The 5 Best Stand-up Paddleboards of 2023

The 5 Best Stand-up Paddleboards of 2023

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Surftech Catalyst Tuflite V-Tech

With its exceptional performance, the Surftech Catalyst is an easy choice for the title of best overall SUP. It's one of our all-time favorite boards, boasting an ideal blend of speed, stability, and glide performance, all wrapped up in a sleek and stylish package. The Catalyst's lightweight construction makes it effortless to maneuver on and off the water while also looking great.

Unfortunately, this high level of performance comes at a cost, as the Catalyst is one of the pricier boards on this list. Additionally, it's more prone to scuffing and scraping than other models, requiring careful handling. Nonetheless, the Catalyst is undeniably one of the best boards on the market in terms of performance, and we highly recommend it to those who can afford the higher price point and take extra precautions to prevent excessive wear and tear.



Bluefin Cruise Carbon

Inflatable SUPs typically offer excellent value, durability, and portability compared to their rigid counterparts. However, they usually compromise on glide performance and stability. The Bluefin Cruise Carbon, on the other hand, defies this notion, impressing us with its exceptional stability and solid glide performance. Featuring a separate inflatable deck chamber, it feels more like a rigid board, making it more enjoyable to paddle and better equipped for rougher conditions. Although not as speedy or efficient as rigid race-style boards, it's not far off, making it suitable for longer paddling trips. If you're considering an inflatable SUP, this board is our top recommendation.

The only significant drawback to the Bluefin Cruise Carbon is its price. It's considerably more expensive than other inflatable models and comparable to many rigid models that outperform it in some areas. Additionally, it's on the heavier side, weighing nearly as much – or even more – than some of the rigid boards. Ultimately, you'll have to weigh the benefits of the increased durability against scrapes and scuffs and the ease of transport against the added cost.



Tahe Beach Performer

For those seeking an affordable all-around SUP that delivers great paddling performance, we highly recommend the Tahe Beach Performer. It's one of our top picks for families or beginners due to its impressive durability and stable paddling experience, which is better than many fiberglass options. With solid glide performance, this board can easily handle longer tours without causing undue fatigue. It also performs well in rough waters and is quite maneuverable.

One minor drawback of this board is its lower than average weight capacity recommendation, which can lead to reduced stability for larger riders or those carrying cargo like coolers, kids, or pets. Additionally, this SUP is on the heavier side, weighing in at around 32 pounds. Nonetheless, we still consider it a great budget buy and one of the best values in our current lineup.



FunWater 11

If you're in the market for a budget-friendly SUP, the FunWater 11 should be at the top of your list. This inflatable board is incredibly lightweight and easy to carry, and it delivers surprisingly solid performance for its price. It's also a great option for beginners or families looking to try out paddleboarding without spending a lot of money or needing a lot of storage space. The package includes everything you need to get started, such as the board, fins, pump, paddle, leash, and carry bag. The FunWater lives up to its name, providing plenty of fun on the water without breaking the bank or your back.

However, it's worth noting that the FunWater can't match the performance capabilities of most rigid SUP boards. Inflatable models are typically softer and more flexible, making them less stable in choppy water and less efficient at higher speeds. While the FunWater is adequate for beginners and families compared to other inflatable boards, it falls short of the performance capabilities of most rigid SUP boards. If you're looking for top-notch performance, you may want to consider a rigid board. But if you're on a tight budget and want to get out on the water, the FunWater is an excellent choice.



Pau Hana Endurance XL


If you're looking for a board with impressive weight capacity, the Pau Hana Endurance XL is the one for you. It can carry up to 400 pounds, making it perfect for larger paddlers or those who want to haul a lot of gear. The board is designed for fishing or long-distance paddling, with a spacious forward cargo net and 35 threaded mounting points for accessories like fishing pole holders or camera mounts. The Endurance XL is surprisingly fast with good glide, even when fully loaded, and is stable enough to handle challenging conditions that might cause other boards to capsize.

The Endurance XL's size is both a strength and a weakness. On the water, its large size isn't a problem, but it can be challenging to maneuver and takes more effort to get up to speed than smaller boards. However, on land, it's a different story - carrying the board alone is exhausting, and loading it onto a tall vehicle can be nearly impossible without help. Despite these challenges, the Endurance XL is a great option for fishing, camping, or long-distance touring, though it comes at a higher price point. Just be prepared to have a friend help you with loading and unloading.


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