Outdoor Gear

The 7 Best Paddle Boards For Women – [2020 Reviews]

Stand up paddle boarding is has been growing in popularity in recent years with it’s combination of low impact exercise and a way to enjoy a relaxing day on the water.

Modern innovations like inflatable boards allow you to take your paddling experience virtually anywhere, from high-altitude alpine lakes to remote river banks.

Whatever your reason to invest in a new adventure companion, let’s take a look at the best SUP boards we believe have women in mind.

Best Women’s Paddle Boards

 NIXY Newport Inflatable Paddle BoardDriftsun Durashell Stand Up Paddle BoardSurfmass Inflatable SUP
editorschoice
Type:InflatableRigidInflatable
Size:10.6' x 33” x 6"10.5’ x 32” x 4.75”11' x 32" x 6"
Weight:23 Pounds29 Pounds27 Pounds
Capacity:350 Pounds250 Pounds400 Pounds

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Women’s Paddle Boards

  1. NIXY Newport Inflatable Paddle Board
  2. Driftsun Durashell Stand Up Paddle Board
  3. Surfmass Inflatable SUP
  4. SupFlex Inflatable SUP
  5. Peak Navigator Rigid Paddle Board
  6. Peak Expedition Inflatable SUP
  7. iRocker Nautical Inflatable SUP

Our reviews of the top rated women’s paddle boards, with our comparison table and buying guide, will help you choose the right one.

Women’s Paddle Board Reviews

The Newport inflatable SUP travels with you and your gear anywhere.

Because of its wide deck size (the widest among all of our choices), the board remains lightweight while accommodating riders up to 350 pounds.

Its hybrid-style hull also balances speed and stability, creating an edge to cut through waves while reducing the risk of falling over.

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Bungee storage on both ends balance gear and give companions (human or otherwise) more space to ride. With options for storage, you can even bring a friend along without sacrificing your dry bag.

The Newport features a shoulder strap which clips to d-rings for convenient toting to and from the water. Feel free to use the grab handles on the center, nose or tail of the board for easier transportation.

This SUP is also perfect for yoga or meditative stretching on the water, as its middle carry handle can be easily folded down into the board.

Because handling your paddles can be tricky while doing involved activities like fishing or yoga, the Newport paddle board even provides a convenient paddle holder on the rail.

Offering the most diverse color range, this board comes in aqua, blue, purple, palms, and red. It’s always nice to find small ways to express yourself.

 

NIXY Newport Inflatable Paddle Board at a Glance:

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Size: 10’6″ x 33” x 6″
  • SUP Weight: 23 Pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 350 Pounds
  • Other: paddle, leash, hand pump, shoulder strap, wheeled carry bag, stainless steel D-rings

Driftsun’s Durashell Stand Up Paddle Board is one of the best rigid options on the market.

This board offers the same benefits as a traditional hard fiberglass SUP, with the added confidence of a strong outer shell.

Weighing in at only 29 lbs, it is extremely lightweight and portable. But despite its slim size, this SUP can take on heavy loads, with a max weight capacity of 250 lbs.

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Its wide front bungee strap is also perfect for storing supplies, making this board ideal for carrying snacks or beverages during adventures.

The Durashell SUP’s deck is specially designed to withstand bumps, dings and dog claws. The material is bouncy and resilient, and will not dent with pressure.

However, since this board does not pack down, it will need to travel on a rack or stowed in the back of the car. Fortunately, the single center fin and handle are removable, allowing for easy storage.

There is also an additional anchor point in the handle, which can be used as a secondary option to mount your leash.

The Driftsun Durashell paddle board is a study and reliable option for your next sunset lake adventure.

 

Driftsun Durashell Paddle Board at a Glance:

  • Type: Rigid
  • Size: 10.5’ x 32” x 4.75”
  • SUP Weight: 29 Pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 250 Pounds
  • Other: 10 ft. coil leash, nylon fin, 3-piece paddle

The Surfmass Inflatable SUP ranks the longest on our list at 11 inches. This board is especially sturdy, with a weight capacity of 400 pounds.

Standing tall at 6 inches, the Surfmass doesn’t exactly keep a low profile. Because of its stature, adding extra weight during higher winds might be helpful.

The board is designed to increase glide and speed in the water, while still providing stability. Its sharp hull and grippy surface will ensure a smooth and safe experience wherever you paddle.

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Another special feature of the Surfmass SUP is its special carry bag. The bag’s wheels, padded shoulders and hip belts allow you to hold your board in any number of ways.

The option to lift the weight of the bag onto your hips can significantly improve even short walks. The carry bag makes this SUP exceptionally easy to transport.

Overall, the Surfmass Paddle Board’s stability, smart design, and mid-range price will have you enjoying your board for many years to come.

 

Surfmass Inflatable SUP at a Glance:

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Size: 11′ x 32′ x 6″
  • SUP Weight: 27 Pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 400 Pounds
  • Other: Fiberglass paddle, hand pump, backpack with wheels, fin, leash, repair kit, phone bag

The SupFlex is an especially compact and lightweight board, which packs down around the size of a large sleeping bag and inflates rapidly.

It is a great choice if you are like me and short on space just about everywhere. The electric geometric design in blue, green, or yellow also appeals to those who desire a flashier look.

The Supflex’s hull nose design is slightly pointed, allowing for powerful glide and speed. However, balancing on a SUP with a hull such as this one can be tricky.

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Because of its pointy hull, this board may not be the best choice for a beginner paddle boarder. The higher rails will catch more wind, and overall, you must exert a lot of energy to maintain balance.

A calm, non-threatening inland lake would be a wonderful place to test this board out.

Besides, the determination to master the board might encourage you to get out there and practice more!

 

SupFlex Inflatable SUP at a Glance:

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Size: 10′ x 30″ 6″
  • SUP Weight: 22 Pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 Pounds
  • Other: 3 fin set, hand pump, bag backpack, coiled leash

 

The Peak Navigator stand up paddle board has the most beginner-friendly design on our list.

Though it only weighs 27 pounds, it can support paddlers of up to 245 pounds. Its 32″ width and 175 liter volume allow this board both stability and buoyancy.

This makes it the perfect choice for beginners looking to build a solid foundation in paddle boarding.

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The Peak Navigator comes with all the gear you need to get on the water: aluminum adjustable SUP paddle with nylon blade, 10’ coil leash, and nylon touring center fin.

For those looking for a bit of eye candy, this paddle board is also made in two multi-color options: aqua blue/pink, and cerulean blue/grey.

The board is also special in that it is made sustainably. Manufactured with thermal molded technology, waste is eliminated in the manufacturing process to produce an eco-friendlier epoxy paddle board.

 

Peak Navigator Rigid Paddle Board at a Glance:

  • Type: Rigid Thermoplastic Epoxy
  • Size: 10’5″ x 32″ x 4.5
  • SUP Weight: 27 Pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 245 Pounds
  • Other: Aluminum paddle w nylon blade, 10’ coil leash, nylon touring center fin

The Peak Expedition is short and lightweight, designed specially for touring. Weighing in at 18 pounds, this is the lightest option on our list.

This board has a pointy nose, meaning it is more suited to gliding over flat, calm water rather than turbulent surf. It also lacks a displacement hull, which allows for swifter turns.

The carry bag is also ideal for long hikes or hard treks. It has padded shoulder straps and cozy hip belts for greater relief in transit.

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Another special feature of the Peak Expedition is the fin which snaps into place. With inflatable boards, the fins must be removed for storage, so the snap-on option saves time and effort for frequent travelers.

Bungees on the front and back of the board offer options to balance your gear, and the efficient pump will have you out on the water in no time.

Designed for speed and endurance, this SUP is truly an essential for those who love long distances.

 

The Peak Expedition Inflatable Paddle Board at a Glance:

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Size: 10’6″ x 32″ x 6″
  • SUP Weight: 18 Pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 275 Pounds
  • Other: Aluminum paddle, comfortable backpack, inflation pump, ankle leash, center fin, waterproof phone case

The iRocker really rocks all the categories for being an accessible and versatile board.

A key detail on this SUP are the multiple D-rings around the perimeter of its deck. These  attachment points make it the most adaptable option on this list.

All three fins on the board are also removable, which allows for enhanced maneuverability. With detachable fins, you can add bite and drag as you need to.

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Despite its height, the iRocker SUP is easy to carry due to its hip belt. It has a total loaded weight of 20 lbs, making it a relatively light option.

The backpack is also comfortable to carry over longer distances because of its cushioned straps.

iRocker Nautical Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

This board is built for easy, non-specialized use. The manufacturer sells seats to mount to the board and an extra blade, which transforms your paddle into a kayak paddle.

If you happen to be deciding between investing in kayak or a paddle board, the iRocker is a happy compromise.

 

iRocker Nautical Inflatable SUP at a Glance:

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Size: 10′ x 32″ x 6″
  • SUP Weight: 20 Pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 240 Pounds
  • Other: Fiberglass paddle, carry backpack, hand pump, ankle leash, D rings, repair kit.

 

Women’s Paddle Board Comparison

Paddle Board TypeSizeWeightCapacityRating
NIXY Newport Paddle BoardInflatable10’6" x 33” 23 lbs250 lbs4.5 / 5.0
Driftsun Durashell Paddle BoardRigid10.5" x 32” 29 lbs250 lbs4.5 / 5.0
Surfmass Inflatable SUPInflatable11’ x 32"27 lbs400 lbs5.0 / 5.0
SupFlex Inflatable SUPInflatable10’ x 30"22 lbs300 lbs4.3 / 5.0
Peak Navigator SUP BoardRigid10’5" x 32″27 lbs245 lbs4.7 / 5.0
Peak Expedition Paddle BoardInflatable10’6" x 32″18 lbs275 lbs4.8 / 5.0
iROCKER Nautical Paddle BoardInflatable10’ x 32″20 lbs240 lbs4.7 / 5.0

How to Choose The Best Stand Up Paddle Board -- Buyer’s Guide

Best SUP for women

Just like there is no one-size-fits-all kayak or canoe, each type of paddle board is designed differently for different reasons.

To pick the right one, it is important to understand a couple key features of paddle boards in general.

We’ve compiled them below to make choosing the a good SUP as simple as possible.

What is a SUP?

SUP is a short term for “stand up paddle board”. Instead of using a wave or your hands to propel you forward, you use a long paddle to glide along oceans, lakes, or rivers.

Paddle boards permit an intimate relationship with the water (especially for those with poor balance) and can still achieve high speeds. Most boards are intended for one paddler, however larger boards can accommodate a passenger.

SUPs are specialized in material and design to perform under different circumstances.

Types of Paddle Boards

Inflatable

Although all the choices on our list are durable and lightweight, you still need to decide between an inflatable or rigid board.

Your storage and transportation situation might make that decision for you.

Inflatable boards have more volume and better stability, which is ideal for beginners, yoga practitioners or touring.

Have enough space for a small suitcase? Then you have enough space to store and transport an inflatable board.

Do not let the word inflatable fool you: inflatable SUP are built solidly. Durable and able to withstand bumps better than rigid boards, inflatables can even take on whitewater.

Inflatable paddle boards are built with drop-stitch construction. Inside, two layers of material are tied together by tiny fibers. These fibers transform into support columns when inflated and collapse when deflated.

Outside, the board is wrapped in air-tight PVC along the top and sides.

More expensive inflatable boards add woven fabrics, and more layers of plastic coating to trim down the width of the board without sacrificing rigidity.

Inflatables need to be, well, inflated.

All inflatable boards on our list come equipped with a carry bag, paddle, leash, fins and an air pump.

If a manual pump is unappealing, see if the manufacturer sells a compatible electric model. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and always inflate to the recommended PSI.

Note: the size of the inflatable storage bags can be awkward if you are of shorter stature.

If so, get a SUP with rolling wheels like the NIXY Newport to assist in transportation, and hip belts to shift the weight of the bag to your center of gravity.

Rigid

Rigid boards are buoyant foam cores wrapped in hard plastic or enforced with fiberglass, similar to a traditional surfboard. Solid materials craft a thinner more maneuverable board.

While light weight, they do not pack down so you need a rig or rack for transportation.

Sometimes rigid boards are topped with a foam material to prevent scratches and provide padding for activities like yoga, or the inevitable tumble.

The least expensive option are heavier thermoplastic boards made from hard epoxy plastic around a foam core.

Although they can become scratched or dented, you will never need to worry about an under or over inflated board or needing a patch.

Rigid boards excel in maneuverability, stability and speed. But, other factors like board design and hull shape also play a role in determining a SUP’s performance.

inflatable SUP v rigid SUP
Peak Navigator Rigid Paddle Board vs. Supflex Inflatable Paddle Board

Design Features

Hull Shape

Hull design changes how the board moves through the water.

Hulls can be planning (rounded) or displacement (pointed).

Displacement hulls are pointed at the front (bow) and the aerodynamic shape pushes water out and around the front board.

The pointed front, like the front of a kayak, charges your SUP forward efficiently breaking through the water. Designed for speed and glide, these hulls are ideal for long treks or racing.

Planing hulls feature a rounded nose, reminiscent of a surfboard. Generally, planing hulls are easy to maneuver and more stable under a variety of conditions.

You can get the best of both worlds with a hybrid style hull.

Lying somewhere in the middle of the rounded and sharp nose design, these are a good choice if you are looking for a well-rounded performer or unsure what your needs are.

Fins

Fins maintain direction and improve maneuverability by biting into the water.

All boards include at least one fin under the board. With some models, you can slide the fin along a track to specialize for different activities.

Extra fins arranged in various patterns on your SUP will help with surfing, but probably slow you down in speed or touring situations.

Size & Dimensions         

The longer, wider, and thicker the board, the higher the volume.

The higher the volume, the higher the stability and weight capacity of the board.

The size of your board should correspond to the size of your body, so you can avoid cumbersome situations.

A correctly sized board will glide with you over the water, instead of leaving you feeling swamped or stuck in the mud.

However, your size is not the only determining factor -- experienced paddlers might enjoy the challenge of a narrower board, and certain activities need more space.

Before you are swept away by a 13ft SUP touring dream, you must also consider your transportation situation. A very long, rigid board will be difficult to transport on your Honda civic.

Length

Boards under 10 feet are ideal if you are a small adult or want easy navigation. Medium 10 to 12 feet boards are versatile and will suit the wide array of SUP activities. Boards over 12 feet are considered long-distance touring models.

Width

All boards will be within 25 to 36 inches in width.

If you plan on practicing yoga, bringing along gear, or taking a partner, opt for a wider board. 

The thickness impacts the total volume of the board and dictates how high you sit on the water. If you choose an inflatable you will have to accept a thicker board.

Rigid boards, however, offer more variety in size. That said, cross referencing specifications can only go so far.

Playing around with differently shaped and sized boards may help you find the perfect fit for your body and lifestyle.

Try keeping track of the dimensions of potential options on a sticky note and compare as you search.

Paddles

As you continue in your SUP adventure, you might search for a paddle best suited for your style, however all of our options include a standard paddle.

To check how tall your paddle should be, stand with both feet flat on the ground and raise one arm above your head. The measurement from the floor to your wrist is the proper length for your paddle.

Inflatable boards have packable paddles which break down into 3 pieces and store inside the bag.

Like the general rule for the size of the board, smaller folks need smaller paddle shafts and blade. The shape of the blade will impact its performance and ease of use.

The larger the blade’s surface area, the more powerful its stroke is. However, larger blades take more force to control.

Accessories

Although some accessories are a matter of preference, others are vital to a safe and fun experience.

A leash is a necessary. Staying tethered to your board by your ankle ensures that you will never lose it in the water.

When you fall, the force can propel the board out and away from you which is dangerous on a river or rough surf.

A coil-style leash will keep the length of the tether out of the way as you paddle.

If you are outside a designated swimming or surfing area, you are considered a vessel by the U.S. Coast Guard and required to wear a personal flotation device (PFD).

Speaking from personal experience, the temperature of lake water can be cold enough to shock your system when you fall in unexpectedly.

A PFD will keep your head above water as you catch your breath.

Other accessories like tie down points, bungee straps, and mounts for seats and fishing rods are also helpful to expand your paddling experience.

SUP Balance tips for beginners- Stand Up Paddleboarding

FAQs About Paddle Boards for Women

Q: Are cheap paddle boards any good?

A: Maybe. Keep in mind that the performance of a cheap board will depend on what you are asking it to do.

Do you want to haul a cheap, heavy board frequently on and off the roof of your car? Do you anticipate using your SUP heavily in extreme circumstances?

Your small investment can take you a long way if you give your board proper care.

Remember too, that a very expensive board can be no good if the design does not fit your needs.

Q: Are inflatable paddle boards worth it?

A: Yes, especially if you need to save on storage space, or plan to travel often.

Inflatable boards hold more weight, making them a good match for people who haul gear or pets with them.

If you have ever woken up in a sunken, leaky air mattress in the middle of the night I’m sure it sowed a seed of doubt in inflatable contraptions.

Inflatable boards are dependable, functional and sometimes a perfect fit for your SUP needs.

Q: Can you leave inflatable sup inflated?

A: For short periods of time it is ok to keep your board inflated.

Over longer periods of time it is best practice to store your board clean, dry and deflated while not in use.

Hot air takes up more space, so leaving an inflated board in a space with fluctuating temperatures can stress the material as the air expands and contracts.

Inflating and deflating boards is usually quick and easy, and deflated boards take up less space. So, there really is no reason to keep them inflated when not in use.

Q: How much weight can a paddle board hold?

A: The paddle boards on our list range from 235lbs to over 400lbs in weight capacity.

Larger boards do exist with a capacity upwards of half a ton!

Remember that weight capacity refers to any weight the board is holding, which includes gear and passengers.

The higher the volume of the board, the more weight it will hold. Paddling a SUP close or over to the maximum capacity is slow going and might damage the board.

Q: What is the best size paddle board for beginners?

A: The larger the volume of the board, the easier it is to paddle. For most people, that volume (length x width x thickness) is between 150L to 210L.

If you plan on racing or riding waves, you might want to err on the side of choosing a smaller board that will grow with you.

If you are new to the sport, consider what your goals or intentions are with your SUP before investing.

Q: Is stand up paddle boarding a good workout?

A: Yes, SUP is a wonderful whole body workout.

It is especially good for building and maintaining balance.

Not only have that, a paddle boarded functions as a work out space as well. If you practice yoga, trying out a sun salutation on a SUP is one way to get grounded.

Paddle boarding also helps to get you outside on the water, and is a fun way to exercise with friends or family.

Final Thoughts

A good stand up paddle board should fit your personal storage, transportation and adventure needs. Make sure you choose the size and design that works best for your body and excursion aspirations.

Hopefully your new SUP will take you to exciting new places you have always wanted to explore!

Performance
Quality
Portability

The NIXY Newport Inflatable Paddle Board is our Editor's Choice for the best women's SUP, with its high quality materials and enhanced portability.

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