First time paddling is an exciting experience. You can head out for a relaxing paddle on a calm lake or go for a fast-paced paddle to get a workout.  However, it can also be very challenging if you don’t have the right paddle board. 

In this article, we’ll look at three high-quality soft top paddle boards that will help you enjoy paddle boarding. These boards are perfect for the paddleboarder that is coming into the water sport of stand up paddle boarding for the first time. 

Soft Top Paddle Board Reviews

We’ve reviewed 3 soft top paddle boards to help you choose the best soft top paddle board. Here are our favourite soft top boards and why we picked them.

How To Choose A Soft Top Paddle Board – Buying Guide


Soft top stand up paddle board offers a relaxing way to have fun on the water. To find the best soft top SUP consider a board’s weight, size, length and durability. Keep reading to find out more.


The length of a SUP board plays a major role when it comes to determining how the board functions. Longer boards are faster than short boards. When deciding the length of SUP to buy, keep in mind the intended use.

Short boards below 10 inches are great for kids and surfing because they’ve a planing hull. They’re also more maneuverable than long boards which make them perfect for surfing large waves. SUP boards designed for kids are usually around 8 inches long.

Medium boards measure between 10 inches to 12 inches. They’re perfect for all-around use and for SUP yoga. Most of these boards have planing hulls but you’ll sometimes find a displacement-hull SUP at this length.

Long boards measure 12.6 inches and above. They’re great for long distance touring and racing as well as fast paddling. The majority of paddle boards in this size range are displacement-hull SUPs.

They tend to track straighter and are faster than short and medium paddle boards. If you’re interested in racing or touring long distances or paddling fast, a long board will be ideal for you. Before choosing a length, it is good to understand how it relates to weight capacity and volume.

A longer board can increase the capacity and volume which make it feel more stable and enable you to carry more on the board. Also, don’t forget to consider board length in regards to your home storage situation, type of car and distance to the shore or beach since longer boards are difficult to carry especially in windy places.


All soft top SUP boards should state clearly their maximum weight capacity – the maximum user weight it can support. If the weight capacity of a board is higher than your weight, consider it suitable for your use.

However, there are some factors that you should bear in mind because they may affect your paddling experience. Ask yourself if you’ll be paddling alone, with your dog or kids. If you’ll bring another person on board, you’ll need to sum up your weights to ensure the soft top stand up paddle board you’ll be picking can support all of you put together.

If you’re using an inflated board, ensure it has been inflated to its full PSI so as to receive the right level of support. If you fail to inflate it properly, your SUP board may not sit high enough in water and you’ll notice some buckling under your weight.


Foam paddle boards are made from foam based material except for a few plastic parts and wood stringers. However, the wood strings are very important to the overall construction because they add to a board’s durability. That’s why most 10.6 ft or 11 ft foam paddle boards can support over 300 lbs which is a lot of pressure.

They’re more durable than plastic and can dent without taking on water. These boards can also be scratched but the scratching won’t have any effect on your board’s performance.

Foam boards also have a sealed water tight core. Both EPS and PE foams are a styrene foam which is waterproof. It won’t absorb water if you put a dent in it. Water can’t penetrate because both types of foam are closed cell.

However, sometimes there can be a faulty lamination on top or bottom foam to the core inside. In such a case, if you get a hole in the board within the same area, water can be trapped between the layers but it won’t be absorbed. To fix dents and cuts on the foam easily, use a hot glue gun.

Related Review: Foam Surfboard


The size of the SUP board will depend on your weight, height and the type of paddling you’ll be doing. As a general rule, paddlers who are small and light as well as kids find boards that are large too heavy to maneuver, so smaller boards will be a perfect fit for such paddlers.

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On the other hand, heavier or taller paddleboarders need large boards that can support their weight. As a rough guide, you’ll need a board that’s 11.6 ft long if your weight is less than 170 lbs. And if you weigh anywhere between 170 lbs and 220 lbs, the ideal board for you will be between 11.7 ft and 12.6 ft.

If you weigh more than 220 lbs, you should go for a board measuring 12.7 ft or even longer. However, ask yourself if you’ll be specializing. This is because SUP for touring, yoga, surf and fishing require foam paddle boards of different shapes.


The soft top SUP boards are the most affordable type of SUP. With more retailers and manufacturers entering the SUP market, you can easily find a board that’s within your budget.

In general, if you’re buying your first board and you want something from a well known brand that will give you a real taste of SUP and one that will last longer, go for boards priced in the $600-$800 range.

Though this may seem to be a big spread, bear in mind boards priced over $800 can be put on sale in the $700 range. If you’re ready to sacrifice on the finer details like weight reduction, durability and construction, you can still find a quality board for less than $600. All you’ve to do is just conduct some research.



Q: What Is A Soft Top Paddle Board?


These are the cheapest paddle boards but it doesn’t mean they comprise on quality. The design and material used in construction is what defines soft top SUP boards. These boards are designed with foam cores and made of soft epoxy fibreglass material.

Its purpose is to reduce the weight of the board making it easier to transport. The softer materials used for making foam paddle boards are more durable compared to those used in harder boards.

Soft top boards are made in different sizes which are optimized for paddleboarders of different weights and heights. They also have wide surfaces making them more popular with beginner paddleboarders. Your landing will be easier if you lose your balance.

They never crack which increases longevity and are designed with traction pads to increase stability for paddleboarders. Their biggest advantage is their ease of use and many beginners find them more comfortable, stable and easier to balance on.

This is the reason that has made these boards to become popular among paddleboarders that practice yoga on water. Yoga involves lots of complicated moves hence losing balance especially on water surfaces is very easy.

Water increases workout intensity increasing the need for balance. Soft top SUP boards provide this balance and the cushioned surface of these boards reduces pressure on feet and knees.

Related Review: Balance Board For Surfing

These boards can also be used in a wide variety of water encounters and will offer you a smoother landing if you get shaky preventing serious injuries.

Soft stand up paddle boards are durable because of the construction. They last longer compared to their harder alternatives and are priced cheaply.

Q: What Is The Difference Between Soft Top And Hard Top Paddle Boards?


A soft top paddle board is perfect for beginners. They’ve a soft surface, wide shape and a traction pad to maintain balance making it easier to stand on. Tail and nose rockers help beginner paddleboarders in making turns. The epoxy fibreglass with a foam core makes it easier to lift and transport the stand up paddle board.

A hard top paddle board is made from hard epoxy fibreglass and has a hard top. A majority have traction pads while others don’t have and are suitable for experienced paddleboarders. You should wax the top of the paddle board before riding it in case you buy one without a traction pad to prevent falling and slipping in the water.

They’ve fins as well as front and rear rockers to accommodate a range of water conditions such as wave riding and rough surf.

Q: Why Choose A soft Top Paddle Board?


A soft top paddle board is suitable for beginner paddleboarders as they’re easier to use, more versatile and stable. The soft surface, wide shape and a traction pad will also help you maintain balance and make it easy to stand on.

These stand up paddle boards are also great for yoga, fishing, teaching your children how to paddle, and are affordable because they’re designed with inexpensive materials.

They’re also dog-friendly because the board’s wider deck gives your dog more room to move around while the deck pad is constructed with a soft material that’s perfect for your dog’s stability.

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Soft stand paddle board make for a greater beginner SUP and also a spare SUP board or long-lasting backup board if you upgrade to fibreglass. You should give the soft top board a try if you frequent the water. They’re also ideal for the whole family.

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