A Look at the Top 6 Stand Up Paddle Boards for Rivers

A Look at the Top 6 Stand Up Paddle Boards for Rivers

Stand up paddle boarding is a fantastic way to enjoy nature and get in a workout at the same time. In this guide, we are going to highlight 6 of the best stand up paddle boards you can get right now, so you can enjoy Mother Nature tomorrow.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, no doubt you’ve noticed how popular paddleboarding has become in recent years. In fact, the sport has even taken off in the UK and other areas not typically known for a particularly widespread interest in water sports.

The transportable, inflatable technology of paddle boards is one of the things about the athletic trend that people love most. Plus, it’s a suitable sport for peaceful lakes, ocean surfs, and every body of water in between. But, certain stand-up paddle boards may be best, depending on where you intend to use yours the most.

In this post, we’re taking a look at the top paddle boards for rivers.

If you’re considering paddle boarding down rivers, find out which boards are best for you!

Our Top 6 Picks for Stand Up Paddle Boards for Rivers

Are you ready to take your paddle boarding passion to the river?

Take a look at our list below of boards that are designed to take on your favorite Utah river destinations.

1. Best Beginning Paddle Board for Rivers: ISLE Versa Epoxy Standup Paddle Board

This lightweight, versatile, epoxy stand up board is an excellent choice for beginners just starting to navigate rivers with relatively small waves.

At 10.5″ long, a width of 32″ and a volume of 175 liters, the ISLE Versa’s thermal construction makes it a great board for those wishing to transition from one skill level to another.

Plus, the center fin and carrying handle mean you won’t have trouble transporting your board should you have to travel to your river destination.

When you are ready for more serious paddling, you won’t have to exchange your board. Although it’s listed here as a top choice beginner board, it’s equally matched for intermediate boarders as well.

2. Best Buy Paddle Board: The Red Paddle Co. 10’8

The Red Paddle Company’s board measures 4.7″ thick, 34″ wide and packs 296 liters of volume which helps it to maintain superb tracking and balance in the water. It’s also another great choice for beginners due to its’ ease of handling. But, it’s suitable for intermediate and advanced riders too.

A front-loading cargo kit carries all of your paddling gear but doesn’t compromise its’ performance, surprisingly. The kit and the wheeled backpack add to the board’s portability and make it an especially good pick for longer river tours.

You don’t have to spend much time pumping this board up to get a firm ride, even on choppier rivers. And, it’s a good choice for boarders who are transitioning to a more advanced skill level.

No wonder it was voted the Indy Best Buy board by UK’s Independent News.

3. Most Versatile Paddle Board: Ocean Kayak Nalu Hybrid Stand-Up-Sit-On-Top Paddleboard

This board is great for calm lakes or rivers, but does well on small waves, too.

The thing that we really love about the Ocean Kayal Nalu Hybrid is that riders can choose to use as either a traditional stand-up paddle board, or they can sit on top if preferred. This feature earns it the top spot for versatility.

Ocean Kayak Nalu-Stand Up Paddle Boarding

It has built-in bungee cords, so you get extra storage room for your gear in the back. And, it’s bow is designed to cut through waves, so you can take it on peaceful or more moderately rough river rides.

It measures 11 feet long and has a flat bottom which makes for a comfortable standing position.

4. Best Looking Board: CRAZZIE Stand Up Paddle Board in Real Bamboo Wood

Obviously, when you take this CRAZZIE Bamboo Wood Paddle Board down any river, you’re going to turn heads. This beautiful board measures 10.5 feet long and 33 inches wide and weighs about 27 pounds.

Its lightweight wood makes for a stiff, but easy to handle ride for beginner to intermediate river waves.

The board also comes in a longer version, which tends to be best for Yoga enthusiasts. If you’re paddling down a river, you probably will want to stick to the shorter board, unless you’re not expecting to encounter any potentially rough waves.

5. Best Paddle Board for Kids: 8’4 BIC SPORT Dura-Tec Original Paddle Board

The 8’4 BIC SPORT Dura-Tec Paddle Board is a great choice for kids.

Not only does it come in a variety of cool colors, it has extra safety features such as an integrated deck pad that provides a more stable ride. In addition, its’ features also include a 10″ dolphin fin, plus combined leash plug and a deck rig anchor.

8’4 BIC SPORT Dura-Tec Original Paddle Board

Kids will feel secure on this board, even if they just starting out. And, parents will breathe a little easier knowing they’ve chosen a board with added security features for their little paddlers.

6. Best All Around River Paddle Board: The Aleka by Surftech Bark

Surftech Bark’s Aleka Paddle Board is a perfect match for all types of rivers and practically any body of water.

Its 29″ width makes it quick and easy to zip across river channels. Although, it’s probably best suited for intermediate or advanced skill levels.

It also has unmatched durability, is lightweight, and combines the right amount of steadiness and glide to make your ride as enjoyable as possible.

It also comes in two different sizes, depending on your preference and needs. The shorter version cuts the cost by over a hundred bucks, and can still accommodate most river riders.

Want to Try Before You Buy?

If you are new to paddle surfing or want to try out a couple of great boards, we can help.

We rent a variety of stand up paddle boards along the banks of some of Utah’s most vibrant rivers, such as Highland Pond, Utah Lake, and the Jordanelle Reservoir.

Contact us today to plan your next stand up paddling river adventure!

The Top 8 Reasons You Should Try Stand-up Paddle Boarding

There’s nothing like stand-up paddle boarding, and if you’ve never tried it, then you’re missing out. We can list hundreds of reasons why you should give it a try, but we’d be here all day. However, we’re going to provide you with eight reasons why you should try stand-up paddle boarding. These reasons include:

1. Just About Anyone Can Do It

First and foremost, just about anyone can learn SUP, short for stand-up paddle boarding. It doesn’t matter if you’re completely new to SUP or how old you are, the chances are you will be able to do it. Many people find they are standing up within the first hour of learning how to do it, sometimes in much less time than that.

2. It’s A Workout

With SUP, you use your arms to paddle and you move around quite a bit throughout your duration on the water. Also, SUP may help improve your balance and core because you use core when you do it, but you have to really focus on keeping balanced. If you have bad balance, then start doing SUP on a regular basis and you might see an improvement within a few short weeks.

3. Explore Places

Paddle boards allow you to explore places. For example, you can get on a paddle board and explore narrow lagoons, hidden caves and things of that nature. You can go many places where boats can’t when you use a paddle board.

4. Not A Lot Of Equipment Is Needed

Another reason why you should give SUP a try is you actually don’t need a whole lot of equipment. Basically, you’re good to go if you have a stand-up paddle board and a paddle. Also, you might want to buy a leash to attach to the board, just so it doesn’t get away from you in the event you fall off of it.

5. Do Different Things On It

Obviously, you can stand up on the board and guide it through the water. However, there are other things you can do with a stand-up paddle board, such as yoga or meditation, bringing out lunch with you and eating it while you sit on the board. These are only a few of the many examples of what you can do with stand-up paddle boarding.

6. It Is Safe

Unlike surfing, SUP has an extremely low risk of injury. It is extremely safe to do, and reading instructions and implementing basic safety tips should be sufficient enough.

Health Benefits of Stand Up Paddling

If possible, you can book a SUP guide to teach you how to do it and what to do to be safe. Although using a guide or instructor is recommended, you should be fine if you choose not to.

7. SUP Is Relaxing

SUP is actually relaxing, especially if you do it somewhere that doesn’t have many people. Even if there are quite a few people, you’ll still find it relaxing. There’s something about being out on the water with the sun glistening down on us that makes people feel at ease, calm and just relaxed. If you’re looking for a way to unwind and clear your mind, then give SUP a try.

8. It’s Fun

This is probably obvious, but stand-up paddle boarding is a lot of fun. Even if you’re a complete beginner, you will enjoy learning how to do it. Once you become an expert, you will still have a lot of fun.

Are you looking to try something different and something that is extremely fun to do? If so, then you should try stand-up paddle boarding. Remember, the above are only eight of the many reasons why you should try stand-up paddle boarding.

The Golden Rules Of Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddle boarding is a great activity for people who want to get on the water. If you are thinking about paddle boarding, there are some golden rules that you need to know about. These rules will help you paddleboard more effectively and ensure that you enjoy your time on the board.

Engage The Core Muscles

The first rule to paddle boarding is to engage your core muscles. This will help you to paddle more effectively and ensure that you can spend longer on the water. When you know how to use your muscles correctly, you will also be better prepared for any challenging conditions.

SUP Safety

To use your core muscles, you will need to rotate the hips and shoulders when you paddle. When you wind up like this, you will be using your core muscles for each paddle stroke instead of just the arms. When you only use your arms, you will tire faster and will not have the control over the board that you actually need. This paddling will use the major muscles groups in the body which makes paddling safer and easier for a prolonged period of time.

It is important to note that it will take a while to get used to this movement. The first few times you head out, you might have to remind yourself to move in this way. Paddling with a trainer or guide is recommended because they will be able to correct any mistakes in your technique.

Wear A Life Jacket And Leash

The second rule you need to follow is to always wear a life jacket and leash while paddle boarding. The life jacket is something that you need to have as the US Coast Guard views paddleboards as a vessel and you should also have a whistle on hand. If you are not a strong swimmer, it is recommended that you use a buoyant life jacket which will keep you afloat when you are in trouble.

SUP Safety


If you do not know which life jacket to use, there are a number of paddle specific models on the market. These life jackets have been designed to be comfortable to wear and do not restrict your movements while you paddle. If you are a strong swimmer, you should look at an inflatable life jacket. The most common inflatable life jacket used by paddle boarders will actually be a belt around the waist which can easily inflate when needed.

The leash is important because it tethers you to the paddleboard. The only time you might not want to wear your leash is when you are paddling whitewater rapids. In other situations, being attached to your board can be very helpful because you will not believe how quickly you can be separated from the board when you fall off.

Know Where To Go

The last rule that you need to know is to understand where you should be paddle boarding. The best places for beginners to stand up paddle board will be sheltered areas. These areas should be away from the wind and waves with a good launching and landing point. You should also look for areas with a minimum amount of boat traffic.

Only experienced stand up paddle boarders should look at heading to the waves and where there is wind. You will also need to be a confident swimmer when doing this because you will have to fight the movement of the water.

There are a number of rules that you need to know when it comes to stand up paddleboarding. These rules will ensure that you are safe and able to stay out on the water for longer.