If you don’t have a lot of time the best touring paddle boards that are inflatable are the Red Paddle Sport RSS.
The Best Touring SUP Hardboard is the Pau Hana Endurance Stand Up Paddle Board.
Most first-time paddlers are satisfied with the well-balanced and slow-moving design of an all-around SUP’s planing hull. Yet, there are always a few wanderlusts who want to take their paddle boarding to the next level. Adventure-minded individuals open to speedy or long-distance experiences can find all that they’re looking for in a quality touring SUP. These lengthy boards feature water-cutting hulls and tracking-approved noses that are similar to that of small boats. As such, they track and glide better than traditional SUPs.
If you’re interested in learning about touring SUPs or want to discover superior touring boards before you make your next purchase, read along. We’ve got comprehensive reviews of the best inflatable and hard touring stand up paddle boards alongside a practical and informative buying guide.
The best touring paddle boards that are inflatable go as Follows:
- Red Paddle RSS Inflatable Paddle Board
- Peak Expedition 11-Foot Inflatable SUP
- Isle 12-Foot 6-Inch Inflatable Discovery SUP
The Best Touring Hardboards are:
- 12-Foot Pau Hana Endurance Stand Up Paddle Board
- Rave Sports 12 1/2-Foot TS126 Touring SUP
- Stand On Liquid 14-Foot Bamboo Touring SUP
Touring SUP Buying Guide
The most common type of paddleboard is inarguably the all-around SUP. This simple, straightforward board features a flat planing hull and curvy surfboard-like nose. While these features do a great job of stabilizing the craft for leisure floating and SUP yoga, they are not the most performance-boosting elements.
As such, SUP manufacturers have incorporated kayak or canoe-like features into their racing and touring models. The most noteworthy difference between all-around and touring SUPS is the hull. Still, there are countless other features that are used to amplify a touring SUPs long-distance impact. Read along to explore all of the different elements of SUPs and find out exactly what to look for in a touring model.
Still confused Check out this brief explainer!
What to Look for In a Touring SUP
The most important feature of a touring SUP is its hull. Touring SUPs boast displacement hulls that closely resemble the bottom of a small canoe or kayak. These hulls arch downward to create a sharp center point that runs from the nose to the stern. While the hull’s shape determines a SUP’s overall movement, the construction materials are equally relevant.
When it comes to inflatable SUP touring boards, military-grade PVC is the material of choice. This high-quality synthetic materials lasts a long time regardless of any hard beatings it may take. What’s more, thick PVC won’t tear or puncture just because it rubs against a stick or rock. In fact, most PVCs are rated to withstand sizable (we are talking about 100-pound and greater) impacts. With that said, the greatest materials are of little use without quality seams to back them up. As such, it is important to keep an eye out for drop stitch, sealed, and bonded inflatables. These technologies ensure that a SUP’s PVC panels are welded together in a way that no air will ever escape.
On the other hand, hard SUPS are typically made of some sort of buoyant foam covered in layers of protective materials. Most high-quality hard boards feature thick EPS centers(expanded polystyrene) with multiple layers of fiberglass and epoxy resin. It’s important that the materials are lightweight (touring SUPs rarely weigh over 40 pounds) and resistant to surface abrasions (life in the water can be rough).
Many quality manufacturers also build up the core of their boards by incorporating wooden stringers or hard edges. These reinforcements help to stiffen and stabilize a touring board, making snaps a far rarer occurrence. What’s more, many high-end SUPs feature gas-release vents that are engineered to automatically let go of destabilizing heat and gases trapped inside their airtight exterior layers.
Keep in mind that most touring SUPs are longer and narrower than the recreational alternatives. In fact, they tend to be between 12 1/2 and 14 feet long and 26 and 32 inches wide. For the most part, touring SUPs are around 6 or so inches thick. While dimensions are a great determiner in a SUPs performance, they also play into passenger weight and storage potential. In fact, large SUPs are best suited for long-distance coastal cruises and multi-day aquatic adventures. That’s because they can, for the most part, accommodate camping gear and coolers without losing their balance.
Weight is also important when it comes time to transport your paddle board. After all, a 30-pound board can be a major stumbling block for small passengers with limited upper body strength. Be realistic about your own strength and how much you can carry.
The bow of a paddleboard is commonly referred to as its nose. The nose of touring SUPs are typically turned up, sharp, and pointed although some do not have displacement and simply cut through the water. They are designed to promote tracking and speed. They are engineered to cut through, rather than over, the surface of the water. The nose of a touring SUP is simply an extension of its displacement hull. As such, it’s one of the most noticeable differences between touring and all-around models. In fact, many come with ample onboard mounts for strapping on your travel essentials.
Most touring SUPs have square-shaped tails that help them to displace some of the balance lost by their aptly named displacement hulls. While a square-shaped hull lacks the maneuverability of a round one, it’s an important enhancement for long-distance and racing crafts that rarely veer from their tracks. Still, many paddlers opt for combination tails to get the greatest possible speed and maneuverability out of their SUP.
A touring SUP’s deck is yet another experience-defining element. Most SUPs, inflatable and otherwise, feature padded deck panels. These are often made from high-end EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate). This material prevents a paddler from slipping or becoming overly fatigued. Its soft cushiony texture also makes it a popular sleeping surface for paddlers on overnight excursions.
Textured, or ribbed, EVA deck pads are popular with paddlers who frequent choppy waters. These patterned surfaces provide a solid and grippy lockdown for both bare and shoed feet. Added traction also prevents loose gear from falling to a watery death. If you’re a paddler who frequently sets down your iPhone or places a cold beer on the deck of your board, you’ll want to pay close attention to pad styles.
Many paddlers overlook the importance of well-placed and comfortable handles until it is too late. Most paddleboards have, in the least, pull handles located on the back and nose of the board. These handles are particularly important when it comes to dragging your board onto the shore or into camp. Many paddleboards also have a combination of side and center handles for mounting it onto a car or carrying it to a water’s edge.
Keep in mind that some handles are inset while others pop out. The main difference is that well-anchored handles can double as tie-down points for extra gear. What’s more, certain handles, especially those with padding, make transportation far easier. So, be sure to account for and touch the handles of a SUP before making it your top choice!
Another unique element of a touring paddleboard is its fins. Some paddleboards have a single centered fin while others have two side bites, or small side fins. Others feature a combination of all three. No matter what type of fin is attached to the bottom of your SUP, it most likely fits into a recessed fin box. Most fins are removable and replaceable. They all serve to improve a craft’s maneuverability and tracking.
Keep in mind that not all SUPs come with a fin. You can typically purchase a low-cost aftermarket fin and put it on your SUP without issue.
Some touring SUPS feature replaceable bottom panels. These features provide extra protection against abrasions. While a quality coating should be enough to prevent wear and tear, it’s nice to have an extra barrier where the hull drags across the ground.
A leash keeps your paddleboard from running away from you in the case of an unfortunate dismount. What’s more, it makes remounting easier by giving you a bit of leverage. As such, it’s important that your touring SUP has a built-in leash plug adaptor exactly where you want it. As an added bonus, we love a SUP that comes with a high-end leash attachment.
No one wants to spend the day at a big-box store just to get their paddle board water-ready. That’s why we love paddle board manufacturers that include a bundle of essential accessories with their paddle boards.
With that said, inflatable SUPs require far more gear than the solid-bodied alternatives. At the very least, you need a high-pressure pump to get ana inflatable SUP to the appropriate PSI. Of course, most high-end inflatables also come with a carrying case and a few add-ons, such as gear holders, bungees, and dry bags.
Unlike kayaks, SUPs lack below-deck gear bunkers. Still, most paddlers will need to find a way to pack gear and food onto the deck for extended periods of travel. Not that a fresh-caught fish or an open-air sleeping arrangement is completely out of the question…
For the most part, touring SUPs boast a combination of bow-to-stern accessory mounts and bungee systems for securing deckside essentials. With that said, a SUP’s weight capacity is going to be the greatest determiner in what a paddler can bring along on their tour. With weight capacities as high as 300 pounds, many high-end touring SUPs can easily make room for a cooler and quite a few camping essentials.
Inflatable vs. Hard SUP
Now that you’ve been briefed on the essential elements of touring SUPs, it’s ripe time to decide whether you want an inflatable or a hard one. To do this, you’ll need to think about the importance of storage space, portability, and a few other considerations. Before you do, check out this explainer on the anatomy of a inflatable SUP!PLA
If you’ve got a quality roof rack or spacious vehicle and happen to live by your favorite rivers, lakes, or ocean, then a hard SUP is a viable option. These boards are heavier and more cumbersome than inflatables, but definitely worth the effort.
With that said, inflatables are the preeminent choice for destination-bound travelers and those with limited vehicle space. After all, a deflated SUP can be rolled into a tight bundle that can fit in small spaces, carryons, and more. Many of them even come with rolling carry cases for easy car-to-shore transfers.
Of course, they do require inflation. With that, lost, forgotten, or broken air pumps can wreak havoc on any inflatable excursion.
While it may come as somewhat of a shock, most inflatable SUPs are actually more durable than the hard ones. That’s because the pliable nature of air-filled PVC bounces back after an impact. Whereas, a hard SUP can be dented, scratched, or even snapped. As such, many paddlers prefer inflatables for choppy or obstacle-rich waters.
Hard boards take the cake in this next category. These boards are undeniably stiffer and, therefore, more resilient than their inflatable counterparts. As such, they are often the preferred option of stat-obsessed racing and long-distance paddlers. Of course, inflatables offer a comparable floating experience for a far lower price. As such, each board has a place in the ever-evolving water world!
Pros and Cons of Owning a Touring SUP
You’d be hard-pressed to find a paddler who started off on a touring SUP. It can be difficult for inexperienced paddlers to find stability on top of a wobbly displacement hull. As such, these boards aren’t well-suited for floating exercises like yoga and meditation. Still, there are few PSUs that can bat a touring paddleboard when it comes to taking lengthy coastal adventures.
Where to Take Your Touring SUP
For many paddlers, it’s not the restrictions of the board but rather the endless potential of excursions that keep them coming back for more. SUP touring is fun alone and in small groups. It’s also a great way to explore lesser-visited locations, like uninhabited coastlines, reefs, and islands. With that said, some paddlers prefer the speed and agility of touring SUPs for racing and general exercise.
Are you looking for a new challenge?
There are most likely plenty of hard and soft challenges waiting for you in your local waterways. Touring SUPs can be used in rivers, lakes, and oceans.
No matter where you SUP, be sure to scout out a route in advance. Make notes about potential stopovers, picnic locations, and camping spots. What’s more, pay close attention to local weather and tide charts. Whenever possible, plan your trip so that your traveling with the current. On top of that, be sure to take note of potential seasonal changes to the watery landscape you wish to traverse.
SUP expeditions offer a peaceful and energizing escape away from modern amenities. Still, nonstop paddling and exposure to the elements can wear on even the most experienced athletes. As such, it’s especially important to pack protective gear, food, and water. With that said, don’t even think of setting off on a tour without safety essentials. Keep in mind that PFDs (personal flotation devices) are required on most major waterways. First aid kits, leashes, sunscreen, and cell phones are not. However, we cannot think of a single experienced SUP paddler who would leave home without thees items.
Best Inflatable Touring Paddle boards Reviews
If you have a need for speed, then the Red Paddle Company inflatable SUP should be at the top of your list. This incredible touring board is designed for experienced paddlers looking to slice through the water with maximum efficiency. The board measures 11 feet long and 30 inches wide, just enough space for a lone paddler and some gear essentials. Its displacement helm, defined nose, and tight dimensions give it an almost race-like appearance. Nevertheless, this SUP is designed for outward-bound adventures.
While this 11-footer may look like your typical inflatable SUP from a distance, it has a secret weapon at its helm. The Red Co. board boasts RSS (Rocker Stiffen System) battens that provide the board with its unmatched stiffness and maneuverability. The battens, which are completely unique to Red, make the board 50-percent stiffer than the competition. In many ways, this technology alone sets the Red board apart from the masses.
Of course, the company has also taken great strides to make their products comfortable and accommodating to seasoned paddlers. In fact, the 11-foot Red features a long list of on board accessories. An all-terrain storage backpack, titan air pump, repair kit, and water-resistant phone case complete this impressive SUP package. Of course, the board also features a front side bungee tie-down for gear and a backside leash tether for board retention. If you’re already accustomed to carrying around a hard SUP, you’ll find this lightweight and easily transportable SUP kit to provide a world of convenience.
With all that said, most paddlers know that a SUP is only as valuable as its glide. As such, we’re happy to confirm that the Red SUP is an expert tracker with the potential for rapid momentum. It even has a bolt-on FCS Connect fin (a favorite in the Surf world) that helps it slice through the water at a high speed.
On top of that, it’s worth noting that the Red touring SUP has a weight limit of precisely 198 pounds. What’s more, it’s constructed of military-grade abrasion-resistant PVC and features double-thread drop stitching. What’s more, it has a durable EVA deck pad for extra cushion and support. Just inflate this board to a rigid 20 PSI and set off on an aquatic adventure!
- Durable military-grade PVC construction
- Padded EVA deck
- Disbursement hull with well-defined nose
- Exceptional tracking
- 11 feet by 30 inches
- On board bungees for securing overnight gear
- Weighs just 20 pounds
- Comes with storage pack and accessory bundle
- Patented support battens
This next touring SUP is a great option for first-time or budget-oriented paddlers. At just under $600, Peak Paddle Board’s 11-foot inflatable touring SUP, the Expedition, is, for lack of a better word, a steal. The entire craft weighs less than 20 pounds (35-percent lighter than most boards the same size) when fully inflated. On top of that, it is constructed from dual layers of military-grade PVC with leak-resistant drop-stitch seams. While the word inflatable doesn’t exactly spell out durability, this resilient touring SUP is more enduring than most hard boards. At 6 11 feet long, 32 inches wide, and 6 inches thick, it provides ample space for passengers, pets, and more.
The Expedition has a touring-typical disbursement hull paired with a hybrid nose. Together, these features make it speedy and maneuverable. Peak has also installed a two plus one fin system that includes a center fin and two side bits. As such, this bargain-rate has tracking that compares to professional-grade touring boards. Still, the volume of this board gives it far more stability than a traditional touring SUP.
Customers love that the Expedition comes with an extensive starter kit. Its low price includes a paddle, backpack, coil leash, high-pressure air pump, and waterproof phone case. This board is easy to set up and break down. When it comes to carrying the Peak SUP, a handle duo provides multiple possibilities.
The deckside amenities on the Peak SUP are also out of this world. Nose and tail bungee systems provide ample storage space for overnight adventures. Meanwhile, stainless steel D-rings make aftermarket add-ons a possibility. On top of that, the deck is covered in a thick layer of brushed EVA. As such, it enhances a paddler’s stability and support.
With all this said, we couldn’t be happier with the Expeditions performance. This incredible SUP cuts through the water with ease. As such, skilled paddlers can maneuver along extensive water routes without succumbing to fatigue. With the Expedition’s soft yet rigid exterior, it can even serve as bedding on an overnight escapade.
- Made from two layers of military-grade PVC
- Two-plus-one fin system
- Nose and tail bungee systems
- Nose and center handles
- Stainless steel d-ring accessory attachments
- Comes with paddle, carrying case, and leash
- Complimentary waterproof phone case is included
- Displacement hull with hybrid nose
- 30-day return policy
- 1-year warranty
- Paddle is not exceptionally durable
This next SUP is great for paddlers who want to expand their aquatic horizons. The Discovery is 12 1/2 feet long and 31 inches wide, the perfect size for multi-day excursions. Like our previous recommendations, the Discovery is constructed from puncture-proof PVC. Adding to its resilience, its drop-stitch seams are machine sealed and bonded (a process made possible through Isle’s patented AirTech Fusion system). What’s more, an extra layer of high-density EVA is added to great a soft and grippy deck that’ well-suited for touring. The lightweight materials and expert construction of this paddleboard give paddlers added security when traveling through remote or rugged locations.
The Isle SUP also has a well-defined nose (similar to that of a kayak) and displacement hull for excellent tracking and speed. With that said, this paddleboard would be nothing without a reliable inflation system. In fact, it maintains a 17 PSI with the help of its high-pressure deckside inflation valve. Not to mention, it can also return to its flat packable form in less than 5 minutes. At full inflation, the paddleboard weighs just over 20 pounds.
While the Discovery is light enough for one paddler to carry it, a series of handles make transportation all the easier. In fact, customers are rather fond of Isle’s rounded carrying handle, which has a padded neoprene grip for comfort in adverse conditions. On top of that, its worth noting that the two additional side handles can be used as reliable tie-down points for times when the integrated bungees just aren’t cutting it. Meanwhile, the nose and tail handles are perfect for mooring your paddleboard or pulling onto the shore.
Speaking of bungees, the Discovery has dual six-point bungee systems. These clever storage spots are ideal for stashing go-to items, such as cell phones, sunglasses, and cameras. With a 275-pound weight limit, this paddleboard even has enough surface space to accommodate a stowaway or cooler.
Overall, customers seem pleasantly surprised by the Discovery’s balanced handling and generous onboard accessories. What’s more, most paddlers say that the grooved EVA traction pad is soft and grippy enough for extended sessions. In fact, it’s clear to see that Isle has carefully thought out and added to this incredible SUP. Whether you’re looking to do a quick yoga session in the bay or take an overnight trek to a remote island, the Isle has you covered.
- Military-grade PVC
- Patented bonded and sealed seams
- Soft, grippy EVA deck
- Great tracking
- Detachable center fin
- 257-pound weight limit
- 12 1/2 feet long, 31 inches wide, 6 inches thick
- Ample onboard bungee systems
- Seams weaken over time
Best Hard Touring Paddle board Reviews
We couldn’t think of a better way of introducing our hard touring options than with this lovely Pau Hana SUP. In case you were wondering, this rugged water beast is named after Ernest Shackleton’s infamous Antarctic voyager. The Endurance is most certainly built to handle rugged water conditions. In fact, its fiberglass displacement hull is coated in a thick polymer skin that provides protection against up to 900 pounds of exterior resistance. If there ever was a SUP that could survive an iceberg collision, this would be it.
Of course, Pau Hana’s rugged SUP does not leave paddlers without comfort. This touring vessel boasts a padded deck that can second as a sleeping surface. Don’t believe us? Many outdoor shops sell Endurance-compatible bivy sacks for overnight excursions. Beyond its cushiony standing platform, this touring SUP features 35 front and rear SeaMount attachments points. These versatile on board accessory mounts can accommodate everything from bungees to cup holders, all of which are sold separately. Since this SUP has a 271-pound weight capacity, most passengers can bring a generous amount of supplies along with them.
It’s worth noting that the Pau Hana Endurance weighs just over 30 pounds on its own. While its a bit bulkier than an inflatable SUP, its padded nose and tail handles make it possible for a single paddler to remove it from the water or drag it onto the shore. On top of that, paddlers hardly have to worry about dragging it over coarse earth or debris. Its patented Ricochet hull protection serves as a nearly impenetrable barrier.
While the Endurance’s price tag may be steep for some paddlers, it’s undoubtedly worth every penny. First off, the SUP’s EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam core serves as a lightweight and buoyant center for this otherwise armored vessel. All this is formed into a speedy displacement hull with a pointed nose and 9-inch center fin. The materials and design elements mesh together effortlessly. As such, the boat is exceptionally maneuverable, speedy, and stable.
The Endurance is a high-quality SUP that’s engineered for rugged overnight tours. It’s one of the few SUPs that can stand on design alone. While this Pau Hana product doesn’t include a gimmicky touring kit, it has the backbone required of off-grid adventure vessels. Now, if only we could figure out how to fit it in our carry on…
- Displacement hull
- 5-millimeter thick EVA deck
- Covered in a patented Ricochet hull protection
- Can withstand 900-pound impacts
- 9-inch fin for better tracking
- Recessed deck doubles as sleeping platform
- 35 SeaMount attachment points for customized onboard accessories
- Comes in your choice of olive/burnt orange or teal/seafoam colorways
If you’re on the lookout for a SUP that handles less like a surfboard and more like a kayak, then feast your eyes on the TS126. This Hexel fiberglass SUP is incredibly stiff and supportive thanks to its integrated support tails and durable epoxy resin body. It also slices through the water well because of its boat-like displacement hull and well-defined nose. What’s more, at 12 1/2 feet long, 30 1/2 inches wide, and 5 1/2 inches thick, this board is a spacious backdrop for lengthy touring adventures.
The TS126’s weight limit maxes out around 240 pounds. For most passengers, that number enables them to pack ample on board storage. With that said, the Rave Sports SUP has a nose-side elastic cargo net for battening down snacks, cell phones, and other essential items. As if that isn’t enough, the board boasts five additional tie-down points. According to the manufacturer, it tracks best with loads weighing between 180 and 280 pounds. As such, most paddlers don’t have to feel bad about packing on a few extras. Yes, that means extra brews and camp food!
If on board amenities aren’t enough to send you head over heels for this hard touring SUP, its dynamic design should be. After all, the Rave Sports TS126 is constructed from a buoyant EPS foam core that is reinforced with a single wooden stringer. On top of that, layers of fiberglass and hardened side rails give the board a stiff and resilient structure. Topping this off, a soft EVA deck pad keeps paddlers feet from slipping and sliding.
There’s no doubt that the TS126 is heavy. It weighs over 36 pounds without a passenger. Still, a self-venting plug helps equalize the dense layers of material. What’s more, a recessed padded handle makes it easy for a single paddler to transport it on their own.
Overall, customers seem to agree that the Rave Sports board is swift and stable. What’s more, most say that it tracks well. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced paddler, the TS126 can help you cover more water in less time.
- EPS foam core with wooden stringer
- Exterior fiberglass layers
- Displacement hull with pointed nose
- Soft, grippy EVA deck
- Five potential leash plugs
- Removable 10-inch center fin
- Self-centered plug
- Recessed carrying handle
- Limited 1-year warranty
- Off-centered handle
Last but certainly not least, Stand On Liquid’s 14-foot bamboo touring SUP is a gorgeous rig with a competitive edge. At just 32 pounds, this impressive touring SUP combines the aesthetic splendor of bamboo with the lightweight and buoyant qualities of EPS foam. These materials are shaped into an efficient displacement hull with a water-cutting nose for enhanced tracking. Then, they’re topped off with a soft and supportive standing deck. Meanwhile, front, back, and side carbon reinforcements give this wood-coated SUP unmatched stiffness. What’s more, vacuum-bagged molded epoxy gives the board a final layer of protective armor. You can never be too careful…
With its bulky dimensions and layers upon layers of support, this masterful SUP promises to hold as much as 320 pounds without falling below the surface of the water. That’s good news for big paddlers and big packages. If you are wondering where you can store your extra poundage, you’ll be happy to know that this SUP features nose and tail cargo nets. Adding to that, an integrated GoPro mount provides passengers with a hands-free option for capturing inevitably magical SUP moments.
According to customers, this touring SUP offers exceptional tracking and stability. In fact, it even has a single 9-inch touring fin that helps it cut through the water with precision. On top of that, it comes with an adjustable carbon paddle that ranges in length from 69 to 84 inches. While it definitely takes some skill to stabilize this board, its perfect for paddlers looking to take part in some sort of long-distance exploration.
The long and narrow shape of this board translates to more glide between strokes. As such, it’s the perfect SUP for paddlers looking to go beyond float yoga and other isolated SUP exercises. In fact, this 14-foot paddleboard may even be fit for racing.
One final look at the Stand On Liquid board reveals a vessel that can handle varying water condition
- Extra long at 14 feet
- Includes adjustable carbon paddle
- Features strategically placed carrying handles
- On board cargo necks and tie-down spots
- Soft, grippy EVA deck pad
- Removable 9-inch center fin
- Displacement hull
- 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty
If the surfboard-like style of an all-around paddleboard isn’t cutting it, a touring SUP may be the shape you need for your next adventure. These incredible floating boards are designed for maximum long-distance efficiency. Unlike the flat and rounded head of an all-around, touring SUPS come equipped with displacement hulls and kayak-like noses that cut through the water with the force of a jack-hammer (well, not quite). Of course, not all touring models are suitable for beginners. Still, the unmatched tracking and speed of touring SUPs make them a preeminent choice for races and overnight excursions.
As always we hope you enjoyed our top picks for both inflatable and hard touring SUPs. Our goal is to introduce our readers to the most impressive floatables on the market. Naturally, the six SUPs we’ve chosen to review, pun intended, blew us out of the water. With that said, no matter what SUP you choose, be sure to check out our comprehensive buying guide for detailed tips on what to look for in your next touring board!
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