Best Stand-Up Paddleboards of 2023


Stand-up paddleboarding, a.k.a. SUPing, likely has roots that date back thousands of years. Today, stand-up paddleboarding is one of the fastest-growing water sports and what began as an obscure sport has grown into a global pastime. 

To start with, SUP has a relatively low barrier to entry. The boards typically offer a stable surface that is perfect for newbies and kids alike. The learning curve is relatively easy, and falling from the board on a warm summer day can be refreshing. Unlike kayaking, which confines one to a sitting position, a paddler has the ability to stand, sit or kneel. SUPing is also family-friendly and the flat deck makes it convenient to bring along the family dog for a day of cruising the waterway.  

Here, five of the best new SUPs for getting you on the water this year. 

Best Stand-Up Paddleboard Overall: Red Paddle Co. 10’6″ Ride MSL Inflatable Paddle Board 

Image by Red

$1,199 to $1,399

This all-round inflatable board is designed for new riders or those looking for a quality board for all conditions. Features include an adjustable cargo system, three comfortable grip handles and dual fins. The limited edition version was designed in collaboration with ocean conservation charity, Love The Oceans and features the sea-themed artwork of Mexican artist Circie Oropeza—10% of the profits from the sale of this board will be donated to the charity that shares the board’s name. 

Length: 10’6”

Width: 32”

Thickness: 4.7”

Weight of board: 20 pounds

Rider capacity: 209 pounds

Buy the Red Paddle Co. 10’6″ Ride MSL Inflatable Paddle Board

Best Inflatable Paddleboard: Badfish iShape

Image by Badfish


The unique design of the Badfish iShape combines the performance and characteristics of a hard-touring paddle board in a highly convenient inflatable SUP. This high-performance board features the brand’s proprietary AirLite drop stitch, which allows for easier rolling up and packing and reduces the board’s weight. Other features include a four-point tie down, removable tri-fin, integrated water bottle holder and an extra-wide, padded carry handle.

Length: 12’6”

Width: 28”

Thickness: 5” 

Weight of Board: 27 pounds

Rider capacity: 250 pounds

Best Use: Fast touring  

Buy the Badfish iShape

Best Lightweight Paddleboard: Kokopelli Chasm-Lite

Image by Kokopelli


The Kokopelli Chasm-Lite is touted as the lightest and most packable SUP on the market. This board packs down to the size of a sleeping bag, making it ideal for toting along into remote or otherwise inaccessible locations. It’s also great for airline travel, with all accessories and the board weighing less than 20 pounds, with the board itself being only 13 pounds. It comes with a single 9-inch fin and is best used in flat-water conditions.

Length: 10’

Width: 30”

Thickness: 6”

Weight of Board: 12.9 pounds

Rider capacity: 250 pounds

Buy the Kokopelli Chasm-Lite

Best Fast Paddleboard: Starboard Sprint Airline

Image by Sprint


The Sprint Airline is rewriting the narrative on inflatable boards for racing and is designed for those looking for a super-fast board for flatwater conditions. Wider boards are more stable, but if you prefer a narrower design, the board comes in 24-, 25.5-, 27- and 29-inch models that are all 14 feet in length. Each features a single fin and bungee tie downs for extra gear. Also contains a mount on the nose for GoPro camera, phone holder, GPS, compass or other accessories. 

Length: 14’’

Width: 24” to 29”

Thickness: 6”

Weight of Board: 25 pounds

Rider capacity: 230 pounds

Buy the Starboard Sprint Airline

Best Touring Paddleboard: Fanatic Ray

Image by Fanatic Ray


Our list wouldn’t be complete without offering at least one composite board. The Fanatic Ray is the heaviest on the list, but there are benefits to composite boards: They’re ready immediately upon arriving at your destination, they’re relatively fast and handle well on the water, they’re lighter than the more cumbersome plastic boards and they’re a good choice for long-distance paddling. 

Drawing from the brand’s raceboard designs, the Ray is designed to go the distance with minimal effort, thanks to its highly efficient rocker line. It has a slightly recessed deck, a wide tail and raised apex rails that assist in creating a highly stable ride in flat or choppy conditions. Other features include a deck net for securing gear, a single fin and a camera mount.

Length: 12’6”

Width: 28.5”

Weight of board: 31 pounds

Rider capacity: 220 pounds

Buy the Fanatic Ray

What to Look For in a Stand-Up Paddleboard

Your first decision is whether to go with a packable, inflatable board or a hard-sided, composite one. Both have their advantages. Inflatable boards are much easier to transport, easier to store, lighter and can easily be checked for far-flung destinations but can become punctured, while hard boards are ready to hit the water as soon as you arrive but are heavier and bulkier to transport. 

The best SUP will obviously be the one that gets used for its intended purpose. That being said, some of the factors listed above are key factors in selecting the board that is right for them. 

Advantages of composite boards

  • Fast on the water 
  • Good choice for long-distance paddleboarding
  • Handle well and are responsive
  • Very durable
  • Lighter than bulky plastic boards (which we don’t recommend)

Advantages of inflatable boards

  • Usually the lightest option
  • Can be rigid when inflated properly
  • Very compact and convenient for storing and travel when deflated

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