In the real world, there are two kinds of paddlers, those who long for a spiritual sanctuary and those born to race. So, if you happen to be a fan of race SUP boards then you’re in luck because this article is all about you.
Inflatable stand up paddle boards, and race SUP boards specifically, have taken over the market in no time and for a very good reason too. Practicality is the number one quality that everyone should look for in a toy this big. Indeed, gigantic race SUP boards are fascinating in both design and performance but how can you manage something so large on a regular basis?
Inflatable race SUP boards are just as efficient as your standard hard board but they are far more advanced when it comes to practicality. The fact that you can fit a giant 10 to 14 feet board inside a back pack is out of this world. Not only will you be able to transport your board at ease wherever you want but you’ll also find no difficulty to store it once done.
So, here are the top 10 best race SUP boards of 2017:
Best inflatable race paddle boards Reviews
10 – Vilano 12′ Inflatable Touring / Race SUP Board
This board might have ranked 10th on this list but it’s still far better than the hundreds of inflatable race SUP boards out there. The Vilano 12′ Inflatable Touring/Race SUP board is made of the highest grade PVC material which is then glued together using a sturdy Korean drop stitch construction for maximum rigidity.
A very important aspect of any race SUP is the package in which it comes as it can make the difference between a great experience and a pain in the back. Luckily for you, Vilano completely understands that which is why it ships the Vilano Race SUP with a complete package. Said package includes a high pressure hand pump + pressure gauge, a paddle, a removable central fin and a carry bag.
Concerning features, it seems that the manufacturer might have just created one of the most appealing boards in the industry. This Vilano iSUP board features an extended gripping pad which will improve your range and balance, 4 stainless steel D-rings and bungee cord placement on the nose of the board which is useful for cargo and 2 more D-rings around the center which are meant to help you install a kayak seat and a central carry handle to enable carrying the board single handedly.
Enough about features and let’s get down to business. This Vilano is primarily designed to be a racing SUP and that shows. This 12 foot long and 31 inches wide giant is designed for maximum efficiency. The sharp nose and slim rear are essentially what make this board a strong contender. However, the long central fin is even more significant as it will make a huge difference when it comes to improved navigation, wind resistance and agility
- This board is solid in terms of quality and that is something that matters more than anything else in this sport.
- Although this board is a top performer, it is still a very budget friendly touring SUP and that accounts for something.
- Tracking in a straight line might be difficult at first but as you pick up speed, this board can cruise and flows quite well.
- This board can be a bit unstable on choppy waters.
- You might want to upgrade the paddle for a lighter one.
9 – Vilano 12′ Inflatable Touring / Race SUP Board (New Model)
And yet another Vilano on the list, except this one is the newest and better version of the previous board linked to above.
It is one of our guiding principles on this website to provide you with the truth and nothing but the truth. On that note, this Vilano model isn’t that different from the previous one. With that said, let’s get down to business.
This Vilano 12′ Inflatable Touring / Race SUP is known for being both fast and rigid which is everything you should be looking for in a race SUP board. In terms of quality, this board is a solid ten as it is made of military grade PVC material put together using an industrial Korean drop stitch construction which is technically how the Hulk was made. Jokes aside, this board is so tough that you can actually ride it without a single worry and that is significant for an inflatable board.
As it is the habit with Vilano, this board also comes with a complete package that includes a high pressure hand pump + pressure gauge, a paddle, a large removable fin and a carry bag back pack for easier transportation and storage.
As far as features are concerned, this Vilano is not very different from the previous one as it displays a large gripping pad for maximal balance and maneuverability, a D-ring + bungee cord placement on the nose of the board for cargo and storage, two extra D-rings for a kayak seat attachment, two more on the left side for a shoulder strap that comes with the package and a central carry handle for effective transportation. As simple as these features may appear to be, these are actually all you need on a race SUP board.
Beyond the fact that it is 12 feet long and 31 inches wide, this iSUP just happens to be one of the best race SUP boards in this price range .
The sharp nose and tightening rear of the Vilano 12′ Inflatable Touring / Race SUP are essential criteria for an improved navigation and a minimal water resistance. The bottom of the board harbours a large steady fin which will enhance the maneuverability of the board and create more side wind resistance. All in all, this might just be the best racing SUP board within its price range. So, what are you waiting for?
- The primary asset of this board lies within the quality of build and that of material which are two major components of every board.
- The price tag is simply remarkable on this one.
- This board is quite stable on flat water but it leaves a lot to be desired in choppy waters and strong waves.
- The package is lacking a repair kit but with something this robust, I doubt you’ll ever need one.
8 – Supflex 12’6″ Flexrace
At last not another Vilano, this time it’s a slightly edgier board and I have a feeling that you’ll like it.
The Supflex Flexrace is designed for speed addicts and on flat water, this thing will make you tear up. Besides speed, the Supflex is also known for quality and that is due to its military grade PVC core and the double sided drop stitch construction which makes this board virtually indestructible.
Packaging is definitely a strength for this racing SUP board as it comes in a comprehensive package, including a dual action high pressure hand pump, a removable tracking fin, a collapsible aluminium paddle for convenience, a leash and a back pack carry bag for storage and transportation. This right here is an example of how a Race SUP board package should look like.
When it comes to features, it is easy to tell that this board is going for the win with that amazing gripping pad. Not only will this pad improve your balance on the board but it’ll also give you enough room to move around and manoeuvre the board better. This board also features one large D-ring on the far rear for safety leash attachment. The fact that the surface of the board is cleared from any extra features gives this Supflex Flexrace an authentic feeling which is lacking in most boards out there and I really appreciate that.
Moving on to the most important segment and that is the part where we answer ‘how well does it perform?’ The short is ‘Very well’. This board might be 12 feet long and 30 inches wide but once it gains momentum on steady water, it becomes unstoppable. The Flexrace’s pointy sharp nose and tight rear grants it more power and minimizes water resistance which in itself augments the speed of the board. If you care enough for your pocket then be certain that you’ll be getting your money’s worth with this board.
- The design is simply beautiful on this board to the point that it exceeds quality in priority.
- The board is featuring all you need on a racing SUP board which is not the case with every board out there.
- The only downside we can reasonably think of is the lack of multiple D-rings as with most inflatable SUP board out there.However, this can also be regarded as a good thing.
7 – Red Paddle Co RACE
The red paddle Co race is definitely ranking amidst the best racing paddle boards in the industry and it’s no coincidence either.
This right here is a prime example of how inflatable boards should be made because you can practically feel quality just by looking at this board. Like the Red Paddle Co EXPLORER, the quality of the Red Paddle Co RACE is indeed exemplary as it is made strictly of military grade PVC and put together using a refined drop stitch construction which equates to an inflatable titan. There’s no exaggeration intended when I say that the Red Paddle Co RACE can handle all kinds of environment but it’ll arguably perform far better on some compared to others.
Before we get to performance, let’s just take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this board. Actually, it is so refreshing to see an inflatable race SUP board that looks this good as it is not the habit of manufacturers to invest much in aesthetics. Also, the high quality gripping pad covering most of the surface is definitely a feature to admire as it’ll enhance your balance and improve your maneuverability skills. The D-rings placement on the nose are also a useful feature which can be used to store anything from your snacks and sunglasses to your sandals whereas the Bigger D-ring on the back is meant to attach a safety leash.
A strong mention must go to the comprehensive package in which the Red Paddle Co RACE is shipped as it includes a high pressure dual hand pump, a large removable central fin, a repair kit and a great quality back pack carry bag which can fit all of the above.
Down to performance, this 12 feet long 28 inches wide beast is all engines go and you can feel that just by looking at it. The board is engineered ever so dynamically to produce as much speed and as little resistance as possible. The sharp edges and solid core are not everything which contributes to the mastery that is this board, the central fin is also pretty practical when it comes to navigation and agility and that will prove efficiency on the race track. The quality of build of this board is also a big influence on performance as the RSS (Red Paddle Co’s patented stiffening system) will keep your board above water at all times as long as you’re within the weight limit of 350 lbs.
- The quality of the Red Paddle Co Race is incomparable and that is a very strong advantage for this board.
- The design and engineering make the Red Paddle Co RACE an avid racer and if you’re planning on winning, you might want to get it.
- The hefty price tag on the Red Paddle Co Race is a hard pill to swallow.
- This board doesn’t come with a paddle.
6 – XTERRA Touring Inflatable Paddle Board
And we’re down in business once again with the XTERRA touring race SUP board which is a very strong competitor within the same price range.
The XTERRA is definitely a smart choice as it has proven to be extremely rigid and reliable due to its Military grade PVC core and drop stitch construction.
This makes the XTERRA a water beast as it can pretty much endure most environments without a single worry of damaging the board.
But enough about quality and let’s look further into the adjustments that this board is willing to make to ensure user comfort. The XTERRA touring might be a devoted racer but it hasn’t neglected the fact that the larger the gripping pad the better. The quality anti-slipping pad on this board is a huge asset as it significantly enhances stability and steering power when compared to less premium samples. The D-rings + bungee cord placement is also a thoughtful feature as it helps the paddler store his findings, fish rod, paddle and sandals for an improved hands-free experience. The board is also hooked with an extra D-ring on the tail which serves the purpose of attaching a safety leash. The large central fin on this board is one more reason to appreciate what it has to offer as it’ll make navigation a piece of cake for you.
In terms of packaging, the XTERRA Boards made sure that they provide you with a complete package that includes everything you’ll need to maintain your board. Accordingly, the package includes a paddle, a coil leash, a high pressure hand pump and a large carry bag back pack for easier storage and transportation.
Performance wise, the XTERRA touring inflatable SUP Board is definitely a strong contender as it is designed to pick up speed quickly with minimal resistance. The dynamic design of the board is not all it has to offer because when you look at the bottom of this 12 foot long 30 inches wide sea creature, you can guess that navigation is going to be a joy. Note that the weight limit on this board is 250 lbs and anything beyond that will definitely affect performance.
- The XTERRA Touring Inflatable Paddle Board is a very well-engineered SUP board.
- The basic features of this board are very practical and very much to the point without any extra blemishes.
- The only thing which could’ve been better about this XTERRA iSUP board is the aesthetic aspect which doesn’t really affect performance in any way but a good looking board is always an asset.
5 – Ten Toes theGLOBETROTTER
Ten Toes might just be one of the few remaining manufacturers that still believe in the spiritual aspect of a Race SUP board. Indeed, this brand is ranking 5th because it’s one of the few that actually believe in their product and its value.
Ten Toes theGLOBETROTTER is right off the bat a splendid board and that is strongly related to quality. You might still doubt that an inflatable SUP board can actually compete with a hard one but the military grade PVC body of the Ten Toes theGLOBETROTTER should put your suspicion to rest. As if that’s not enough, the makers of this beast thought it would be a good idea to fortify the build material with an industrial drop stitch construction, making this board an actual legend.
Beyond production value, user friendliness is also a determining factor in the great scheme of things. Hence, the Ten Toes made sure that you’re equipped everything you’ll need to enjoy your experience. First things first, the gripping pad on this board is just sublime as it covers most of the surface, granting you more space to move around and balance yourself comfortably on the board.
Then there is the D-rings + bungee cord placement which is much more useful than it appears to be. This net can serve as a great cargo holder and handle anything from your paddle to your sandals while allowing you to enjoy a hands-free ride. Another interesting feature is the large central fin which is designed to improve navigation remarkably.
Another huge influence in the realm of SUPs is the package in which the product is shipped and the Ten Toe is on top of that game. The Ten Toes theGLOBETROTTER comes in a complete package which includes a 3 piece collapsible paddle, a high pressure hand pump, 3 removable nylon fins and a repair kit.
As far as performance is concerned, be sure that this board didn’t make it to 5th place randomly as it is designed to conquer. The smooth yet sharp engineering of this 12 foot long 30 inches wide beast gives it an edge on speed and minimizes water resistance noticeably which are two of the most challenging handicaps of any racing SUP board. Also, the nylon fin adds up to the board’s maneuverability and agility by creating more side wind resistance and cutting through water like a sword. Do you still question the mighty Ten Toes theGLOBETROTTER?!
- The ten toes theGLOBETROTTER is beautifully designed on the outside and robust on the inside and that makes it a winner.
- It’s very stable board to ride and it handles well in winds.
- The ten toes theGLOBETROTTER doesn’t come with a backpack bag.
4 – Aqua Marina Race 14′
Aqua Marina is a leading manufacturer in the scene of inflatable boards generally and specifically when it comes to racing SUPs.
This brand has excelled in various dimensions but quality was and still is its primary objective. When it comes to quality of core materials, this Aqua adopts the military approach and makes its boards strictly from bullet proof vest PVC material which is then reinforced via a solid drop stitch construction, making this board virtually indestructible.
Quality is important but so is packaging. As is the case with most water sport items, paddle boards require a set of accessories that are meant to make the experience less of a pain in the back. Accordingly, Aqua Marina thoughtfully ships its board with a tough aluminium paddle, a high pressure hand pump + pressure gauge, a central tracking fin and a large back pack carry bag to facilitate storing and transporting your board.
As far as features are concerned, Aqua Marina tried its best to minimize distractions and strictly maintain necessary features. Speaking of which, an extended gripping pad was definitely on the Aqua Marina’s list and it is designed to grant you more space to move around and balance yourself appropriately on the board. The D-ring + bungee cord placement is also of paramount importance for those of you who need to carry around various items on water and these can range from your paddle down to your sandals. The board also features a central removable fin for better navigation and easier storage.
Down to performance, the Aqua Marina Race SUP is technically a 14 foot long board as it is designed for maximal speed and minimal water resistance. The body of the Aqua Marina Race is ever so smooth down to the smallest details and quality is often an indicator of great performance. The extra large removable fin of the Aqua Marina Race will significantly improve navigation and maneuverability which are two qualities of great racing boards.
- The prize downright goes to performance on this Aqua Marina Race 14′ and that is significant.
- The basic features of this board are also an important advantage for the Aqua Marina Race 14′ as I’ll be a valuable asset on the course.
- There isn’t much to criticize on this board because the board is just that good.
3 – Tower Paddle Boards iRace 12’6″
Straight down to the top 3, Tower Paddle Boards puts on quite the competition with a one of a kind board.
The Tower Paddle Boards iRace is indeed a special race SUP board and not only in the way it looks. In fact, the quality of this board is described to be remarkable in most SUP race board reviews and that is because it is strictly made of military grade PVC material which is merged using a refined drop stitch construction, making this board as rigid as it can get. More precisely, the Tower Paddle Boards iRace is tough enough to endure any kind of environment. However, and as is the case with most inflatable SUP boards, it is prone to perform a lot better on flat water.
Besides quality, the practical features of this board give it an edge over the rest of the competition. First thing that strikes you when looking at the Tower Paddle Boards iRace has to be that slim gripping pad which significantly adds up to the aesthetic aspect of the board. But most importantly, the high quality gripping pad will considerably help you improve balance and maneuverability. Further, the slim edges of the board and minimalistic design give this board an authentic feel which is much appreciated in a world where inflatable paddle boards tend to look like rectangles.
Packaging is also very important and this manufacturer completely understands that which is why it ships this board with a high pressure hand pump and a 3 piece adjustable fiver glass paddle which are the two most substantial accessories every paddler needs.
Concerning performance, the Tower Paddle Boards iRace is simply first grade. This 12 foot long 30 inches wide phenomenon is cleverly engineered to produce maximal speed while keeping water resistance to a minimal level which is why it looks the way it does. Also, the navigation system on the iRace can only prove efficiency once in the water as it’ll easily set itself apart from the competition.
- The Tower Paddle Board iRace’s strongest asset has to be the solid engineering as it is optimized to pick up speed quickly and under any condition.
- in no way does it feel like it’s air pumped in it, it feels solid & strong like other boards.
- The materials used to build this board are premium which guarantees long lasting performance.
- The included pump and paddle are of good quality.
- The Tower Paddle Board iRace 12’6″ doesn’t come with a backpack bag. This means you’ll have to purchase one separately.
2 – ISLE Airtech 12′ Touring Inflatable SUP Board
ISLE Surf & SUP as a brand has realistically inflated significantly in the domain of iSUPs generally and racing SUPs specifically and this right here is one of their best creations if not the best.
The ISLE Airtech 12′ touring inflatable SUP Board is a spoiled descendent of a long line of top quality inflatable paddle boards which are mainly praised for quality. Quality is an important asset of ISLE which is why they decide to strictly made this board out of military grade bullet proof vest material and industrial drop stitch construction, making this board undefeatable. In the real world, this kind of quality translates to extra ordinary resilience which is why the manufacturer run this board through a set of torture tests which included dropping it off a roof and running it over with an SUV. Impressive!
Packaging is also a strong point for this board as it comes in a healthy package, including a high pressure hand pump, a travel paddle, a repair kit, fins and a carry bag back pack for an easier transportation and storage.
As far as features are concerned, the ISLE Airtech 12′ touring inflatable SUP Board is definitely taking the lead as it displays an elegant design and smart feature placement. The first thing that attracts your attention when look at the board is the long extended nose and the quality gripping pad covering 50% of the surface. This pad doesn’t only look good but it’ll also improve your stability and ability to manoeuvre significantly. Another interesting feature is the D-rings + bungee cord placement which is meant to perform as a cargo holder for pretty much anything ranging from your paddle to your sandals. This board also features a couple of carry handles to facilitate transporting this board inside and outside water at ease.
Down to the most important element in a racing SUP, performance is king for the ISLE Airtech 12′ SUP Board and that is something only a real life test can prove to you. When placed side by side with its competition, you can easily tell that this 12 foot long 31 inches wide giant is engineered better in terms of dynamics and flexibility. Another interesting characteristic is the triple fin system that this board harbours which is not only appealing to the eye but also very practical for an improved navigation and agility. What do you think of the ISLE Airtech 12′ touring inflatable SUP Board?
- The ISLE Airtech is 12′ iSUP a defining race SUP board both in terms of quality and performance.
- It’s a very stable inflatable stand up paddle board that tracks extremely straight.
- Very stiff at 12 PSI, it is every bit as stiff as a non-inflatable.
- It comes in an all-inclusive package with everything you’ll need for a successful cruise.
- Inflating this this board up to 12 PSI can be a tedious task. Other than that, there isn’t anything else that is relevant enough to make it on the Con list for this board.
1 – Tower Paddle Boards Xplorer 14′
Sitting on the throne of the best race SUP boards is the might Tower Paddle Boards Xplorer, descendent of a legendary line of remarkable boards.
It’s no surprise that a Tower is on top of this list as this brand has accomplished what older brands couldn’t and that is create a perfect board.
The Tower Xplorer might just be a prototype of a supreme design and it all begins with quality. The most remarkable aspect of this board has to be the bullet proof military PVC material which is then glued together via a defined drop stitch construction, making this board virtually untouchable. In simpler English, this board has been through a bunch of torture tests from rocky shallow water to being run over by a car and it passed with flying colors.
Packaging has also a strong influence on our decision as buyers and that is because it can literally make the difference between a pain in the back and an exciting experience. Rest at ease however as the Tower Xplorer made sure to hook you up with everything you’ll really need to maintain this board. The Xplorer is thus shipped with a high pressure hand pump + pressure gauge and a top notch collapsible aluminium paddle which are the two accessories you can’t do without.
When it comes to the basic features of the Xplorer, you can tell that the makers of this board invested a lot of time and dedication to make it reach the number one spot. The aesthetic surface of the board is mediated by a strong gripping pad which not only prevents slippage but also improves balance and maneuverability. Further this 14 foot long 32 inches wide Tower features a large central fin which is the cherry on top of the cake as it will make navigation a piece of cake.
Speaking of performance, nothing says race material like a perfectly shaped board and this one specifically received quite a lot of attention to get to the point where it sits right now. The dynamic engineering of the board and the precision to the finest details make this Xplorer a power board and that is far beyond any contender at this point. The navigation system is in itself a charm as the placement and design of the fin is meant to enhance speed and minimize water resistance to get you from point A to B in time. (This board, like any other will certainly perform a lot better on flat water than disturbed currents)
- The quality of build and that of core material make the Tower Xplorer a must for anyone who’s looking for an inflatable SUP board that’d last for a life time without any problems.
- The Tower Xplorer is a very stable board that picks up speed quite quickly and tracks very well.
- It can handle a lot of weight without any issues and has plenty of room.
- The Tower Xplorer features a hefty price tag.
- The package might have been fuller if it included a back pack.
- The paddle could have been better.
- You might need an electric pump to inflate this big boy.