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July 07, 2022 13 min read

Flatwater SUPs

Woman wearing a life jacket paddle boarding on a lake

Flatwater SUPs are designed to glide smoothly over calm lakes, slow-flowing rivers, and lagoons. Not only are they fantastic for leisurely paddling, but they also make great platforms to practice a range of paddle boarding activities like SUP yoga and fishing.

When purchasing a paddle board for flatwater paddling, there are a few things you need to look out for. As you’ll mainly be using it to paddle along and enjoy the views, an ideal board will have a wide deck with a rounded nose. This deck shape is called a planing hull, and SUPs with planing hulls are the best lake and flatwater paddle boards. 

For more details about hull shapes, we’ve covered them over in our article How to Choose a Stand Up Paddle Board

If you’re wondering what is the best paddle board for flatwater and lake paddling, then keep on reading. We’re going to review six incredible paddle boards that would be suitable for your next flatwater paddle. 

GILI Meno 10’6” Inflatable SUP

GILI meno inflatable stand up paddle board for flatwater

Dimensions Weight Weight Capacity Check Price

10’6” x 35” x 6”

23 lbs

450 lbs

Check Price

Overview

The GILI Meno 10’6” Inflatable Paddle Board makes it to the top of our list for a few reasons. The Meno is designed perfectly for flatwater and recreational paddling with a 35” wide deck and 6” of volume that provides a sturdy platform, even for the most inexperienced paddlers.

GILI’s Meno Inflatable Board has an action mount at the nose and removable front and back bungees. 18 D-rings are conveniently placed over the deck so you can attach additional gear or even transform your SUP into a kayak with a handy kayak conversion kit.

The Meno 10’6” features carbon fiber rails that improve the board’s overall performance and also helps the board remain stable. GILI made the Meno out of Dual-Layer Fusion laminated PVC material and drop-stitch construction to give the board military-grade durability when out on the water.

An extra-large brushed EVA traction pad covers 2/3rds of the board to give you an extra layer of comfort and improved grip while standing. GILI also included carry handles in the center, nose, and tail to make the board’s transportation even easier.

GILI’s Meno 10’6” is available in blue/white, white, teal/white, and sand/white

Board Package

The Meno 10’6” inflatable board comes with the complete package to get you out paddle boarding on the water in no time. 

The package includes GILI’s rolling backpack, designed to be worn on your back or wheeled along behind you. 

The backpack has padded shoulder and waist straps, as well as four pockets down the front and back of the bag of extra gear and accessories. Carry handles also feature on the top and on the side of the bag to increase the transportation options further.

At checkout, you’ll have the option of choosing which paddle you’d like to come with the board. GILI gives you the option of a carbon fiber paddle with a nylon blade or a carbon fiber paddle with a carbon blade. Both paddles are adjustable, and prices vary between the two. 

Also included in the package is a Dual Chamber 3-stage iSUP pump, five fins, an 8’ coil leash, and a repair kit. 

Board Specifications and Features

  • Available in blue/white, teal/white, sand/white, and white
  • Stable all-around board
  • Extra-large EVA traction pad 
  • Removable bungees at the nose and tail
  • Built-in paddle holder
  • Carbon fiber rail for increased rigidity and stability 
  • Made from Dual Layer Fusion Laminated PVC material
  • 450 lbs weight capacity

Pros and Cons

 PROS CONS
  • The board has a high weight capacity that is perfect for any additional gear or passengers
  • The wide, stable deck makes it a perfect beginner paddle board
  • Carbon rails along the sides of the board provide a more stable platform
  • The SUP is made from military-grade PVC materials
  • It features numerous D-rings so you can attach additional accessories
  • GILI supplies a complete package with the board to get you out on the water in an instant
  • The board’s extra-large EVA traction pad will provide the rider with more grip and comfort
  • We’d like to see it in a pink or more feminine color

GILI Air 10’6” Inflatable SUP

GILI air inflatable stand up paddle board for flatwater

Dimensions Weight Weight Capacity Check Price

10’6” x 31” x 6”

19 lbs

280 lbs

Check Price

Overview

The GILI Air 10’6” is also a fantastic flat water stand up paddle board due to its versatility. Suitable for beginners and experienced paddlers, the Air 10’6” is a stable yet speedy inflatable paddle board. 

GILI has also produced an 11’6” version of the Air, which features a pointed nose. This streamlined design allows the board to cut through the water like a touring board, so it is perfect for more experienced paddlers who want to build up speed. 

The 10’6” has a rounded nose with a six-point bungee system so you can store your belongings or paddling accessories within an arm’s reach. The tail end of the board also features a four-point removable bungee system as well as an extra-large traction pad and diamond tail pad for additional grip. 

Front, rear, and center grab handles make it easy to carry the Air to and from the water, and 9 available D-rings give you the opportunity to transform your SUP into a kayak with an additional kayak seat.

Like the GILI Meno board mentioned above, the GILI Air 10’6” is made from military strength PVC material for optimal durability. Available in six incredible colors, the Air is a board that everyone will love. 

Board Package

The GILI Air 10’6” comes with GILI’s storage backpack. The backpack has cushioned shoulder, and waist straps, three spacious pockets down the front, two mesh pockets on the sides, and two carry handles along the top and side of the bag. 

When purchasing, you’ll have the choice of an aluminum or fiberglass paddle; as the fiberglass paddle is made of more premium materials, the price is slightly higher than the aluminum paddle. 

Along with the bag and paddle comes a 2-stage high-pressure pump, 8’ coil leash, and a set of three fins.

Board Specifications and Features

  • Available in teal, blue, green, coral, camo, and orange
  • Speedy yet stable
  • Extra-large EVA traction pad
  • Removable bungees at the nose and tail
  • Made from military-grade strength PVC material
  • 280 lbs weight capacity

Pros and Cons

 PROS CONS
  • The board comes in a range of colors suited to all tastes
  • It is suitable for beginners and experienced paddlers
  • Included with the board is everything you’d need to get out paddling
  • The carry handles make transporting the board easy
  • You get a choice of a premium or budget paddle
  • GILI also designed the Air in an 11’6” board length that is more of a touring paddle board
  • It could have a 6-point rear bungees

Isle Pioneer Inflatable SUP

Isle pioneer inflatable stand up paddle board

Dimensions Weight Weight Capacity Check Price

10’6” x 34” x 6”

24 lbs

285 lbs

Check Price

Overview

The Isle Pioneer is a fantastic all-around board that can be used for flat water or ocean paddling. 

Thanks to the board’s wide deck and 6” volume, paddlers up to 285 lbs can comfortably paddle and remain stable on their boards in various water conditions.

You can practice SUP fishing, SUP yoga, or other SUP sports from the deck, or you could even take along a furry friend or passenger.

Front and back bungees systems give you room for additional gear, and handles at the nose and tail of the board make transportation a breeze. Isle also included a convenient paddle holder to store your paddle when it’s not in use. 

The board itself is made from military-grade PVC that can withstand serious abuse but also remains lightweight.  

Board Package

Included in the Isle Pioneer package is an 8’ coil leash to help keep your board attached to you at all times, as well as a nylon touring center fin to improve the board’s tracking. 

The board also includes a manual iSUP hand pump, a 3 piece adjustable carbon hybrid paddle, and an easy-to-carry travel backpack.

Board Specifications and Features

  • Available in blue, coral, and green
  • Pet-friendly traction pad
  • 6 point and 4 point front and back bungees
  • Built-in paddle holder
  • Made from military-grade PVC materials

Pros and Cons

 PROS CONS
  • The board comes with everything you’d need to start paddling
  • It’s a great all-around board suitable for all abilities
  • The front and back bungees provide adequate storage
  • The color options are visually appealing
  • You won’t lose your paddle thanks to the built-in paddle holder
  • The board doesn’t include action mounts

Bluefin Cruise Inflatable SUP

Bluefin cruise stand up paddle board package

Dimensions Weight Weight Capacity Check Price

10’8” x 32” x 6”

Unknown

286 lbs

Check Price

Overview

The Blue Fin Cruise 10’8 has a pointed nose to help it cut through the water at faster speeds. 

During the construction process, Blue Fin uses 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC and Pro Weave Drop Stitch to create a rigid, durable, and stable deck. A longer version of the cruise is also available for those who require extra legroom or a higher weight capacity.

D-rings are available across the board’s deck to not only attach the included kayak conversion kit but also to attach other SUPing gear that you may want onboard during your paddle. 

A convenient GoPro mount sits on the nose of the board, and a large Thermosealed crocodile deck pad improves the grip and comfort for the rider while paddling. 

Board Package

The Bluefin Cruise 10’6” comes with a great package to not only have you stand up paddle boarding in no time but also gives you everything you’d need to transform your SUP into a kayak. 

The package includes a kayak conversion kit to transform the SUP deck into a kayak and the fiberglass SUP paddle into a double-ended kayak paddle. 

Also included are a coiled leash, a center fin, a double-action pump, and a wide strapped backpack. 

Board Specifications and Features

  • Available in blue/white
  • Medium-sized traction pad
  • Made from 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC and Pro Weave Drop Stitch
  • UV resistant HQ coating
  • Heat-welded double side rails
  • Supports riders up to 286 lbs
  • D-rings all over the board for the included kayak seat and additional gear

Pros and Cons

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • The heat-welded side rails make the deck more rigid
  • The board is made from 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC and Pro Weave Drop Stitch that is UV coated and suitable for all weather conditions
  • The board features numerous D-rings for additional gear and accessories
  • The package included with the board is a great value for money
  • The color of the board may not be to everyone’s taste
  • The backpack looks cheap

iROCKER Blackfin Model X Inflatable SUP

iRocker blackfin model x

Dimensions Weight Weight Capacity Check Price

10’6” x 35” x 6”

27 lbs

450 lbs

Check Price

Overview

The iROCKER Blackfin Model X Inflatable SUP is a wide decked paddle board that can support riders up to 450 lbs making it suitable not only for flat water, but also for those that want to use their SUP for fishing purposes. 

Bungee systems at the front and back of the board are excellent cargo areas for fishing gear or belongings, eight action mounts and built-in fishing rack mounts are available for additional accessories, and twenty D-rings line the edges from tail to nose.

Although the Model X is the heaviest board on the list today, iROCKER designed the board with carrying handles at the nose and tail to make transportation of the SUP easier once it’s fully inflated. 

For increased durability, they constructed the Blackfin Model X with Triple Layer Composite PVC Construction and added carbon rails to improve the deck’s stiffness while paddling.

The Model X is available in berry pink, ice gray, summer blue, steel gray, regal blue, and mossy green.

Board Package

The Model X package includes a 10’ coiled leash, a 3-stage dual-chamber pump, a repair kit, and three flip-lock fins. 

The board also comes with an adjustable full carbon matte paddle with a nylon blade that you can adjust up to 86”, making storage and transportation easier. They also included a wheeled travel backpack. 

The backpack has adjustable cushioned straps, a large main storage area for your SUP, two mesh side pockets, and a front zipper for storing the hand pump. 

Board Specifications and Features

  • Available in berry pink, ice gray, summer blue, steel gray, regal blue, and mossy green
  • Made from Triple Layer Composite PVC Construction
  • Supports riders up to 450 lbs
  • 8 action mounts and 20 D-rings
  • Carbon rails

Pros and Cons

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • The board can hold an impressive amount of weight, making it suitable for SUP activities like fishing
  • iROCKER equipped the Model X with numerous bungees, D-rings, and action mounts for additional accessories
  • The deck of the board is wide enough to practice SUP yoga or to use as a floating dock
  • The package included has everything you’d need to get started on the water
  • There are color options for everyone’s taste
  • The Model X is the heaviest board on the list
  • It has a premium price tag

IROCKER Cruiser Inflatable SUP

iRocker cruiser inflatable stand up paddle board

Dimensions Weight Weight Capacity Check Price

10’6” x 33” x 6”

25 lbs

400 lbs

Check Price

Overview

iROCKER also has a slightly smaller inflatable paddle board compared to the Model X, and that is the Cruiser. The Cruiser’s deck is 2 inches narrower than the Model X, but this doesn’t mean the board is less stable.

The iROCKER Cruiser is a great board for beginner paddlers or for more experienced paddlers, yogis, or anglers. The deck of the Cruiser is extremely stable, and with a total weight capacity of 400 lbs, the board will be able to hold a vast amount of gear or even additional paddlers.

Along the board’s deck are 4 action mounts, 20 D-rings, front and back bungees, and carry handles on the tail and nose. 

The inflatable board is made with Triple Layer Military Grade PVC and a Drop Stitch Core to make it extremely durable. iROCKER designed the Cruiser in 7 different colors to make them really stand out on the water.

Board Package

When you purchase an iROCKER Cruiser, you’ll also receive everything you’d need to start paddle boarding. 

A 10’ leash with a key stash pot will keep your board attached to you at all times, a dual-chamber triple action hand pump will have your board inflated in minutes, and three removable fins will help improve the board’s tracking.

Most importantly, you’ll also receive a three-piece adjustable carbon matte paddle with a nylon blade and a premium roller travel bag.

The roller bag has cushioned straps, bungee straps on the front to store the hand pump, two mesh pockets on the sides, and carry handles on the top and side for easy portability.

Board Specifications and Features

  • Available in seven colors
  • Medium-sized traction pad
  • Made from Triple Layer Military Grade PVC and a Drop Stich Core
  • Supports riders up to 400 lbs
  • 4 action mounts and 20 D-rings
  • Front and rear carry handles

Pros and Cons

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • The board has a high weight capacity suitable for tandem paddling, SUP fishing, or other SUP sports.
  • iROCKER created the Cruiser in 7 stand out colors
  • You’ll receive everything you’d need to start paddling when you purchase the board
  • Carry handles make it easy to transport the board
  • It has a premium price tag

How to Choose the Right Paddle Board for a Lake

Woman paddle boarding on a lake in the middle of a rocky mountain

Choosing the right SUP for lake paddling can come down to a few important factors. When purchasing a paddle board for recreational uses, you need to consider its stability, versatility, value, and the package that comes provided. 

Stability

Paddling on a lake means the water is going to be flat. Even in the case of strong winds, there still won’t be much movement in the water. 

Lakes with motorized watercrafts present, however, could result in large ripples in the water, so how stable you need your board to be will ultimately come down to the specific lake you’re paddling in.

With that being said, for recreational purposes, a board with a wider deck, thicker volume, and reasonable length is preferred. The larger volume and wider deck will provide more stability than that of a board with a smaller volume and thinner deck. 

Versatility

Some paddle boards are made for touring and racing purposes. These boards have long, thin decks that make them streamline in the water. As they’re built for speed, they aren’t the most versatile type of board as you can only use them for one specific thing. 

On the other hand, if you want to use your paddle board for leisurely paddling, fishing, yoga, or other activities, you’ll want a board that has a wider surface area to accommodate your needs.

For example, if you want to go SUP lake fishing, you’ll want a paddle board with a high weight capacity, wide deck, and long length to make room for all your gear. All-round paddle boards are the most versatile as they can be used for a range of activities and are especially great for beginner paddlers. 

Package

When purchasing a paddle board of any sort, it is essential to pay close attention to the package it comes with. The price of the SUP may seem great, but if it doesn’t include everything you’ll need to get out on the water, then you’ll be met with additional expenses after purchasing the initial SUP. 

Preferably, you’d want to package to include the paddle board itself, a paddle, a pump (if it’s inflatable,) a carry bag, fins, and potentially a leash. 

Budget

Paddle boards are available in a range of different price tags, from budget paddle boards starting at a couple of hundred dollars, to premium boards edging into the thousands. 

The amount you want to spend on a paddle board will come down to how much you’re going to board and how much money you can comfortably afford to pay. 

If you are only out on your SUP a few times every summer, a premium price tag may not be worthwhile. However, if you’re an avid paddler and your SUP will be used every day throughout the warmer months, spending more money would make more sense. 

Saving up for a few extra months to purchase the perfect paddle board for you is better than spending the money you have on a SUP that doesn’t meet all your criteria just because it is less expensive. 

FAQ’S

🏆 Can you use a paddle board on a lake?

As long as the lake permits paddle board usage, of course! Paddle boards are extremely versatile, and you can use them on all different types of waterways.


👍 What is the most stable paddle board?

The most stable paddle board will have a wide deck, thick volume, high weight capacity, and a reasonable length. 

When a SUP is long and wide, it increases the board’s surface area, thus making it more stable. The added volume also keeps the board buoyant on the water and prevents the SUP from sinking when weight is added. 

The GILI Meno 10’6” Inflatable SUP is a fantastic stable board thanks to its 6” volume, 35” deck width, and 450 lbs weight capacity. 


🏝️ What are the best paddle boards to buy?

In our opinion, the best paddle board to buy would be an all-around SUP like the GILI Meno 10’6” Inflatable SUP. Boards like this are extremely versatile, and you can use them for a range of different activities. 

Whether you like SUP fishing, SUP yoga, recreational paddling, or just using it as an inflatable dock in the summertime, an all-around SUP is guaranteed to meet your needs. 


❓ What Is a flatwater SUP?

Flatwater SUPs are paddle boards designed with stability in mind. As many people start out paddling on flat water, the extra stability that a flatwater SUP provides helps them build confidence and learn the ropes of paddling.

Megan Bryant
Megan Bryant


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