This is a review of the best non-inflatable paddle boards in 2022.
I am Angle, the water sports consultant of SSW Board House (a water sports school and rental center), I am a retired professional kayak athlete, and I have been teaching kayaking and paddle boarding for over 10 years.
If you’re planning on taking stand up paddle boarding, fishing, yoga or a host of other water-based family activities, a non-inflatable paddle board might be for you. It provides the convenience of a paddle board, without the hassle of having to inflate it or the constant worry that it’ll pop under you if you snag against a rock or a shorebed.
We’ve prepared a list of what we consider the best non-inflatable paddle boards on the market right now. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddle boarder, we’ve got a recommendation for you here.
So, to get you out on the water as soon as possible, here we go.
- Best All Rounder: ISLE Cruiser 10’5” Stand Up Paddle Board
- Best Budget: Surftech Chameleon
- Best Durable: South Bay Big Barco Pro Paddle Board
- Best Beginner Friendly: BIC Sport ACE-TEC Cross
Best Non-inflatable Paddle Boards – Our Picks
Here are our most recommended non-inflatable paddle boards.
- Key Features: Comfort croc skin, leash plug, 6-point bungee, Gortex vent plug, LIFT SUP handle
- Material: Drop-Stitch PVC Inflatable SUP
- Dimensions: 126x32x4.5 inches
- Weight: 24 lbs
- Best for: All-rounder
This one’s unique on the list since it’s the only flat top we recommend. The way it’s constructed makes it seem rigid like an epoxy SUP, but durable like an inflatable. This board is also constructed almost identically to an ISLE epoxy paddle board, but with this one, you’ve got a finishing layer of croc-skin padding.
Basically, it’s rigid and stable enough for beginners up to seasoned riders, you will feel like you are paddling on a kayak.
The padding comes in handy with how versatile this board is. With a wide stance and 24 pounds of weight, you can use it for flatwater paddling, yoga, fishing, stand up paddle boarding, and many other activities.
Its full accessory package includes a paddle that can be adjusted from 86 inches to 65 inches, a coil leash, and a nylon touring center fin. You can place the accessories in the four point front bungee system for activities like fishing or for other miscellaneous gear.
Since this is the only flat top board on our list, you might find the finish a little different from what you’re used to. It’s still fiberglass epoxy, it just might not be the grip you prefer.
- Key Features: lightweight, EVA deck pad, Durable TEKefx Construction, Crossover hybrid shape
- Material: EVA, Bamboo
- Dimensions: 124x31x4.3 inches
- Weight: 24.36 lbs
- Best for: Budget
The Chameleon is more than worth it at its price range. Usually, touring boards of similar quality will go for around $1,500 and up, so you’re saving around $500 going for this board. Since this is a touring board, it won’t come with the usual fishing rod holder. Sometimes I will use this board for surfing when the waves are great.
But just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean it’s of lesser quality. You get what you pay for, and while stability isn’t a major feature, it more than makes up for its maneuverability and glide.
It’s got a 190lbs carry capacity, with a fairly comfortable internal ergo grip, which is around mid-tier comfort for us. Plus, it’s only around 22 lbs, so it belongs to the lightweight category as far as stand up paddle boards go.
Since it falls under the lightweight bracket under 30lbs, this board offers exceptional fast glide designed for touring and racing. Its hybrid shape also makes it faster compared to other recreational boards where a slower glide is preferred.
The only downside to this touring board might be the tradeoff of stability for range. While it is quite stable, it’s definitely not a board for beginners. But if you’re thinking about getting it for touring, you might already be used to this compromise. We would also have preferred an external grip handle but the make on this one suits us just fine.
- Key Features: Wax-free deck pad and carbon fiber decks, tapered rails, lightweight,
- Material: Custom Bamboo and Carbon Fiber Decks & Rails, CNC Precision Cut Shapes, Hand Tapered Rails
- Dimensions: 123x34x8 inches
- Weight: 35 lbs
- Best for: Durability
Made from high-quality sourced materials, the South Bay Big Barco Paddle Board has got your back if you’re looking for a durable and semi beginner-friendly board. Its concave bottom deck gives you the ability to maneuver it easily, even if you’re new to the sport.
The board’s tapered rails and light weight also lets you make smooth, accurate, and quick transitions. As a result, it’s surprisingly faster than other boards of its size.
Speaking of size, at 32 inches, it’s sturdy enough to handle both flat water and small waves. So whether you’re paddling along the stream, or catching the waves on open water, you can count on this board to keep you afloat.
The name might suggest that this is made for pros, but from our experience, even semi-beginners can feel at home using this model. With its lightweight, and durable carbon fiber decks and rails, you won’t have to worry about it taking a beating.
While the brand does advertise its wax-free deck pad, we still recommend you wax your board for better foot placement, and to keep you in control despite the rocky turns.
- Key Features: keeled nose design, lightweight, quick fin – tool-free,
- Material: Fiberglass
- Dimensions: 132x34x5.5 inches
- Weight: 35.49 lbs
- Best for: Beginners
To finish off our list is a board built for beginners, the BIC Sport. It may sometimes be called the little plastic board, but don’t let the fiberglass fool you—this one is just as sturdy as the others on our list.
This board is rigid and sturdy which makes it a good board for new paddlers to try their hand at watersports. Made of fiberglass, it is light, durable, and stable enough for stand up paddle boarding.
Its design consists of a keeled nose that makes it easy for the board to glide and track straight. Plus, the deck area is flat, so you can make use of the whole board.
Convenient and lightweight, we recommend this board for family sports, whether it be fitness water sports like yoga, flat water cruising, or stand up paddle board fishing. Whatever family-friendly water activity you can think of, this board might just do the job.
Best Non-inflatable Paddle Boards – What to Consider
Consider the following factor to choose the best non-inflatable paddle boards.
Most paddle boards on the market are made of an EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam core, which is then wrapped in an epoxy and fiberglass finish. This type of board turns out fairly durable and moderately lightweight.
Carbon fiber boards offer a super lightweight option, plus more rigidity and stiffness. Some boards even incorporate wood and plastic for an added aesthetic.
Plastic boards are the most affordable option on the market. However, compared to carbon fiber and EPS boards, they’re a lot heavier, and the tradeoff for its price is its performance.
For length, you have to consider who is using the board. Different lengths for different age brackets and level of experience.
Short boards, those around the 10’ area, are perfect for children since a short board is easier to maneuver and lighter than the regular 12’ boards. These are also suitable as surfboards too if you’re an adult.
Medium boards, or those around 10’ -12’, are the most ideal for all around use—you can use them for stand up paddle boarding, yoga, and surfing. It’s basically a very family-friendly board.
Longboards, or boards with sizes 12’-14’, are for more experienced users. If you’re looking for a long-distance paddling board or for fast paddling, you should consider this type. These tend to track straighter and glide faster on the water, but need a lot more paddling power on your part.
If you’re new to paddling, it’s best to check a sizing chart for which boards can support your weight. This will help out with maneuverability and stability in the long run.
Every board has a max cap on the weight it can carry before it tips over. You can check the max cap (usually in pounds) on the board information and see which one fits your needs best.
A non-inflatable board, like the ones on our list, offers more stability than an inflatable one. This is mostly because a non-inflatable, solid interior board offers a more rigid, weighted experience that’s also more suitable for fast-paced activities like surfing and more.
Here are some commonly asked questions relating to choosing non-inflatable paddle boards and their quick answers.
Are inflatable paddle boards better than regular ones?
Compared with regular SUPs (hardboards), inflatable paddle boards are more affordable, comfortable, portable, lighter, and require less storage space.
However, a solid paddle board is more stable, durable, can withstand strong weather, and can be used for surfing.