Best Soft Top Paddle Boards (July 2017) – Buyer`s Guide

soft top paddle boards

You may have ridden a soft-top paddle board at the beach front of a hotel resort or rented one at your community’s recreational lake. Maybe you tried it out just for vacation fun but were soon to realize how addicting recreational paddle boarding is and the benefits it offers. Paddle boarding is a great adventurous workout and a fun family past time.

Soft top paddle boards are great boards for all levels of experience and are an ideal first board for the person just coming into the sport of stand up paddle boarding. Soft tops come in many different varieties and are of a similar and sometimes lighter weight compared to the average fiberglass style paddleboard.

What is a Soft Top Paddle Board?

Some people may automatically think of a soft top paddle board as one of those styrofoam surfboards you can find for two dollars at the local supermarket. Something of cheap quality that will break apart easily over time. Very few if any soft tops present this type of cheap quality in their material and construction. They’re actually made to withstand years of use with the proper storage and care.

Soft Top vs. Hard Top Paddle Boards

Soft tops are commonly more durable than a fiberglass paddleboard, because they do not crack, chip, or break. They remain as a slightly flexible, yet solid foam shape and the boards listed in this review are designed to withstand use and abuse.

Keep in mind, any brand in the soft top category is a common board for those who enjoy practicing yoga on the water. The soft top surface of the board has a plenty of cushion and makes for less pressure on the knees, elbows, and head region when practicing those strenuous poses and balancing techniques.

Soft Top Paddle Board Reviews

Isle Classic Soft Top

isle classic soft top paddle boardIf you’re in the market for a durable inexpensive SUP board, the Isle Classic Soft Top provides everything you need to get started in the sport of Stand up paddle boarding. The Isle Classic Soft Top comes in two sizes, 9’6 and 10’8,  an average board length for the medium sized rider and comes in two different styles. The Blue Rail logo with an aqua blue center with white rails, along with a black trim in-between the two cold colors, and the other color option is a Light Woodgrain colored design, which gives off more of a tropical bamboo appearance as if the board was carved straight out of the jungle.

This soft surface paddle board is great all around for the whole family and all skill levels. The design is made with a soft top deck with an EPS core and a triple stringer system. A high-density bottom makes for all around usage in calm water or surfing small waves. With a high-density volume of five inches and a width of 31-inches, the Isle Classic makes for a durable ride and enough room for a small passenger. Whether it be your child or a furry friend, there is plenty of space for two to enjoy the paddle board experience.

There is a center finger grip in the middle of the Isle Classic for east transportation and for the competitive price this board offers, included is an adjustable paddle and center fin. The buyer can purchase with a peace of mind knowing they will receive a 30-day guarantee, 180-day warranty on all materials, and 30-day risk-free return, if for whatever reason you weren’t satisfied. A generous offer for a board you won’t ever want to give up.

The reviews of the Isle Classic speak for themselves with more than a hundred positive insights. It is a popular and stylish board and you can’t go wrong with the offered warranty of this soft top.

 

Stand On Liquid Sunset 11’6” Soft Top

stand on liquid sunset soft top sup boardThe Stand On Liquid Sunset soft top paddleboard is the average size of a regular fiberglass SUP. At 11’6, this is the ultimate board for all users up to 260 Ibs in weight. The versatile board design makes it a great choice for calm water paddling, surfing, or yoga. With a 4.75 inch thickness, there’s plenty of volume to float while maintaining a sufficient forward motion.

Claimed by the Oregon-based manufacturer itself, the Sunset is one of the most durable soft top paddle boards on the market and consumers know it. The Sunset is made from a durable closed-cell EPS foam core and soft top construction with a military grade HDPE bottom material that is constructed for heavy and prolonged usage.

And there’s nothing like the Stand on Liquid style. This board model is printed with SOL logos lining both rails as well as an aqua blue printed logo in the center nose, right beneath the cross bungee strap downs. An aqua blue cylinder design surrounds the typical standing radius of the board and right behind is the Stand on Liquid Sunset logo.

With Ultra durable EVA soft top construction, this board offers a great impact resistant material for those long days spent paddling or moving the board on and off the dock or beach. Plus, with an average weight of 29 Ibs, it’s no problem finding easy transportation and a relaxing glide on the water. The rear bungee straps are great for transporting small coolers, tackle boxes, or holding a secure spot for your life vest.

The Stand on Liquid Sunset model is priced competitively and includes an adjustable paddle with your purchase. A great board for the beginner user or for companies looking for a quality and long lasting line for rental boards. The Stand on Liquid brand is a well-known company for their quality materials and unique designs. The Sunset is a perfect option for new riders and those looking for reliable versatility.

 

Jimmy Styks Orca Soft Sup 11’

jimmy stykes orca soft top paddle boardThe Jimmy Styks company never fails at making an exciting board for both fresh and saltwater paddlers. With a splash of blue, gray, and white colored chaos for the surface graphic, the Jimmy Styks logo and the board model Orca are front and center on the board’s nose.

The Orca soft top SUP is the perfect board for beginner riders up to 270 Ibs. When you purchase this board you are receiving an adjustable aluminum paddle, SUP leash, fin, and included hardware. Everything a newbie needs to kick off the aquatic hobby of stand up paddle boarding and all at a more than reasonable price.

A width of 31-inches and thickness of 4.8-inches make for a sleek and peppy board when cruising on calm surfaces. With the known durability of the Jimmy Styks brand, you don’t have to shy away from hitting the surf if you wanted to. The signature design of Orca boasts an eps foam shape with a layer of six-ounce glass epoxy, coated with an IXPE layer for extreme surface softness and rests securely atop a hard high-density bottom surface that is durable enough to withstand sandy and rocky shorelines.

At 24 Ibs, the Orca is an ultra light weight, and versatile beginner SUP board, coming in at a great price for those individuals looking to get their feet wet in the sport of SUP.

 

Laird Soft Top Cruiser Paddleboard 11’

If your looking for a high-quality SUP board, designed by champion paddle athletes, the Laird SUP company has the perfect soft top paddle board for the seeker of performance.

Designed with a pin tail and rounded nose for all-around fun and speed, the Laird comes equipped with a try-fin system which assists in user balance and stability when riding waves. Also included is an extra deck grip pad gridded for maximum feet support and with 34-inches of width, this board has amazing stability for all water conditions.

The heat embossed 4-inch EVA rails are durable enough to withstand continuous paddle strikes, rocky shores, and those gritty parking lots. You won’t worry much, about any major dings or scrapes with the Laird brand.

The style of this board has an aqua blue nose on a white shape with sleek black trim that surrounds the whole board perimeter with the Laird logo in the center front, just below the nose. A middle hand grip makes for easy transportation out of the water and at 29 Ibs. this board is easy to pull in and out of the water.

The Soft Top cruiser is an ideal board for the beginner or intermediate rider and is priced higher than most soft top brands. Keep in mind, you are paying for the name of this board, but it also provides top notch quality and long durability.

 

Bic Performer Soft Top Paddleboard 10’6 or 11’6

bic sport performer soft top sup boardLooking to stand out from the rest of the crowd? Maybe a board that’s bright and multi-tropical in color? The Bic Performer Soft Top is designed to catch glances from near and far. Whether you want to cruise the backwaters on a calm day or charge the small to medium sized waves off of the beach, the Bic Performer soft top offers an excellent versatile design and great performance for the beginner or intermediate SUP rider.

With the option for a two offset colors, buyers are provided with the choice for an Orange/Red color or a yellow/orange color scheme and both include the unique design of the Bic logo on the rear and the nose portion of the board. The options for size caters to both small and large individuals with the 9’2, 10’6, and 11’6 shapes.

The Bic Performer is slightly more narrow than average soft tops at 31.5 inches, which makes for a slender and smooth ride and with the weight of 25 Ibs, the user can easily maneuver this board on the water, as well as carry the Performer with the ergonomic handle insert at the center of the board.

With an EVA-deck pad for maximum grip, the materials of this soft top carry the lightweight performance and durability of an ACE-TECH board which offers a protective and rugged shell coating for maximum endurance. Bic has claimed the Performer as an international best seller for soft tops and you pay for a well-recognized name in the water sports industry.

 

Bic 10’ Cross Soft Top Sup Board

bic sport cross soft top paddle boardThe original ten foot BIC Soft Top is a long time runner in the world of soft top paddle boards. With three size variations including 10’, 10’6, and 11’, the soft tech surface along with Ace-Tech durability provides a long lasting and reliable paddle board. Available in one tricolor design of cool blue, aqua and white, this board is an excellent choice if your looking for that chill feel.

The notorious Bic brand has proven durability with their board design and award winning ace tech epoxy composition construction. The Bic Cross comes in at 27 Ibs, making for a light board to carry with the inserted middle hand grip. There is a great selection of styles and they come in Platinum Blue, with a white soft deck and gray trim, Blue with white and aqua trim with a large grip pad with ace-tech and Bic logo design, Blue on Light Blue, Green with White trim, and Adventure Green with Gloss Platinum, White trim, and also includes a large grip pad.With this many styles, no wonder the Bic Cross is one of the top competitors in the soft top market.

Another plus for this paddle board’s speed and performance is the v-shaped hull, which allows cutting through chop with ease and for rapid speed on the calm water.  It also has availability to insert two extra fins for a tri-fin system, that is if you are ready to brave the waves. This is a versatile board and is used for yoga, fishing, surfing, as well as your regular backwater or cross lake paddle experience. With many sizes and color trims to choose from, makes it easy to find a style that fits your particular tastes.

 

Conclusion

So, when you’re scrolling soft top paddle boards online, or at your local SUP shop, keep in mind that you want to find a durable foam that will last and take on dents and scratches. One that will hold up to the elements for years to come. Pressure pockets are common in SUP boards, but you want to get the most use out of your board without any major damages. So if you’re able to feel the board in person before your purchase, give the rails of the board a few hard pinches with your thumb and pointer finger and press on the hard bottom surface to see if there is any extreme give. If it’s a sturdy and the foam doesn’t give much, your buying quality. But if it squishes with ease or feels heavy and flimsy, the foam may not be the best material for prolonged usage. However, it is all relative to your preference in feel. Some SUP enthusiast don’t mind the give some soft tops provide. Soft tops make for a great beginner board as well as a long-lasting backup board or spare SUP board if and when you upgrade to fiberglass. They are perfect for the whole family, and if you frequent the water, you should give the soft top a shot.

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