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A Grand Tour

What kind of paddling do you like engaging in? Paddle surfing with its wicked waves and strange California beach accents? Fitness paddling and all the grunting that comes with it. Perhaps you want to “struggle paddle”, which is what I do every time a small wave comes my way.

Regardless of what you choose, a good touring board can help you achieve it. The best touring SUPs come with great features, such as a US fin box and a carbon paddle. There are many kinds of paddle boards.

This is why we have searched high and low for the best ones and listed them down below.



Best Touring Paddle Board

Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12’

  • Weight: 34.83 Pounds
  • Material: ‎Nylon

Best Build Quality

Bluefin Sprint Carbon 14’

  • Weight: 25.45 Pounds
  • Material: Plastic

Best Stability

Gili Meno 12’6″

  • Weight: 22 Pounds
  • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride

Best Durability

Atoll 11′

  • Weight: 19 Pounds
  • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride

Best Comfort

Beach Wing by TAHE

  • Weight: 23 Pounds
  • Material: Blend

Best Performance

NRS Escape 12’6″

  • Weight: 27 Pounds
  • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride

Best Expert Board

Blackfin Model V

  • Weight: 19.8 Pounds
  • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride

Best Of The Rest

Isle Explorer 11’6

  • Weight: 24 Pounds
  • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride

The 8 Best Touring Paddle Boards

When frantically paddling to put some distance between you and that giant mass underwater that shouldn’t be there, you’ll want a board designed for speed. A board like the NRS Escape.

Perhaps the scary mass has caught up to you, and now it is nudging your board. Well then, wouldn’t a stable board like the Gili Meno help keep you afloat?

Suppose the black mass rises from the water and reveals itself. You could swing the Atoll’s fiberglass paddle at it in self-defense. Whatever the case may be, you are going to need a few things. A great paddle board and a prayer or two!

1. Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12’

Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12’

Making it to the top of any list requires a balanced act. One that is able to nail the fundamentals while also pulling off several surprises along the way. That right there is the best way to describe the Cruise Carbon 12.

This best touring paddle board is twelve feet in length, much longer than some of the other boards on the list. Layered over its build is a nylon cover. Nylon in any quantity is always the right choice. It’s durable and abrasion resistant. Score one for the fundamentals of build quality and length.

However, the surprises quickly begin to spring up when we take a look at the board’s weight. The Bluefin Cruise Carbon is the lightest board on the list. Weighing in at only twenty pounds. Following this trend is the paddle that comes with it.

touring paddle board

A carbon fiber specialty fit with polyurethane blades. The biggest surprise of them all is this paddle board’s ability to turn into a kayak. With the help of a kayak conversion kit, you get a two-in-one purchase.


  • Weight: Twenty pounds
  • Length: Twelve feet
  • Build Material: Nylon
  • Best Feature: Conversion Capability
  • Weight Capacity: Three hundred and nine pounds


  • With the help of a conversion kit, this paddle board becomes a kayak.
  • The deck pad is covered in non-slip Croco-diamond material. This material is comfortable and has great non-slip properties.
  • Comes with a lightweight carbon fiber paddle that has polyurethane blades.


  • A manual pump is included with your purchase, not an electric one.

Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12’

The price of “Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12’ ” varies, so check the latest price at

2. Bluefin Sprint Carbon 14’

Bluefin Sprint Carbon 14’

While the transformer at number one is quite special, Bluefin had yet another ace up their sleeve. The Blue Fin Sprint Carbon was made for speed, and it has the tracking ability to get you to the top.

It’s fourteen feet long and weighs twenty-five pounds. Extremely long but with a solid weight.

The stand-out feature of this board is the flex reduction system that runs through it. This flex reduction system gives the board a stiff feeling but grants it enough flexibility to increase its maneuverability.

What this means is that you get a stable board, with plenty of space, and yet, with the maneuverability of smaller boards.

touring sup

This is absolutely mind-blowing, but it gets better. Carbon rails have been placed onto the sides of the Sprint Carbon. Further increasing the efficiency and speed of the paddle board.

Should you feel like experimenting, simply utilize the quick-fin installation system to swap parts and get going. Not much more to it than that.

It’s hard enough to make a great touring board, and yet somehow, Bluefin did it twice.


  • Weight: Twenty-five pounds
  • Length: Fourteen feet
  • Build Material: Plastic
  • Best Feature: Flex reduction system
  • Weight Capacity: Three hundred and fifty pounds


  • The thick carbon textile construction gives the board a stiff and flexible material build.
  • Has quick fin installation that lets you swap and secure fins into place in a matter of seconds.
  • Carbon stiffening rails let this paddle board cut through the water with greater efficiency.


  • Not as much is offered in way of extra features as other options.

Bluefin Sprint Carbon 14’

The price of “Bluefin Sprint Carbon 14’” varies, so check the latest price at

3. Gili Meno 12’6″

Gili Meno 12’6″

The Gili Meno has finally done it. Solving the eternal debate of speed or stability. The answer that it proposed? Both.

This board is a paradox. With the Meno, you get an incredibly stable ride. Its width has been enlarged significantly to ensure that choppy waters won’t be an issue. The great width of the Meno lets you shift around without worry.

It serves as a great base to kick off from. However, stability is only half of the equation. Along its edge, the Meno has hybrid shape cuts. What these cuts do is increase the ability of this paddle board to cut through the current. Minimizing your board’s drag and increasing your overall potential speed.

best touring paddle boards

Now, you finally have a board that is both stable and fast. Riding it felt smooth. So smooth that it was sometimes difficult to perceive how fast I was going at times. As far as its make goes. Its PVC build prevents weathering of any kind.

You’ll be sailing into the sunset with this touring paddle board long after its competitors have fallen apart.


  • Weight: Twenty-two pounds
  • Length: Twelve feet and six inches
  • Build Material: Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Best Feature: Enlarged width for stability
  • Weight Capacity: Three hundred pounds


  • Thanks to its wide build, this is a stable board with hybrid shape cuts for improved performance.
  • Its PVC build makes it resistant to weathering. The Meno will last for as long as you need it to.
  • The traction deck pad has grooves in its design that give it a better grip.


  • Despite the hybrid shape cuts, this paddle board is still slower than other boards.

Gili Meno 12’6″

The price of “Gili Meno 12’6″ ” varies, so check the latest price at

4. Atoll 11′

Atoll 11′

It’s funny, seeing as I gushed over the Gili Meno and its PVC build, you’d think that it would have taken the top spot for durability as well. It would have if it weren’t for the Atoll. This paddle board here is the one to get for those that have had bad experiences with build quality in the past.

Such is the strength of the Atoll that at only twenty-one pounds of weight, it has a carrying capacity of five hundred pounds. That’s right. Five hundred pounds. I have no idea how this is possible but it is.

Drop-stitch technology was used to stitch this monster together. You can count out weak seams and loose threads. They won’t be making an appearance. Underneath it all, are two layers of PVC. Two.

best touring paddle board

Most paddle boards are sturdy enough with just one layer of PVC. Yet, the Atoll appeared with two layers. Blowing everyone else out of the water. This board is eleven feet long. Nothing special but a standard size that won’t negatively impact your ride.

Such fortitude. A better name for this board would have been “Hercules”!


  • Weight: Twenty-one pounds
  • Length: Eleven feet
  • Build Material: Dual-layer PVC
  • Best Feature: Fiberglass paddle
  • Weight Capacity: Five hundred pounds


  • This inflatable paddle board is insanely durable. Its heavy-duty build is highly resistant to impacts.
  • Has an awesome aesthetic design that utilizes a sleek color palette.
  • Drop stitch technology was used to round off the design of this heavy-duty monster.


  • I wish the center fin was a bit longer to improve the tracking of the paddleboard.

Atoll 11′

The price of “Atoll 11′ ” varies, so check the latest price at

5. 11’0″ Beach Wing by TAHE

11'0" Beach Wing by TAHE

How could anyone compete with the Atoll 11? By changing the rules of engagement. While the Atoll was unrivaled in its longevity, the Beach Wing is the king of comfort. Beneath your feet is an EVA deck pad that was specially embossed.

This was done in an effort to comfort the paddler while still providing them with a solid grip.

Helping you steer this comfortable king into open waters is a large nine-inch center fin. This central fin cuts through the water without trouble. Giving you a smooth ride that further adds to the experience.

The only downside of this paddle board is its weight capacity. It’s not great. Enough for a small paddler and perhaps a carry-on bag but not much else. An especially disappointing reality once you realize that this paddle board is eleven feet long. I expected more from it.

best touring paddleboard

As an aside. The Beach Wing has a high-density PVC build. While this may not be enough to keep up with the Atoll, it does allow it to hold its own.


  • Weight: Twenty-three pounds
  • Length: Eleven feet
  • Build Material: High-density PVC
  • Best Feature: Nine-inch center fin
  • Weight Capacity: Two hundred and twenty pounds


  • The EVA deck has been embossed for increased rider comfort and traction.
  • Comes with a built-in front bungee system. Quickly get your gear into place.
  • A carrying pack and a repair kit are included with your purchase.


  • This touring board could have really benefited from a higher weight capacity.

11’0″ Beach Wing by TAHE

The price of “11’0″ Beach Wing by TAHE ” varies, so check the latest price at

6. NRS Escape 12’6″ Inflatable SUP Board

NRS Escape 12'6"

Escape into a world of speed and glamour. The NRS Escape is not for the faint of heart. This is officially the first true speed-oriented paddle board on the list. Gone are the days of stability and slow and steady.

The Escape did its homework first before strapping on the jet engine. It’s got a PVC build with drop-stitch technology. Much like the previous entry, the weight capacity of this paddle board leaves much to be desired. At only two hundred and fifty pounds, it’s better than the Beach Wing but not by much.

The reason why the Escape is well suited to speedy runs is its board shape. At the front, you are led by a pointed nose and tailed by a square end. The sharp point cuts through any resistance and then the squared tail acts as a rudder.

touring stand up paddle board

You can further improve the performance of this board by experimenting with different fins. The Escape has an interchangeable fin system. The only issue you will find with this board is its price but it is well worth the dollars.


  • Weight: Twenty-seven pounds
  • Length: Twelve feet and six inches
  • Build Material: PVC drop-stitch
  • Best Feature: Interchangeable fins
  • Weight Capacity: Two hundred and fifty pounds


  • The fins of this touring board have been made from nylon-reinforced plastic.
  • Has a pointed nose shape and square tail that propels it forward with great ease.
  • Comes with a storage bag, an extra set of fins, and bungee tie-downs.


  • The price is high but the performance is well worth it.

NRS Escape 12’6″ Inflatable SUP Board

The price of “NRS Escape 12’6″ Inflatable SUP Board ” varies, so check the latest price at

7. Blackfin Model V

Blackfin Model V

We’ve come across a plethora of stable boards that will give any beginner a solid chance at learning the ropes. There has even been a speed demon among their ranks. However, now is the time to reward the expert paddlers that have waited patiently.

The Blackfin V is a twenty-two-pound board that was made with the experts in mind. It’s twelve feet and six inches long. A height that feels larger due to the lack of paddler support features in the Blackfin V’s design.

Such is the strength of this board that it can easily handle two passengers. The first truly tandem paddle board on the list. It’s stable and even the inclusion of another individual won’t stagger it.

touring stand up paddle boards

The board is thick but has enough design tweaks to reach top speeds easily. Keep in mind, that while it may feel great to paddle with this board, you will need to be an experienced paddler to get the most out of it.

Don’t worry, even if you bump into anything as you come to grips with it, I doubt that it’ll sustain any damage. Its drop-stitch construction will make sure of that.


  • Weight: Twenty-two pounds
  • Length: Twelve feet and six inches
  • Build Material: Drop-stitch construction
  • Best Feature: Two passengers capable
  • Weight Capacity: Three hundred and twenty pounds


  • This board’s stability and width allow it to easily ferry two people across any body of water.
  • Despite being a lightweight touring SUP, the Blackfin has a thick and durable build.
  • Built for speed and experienced paddlers. Beginners stay away.


  • Not made for beginners and intermediates.

Blackfin Model V

The price of “Blackfin Model V ” varies, so check the latest price at

8. Isle Explorer 11’6

Isle Explorer 11’6

As far as touring paddle boards go, the Isle Explorer doesn’t really do anything out of the ordinary. However, it firmly cemented its place on this list by getting all the fundamentals right and then layering in little extras throughout its design.

With a weight capacity of three hundred pounds, you won’t be able to bring along as much with you as with some of the other boards. However, the touring paddle board itself is not much of a hassle. It only weighs twenty-four pounds.

sup touring

Beneath your feet, a soft EVA traction pad comforts your feet. When I say soft, I mean it. This traction pad was the best feeling out of all touring paddle boards on the list. With the exception of the Beach Wing.

Along the edges of the Explorer are velcro straps. You can use these velcro straps to hold and secure your paddles. A built-in paddle holder. Now that is a feature you don’t see every day.

Along the center, you’ll find several d-rings. Use these d-rings to secure whatever you desire safely and within the widest point of the board.


  • Weight: Twenty-four pounds
  • Length: Eleven feet and six inches
  • Build Material: Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Best Feature: Soft EVA traction pad
  • Weight Capacity: Three hundred pounds


  • These touring SUPs have great stability thanks to their thick build.
  • Has two velcro straps on the side for holding and securing your paddles.
  • Center-placed D-rings let you attach a seat or any other accessory you desire.


  • The eight-inch center fin should have been longer.

Isle Explorer 11’6

The price of “Isle Explorer 11’6 ” varies, so check the latest price at

What to Know about the Best Touring Paddle Boards

A paddle board is not just some inflatable piece of driftwood. They are complex and intricate vessels that come in all kinds of specifications. The paddler himself is very similar. Each one of us comes in with a different height, weight, and skill level.

We even paddle in different conditions. How then are you ever to find the right board for you? You’ve got to use the information provided below. Only by knowing the ins and outs of a paddle board, can you be assured that you have made the right choice.

Paddle Board Hull Design

There are different kinds of hull designs that touring paddleboards can come with. You may be asking, what exactly is the hull of a paddle board? There’s no shame in not knowing. The hull of a paddle board is its shape.

A paddle board’s shape will determine what kind of riding it is meant for. A touring board can be designed for one of two purposes. To either give you the most stable ride possible or to let you go as fast as you desire.

In tune with this, a paddle board’s hull can only come in one of two styles. Either a planing hull or a displacement hull. A planing hull is wider and flatter than a displacement hull.

A wider board will always have a planning hull. The greater the board width, the more stability that board has to offer. The flat design also helps a board not be as surfy in turbulent conditions.

A displacement hull is the hull type that is commonly associated with speed-focused boards. This hull type is tapered, leading to a pointed nose. A pointed nose will cut through the water with greater efficiency.

A displacement hull board also has a slimmer shape with the tip turned upward. All of these features help the touring board displace water with greater ease.

You’ll have to decide what kind of riding you want to engage in. This is so that your touring board can have the correct hull shape for the job.

Paddle Board Build Material

touring sup boards

The durability of your paddle board, that is to say, its longevity is directly tied to what was used to construct it. Nylon continues to be the gold standard when it comes to abrasion resistance.

You’ll find it in some capacity inside every single touring board that is known for its durability. However, there are plenty of other materials that can further increase a board’s strength.

PVC is found in many of the touring boards listed above. Namely, the Isle Explorer and the NRS Escape. The reason why PVC is a staple of sturdy paddle boards is that it is resistant to weathering. Weathering is the rust of the paddle board and kayaking world.

It occurs slowly over time and often, you don’t realize what has happened until it is too late. Touring boards can stave off weathering by incorporating PVC into their build through drop-stitch technology or in large quantities.

Manufacturers love PVC because it is affordable. Worth far less than competing materials. It is definitely the kind of stuff that benefits everyone. With either nylon, PVC, or an equivalent material in your paddle board, you’ll be in good hands.

Keep in mind that the build processes used to make your board also have an effect on its sturdiness.

The Stability of a Paddle Board

touring stand up paddle board

The more stability the better the tracking. This is especially true with paddle boards. Most good touring paddle boards are exceptionally stable. They have to be and this is because touring boards are supposed to be the Swiss army knife of the water world.

Capable of handling everything and anything that you throw at them. Most touring paddle boards have a planning hull. This is the board shape that was designed to enhance stability. It does this by increasing the board width and allowing it to have more space to deal with the water’s movements.

The way it works is simple. When a board is wide, as the waves below move through it their force isn’t centralized. They have to spread out and as a result, their power quickly runs out. This results in you feeling the water’s movements only after they have been severely weakened.

Another way to ensure that your board is stable is to check its thickness. The thicker, the better. Thick boards, like the Spirit Carbon and the Meno, have got an elevated platform. Any wave or movement looking to disrupt your balance will have to contend with this first before reaching you.

Seek out any board with a planning hull if stability is vital to your experience.

Touring Board Speed

speed of paddle board

An inflatable touring board doesn’t have to be a tortoise. Sure, as we read earlier, stability is one of the hallmarks of a touring board. Synonymous with it like height is to mountains. However, touring SUPs don’t have to come in planning hull form only.

There are some touring SUPs, like the NRS Escape, that have a displacement hull shape instead. A paddle board will be faster, the narrower it is. This is because a narrower board will cut through the water more efficiently due to its pointed nose. It doesn’t put up resistance to the water’s general current.

Furthermore, narrower boards have less mass which will equate to less drag in the water. This same principle is the same reason why fighter jets are so slender and pointed. Whereas commercial planes are thick, lumbering, and with dull edges all around.

Of course, your own abilities will come into play as well. You can have the sharpest touring paddle board on the market but it won’t mean much if you can’t pull off a proper paddle stroke.

The fins at the bottom rear end of your touring paddle board also help minimize drag and resistance. Although, their main purpose is to improve the board’s tracking abilities.

Touring Paddleboard Volume and Capacity

I’ve made mention of a paddle board’s volume before. Mainly, in regard to the board’s thickness. However, the volume of a paddle board also determines its weight capacity. A common misconception is that a paddle board’s weight capacity is what your board can handle aside from your own weight.

NO! A paddle board’s weight capacity is what a board can handle in total, including your own weight. Thinner boards will have a hard time accommodating you and your gear. Especially over long distances.

A good carrying capacity is a difference between being able to bring a paddle board cooler with some food along or having to slim down just to not sink.

Most touring boards on our list have a weight capacity of three hundred or so pounds. A solid range but nothing special. However, they pale in comparison to Atoll 11. Nothing beats the Atoll 11 when it comes to carrying capacity.

This paddle board can handle up to five hundred pounds of weight. A mind-blowing number that only astounds you further when you realize that this board only weighs twenty-one pounds.

I don’t even know how it is possible to carry this much on something that weighs so little. It truly brings shame to the rest of the best touring paddle boards on the list.

Touring Boards and Length

It seems that even the tiniest detail has a grand effect on a paddle board’s performance. No doubt that something as important as length would also have its moment in the sun.

A board’s length affects how much space you have on board, how much effort is required to move the board, and the maneuverability of the board.

Of course, the longer a board is, the more space you have to move around on and store your belongings. Many paddlers love to bring their dogs with them when paddle boarding. Something that I wish I could do but unfortunately haven’t been able to.

It’s my dog, he doesn’t know the meaning of the word “stay”.

A longer board gives you the ability to make this possible. In fact, most boards will even have a large enough deck space for your pup to adjust his position. Some of us, want to bring a cooler along and relax in the warm sun. For this, not only will you need a longboard but also D-rings.

The last thing to keep in mind is your paddle board’s maneuverability. A shorter board will be far easier to turn and shift around than a longer all-around board. How well you can maneuver an inflatable SUP should also be taken into consideration.

Inflatable Paddle Boards and Tracking

Tracking, what is tracking? Tracking is your paddle board’s ability to move in a straight line. Straight-line tracking is important because you won’t have to expend vital energy trying to course correct every couple of minutes.

There are a number of things that improve a paddle board’s tracking ability. Namely, having a narrow width and a single center fin. The size of the center fin itself, as well as what it is made of are crucial in determining how well your board will track.

The Beach Wing has a large fin that is nine inches in length. Any inflatable paddle board with a similarly sized fin will have a much easier time maintaining its course than with a smaller fin.

If your main central fin is also made from heavy-duty materials, its stiffness will increase. The stiffer it is, the less likely it is to bend or falter in strong currents. On the other side, having a narrow width improves your tracking because it usually results in a tapered nose.

With a pointed bow, cutting through the water and preventing it from affecting your course is much easier. Many touring sups have additional d rings and fins in their design. Take advantage of them to improve the quality of your ride.

Extra Paddle Board Accessories

This last section is all about the extra goodies. Yeah, you can give me a great board with an even better shape. One that will offer a stable ride and high-speed potential but those prices can skyrocket. What else can a manufacturer throw in to sweeten the pot?

For starters, any inflatable paddle board nowadays comes with a pump and a paddle. Some even include a paddle sheath and paddleboarding life vest. While these are great items to include in any bundle, a little more will never hurt.

For example, the Isle Explorer comes with multiple sturdy D-rings that one can use to secure any cooler, kayak seat, or even a camera. Now that is a great feature that gives you plenty of options.

This paddle board also has front and rear bungee systems. With the rear bungee system having four points and the one at the bow having six points. These bungee systems are built into place and ready to go as soon as you inflate the board.

My favorite kind of add-on is extra parts. Several paddle boards listed above come with extra fins and other gear. It’s extras like these that end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.


What Is a Touring Paddle Board?

A touring board is a paddle board that was made for all kinds of conditions and riding. Think of it as the all-mountain equivalent of the paddle-boarding world. These boards tend to give you a consistent performance and feel no matter the conditions around you.

Touring boards generally have a hull shape that doesn’t lean in too hard to either stability or speed.

What Size Paddle Board Do I Need for Touring?

The size of your paddle board will depend on various factors. Chief among them is your size and the distance you plan on traveling. You need a board that is specially made for your body type. Smaller paddlers should stick to shorter boards because they will be able to control them better.

A board that is too big for you will result in you having to exert more energy just to get it moving. It’s unnecessary and a waste of time.

What Features Should a Touring Paddle Board Have?

A touring paddle board should have a planing hull and bungee cargo areas. Touring boards are meant to be stable in any condition. A planing hull ensures that you have an easier time when in turbulent waters.

The bungee systems and cargo areas are necessary when you need a spot on your board to secure your gear in.

How Much Should a Touring Paddle Board Cost?

I know some of the prices above are exorbitant. However, the old adage, “you get what you pay for” rings especially true here. If you want a high-quality board with an adjustable paddle and even a paddle board seat, then expect to pay the premium price.

Fortunately, your average paddle board bundle costs around four hundred to five hundred dollars.

My Final Thoughts

That’s all! We’ve run the gambit and shown you the best touring paddle boards currently on the market. To make the right purchase, break down your needs in order of importance.

First, figure out whether you want speed or stability. Then figure out how much gear you will be bringing along with you. Only by moving through a checklist can you be sure that you made the right choice. Also, don’t forget to get your hands on the best SUP paddle to make your experience as smooth as possible.

If you want to take your canine friend or human companion along on your paddle board journey, there are board options available on the market specifically designed for dogs as well as paddle boards for two persons. These include some of the best choices out there, making it easy to double the fun.

Categories: Paddle Board

Adrian Salazar

My name is Adrian Salazar and I have been wrapped up in the world of water and other extreme sports since the first time I went kayaking. When I’m not working hard trying to deliver the best writing that I can, I am usually out on a lake or hiking up a mountain. My world is completely dominated by writing and the mix of adrenaline and peace of mind that can be achieved while engaging in new sports. I will use my knowledge, experience, and mistakes, to inform you about the best ways that you can become a part of the world of extreme sports. You can count on me to give you my informed and unbiased opinion about any sporting equipment you may need. I know from personal experience that extreme sports are something that you need to head into completely and accurately informed. Let my experience guide you.


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