The 7 Best Paddle Boards for Rivers (2021 Reviews)

Take your paddleboarding to your favorite river would be a whole new level of experience.

You can cruise flatwater or whitewater, depending on your level of experience and the SUP board you are using.

SUP boarding in a river brings you close to nature and you get a chance to challenge your balancing skills and overall fitness.

The choice of the best paddle boards for rivers, however, is huge, and not everyone knows what to look for in the market.

So, in our top seven varieties, we took into account all the essential features you would want a SUP for cruising a river to have.

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Top Pick – The Best Paddle Board For Rivers

Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board is the most paddle board for rivers liked and the bestseller.

This board is extremely stable for sailing flatwater and super strong for surfing whitewater. It comes equipped with all the essentials you will need to operate the SUP.

The Best Paddle Boards for Rivers Are: 

Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board 

Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board is a paddle board under $500 – The best stand up paddle board for river and whitewater paddleboarding.

It is available in six different colors for preference, including pink, desert, charcoal, blue, black, and aqua.

What is cool about this inflatable stand up paddle board is that it takes about eight to ten minutes to inflate and just a few moments to deflate into a portable backpack.

The board features triple-layer fabric made of military-grade PVC with support baffles.

The construction is resistant to weathering, abrasion, shock, corrosion, and chemical rotting. It will withstand the impact on rocks and other objects in the river.

The board’s front-mounted four-spot bungee kit allows for quick, simple gear attachment and super close to your fingertips. You will not have problems transporting the board down to the river, thanks to the convenient carry handle.

It comes with a one-piece EVA deck pad that is approximately six feet long. The traction pad provides great non-slip performance when navigating whitewater.

You’ve got four stainless D-rings at the deck, which you can use to tie down a kayak seat when sailing calm river waters. You have an extra D-ring at the tail for attaching a safety leash.

Pros

  • It is wide and stable for whitewater sailing
  • The wide deck pad provides superior nonslip traction
  • The triple-layer fabric can withstand hard impacts
  • Convenient center carry handle allows for easy transportation
  • You can adjust the paddle to suit your sailing habit

Cons

  • Possible to experience poor customer service
  • Some models may come with a leaking valve

Goosehill Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board 

Are you a big fan of paddleboarding in calm river waters? If you are, then this great SUP from Goosehill is your best bet.

It comes complete with an iSUP package that includes the SUP, three-piece paddle, removable fin panel, safety leash, double-action pump, repair kit, and backpack.

You will truly appreciate how easy this board packs down into a travel backpack.

Operating the SUP is easy, just unroll it beside the riverbank and inflate it to the ideal pressure. You should be able to inflate the board in under 10 minutes fully.

The board features super construction enhancement and drop-stitch technologies, providing you with a stronger core that is resistant to dent, ding, and damage.

The three-piece EVA top offers non-slip traction, improving your stability and balance when cruising flat water. The deck pad is also resistant to UV and chemical corrosion.

This Goosehill model comes in two colorways (sailor blue and sailor green) for preference.

You’ve also got a three-piece paddle that allows you to customize the height to your liking and the fin panel improves tracking and maneuverability in flatwater.

You can also use this model for SUP yoga on calm river waters. It is large enough for different yoga poses and stances.

Pros

  • It packs down easily into a portable backpack
  • It inflates in under ten minutes
  • The SUP is exceptionally stable and easy to maneuver on calm waters
  • The large textured footpad offers non-slip traction and superior stability
  • Tie-down necessities in the four-point bungee

Cons

  • You may get a model with a leaking valve

DAMA Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board 

Enjoy the flatwater or whitewater of a river with this incredible paddleboard from DAMA. Experience adventures never like before in your favorite river.

Every DAMA SUP comes with all of the paddleboarding accessories in a heavy-duty storage bag, including a waterproof bag, removable fin, repair kit, safety foot leash, and air pressure gauge.

Getting in the river is a breeze because it will take you only a few minutes to infuse the board entirely. Attaching the center fin panel does not require any tools, and the safety leash clips easily into the tail D-ring.

The three-piece aluminum paddle assembles easily, and you can adjust it to fit your height perfectly.

The wide slip-resistant top deck provides improved stability and balance when cruising whitewater. The top deck’s extended length offers a good platform for exercising, relaxing, and SUP yoga on calm river waters.

More importantly, the heavy-duty body makes it stable while standing in rough waters, but the SUP is not too rigid that it may hurt you when you fall and hit yourself on the board.

It also comes with two four-point bungee kits at the nose and tail, which are enough for tieing down all the essentials you will need in the river.

Pros 

  • It is wide, long, and exceptionally stable when surfing river waters
  • Has a super long top deck for added stability and versatility
  • Heavy-duty PVC body does not ding or dent when you hit rocks
  • The tail grab handle makes it easy to pull the SUP to and out of the river
  • A great choice for SUP yoga in calm river waters

Cons 

  • May leak out of the box

iRocker Nautical Inflatable SUP Paddle Board

The iRocker Nautical Inflatable Paddle Board provides you with the ultimate paddle boarding experience in whitewater.

It is 10.6 feet long and 32 inches wide, providing you with a considerably large platform that is super stable and easy to maneuver in a river. The touring design of touring paddle boards is suitable for cruising through rapids.

The SUP is made of dual-layer drop-stitch material with support baffles, which means it is super tough and durable. It will not suffer any damage, ding, or dent when you hit a riverbank or rocks along the river.

The six-inch thickness can hold up to two hundred and forty pounds. The reinforced rail of the SUP helps enhance stability in rough waters.

The soft EVA deck pad provides great traction that keeps you stable on the board when surfing, paddleboarding, or cruising a river.

On calm river waters, you can transform the deck pad into an exercise mat that makes it pet and family-friendly.

iRocker Nautical is also fitted with a six-point bungee kit that keeps your water bottle, sunglasses, waterproof phone case, and gear out of your way when sailing whitewater but close enough when you need them.

Pros

  • Extremely stable and easy to maneuver on a river
  • Touring design is great for cruising whitewater
  • The three-piece paddle is super easy to customize
  • The non-slip deck pad provides great traction and stability
  • The six-point bungee kit provides enough storage

Cons 

  • May come with a leaking pump-valve combo

FunWater Inflatable Ultra-Light Stand Up Paddle Board 

FunWater makes paddleboarding in a river more fun. It performs like a top-tier hardboard without sacrificing performance and stability.

With a high performing top deck construction at a good price point, it is easy to see why the FunWater is a paddleboarder’s favorite. This incredible SUP is suitable for any skill level in both flatwater and whitewater.

This SUP weighs roughly seventeen pounds when inflated, making it lightweight and portable.

The center carry handle has a firm grip for easy transportation to and from the river. It deflates and folds easily and quickly into a small backpack for storage and carriage.

The FunWater has an approximately seven-foot-long top pad that is resistant to ding, dent, and damage.

The top deck non-slip traction improves stability and balance in rough river waters. When you get to the calm part of the river, you can transform the deck pad into a SUP yoga mat.

You will love to hear that all the three fin panels are easily removable and do not require any installation tools. Apart from being adjustable, the aluminum paddle floats on water for easy retrieval when it falls.

Pros 

  • The SUP is lightweight, durable, and easy to transport
  • Dual PVC layers improve strength and durability
  • Non-slip traction pad improves stability and performance
  • The six-point bungee provides adequate storage
  • The paddle is adjustable and floats on water for easy retrieval

Cons 

  • You may receive a poorly design pump
  • Some models may come with a faulty pressure gauge

YASKA All-Around Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board 

One of the best you could have ever wished for when looking for a good quality of SUP paddle boardings in a river or a lake.

The board is 10.6 feet long and 32 inches wide. So, it is big enough and more stable for cruising a river.

Its superior stability, balance, and maneuverability make this SUP an exceptional choice for both beginner and expert river paddleboarders.

The one-piece traction pad gives a non-slip grip by draining away the excess water. It keeps you stable when cruising rough waters.

Groove pattern on the deck pad provides superior traction, allowing you to turn smoothly on the board when making sharp turns. The traction mat is wide and long enough for SUP yoga on flat water.

You will appreciate the portability of this model. It has one strong center carry handle for transporting the SUP to and from the water. The board deflates quickly into a very portable travel bag that you can easily store in your small car.

Another good thing that makes this model great for paddleboarding in the river is the removable fin. It improves tracking and maneuverability in flat water.

Pros

  • The wide, non-slip deck improves stability
  • Multi-layer construction does not dent or ding
  • Strong center carry handle makes transportation easy
  • You get enough storage with the four-point bungee cord
  • The all-around design with a round rail is extremely stable

Cons 

  • The pump’s quality is not long-lasting
  • Quality control seems to be an issue with some models

ACOWAY Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board 

Whether you are planning to cruise flatwater or whitewater, the ACOWAY Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board will deliver the best performance.

The SUP is 10.6 feet long and 32 inches wide. So, you’ve got a big board for sailing through the river with ease.

The planing hull easily glides on top of the water and it is quick to maneuver. The reinforced round rail of the SUP improves stability, especially on whitewater.

The heavy-duty PVC construction is exceptionally resistant to dent, ding, and damage. So, do not mind bumping into rocks or a riverbank.

What we appreciate about this great board from ACOWAY is the non-slip traction mat.

The extended mat allows you to turn with ease without slipping. You can also use the mat for SUP yoga when you are on calm river waters.

Apart from the SUP, you also get an adjustable paddle, removable center fin, safety leash, waterproof phone case, pump, and repair kit.

Pros

  • It is wide, stable, and easy to maneuver
  • Heavy-duty PVC design does not get damaged easily
  • Extended deck pad offers superior traction and stability
  • The height of the paddle can be adjusted for customized use
  • It is lightweight and easy to transport

Cons 

  • Some models may come with defective items

Things to Consider When Looking for The Best Paddle Boards for Rivers 

Here are a few things you need to take into account.

Planing or Displacement Hull Paddle Board

The bottom shape of a SUP helps determine glide and stability.

  • Flat planing bottom

Like surfboards, many paddleboards come with a flat planing bottom (all-around), which is preferable for cruising river waters.

An all-around SUP is more stable and easy to maneuver in a river.

  • Displacement hull

A displacement hull (touring design) feels less stable but allows for the SUP to turn smoothly.

A touring board is more effective for sailing rough waters. SUPs with a displacement hull are faster compared to those with a planing hull.

Size of the Paddle Boards for Rivers

Stand up paddleboards are available in a variety of sizes. You must consider your height and weight.

The most ideal SUP should be at least 10 feet long and 32 inches wide.

The standard thickness for river SUPs is 6 inches to allow for more flotation, stability, and balance.

Final Thoughts 

The winner of this “The Best Paddle Boards for Rivers” roundup is Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board.

The SUP is made of military-grade material, which means it will not dent, ding, or get damaged easily when it hits rocks along the river.

You’ve got six colorways for preference and a complete package of matching accessories.

The board has a planing hull that is extremely stable, easy to maneuver, and glides smoothly on river water.

This board is a great choice for all skill levels. At 10 feet long and 33 inches wide, the Roc has the perfect size for cruising a river. Not to mention that you can use it for SUP yoga on flat water.

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