The Best Paddleboard for Lakes

Paddleboarding is a great family watersport because just about anyone with any skill level can learn how to SUP. It’s a great way to get the family together and enjoy the outdoors. Once you experience the joy and fun of paddle boarding, it is really hard to keep away from this infectious activity. But in order to begin your paddle boarding adventures, the first thing you need is a good paddle board. That should be really simple, as long you know the kind of paddle boarding that you’ll be doing.

If you just want to get a paddle board for recreational purposes, like casually exploring the waters of a lake, then you probably want a board that is simple to operate and steady in the water. Now, let’s take a look at which of these four boards is the best paddle board for beginners and families.

STAR PICK
Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer Package

TOWER Inflatable 10’4” Stand Up Paddle Board - (6 Inches Thick) - Universal SUP Wide Stance...
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This one is easily the most user friendly and well balanced board in terms of features and overall performance, making it the undisputed best paddle board for families. Firstly, it is an inflatable board, which means you can carry it around in your backpack or car trunk. Thanks to the high pressure pump provided, inflating this 26 lb board is quite easy. Just spend a few minutes on the 15 psi hand pump and you can turn the Adventurer from a floppy piece of plastic, to a fully functional paddle board within minutes.

The body of this board is constructed from dual-layer military grade PVC, and is more than capable of withstanding heavy loads due to the special drop stitch construction. After you pump it full, this board will stand at 10′ in length and 6″ in thickness- a length that is perfect for all-round usage and surfing, while the extra thickness means that this board will displace more water compared to the competition.

With the extra water displacement this board provides more stability and load capacity. In fact, the Adventurer can take 350 lbs of weight and still float. Six inches of thickness ensures that more of the board stays above the water surface because there is less bending. This actually is quite good, because beginners can enjoy the fun of paddle boarding without having to worry about taking an unwanted plunge every time a wave hits, or a strong wind blows.

STAR BUDGET PICK
California Board Company Stand up Paddle Board

California board company CBC Hydra 10'6 Foam SUP Pkg w/Paddle and Single Fin.
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If you want to enjoy paddle boarding, but have a limited budget then this is absolutely the right board for you. Despite its surprisingly affordable price tag, the board is more than capable of holding up against much pricier models and brands. Even more amazing, is the fact that its load capacity is a whopping 300 lbs. There are many neat little features on this board that prove quite handy, such as a camera mount for your action camera, a padded roof rack for easy mounting on vehicle rooftops, and an adjustable paddle with a built in blade shield.

It is a medium board at 10’6″ long so its length is great for all round usage such as coasting and surfing, and it’s also very stable due to the wider hull. The core is 100% water proof, and the bottom is made from high density heat laminated polyethylene. The board is ready to use right out of the box, with a surf leash and neoprene ankle straps included in the package. It weighs just 25 lbs, meaning that you can easily carry it over to your nearby lake or pond.

RUNNER-UP
ISLE Airtech Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

ISLE 11' Scout - Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board - 6” Thick iSUP and Bundle Accessory Pack -...
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This medium sized 10’4 paddle board happens to be one of the lightest boards on the market. No, that’s not because it is inflatable, in fact most inflatable boards weigh around 25 lbs while this one only weighs 18.2 lbs. The weight makes transportation even easier on top of the fact that you can literally roll it up and throw it into your car trunk or backpack.

The extra thickness allows you to maintain stability on rivers as well as lakes, and the wider hull lets you comfortably paddle in a standing position without the fear of losing stability. Just like our top choice, the Airtech is made from military grade PVC and the company claims that it is tough enough to be run over by a car and survive a fall from the top of a building. The package comes with a paddle, carry bag, high pressure 15 psi pump and gauge, removable travel fin, and a repair kit.

RUNNER-UP
iRocker Paddle Boards Inflatable SUP Package

iRocker Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board 10'6' Long 33' Wide 6' Thick Package
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While the competitors are content with providing dual layer PVC in their inflatable boards, iRocker went a step further and made an inflatable board with triple layer military PVC sheets. The layers are sealed and then drop stitched to ensure failure proof performance under high stress conditions. This board needs a pressure of 15 psi in order to be operational, and it doesn’t even bend or flex when you hit it on a rock or pier. At 6″ thick, it is ahead of the others in terms of stability and is great for the families, who want a nice, stable board that does not tip over or sink in under load.

This board can take 300 lbs and still stay afloat. However, the thicker construction makes this board slightly heavier than the rest, at nearly 38 lbs. While it may be a little too heavy to carry around on your back, you’ll know it is definitely worth the effort once you take into the water. The manufacturers are confident in the build quality of this iRocker, which is why they have provided an excellent warranty on materials and labor.

Choosing the Best Paddle Board for Lakes

Speed should not be your goal if you are a beginner, since all you want to do is calmly go along in the water, enjoying the experience without the fear of falling off your board. Maybe, you will be riding some small waves. Go for stability and maneuverability in these cases. What we mean is that you are looking for a stand up paddle board with a “planing hull”. A planing hull is the best type of hull for beginners and is an all-purpose design with balanced performance. It is flat and wide just like a surfboard, hence it is more stable than the narrower hulls that are designed just for speed. This kind of hull is also great for riding some small waves in the seas, and you can even use these for recreational paddling and surfing.

The next thing you need to consider is the paddle board displacement and weight capacity. The more water your board displaces, the more weight it can carry. If your paddle board’s displacement is too small compared to your weight, it will always be floating right on the edge of the water surface. This is very scary, since the board will always be 90% submerged and can capsize with the slightest mistake you make. Definitely not something you want when searching for the best paddle board for families.

When purchasing a board make sure it has sufficient volume displacement, and don’t forget to check how much weight it can handle before you take it into the water. Remember this – short boards are great for surfing, medium boards are great for all-round use, and long boards are the best for touring and racing.  The boards we reviewed in this article are among some of the most well-constructed and popular paddle boards on the market, and have been selected after careful analysis. Each board has its strengths and weaknesses, so choose the one that suits you the best.

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