Everyone loves a good paddle boarding session on the sandy beaches, in crystal clear oceans, with the sun beating on them on a fantastic summer’s day. However, sometimes the sea just isn’t ready for you and your board, or you’re in the mood for something maybe a little calmer. These times call for a different body of water. They call for lakes.
Enjoying paddle boarding on the lake requires you to get a SUP board designed for the occasion. This article will explain everything you need to know about lake paddle boarding and tell you about some of the best paddle boards for lakes on the market. So let’s not waste any more time; let’s dive in!
If I were to pick which board I love, I’d go with the Sprint. But I want to pick something that I think everyone can enjoy regardless of skill, and that’s the Bluefin Cruiser which is basically just the light version of my pick. All are welcome to use this board and benefit from its incredible design, features, and abilities.
You’ll never find yourself wondering what if I got this, or that, when you’re on the Cruiser. This board is solid and really gets you where you need to go with a bit of style in the process. I’ve been on the Cruiser many times, and if I didn’t have an undying love for the Sprint, you’d probably see me on the Cruiser far more. You can read my full review on both of these below!
The 5 Best SUPS for Lakes
ISLE Pioneer Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
ISLE is one of paddle boarding’s biggest brands. They have consistently put out products that are raved about from all corners of the community. Their Pioneer board is one of the most popular iSUPs on the market, and it’s easy to see why!
This lightweight, durable board is ready to hit the open waters, and boy is it prepared to take on anything you throw at it. ISLE has even run over the board with a car to prove its strength, so that should tell you something! Constructed using a military-grade PVC, this board is rigid enough to take on all types of lake SUP activities.
The board itself is designed to be broad and therefore provides a highly stable time on the water. With the EVA traction deck pads, you’ll find falling off is incredibly difficult, not impossible, but difficult. The EVA traction deck pads also make bringing a companion aboard more comfortable so let you doggo know he’s good to go for a day on the lake.
The design of the ISLE Pioneer is fun and tropical with a Hawaiian touch that harkens back to the origins of the sport we all hold so near and dear. You can choose between different designs in either blue, green, or pink – green’s my favorite board out of the three. Overall this board is fantastic and worth every dime.
- EVA traction deck pads
- 6-point front bungee and 4-point rear bungee
- Rounded center carry handle
- Paddle holder
- Nose handle
- Paddle straps
- Low-quality pump included. I’d recommend purchasing your own pump.
Bluefin Cruise Carbon SUP Package
After such a strong opener, how on earth will I follow up with a quality suggestion? With ease, thanks to the Bluefin Cruise Carbon SUB package! This versatile board can turn into a kayak in seconds, adding another layer to this SUP that makes it special.
Made with the finest materials and built to last, this board is another Bluefin creation that crushes it! Beginners, intermediate, and pros can enjoy everything this board has to offer and never tire of its brilliant performance. Thanks to its wide design, this board is perfectly sized to deliver stability and moderate speeds. So you’ll be gliding in style on the calm waters of all the lakes you visit.
There are so many additional features that come with the Cruise Carbon. Whether it’s the GoPro mount, full gear pack, cargo areas, excessive D-rings, and the kick-pad that makes turning easy, there are just so many cool benefits.
- Kick pad feature for quick turns
- Carbon fiber rail layer
- US box fin system
- Three fins, one removable
- GoPro-ready fixed mount
- A good balance of performance and stability.
- Strong, sturdy construction
- Five-year warranty
- Inflating this bad boy can be a challenging task.
iRocker Cruiser 10’6”
Powerhouse brand iRocker is no stranger to producing quality SUP boards for any body of water, and the Cruiser 10’6” is no different!
The Cruiser is built using a triple-layer composite PVC construction and is ready for a challenge. However, what surprised even me was how light this board is, considering its solid and sturdy build. This attention to the construction of the Cruiser means this board is going to be around to see countless lakes with you!
When it comes to stability, few handle like the Cruiser can! This SUP is exceptionally stable thanks to its width ratio of 10’6 long, 33” wide. This makes it perfect for yoga as you’ll be able to remain firmly on the board in the water doing downward dogs till the cows come home.
Thanks in part to its wide size, the iRocker cruiser does as the name suggests and cruises. While the speeds are nothing to marvel at, they’re still decent. However, what is phenomenal is the maneuverability of the Cruiser, which is attributed to its short and wide build. In terms of design, the cruiser is a stylish board and has six color options, so there’s something for everyone.
Overall, the iRocker presents a well-designed board that is stylish aesthetically and has high-performance capabilities. A purchase like this is one you never look back on with regret.
- 4 x multi-action mounts
- 3 x carry handles, front, rear, and center
- 20 x D-rings
- 3 x removable fins
- 2 x bungee storage areas, front and back
- Numerous options for color
- Solid and durable build
- D-rings for days.
- Fairly lackluster speeds achieved with iRocker Cruiser
Bluefin SUP 14′ Sprint Carbon
I’ve mentioned a ton of boards that, while exceptional, aren’t the fastest. Best believe a board with the word SPRINT in the name is about to completely ignore this featured complaint and offer up something a little different, something a whole lot faster. The Sprint Carbon 14 is one of Bluefin’s finest boards on offer, and it has so much to provide a paddle boarder!
This board goes far beyond the call of duty and offers up something exceptionally durable in terms of construction. Bluefin has stated that this board has ‘the densest drop stitch pattern on the market.’ This, combined with the carbon fiber rail layer, means the board is stiff and built to last. Above all, it’s ready for a challenge. While it welcomes the lake’s calm waters, it also yearns for the raging rapids and bumpy rides down streams and rivers.
Considering this board is fast, you had to have assumed there was a trade-off, and there is. This board is more narrow than others on the list. As a result, it’s less stable. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it devastatingly unstable, but I wouldn’t say it’s stable either. Because of this fast and furious yet unstable design, beginners are strongly advised against the Bluefin Sprint.
The design of this board is stylish while limited in choices; by that, I mean there are no choices. What you see is what you get, and what you get is a whole lotta blue. All the additional products are included, like the pump, paddle, leash, bag, and fin. There is no going wrong with purchasing this board. It’s well worth it if you’re up for the task of taming this beast.
- Three-fin system, removable center fin
- 5 x carry handles
- Kick pad is built-in and helps with quick turns
- Front and rear bungee storage
- Fixed-mount for GoPro
- Exceptional performance
- Kick pad really aids maneuverability
- The construction on this board is world-class
- If you’re a beginner, this board just might not be the best idea
- Low-quality paddle and pump (which only has a single chamber)
Blackfin Model X
Blackfin Model X is the Cruiser’s cousin as they’re both made by iRocker. This SUP has everything you’d want in a paddle board. It sticks to the iRocker formula of making durable quality paddle boards.
Made using a triple-layer PVC and has a carbon rail which makes it more durable and rigid. This beast of a SUP can take on 450 lbs. So you can bring a few friends out on the lake! Thanks to a healthy width of 35’, this board claims one of the highest stability ranks on this list of paddle boards. Thanks to this stellar stability, this board is highly recommended for fishing and yoga. Considering there are 20 D-rings, this board more than qualifies for a fishing trip or two… hundred.
Like with the cruiser, the Blackfin Model X is sadly not the fastest board due to its width. However, it’s far better at maneuverability and can handle just fine, considering its perfect size for flat water paddle boarding. The design of the Model X is stylish and comes in three different color options; teal, blue, and white. You’ll have all the necessary accessories included, such as a pump, backpack, leash, paddle, and more to make you and your paddle board water-ready!
This board could be the board you’re looking for to enjoy a relaxed day on the open still waters of the lake. It’s iRocker; quality is almost a guarantee.
- 4 x safety handles
- 8 x action mounts
- 3 x carry handles
- 3 x color options
- 2 x bungee storage areas, front and back
- 20 x D-rings
- Rigid and stable
- Solid construction
- Removable fins
- Sort of slower than you’d hope for from Blackfin but still passable
There are a few things you’re going to need to consider when looking for sup boards for lakes.
Suppose you’re buying a board specifically for paddle boarding on lakes. In that case, you don’t need a board as high-performance or technical as one made for the ocean. Instead, your main priorities should be stability, maneuverability, and easy-to-use. There are so many activities that can be enjoyed out on the lake. You need a board that’s versatile enough to handle these various activities.
Boards intended for lake paddle boarding should be somewhat broader in size. The reason behind this is that you want your board to be stable, as previously mentioned, and to do that, your boards got to be on the wider side. It’s not just the width. However, it’s also the length of the board that matters when it comes to stability.
These boards handle white waters better, which is important as the violent waters will attempt to capsize your vessel any chance they get. Still, the more stable you are, the less chance the white water is given. While stability means less speed, I highly doubt you’re going to the lakes to surf or race.
Ease of Access
Lakes are calm. A problematic board defeats the calming effects of the lake and makes for a rubbish day out on the water. You need a board that is easy to assemble or a board that’s simply one piece. The sooner you get your board ready for the water, the sooner you can start paddle boarding.
Lakes offer so much in terms of possibilities. You can enjoy yoga, fishing, touring, straight-up paddle boarding, and even racing. So naturally, you need a board that can do it all, and that’s not a hard find when you’re dealing with lake paddle boarding. Just keep versatility in the back of your mind when deciding on a SUP board. You don’t want to be the only paddle boarder unable to ride the white waters because your board can’t handle it.
Lake Vs. Ocean Paddle Boarding
There are many differences between paddling boarding on a lake versus in the ocean. Lakes are far easier to paddle boarding on than the ocean. Why? For a series of reasons. Lakes are predictable, whereas the ocean requires constant monitoring due to changing weather and tides. This isn’t an issue you’ll find with lakes as the water is predictable. While the weather is still something to keep in mind, it’s nowhere near as pervasive as paddle boarding in the ocean.
So many beautiful lakes are scattered across the globe, with nature surrounding them and offering a superior view of the world from the water. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve already gone and placed an order for one of these best sup boards for lakes! Take advantage of the natural world and explore every possible place you can to take an adventure on your paddle board, as they’re intended to do.
Let us know about some of the lakes you’ve visited and what board you use to explore. If you know a friend who’s really interested in lake paddle boarding, send them this article. Maybe they’ll find a board that fits their wants and needs. Have fun on the lakes, stay safe, and never stop exploring. Happy paddling!