Finding The Best Stand Up Paddle Board Seat

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Have you ever been kayaking? If you have, or if you know a little bit about SUP’s sister sport, then you know you can enjoy kayaking standing up or sitting down. Sounds nice, right? That choice between sitting and standing can make a real difference for some people.

Imagine you’re out on the water and you’re a bit tired of standing, what do you do? You can sit down and rest, I guess. Perhaps you give sitting down on your board and paddling like that a whirl. The best alternative is to get yourself a paddle board seat, making your board a sit-down or stand-up paddle board.

Let’s break down what paddle board seats are before we get into some recommendations for the best seats available!

The Different Types of Paddle Board Seats

There are two main types of paddle board seats; inflatable or foam. The differences between these two types of SUP seats are minimal at best, but here is a deeper look into the two options.


When it comes to inflatable paddle board seats, the most significant difference is that they’re able to get as wet as can be, but they don’t retain water. Simply wipe away the water, or let it dry out a bit in the sun, and it’s like it never happened.

You’ll get good back support and a reasonably comfortable seat. Still, it won’t be as comfortable as a foam option which is to be expected.


In contrast to how inflatable SUP seats handle water, foam soaks the water up. It retains the water for a while before finally drying off. Foam seats are indeed more comfortable than inflatable seats. They are also more sturdy and provide little room for error in terms of falling off.

Probably the most significant difference from foam’s standpoint is that they’re more widely available in comparison to inflatable seats. Very few brands actually make or offer an inflatable seat. Therefore foam is still the predominant choice material for SUP seats.

How to Install a Paddle Boarding Seat

This process can vary depending on which paddle board seat you’ve got, but here’s the general procedure for installing a SUP seat.

Step One – Center SUP Seat

If you have an inflatable seat, you’ll need to inflate it first. Once your seat is ready to go, you’re going to center in the middle of your SUP. Make sure you don’t place it where you usually stand but don’t veer too far away from the center.

Step Two – Attach the Seat to Your SUP’s D-Rings

Your SUP will have four D-rings that you’re going to use to anchor the seat to the board. There are going to be two separate sets of D-rings, one set in the front, the other in the back. Simply clip the two front straps to the D-rings by the board’s nose and the back straps to the D-rings at the board’s tail.

Step Three – Try it Out and Adjust as Necessary.

Now that everything is in place, you’re going to get on and give it a try. Of course, you’re going to have to work to adjust the SUP seat how you’d like it before hitting the open waters with your new seat. However, don’t be alarmed; it’s easy to adjust whenever, wherever, but better to have it altered as necessary before heading out.

That’s it; that’s the process. It couldn’t be more straightforward if it tried. Take note that if you’re going with multiple people on the board, then the rule of staying close to the center becomes less critical. This is because you’ll have a more even distribution of weight on your board.

5 Best Paddle Board Seats

There are so many options out there that it can quickly become overwhelming. Here are some of the best paddle boarding seat options available just to help make your decision a little easier.


Overall Dimensions  17.72 x 17.72 x 5.12 inches
Dimensions Seat/Backrest 15” x 12” (Seat) 

19” x 17” (Backrest)
Weight 2.16 Pounds

>> Check prices on Amazon

THURSO SURF SeatThurso is one of the best brands in the business. It doesn’t matter what you get from Thurso, they’ve usually got a firm understanding of how to make great products, and their SUP board seat proves that theory.

At first glance, the Thurso Surf SUP seat doesn’t look comfortable at all. However, it’s incredibly comfortable thanks to the Polyethylene foam (PE) backrest, which is soft and offers endless comfort while out on the water. The biggest complaint that can be levied against the Thurso Surfs SUP seat is the narrow cushion. It’s unnecessarily small, and while it’s an inch thick, which is excellent, the actual width and length leave a lot to be desired.

Sure my tangent may seem like this isn’t a product you should even consider, but there is far me to love with the Thurso Surf SUP seat than there is to hate. With four straps, and sturdy clips, you’ll be able to enjoy a secure and comfortable seat out on the open waters.

Key Features

  • PE material used for back support
  • Additional accessory bag included for personal belongings


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install and able to be used with most SUP’s
  • Soft and comfortable


  • The cushion is narrow

SereneLife Seat

Overall Dimensions  19.9 x 18.4 x 2.8 inches
Dimensions Seat/Backrest 15” x 13” (Seat) 

18” x 20” (Backrest)
Weight 2.4 Pounds

>> Check prices on Amazon

SereneLife SeatNo matter who you are, the SereneLife is for you! SereneLife’s SUP seat is universal, unisex, and unbelievable. Okay, it’s believable, but still, it’s a great SUP seat.

The serene life is focused on providing a comfortable seating experience with a wide base and large backrest. It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small; this SUP seat has your back. The seats themselves are made with polyester and engineered EVA. It also features adjustable straps and copper hooks.

You can’t go wrong with the SereneLife SUP seat, and you won’t regret purchasing it once you get a chance to test it for yourself.

Key Features

  • Universal body size
  • The design is form-fitting
  • Polyester
  • Engineered EVA


  • Back support features molded foam
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Works for bodies of all shapes and sizes


  • The dimension of the seat base is a little small

South Bay Board Co.

Overall Dimensions  24 x 10.4 x 1.5 inches
Weight 2.4 Pounds

>> Check prices on Amazon

South Bay Board Co. SeatThe South Bay Board Co. is well known for their SUP and Kayak boards, but they’re just as good at creating quality accessories and gear.

The South Bay Board Co.’s SUP seat is foam molded and offers an outstanding comfort level for people of all shapes and sizes. In addition, the material used for this SUP seat is weather resistant which means rain isn’t going to soak it and leave you sitting in a puddle.

The SUP board comes with repair glue, 4 SUP d-rings (in case your SUB doesn’t have its own), an insulated cooler (attachable), and pockets.

The South Bay Board Co. is dedicated to making quality SUP products, and this is a fine addition to their line of boards and gear!

Key Features

  • Universal body size
  • Weather-resistant fabric
  • Durable


  • Comes with an installation kit
  • Easy to install
  • Has an attached backpack


  • The seat might not be as comfortable for super skinny people


Overall Dimensions  30 x 14 x 3 inches
Dimensions Seat/Backrest 15” x 12” (Seat)

20” x 18” (Backrest)
Weight 2.85 Pounds

>> Check prices

GILI SeatGili, as a brand, is dedicated to the SUP sport and therefore is pros at making equipment and gear that matters to SUP users. Their SUP seat is maybe one of the best available and might even be the best on this list!

This form-fitting seat is ready to take you in and keep you secure and, most importantly, comfortable. It has a wide backrest which is exceptionally well padded, and a base that is just the right size and padding to match. A big draw of the Gili SUP seat is that it features molded foam and connecting straps made of brass which will last a lifetime, according to Gili.

All in all, this is another sensational product by Gili. It easily earns its place on this list and maybe even your shopping carts.

Key Features

  • Thick base padding
  • Molded foam
  • A wide backrest


  • Great padding
  • Brilliant back support


  • No storage back attached

Pelican Boats – Sit-on-top Kayak or SUP Seat

Overall Dimensions  19.9 x 18.4 x 2.8 inches
Dimensions Seat/Backrest 15” x 13” (Seat) 

18” x 20” (Backrest)
Weight 2.4 Pounds

>> Check prices on Amazon

Pelican Boats - Sit-on-top Kayak or SUP SeatPelican is one of the best brands out there for countless products that are meant to last a long time and are reliable. As a result, the sit-on-top kayak or SUP seat by Pelican is no different.

The Pelican SUP seat is easy to attach to your paddle board’s D-rings. It can work with almost every available SUP, but it may need the accessory mounting kit in some cases.

The Pelican SUP seat offers a wide seat which is comfortable to most people, though I’d argue it could be padded a bit more. Also, the backrest isn’t as high as it could be, but it’s still good enough that you won’t be complaining that it’s uncomfortable. You can effortlessly adjust the straps while using the Pelican SUP seat, thanks to its multi-web system. The material itself is soft and breathable, perfect for when you’re out on a hot day.

This is another fine entry into the world of SUP products from Pelican that is worthy of your consideration!

Key Features

  • Wide seat
  • Breathable material
  • Straps are adjustable


  • Fits nearly every available SUP
  • Sturdy


  • Not enough available padding
  • Small backrest


Here are some of the questions we frequently come across when it comes to SUP seats.

Does a paddle boarding seat make paddle boarding more difficult?

No, it just makes it a little more like kayaking in the sense that you’re able to sit down on the paddle board and paddle. But, beyond this comparison, there’s no real change to difficulty levels of paddle boarding as a whole.

Can people who are physically unable to SUP use a paddle boarding seat to enjoy the sport?

Yes, they can, but it’s advised that they do so under the watchful eye of someone who knows what they’re doing in order to help in the event of an accident. Additionally, it’s probably best to stick to calm waters without hazardous elements surrounding just to be on the safe side. While we want anyone and everyone to benefit and enjoy this fantastic sport, we also need to take safety seriously!

Why should I even consider getting on of these paddle board seats?

There are several reasons why you should consider getting a paddle boarding seat. For example, they’re comfortable, give you a chance to sit and enjoy the water if you’re tired of standing, great for passengers, and more.

Are there paddle boards that come with seats built into them?

Yes, some SUPS have optional seats already built into them and can be removed if unwanted. The hybrid model is slowly becoming more and more embraced both by companies and the community.

Final Thoughts

Now you have the chance to go out into the big vast open waters in comfort and style. You can choose to sit or stand on your SUP or alternate between the two as the journey goes on; you know, have that choice. You’re also able to make SUP more accessible to people who maybe couldn’t have enjoyed the sport with you before! If they don’t have a seat, there’s no excuse! They can just sit right on the board and glide as well!

Let us know in the comments which model you went for and how it worked out for you!

If you know a friend who needs to make a tough decision about which paddle board seat to get, share this article with them, so they’ve got all the knowledge they need to make the best decision.


Paddleboarding has been one of the few activities that's allowed me to take a mental break from life and just be in the moment. Whether you're looking for an outlet, a method for physical fitness, or even just a way to meet new people, paddle boarding can put you on a path to achieving all these goals. Every article I post on this site is made with the intention to spread sup love and get more people to stand up and paddle!

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