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The Best Inflatable Touring SUPs Of 2022 Helpful Guide

Best inflatable touring SUP

One of the great things about paddle boarding is checking out new places and exploring. Sometimes, while SUP touring, you need to cover some distance and all around boards just aren’t the best for that. In this case, you need a longer, faster, touring paddleboard. As always, inflatable paddleboards are so much easier to transport and store. Touring boards tend to be long and heavy so an inflatable SUP board will have an even bigger advantage. If all this sounds good to you then check out our guide to help you find the best inflatable touring SUP for you.

Below is a table of all my recommended pics and important specifications. Keep reading below for reviews and paddle board guide.

NamePriceSizeMax WeightBoard WeightConstructionPaddle
☆ Top Pick
BLACKFIN MODEL V
$$$12′ 6″ x 32″ x 6″485 lbs30 lbs3 Layer Composite PVCCarbon
☆ Top Pick
Red Paddle Co Sport 12’6″
$$$$12′ 6″ x 30″ x 6″265 lbs26 lbsMSL with 4 layer railsNot Included
☆ Best Value
Chasing Blue Orion 12’6″
$$12′ 6″ x 32″ x 6″320 lbs22 lbs2 Layer PVCAluminum
Nixy Monterey G4$$$11’ 6″ x 34″ x 6″400 lbs25 lbs2 Layer Woven PVC with carbon railsCarbon
Red Paddle Co 12’6″ Voyager$$$$12′ 6″ x 32″ x 5.9″330 lbs28 lbs2 Layer MSL PVC laminateNot Included
Starboard 14′ Touring Deluxe DC$$$$14′ x 30″ x 6″265 lbs28.6 lbs2 Layer DDC Woven FusionNot Included
Bluefin SUP 14′ Sprint Carbon$$$14′ x 30″ x 6″419 lbs35 lbs2 Layer PVC with carbon railsCarbon
Freein Touring 12’6″$$11’ 6″ x 32″ x 6″385 lbs25 lbs2 Layer PVCFiberglass
BOTE HD Aero 11′6″$$$11’ 6″ x 34″ x 6″315 lbs30 lbs2 Layer PVCComposite
ISLE Explorer 11’6″$$$11’ 6″ x 32″ x 6″300 lbs24 lbs2 Layer PVCCarbon
OM Free pump banner 2022

The 10 best inflatable touring SUPs

Here are the 10 best inflatable touring SUPs to help you find the very best paddle board for you this summer. We considered features, price, performance, and user feedback in making our recommendations.

1 – BLACKFIN MODEL V

☆ Top Pick
Blackfin Model V Product Image

Specifications

  • Size – 12′ 6″ x 32″ x 6″ thick
  • Weight Capacity – 485 lbs
  • Board Weight – 30 lbs
  • Construction – Triple Layer Composite PVC Construction
  • D-Rings – 19
  • Paddle – Carbon Matte 3-piece paddle with nylon blade
  • Pump – Dual Chamber, 3 Stage

Ratings

Speed

Stability

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Summary

The Blackfin Model V has a fast shape and comes with great accessories. Blackfin paddle boards are the high end boards from popular iRocker. They have upgraded construction including carbon reinforced rails. They come with first rate accessories including a carbon adjustable paddle.

The Blackfin Model V SUP board has 3 Removable fins and is 32 inch width making it suitable for more novice riders. The 3 fin setup gives good tracking and easy turning. The board has enough nose rocker to it to be able to handle some chop okay. It is a nice overall compromise between pure touring speed and versatility.

The Blackfin boards compete with Starboard and Red Paddle Co for quality and accessories. They do it at a much lower price making them a great value for those who want more than a $500 Amazon board but aren’t ready to drop $1500.

What we liked
  • Good compromise between pure speed and stability
  • Top rate accessories including carbon paddle and dual chamber pump
  • Stiff board thanks to 3 layer construction with carbon rails
  • 485 lb weight capacity
What we didn’t like
  • Not as fast as narrower boards with less nose rocker
  • Rear action mounts could be more rearward on board. Easy to step on while paddling

2 – Red Paddle Co. Sport Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard

☆ Top Pick
Red Paddle Co Sport 126 Product Image

Specifications

  • Size – 12′ 6″ x 30″ x 6″ thick
  • Weight Capacity – 265 lbs
  • Board Weight – 26 lbs
  • Construction – MSL with 4 layer rails
  • D-Rings – 8
  • Paddle – None included
  • Pump – Dual Chamber, 2 Stage

Ratings

Speed

Stability

Paddling Red sport

Summary

The Red Paddle Co 12’6″ Sport is a fast and fun board. Red Paddle Co produces some of the finest inflatable paddle boards in existence. The Sport line is designed for more speed than their popular Ride MSL boards.

The Sport uses Red’s proprietary MSL construction combined with RSS battens. This makes a fast, rigid, and light inflatable board. The board uses a single 9 inch fin for good tracking and low drag.

The board shape has a little bow rocker so it can handle some chop okay. The 30 inch width makes the board fast and stable enough for intermediate paddlers.

Red includes the excellent Titan 2 pump for quickly inflating the board. They do not include a paddle with the board.

If you are looking for a fast touring board that is light, stiff, and don’t care about the price, this is a great board for you.

Review

See our full review of the Red Paddle Co 12’6″ Sport to learn more.

Red Paddle Co Sport Review
What we liked
  • Great speed in flat water
  • Has enough nose rocker to handle small chop okay
  • Lightweight for its size
  • Titan pump helps inflate the board faster
What we didn’t like
  • High cost
  • Not as stable as wider boards
  • No paddle included

3 – Chasing Blue Orion – Voyager iSUP Board

☆ Best Value
OM Orion Voyager Product Image

Specifications

  • Size – 12′ 6″ x 32″ x 6″ thick
  • Weight Capacity – 320 lbs
  • Board Weight – 22.5 lbs
  • Construction – Double layer PVC
  • D-Rings – 22
  • Paddle – 3 piece alloy paddle
  • Pump – Double action

Ratings

Speed

Stability

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Summary

The Chasing Blue Orion 12’6″ is an entry level touring board from Outdoor Master. It has double layer PVC laminate construction and comes as a complete package.

The board has a raised up nose and 32″ width making it suitable for beginner paddlers. The touring shape and length make it faster than an average all around board. The double layer PVC construction is durable and almost as stiff as the MSL construction of the Red Paddle Co Sport board.

It comes as a complete package including an aluminum paddle, double action pump, and wheeled backpack. We would prefer a carbon paddle but the aluminum paddle works okay.

The Chasing Blue Orion is one of the cheapest touring boards available making it a great value. It makes a great first touring board or good first board for someone who wants something different than a generic all around board.

Review

See our full review of the Outdoor Master Chasing Blue Orion Voyager 12’6″ to learn more.

Outdoor Master Orion Voyager iSUP review
What we liked
  • Very stiff board construction.
  • Better speed than an all around board
  • Good price for a touring board
  • Durable 2 layer construction
  • Plenty of D-Rings and handles for mounting seats and accessories
What we didn’t like
  • The board is a little slower than narrower touring boards
  • A Carbon paddle would be nice

4 – MONTEREY G4 EXPEDITION PADDLE BOARD

☆ Best Adventuring Board
Nixy Monterey Product Image

Specifications

  • Size – 11′ 6″ x 34″ x 6″ thick
  • Weight Capacity – 485 lbs
  • Board Weight – 30 lbs
  • Construction – 2 layer woven PVC with carbon reinforced rails
  • D-Rings – 18
  • Paddle – 3 piece adjustable carbon floating paddle
  • Pump – Dual Chamber, 3 Stage

Ratings

Speed

Stability

Paddling hard monterey

Summary

The Nixy Monterey G4 Expedition Paddle Board is a large board, stacked with mounts, ready for any adventure. It is board designed for SUP fishing or camping expeditions or just exploring. It is on the shorter side for a touring board at 11’6″ and wider at 34″. It has a narrow nose and tail that still gives it a good amount of speed.

The Monterey is made from woven construction with carbon reinforced rails. It is a double air chamber board as well. This makes it a very stiff board that works great for carrying heavy loads.

On the water, it takes a little more effort to push this board through waves and chop due to it’s size. It’s very stable and easy to stand on even for larger paddlers.

The Nixy G4 paddle boards come with a heavy duty roller backpack covered with MOLLE loops and D-Rings. The bag is just as ready for adventure as the board. The included carbon paddle feels stiff and efficient. They include one of the better performing large double barrel hand pumps as well.

Review

See our review of the Nixy Monterey to learn more.

Nixy Monterey G4 review
What we liked
  • Very stiff rigid lightweight construction
  • Big stable fast board that handles well on the water
  • Lots of accessory mounts and D-Rings
  • Lots of load carrying capacity
  • Overall high quality feel to board and accessories
What we didn’t like
  • Board is difficult to get back in the bag with the pump
  • Not as fast as a narrower touring board
  • It takes some effort to paddle it into wind and chop due to it’s size

5 – Bluefin SUP 14′ Sprint Carbon

Bluefin Carbon Sprint Product Image

Specifications

  • Size – 14′ x 30″ x 6″ thick
  • Weight Capacity – 419 lbs
  • Board Weight – 35 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer PVC with carbon rails
  • D-Rings – 18
  • Paddle – 3 piece carbon
  • Pump – double chamber triple action

Ratings

Speed

Stability

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Summary

The Bluefin SUP 14′ Carbon Sprint is a mid priced board with many advanced features. It has dual air chambers for extra rigidity and safety factor. It uses carbon fiber fabric in the rails for extra stiffness and durability.

Bluefin is a newcomer to the US market but has been around a while in the UK. They make some of the stiffest paddleboards available at any price. They use a high density dropstich combined with 2 layer PVC to achieve high stiffness. Their boards tend to be on the heavier side because of this.

The board has some nose rocker so it will handle chop well. It uses a 3 fin arrangement for easy handling and tracking. This board won’t be as fast as the Starboard Touring board on flat water but will handle chop better and be more forgiving.

The board comes as a complete package with a roller backpack, triple action hand pump, and carbon paddle. Everything you need to hit the water without anything immediately needing an upgrade.

What we liked
  • Very stiff board
  • Good glide and tracking while still forging for newer paddlers
  • Complete packing including pump and carbon paddle
What we didn’t like
  • Board is as heavy as a hard board
  • Triple fins are slower than single fins on touring boards

6 – Red Paddle Co 12’6″ x 32″ Voyager

Red Voyager Product Image

Specifications

  • Size – 12′ 6″ x 32″ x 5.9″ thick
  • Weight Capacity – 330 lbs
  • Board Weight – 28 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer MSL PVC laminate
  • D-Rings – 13
  • Paddle – None included
  • Pump – Dual Chamber, 2 Stage

Ratings

Speed

Stability

Summary

The Red Paddle Co 12’6″ x 32″ Voyager is designed for efficiently carrying loads for long distances. It has a rounded nose with V-Hull to better handle chop and waves. The Red 12’6″ Sport is designed just for speed. The Voyager is a more all around design shape.

The V-Hull breaks the surface tension of the water. This makes the board have less drag going through the water. It gives it more stability in chop and waves. The downside is that it has a little less static stability than a flat hull board.

The board has 2 fins for tracking. Tracking seems just as good as a single deep fin or 3 fin arrangement.

The board is made with Red’s MSL construction with RSS battens making it stiff and light.
The board comes with an excellent roller backpack and double chamber, double action pump. It does not include a paddle or leash.

This is a great board for those who want to carry a lot of gear for long trips. It’s also great for those who want a fast touring board that handles waves and chop okay.

What we liked
  • Very stiff board with great on the water performance
  • V-Hull for faster glide and better tracking
  • Lots of D-Rings and flat bungees for storage
What we didn’t like
  • High price
  • RSL Batton system gives great performance but makes inflation more complicated

7 – Starboard Inflatable 14′ x 30″ Touring Deluxe DC

Starboard Touring Deluxe DC Product Image

Specifications

  • Size – 14′ x 30″ x 6″ thick
  • Weight Capacity – 265 lbs
  • Board Weight – 28.6 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer DDC Woven Fusion
  • D-Rings – 11
  • Paddle – None included
  • Pump – Double Action

Ratings

Speed

Stability

Summary

The Starboard 14′ Touring Deluxe DC is the ultimate in flat water speed. The narrow board with pointed nose and minimum rocker is a rocket in flat glassy water. The Dual chamber DDC Fusion construction makes it very stiff. The second air chamber gives some safety factor if one air chamber leaks out in open water.

Starboard uses welded seams along with their propriety woven fusion construction. The board will last longer because there are no glue seams to degrade over time. The seams are just as strong as the rest of the board.

The board comes with a nice roller backpack and dual action pump. No paddle or leash is included.

The board is very fast in flat water. The flat sharp nose cuts through water. The board doesn’t ride over waves and chop well. If you want flat water speed, this is the right board. If you want to paddle somewhere with a lot of waves and chop, this isn’t the best choice.

What we liked
  • High speed performance in flat water
  • Very rigid board for an inflatable
  • High quality durable construction
What we didn’t like
  • Very high cost
  • Shape doesn’t work as well in chop or waves

8 – Freein Touring 12’6″ Paddleboard

Freein touring product image

Specifications

  • Size – 12′ 6″ x 32″ x 6″ thick
  • Weight Capacity – 385 lbs
  • Board Weight – 24.5 lbs
  • Construction – 2 layer PVC
  • D-Rings – 15
  • Paddle – 3 piece adjustable fiberglass paddle
  • Pump – Dual Chamber, 3 Stage

Ratings

Speed

Stability

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Summary

The Freein Touring 12’6″ paddleboard is a solid low cost touring board. Freein makes boards with solid double layer construction that perform well on the water. They aren’t fancy with a lot of handles and mounts. They give you a good fiberglass paddle and one the faster double barrel hand pumps I’ve ever used. They have made a pretty good package for the price with more focus on performance than extras.

The Touring is a wider touring board at 32″. It will be good for a step up from an all around board. It’s not as aggressive or fast as the 30″ wide touring boards. It’s an overall good performer on the water that will get you places faster than a 10’6″ all around.

The Freein board is a good value for someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot but wants a good performing board with a good paddle.

What we liked
  • Double layer board with decent stiffness
  • Faster than an all around board without being too difficult to stand on
  • Included fiberglass paddle and double barrel hand pump
What we didn’t like
  • The board doesn’t have many D-Rings or accessory mounts
  • The backpack is challenging to load and zip close

9 – BOTE HD Aero 11′6″

BOTE HD Aero Product Image

Specifications

  • Size – 11’6″ x 34″ x 6″ thick
  • Weight Capacity – 315 lbs
  • Board Weight – 30 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer PVC
  • D-Rings – 15
  • Paddle – 3 piece composite
  • Pump – Double action

Ratings

Speed

Stability

Summary

The BOTE HD Aero 11’6″ is more of a stretched out all around board than a true touring board. It’s length gives it better speed and glide than a 10′ or 10’6″ all around board. The HD Aero is designed not only to get you there but to help you do everything once you are there. It has a wide range of mounts and available accessories for almost every activity. It is a very versatile board.

It is 11’6″ long by 34″ wide with a standard 3 fin arrangement. This makes it a very stable board suitable for first time paddlers. It has enough nose rocker to be good in chop and waves. The extra width means you’ll need to use more effort to push it into waves.

The BOTE board is built with 2 layer PVC for durability and stiffness. The boards use heavy materials and feel solid compared to cheaper boards.

It comes as a complete package with a double action pump, composite paddle, and padded bag. Most boards over $1000 come with dual chamber pumps, carbon paddles, and roller backpacks.

What we liked
  • Very versatile board with plenty of D-Rings and mounts
  • Many available accessories to customize the board for any activity
  • Good handling easy to paddle board with good glide
What we didn’t like
  • The board isn’t as fast as a true touring design
  • The accessories aren’t as good as other boards at this price range

10 – ISLE Explorer 11’6″ x 30″

Specifications

  • Size – 11’6″ x 32″ x 6″ thick
  • Weight Capacity – 300 lbs
  • Board Weight – 24 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer PVC
  • D-Rings – 17
  • Paddle – 3 piece carbon
  • Pump – Double action

Ratings

Speed

Stability

Summary

The Isle Explorer is either a slower touring paddleboard or a faster all around board. It is 11’6″ long with a more pointed nose and narrow tail than most all around boards. At 32″ wide and 11’6″ it is a little shorter and wider than most touring boards. It is a good all purpose board that can be used for many activities. It has better speed and glide than an all around board.

Isle Surf and SUP is a California based company. They use a double layer PVC construction that produces light and stiff boards with good quality. They are more flexible than the higher end boards from Bluefin, Starboard, and Red. Their accessory package includes a double action pump and carbon shaft paddle.

The board has plenty of D-Rings for mounting accessories such as a seat or fishing rods. It is stable enough for new paddlers. It has enough nose rocker for waves and chop. It won’t be as fast as a touring board. It will get you where you’re going much quicker than a shorter, fate fat all around board.

What we liked
  • Better glide and tracking than a true all arond board
  • Pointed nose cuts through water better than rounded all around nose
  • Includes carbon paddle and complete accessories
What we didn’t like
  • Not as fast as a longer narrower touring board
  • Board has some flex feel when standing on it especially with heavier paddlers

two touring sups on lake

Inflatable Touring Paddle board Guide – What to look for

A Touring paddle board is different from all around inflatable paddleboard. The shape, width, and fin configuration all make a lot more difference here. There are faster more advanced boards and more beginner friendly touring boards. Let’s take a look at the most important factors to consider when trying to find the best touring paddle board.

Board Shape

The shape of the board is really what makes a touring board. Touring boards are longer and tend to be 11.5 feet to 14feet long or longer. A touring stand up paddleboard has a more pointed nose with a narrow squared off tail. These are all things that make the board faster.

There are 2 primary board shapes. Planing hulls and displacement hulls.

  • Planing hull – These have a rounded nose that has rocker (curves up). These boards tend to ride over waves and chop. Most all around boards are planing hulls. A few touring boards are this type as well or more of a mix.
  • Displacement hull – These have a pointed nose that cuts through the water. They have a longer waterline because the nose is in the water. They have very little nose rocker. This board shape works great on flat smooth water where the nose can split the water reducing drag. They don’t work as well once there is some chop and waves because they have to push through the waves. They won’t rise over anything.

Displacement hulls are faster on flat water. Planing hulls work better on choppy and wavy water.

See this article on Board Shapes from Isle Surf and SUP to learn more.

Board Length

A longer board will glide better and track better. The longer the board the better for speed and efficiency. A longer board will also be harder to turn. Most touring paddle boards tend to fall between 12′ to 14′ with some a little shorter or a little longer.

Board Width

A wider paddleboard is more stable. A narrower paddleboard has less drag and goes faster. They are easier to push through waves and chop than a wide board. Most inflatable touring paddleboards fall between 30″ to 32″ in width. This seems to be the sweet spot for stability and speed. There are some more racing oriented boards with 27-28″ width. Do not choose one unless you are a very advanced paddle boarder. A 28″ board is much more difficult to stand up on than a 30-32″ board.

If you want to get into SUP racing, a fast touring board can be a good place to start to learn the needed skills.

This narrow board shape makes touring boards less suitable for activities like SUP Yoga where static stability is more important.

Board Stiffness

If you are looking for a touring paddle board, then you are looking for a faster board. Stiffness is one of the most important factors for board speed. A soft board will flex and bend on every wave and not move through the water as well as a stiff board.

We set up a test to measure board stiffness. To do this we set the board up on 2 stands 8 feet apart. We loaded the board up with 120 lbs of weight and measured how much the board deflected under load.

Board NameConstructionPressure (psi)Deflection (inches)
DAMA 11′ x 33″1 Ply PVC15.0 psi3.0 inches
Chasing Blue Orion 12’6″ x 32″2 Ply PVC14.5 psi1.6 inches
Blackfin BoardWoven15.0 psi1.0 inches
Red 10’6″ x 30″ Sport with RSSMSL20.0 psi1.2 inches
deflection test setup annotated

Board Construction

Inflatable touring paddleboards tend to be long and skinny. This is more challenging for an inflatable structure. You will find very few under $500 cheap Amazon boards that are over 11’6″ length because of this. A single layer PVC touring board would be like paddling a wet noodle. That is why you don’t see one from popular Amazon brands such as ROC Inflatable or Funwater.

At a minimum you need a double layer PVC board to get any performance out of it at all. If you want an inflatable touring board that closely matches the performance of a hard board then you need something more.

There are a few things that can be done to create stiffer inflatable boards. Using 3 layer material and rail reinforcements will help. This is what the Blackfin boards use and the non carbon Bluefin boards.

Dual chamber boards add a second air chamber in the middle of the board. This creates an additional set of I-Beams inside the board adding a lot of stiffness. It can make the board as much as 50% stiffer. Starboard Dull Chamber and Bluefin Carbon boards use this method to make stiffer boards.

Battens can be added to the board to make it stiffer. Plastic battens or rods are inserted into the board before inflating it. These stiffen up the rails making the board up to 50% stiffer. Red Paddle Co uses this with their RSS batten system.

All these methods of making the board stiffer all cost more. They are worth it for touring boards where stiffness is much more critical than with shorter all around boards.

Fins

Almost every all around board has a standard 3 fin system. 2 small side fins and 1 large center removable fin. A lot of touring boards carry over this system also. This system works fine for tracking and keeping the board going straight.

Higher performance touring boards designed for speed will have a single fin design. They will use a longer single fin instead of 3 fins. Single fins are just as good for tracking and keeping the board going straight as 3 fins. They have less drag so the board can glide farther on each stroke.

The downside to single fins is that they are deeper so there is more risk of damaging the fin or fin box in shallow water. They put more load into the fin box so generally, they need a more beefier fin box than a cheap 3 fin design.

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selfie for info block

About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an outdoors enthusiast always looking forward to my next adventure. I spend as much time skiing, biking, and paddleboarding as I can. I decided to start Endless Rush Outdoors as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for all things outdoor adventures and to help other people have as much fun as me.

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