“Endless Rush Outdoors is reader supported. We may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase through links from this site.”

The 7 Best Inflatable Touring SUPs Of 2023 Gear 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 are our top pics. We considered price, options, on water performance, and customer reviews in our selections of the best inflatable touring SUPs. Keep reading reviews, specifications, and stand up paddleboard guide.



1 – SIC Maui 12’6″ x 31″ Okeanos Air Glide

☆ TOP PICK
SIC Maui Okeanos Air Product Image

What we liked:

  • Great speed and stability
  • 3 removable fins giving you lots of fin options
  • Beautiful board styling and graphics. Just the right amount of flare
  • Lightweight and stiff construction
  • Enough bungees and deck space for storing gear

What we didn’t like:

  • No paddle included
  • No nose or tail handle on the board

Summary

The Sic Maui 12’6″ x 31″Okeanos Air is the inflatable version of their popular Okeanos touring board. It was one of the first touring boards to have a long straight shape with fuller nose and tail. This gives it more stability while also giving superior tracking. The Okeanos is available in 3 sizes depending on what performance you are looking for.

The Okeanos air uses Sick Maui FST construction which utilizes the stiffest possible outer skin. This makes a very light stiff board. It also uses the latest reinforced rails and can be inflated up to 20 psi for extra stiffness.

Accessories

The Sic Maui Okeanos comes with some basic accessories. These include a roller bag and 8 foot leash. The bag is well made without many pockets or extras to keep the weight down. The pump is a basic double action single chamber pump. It gets the job done. They do not include a paddle.

On the water

The wide nose of the board and straight middle section make for a very stable board that goes where you point it. The 31 inch width 12’6″ version is a board any beginner could handle and feel confident on. The nose has enough rocker to handle chop and waves without digging in. This board handles flat water and choppy water equally well. The 3 removable fins let you fine tune the handling of the board if you want more or less tracking.

Specifications

  • Size – 12′ 6″ x 31″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 265 lbs
  • Board Weight – 26.8 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer PVC with Fusion Skin Technology
  • Paddle – Not included
  • Pump – Double Action, Single Chamber Hand Pump

2 – Red Paddle Co. 12’6″ Sport Inflatable SUP

☆ TOP PICK
Red Paddle Co Sport 126 Product Image

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
  • Good roller bag with heavy duty materials and good strap design

What we didn’t like:

  • High cost
  • Not as stable as wider boards
  • No paddle included

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 board has a clean deck design with only 1 flat profile bungee and very few D-Rings. There is only a single fun underneath. It uses Red Paddle Co MSL construction with RSS stiffening battens. It’s clear this board is meant to go places and not meant to carry gear or a ton of accessories.

Accessories

The Red Paddle Co bag is one of the best available. It uses premium materials and has flaps built in to hide the backpack straps when rolling the bag. They include the large Titan 2 Hand Pump with this board. It helps inflate the board to higher PSI faster. It can’t deflate which is a miss. No paddle or leash are included

On the water

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. The board uses a single 9 inch fin for good tracking and low drag. There are no extra side bite fins to slow it down. It has Red Paddle Co Speed Tail molding around the tail to help reduce drag even more.

Paddling Red sport

Specifications

  • Size – 12′ 6″ x 30″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 265 lbs
  • Board Weight – 26 lbs
  • Construction – MSL with RSS Battens
  • Paddle – Not included
  • Pump – Double Action, Double Chamber Hand Pump

3 – THURSO SURF Expedition 150 Touring

☆ Best Value
Thurso Expedition 150 product image

What we liked:

  • Very stiff carbon reinforced woven construction
  • Stylish wood grain deck appearance
  • No unnecesary side bite fins or mounts to add extra drag
  • High quality accessories including carbon paddle and triple action pump
  • Built in paddle holders on both sides of the board
  • Kick step built into the rear deck pad

What we didn’t like:

  • No action mounts built into board for mounting accessories
  • Very low max weight capacity

Summary

The THURSO SURF Expedition 150 is a fast paddleboard with good styling that built to go the distance. It doesn’t have as many mounts and extras as some other boards. THURSO put the attention where it matters to make a faster board. They used woven construction with carbon rails for stiffness. It has a kick step built into the rear of the deck pad to make kick turns easier. It has 2 bungees for storing gear. The deck isn’t cluttered with a lot of action mounts and scotty mounts. It only has a single fin with a US fin box. No unnecessary side bite fins to add drag.

Accessories

THURSO provides premium accessories to go with their boards. The carbon paddle is one of the nicer package paddles we have seen with some dihedral in the blade shape. The backpack is made of heavy feeling materials with wheels and plenty of pockets. You get a double barrel triple action pump for faster hand pumping.

On water performance

The Expedition 150 is a medium width touring board. It is not as hard to balance on as a 28-30inch width board. It’s not as stable as a 32 inch width board with a wider tail. The board only has a single fin which we prefer for touring boards. The nose only has a little rocker which will be faster on flat water. It will not go through chop as well as a board with more nose rocker. This board will be happiest in flat water with minimal waves and chop.

Specifications

  • Size – 12’6″ x 31″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 210 lbs
  • Board Weight – 26 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer Woven w/Carbon Rails
  • Paddle – 3 Piece Carbon
  • Pump – Triple Action, Double Barrel Hand Pump

4 – NIXY Manhatten Plus G4

NIXY Manhatten plus product image

What we liked:

  • Very fast board with excellent tracking
  • New wider Manhatten is more friendly for intermediate paddlers
  • Stiff woven carbon reinforced construction
  • Overall high quality feel to board and accessories
  • No side bite fins to slow the board down
  • Excellent roller bag with lots of pockets and attachment points
  • Light and stiff carbon paddle
  • Kick step at rear of deck pad to help with kick turns

What we didn’t like:

  • Board is difficult to get back in the bag with the pump
  • Not suitable for beginner first time paddle boarders

Summary

The NIXY Manhattan Plus G4 is an intermediate fast board that rewards it’s paddlers with straight line tracking and lots of glide. The Manhattan Plus was widened from the original Manhatten making it more accessible to paddlers of any skill level. It has a clean deck with kick step in the back. It 30 inches wide making giving it enough stability while still being verry fast. It is not a beginner SUP but it is not as hard to handle as the original Manhatten. It uses double layer woven PVC with carbon rail reinforcements making it a very stiff board.

Accessories

The NIXY G4 accessory package is one of the best available from any inflatable SUP brand. The carbon hybrid paddle is stiff and light. The triple action pump has good ratios and can inflate and deflate. The roller backpack has 3 wheels, a ton of mounting points and lots of pockets.

On the water

The Manhattan is the kind of board that is meant to be pushed and will reward its paddlers with lots of speed for the effort. At 30 inches wide it is stable enough for intermediate paddlers who have spent some time on a wider all around board. It’s a good step up before trying out a true racing SUP. The board tracks really well thanks to its shape and very pointed nose and tail.

Specifications

  • Size – 12’6″ x 30″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 350 lbs
  • Board Weight – 23 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer Woven PVC & Carbon Rails
  • Paddle – 3 Piece Carbon
  • Pump – Triple Action, Double Barrel

5 – Red Paddle Co 12’6″ x 32″ Voyager

Red Voyager Product Image

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
  • Fast Titan 2 hand pump
  • MSL construction with stiffening battens
  • Wide enough to be stable for novice paddlers

What we didn’t like:

  • High price
  • RSL Batton system gives great performance but makes inflation more complicated
  • No paddle or leash included

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. It has a small fin at the nose to help with tracking and slicing through the water. The Red 12’6″ Sport is designed just for speed. The Voyager is designed to carry weight and move with efficiency. The board is made with Red’s MSL construction with RSS battens making it stiff and light. It has plenty of D-Rings for accessories and seats.

Accessories

The board comes with an excellent roller backpack and double chamber, double action pump. The Titan 2 hand pump is one of the best hand pumps for inflating boards to 20 psi. The travel bag has some great features like flaps to hide the backpack straps. It does not include a paddle or leash.

On the water

The V-Hull and nose fin break 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. This was necessary because of the V-Hull shape. 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.

Specifications

  • Size – 12′ 6″ x 32″ x 5.9″
  • Weight Capacity – 330 lbs
  • Board Weight – 28 lbs
  • Construction – MSL with RSS battens
  • Paddle – Not included
  • Pump – Double Action Double Barrel Hand Pump

6 – Bluefin SUP 14′ Sprint Carbon

Bluefin Carbon Sprint Product Image

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. It feels like you have a lot of weight to paddle under your feet
  • The weight makes the board awkward to carry both in the bag and inflated.

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 boards are known for being among the stiffest inflatable boards made. 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.

Accessories

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. Everything is what you would expect to find at a board of this price.

On the water

The board has some nose rocker so it will handle chop well. It uses a 3 fin arrangement for easy handling and tracking. Most of the time you will want to use just the center fin. This board won’t be as fast as the Starboard Touring board on flat water but will handle chop better and be more forgiving. You will notice the weight of the board under your feet while paddling. It does feel like there is a lot down there to get moving.

Specifications

  • Size – 14′ x 30″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 418 lbs
  • Board Weight – 35 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer PVC with carbon rails
  • Paddle – 3 Piece Carbon
  • Pump – Triple Action Double Barrel Hand Pump

7 – GILI MENO TOURING 12’6″

GILI Meno Touring product image

What we liked:

  • Very fast and stable board
  • Gili supports ocean charities with the purchase of every board
  • Good for beginners and advanced paddlers
  • High weight capacity
  • Kickpad at the rear of the board
  • High quality accessories including carbon paddle and roller bag
  • Roller bag has lots of pockets and molle loops
  • Has lots of D-Rings and action mounts
  • Includes 3 fins for use in different conditions

What we didn’t like:

  • The D-Rings are a bit small making it hard to use the removeable bungee feature
  • The hand pump can’t deflate
  • Only one side of the bag has a handle

Summary

The GILI MENO Touring 12’6″ inflatable SUP is designed to be as fast and stable as possible. It is a quick board that also is stable enough for heavier paddlers and beginners. The 31 inch width means it will still be quick.

The board uses similar construction as the other GILI MENO boards. It uses 2 layer PVC with carbon reinforced rails to make a stiff board that is still light. The board uses a single fin which is preferred for touring boards. They include 3 fins so you can adjust performance for where you are using the board.

GILI makes a donation to charities that help clean the ocean and support marine life for every board they sell.

Accessories

The MENO Touring includes good accessories for it’s price. They include a 3 piece carbon paddle with nylon blade. The paddle feels stiff and solid.

The roller backpack has molle loops on the side for storage and pockets to keep the fins and other accessories. One complaint about the bag is that it doesn’t have handles on both sides. Bags with 2 side handles are a lot easier to carry up and down steps to your basement.

A triple action double barrel pump is included. It works well for inflating the board. One miss is that the pump can’t deflate. Being able to suck the last bit of air out makes these large boards a lot easier to fit into their bags.

On the water

The MENO TOURING excels at it’s goal of being fast and stable. The board has excellent glide. It’s light enough to not feel too heavy when trying to accelerate or push it into chop or wind.

The single fin design provides good tracking. The accessory river fin and racing fin allow you to tune the performance. You are set if you want to use the board in shallow water or just want to go fast.

The board feels very stable and most beginners can handle it once they have spent an hour on a shorter board. The length does make it slower to turn and not as responsive as a shorter board. The kickpad is a nice feature making quick turns easier.

Specifications

  • Size – 12′ 6″ x 31″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 300 lbs
  • Board Weight – 24 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer PVC with carbon rails
  • Paddle – 3 piece carbon
  • Pump – Triple Action, Double Chamber Hand Pump

A portion of every GILI Paddleboard goes to charities that support ocean reefs and endangered sea animals


Touring SUP Group picture

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.

SUP Board Board Size Construction Deflection (inches)
Nice C (15 psi) 10'6" x 32" x 6" 1 Ply PVC 2.6
DAMA (15 psi) 11' x 33" x 6" 1 Ply PVC 3.0
Coolwave (15 psi) 10'6" x 32" x 6" 1 Ply PVC 3.3
iRocker Nautical (15 psi) 10'6" x 32" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 2.8
Chasing Blue Orion (14.5 psi) 12'6" x 32" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 1.6
Chasing Blue Infinite (14.5 psi) 10'6" x 34" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 1.4
Freein Overall 11 (15 psi) 11'' x 33" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 1.4
iRocker All Around 11 (15 psi) 11' x 32" x 6" 3 Ply PVC 1.3
iRocker All Around 11 Ultra (15 psi) 11' x 32" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.1
iRocker Cruiser Ultra (15 psi) 10'6" x 33" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.1
Blackfin Ultra CX (15 psi) 10'6" x 32.5" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.0
Blackfin Model V (15 psi) 12'6" x 32" x 6" 3 Ply PVC 1.1
Nixy Newport G4 (15 psi) 10'6" x 33" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.1
Nixy Monterey G4 (15 psi) 11'6" x 34" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.0
Red 12'6" Sport w/RSS (20 psi) 12'6" x 30" x 5.9" MSL with Battens 1.2
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.

You might also like:

Paddling Writer 1

Steve Reed
Staff Writer | Paddling

Steve spent his time growing up in South Carolina doing as much as possible on the water. Steve is an avid paddler, kayaker, and sailor. He loves stand up paddleboarding and exploring lakes and rivers of the midwest and traveling to take in more spots. He is a competitive sailor and has competed in sailing at the collegiate level as well as 7 Mackinac Island races. Steve also loves to ski in the winter although he would ski winter and stay on the water all summer if he could.

steve@endlessrushoutdoors.com