories

McKenzie Dillon/CNET

  • Accessories and paddle included
  • Speed: 7/10
  • Stability: 10/10
  • Tracking: 8/10
  • Price: $699

A great paddle board should have these three qualities: stability, maneuverability and durability. On top of that, most people also look for a good bang for their buck. The Breeze Aero from BOTE checks a ton of boxes for what your average paddler wants in a new, quality SUP. Not to mention, it’s one good-looking board. 

The BOTE Breeze Aero provides balance, speed, durability and maneuverability all in one SUP package. Speaking of packages, you also get additional gear with the board like a paddle, pump, repair kit, fin and travel bag. The BOTE Breeze Aero backpack was my favorite from the bunch. Not only is it spacious, but there’s comfortable padding in the shoulder straps, so it’s comfortable to haul around on your back. It’s also a lot easier to transport than a solid paddle board is, along with the other inflatable boards on this list. 

This SUP feels fairly light; it weighs around 20 pounds. That being said, it measures 10 feet, 8 inches long and 33 inches W, making it feel just as stable as any solid paddle board. I never felt like I was going to tip over, even when gliding over large wakes. 

One of my favorite things about this board, besides its stability, is its compatibility with BOTE’s inflatable seat. It instantly transforms your paddle board into a mini makeshift kayak. If you get the kayak paddle to go along with it, you have yourself a multifunctional board. 

A girl paddle boarding through the water on a Retrospec board

McKenzie Dillon/CNET

  • Accessories and paddle included
  • Speed: 8/10
  • Stability: 7/10
  • Tracking: 7/10
  • Price: $349 

Retrospec is a popular paddle board brand you might have seen advertised on your Instagram or Facebook feeds. The Weekender model is its entry-level board, and I was really impressed with how nice the board is for the price. Hands down, this is one of the best paddle boards you can get for your money. 

The Weekender 10′ paddle board is 10 feet long and 30 inches wide. It has a single-layer PVC design with drop stitch tech. It comes included with all the additional accessories you’ll need, including a pump, three detachable fins, ankle leash, paddle, backpack, repair kit and even a waterproof phone case you can hang around your neck. I also love the colors the Weekender 10′ is available in. I think it offers the most versatility in style compared to the other boards. 

That waterproof case was a game-changer for taking photos and didn’t come with any of the other paddle boards I tested. It may be a small addition, but it’s a testament to the value you get with the Weekender 10′. 

The Weekender 10′ is incredibly lightweight, weighing 17 pounds, and easy to carry around. On the water, it glides with ease and is great for speed. You can gain good momentum with this board. However, it was a little harder to balance on than other SUPs. After 10 to 15 minutes on the board, you find your footing and find the hang of it — even if you’re a beginner. I think it’s a great, all-around paddle board with an incredibly wallet-friendly price tag.


McKenzie Dillon/CNET

  • No accessories or paddle 
  • Speed: 7/10
  • Stability: 10/10
  • Tracking: 9/10
  • Price: $799

The Connelly Voyager SUP was my first paddle board and what a great board it is. I began taking it out to the beautiful (but chilly) Lake Tahoe to learn how to paddle board. Thanks to the stability and quality of the Connelly Voyager, balance wasn’t an issue when winds picked up, and I was hard-pressed not to fall into the 57-degree water. 

The wider and longer a board is, the more stable it will be. The Connelly Voyager is 10 feet, 6 inches long and 32 inches wide. It weighs 34 pounds. It has a four-point bungee near the top to strap down a cooler, shoes or any other gear you want to bring along with you. The Connelly Voyager is also designed with a ding-resistant thermo shell and thermo shell seam reinforcement for maximum durability. 

Speed isn’t necessarily this SUP’s forte, but it also doesn’t offer the drag that the yoga and fishing paddle boards do. It is, however, great for stability and tracking. Keeping a straight path with the Connelly Voyager is a breeze, and it effortlessly glides over boat wakes or small waves. 

It doesn’t come with any extra accessories, but it’s sold in stores like Dick Sporting Goods where you can go pick out your own paddle and additional gear you may want. Because the Connelly is sold at such an affordable price compared to other solid boards, you’re able to spend the extra money on accessories to beef it up. This board is an all-around great pick for any skill set, including beginners who are just dipping their feet in the sport. 

ISLE's Pioneer 2.0 is one of the best paddle boards you can buy

McKenzie Dillon/CNET

  • Accessories included
  • Speed: 8/10
  • Stability: 10/10
  • Tracking: 9/10
  • Price: $795

My first impression of the Pioneer 2.0 is that it’s equally as speedy as it is easy to balance on. After being used to my own board for so long, it took me a few minutes to find my footing and get comfortable on a few models during my testing process. But I immediately clicked with ISLE’s Pioneer 2.0 paddle board like I’d been riding it for years. It offers a fun, sturdy ride for all skill levels and is especially great for beginners. 

The Pioneer 2.0 has a double layer drop-stitch construction and measures 10 feet 6 inches long by 34 inches wide. It’s a little heavier than the smaller models on this list at 24 pounds. It has front and rear bungee cords allowing you to store coolers, shoes, a jacket or other belongings you want to take paddling with you. 

I found the nose of the Pioneer 2.0 does a great job at staying up out of the water. I kept my phone and shoes strapped under the front bungee and they stayed nice and dry. There are also two small straps attached to the side so you can secure your paddle when you’re taking a break on the water that I greatly appreciate. 

One of my favorite things about the Pioneer, besides its smooth ride, is the padding material. Other boards I’ve tested are made with extra-grippy, textured traction pads that without a doubt help with traction. However, the traction pad on the Pioneer 2.0 is made with a soft, smooth fabric-like material that offers great traction and is more comfortable — especially when you’re on your knees (a big plus for beginners). 

The Pioneer 2.0 comes with a carbon hybrid paddle, hand pump, storage/travel bag, fin and leash. The travel bag comes with straps on the inside to secure your board, a good touch I don’t see very often. The fin is a little more complicated to put on than other boards, but that’s hardly a con, just something worth mentioning. 

IRocker Paddle Board with its paddle floating in Lake Tahoe

McKenzie Dillon/CNET

  • Accessories, paddle and electric pump included
  • Speed: 8/10
  • Stability: 7/10
  • Tracking: 9/10
  • Price: $749

The iRocker brand is fairly popular among riders and for good reason; it offers a range of different models and quality boards at affordable price points. I tested the 10′ All Around Ultra SUP and found it to be a great travel-friendly, lightweight board to take with you on a pre or post-paddle adventure. 

Measuring 10 feet long, 32 inches wide and weighing 19.8 pounds, this inflatable SUP easily folds down to fit into a backpack that’s more compact and preferably sized than others that I’ve tested. It’s also a lot more carry-on friendly for travel. Rather than a tall and skinny SUP backpack, the iRocker bag is more square and sits more comfortably on my back. I’m a shorter rider and tend to feel like I’m going to fall over when I carry a heavy, tall SUP backpack. 

In the water, the iRocker All Around Ultra board is easy to maneuver and smoothly coasts along the water at a quick speed without much effort. I’m also a big fan of the paddle. It’s made with carbon fiber and ergonomically designed to get good pushes in the water. It’s also the only five-piece paddle I’ve tested, making it more compact and easy to pack. 

The board has a woven, drop-stitch construction and features bungee cords both in the front and rear allowing you to secure all your gear. There are even four D-rings along the sides of the board so you can strap down a seat or cooler. For the bottom of the board’s base, there are two long fins for easy tracking that connect to tethered flip locks. It’s a fin-lock system I’ve never seen before, and it makes it easier to secure your fins to the board. 

Last but certainly not least, it comes with a chargeable electric pump that makes inflating your SUP way easier. After a taxing hike to the lake, an electric pump is a huge help. Even if you’re going right outside your house, an electric pump comes in really handy.

Pro tip: The 10′ board is best for people 5 feet, 5 inches and under, so taller riders should opt for the 11-foot model.

e-ticket-touring paddle board

Infinity Surfboards

  • No accessories or paddle
  • Speed: 10/10
  • Stability: 9/10
  • Tracking: 8/10
  • Price: $1,495 

The adventure paddler who likes to travel long distances will love the sleek and functional design of the Infinity E-Ticket Touring paddle board. As Infinity says itself, this SUP has the performance aspects of a race board, but the generous widths and style of a touring board.

Inspired by the 2015 Blackfish model, the E-Ticket SUP has a wide, square-shaped tail and a wide-pointed nose for even more added stability and maneuverability. It promotes high speeds through glassy waters, and allows you to stay stable when it gets choppy. 

It’s made with carbon Innegra glass and closed cell EVA foam in the foot pad for a dry and comfortable grip. Another great thing about the deck is that it’s recessed, promoting a lower center of gravity to help with stability. It’s also surprisingly lightweight for its size. It’s available in four sizes from 11 feet, 6 inches to 14 feet long, and with weights ranging from 26 to 32 pounds. 

Paddles, ankle leashes and any other extras are sold separately, but I think the price of this touring board is fair enough that you can opt to spend money on added accessories without breaking the bank.

BOTE Rackham paddle board with all of its accessories

McKenzie Dillon/CNET

  • Accessories and paddle included
  • Speed: 5/10
  • Stability: 10/10
  • Tracking: 8/10
  • Price: $1,299

The ultimate functional paddle board award goes to the Bote Rackham Aero 11′, and it’s also the best paddle board for fishing. It’s one of the most decked-out paddle boards I have ever seen and it’s compatible with add-on fishing accessories to upgrade your set-up. 

There are two inflation nozzles on the Rackham Aero; one in the front for the nose and sides and one in the back for the base. It’s almost like a paddle board and kayak hybrid because the edges are raised, enclosing you in a little boat-like SUP. This design also helps keep water from collecting on the top, keeping your belongings safe and dry. 

That’s just the start of what the Rackham Aero can do. The board is designed with add-ons like cooler-tie down points, several D-rings, accessory mounts and even a magnetic cup holder (compatible with Bote Magnepod accessories). It also includes a sheath for both your paddle and a sand spear for easy storage while you fish. I should also mention it’s the only paddle board with rear and front bungee straps, allowing you to secure your items at both points. It has everything a paddling fisher might need to enjoy their time on the water. 

Staying stable while you fish won’t be a problem on the Rackham Aero, even if you’re trying to hook a big catch. Its recessed base and 36-inch width help keep you perfectly balanced. However, you shouldn’t expect to win any SUP races on the Rackham Aero — it’s not very fast, especially when you have all your gear strapped on. 

The board weighs 36 pounds, and the case is around 50 pounds with the board and all the accessories packed in. It’s definitely heavy, but the bag has small wheels attached to the bottom like a suitcase, allowing you to easily roll it during transport. 

Aqua marina paddle board in the water

McKenzie Dillon/CNET

  • Accessories and paddle included
  • Speed: 6/10
  • Stability: 10/10
  • Tracking: 8/10
  • Price: $879 

Yogis who want to take their craft to the water may be interested in a paddle board specifically designed for yoga. As peaceful as yoga can be, there’s something about the water that makes it even more centering. The secret to a nice yoga paddle board is a wide and long base to balance on. My personal favorite is the Dhyana paddle board from Aqua marina. 

Balance is made easy with its 11-foot by 36-inch dimensions. It’s the most stable SUP I tested next to the fishing paddle board. Unless I was practicing a difficult yoga move I hadn’t done before, I felt like I was never going to fall off that thing. And although it’s such a big board, I was pleasantly surprised with its lighter 22-pound weight. Compare that to the BOTE Rackham, that’s the same size but 14 pounds heavier. 

The Aqua Marina Dhyana is made with PVC, drop stitch technology and a nonslip crocodile-grooved foot pad that covers almost the whole board so you can use a ton of space. The foot pad is softer than the padding on traditional paddle boards, making your different yoga poses feel more comfortable. 

Not only that, but the crocodile grooving allows you to keep better traction. As you can imagine, it gets pretty slippery out there on the water. Also, there isn’t a handle protruding out from the middle of the board, allowing you to sit or lay comfortably when you’re in ground poses. 

Besides your standard inflatable paddle board accessories like a pump, leash, backpack, fin and paddle, you’ll also receive a yoga board strap to carry your board like a yoga mat, a paddle holder to use while you do yoga and a connection strap you can use to hook your paddle board to other objects. 

For yoga teachers or paddlers who want to recruit more friends, Aqua Marina also offers a 9-foot, 6-inch dock you can connect up to eight boards to. (This is where that connection strap comes in handy.)

ZG Infinity paddle board with all of its accessories

McKenzie Dillon/CNET

  • Accessories and paddle included
  • Speed: 8/10
  • Stability: 8/10
  • Tracking: 8/10
  • Price: $349 

From the mile-high state comes the High Society ZG inflatable paddle board. It offers a nice balance of stability and speed, and boy did I love how zippy this board was. I could gain speed and keep it with little effort, often trailing ahead of my paddle partner, who was taking the BOTE Breeze for a spin. 

The High Society ZG SUP package includes all the accessories needed for an inflatable board, including a pump, travel bag, detachable fin, repair kit, paddle, and an ankle leash. The High Society paddle was my favorite of the ones I tested. Paddles tend to loosen up at the handle, allowing them to twist and turn as you paddle through the water. The High Society paddle, however, stayed sturdy and didn’t twist an inch. 

The ZG paddle board is 10 feet, 6 inches long by 32 inches wide. It’s made with commercial-grade PVC that’s been through a multistep inspection for quality assurance. The grip on the deck of the board is similar to that on the premium Infinity E-Ticket Touring board, with a diamond grooving that helps slippery feet gain better traction.

Another strength of this inflatable paddle board is its ability to keep water from the deck. Its rocker profile keeps the nose of the board poking slightly upwards, which helps prevent water from soaking your belongings.

Keep an eye out for generous promotions from High Society. At the time of this post, the ZG board is over 50% off, making it ultra affordable.

How we test

CNET health and wellness editors pick the products and services we write about based on editorial merit. Each paddle board was tested individually on the same body of water to determine speed, tracking and balance performance. Tests were completed when wind conditions were below 10. SUP was inflated to its suggested PSI, typically between 10 to 15. 

5 paddle boards stacked together

McKenzie Dillon/CNET

How to choose the best paddle board

Solid vs. inflatable

There are two kinds of paddle boards you can buy, inflatable or rigid, aka solid. One isn’t better than the other — it will primarily depend on your current circumstances and what you’re looking to get out of your board. 

Solid paddle boards tend to be better for the ocean because they’re more durable and can likely withstand the hit from jagged rocks and coral reefs. They’re also more stable when you hit choppy waters, boat wakes and waves. However, they’re usually heavier, harder to transport and harder to store. 

Inflatable paddle boards allow you to easily store it in small spaces like apartments, studios or the trunk of your car. They are also easier to get to the water, especially if you don’t own a truck or vehicle with roof racks. 


You can buy specific types of paddle boards you can buy that are ergonomically designed for certain activities. There are different lengths, widths and styles to maximize functionality. 

  • Touring: Touring paddle boards are meant to go long distances over flat water and enable you to cut through choppy waters without trouble. They tend to be long with pointed noses to maximize speed but are wider than a racing board to help you feel more balanced over a long period of time. 
  • Racing: Racing paddle boards are built for speed. They are usually long, skinny and agile for great maneuvering. Expect to pay over $1,000 for a quality racing paddle board. 
  • Yoga: Yoga paddle boards are longer and wider than your average SUP, so you can feel more balanced while practicing your poses. The foot pad also tends to take up a lot of the board’s surface area, so you have plenty of space to move around in.
  • Fishing: Fishing paddle boards are like yoga SUPs in that they are longer and wider for better balance. They also typically have a recessed deck to help lower the center of gravity and improve balance. Not to mention, more D-rings to hook your fishing gear to. 
  • Multiperson: Most paddle boards fit up to 250 to 300 pounds. Paddle boards meant to fit more than one person are quite large, wide and can sit up to 20 feet long. 
  • Leisure: The average paddle boarder wants to glide through the water and balance without falling off. A paddle board can range between 10 to 11 feet long, and offers a nice combination of speed, stability and maneuverability. 


You can find a wide price range with paddle boards, so you can enjoy the sport at almost any budget. Inflatable boards tend to be more affordable than hard-top ones, while performance and racing boards are among the most expensive you can buy. For a good paddle board, prices start around $300 and go all the way up to $2,000 or more. 


Once upon a time, I lived in a one-bedroom, 750-square foot apartment and bought a 10-foot paddleboard. Did I have a detached garage? No. Did I have an abnormally large storage closet? No, I didn’t have that either. Not understanding the sheer size of a paddleboard, I didn’t take storage into account. So, I had to buy wall mounts to hold my paddle board above my bed, almost like a make-shift headboard. Before I knew it, my place felt like a beach house in the middle of Reno, Nevada. 

Moral of the story is, make sure you have the storage space for a solid SUP before you buy if that’s the kind you’re leaning toward.

Is a longer or shorter paddle board better?

That depends on what you want to use it for. Shorter boards are slower, but easier to maneuver and carry around. Longer paddle boards tend to be faster, but weigh more than shorter boards. Boards under 10′ long are best for kids or people who want to surf. 

Which paddle boards are the most stable?

The wider your paddle board, the more stable it’s going to be. If balance and stability is your main concern, keep an eye out for an SUP that’s 33 inches wide or larger. Though, wide paddle boards are slower than long, narrow paddle boards. 

How long will an inflatable paddle board last?

If properly stored and taken care of, your inflatable paddle board can last up to 5 to 10 years. Most inflatable boards also come with a repair kit if you experience a puncture. 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button