Best Fishing Paddle Boards for 2018

If you love to fish from a kayak or canoe then stand up paddle fishing is going to blow you away!  Once you get the hang of paddle boarding you will quickly realize that it is an awesome way to fish.  You can get to your favorite fishing spot quickly and check out all the underwater action on your way there due to the height advantage over your kayaking buddies.  Fishing paddle boards are quicker and easier to get to your launch spot than a kayak and you will get a great full body workout on the way to your favorite spot, or even find new spots with the extra visibility you get from standing.  Why pay big bucks for a tower when all you need to do is stand on your own feet!

Paddleboard manufacturers have quickly caught on to the recent upsurge in fishing from a board and are busy creating specialty boards, accessories, and gear to turn an ordinary board into a portable fishing dock.  If you choose the right fishing SUP it will be stable enough for you and all your gear, allow you to move around naturally and get you to the fishing spot quickly and with minimal noise.

The quick answer  is below but keep on reading to get all the details on qualities that make an outstanding fishing paddle board and a comparison chart of these boards.

What to look for in choosing the best fishing SUP

Choosing the right fishing paddle board is a little different than most other paddling activities.  You need to consider the extra weight from your gear plus have enough room to secure it.  Somewhere to stow your paddle is mandatory.  A little extra height gives you an increased vantage point.

Weight

When shopping for a paddle board the manufacturer always gives weight limits.  Be realistic about how much weight you will be bringing with you including ice chests, food and water, extra fishing gear or clothes and whatever you take with you.  Don’t forget the weight of all the fish you will be bringing home, especially if you are out for some biggies!  If you are right around the limit then round up and move to the next size.

Length and Width

If you know you will have a lot of gear and want to add extra accessories you may want to choose a longer board.  The added length will give you additional places to stow gear and also make the board a little sturdier

The width of the board is very important.  You want a minimum of 30″ for stability.  If you want to feel really solid in the water it’s a good idea to go a little wider than this.  The extra width will allow added stability and allow you to maneuver around on the board more.  If your cooler is stored at the back of the board you want to be able to turn around while standing and access it.  Having to sit down to turn around will get old real quick.

Thickness

The thickness of the board is also important.  Most boards specially designed for fishing will be 6″ thick.  This makes the board more rigid and more stable.  It will also keep your feet dryer than a thin board which makes a difference if you are in cold water or out all day.  The extra inch also gives you an extra height boost giving you greater visibility into what is going on in the water around you.

Hull Shape

The hull shape might also be a deciding factor for you.  A displacement hull has a v shape to it.  This type of hull doesn’t make the water slap noise as much as a round or planing hull.  If keeping noise to a minimum is a requirement of yours then you will definitely want something with a pointy nose.

Deck Pad and Cushioning

And last but not least don’t forget some cushioning.  You will be standing, or sitting, on your board for quite a while.  A pad with a good grip and a little extra cushion can make your day much more comfortable.  This is where an inflatable board really shines!  You can also add a small seat or sit on your cooler.

And as always don’t buy a board because it has the coolest storage thingy or accessories you want.  Really look at the shape, size and characteristics of the board and you can always add all the extras you want later.  That way you can really customize it to fit your needs.

Best Fishing Paddle Boards for 2018

 Bote HD 12' x 32" All Around Fishing Stand Up Paddleboard with Free Vamo Tie Downs and Vamo Roof Rack Pads (Bug Slinger)ISLE 12'6 Airtech Inflatable Touring Stand Up Paddle Board (6" Thick) PackageImagine Surf V2 Wizard Angler SUP Stand Up Fishing Paddle BoardZray Inflatable Paddle Board with Seat, 9'9" X1 SUP Package, Pump/Paddle/Backpack Included, 6" Thick
Length12'12'6"11"9'9"
Width32'30"35"30"
Weight Capacity
375 lbs275 lbs305 lbs264 lbs
Thickness5"6"6"6"
Board Weight38 lbs20.5 lbs68 lbs16.3 lbs
FinsCenter fin only, can add 2 side fins2 +1 configurationCenter fin onlyCenter fin only
ConstructionThe Bote HD is available as EPS foam core or inflatableInflatable to 15 psiMolded polyetheleneInflatable to 15 psi
PaddleNot included on this modelIncluded - AdjustableNot includedIncluded - Adjustable
Storage Bungees front and back1 bungee in frontEverywhere!1 bungee in front
Warranty1 year for manufacturing defects1 year for manufacturing defectsHave to request from manufacturer1 year for manufacturing defects
Available ExtrasPaddle Sheath, Sandspear Sheath, Stash pod, Rac System attachments. Options depend on board constructionAny aftermarket accessories you can come up with4 fishing mounts, 2 rod holders, paddle clip, 2 storage hatches and flip up seat all standardComes with an optional seat
ProsBest of the best! Great for fishing, touring, paddling. Amazing performance in most conditionsAmazing inflatable SUP at a can't beat price! Great all around board and good performance for all levelsExcellent board for fishing with lots of accessories standard. Great starter board at a really good price, lots of happy customers
ConsPricey and all the extras can really add upNone that really matter but the included pump isn't great, not much standard storage. Really heavy, not great for any other type of paddling because of all the molded plasticThis is a beginner board and lacks some of the performance the Isle board will have
Check Price

Pros and Cons of stand up paddle fishing vs. kayak

Paddleboarding is a great exercise.  It will work your entire body, arms, legs, and core.  Since your whole body is involved you may be able to go for longer or farther than you would if it was just your arms doing all the work like in kayak, or just your legs in a paddling kayak.  You can still sit down and take a break or paddle on your knees if you need to.

A paddle board, especially an inflatable one, is generally lighter and easier to load onto your car and get to your launch spot than a kayak.  All the information you need to know about inflatable SUP’s can be found on a previous post here: What to look for when buying an inflatable paddle board

If you have some extra weight or stability issues than a paddle board is probably not for you.  Taking a dunk or flipping a fully loaded board is not an ideal situation.  If everything is strapped properly you will be fine but….

If you are going to be paddling regularly at a windy spot a low profile kayak will serve you better.  Paddling against the wind is hard work and not a lot of fun.

Need more reasons why you should give a fishing SUP a try?  Check out what the guys at Salt Strong have to say about it here: 3 Reasons All Kayak Anglers Should Consider Paddle Board Fishing

 

 

 

Three Best Inflatable Paddle Boards for 2018 – All Arounder’s

What is an All Around Inflatable Paddle Board?

All Around inflatable paddle boards are a great choice for many paddlers.  They are used in many conditions and by a variety of riders.  They are great for families, friends and traveler’s that may be riding a lake one day and the ocean the next.

An all around SUP is the best stand up paddle board for beginners.  Being such a versatile board does mean that it doesn’t excel at any one thing but it is a fantastic option for most people.  Advanced or specialty riders will want a more engineered board.

Storage and transportation of an inflatable paddle board is loads easier.   An iSUP gives you a softer landing surface for your inevitable falls.  An inflatable paddle board is a little more forgiving of bumps and practically ding proof.  You can’t say that about a fiberglass board!

An all-around paddle board has a rounded, traditional board shape.  It will be fairly stable and easy to paddle.  It will usually have a 2+1 fin setup, meaning one larger center fin and two smaller side fins.  The center fin keeps you tracking on open water.  The two side fins help out with maneuverability in shallow water and surf.

The Three Best Paddle Board’s for All-Around Use

There are literally hundreds of iSUP’s to choose from but there are a few that stand out from the crowd.  These boards have had serious thought put into their manufacturing and because of this, they outperform most others in their class.  They are fun to ride, easy to use and durable enough to last.  I was super skeptical of inflatable SUP’s after a disastrous experience with them a few years back, however, these boards proved me wrong!  They ride just as well as a solid board.  They are strong, rigid and are a great ride!

The 3 Best Inflatable Paddle Boards for 2018

 PEAK Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Adjustable Paddle, Travel Backpack and Coil Leash, 128 x 31 x 6-Inches, AquaTower Paddle Boards iSUP Package "Adventurer 2" 10'4"iRocker Inflatable CRUISER Stand Up Paddle Board 10'6" Long 33" Wide 6" Thick SUP Package
Length10'6"10'4"10'6"
Width31"32"33"
Volume225 Liters300 Liters220 Liters
Weight Capacity
300 lbs350 lbs350 lbs
Thickness6"6"6"
Board Weight23 lbs26 lbs24 lbs
FinsRemovable single fin2+1 with removable center fin2+1 with removable center fin
PSI15 PSIUp to 25 PSI, 11 is optimal15 PSI
PaddleAluminum
Adjustable 65" - 86"
Fiberglass
Adjustable 65" - 85"
Fiberglass
Adjustable 67" - 79"
Storage 6 point bungee 4 point bungee 6 point bungee
Warranty30 day + 1 year on materials2 years for everything but wear & tear2 years for everything but wear & tear
Price

So there you have it!  These are the three of the highest rated paddle boards for the year.  There are a lot of other great boards out there but you will be thrilled with any of these three.  Make your life easy, pick one of these best paddle boards for beginners and get out paddling!

 

What To Look For When Buying An Inflatable Paddle Board

All About Inflatable SUP’s

You have considered all your options and decided to give an inflatable paddle board a try!  There are a lot of options out there for you.  Let’s review some quality issues before you jump into sizes, shapes, colors and accessories because a bad inflatable paddle board can ruin your day or even cause some safety issues.

Inflatable SUP Construction

Inflatable paddle boards are made out of a special fabric called Drop Stitch.  This is two layers of support fabric attached to each other by thousands of threads.  The threads can have different densities and lengths which determines the strength and size of the inflated product.

The photo above is approximately how most boards are constructed.  The primary structure of the board is the drop stitch fabric that is then covered with various layers of other fabrics to shape the board and make sure air stays in and water stays out.  Drop stitch fabric comes in different heights, densities, and patterns of stitching and each of these characteristics will determine the rigidity and durability of your board.

Below is a video from Red Paddle Co. that shows how lower quality construction can make your board ride as well as the banana inflatable you bought for the pool party.  I haven’t ridden a Red Paddle Co board yet but I hope to soon and will let you know as soon as I do!

Most decent SUP manufacturers will have put some serious thought and effort into making sure their inflatable is designed and built well.  They will often have some info about it on their websites and you should check that info out.

Thickness and Rigidity

Inflatable SUP’s range from 4″ to even 8″ thick.  As a rule of thumb the thicker the board the more rigid it is.  The pressure you can inflate the board to, or the PSI, also plays a big role in how rigid the board will be.

When iSUP’s first came out the standard was a 4′ thickness, which just wasn’t cutting it.  As the manufacturers spent more time developing the inflatable paddle boards they have found the current sweet spots for thickness.  This is commonly either 4 3/4″ or 6″.  Some of the manufacturers make a range of boards and they will be identical in all ways except thickness.  So which do you choose?

Thin Paddle Boards:

  • A thin SUP will almost always be a little softer than a comparable thick one.  A really well designed and manufactured thin SUP might actually be more rigid than a cheaply made thick board so this is not a hard rule!
  • Thin boards will be faster to pump up, lighter and easier to carry
  • Thin boards will have better rail shape which you will need if you are going out in any surf
  • If you are a light or small person you don’t need the extra rigidity a thick board provides
  • May need to be pumped up to a higher PSI

Thick Paddle Boards

  • A thick SUP will almost always be more rigid than a comparable thin one.  However, a thin board that can take a greater PSI may be just as rigid.
  • Thick boards will take longer to pump, are heavier and not as easy to carry
  • Can be used at a lower PSI and still be rigid.
  • There isn’t much of a rail on these so they aren’t good in surf
  • Thick boards are better for heavier people or when you are carrying gear
  • A thick board keeps you a little farther above the water so your ride will be dryer, as long as you don’t fall off!

Inflatable SUP Rails

The rails on an iSUP are the sides of the board.  This is where the top layer of the board meets the bottom layer.  The top and bottom either meet on the edges and a rail is formed from that or there is a third piece of fabric joining the two.   If the two edges are brought together and taped off there is less chance of springing a leak and the result is a stronger rail that can hold more pressure.  Either way the rail on an iSUP is a heck of a lot softer than a solid board when you hit it face first!

An inflatable paddle board stands almost no chance against a sold core SUP when it comes to having a decent rail for surfing, at least not yet.  A thinner board has a better chance of getting a bit of rail shape in to ride some waves.  Thick boards with wide rails are best for flat water and all around use.

Inflatable paddle board fins

Just like surfboards and solid core SUP’s there are a lot of options for fins.  The big thing to note is that these might be the same fins as your other boards take.  The inflatable paddle boards sometimes come with permanently attached fins or they might not be easily swapped out.  If you know you are going to want to swap fins at some point make sure you pick a board that will allow that when you are ready.

iSUP Package Deals

Most inflatable SUP’s are going to come in a package deal.  They may include a bag, a pump, a paddle and maybe a leash or an extra fin.  Don’t buy a board because it comes with good stuff or you like the bag or the color.  Choose the board and then check out the accessories they send with it when you get it.

You will probably want to get a better pump at some point.  Leashes are cheap enough and you can pick up a bag on eBay if you need one.   A cheap paddle board is going to come with a cheap paddle.  Spend a little extra and buy a quality paddle.  The paddle can be used with any board and will last a long time if you treat it right.