The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks
The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – Paddle Boards
The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – Standup paddleboarding is one of the fastest-growing water sports of the decade.
There’s a good chance you’re familiar with standup paddle boarding, but if you aren’t, here’s what you need to know.
The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – Standup paddle boarding, or SUPing, is the act of standing on a hard epoxy or inflatable board tapered at both ends, and using a paddle to move through the water.
Similar to a surfboard, paddleboards also have fins on the bottom that help to move and steer.
Before purchasing a paddle board, look at the overall construction, durability, features, and price of each board.
Inflatable standup paddle boards are a great option for all experience levels, have a variety of uses (flat-water and whitewater), and don’t require special racks or extra storage.
The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – Inflatables can fit in a closet or a car trunk, and you can take them on airplanes. And they have lots of benefits on the water, too.
The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – Paddle Board Length & Size
The Best Paddle BoardsThe Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – Paddle Board Length & Size – With inflatable boards, their length, size, and thickness directly correlate to weight capacity.
So, if you only weigh 140 pounds (and want to be extra speedy), you have the option of choosing a shorter length — and therefore less volume — board. If you weigh at or over 180-200 pounds — or if you want to paddle with a dog, child, or partner — consider a longer length and larger board.
The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – Paddle Board Length & Size – Do you want to go lightweight? Or do you want plenty of storage for cargo (think dry bags, a cooler)? Other than that, size is purely preference.
Generally,a larger board is typically a good choice as there’s just more wiggle room and overall better stability.
The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – Paddle Board Length & Size – The most common size boards are 10’6″ or 11′. But there are plenty of lengths, shapes, and sizes outside that range. too.
Pro Tip: If you are shopping for a family, you can save by purchasing one longer board instead of two (or four).
Two 140-pound adults can comfortably fit on an 11′ board (the fit and weight limit will vary by brand).
RED PADDLE 10’6″ RIDE MSL SUP INFLATABLE PADDLE BOARD PACKAGE
If you could only everhave one Red Paddle Co board, the Ride 10’6” is the one we’d tell you to get – it’s already the world’s most popular inflatable SUP but continues to win numerous SUP industry and consumer awards.
Plainly put, this board performs great in a variety of conditions.
It is beginner-friendly (and expert-friendly), and it will last for years if you treat it well.
Measuring 10’6″, this board has drop-stitch construction, an EVA-textured-grip deckpad, and the brand’s proprietary flexible, molded fins.
This means that you don’t have to fiddle with installing or repairs.
The removable iFin technology, which does require installation, small screws but does require a quick reading of the instructions.
In terms of size and weight, this board is on par with others on our list.
It can hold up to 240 pounds, is wide enough to provide balance and stability, and weighs in at 21 pounds.
It’s not the lightest but is very light and is easy to carry, portage, and travel with.
BadfishMonarch Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard
The Monarch ($899) is a streamlined, easy-to-charge SUP that conquers flatwater, yet remains stable when whitewater rapids or large boat wake take course.
The BadfishMonarch Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard has a 5-inch rise above the water and oblong and non-aluminum D-rings in the front.
The BadfishMonarch Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard is perfect for everyday paddling: afternoons at the lake and overnighters at recreation areas.
The BadfishMonarch Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard’s three rigid fins are fixed, meaning they can’t be removed or lost.
However, they’re a bit cumbersome while rolling the deflated SUP into the pack.
Other features on this board include: its ease of carry and the paddle.
The large, centered padded carry handle is super cushy for single-person carry.
BadfishMonarch Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard Highlights
Longboard that excels on calm rivers, flatwater, and light rapids
Inflatable construction keeps this board handy all summer long
2+1 fin configuration helps you make quick maneuvers and turns
Narrow nose cuts through the water for effortless paddling
Square tail boosts stability and overall volume for stability
Integrated water bottle holder helps keep you comfortable all day
Includes travel bag, 3 piece travel paddle, and high volume pump
Paul Hana Surf Supply 12’ Endurance Touring Board
Best for touring in flatwater or milder rivers, this inflatable touring board ($1,249) has a unique shape with a squared-off tail, 10 anchor points, and a single 9-inch fin.
In terms of towing gear, having 10 anchor points is a game-changer. There’s room to strap a cooler, a dry bag, even a kayak seat.
The board length of 12 feet is also on the longer end for boards, meaning you’ll cover more distance with each stroke (racing SUPs typically measure 12-15 feet).
That being said, this board isn’t made for speed. It’s made for hauling gear, having a good time, and staying sturdy — even in the face of blowing gusts or wiggling canines on board. If stability, portability, and surfer style are all aspects you look for in a board.
Plus, Pau Hana makes all its boards in California.
Paul Hana Surf Supply 12’ Endurance Touring Board Highlights
19 strategically placed SeaMount threaded anchor pits mean you can spend more time out on the water and securely bring all your gear with you
Extra-soft deck pad doubles as a sleeping platform
Extra handles make the board easy to carry
Travel bag with full suspension shoulder straps, high-end wheels and exterior pockets
Travel bag doubles as gear hauler while you’re on the water; it can be hiked into remote locations and can carry equipment for camping overnight
3-piece composite paddle is included and fits with the board in the bag
Also includes a 10 ft. coiled SUP leash that won’t get tangled around paddles or debris in the water
Professional-grade pump included; hidden pump insertion under the deck pad
The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – Kayaks
The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – Kayaks- Kayaking is no longer an outdoor activity reserved solely for adventurers who have plenty of storage space and a vehicle capable of schlepping 14 feet of plastic from point A to B.
Now, kayaks can collapse into roughly the size of a suitcase—perfect for tucking under the bed or in the back of a car.
The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – What to Consider
The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – Kayaks come in varying shapes and sizes, each with an intended purpose.
Shorter, wider kayaks tend to fall into the recreational kayak category and are made for paddlers roaming calm waters.
Longer, narrower kayaks, called touring kayaks, are built for braving long distances and rough seas.
The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – If you’re not sure which kayak to choose, opt for one that suits the conditions you’ll be paddling in most of the time.
Recreational kayaks tend to be easier to paddle and maneuver than touring kayaks.
Most kayaks are single-person designs. But for families, dog owners, and friends keen to venture out on the water in one craft, consider a tandem kayak.
Tandem kayaks are built to carry heavier loads and have more space to accommodate two paddlers.
The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – – There are multiple folding and collapsing systems on the compact kayak market, colloquially called origami, frame with skin, nesting, and inflatable.
In the origami method, the kayak is usually made from a single piece of thick plastic that folds out to form the boat.
The frame with skin system is much more complex to set up and take down, and typically involves a collapsible metal frame you install inside of a thick plastic outer layer. Inflatable kayaks are the most popular form of compact kayak, using an air pump system that inflates the kayak.
The Best Paddle Boards & Kayaks – Nesting kayaks are made from the same material as roto-molded plastic kayaks but pack down into multiple pieces.
The Best Kayaks – Haven TT
Built for two, the Haven TT is a folding tandem with impeccable performance and unmatched portability.
It was given a major update for 2021.
It now features extra-sturdy straps, buckles, and reinforced rails for holding all sorts of accessories — plus a new print pattern that recalls classic outdoor vibes.
Paddle with your family, friends, or dog.
Or convert it to a single.
It’s the original origami boat with endless possibilities.
The Best Kayaks – Haven TT Product Highlights
A 16’1″ tandem kayak that folds down to a manageable box.
At 41 pounds, this origami kayak is half the weight of a traditional double kayak.
It’s compact enough to store in your closet and transport in your car.
The Haven TT is the most stable kayak in our lineup — think of it as a solid platform for all kinds of on-water fun.
Its universal rail track system can hold all kinds of accessories for fishing, photography, or just holding a cold beverage.
It’s a great boat for paddlers of all abilities and ages.
The Best Kayaks – Pakayak’s Bluefin 142
Bluefin 142 is our second generation premium packable kayak.
Pakayak’s innovative hard-shell kayak packs down to just 42 inches in the included rolling bag.
Our patented clamping system joins each section together with a durable water-tight seal in under 5 minutes.
With Pakayak’s new design, the kayak will fit a greater range of paddlers.
Just like the original Bluefin 14, the Bluefin 142 has bombproof construction, tongue and groove connections and clamps that apply 500 pounds of holding force (EACH) and squeeze a silicone gasket making it completely watertight.
And, it assembles in less than 3 minutes.
The Best Kayaks – Bluefin 142 Product Highlights
Packs down to 42″
Assembled Length: 14’2″ feet
Weight: 59 lbs
Cockpit: 18″ x 35.5″
Includes Zipper Bag w/ Wheels
Proudly designed, molded and hand-assembled in the USA
Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5
Pedal kayaks have lots of pros.
Generally, they are equipped with a few more accessory features and have more room for gear storage.
And, of course, they allow you to paddle hands-free.
Fishing, bird watching, photography, you name it — there are lots of great applications here.
The Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5 offers great tracking in the water, whether the weight on board is 150 or 200 pounds.
The Mirage Glide technology refers to the fins, pedal, and rudder components.
This kayak has a stowable rudder with steering control located by your left hand next to the seat.
This kayak is a bit wider than standard kayaks to accommodate the seat and steering control — although still only measures 34 inches across.
The Best Kayaks – Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5 Product Highlights
If you are going to be doing overnight paddles, or even just day touring for hours on end, a comfortable seat is worth it.
Even with the extra weight of this kayak, it’s balanced well and feels really streamlined moving through the water.
And new for 2021, the Passport 10.5 has kick-up fins that automatically recess.
Whether you are paddling in shallow waters or encountering logs or obstacles, the kick-up fins will automatically recess upon impact to protect both you and your equipment.
Other features on this kayak include an 8-inch twist-and-seal hatch for storing gear, as well as two cargo storage areas with bungee straps on the bow and stern.
Especially if you are using this kayak for fishing or touring, storage is important.
There’s plenty of space on this boat to store rods, a tackle kit, dry bags, a small cooler, camera equipment, or anything else you may want to bring along.
While it is more expensive than standard kayaks, pedal/fishing kayaks can run up to $5,000.
This Hobie cat model is a great-quality kayak at a great price, especially if you’re looking to pedal.
This kayak comes with a two-piece aluminum paddle.Weight: 65 lbs. (hull weight), 75 lbs. (fitted weight)