Stand up paddle boards and kayaks are both really fun. They offer different challenges and different ways to enjoy the water. Are you tight on space and have nowhere to store a full size paddle board or kayak? An inflatable stand up paddle board with kayak conversion might be the perfect thing for you. Let’s take a look at the best inflatable SUP kayak hybrids out there.
Below are our top 3 choices for the best inflatable SUP kayak hybrid. Keep reading below for our top 5 picks including reviews and stand up paddle board guide.
The top 5 best Inflatable SUP kayak hybrids
Below are our top 5 picks for the best standup paddleboard kayak hybrids on the market today. We considered features, performance, price, durability, and customer reviews in our recommendations.
- 10’8 – LOOKING FOR THE MOST STABLE, VERSATILE, ALL-INCLUSIVE SUP PACKAGE ON THE MARKET – Bluefin uses 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC & Pro Weave Drop Stitch.
- KAYAK CONVERSION KIT & GoPro MOUNT – Use our D-rings to transform your SUP into a SUP kayak in seconds!
- DURABLE TRAVEL SUP BACKPACK & LIGHTWEIGHT FIBREGLASS PADDLE – The most comfortable SUP backpack available. Our 2 piece paddle has an ergonomic fibreglass shaft.
- 5 YEAR WARRANTY & OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE
The BlueFin Cruise is a great hybrid paddleboard that comes as a complete package. It has several nice upgrades over the typical inflatable SUP board.
It has a 3 piece paddle with a fiberglass shaft. It has 2 blades so can be assembled SUP or kayak style. The paddle is stiff enough and performs well on the water with a good feel. It includes a hybrid kayak seat that attaches to the D-Rings on the board.
The board is very stiff when inflated. Bluefin claims a higher thread density drop-stitch than any other iSUP maker. This produces a much stiffer board for similar weight. They use a heavy 2 layer laminate that also makes the board stiff and durable.
This board performs great on the water as a paddle board or a kayak. It is very stable and tracks well thanks to it’s stiff rigid design. For those who want higher weight capacity or more glide, there is a 12 foot and 15 foot version.
The bluefin paddleboard is our top pick for inflatable SUP kayak combo. It is one of the best complete packages out there for those who want both.
- Board Dimensions – 10′ 8″ x 32″ x 6″ thick
- Board Weight – 29 lbs
- Weight Capacity – 287 lbs
- Materials – 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate Technology PVC. 2 layer laminate
- Paddle – 3 piece fiberglass shaft, 2 blades. Can be put together as a SUP or Kayak paddle
- Included Accessories – Paddle, backpack, leash, dual action pump, kayak seat, built in GoPro mount
|What We Liked|
|✔️ 3 piece fiberglass shaft paddle with 2 blades|
|✔️ Croco-diamond EVA deck pad with kick pad at the rear|
|✔️ Very stiff and durable board|
|What We Didn’t Like|
|❌ The board is a bit heavy carrying around|
|❌ Fin attachment can be tricky to use and replacement fins are hard to get|
- Aqua Discover SUP board measures 11’6 long × 32” wide × 6” thick and supports up to 450 lbs.
- Beginner friendly design features pulled in nose and rounded tail for efficient paddle glide.
- Big and stable ISUP this board is wide enough for bringing your fishing gear or an extra rider.
- Built-in features include a wax-free fingerprint textured soft-top foam deck, fishing rod holders, side fins, carry handle, bungee straps, and 11′ coiled leash.
- Constructed from quality double-layered military-grade PVC custom outer shell, dual axis drop-stitch technology, and top and bottom Deck Stringer.
The South Bay Board Co. Hippocamp comes as a very complete package including SUP, seat, paddle and accessories. It can be used as both a paddleboard and a kayak with its included seat and carbon fiber paddle. It also includes bonus fishing rod holders, and a cooler. It is ready for any adventure you want to go on.
The board itself is made from double layer military grade PVC. It has carbon fiber cloth reinforcements along the side to make it even stiffer and stronger. The EVA deck pad has a nice grooved and textured finish that grips well and sheds water well. The construction is excellent. No sloppy seams or defects. Some people found the new board glue smell bothered them a bit.
The board has 3 action mounts that can be used to mount a fishing rod holder or other accessories. One thing we didn’t like is that it has no handles at the front and back. At 11′ 6″ it is a large board that can be awkward to carry, especially with any kind of breeze.
On the water, it paddles easily and tracks well thanks to its 11’6″ length. It is wide enough to be stable even for beginner paddlers. The extra length does make this paddleboard hybrid a little sluggish turning. They claim a 450 lb weight capacity. It should be good for heavier paddlers and some gear. It is stable enough, with enough deck padding to give SUP yoga a try too.
There is also a shorter version called the Aqua Discover. it is a foot shorter but has all the same features. That version is good for lighter weight paddlers or those wanting an easier to maneuver board.
This is a very complete package. It is expensive but still a great value given everything it includes. It would be excellent for those who want to SUP, go kayak fishing or fish from their paddleboard. It is my top pick for the best SUP kayak hybrid inflatable board.
- Board Dimensions – 11’6 long × 32” wide × 6” thick
- Board Weight – 21 lbs
- Weight Capacity – 450 lbs
- Materials -Double Layered Military Grade PVC
- Paddle – 4 piece carbon fiber shaft. 2 nylon blades included
- Included Accessories – Coiled ankle leash, Kayak seat, cooler, 2 fishing rod holders, pump, carrying backpack with wheels, repair kit, waterproof fanny pack
|What We Liked|
|✔️ Complete package including seat, cooler and fishing rod holders|
|✔️ Good performance in the water|
|✔️ High quality materials and finish|
|What We Didn’t Like|
|❌ Glue smell when new|
|❌ No carry handles on front and rear of board|
- Can be used as an SUP or kayak, Sleek, lightweight and fast
- Extremely rigid and strong – Weight limit of up to 209 lbs. on the water
- Durable 3 ply PVC Laminate – reinforced polyester mesh-core encased in two layers of laminated PVC and drop-stitch construction
- Kit Includes – Aluminum oar, travel bag, pump, gauge and kayak seat with back rest
The Bestway Hydro-Force Whitecap is a great value package for lightweight paddlers. It comes with a kayak seat and 4 piece SUP/kayak paddle so it can be used as either one. It has a footrest to make it a little easier to paddle sitting down. Most SUP that come with kayak conversions forget that part.
This board is 10 foot long, 32 inches wide, and 4 inches thick. It is not as rigid and stable as a 6 inch inflatable. It claims a weight capacity of 209 lbs. Paddlers in the 150 to 180 lb range as about as heavy it can realistically handle. If you are 200 lbs you should look at the Bestway Hydro-Force Oceana, which is 6 inches thick, or a different board.
The board is constructed of 3 layer PVC laminate which is rare at this price point. It has a handle at the middle and D-rings at the front and rear for attaching a leash or towing. It has a set of D-Rings for attaching the seat. There are a few plastic D-Rings with a bungee for storage that will most likely break at some point. The D-Rings for the seat, leash, and tow point are metal so you don’t have to worry about them breaking.
The adjustable paddle is 4 piece aluminum and feels stiff enough. The board performs well on the water for lightweight paddlers. At 10 feet it tracks okay and turns easily. It works okay in kayak mode with the seat. The seat only attaches at the front so it slides around a lot. Don’t forget to attach the footrest. You’ll need it to keep pushing the seat back into position.
One weak point of this package is the accessories. The carrying bag is a very thin material. Don’t expect it to be too durable. The pump works and will inflate the board. It is one of the weaker pumps found in packages with a lot of friction. I would highly recommend getting an electric pump to go with this board if you want to use it often.
This paddleboard hybrid is very inexpensive for a complete package. They used better materials for the board and accessories such as the paddle and seat which is good. The carrying bag and air pump were areas a lot of cost savings were done to keep this package cheap but the overall value high. If you are looking for a cheap paddle board and kayak package that performs well this is a great option.
- Board Dimensions – 120″ x 32″ x 4″
- Board Weight – 34 lbs including accessories
- Weight Capacity – 209 lbs
- Materials – Tri-tech polyester mesh-core encased in two layers of laminated PVC
- Paddle – 4 piece aluminum paddle with 2 blades
- Included Accessories – Carrying bag, pump, 4 piece paddle, seat and ankle leash
|What We Liked|
|✔️ Very low cost complete package|
|✔️ Good performance for lightweight paddlers|
|✔️ 3 layer PVC for durability instead of double or single layer which is normal on cheap boards|
|What We Didn’t Like|
|❌ The seat only attaches at the front so slides around while you sit on it.|
|❌ Only 4 inches thick making it less rigid and stable than other boards|
The Sea Eagle LB11 Deluxe package comes with a high quality board, 2 paddles and an inflatable seat. Sea Eagle specializes in inflatable boats including several versions of their popular sit inside kayak and whitewater kayak. They are known for producing high quality durable products. Their kayak paddleboard combo has typical Sea Eagle construction and quality.
This board is 11 feet long and 30 inches wide. It will not be as stable as a 32 or 33 inch board. It has a rockered shape to it with rise in the tip and tail. It will turn easier than most 11 foot boards making is more suitable for SUP surfing in waves. It still tracks very well for distance paddling. The weight capacity is 200 lbs which is light for an 11 foot board but reasonable given it’s not as wide.
The package includes 2 paddles instead of the typical 4 piece convertible paddle. You get a separate SUP paddle and kayak paddle. The advantage is that your kayak paddle has features such as offset blades and drip cups. You won’t get those on a convertible paddle. It uses an inflatable seat for the kayak conversion. It is the same seat that comes with their inflatable kayaks. It’s reasonably comfortable for an hour or 2 of paddling. It does not include an ankle leash which is disappointing given the cost.
The on water performance is where this paddleboard hybrid really shines. Its rockered shape and narrower width make it much more suitable for SUP surfing. It can turn and carve better than most inflatable SUP boards. On flat water its length gives it very good tracking. As a kayak, it feels as good as any rigid sit on top kayak. It can work as both an ocean kayak or light whitewater kayaking.
The Sea Eagle LB11 is a great choice for those who want board performance and durability. You’ll pay a bit more for this board but you won’t be disappointed. It is available from Sea Eagle in several other packages. If your more interested in a fishing kayak or rowing, there is an LB11 package for you.
- Board Dimensions – 11′ x 30″ x 6″
- Board Weight – 25 lbs
- Weight Capacity – 200 lbs
- Materials – 3 layer PVC laminate
- Paddle – Includes 2 paddles. Aluminum SUP paddle and Aluminum kayak paddle
- Included Accessories – Carrying bag, 2 paddles, pump, repair kit, inflatable kayak seat
|What We Liked|
|✔️ Board has built in rocker with rise at the bow and stern for easier maneuverability|
|✔️ Great performance in waves or flat water|
|✔️ Very durable 3 layer PVC laminate construction|
|What We Didn’t Like|
|❌ No ankle leash included|
|❌ Narrow 30 inch width makes board less stable than 32 or 33 inch width boards|
- Professional design FunWater paddle board is 10 ’ x 31’’ x 6’’(305 x 78x 15 cm) , which can provide better safety and stability, suitable for various skill levels .
- Multifunctional SUP Made of durable and skin-friendly PVC material with non-slip comfortable EVA,2 function kayak conversion kits easy transfer from ISUP to kayak.
- Easy store and carry Ultra light 17 lbs ,easy to inflatable and deflate. Everything can be folded up and put in your backpack, take it anywhere .
- Warranty No risk returns within 30 days+ 60 day guarantee +1 year manufacturer warranty.
The Funwater Lyrebird Inflatable SUP and Kayak package is for those looking for a good board at a low price. Funwater is known for making decent performing standup boards at very low cost. Their $200-$300 boards are on par with $400-500 boards from other makers. The accessories are sometimes cheap and need to be upgraded.
This board comes as a package including a board, pump, paddle and kayak seat. The paddle is not convertible into a kayak paddle. You will have to paddle it more like a canoe while seated unless you buy a separate kayak paddle. The kayak seat attaches to the board at 2 point in the same manner as the Bestway Hydroforce. The seat can slide around on the board because it has no rear attachments to hold it in position. You don’t have the benefit of the footrest.
The board comes with a single action pump. It only pumps air in on the downstroke. The pump is weak and leaks air. You will want to get an electric pump if you plan to use this board a lot.
This board is 10 feet long by 31 inch wide. It is most suitable for smaller paddlers well under 200 lbs. They claim a 220 lb capacity but you are better off staying below 180 lbs to have a good performing stable board. The inflated board is average stiffness for it’s size. It is a bit stiffer than the Bestway Hydroforce Whitecap which is only 4 inches thick.
It tracks well for it’s length. The paddle works well for an aluminum paddle. The seat is adequate for short paddles. The 2 straps attach lower on the seat and don’t provide much back support if you lean back on them. You will need to use the paddle adjusted to it’s shortest length canoe style while seated. A second paddle blade isn’t included to convert to a kayak paddle.
The board uses dual layer military grade PVC. It has an EVA deck pad with good texture. It has a bungee for storage at the front. The D-Rings for the kayak seat are metal for durability.
Overall this board is a good package for it’s very low cost. It has a few short comings such as no kayak paddle and single action pump. It has enough places to make up for it including dual layer PVC construction and 6 inch thick board.
- Board Dimensions – 10′ x 31″ x 6″
- Board Weight – 17 lbs
- Weight Capacity – 220 lbs
- Materials – Military Grade double layer PVC
- Paddle – 3 piece aluminum paddle (no second blade for kayak conversion)
- Included Accessories – Paddle, backpack carrying bag, pump,kayak seat, coil ankle leash, waterproof phone case
|What We Liked|
|✔️ Dual layer PVC laminate construction|
|✔️ 6 inch thick board for extra rigidity and stability. Most boards at this price are 4 inches thick|
|✔️ Suitable for beginners and lightweight paddlers|
|What We Didn’t Like|
|❌ Does not include a convertible kayak paddle|
|❌ Single action pump doesn’t work well|
Inflatable SUP Kayak Hybrid guide
So you’ve decided to buy an inflatable stand up paddleboard and Kayak package. What should you look for? Lets take a look at the most important factors to consider when trying to find the perfect one for you.
Limitations of a hybrid paddle board
A SUP yak hybrid watercraft won’t be quite as good as a kayak. There aren’t many inflatable sit on kayaks made specifically as a kayak. Inflatable recreational kayaks are almost all sit inside. If there were inflatable sit on top kayaks they would look like an inflatable SUP. The main thing you are going to miss are places to brace your feet. This is very easy to mold into a sit on kayak but how do you do it with an inflatable? There are some options out there. You won’t get as solid feeling foot braces as a conventional recreational kayak.
The other area that will be not as good is the hull shape. Molded kayaks have a lot of grooves and shapes to help them track through the water. That is why they don’t need fins. For an inflatable kayak conversion, you are stuck with a flat bottom and adding a removable fin for tracking. Will your paddle board kayak work as well as a traditional kayak? No. Will it work almost as good? Yes. Will it be fun to use? Yes!
Size and weight capacity
The first thing to consider is the size of the paddleboard. You need one big enough to float your weight. If you are over 200 lbs or over 6feet tall you should look for a board that is at least 10′ 6″ long. If you are smaller than that you can use a 10 foot board. The bigger the volume of the board, the more it can float. The wider the board is the more stable it will be. A beginner should look for a board that is at least 32 inches wide. An experienced paddler can use a narrower board.
See our guide to how much weight a paddleboard can hold to learn more.
After you’ve decided how big a board you need, the next thing to decide is how much your going to spend. Most well made inflatable paddleboard or kayak will run $400 to $600 or more. There are a few well made iSUP boards for less but you have to be very careful with reviews. You will be giving up something to get a board at the lower price points. You simply can’t make an inflatable SUP with 3-ply PVC, carbon paddle and a tripple action pump for $200.
My recommendation if you are really serious about paddle boarding or kayaking is to spend at least $400. If your not sure and you just want to try things out first, go for a $200-300 board. If you like it you’ll most likely replace it soon with a more expensive board.
Materials and construction
All inflatable SUP boards are made from PVC with drop-stitch construction. This means they are 2 sheets of PVC with many threads connecting them. When you inflate it, the threads pull tight and it creates a rigid structure. You will see terms like Military Grade PVC thrown out a lot. This just means heavier, thicker PVC.
A better inflatable paddle board will be made of a PVC laminate with 2 or 3 layers. Making it multi-layer gives it more stiffness when inflated and more durability. You have to scratch or puncture 2-3 layers instead of 1. I don’t recommend buying any paddleboard that is a single layer construction. It will be too soft and too easy to damage.
As you move up in cost, you will go from an aluminum to a fiberglass to a carbon fiber paddle. Carbon fiber paddles are stiffer and lighter than aluminum paddles. More of your effort goes into moving your boat and less into flexing the paddle.
A paddleboard kayak hybrid should come with a paddle that can be assembled as either a SUP or kayak paddle.
Some like the Sea Eagle LB11 come with 2 separate paddles. A convertible paddle won’t have drip cups and may not have offset blades when in kayak mode. Be aware, that all paddleboard kayak packages do not come with a paddle that can be used for both. The low end Funwater Lyrebird only has a SUP paddle even though it comes with a kayak seat.
Your inflatable SUP package will come with some kind of air pump. Most have a double action pump. This means it pumps air in on both the up and down stroke. A single action pump will only pump on the down stroke so it will take much longer to inflate. On higher end boards you will find tripple action pumps. These have 2 air chambers which can both pump on the up and down stroke. These can inflate the board much faster. A higher end pump will get the job done faster.
Paddle boards need to inflate to higher pressures than other inflable boats. 15-20 psi instead of 5 psi. It can take some strength to inflate them. To see a good example of the struggle see the below video review of the Hydro-Force Oceana.
Now that you’ve seen that you probably think inflating a paddleboard is going to suck. You would be correct. It does. The way to make it better is to get an electric pump to turn it into an easy 5 to 15 minute task while you do other things. See our guide to electric paddle board pumps to learn more.
No paddleboard kayak hybrid would be complete with a seat to turn it into a kayak. On lower end boards you will find seats that only have one set of attachments. The seat can slide around on the board. You hold it in place by pushing back with your feet. On higher end boards you will find that the seat has 4 attachment points. These will hold the seat in place without you pushing against the straps with your feet.
All seats are not created equal. Some have more back support and better cushioning. Some may have metal frames to give more support.
Convert your own stand up paddle board into a kayak
What if you find a paddle board you really like but it doesn’t come with a kayak package? No problem. You can buy a seat and either kayak paddle or convertible paddle. You’ll have something just as good as any hybrid SUP Kayak you could have bought. See our guide to the best under $500 inflatable SUPs for some good recommendations.
Below are a good seat and paddle to consider if you want to convert an iSUP into a kayak.
YVLEEN Alloy SUP Paddle – Adjustable Stand Up Paddle Board Paddle – 3-Piece or 4-Piece Floating Kayak Paddle
- HEAVY-DUTY – 4-pieces combination paddle board paddle – It can be separated freely.This paddle is made of high quality aluminium alloy, light in weight, easy to carry, and the aluminium rod is strengthened so that the force will not deform.
- TOP-RATED – Equipped with two durable PP + fiberglass paddle blades, the blade has excellent material quality, strong endurance, strong stroke will not soften.
- PURCHASE INCLUDES – We offer 2 Piece Paddle blades, 1 intermediate connecting shaft and 1 T-handle for a total of 4 pieces.
SereneLife Detachable Universal Paddle-Board Seat
- DURABLE MODEL FOAM – Made of durable EVA foam interior and polyester exterior.
- EXCELLENT HOOKS – High-grade copper metal hooks are used in our kayak seats, which are different from most of the hooks in the market.
- ADJUSTABLE STRAPS – 2 straps in front, 2 straps in the rear allowing the seat to be fixed in place according to different needs.
- BETTER DESIGN – High back design and padded supports your back and butt and provides incredible comfort in your water trip
Inflatable SUP Kayak Hybrid FAQ
Q: Is an inflatable paddle board worth it?
Inflatable paddle boards are more convenient and easy to own. You don’t need to store and transport a to 10 to 14 foot long surfboard. They can be more damage resistant and durable than a hard board as well. There are many advantages to an inflatable paddleboard. See our article on the advantages of an inflatable paddleboard to learn more.
Q: How long will an inflatable SUP last?
Any inflatable SUP should last at least 5 years if well cared for. A SUP built with high quality materils and construction can last a lot longer. I know people who have inflatable boats made from PVC that are going on 20 years old. Keep your board clean and store it out of the sun and it will last a long time.
Q: Can I keep my inflatable sup inflated?
You can leave an inflatable SUP blown up. Keep in mind that the temperature outside changes. If you inflated your board when it was cool outside and it gets hot, the pressure will increase inside the board. It’s a good idea to leave 1-2 PSI of pressure to spare inside the board to account for temperature changes.
Q: Should I buy a kayak or paddleboard?
Both kayaks and paddleboards have their advantages. Paddleboards need more balance and finess to use. They give you more core exercise. Kayaks are easier to use since you can sit on them. You don’t need as much balance skill. Kayaks can be easier to paddle with less coordination because of their 2 bladed paddle.
A paddle board will be much easier to get back on if you fall off or roll it over. A sit in kayak can be a real struggle to get back inside in open water.
Get whichever looks more fun to you or get a hybrid and enjoy both a paddleboard and sit on kayak in one.
Q: What is the best paddleboard for beginners?
The best board for beginners at paddle boarding will be a wide stable board. It should be at least 32 inches wide. It needs lots of volume to easily float someone learning to balance on the paddle board. See our guide to the best beginner inflatable paddle boards for some suggestions.
Q: Can you lose weight by kayaking?
You can lose weight from almost any physical activity if you keep your diet under control. Kayaking and paddleboarding are both good forms of cardio exercise.
Q: Are cheap paddle boards any good?
As with most things in life you get what you pay for. A cheap paddle board won’t have a carbon fiber paddle or a tripple action pump. It may only be 10 feet long or 30 inches wide. It won’t be as stiff or rigid as a more expensive board with heavier material and more dense drop-stitch. If your just starting out you may not need those features. If your really light weight a cheap board might be stiff enough. It’s all about finding the right board that meets your needs and budget. See our guide to the best affordable inflatable paddleboards to learn more.
You might also like:
- Can You Sit On A Paddleboard? 8 Fun Easy Ways To Enjoy Your Paddleboard Without Standing
- The Best SUP Anchors And Helpful Anchoring Tips
- SUP Paddle Board Wetsuits – Ultimate Buying Guide
- Do You Need A Life Jacket To Paddle Board? Stay Safe On The Water
About the author
My name is Doug Ryan. I am an adventure sports fan and an avid skier, sailor, mountain biker who also enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and travel. I take any chance I can get to get out in the snow or water. I actively run an adventure sports meetup where I get asked many questions. I decided to start Endless Rush Outdoors as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for adventure sports their gear.