What Makes An Inflatable Paddleboard Good For Dogs?
If you have a dog then you know they love to be with you all the time. The good news is most inflatable paddleboards are incredibly durable and can handle a dog with no problem, but there are a few things to consider before you buy just any paddleboard.
Weight capacity is a big one. You need to take into account your weight, your dog’s weight, and how much gear you are planning on bringing. You should have a board that can take you and your dog while not being too loaded down. The lower the board is in the water, the more difficult it is to control and easier it will be to flip it over.
Stability is another significant thing to consider. Dogs can be very nervous when going out on a paddleboard for the first time and they can move around. You don’t want a narrow board that can easily be tipped over. Always plan for your dog to be moving around at any time. I would suggest boards over 32 inches in width. Not only will your dog have more room to sit, it will also be more secure and stable in general.
Inflatable stand up paddleboards are made of PVC. A lot of companies boast that they use military-grade PVC, while this sounds cool there aren’t any rules or standards that have to be followed to advertise PVC as military-grade. It’s just PVC, which is incredibly durable anyways. Something I like to look for is how many layers of PVC is being used. I have boards in this list that are single, double, and even quad-layered. Single layered will, for the most part, be okay. But if you have a large dog or want to be sure it’s going to be durable enough, the more layers, the better. Also, more layers mean a stiffer board, which is essential for maneuverability and stability, especially when having an extra passenger on board. Just a little side note, trimming your dog’s nails is always a good idea before taking them out on the water.
The footpad, all paddleboards have a foam footpad on the deck. They are excellent for grip, stability, and protecting the board. You want to try and get as large a footpad as possible for your dog. It will help them not slip and feel confident when moving around.
Taking all of this into account I have made a list of the best inflatable stand up paddleboards for dog owners.
All Dog-Friendly Paddleboards On The Table
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A Closer Look At Each Paddleboard
The Swonder is 11 feet 6 inches long, 32 inches wide, and 6 inches thick. It’s long and wide, so it’s going to be stable and have plenty of room for you and your dog. The weight capacity is 275 lbs, a little lower than some of the other boards but it should be enough for the average human and dog. The board itself weighs 21.6 lbs making it relatively light to pack around.
There are 3 fins, two non-removable stabilizer fins, and a removable center fin, these will come in handy when paddling around with a dog because they help with keeping the board straight on the water which can be difficult with extra non-centered weight.
There are not a lot of D-links on this board which can be a good thing if you’re worried about your dog getting caught on them. There is a standard 4 D-link bungee system on the nose of the board for storage and a D-link on the tail for a safety leash. Due to the limited D-links, it’s not seat-compatible.
The design of this board is a hybrid touring/ all-around nose with a flat narrowed tail, which gives some advantage for paddling and keeping the board stable. Swonder uses military-grade PVC with a large EVA footpad. Along with the standard handle in the middle, they added a handle on the nose as well, a very convenient addition that will help when getting your dog onto the board.
Included with this board are a backpack/storage bag, a coil leash, a single-action hand pump with pressure gauge, and an adjustable aluminum paddle. Everything included fits in the bag, and altogether weighs only 30 lbs.
The Swonder Premium ISUP is dog-friendly, it doesn’t have the dual-layered PVC that can be a nice feature, but it’s still going to be durable enough. It also doesn’t break the bank and is still wider than most ISUP’s which makes it a good starter board for first time paddleboarders.
- Large footpad
- Single layered PVC
- Lower weight limit than alternatives
The Elkton is technically a fishing paddleboard but that only makes it better for you and your furry friend. Fishing ISUP’s need to be very stable so you can stand and cast or reel in a fish. Because of this Elkton made this board 12 feet long, 36 inches wide and 6 inches thick. Not only is the board 36 inches wide it’s wide through most of the board. There’s a lot more deck space for you and your dog to move around on.
The weight limit is 280 lbs and it’s made with double-layered PVC for extra durability and protection.
This board is loaded with extra features. Along with the 6 bungee D-link system on the nose, there is a 4 D-link system on the tail. There are also 6 other D-links on the tail and sides to tie down things like coolers and secure anchors.
There’s a handle in the center, nose, and tail. The fin system is a 2+1 with a removable center fin and two side bite fins. Because this is a fishing board there are 3 built-in mounting plates for Scotty accessories. It comes with 2 fishing rod holders but you can buy mounts for other things as well.
The EVA foam footpad on the deck is really big so your dog will have a way to walk around without damaging the board.
Included with the board are a dual-action hand pump, an aluminum paddle, a storage bag/backpack, an ankle coil leash, and two fishing rod holders.
The Elkton Outdoors Grebe is an amazing board that is too awesome to only be used for fishing. If you are tall and have had a hard time staying up on other paddleboards this one will change your experience completely. You can use it for a day at the lake with your dog, or catch some fish. The number of storage options and action mounts makes it so versatile. This is the one ISUP that does it all.
- Double layered PVC
- Dual-action hand pump
- Large Weight Capacity
- Very Wide
- Has a lot of bungees that may trip a dog
This is one of the widest boards on the list measuring 11 feet long, 34 inches wide, and 6 inches thick. It’s an all-around board with an emphasis on stability for yoga which is really good to have when you’ve got your dog, especially if it’s a hyper one. Because of the longer length and full width it has a weight capacity of 400 lbs. You can pack a lot and still float high on the water for easier paddling, better control, and stability. Even though this is a big board it’s still fairly lightweight, weighing only 26 pounds making it not too heavy to pack around.
It has 3 fins, two non-removable stabilizer fins, and a removable center fin. There is a 4 D-link bungee storage system on the nose and a specialized texture pad on the tail with D-links to tie down a cooler or gear. This board was built for a day on the lake with a cooler and a dog. It has an all-around nose shape with a wide flat tail for ultimate stability and a carry handle in the middle.
Driftsun uses military-grade PVC, it’s not double-layered, but it’s made of some tough stuff and is going to be durable enough to keep you and your dog safe on the water. One of the coolest features on this board is the giant footpad. It takes up almost the entire deck, making it more comfortable and giving more grip for both you and your dog.
Included with this board are a backpack/storage bag with wheels, a coil leash, a repair kit, a dual-action pump with pressure gauge, and an adjustable paddle.
The Driftsun Balance ISUP is going to be enjoyable for almost any type of dog. If you’re a beginner, you won’t have to worry about ever leaving your buddy behind because it’s going to be extremely easy to use. The giant footpad is a huge plus because it offers a lot of protection from your dog’s nails and has enough space for them to be on it. The Driftsun Balance is a perfect board for a dog and its human no matter how used they are to being on a paddleboard.
- Giant footpad
- Dual-action hand pump
- Super stable design
- High weight capacity
- Single Layered PVC
Here is another super stable board that has an all-around style with extra width. It measures 11 feet long, 34 inches wide, and 6 inches thick. It has a weight capacity of 375 pounds. This board is a little heavier than the other similar boards on this list weighing 29 pounds.
It’s made with double-layered 1000 Denier PVC. It’s stiffer and more puncture resistant than the single-layer boards, although slightly heavier.
It has 3 fins, two non-removable stabilizers (side bite) fins, and a removable center fin. There is a 4 D-link bungee storage system on the nose with a D-link on the tail for a safety leash. The design is a rounded all-around nose with a flat tail. The footpad is decent sized, but because of the double-layered PVC, you don’t have to worry as much about your dog not being on the protective footpad.
Included with this board is a mesh backpack/storage bag, a single-action hand pump with a pressure gauge, a repair kit, an ankle coil leash, and an adjustable paddle.
Much like the last one, this is for someone who wants a super-wide stable board. It’s durable because of the double-layered PVC which also stiffens it making it more stable when moving through the water. Dogs of any size will be comfortable on the Blue Water Toys Premium ISUP.
- High weight capacity
- Double layered PVC
- Super stable design
- Single action hand pump
- Small footpad compared to alternatives
IRocker is fantastic, it’s 10 feet 6 inches long, 33 inches wide, and 6 inches thick. The weight capacity is a high 400 lbs. This board is one of the only ones I’ve seen that is quad-layered. That’s right, they used 4 layers of PVC and still managed to make it weigh only 25 pounds. This is one stable, durable board. If you love solid boards or aren’t sure if an inflatable is going to be rigid enough for your taste, then you should try this one.
The nose is a more pointed touring style for displacing water when paddling, so you get more distance with every stroke, and the tail is flat and wide for stability.
The nose has a 6 D-link bungee storage system, 8 D-links along the sides, a D-link on the tail, and a D-link on the top and underside of the nose. This board is seat-compatible.
It has a 3 fin set-up, two removable stabilizer fins, and a long removable center fin. There is a handle in the middle, tail, and on each side of the nose bungee system. The footpad is large, so you don’t have to worry about you or your dog slipping.
Included with this board are a backpack/storage bag with a waist strap, a coil leash, a triple-action hand pump with pressure gauge, and a color-coded adjustable paddle with rubber TVA that covers the edge. The paddle is one of the most durable well-built paddles on the market today and the rubber on the blade protects your board from occasionally being hit by the paddle.
I can’t stop talking about the quality of the iRocker Cruiser and the amazing things that come with it. The board itself is exceptional, with great durability, and a design that helps with faster travel while being super stable. There are a lot of colors to choose from that come with a matching paddle.
The backpack/storage bag is huge, has an inner strap to secure the board, and has a waist strap for comfort when carrying it long distances. The pump is one of the coolest parts of the iRocker kit. They have one of the few triple-action pumps, and it comes standard with the board. They advertise this pump inflate 100% faster than a dual-action pump. It also has a switch so you can go from a triple to dual to single-action the higher the pressure gets, making it easy to pump the whole time. This board and everything you get with it makes it the biggest bang for your buck, hands down.
- Quad-layered PVC
- Triple-action hand pump
- High weight capacity
- Large footpad
- Not as wide as alternatives
Measuring 11 feet long, 32 inches wide, and 6 inches thick the Atoll is great for the touring paddler. It has a weight capacity of 300 pounds but has been water tested up to 350 pounds. For the size, it’s surprisingly lightweight, weighing only 19 pounds. If you like a little more adventure with a paddleboard and dog, then the Atoll was made for you.
There is a 6 D-link bungee storage system on the nose, and 4 D-links along each side. This ISUP is seat compatible.
This is a touring board with a pointed nose and a flat narrow tail. It has a 2+1 fin set-up, two stabilizers (side bite) fins, and one removable center fin. The Atoll is made with dual-layered military-grade PVC for greater durability and stiffness. They not only have a handle in the middle but also on the tail. Last but not least, the footpad covers a lot of the deck, which is not only fantastic for you and your dog to grip the board but your gear as well.
Included with the Atoll is a mesh backpack/storage bag, a dual-action hand pump with pressure gauge, a paddle leash, and an adjustable paddle.
As far as paddleboarding with a dog goes, the Atoll is not only great for every level of experience, it’s also going to be a little more specialized for touring greater distances, which is fun, especially with a dog. You can pack this board with all your gear and head out on an adventure. Atoll is a great company that makes their boards with quality materials and put a lot of thought into the design. They focused on building a lightweight board that is rigid and worth the money.
- Dual-layered PVC
- Dual-action hand pump
- Only 32 inches wide
There are a few things that make this board the best. One is that it’s a quad-layered board. I don’t think you will find another more durable board at this price point anywhere. It doesn’t matter what kind of dog you have; this board is going to be able to handle over and over again.
Another reason this board is my first choice for not only dog owners but anybody is accessories. Most boards come with a dual or single-action hand pump. It takes time to inflate any board, but iRocker has made the process simpler and shorter with the triple-action pump that comes with the Cruiser ISUP standard. They advertise that the triple-action inflates the board up to 100% faster, getting you and your dog out on the water more quickly.
Another unique accessory that comes with the kit is their fiberglass adjustable paddle. What’s cool about this paddle is they lined the edges with a TVA rubber, protecting it from anything you may encounter in the water and on the shore. It also protects your board from the sharp edges of a standard paddle.
The iRocker is an amazing board that has everything you need to enjoy a day on the water with your dog. I highly recommend it for every level of paddleboarder, every kind of person, and every type of dog.
What To Consider
Weight Limit – If your ISUP is loaded down to the absolute limit of how much it can handle it’s going to be sitting very low in the water. It makes things like turning and movement more difficult, and also causes the board to become unstable and flip over easier. If you have an extra passenger, like a dog, you want to be as stable and solid as possible. A high weight limit is recommended.
Board Width – The wider the board the more stability it has, something you want if you are tall or if you are planning on bringing a dog. If you are a smaller person, a narrow board will feel more stable than if you are taller. There is no absolute formula for the width of the board that will be best for each person, but when it comes to extra passengers, like dogs, wider is better.
PVC Layers – Less expensive boards tend to have fewer layers of PVC than the higher priced ones. While they are still durable and can be just as long-lasting, buying a multilayered board can be the right decision in the long run.
When we are talking about paddleboards for dogs, the more layers, the better, especially for larger ones. A small dog is going to be fine on a single-layered board, and even a calm large dog will be too. Planning for the worst is never a bad idea though. To put it simply the more layers, the more durable and the less worry about punctures. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of a lake, with your dog, and a rapidly deflating board. This is always a possibility with an ISUP, which is why proper floatation devices for you and your dog should be easily accessible at all times.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I buy a better pump for my inflatable stand up paddleboard?
Yes, you can. There are some fantastic hand pumps sold separately including iRockers amazing triple-action hand pump. You can read more about that one and others here.
You can even buy high-pressure electric pumps that can inflate paddleboards to a high psi from start to finish. These are really nice to have if you are tired of the hard work involved when inflating an ISUP. You can read more about them here.
What’s is a good paddleboard for multiple dogs?
If you have two small dogs most of these paddleboards will be fine but maybe a little crowded. If you have multiple dogs and want lots of room on the ISUP buying a multiperson stand up inflatable paddleboard is going to be your best option.
Should I buy an inflatable SUP or an epoxy (solid) SUP for paddleboarding with a dog?
There are two kinds of stand up paddleboards, inflatable and epoxy. An epoxy board seems like the best option if you have a dog because they won’t be able to pop it but ISUP’s are surprisingly durable and can take almost more abuse than solid SUP’s. It mostly depends on what kind of convenience you are looking for. Epoxy boards are awesome if you live next to water or have a large vehicle to transport it in. ISUP’s are fantastic because they fit in any vehicle, are easy to carry around, and can be stored almost anywhere.
You don’t need to worry about your dog damaging your ISUP if you make sure their nails are cut before you take them with you.
For more information about ISUP vs. SUP check out this article.