Buyer’s Guide to the Best Tower Paddle Boards
We’ve put a lot of thought into the features and characteristics that make a paddle board stand out among the competition. Now, let’s talk about our favorites!
Quick Summary of the Top Tower Paddle Boards
- Chris Craft Edition
- Adventurer 2
- Mermaid ISUP
- Adventurer 1
- Xplorer Inflatable 14’
- iRace Inflatable 12’6″
1) Chris Craft Edition
Chris Craft, one of the oldest and most renowned high-end boat makers in the world, has partnered with Tower Paddle Boards to introduce the Chris Craft Edition paddle board. This unique, inflatable SUP is Tower Paddle Board’s top of the line paddle board, and its intricate design speaks to the manufacturer’s attention to detail.
While many inflatable stand up paddle boards are known to be slower than their hardwood, fiberglass or epoxy counterparts, the Christ Craft Edition is made from extremely rugged materials, making it just as durable, rigid, and fast as any other hard board on the market.
The Chris Craft’s durability speaks for itself as these paddle boards can be used in white water rapids or paddled onto rocky shores without a problem. It all comes down to the top-notch drop-stitch construction (for rigidity) and military grade material (for exterior strength) of Tower Paddle boards.
- Entire Package Deal – The Christ Craft package deal comes with some great accessories, including bungee, carrying handles, a 3-piece fiberglass paddle, and a fin and pump.
- Storage Option – The Christ Craft is lightweight (26 lbs.) and deflates to the size of a rolled up sleeping bag for easy storage and transport.
- Weight Limit – The Christ Craft can accommodate a maximum weight capacity of 350 lbs.
- Exceptional Durability – The Christ Craft features top notch drop-stitch construction and military-grade PVC material.
2) Adventurer 2
The Adventurer 2 is an extremely attractive SUP with an all new design that will have everyone wondering where you purchased it from. It’s great for those who are new to paddle boarding and it’s just as challenging for those who are more advanced. What really makes the Adventurer 2 stand out from all of the rest is its length. This SUP is 10’4”, which makes it one of the longest boards in the Tower Paddle Board’s inflatable lineup. The extra length really allows you to cut and glide though the water faster and better than ever.
This stand up paddle board stands out in many different areas. While many other inflatable paddle boards only offer 4” board thickness, the Adventurer 2 offers 6”. This makes it one solid inflatable SUP with no chance for dents or dings. It can even accommodate heavier weights up to 400 lbs., which is pretty significant for any paddle board. It’s also loaded with features that you would normally see on the higher priced options, like a cargo net upfront for securing your items while paddling. It is also one of the most affordable options. Tower Board can sell this board at an unbelievable price because they sell it direct. The Adventurer 2 is a great SUP all around.
- Performance – The Adventurer 2 offers stability in waves or choppy water.
- Maneuverability-The Adventurer 2 features a three fin setup with a large removable center fin.
- Inflation-The Adventurer 2 offers just as much sturdiness as other inflatables with less psi (10-11 psi is recommended)
- Comfort- The Adventurer 2 features a diamond grooved deck pad, which allows you extra grip for staying put on your SUP.
3) Mermaid ISUP
If you really want to stand out, the Mermaid ISUP is for you. This SUP has a classic design, but features a beautiful and bold turquoise color. It is essentially the equivalent of the Adventurer 2, with just a little more flair.
The Mermaid iSUP has maximum rigidity and durability. It’s a great choice for someone who needs a longer board for general use. It’s made of top quality, military-grade materials and constructed with the convenience that only an inflatable paddle board can give. The extra few inches of thickness prevents sag, which in turn, prevents lag time in the water. When it’s deflated it is compact enough where it can easily be packed in your luggage when you fly.
- Package: The Mermaid Inflatable SUP package comes with an attached cargo net, three-piece fiberglass paddle, fiber glass paddle, removable fin, and a high-pressure pump.
- Portable: The Mermaid Inflatable SUP is easy to store and transport. There are 2 handles on both the nose and tail to make it easier to transport when its inflated.
- Weight: The Mermaid Inflatable SUP has a weight limit of up to 350 lbs on the water.
- Rigid: The Mermaid Inflatable SUP is very rigid. When it is fully inflated, it feels equivalent to that of a hard board.
4) Adventurer 1
You’ve probably already figured out that the Adventurer 1 is the original Adventurer in the Tower Board Adventurer series. This is a great board for paddling recreationally. This board is not only extremely affordable, but it is solid as they come and paddles quite well considering that it is fairly short and wide.
Another huge draw to the Adventurer 1 is the price. It is extremely affordable and covers all the necessities without adding any expensive extras. If you’re someone who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles, but are still looking for a quality SUP board, then the Adventurer 1 is probably right up your ally.
Tower Paddle Boards also offers a 2 year warranty on all of their boards, which is something that most inflatable companies do not do. Tower Paddle Boards stands by their products and they have great customer service.
- Size – The Adventurer 1 is a small compact board, coming in at 9’10”, which makes it easy to take just about anywhere.
- Thickness – The Adventurer 1 has a 6″ thickness, which helps keep your feet well above the water and dry.
- Stability – The Adventurer 1 is a 32″ paddle board, which speaks for its stability.
5) Xplorer Inflatable 14’
If you are looking for an inflatable paddle board that has some serious speed, then the Xplorer Inflatable 14′ is exactly what you’ve been looking for. This iSUP is made for racing or touring. As a general rule of thumb, the longer the board is, the faster the board will go. Other hard paddle boards of similar length, pose a problem for storage and portability, but this one can be deflated and easily stored and transported.
The Xplorer Inflatable is a rigid 8″ thick inflatable paddle board, which is even thicker than Tower Paddle Board’s standard. This thickness accounts for its amazing rigidness. It can also hold up to an astonishing 800 lbs! At the time of its introduction, the Xplorer Inflatable was the only 14′ and 8″ thick paddle board on the market, and when we say it performs, it definitely does not disappoint.
- Weight – The Xplorer Inflatable is 33 lbs. This is pretty lightweight considering how much it can hold.
- Dimensions – The Xplorer Inflatable is 14′ in length by 32″.
- Volume – The Xplorer Inflatable does not have an exact volume count, but it is estimated that it has a volume of 600 Liters plus.
- Weight Capacity – The Xplorer Inflatable has a maximum weight capacity of 800 lbs.
- Fin Configuration – The Xplorer Inflatable comes with a standard longboard fix box, with a large detachable center fin.
6) iRace Inflatable 12’6”
Racing with a SUP is its own niche. It’s a high performance sport that isn’t just based on skill. Racing with a stand up paddle board highlights both the paddler and the board. Speed is the name of the game and your paddle board must be faster and quicker than the competition. The iRace Inflatable meets the mark, and will surpass your racing expectations.
The Tower iRace Inflatable is built to cut through the water as fast as possible. For an inflatable board its speed is impeccable. The long, sleek build aids in its exceptional speed, along with its lightweight design. At only 27 lbs, this inflatable SUP is certainly lighter than the competition.
- Agility – The iRace Inflatable is built to take on a variety of water conditions.
- Paddle – This paddle board comes with an exceptional paddle for effortlessly gliding through the water as fast as possible.
- Length – The iRace Inflatable is a long board, coming in at 12’6”
- Design – The iRace Inflatable gives off the impression that it’s ready to race. It’s body is long, sleek, and narrow, and characterized by a colour scheme of black with thin white stripes.
About Tower SUP
Tower Paddle Boards started out on the hit ABC show, Shark Tank. Now the company has grown to become a direct-to-consumer beach style brand specializing in Paddle Boards. Recently, the company has expanded its product line to include sunglasses, beach chairs, bikes, and skateboards. Everything is branded under the Tower umbrella, and is contributing to a successful growing business.
If you’ve never tried paddle boarding, it’s about time you get on the water and try it out for yourself. Paddle boarding is one of the newest and fastest growing trends in water sports. Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) can be super enjoyable once you get the hang of it. Not only is it easy to learn (which is a huge plus!), but it’s also great for exercise, involves nature, can be very therapeutic and you can enjoy paddling around with your friends, kids, or even get that much needed time alone.
History of Paddle Boarding
Modern day paddle boarding gets its roots off a small island in Hawaii. Back in the 1960s, the beach boys of Waikiki would stand up on their longboards, and using their outrigger paddles, they would paddle themselves further out in the ocean, to get a better view of the surf. Although the concept has been around for a while, paddle boarding really didn’t gain much popularity until the early 2000s. Professional surfers such as Laird Hamilton would use SUPs to continue training when the ocean was too calm to surf. In the last few years the sport has really taken off, and people can be seen paddle boarding on beaches and lakes just about everywhere.
What is Paddle Boarding?
Before we get into comparing paddle boards, let’s take a look at what exactly paddle boarding is. A paddle board is a cross between a surfboard and kayak. Unlike surfing, however, you don’t need big waves to get yourself moving. The basic concept of the sport is that you stand upright on the paddle board, while using a long stand-up paddle to steer and propel yourself through the water.
How to Paddle Board
The concept of paddle boarding sounds easy enough, but it does takes a little practice to get the hang of paddle boarding. Becoming a successful paddle boarder has nothing to do with strength, which is why those young and old can take advantage of this fun water activity. The technique can easily be learned, but it’s best for beginners to start on flat, calm water. If you’re able to, try renting or borrowing gear from a friend for your first couple of times out on the water. This way you can give paddle boarding a test run. If you decide that you like the art of paddling boarding and would like to do more in the future, you may want to consider purchasing a SUP of your own.
Get Geared Up
The best thing about paddle boarding is you don’t need a lot of gear, making it a relatively inexpensive sport. The only real investment you will make is your board. Let’s take a look at some of the accessories you will need.
- Paddle: You will need a good quality paddle in order to get the most out of paddle boarding. A SUP paddle is different than that of a kayak paddle. To best describe it, a SUP paddle looks like an elongated canoe paddle with a more rounded shaped blade. This design allows you to paddle around the water with maximum efficiency. The lighter the paddle is the less you will exert yourself. You will also want to consider the length and material, as well as the blade size, shape and offset.
- PFD (Personal Flotation Device):According to the U.S. Coast guard, stand up paddle boards are considered vessels. If you will be paddling beyond a designated swimming area, you are required to have a personal flotation device with you. While adults aren’t required to wear PFDs (it must be on board, however), children must. It is important to check your state’s regulations for specific age requirements.
- Safety whistle: If you’re going out on your paddle board, it is important to remember that you share the water with others. Unless you are in an extremely remote area, there will most likely be boats and other watercraft enjoying the waves. A paddler on a board may not always stand out to someone driving fast on a boat. This is why it is important that you wear a safety whistle in order to warn others that approach. Having a whistle can also help alert others if you are in an emergency situation.
- Proper clothing:While this may seem like an obvious one, it is extremely important that you wear the right apparel while paddle boarding. During the warmer months, you will want to wear a swimsuit or board shorts, and make sure that you protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen. For cooler conditions, you will want to take the proper precautions to protect yourself from hypothermia by wearing a wet suit or a dry suit. It’s best to dress for the temperature of the water in case you have to swim a long distance to the shore.
- Leash:A leash can play a very important safety role while you are paddle boarding. If you happen to fall off your SUP, the leash will keep you tethered to your board, which acts as a flotation device and it will also ensure that you won’t lose your board. Losing your board in the middle of the ocean could quickly create an emergency situation. Because there are different kinds of leashes that are designed specifically for your intended use, you will want to ensure that you purchase the right one.
What to look for in a Stand Up Paddle Board
It can be hard to choose the right paddle board, because there are so many SUP’s out on the market, and they each have their pros and cons. If you are looking for a paddle board for your personal use, start by asking yourself what you will be using your board for: recreation, workout, surfing, touring, racing or even SUP yoga. Whatever motivates you to paddle, having the right board is key to your enjoyment.
Choosing a good, quality stand up board is determined by a combination of the following:
- your weight
- your skill
- your intended use
- local conditions
To find the right SUP for you, here’s a few things that you will need to consider:
- Hull type – There are two different types of hull choices: the planning hull and the displacement hull. Your choice will be based on the type of paddling that you are interested in.
- Solid or inflatable – There are two main categories of SUPs: solid or inflatable. Your choice will be based on areas like board performance, portability and your storage options.
- Volume and weight capacity – You will want to pick a board with that has a weight capacity that will be compatible with your weight and height to ensure stability and paddling performance.
- Length, width and thickness – The dimensions of a SUP play a big role in determining how it handles on the water, including its speed and maneuverability.