The 6 Best Inflatable Paddle Boards in Canada in 2024

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With the increase in popularity of outdoor water sports in Canada, inflatable paddle boards can now be seen on most bodies of water. If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you witnessed some paddleboarders out on the water and felt the need to look into acquiring your own. 

Not only are inflatable paddle boards easy to use, but they’re also much more affordable and convenient to own than a hard paddle board. This is especially true if you live in an apartment or small condo.

Since they’re inflatable, they can simply be deflated and tucked away when not in use. And when paddle board season comes around, you’ll have an easier time transporting your paddle board to the waterfront for a paddling session. 

Our Top Picks:

Inflatable paddle boards can vary significantly in price and quality, so it’s important to choose your board wisely. To make it easier for you, we’ve reviewed the top inflatable paddle boards you can buy in Canada this year. Here they are:

Serene Life Inflatable Paddle Board

Serenelife’s Inflatable Paddle Board is stable to use and highly durable, making it a great beginner paddle board. At almost 10’6″ in length and 32″ in width, the board is large enough to keep you effortlessly stable and comfortable on the board.

The Serenelife SUP has a comfortable traction pad to help with maintaining balance. Due to its large size, the board can support two small adults or two kids, provided that the total weight is less than 275 lbs. Since it’s wide, it’s also a great paddleboard for doing yoga.

Since it’s a large paddle board, it weighs about 20 lbs, making it not the most lightweight option. For that reason, inflating the board could take between 8 and 12 minutes. Buying a SUP Air Pump could help speed things up for you.

This SereneLife SUP comes with a lightweight paddle that’s designed to work against the current instead of with the current. This means you won’t have to worry about breaking your paddle when there are feisty waves.

Overall, the SereneLife paddle board is an excellent choice for beginners looking for a large, budget-friendly paddle board to get started with.

Why we like it

  • Excellent value
  • Highly buoyant and stable in most waters 
  • Has an anti-slip deck

What can be improved

  • Difficult to transport when inflated (no handles)
  • Not suitable for heavier people

Bright Blue Fusion Inflatable Paddle Board

The Bright Blue Paddle Board is a lightweight but highly durable board that is perfect for intermediate paddleboarders. At 11’6″ in length and 32″ in width, the board is a bit longer than the board above, Due to its larger size,, this board is great for cruising in calmer waters.

With a weight capacity of 325 lbs, the SUP is similar to a hard board in terms of capacity, making it perfect for bigger or heavier people or up to two adults.

The paddle board comes with all the accessories you’ll need, including a paddle, hand pump, ankle leash, repair kit, and a bag for transport. The board uses Drop Stitch technology to ensure that the board is capable of withstanding high levels of pumped air pressure.

With its pointy tip and large size, the Bright Blue SUP is best suited for intermediate to advanced paddlers.

Why we like it

  • Perfect paddle board for touring
  • Large size is great for tall and/or heavier people
  • High weight capacity of 350 lbs
  • Comes with 1-year warranty 

What can be improved

  • Takes about 15 minutes to inflate
  • Weighs 24 lbs (but justified by large size)

Goplus Large Inflatable Paddle Board

The Goplus is an excellent inflatable paddle board for paddling in flatwater. It’s stable and features durable upper foam and a non-slip grip pad. The board is available in 3 sizes, making it adaptable to all skill levels and body types. We recommend the 11-foot Goplus board for taller people and the 9-foot model for board anyone shorter.

Instead of 1 fin, the Goplus SUP has 3 balance fins to help control the direction, improve your paddling speed and stability. Its paddle is made from aluminum alloy and floats, so you won’t have to worry about it losing it in the water. When inflated, the board is surprisingly as firm and stable as a hard paddle board.

At 30 inches in width, this board is on the thinner side, but is nonetheless suitable for beginners and advanced paddlers alike. It’s 6.5 inches thick, making it thicker than most inflatable paddle boards.

Why we like it

  • Available in 3 different sizes
  • Highly buoyant at 6.5 inches thick
  • Excellent maneuverability with 3 balance fins

What can be improved

  • PSI gauge on the air pump doesn’t always work 
  • Board shape makes it more difficult to turn 

Freein Inflatable Paddle Board

The Freein Inflatable paddle board is the only paddle board on this list that comes with a kayak conversion kit. This means you can use the paddle board two ways, depending on how you feel. Measuring 10’6″ by 31″, the Freein paddle board is shorter and less wide than most paddle boards on this list, making it ideal for shorter people.

If you’re looking for a stable paddleboard, this board won’t let you down. With 3 balance fins and a 6″ deck, the Freein board is highly stable and easy to maneuver, provided that you are not too tall for the board’s smaller size.

Another cool thing about this paddle board is that it has a storage area. At the hull of the board, you can secure your gear under the provided bungees. It also has a dedicated space to install an action camera if you want to document your adventures on the water. There is also a handle on the top of the board, so you can transport it more easily when inflated.

Why we like it

  • Comes with a kayak conversion kit
  • Has a built-in action camera mount
  • Lightweight at just 16.7 lbs 
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty

What can be improved

  • Not suitable for tall people
  • Not the most stable paddle board 

Highpi Inflatable Paddle Board

If you’re looking for a versatile all-around paddle board, the Highpi SUP is an excellent choice. With a large 10’6” deck and a slightly pointed hull, the board can be enjoyed by both beginners and more experienced paddlers. Not only is it perfect for casual paddling, it can also be used for more fast-paced exploring.

Unlike many paddle boards out there, the Highpi’s deck is equipped with a non-slip surface that gives you better control over the board. It has 3 balance fins under its deck, which makes it even easier to maneuver. The large middle fin is removable, but the 2 smaller side fins are built into the board. 

Despite being a large paddle board, it takes just 5 minutes to inflate with the included pump. It also comes with a carrying case, an alloy floating paddle, a 5L waterproof bag, storage bungees, a repair kit, and a safety leash. While it doesn’t come with a kayak seat, it has an extra D ring that allows you to easily install one if needed. The board weighs 18.5 lbs when deflated, so transporting it isn’t as challenging as with other paddleboards out there. 

Why we like it

  • Sturdy with an anti-slip deck
  • Shape and size allow for higher speeds
  • Takes just 5 minutes to inflate

What can be improved

  • Carrying case isn’t the best quality
  • Only one of the fins can be removed 

FunWater Tiki Cruiser Inflatable Paddle Board

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly paddle board for beginners that comes with everything you need, the FunWater Tiki Cruiser is for you. With a double-layer construction and a max weight capacity of 330 lbs, the paddle board is suitable for lighter and heavier paddlers. 

A unique feature of the FunWater Tiki Cruiser is that it comes with a shoulder strap that can be attached to the board. It also has 2 built-in handles located in the middle and back of the deck. These thoughtful design details make it much easier to transport the board safely when inflated. 

Despite weighing just 17.6 lbs, it’s made from sturdy military-grade double-wall PVC.  It has excellent durability, but is still most suitable for flat water. Its deck is equipped with an EVA anti-slip layer that makes it easier to maneuver. 

The package comes with a carrying case, a small dry bag for your phone or wallet, 3 removable fins, a pump, a repair kit, an ankle leash, and a shoulder strap.

Why we like it

  • Budget-friendly at less than $300
  • Lightweight at just 17.6 lbs 
  • Higher weight capacity of 330 lbs
  • Shoulder strap for easy transportation when inflated

What can be improved

  • Takes a while to inflate with the provided pump

The Different Types of Inflatable Paddle Boards

There are many types of inflatable paddle boards on the market, each designed for its own style of paddling. Here is an overview of the 4 most popular types of paddle boards:

Inflatable All-Around Paddle Boards 

All-around paddle boards are the most popular paddle boards you will come across. They’re not designed for excelling at anything specific, but can manage in most conditions, provided that you’re not ripping through rapids. Because of their flexibility, all-around paddle boards are a popular choice for beginners who are looking for a more casual paddle board experience. 

Inflatable Touring Paddle Boards

Touring paddle boards are designed for propelling forward more quickly. This means you can cover more distance with less effort required. This makes them great for sightseeing or “touring”. In terms of design, touring paddle boards will be less wide, often between 30 and 32 inches in width. They will also have a pointed nose similar to a kayak, which is referred to as a displacement hull. This allows for greater efficiency and speed. 

Inflatable Surf Paddle Boards

Inflatable surf paddle boards are similar in design to all-around paddle boards, but will normally be much shorter. Instead of 11 feet, they’ll usually be between 7 and 9 feet in length, depending on the height of the user. A shorter board is important when surfing on a paddle board since it will allow you to turn and maneuver much more quicker.

Inflatable Whitewater Paddle Boards

Whitewater paddle boards are designed for ripping through river rapids. Their inflatable nature makes them more durable when up against potential rocks or branches. Instead of cracking on impact, the inflatable board will absorb the shock. In terms of design, whitewater paddle boards tend to be much wider than a standard paddle board (up to 36 inches) and on the shorter side.

How To Choose The Right Type of Inflatable Paddle Board

When it comes to choosing the best inflatable paddle board for your needs, it’s important to consider your body type and experience with paddleboarding. Here are some key factors to consider when buying an inflatable paddle board:

Your Skill-Level

Will it be your first time paddle boarding or are you experienced with the sport? For beginners, it’s recommended to choose a long and wide board with a weight that works for your body type. Wider and heavier boards will give you more space to stand up properly and maintain balance.

If you’re experienced with paddleboarding and generally have good balance, a smaller and more lightweight paddle board could be suitable for you.

Your Body Type

When choosing the right inflatable paddle board for your needs, it’s important to consider your height and especially your weight. The heavier you are, the heavier the paddle board you will need. Do keep in mind that bigger and heavier inflatable paddle boards will take a bit longer to inflate.

While a wider inflatable SUP will move at a slower speed, you will be much more stable on the board, due to its larger surface. Narrower boards move faster, but maintaining stability requires more effort and expertise.

How You’ll be Using it

Paddleboards have many uses: intense adventuring (touring), leisure paddling, practising yoga poses, and more. A SUP used for paddling at high speeds will not be the same one used for yoga. Paddle boards for practising yoga tend to be longer and wider with a rounded tip, whereas a paddle board for high speeds with being less wide with a pointier tip.

If you plan on paddleboarding in wavy waters, such as the ocean, you’ll ideally need a touring board. Touring paddle boards are longer and will have a more pointy tip than an all-around paddle board.

What Size Inflatable Paddle Board Do I Need?

When deciding which inflatable paddle board to buy, it’s important to make sure that the board’s size is right for you. The board’s size should be suitable for your body weight, your skill level, and the type of paddle boarding you plan on doing. 

Paddle Board Width

Paddle boards can be anywhere from 31 to 35 inches in width. If you’re looking for a highly stable paddle board, wider boards are best. The most stable paddle boards will generally range from 33 to 35 inches in width. While wider boards are more stable on the water, they are slower to paddle.

Paddle Board Length 

In terms of length, paddle boards can be anywhere from 9 to 11 feet long. When it comes to choosing the right length, the main factor to consider is your body weight. If you weigh less than 150 lbs, you’ll be better fitted for a shorter paddle board, such as one in the 9-foot range. If you weigh over 150 lbs, opt for a paddle board in the 10 to 11-foot range. 

Paddle Board Thickness

When choosing a paddle board, the thickness should not be ignored. Despite the fact that most inflatable paddle boards on the market are 6 inches thick, 5 inches is the ideal thickness for a beginner paddle board for all-around use. Taller boards are more prone to being wobbly, while thinner boards are more stable and easier to propel forward with. However, heavier people weighing over 200 lbs would be better off with a thicker board, such as 6 inches. 

Type of Paddling

When choosing the right size paddle board, you should also consider what type of paddleboarding you’ll be doing. If you will be paddling through intense rapids, the widest board possible is the safest choice.

For casual paddleboarding, the least wide board possible as per your body size is ideal. If you’ll be paddle board surfing on waves in the ocean, you’ll need a shorter paddle board for optimal maneuverability. 

The Benefits of Inflatable Paddle Boards

An inflatable paddle board is better than a hard paddle board for many reasons. It’s more durable, easier to transport, more affordable to buy, and generally safer to use. Here are the main advantages of inflatable paddle boards:

Easier to Transport

Compared to a hard paddle board, the main advantage of an inflatable paddle board is the fact that it’s easier to transport. Paddle boards can be up to 11 feet in length, and the fact that an inflatable one can be deflated and tucked into a carry bag that’s easy to carry is extremely convenient for most people. Instead of needing a large vehicle or roof rack, an inflatable SUP can easily fit on a car seat or in the trunk.

More Convenient to Store

Whether it’s in your home or in your car, an inflatable SUP takes up much less space and is therefore much easier to store than a hard SUP. During the winter or during the off-season, the board can conveniently be deflated and put away in its carry bag. This means you don’t need to worry about additional storage space in your home or a safe spot in your backyard for your SUP.

More Durable

Believe it or not, inflatable paddle boards can withstand most potential damage that tends to occur in the water. For example, collisions with rocks, algae formation, and other elements could damage the board.

However, in order to keep your inflatable paddle board in good condition, it is important to maintain it properly. Maintenance is rather easy and simply involves a good swipe with a wet microfiber cloth. You should also make sure the board is completely dry before storing it in its carrying bag. This will prevent mold from forming and damaging your board.

Safer to Use

Since inflatable paddle boards are soft and weigh much less, they are much safer to use. This is especially true if you’ll be paddling in wavy waters. If you fall off your board, you will not have to worry about a heavy, stiff board hitting you in the head.

FAQ

Do I need a life jacket for inflatable paddle boarding in Canada?

Yes. Inflatable paddle boards are considered nautical vessels as per Transport Canada. For that reason, the Canadian Coast Guard requires that you have a life jacket or PDF with you at all times while paddle boarding.

Similar to canoeing, you don’t have to wear the life jacket at all times, but it has to be with you on the board. Nonetheless, we strongly recommend wearing the life jacket while on the water.

What’s the best inflatable paddle boad for beginners?

While inflatable paddle boards have a small learning curve, there are some criteria to look for when shopping for an inflatable paddle board for beginners. Ideally, you want a paddle board that will provide you with a high level of stability in a variety of water conditions. These versatile paddle boards are often referred to as all-around paddle boards. They are wider than touring or racing paddle boards and will have a round hull that’s pointed slightly upwards. 

A great example of an excellent all-around inflatable paddle board for beginners is the Aqua Marina Vapor.

What’s the best inflatable paddle boad for kids?

The best paddle board for a kid will ultimately depend on their size and skill-level. Generally speaking, kids inflatable paddle boards are generally between 7 and 8 feet long and have a width of around 28 or 30 inches. They’ll also be more lightweight so that the kid can comfortably carry the board.

An excellent paddle board that we recommend for kids is the THURSO SURF Prodigy Junior.

What is the lifespan of an inflatable paddle board?

Despite the fact that they are inflatable, inflatable paddle boards actually tend to be more durable than hard shell paddle boards.  A paddle board’s life expectancy ultimately depends on many factors, including where and how the paddle board will be used, how often it will be used, and what measures will be taken to maintain it over time. The paddle board’s quality also plays a big role in determining its life expectancy. 

Generally speaking, an inflatable paddle board that’s used regularly can last between 3 and 5 years. A paddle board that’s used occasionally at a casual intensity can last over 5 years. Paddle boards that are used with dogs (especially large dogs) have the lowest life expectancy (less than 3 years), due to the increased wear and tear caused by their nails.

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