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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Best of the Best
Pelican Hardshell Stand-Up Paddleboard
Hardshell Stand-Up Paddleboard
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Trusted Brand
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A hard shell stand-up paddleboard that’s made by a reputable brand name in paddleboarding gear.


Complete with a secure non-slip top deck that helps provide grip when standing. Has bungee cords attached on top to hold extra gear or dry bags. Built-in handles are helpful for carrying or attaching extra gear like a water bottle. Measures 10 feet 6 inches making it ideal for adults or taller teens.


Does not include accessories like a leash or paddle.

Best Bang for the Buck
Lifetime Amped Hardshell Paddleboard
Amped Hardshell Paddleboard
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Longest Board
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This hardshell board measures 11 feet in length making it ideal for taller paddle boarders.


Great for anyone who’s taller in height due to the boards' long length and top deck design. Comes with a paddle and has a loop built-in to the board to attach a leash. A larger board size provides additional stability and support on choppy water.


Board may be too large or heavy for smaller paddlers.

Lifetime Freestyle XL 98 Stand-Up Paddleboard
Freestyle XL 98 Stand-Up Paddleboard
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Best for Families
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This great starter board comes in a 2-pack that is a fantastic price for the value.


Weight capacity of up to 230 pounds and a decent length of 9 feet 8 inches. EVA-foam pad deck for foot traction, and front deck bungee cords for easy storage. Equipped with retractable fins and an easy-carry center handle. Fiberglass stand-up paddle is adjustable.


Weighing 40 pounds each, these boards are heavier than others.

Driftsun Padded Stand Up Paddleboard
Padded Stand Up Paddleboard
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Most Comfortable
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Padded top deck design makes this comfortable for all-day paddling trips.


Board only weighs 29 pounds making this easy for anyone to carry and can support up to 250 pounds when paddling. Includes a paddle with the purchase and does well in smooth or choppy waters. The removable fin makes for easy storage.


Paddle doesn't float and may sink easily if it falls in the water.

ISLE Surf and SUP Cruiser Stand-Up Paddleboard & SUP Bundle
ISLE Surf and SUP
Cruiser Stand-Up Paddleboard & SUP Bundle
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Best for Beginners
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A perfect board for beginners that is easy-to-use, comfortable, and made with bright colors that are aesthetically pleasing.


10' 5" length is ideal for beginners. Floats well in the water and can support up to 235 lbs. Molded EPS foam core with dual wood stringers makes it strong and durable. Soft-top deck is comfortable and easy to grip. Comes with carbon-hybrid adjustable paddle, 8' leash, and fin. Available in the colors blue, coral, or green.


Soft-top material can easily crease or become dented.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best non-inflatable stand-up paddleboards

One water sport that has really taken off over the past few years is stand-up paddling (SUP). This activity is unique in that it appeals to a wide range of different interests. Are you into relaxing lake paddling? Whitewater? Surfing? Yoga? Fishing? Racing? Long-distance touring? If you answered yes to any of these, you’ll probably love SUP.

But a stand-up paddleboard designed for surfing is considerably different than one built for racing. Between the different hulls, construction materials, fin placements, and specifications such as volume, width, length, and thickness, shopping for a stand-up paddleboard can get complicated fast.

This guide will help you navigate the various features, specifications, and costs of non-inflatable stand-up paddleboards, so you can get out on the water and enjoy some warm-weather fun.

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If you’re purchasing a stand-up paddleboard for a child, look for one that is around eight feet in length.

Key considerations


There are two primary hull types to consider when shopping for non-inflatable stand-up paddleboards: planing hulls and displacement hulls. If you want to buy the right board for your interests, knowing the difference between the two is important.

Planing hulls are flat and wide like surfboards, allowing them to ride atop the water and offer improved handling. This type of hull is geared toward more leisurely or relaxing paddling, which includes surfing, yoga, and whitewater paddling.

If you are more interested in a workout, consider a displacement hull. These hulls are generally pointed in the front like kayaks. Boards with displacement hulls track better and are faster in the water, making them better for physically intensive activities such as racing or touring.


The material the board is constructed from is also a primary consideration. The three main types of paddle board construction are fiberglass/epoxy, plastic, and carbon/wood.

Popular fiberglass/epoxy paddleboards have a foam core that is covered with fiberglass and epoxy. These boards are durable without being too heavy.

While they won’t win any beauty contests, plastic paddleboards are durable and inexpensive compared to other types. That said, they do lag in terms of performance, and they are generally pretty heavy, which affects portability.

Carbon/wood construction offers an attractive finish, light weight, and superior performance for racing or surfing. However, these paddleboards are more expensive and less durable than other options.

"If you’ll primarily use your stand-up paddleboard for practicing yoga, consider going with an inflatable board, which offers a softer surface for yoga poses."



The volume of a paddleboard is the first specification you need to take into consideration when comparing boards. The more volume a board has, the more weight it can support. If you go over the weight limit, the paddleboard will handle poorly in the water and may become unstable.

With planing hulls, you really only need to worry about staying under the weight limit and the board will handle fine. Displacement hulls are a little trickier as either too much weight or too little can adversely affect the board’s performance.


Length is another important specification to consider. Generally, longer paddleboards are faster, while shorter boards are easier to maneuver. How you plan on using your board factors into the length you should buy.

Under 10 feet in length, short paddleboards are used for surfing and are a great option for kids. Short boards usually have planing hulls.

Medium paddleboards range from 10 to 12 feet and are used for all-around paddling and yoga. Medium boards also largely use planing hulls.

Measuring 12.5 feet and up, the majority of long paddleboards have displacement hulls and are used for touring and racing. Longer boards are more challenging to store.


Paddleboards generally range between 25 and 36 inches in width, and the wider the board, the more stable it will be. Wider boards are used largely by beginners, yoga enthusiasts, and others for whom stability is a prime factor. Wider boards can also hold a greater amount of gear, a definite plus for those into touring.

Narrower paddleboards are prized by racers due to their superior speed and handling. Paddlers who are physically smaller may also find narrower boards easier to handle.


While less vital than volume or length, paddleboard thickness is still an important factor. Thickness increases volume, which in turn increases the amount of weight the board can support.


To improve performance, paddleboards have fins of various sizes. Smaller fins can improve a board’s maneuverability, while larger fins can help with tracking and stability. All fins should be easy to remove for transportation and storage.

Single fins offer little drag and are useful for flatwater paddling. A three-fin, or thruster, configuration features three similarly sized fins and offers improved control in surf situations, in addition to better tracking in flatwater. Designed for surfing, a 2+1 fin grouping features one large center fin flanked by two smaller fins.


You will need a paddle to go with your paddleboard. Many stand-up paddleboards come with a paddle, but many do not. Paddles may be carbon, plastic, aluminum, or wood.


There are a variety of accessories that may be included with your stand-up paddleboard.

  • Tie-downs/bungees: These help to secure gear on the front or rear of the paddleboard.

  • Deck pads: Usually built into the board, these offer more comfort and traction for your feet.

  • Carry handles: paddleboards are easier to lug around with built-in handles.

  • Attachment points: These are helpful if you want to attach extras to the board like fishing rods, seats, or lights.


Non-inflatable stand-up paddleboards are an investment. Bargain boards start at around $300 to $400, and that is before you factor in paddles, transportation bags and racks, and other accessories.

The mid-range for stand-up paddleboards is around $600, with some pricier models costing more than $1,000. The higher price point is usually reserved for high-performance carbon racing boards and other boards offering advanced features or construction materials.


  • When considering the weight limitations of a paddleboard, take into account your own weight and any equipment or food and water you will be paddling with.

  • Never store your paddleboard in direct sunlight or leave it in the sun for extended periods of time.

  • When outfitting your paddleboard, don’t forget to include a personal floatation device. This is not only a good safety idea, but it may also be a legal requirement depending on where you plan to paddle.

  • If a variety of people will be using the paddleboard, consider purchasing an adjustable paddle, which will accommodate paddlers of different heights.

  • If you frequently have to hike from where you parked to where you paddle, consider picking up a wheeled cart for an easier trek.

  • A leash that attaches the paddleboard to your leg can be a handy accessory if you fall off in the water. Leashes are sold based on the type of paddling (surf, whitewater, etc.) you plan to do, so shop accordingly.

  • As you gain more experience with stand-up paddling, consider purchasing additional boards designed for specific types of paddling, such as surf paddling, touring, or yoga.

  • Two safety items to consider keeping with you are a whistle (to warn boats of your presence) and a light (if you’re going to be on the water after sunset).

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A WindSUP is a specialized stand-up paddleboard that combines a paddleboard and a windsurfing board.


Q. Why should I choose a non-inflatable stand-up paddleboard over an inflatable stand-up paddleboard?

A. Non-inflatable paddleboards are available in more sizes, offer improved performance on the water, and are more stable than inflatable boards. On the downside, non-inflatable boards can be more difficult to store and transport, are not as comfortable for SUP yoga, and are not recommended for whitewater use.

Q. As a complete beginner, what features should I look for in a stand-up paddleboard?

A. An ideal beginner paddleboard is an all-around board that is wider and thicker for increased stability. A planing hull and a single fin are also a plus in terms of stability. If you’re just starting out, consider a plastic board for its low price and durability.

Q. What size paddle do I need for stand-up paddling?

A. Think of a stand-up paddle as a long canoe paddle. To size a paddle for all-around paddling, stand up and raise your arm over your head. The paddle should reach from the ground to your raised wrist. If you plan on racing, go a little longer for more power, while a slightly shorter paddle is best for surfing.

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