Best Paddle Boards For Lakes and Flat Water of 2022

Close your eyes for a moment and picture this…

You’re sitting on your paddle board in the center of a lake. The water is calm and predictable, as water gently laps at the edges of your paddle board and ou bask in the peaceful sounds of nature.

Sounds idyllic, right?

Well, it’s not just a pipe dream. If you have a flat water paddle board and lake or slow-moving river nearby, then you can find your own nirvana.

In this article, I round up the best paddle boards for lakes and other calm waters. Whether you want to meditate, do some yoga, or work out your frustrations with some vigorous paddling, any one of these boards will be up to the task.

Read on to find your perfect flat water paddle board.

Best Paddle Boards For Lakes

Best All Around
Atoll

Atoll

Lightweight, Stable Board for Beginners & Experts

This durable board has a huge weight capacity and is incredibly versatile. Chill out with a relaxing yoga routine, go fishing or take your family out on the water—this board can do it all.

Sizes11′ x 32″ x 6″
Weight21 lbs
Capacity700 lbs
For Beginners
iRocker Cruiser

iRocker Cruiser

A Stylish, Stable Board Available in 7 Colors

Available in a range of bright colors, this durable, stable board has great storage and accessories. It’s easy to paddle, but a little slower than other boards.

Sizes10’6 x 33″ x 6″
Weight26 lbs
Capacity400 lbs
Most Stable
Blackfin X

Blackfin X

A Wide Board That’s Great for Yoga

However wobbly your yoga poses are, this board won’t tip an inch. Its stability also makes it a great choice for paddlers with young kids or dogs.

Sizes10’6 x 35″ x 6″
Weight27 lbs
Capacity450 lbs
Best For Touring
Bluefin Sprint Carbon

Bluefin Sprint Carbon

High-Performance Board for Advanced Paddlers

The Sprint Carbon is designed for speed. Beginners may find it unnervingly tippy, but advanced paddlers will love how fast and easily it cuts through the water.

Sizes14′ x 30″ x 6″
Weightn/s
Capacity353 lbs
 
Blackfin V

Blackfin V

Stable Touring Board With Great Features

It’s the priciest board on this list, but you get a top-performing board that’s better for beginners than the Sprint. It has plenty of storage and features and comes with premium accessories.

Sizes12’6 x 32″ x 6″
Weight30 lbs
Capacity485 lbs
 
Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12

Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12

Great Value Board With Kayak Conversion Kit

This board is fast and stable, making it a great beginner touring board. It comes with a fantastic accessory pack, including everything you need to convert it to a sit-on-top kayak.

Sizes12′ x 32.5″ x 6″
Weightn/a
Capacity309 lbs

All Around SUP Vs Touring Paddle Boards for Flat Water Paddle Boarding

There is no special “flatwater SUP”. In fact, you can use pretty much any paddle board to paddle a lake.  

That said, touring and all-around boards are awesome for flat water paddling. But between the two, which type makes the best paddle board for lakes?

The answer depends on the kind of paddler you are.

So let’s take a look at each one of them.

a. All Around paddle boards for Flat Water

These paddleboards typically have a rounded nose. They are wide and not too long. This shape makes them stable for paddlers of all ages and skill levels.

All around boards have decent speed, satisfactory tracking abilities, and are easy to control.

On calm water, the stability of an all around paddle board is excellent for yoga. The SUP itself is super stable and you won’t have waves trying to tip you over.

Who should buy an all round SUP for paddling flat water?

Beginners will love it. The stability on calm water presents a nice environment for learning how to stand and balance on a board.

Any paddler looking for a recreational paddle board should also consider an all around. Maybe you live near a lake and you want a board for cruising leisurely on lazy afternoons.

An all-around SUP would also be ideal for SUP fitness enthusiasts. Calm water is perfect for yoga and other fitness routines. The stability and wide platform offered by an all round make it even better.

Lastly, SUPers who love to bring their pets and/or kids will enjoy using an all around. It is wide and has enough space for both of you.

b. Touring Paddle Boards for Flat Water

Touring SUPs are longer and narrower. They have a pointed nose.

Their shape is designed for speed. Being narrower translates to less resistance, making the SUP glide faster than an all-around.

These boards also track straighter and you don’t have to change paddling sides too often.

Touring paddle boards are usually preferred for ocean paddling but they make amazing flat water SUPs too.

So, who should buy a touring paddleboard for flat water?

Intermediate and skilled paddlers would be comfortable on a touring SUP. Being narrow, this board is not exactly the most stable type out there. A beginner may find it tippy. However, many of them have decent stability and are suitable for newbies.

A touring flatwater SUP would also be ideal for the paddler who cares about performance. Do you plan on covering long distances? If you answered yes, consider a touring paddle board. It is fast and tracks impeccably.

Best Paddle Boards for Flat Water and Lakes

Which paddleboard models would be great for use on flat water? Here are the top six SUPs.

1. Atoll 11’: Best All Around SUP for Flat Water

how to paddle board straight

This is one of the best inflatable paddleboards you can find. It can be used in every water condition and will be fantastic for flat water.

atoll paddle board standing up

Build Quality

The Atoll 11 is made using Korean Dropstitch technology. It features machine-laminated dual-layer PVC. The construction makes the Atoll board one of the most durable iSUPs out there, yet it is also among the lightest.

It is so sturdy and can hold up to 700 pounds (multiple riders) and 400 pounds (single rider). And imagine it only weighs 21 pounds. Even smaller paddlers can easily carry it to the lake.

Stability

The Atoll measures 11’ by 32”. It is stable but not too wide and bulky. It is suitable for calm water activities like yoga or cruising with a pet/child. You will not have to worry about wobbling.

Performance

This Atoll inflatable SUP glides well. It is fairly long and narrow. So while it is stable, it does not sacrifice speed. It has a slightly pointed nose that helps it cut through the water smoothly. 

This iSUP is also not too big and riders of all sizes will find it maneuverable. You can even use it to teach a loved one how to paddleboard.

Design

The Atoll 11 is available in four colors: army green, light blue, desert sand, and aquamarine. All of them are gorgeous and the colors are not too loud. This inflatable board features three fins; the large center fin is removable but the small side fins are not. There are 15 D-rings on the board for attaching gear and two carry handles, at the rear and center.

Package

The Atoll 11 inflatable paddleboard package includes the board, backpack, manual pump, leash, and a paddle. The paddle has a carbon-fiber shaft and nylon blade.

What I Like
  • Great all-around performance: The Atoll is stable enough for beginners but it doesn’t sacrifice speed. Tracking and maneuverability are also great.
  • Large weight capacity: It’s suitable for paddlers of all shapes and sizes, and is an ideal board for heavy men and women.
  • Top-notch build quality: The machine-laminated dual-layer coating makes for a lightweight, rigid, and durable board.
  • Easy to carry: The Atoll is lighter than most SUPs and the backpack it comes with has padded shoulder and waist straps. Perfect for hiking to quiet, remote lakes.
What I Don’t Like
  • Side fins aren’t removable: It’s hard to find anything to criticize about the Atoll 11’, but as the side fins aren’t removable, it won’t pack up as small as some boards.

Check Price of the Atoll Paddle Board

2. iRocker Cruiser: Best Beginner Paddle Board for Lakes

irocker cruiser 2021 paddle board

The iRocker Cruiser is an impressive flatwater paddleboard, especially for beginners. Let’s see what makes it amazing.

Build Quality

iRocker inflatable paddle boards are among the most durable iSUPs on the market. The Cruiser is built using triple-layer composite PVC construction.

This design is just as strong as iRocker’s quad-layer construction except it is lighter. Tough and lightweight? Who wouldn’t want a board like that?

Stability

This is one of the iRocker Cruiser’s strongest points. It has a great length to width ratio (10’6 long and 33” wide) which translates to a stable platform. If you have been yearning to practice yoga on a nearby lake, then this board is just right for that. The Cruiser is also a perfect entry-level paddleboard.

Performance

When it comes to stand up paddleboards, you need to understand one thing: the more stable a SUP is, the slower it is likely to be. Both of these factors depend mainly on the width. Generally, a wider board is more stable but slower. A narrower one is faster but less stable.

With that in mind, the Cruiser is short and wide—its maneuverability is outstanding. The speed is not disappointing, but don’t expect it to glide like a touring SUP.

Design

The iRocker Cruiser has 20 D-rings and four multi-use action mounts. You can bring enough stuff to last you an entire day on the water, just floating and enjoying life.

You have six beautiful board colors to choose from: white/blue, orange, grey, green, teal, and seafoam green. The board has three carry handles and three removable fins.

Package

You will love the iRocker Cruiser package. It includes an iSUP, twin-chamber hand pump, wheel-compatible backpack, carbon-blend shaft paddle, and a coil ankle leash.

What I Like
  • Stable for beginners: The 33-inch width and 400-pound weight capacity makes the Cruiser stable enough for beginners of all sizes.
  • Great storage: The Cruiser has double the storage capacity of the Atoll 11’ with bungee storage areas at the front and back of the board.
  • Four action mounts: Attach your GoPro, cup holder, and other accessories.
  • Choice of colors: Stand out from the crowd with a choice of 7 colors, including pink, teal, and orange.
What I Don’t Like
  • Slower than other boards: The iRocker Cruiser gives you a relaxed, easy paddling experience, but it isn’t the fastest board on the market.

Check Price of the iRocker Cruiser

3. Blackfin X: Most Stable Paddle Board for Flat Water

blackfin model x 2021 paddle board

The Blackfin X is one of iRocker’s premium paddleboards. It comes with everything you would want in a SUP. 

Build Quality

Like the iRocker Cruiser, the Blackfin X is constructed using triple-layer composite PVC. According to iRocker, this is “the strongest and lightest construction available.”

In addition to that, the Blackfin Model X has a carbon rail that makes it more durable and rigid. 

The iSUP can hold up to 450 pounds.

Stability

This is arguably the most stable paddleboard on this list. With a width of 35 inches, you will be lucky to find a more stable platform. 

If you have always wanted to go camping or fishing, there is no better board for that. 

Performance

Given the width and length of the Blackfin X, don’t expect much in terms of speed. The manufacturer rates its stability at 100/100 and its speed at 60/100. For flat water paddling, that is decent.

The paddleboard is maneuverable. Usually, longer boards are tougher to handle, especially for smaller paddlers. The length of the Blackfin is just right.

Design

Remember when I said this board comes with everything you’d want in a SUP? 

You will have 20 D-rings that allow you to bring all kinds of gear for fishing or camping. Additionally, there are eight multi-use action mounts for your fishing rack and sand spear attachment, as well as any other thing you want to bring.

The SUP has four safety handles. So if you’ll be paddling with a child they’ll have something to hold on to.

The Blackfin Model X is available in three colors: white, blue, and teal.

Package

The Blackfin X comes with a twin-chamber hand pump, paddle, wheel-compatible backpack, and a coil leash. The pump is 100% faster than your average manual pump while the paddle has a carbon shaft and nylon blade. The backpack is wheeled for easy transport.

What I Like
  • Ultra-stable board: The Blackfin X is 35-inches wide, making it perfect for activities such as yoga and fishing that require a stable platform.
  • Eight mounts plus D-rings: Eight action mounts make it easy to secure rod holders, cameras, or your cell phone to the board. Use the D-rings to attach a seat or strap down a cooler.
  • Compatible with fishing accessories: Add a fishing rack and sand spear to transform this board into a fully kitted out fishing platform.
  • Premium accessory pack: You get a high-efficiency pump and a wheeled backpack as well as a carbon-shaft paddle and coil leash.
What I Don’t Like
  • Slow, but steady: Due to its width, the Blackfin is slow in the water. That’s not necessarily a bad thing—you just need to take a chilled-out approach to paddling.
  • It’s not cheap: This board is from iRocker’s premium range, so it’s one of the more expensive boards you’ll come across. You get a great package for the money.

Check Price of the Blackfin X

4. Bluefin Sprint Carbon 14’: Best Advanced Touring Paddle Board for Flat Water

bluefin sprint carbon

For the advanced paddler who is looking for a fast SUP, the Bluefin Sprint Carbon 14 would be excellent. But speed is not the only good thing about this board.

Let’s see what else it has to offer.

Build Quality

The Bluefin Sprint is built using what the manufacturer refers to as “the densest drop stitch pattern on the market”. For every square meter, they use 11200 stitches of 500 denier yarn. On top of that, they add a carbon fiber rail layer for exceptional stiffness and durability.

Stability

The Carbon Sprint is 14 feet long and 30 inches wide. Taking the width to length ratio into account, this is not the most stable inflatable paddleboard, especially for beginners. Intermediate and advanced riders will find it stable though.

Performance

When it comes to speed, the Bluefin 14 is unmatched. It is designed for performance. Being narrow, it faces less resistance as it slices through the water. This is the kind of board you want for touring or for friendly races with fellow paddlers down at the lake.

Its length may be too much for beginners and/or smaller paddlers to handle. They may have issues maneuvering it.

Design

There are bungee storage areas at the front and back for storing your gear. The Sprint Carbon 14 has five carry handles. It has a unique feature, a kick pad at the rear to allow for quick, sharp turns. It has extra D-rings for gear attachment.

Package

This inflatable paddle board comes with a manual pump, board bag, paddle, and a leash. The carbon fiber paddle weighs 70% less than the average SUP paddle. It also floats.

What I Like
  • Fantastic performance: If you’re a proficient paddler, the Sprint Carbon is a joy to paddle. It glides through the water with minimal effort.
  • Air-duo inflation for rigidity and safety: The central inflation loop inside the main air chamber adds stiffness and means the board will float even if damaged.
  • Kick pad: Execute sharp turns with the specially-designed kick pad.
  • Five-year warranty: I find Bluefin’s industry-leading warranty reassuring. It’s nice to have a company stand by their product!
What I Don’t Like
  • Not great for beginners: This isn’t the most stable board, and beginners may struggle to stay upright.

Check Price of the Bluefin Cruise Carbon

5. Blackfin V: Best Flat Water Paddle Board for Heavier Paddlers

blackfin model V

This is another premium paddleboard from iRocker. The Blackfin V is a touring SUP, more forgiving to beginners than the Carbon Sprint.

Check it out.

Build Quality

The iRocker Blackfin Model V is built using triple-layer composite PVC construction. The paddleboard is 20% lighter but still super tough. It can hold up to 485 pounds when fully inflated. The SUP also has an additional carbon rail layer for added rigidity.

Stability

The Blackfin V is 12’6 long and 32 inches wide. The platform is stable and even newbies can use it. On a calm lake or river, you can do yoga or bring a child/pet with you. This paddleboard offers a nice balance between stability and performance.

Performance

The Blackfin Model V is fast. It is long and narrow with a pointed nose, a shape that allows it to knife through the water with ease. It is not too long and many paddlers will find it maneuverable.

Design

The Blackfin Model V features storage areas at the front and rear. There is a total of 20 D-rings and eight action mounts. You can attach your fishing rack or sand spear. The board has four safety handles and three carry handles. It features a three-fin system, all of them removable.

Package

The Model V package includes a paddleboard, paddle, bag, leash, and pump. The paddle has a carbon shaft and nylon blade. The wheeled bag makes transporting this iSUP so much easier.

What I Like
  • Fast, but maneuverable: The Blackfin V is a balanced touring board that’s both fast and maneuverable. It’s more stable than the Bluefin Sprint, so better for beginners.
  • Good for larger paddlers: With a capacity of 485 pounds, there’s room for you and your gear.
  • Flexible storage and mounts: You get two bungee storage areas and 20 D-rings to help store your kit. The eight action mounts let you safely attach accessories.
  • Premium paddle and accessories: The full-carbon matte shaft paddle is lightweight and makes paddling effortless.
What I Don’t Like
  • Expensive: This is the top-priced board in this round-up. You do get what you pay for, but it’s pricey for beginners.

Check Price of the Blackfin V Touring SUP

6. Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12’: Best Touring Paddle Board for Flat Water

Last but not least, there’s the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12. It is a beginner-friendly touring paddleboard.

bluefin cruise carbon paddle board

Build Quality

The Cruise Carbon 12 is built using the densest Dropstitch pattern you can find, just like all Bluefin paddleboards. You never have to worry about dings even when you bump into rocks. The rails have a carbon fiber layer for added rigidity.

Stability

This Bluefin paddleboard is 32 inches wide and 12 feet long. It is a good ratio for stability. It’s ideal for beginners, touring, and even kayaking—yes, you can convert your Bluefin Cruise into a kayak within minutes.

Performance

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12’ glides with satisfactory speed. It would make a fantastic touring board for short excursions. The pointed nose slices through the water with minimal resistance, giving you an amazing experience.

Design

The Cruise Carbon 12 has a GoPro-ready fixed mount at the front. There are two cargo areas, one at the front and another one at the back. You will have 14 D-rings for customization. The board comes with a kick pad to help you make quick sharp turns.

Package

This is one of the best things about the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12. Its package includes an iSUP, bag, paddle, leash, manual pump, and a kayak conversion kit. The paddle is 70% lighter than a standard SUP paddle. 

What I Like
  • Converts to a kayak: While you can convert many SUPs to a kayak, the Cruise Carbon comes with a padded seat and kayak blade, so you don’t need to buy a separate conversion kit.
  • Good beginner touring board: The Cruise Carbon is shaped like a touring board but it’s wide enough that beginners shouldn’t find it too tippy.
  • Durable construction: The flex-reduction system and dual inflation construction make this board rigid and virtually indestructible.
  • Great value for money: You get premium construction, a huge accessory pack, and a five-year warranty. What’s not to love?
What I Don’t Like
  • Side fins aren’t removable: You can’t remove the two side fins, which makes it harder to roll up the board for storage and transportation.
  • Hard to inflate: The Cruise Carbon is tough to inflate manually, though this isn’t an issue unique to this model. I always recommend getting an electric pump for iSUPs!

Check Price of the Bluefin Cruise Carbon

Conclusion

Flat water paddle boarding should be a peaceful experience. You don’t want to worry about whether your SUP is up to the job.

I’ve tried and tested all the boards above. They’re all fantastic, reliable boards, but if I could only choose one, it would be the Atoll 11’. It glides through the water and is suitable for almost any SUP activity you can think of.

Do you have any questions about flat water paddle boards? Feel free to ask me below.

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