Why I Love My Inflatable Paddle Board At The Lake
A few years ago I decided to purchase my first inflatable paddle board, ever since then I’ve not gone to the lake once without it. I love being able to walk past the crowds on the beach and head out to the serenity of the lake. Not only is it great for paddling around the lake, more often than not I find myself using it just to lay out in the sun as I drift around on the water. The kit that came with it has been all I need, and the way it folds up and fits in a bag is not only convenient but it easily fits in the trunk of a car.
When purchasing my inflatable paddle board I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of different types of paddle boards that are out there. Things like width, length, thickness, material, fins and hull type, to only name a few, all play an important role in what activity you intend on doing with your paddle board. In this article, I’ll give some of my suggestions as to which boards are best for chilling on a lake.
Best For Touring
Best For Leisure
Most Versatile Lake ISUP
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A Closer Look At Each Lake Paddle Board
The SereneLife inflatable paddle board has all the key components to being the perfect lake board. Its 10-foot length offers stability and fits in the all-around use category. Although it’s one of the more narrow paddle boards on the list its 30-inch wide deck offers plenty of space while giving it a slight edge on paddling performance.
Also taking into account the 3 fins set up you will have no problem getting where you need to. It’s 6 inches thick when inflated which helps keep the board higher on the water. The weight capacity is 275 pounds.
SereneLife also makes a compatible seat sold separately for this inflatable paddle board if you prefer the option to stay seated while on the lake. The board has a soft, non-slip deck to help with learning to stand and cushions the occasional fall.
The nose has a 4 D-link bungee system which is useful for storage of the paddle when not in use and whatever else you may need. It also has 5 more D-links located on the sides and back of the deck used for securing the optional seat or extra storage.
The inflatable paddle board comes as a kit that includes the board, a coiled ankle safety leash, adjustable oar paddle, manual double-action air pump with built-in psi gauge, a repair kit, and a backpack/storage bag.
I recommend the SereneLife Inflatable Universal SUP for people who are looking for a fun, budget-friendly board for a day at the lake. Its all-around design and durability are perfect for children, teens, and adults making it great for families. It also comes with everything you need adding to the value of this board.
- Great Entry-Level Paddleboard
- Seat Compatible
- Double-Action Pump
The pointy shape of the nose on this inflatable paddle board makes it better for faster travel and touring. Measuring at 11 feet long, 32 inches wide, and 6 inches thick it offers great stability for heavy paddling. The Atoll ISUP has 15 total D-links on the deck giving you great storage options. The nose has a 6 D-link bungee set up which is 2 D-links more than most boards.
Atoll advertises a stronger than military-grade double-layered PVC which not only makes it lighter and more durable, it also makes the board more rigid than most, therefore, more stable. The weight capacity is 300 pounds and has been tested with weights up to 350lbs.
They added an extra handle on the tail for easier transport which is a great feature that is harder to find in other inflatable paddle boards. This board has a 3 fin set up with a universal fin box, meaning you can use different lengths of fins and aftermarket fins on the removable center fin.
See Also: Best Slim Inflatable Life Jackets (PFD)
The kit includes a 3 piece adjustable fiberglass paddle with a nylon blade, a dual-action hand pump with gauge, a 10-foot polyflex ankle leash, and a mesh backpack with a waist strap.
I really like the look of the Atoll Inflatable SUP and if you’re willing to spend a little extra I think it’s well worth the money. Although this paddle board is a touring hybrid model it’s very stable and is definitely suitable for any lake or reservoir near you. Not only is the design great with the extra D-links, but I also like the look.
- 15 D-Links
- 6 D-Link Bungee System
- Seat Compatible
- Made With Stronger Than Military Grade Dual-Layered PVC
- Two Handles (Middle And Tail)
- Included Paddle Floats
- Backpack Has A Waist Strap
Another touring inflatable paddle board that has the stability to be added to this list. Peak advertises this board as being made with military strength dual-layered PVC making it rigid and therefore more stable. At 11 feet long, 32 inches wide, and 6 inches think this board is perfect for leisure or maybe an ambitious paddle around the lake.
A unique feature to this inflatable paddle board is it has a 6 D-link bungee system on the nose and an extra 4 D-link bungee system on the tail, creating a ton of storage for a paddle board. The only drawback is because of the bungee system in the back, it’s not compatible with a seat.
It has a 3 fin system with a removable snap-in center fin to aid with control when paddling. This is the only inflatable paddle board on this list that has a nose, center, and tail handle which is a fantastic feature for when you are putting it in or taking it out of the water. The deck has a soft EVA pad and the board itself is rated to support 275lbs.
Included with the Peak Expedition ISUP is an adjustable 3 piece aluminum paddle with a nylon blade that floats, a backpack/storage bag, a dual-action hand pump with gauge, a 10-foot coil ankle leash, and as an extra bonus, a waterproof smartphone carry case.
The extra storage bungee system makes it really great if you want to bring along extra things for a long day on the lake. Peak is a well-known paddle board company that adds their own flair and design to the products they make. No matter what your level of paddle boarding is, this is a good choice.
- Bungee System On The Tail And Nose
- Three Handles (Nose, Center, Tail)
- Included Paddle Floats
- Dual-Layered PVC
- Includes Waterproof Smartphone Carry Case
- Backpack Has A Waist Strap
Another great all-around entry-level inflatable paddle board, measuring 10’5″ Long x 32″ wide and 6″ thick, and has a maximum weight limit of 275lbs. It has a 6 D-link bungee system, a handle in the middle, and a D-link on the tail.
Although the Roc is an affordable entry-level inflatable paddle board, it’s made with military-grade quad-core PVC, making it lightweight (17.5 lbs), durable, and rigid. It has a dual-layered non-slip deck pad helping to protect the board and add stability when standing on it. Like many other paddle boards on this list, it has 3 fins and a removable center fin.
Included with the Roc ISUP is a premium alloy paddle that floats, a leash, a manual pump with pressure gauge, a waterproof bag, and a backpack/ storage bag.
This is a family-friendly inflatable paddle board that children, teenagers, and adults can all use with ease. The wider width and length makes it perfect for having extra gear, coolers, or even pets on the board with you.
- 6 D-Link System For Added Storage
- Dry Bag Included
- Military Grade PVC
- Included Paddle Floats
The iRocker Cruiser has a classic touring inflatable paddle board hull design. This is the widest option on my list making it extremely stable. This one is perfect for someone who enjoys lots of paddling or lake leisure.
Measuring 10’6” long, 33” wide, 6” thick, and offering a weight capacity of 400 pounds. This paddle board could easily take a cooler, pet, and gear. It has a 6 D-link bungee system with two handle straps running along the side, and 10 extra D-links on the sides, tail, and nose making it seat compatible.
A feature that only iRocker has thought to add is the action mount on the nose. You can now attach an action camera to the nose easily. No more trying to paddle while holding a camera.
The bottom of the inflatable paddle board has a tri-fin set-up with three removable fins for optimized tracking (going straight) in water.
They have added a handle on the tail along with a handle in the middle which really helps when putting the board in or taking it out of the water. The tail of this board is also wider than most making it extremely stable.
What’s really cool about this paddle board is not only is it seat compatible, it also has an extra attachment you can buy for the paddle which will turn it into a kayak paddle. iRocker has their own seat for sale, as well as a paddle attachment.
Along with the iROCKER Cruiser ISUP, included with purchase is an adjustable lightweight fiberglass paddle that has TVR rubber around the blade making it very durable and less likely to chip if you were to hit a rock in the water, it also protects your board from getting scratched by the paddle.
Also included is a triple-action high capacity hand pump with pressure gauge advertised by iRocker to inflate your board 100% faster than the standard dual action pump. Finally, you get a leash, and backpack/storage back with a waist strap, and a repair kit.
The iROCKER Cruiser ISUP has it all, literally. The triple-action pump is seriously the best thing ever. I know from all my years of pumping up paddle board with a single action pump, it’s exhausting and time-consuming. All the little details show how dedicated this company is to making incredible boards. You know you are getting a product that the company cares about, which can make all the difference.
- 6 D-Link Bungee System with carrying handles
- Tail Handle
- Rubber Lined Paddle With Optional Kayak Attachment
- Seat Compatible
- Triple Action Pump
- Backpack Has A Waist Strap
- Action Mount
- 10 extra D-links
The Pioneer all-around inflatable paddle board measures 10’6″ long, 31″ wide, 6″ thick and weighs 21lbs. It has a weight capacity of up to 240lbs. The board is made with double-layered military-grade PVC making it extremely durable and is even advertised to withstand being run over by a car.
Isle has really stepped up its bungee game this year. Compared to their earlier models this paddle board has 3 times as much bungee storage. There’s a 6 D-link bungee system on the nose, and a 4 D-link bungee system on the tail.
There is a handle on the nose and a rounded handle in the center for better grip and more comfort when carrying your board.
It has a 3 fin set up with a snap-in center fin for easy tracking and stability in flat water and small waves.
Included with the ISLE Pioneer ISUP is a 3 piece adjustable carbon fiber paddle, Backpack/storage back with waist strap, a coil ankle leash, a dual-action hand pump with pressure gauge, and a repair kit.
- Two Handles (Middle, Nose)
- Backpack has a waist strap
- 2 bungee storage systems
- Carbon fiber handle
- Dual-action hand pump
Many of us have a lake or reservoir nearby and paddle boarding has become very popular over the years. It is for sure one of my favorite things to do in the summertime and I have never once regretted buying my board. The world of paddle boards is large and there are more and more options every year. As far as being on a lake which is considered flatwater paddle boarding you can’t go wrong with boards anywhere from 10-12 feet long. The thicker the paddle board the more stable it will be.
Storage is also something to think about when it comes to lakes because much of your time will be spent out on the water exploring and floating around. It can be really nice to have the option of bringing along a cooler or maybe even another person. The activities you want to do on your paddle board are important as well. Maybe you want a board more for paddling and exercise that can still be used to relax on, or maybe you are planning on doing some yoga poses out there. These things are all considered in my recommendations.
Best for any Lake Activity
iROCKER Cruiser ISUP – This inflatable board has it all in design, features, and options. It has a pointed nose if you want to race around the lake. It’s the widest option on this list, making it very stable, even for yoga. The extra width combined with the 6 D-link bungee system also makes it the best for leisure. You could easily put a cooler on this baby and spend all day on the water.
Small details like the rubber coating on the paddle to stop it from scratching the sides of the board. The action mount on the nose to hold an action camera or other action mount accessories like a fishing rod or speaker mount is a really incredible bonus that I think other companies will start including on their boards soon.
It comes with one of the nicest hand pumps I’ve seen for any paddle board. I really like the seat iRocker makes for this board as well and the extra paddle you can buy which attaches to the included paddle to turn it into a kayak paddle.
You cannot go wrong with an iRocker inflatable paddle board. It’s reasonably priced and the quality is far above similar boards from other companies. No matter what your skill level is you are going to love this inflatable paddle board.
Best Board for Paddling
Atoll Inflatable SUP – This inflatable paddle board has the length and hull design of a touring board, it is slightly more narrow compared to the other options on the list meaning that it will be better for fast paddling and travel around the lake. It still has all things needed to qualify as an all-around board but if fitness paddling is what you will be doing this is the best option for you.
You can’t go wrong with having a ton of D-links. You could store so much on it if you wanted to be touring all day and the dual-layered PVC means it’s going to be really rigid and almost like using an epoxy board.
Best Board for Leisure
Roc ISUP – By far my favorite thing to do with a paddle board on a lake is to paddle out away from the shore and the people, go for a little swim, and then just lay on it. The Roc ISUP is long and wide making it easy to get back up onto from the water and long enough to lay on comfortably. Its got the 6 D-link storage on the nose giving you space to bungee down your stuff. The non-slip pad is really big too, making it more comfortable to lay on and also protecting more of the deck if you want to bring your dog. All in all this board is really great for the lake.
What To Consider
Hull Type – The hull is the nose or front of the board. There are two main types: planing or displacement. The planing hull is rounded and is for activities like yoga, leisure paddling, whitewater, and surfing.
The displacement hull is pointed and triangle-shaped much like a kayak or a canoe. It cuts through the water making giving you more distance with every paddle. It’s great for touring or fitness paddling, you can go longer distances easier with this style of hull.
Board Length– You can find almost any length of paddle board out there and each is for different reasons. A basic rule is if it’s under 10 feet it will be better for surfing and children. 10-12 feet will be for all-around, leisure, and yoga. Boards longer than 12 feet are for touring, distance, and fitness paddling.
D-links – This list includes boards with all different numbers of D-links. Some have a 4 D-link bungee system, some have a 6 D-link bungee system. There are D-links on the sides of some boards making them compatible with seats which is important if you would like the option of having a seat. The more things you want to bring with you the more D-links you’re going to want to secure items to the board.
Board Width – Much like length, paddle boards come in all different widths. The more narrow boards are for going faster and more experienced riders. All the boards on this list are a little wider than the speed paddle boards making them better for all-around use and more stable. If you are a bigger person you are going to want a wider board. If you are a smaller person you don’t want one too wide for you. All the boards on this list are 30-33 inches wide which should be, in general, good for all ranges of body types and skill levels.
Number of Fins – Most inflatable stand up paddle boards are going to have a long detachable center fin for easy storage. The long center fin helps keep the board straight while paddling. When lake paddle boarding, a long center fin is really all you need. It is becoming more common to have a 3 fin set up where there are 2 short non-removable “side bite” fins on either side of the removable long fin which offer more stability when paddling. Having the extra smaller fins can be really nice if you are planning to paddle more with your board but not super necessary if you just want a board for leisure.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes a paddle board good for lakes and still water?
All-around boards with round noses, wide bodies, and a length between 10 and 12 feet make the best lake paddle board. You are looking for lots of stability, high weight capacity, and a board that will easily go straight in the water when you paddle. All of the boards on this list have all of these characteristics and will be excellent for lakes and still water.
Can I fish from a lake paddle board?
Yes, you can! You can fish from pretty much any kind of paddle board but it all depends on your skill level and how much you will be fishing. They make paddle boards specifically for fishing that are very stable and a lot of times are sold with fishing rod mounts. I”ve fished from my standard “all-around” paddle board a few times. It’s possible but not very comfortable. I usually fish sitting down and cannot paddle with the line out. A fishing pole mount would make things way easier and a wider more stable board would make it possible for me to stand. If you’re going to be fishing all the time I would suggest buying a board for fishing.
Do I have to wear a life vest when paddle boarding on a lake?
A lot of big lakes have rules about life jackets on paddle boards. Most of the time you have to at least have one with you and if you are under a certain age you have to be wearing it at all times. I have a life jacket with me at all times. If it’s a lake I’m familiar with and there’s someone with me I will store the life jacket under the bungee storage on the paddle board. If I’m somewhere I don’t know very well or I’m alone I will wear the life jacket the entire time.
If you don’t like bulky traditional life vests there are slimmer options you can try out, they even make lifejackets for dogs. Some dogs aren’t great at swimming and if you are in the middle of the lake it can be even more dangerous for your furry friend.
Is it hard to inflate a paddle board?
Pumping up an inflatable paddle board is one of the most time-consuming and exhausting things you can do if you don’t have a good pump. A lot of times the cheaper boards save money by including a less expensive single action pump. These are the worst kind of pumps you can use to inflate a paddle board. It only releases air on the downward push and it can take up to 30 minutes of hard work to get your board up to the recommended psi.
If you want a better pump there are lots of options out there. For hand pumps that will inflate a board much faster check out this list. For electric pumps that will inflate your paddle board from start to finish, check out this list for the different options out there.
Have any more questions that weren’t answered? Check out our FAQ page to learn more about paddle boards and accessories or leave a comment.