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Lakes are some of the best places for beginners to learn how to paddle board. They can also be some of the most serene places for advanced paddlers to explore. I’ve been at this sport for a few years now, and I can say that paddling on lakes can be just as fun and rewarding as paddling in an ocean or river.
I bet I can guess your next question. What is the best stand up paddle board for lakes? If I read your mind, don’t freak out! Instead, take my advice on how to pick the right SUP for the water you are exploring.
- 1 What Type of Water Will You Encounter?
- 2 What about Length and Width of the Board?
- 3 What Boards are Best for What Activities?
- 4 The Best Stand Up Paddle Board for Lakes
- 5 SUPs in Lakes: One Last Word
What Type of Water Will You Encounter?
Although it might seem obvious, the type of water you will encounter in a lake can be varied. For example, I used to take my iSUP to Lake Superior. If you’ve never been up to this body of water, it looks more like an ocean. In fact, there can be substantial waves on this lake!
If you want to ride this type of water, the THURSO SURF Waterwalker would be a good choice for you.
Maybe you are interested in a more manageable lake. One where you can actually see the other side! In this case, you won’t have to worry as much about waves or choppy waters. This is what we paddlers call calm water. Even in the case of a thunderstorm, you won’t be up against anything you can’t handle. That goes for beginners, too!
Want to find some of the most breathtaking places to take your SUP? Here’s a rundown of the top 11 lakes to go paddle boarding on!
What about Length and Width of the Board?
The answer to this question depends on a few variables. The first is the kind of water you plan to paddleboard on. Most people SUP on a calm lake. If this sounds like you, I recommend a board between 10 to 11 feet in length, and 30 to 34 inches wide.
Why this specific length and width range? First, a board with these dimensions is guaranteed to support the average person on calm to calm-moderate waters. The variation in width allows for beginners and advanced paddlers to choose their preference. Remember, the length and width help you balance and stay afloat.
To learn more about paddle board sizing, check out my article on the subject.
What Boards are Best for What Activities?
There are a few different types of boards that are good to use on a lake. These are touring, racing, yoga, surf, and all-around.
Do you plan on crossing a large lake? Will this take all day or longer? Is the water mostly calm? Do you want to go as fast as possible? Does gliding sound like the perfect way to cross? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you should consider purchasing a touring SUP.
Every year, lakes around the world host stand up paddle board races. Even if there aren’t any in your area, you could organize one or simply challenge your friends! For increased speed, racing SUPs are longer than the others on this list.
Are you interested in doing yoga on a lake? If so, you will want to choose a board made specifically for this purpose. Although it may not specify yoga, you are looking for a SUP that is designed for flat water exercise. A thick deck pad is another feature to keep an eye out for.
Are you looking to take on a large lake like Superior? If so, you will want to prioritize a stand up paddle board that is shorter and more maneuverable. You will also want to practice on calmer waters first!
An all-around SUP is just like it sounds. You can use it for just about any activity you can do on a lake. In fact, all-arounds are the most common type of paddle board. A favorite is the Ten Toes Weekender, which we will review later.
If you still aren’t sure, check out our expert tips on buying a SUP.
The Best Stand Up Paddle Board for Lakes
#1: Ten Toes Weekender Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Bundle
The Ten Toes Weekender Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Bundle is one of my favorites. It comes with everything you need to get started, so you can rest assured you are getting everything you need. You receive an indestructible 3-piece paddle, pump, removable nylon fins, and a rucksack to make carrying a breeze. It even rolls up as small as 11×32 inches!
When inflated, the paddle board is a full 10 feet long, 30 inches wide, and 6 inches thick. This is the perfect size for an all-around. However, be aware beginners may want a wider board to learn on. In terms of weight limit, the iSUP can carry up to 275 pounds.
This Ten Toes inflatable stand up is made from military grade PVC, and the manufacturers say it is virtually indestructible! When you take the Weekender on the lake, you will swear you’re on a solid board. This paddle board is available in black/red, coral, marine blue, and seafoam green.
#2: Bestway Inflatable Hydro-Force Wave Edge
If you are interested in the best inflatable SUP for surfing on lakes, you might be interested in the Bestway Inflatable Hydro-Force Wave Edge. In this package, you get a pump, aluminum oar, travel bag, pressure gauge, and one removable middle fin. This last feature allows for better stability and direction. The Hydro-Force Wave Edge also comes with 2 non-removable side fins.
When inflated, the iSUP measures a little over 10 feet long, 27 inches wide, and 4 feet thick. Be aware that beginners may find the width too narrow and the ride too unstable. The weight limit is 250 pounds, and the whole thing weighs a measly 16 pounds.
This Bestway was constructed of drop stitch material for sturdiness and durability. There is even a paddle board traction pad on the top to help your feet stay firmly planted in choppy waters. The Hyrdo-Force Wave Edge comes in grey/white and green, and includes a 1-year manufacturers warranty.
#3: FunWater Inflatable Ultra-Light SUP
The FunWater Inflatable Ultra-Light SUP is a great choice for a cheap inflatable stand up paddle board. The white and blue colors are festive, and the bold design is eye-catching! In this kit, you receive an adjustable paddle, pump, travel backpack, inflatable SUP repair kit, paddle board dry bag, 3 removable fins, and a coil leash for paddle board safety.
Fully inflated, the board is 10 feet and 6 inches long, 33 inches wide, and 6 inches thick. This is a great stand up paddle board for beginners due to its width, length, and thickness. The maximum weight capacity is 330 pounds, and it weighs 17.6 pounds. That makes it a light choice for hiking into the lake. It could also be a good paddle board for dogs!
This cruising stand up was made with an additional layer of PVC board rails for more support and strength. FunWater offers 30-day risk-free returns, a 60-day money back guarantee, plus a 1-year warranty on materials. However, I doubt you’ll need this. These iSUPs are anti-UV, anti-aging, wearproof, flame retardant, and resistant to scrapes.
SUPs in Lakes: One Last Word
If you are tired of waiting for a trip to the ocean, don’t fret. Stand up paddle boarding on lakes can be just as rewarding. Even though buying a paddleboard can be difficult, you now have the tools to do just that!
What’s your favorite paddle board to use on the lake? What’s your favorite lake to paddle in? Do you have any questions or concerns about going out on a lake? Let us know in the comments below!
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I am an avid adventurer. I have canoed and kayaked through the Southwest, and lately have been on the water in Maine. I am the sole planner of group kayaking trips. As an active woman, I go through clothing and equipment frequently. I am constantly researching and purchasing gear and love to write about my time outside on the water.