2 large and 3 medium sized foam sups

Best Foam Stand Up Paddle Boards Compared

Looking for the Best Foam Paddleboards?

What is a foam stand up paddleboard?  A foam SUP is a paddle board constructed with a foam based EPS core.

EPS stands for Expanded Polystyrene.  This method of SUP construction originated with foam surfboards, and was modified for Stand Ups.

The foam is easy to shape, and they are often called Soft Tops.

An less known benefit of foam boards, is that they can take a few dings and dents, and still repel water and work just fine.

The Benefits of the SUPs Built with Foam

There are two main benefits of SUPs built out of foam.  The first is price.  This is a cost effective way of producing a paddle board a reasonable price point.  The cost of foam SUPs is so reasonable, they are often cheaper than inflatable SUPs.

The second major benefit is weight reduction.  Foam is lighter than wood, fiberglass, and epoxy.  Because of the lighter weight and lower price point, foam SUPs are great for beginners and paddling in flat water conditions.

There is also the added benefit of performance.  A foam SUP is a rigid surface, and you get more bite (you could also call this traction) on the water during a turn than you do on an inflatable SUP.  

A foam SUP will be more fun and easier to use if you are at the beach and you try to surf the waves, because of the rigidity and therefor increased performance compared to an iSUP.

top, bottom, and side views of Isle cruiser soft top rigid sup


  • Beginner friendly
  • Complete package includes: carbon adjustable paddle, center fin, & leash
  • Extended and lowered standing surface
  • Weight: 24 lbs.
  • Composite Soft Technology with textured padding

The Isle Cruiser is simply the best selling soft top stand up paddle board on the market, and it has been for at least four years now.

The soft top construction means it is user friendly, it can take a few bumps, and you can bring along your canine pals as well.  The Cruiser is built around an foam EPS core, which makes this a rigid paddle board, but it is wrapped soft outer textured croc skin padding, creating versatile, all around performance.

The Isle Cruiser package, which comes with 3 different color options, is a combination of quality materials, user friendly design, reasonable price, and complete ready-to-go package that is massively popular.  

The Cruiser is an easy to carry board due to the well thought out center handle which pops out when needed, and lays flush when not in use.

The 6-point bungee system in the front give you plenty of room to secure a dry bag or other accessories you might need for longer tours.

Everything you need to get on the water is included in the package.  More experienced paddlers will also appreciate the carbon adjustable paddle that is included, because on longer rides, the lighter carbon means your arms don't get tired so quickly.

If you're looking for a complete package, especially if you want a board that you can have at a beach or lake house, where lots of different guests, from kids to adults will want to take turns paddling, you'll won't find a better option than the Isle Cruiser Soft Top.

Pros of this Board

  • Anyone can use this paddleboard
  • Easy to balance which conserves energy
  • Width of 32 inches

Cons of this option

  • If you're a more advanced and aggressive paddler, you probably want something else
top view of the ez slider sup with paddle


  • Classic longboard SUP design
  • Single 8″ removable longboard fin
  • Weight: 24 lbs.
  • Anti-slip foam deck
  • Very stable

One of the most stable paddleboards available in the market today. This is not a SUP for winning a races, but if maximizing fun is your goal, this LiquidShredder paddleboard is the perfect vessel to make it happen.

With this board, the soft outer skin makes it so you will enjoy standing on the water for hours on end.

The stability of this board makes it suitable for SUP yoga, and when you are tired from your yoga, you can take a nap on the board (because it's a softy).

It is also perfect for fishing and cruising activities.

The materials used to manufacture this board makes it very light and floaty. The fins set up allows you to maneuver larger waves with good traction giving you confidence in the board. The rounded nose provides stability and maximum control over the board and the turns you make in the water.

The EZ Slider Soft is manufactured from multiple components such as polythene, polypropylene, and hard, slick bottom. The board is also made from components to protect it from heat. These materials are fixed together with no glue making the board very durable.

Pros of this Board

  • Suitable for beginners and pros
  • Very reasonably priced and installment payment options available
  • Very stable and floaty

Cons of this option

  • Graphics are pretty plain and it's only available in one color
south bay board co beginner soft top


  • One of the easiest, user friendly SUPs on the market
  • Nose rocker to prevent unnecessary drag
  • Kayak seat compatible
  • 3 fin setup for better tracking and stability
  • Very stable

If you are looking for lightweight and stable, constructed with a closed-cell EPS foam core, look no further! All that you need to do to get started is just to put the fins on and add water.

The South Bay Board Co. Premium Beginner Soft Top provides great stability and inspires confidence on the water, enough to handle waves from boats on a busy holiday weekend or a strong wind.

The South Bay Board Co. Premium Soft Top's are a hard-to-beat value due to the smart design, premium construction quality, and performance focused features.

While soft top SUP's are great for beginners learning to paddle, they also are forgiving when transporting on a car or boat due to the softness of the material, not damage your boat or car.

If you want a great "all rounder" but don't want an inflatable SUP and don't want to shell out over $1,000 for a rigid, then this will be a great fit for you.

The best materials and the best manufacturing make the South Bay Board Co. Premium Beginner Soft Top a tremendous value as well as on of PaddlboardSurf's top SUP recommendations.

Pros of this Board

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • High-quality board for complete package

Cons of this option

  • More expensive than other foam boards, but better quality
top view of the scott burke 10'6


  • Set of padded roof racks included
  • EPS foam core construction
  • Fiberglass adjustable paddle included
  • Length: 10'6"
  • All-Around foam paddle board

The Scott Burke 10'6" foam SUP is straight forward paddle board.  Nothing fancy, but it does the basics well and your gonna have a lot of fun with this paddleboard.

It comes with everything you need to get on the water quickly included roof racks, an adjustable paddle, and a leash.  

Constructed out of high density foam, the board is completely waterproof, held together with 3 multi-layered, laminated wood stringers coated with a waterproof resin.  While the Scott Burke 10'6" is lightweight at only 26 lbs. it is a well made board that has a weight capacity of 300 lbs.  

That's the nature of a soft top SUP, they tend to be light, easy to carry and maneuver while in the water, and easy on your knees if it gets too windy and you need to get lower on your board to make paddling easier.

If you want a good looking SUP that is easy to use, forgiving, and not too expensive, then pick up the Scott Burke 10'6" today.

Pros of this Board

  • Roof racks included 
  • Lightweight and strong board 
  • Soft top construction

Cons of this option

  • We saw some minor defects with the paint, but it did not affect the performance of the board
california board company hydra foam sup package with paddle, leash, and fin


  • Beginner friendly
  • EPS foam core construction
  • Incredible price
  • Length: 10'6"
  • All-Around foam paddle board

The CBC Hydra Foam 10'6" SUP is an excellent value and a reasonable board to get for beginners and to be used by the whole family. Rigid SUPs tends to be more expensive than iSUPs.

The reason for this is that the materials used to make them are more expensive. Fortunately, CBC was able to find a way to combat that with this great paddle board.

This CBC model weights only 25 pounds, is made out of high-density EPS foam and comes equipped with a 100% waterproof core. It slides smoothly across the water. A camera mount and surf leash are included.

Since this CBC model is a solid paddle board, it's buoyancy makes for a nice stable ride, and it can hold more than 300 pounds - which is more than a majority of iSUPs can hold.

If you are a larger person or are interested in tandem SUP, then this could be the best affordable paddle board for your needs.

The CBC Hydra Foam 10'6" Paddle Board comes with a comprehensive accessories package. This rigid is a great value!

Pros of this Board

  • Anyone can use this paddleboard
  • Comes complete with adjustable SUP paddle, surf leash with neoprene padded ankle strap, and 1 fin
  • Width of 32 inches

Cons of this option

  • Vinyl liner somewhat easy to scratch
bic sport slide foam sup
cut out of bic sport slide foam sup


  • A serious foam core SUP
  • Soft fin included
  • Everything you need is included: board, fin, adjustable paddle, and leash
  • Smooth rounded tail for easier turning
  • Adjustable paddle included

The BIC Sport Slide bucks the trend of the rest of the foam SUPs on this list.  While most foam core SUPs are built for beginners, or maybe to be used as rentals at the beach, and have a low price tag with it, that's not the case with this paddleboard.

Yes, BIC used foam construction, but this is a premium board that can handle flatwater touring, but also hold it's own surfing on small to medium sized waves.

This board has a soft anti-slip EVA foam deck, that covers the entire top of the board, so no matter where you're positioned your feet will have comfort and grip.

One of the benefits of a foam core construction is the weight savings.  This board is about 5 inches thick but only weighs 25 lbs. which makes it light enough for just about anyone to carry to the water.

The BIC Sport Slide hits that sweet spot in SUP design of near perfect balance providing just the right amount of weight and buoyancy.  It's for this reason that so many family members feel comfortable taking this out for a paddle.

If you're looking for a cheap foam paddleboard, check out some of the other boards on this list.  If your looking for a higher quality lightweight foam paddleboard, the BIC Sport Slide is a great choice to make.

Pros of this Board

  • Lightweight 
  • Good for just about all conditions from flatwater to surfing small to medium sized ocean waves
  • Stable and easy to control

Cons of this option

  • Due to much higher quality, this is not a cheap board like most foam SUPs.  This board is for more advanced paddlers.
wavestorm foam paddleboard


  • Fun is the main objective of this board
  • One of the easiest to use SUPs you'll find
  • Strong EPS (foam) core
  • Low cost SUP package
  • Adjustable paddle included

The Wavestorm 8ft SUP is built with a foam core.  It's great for beginners because of the lower cost and lighter weight.

The foam construction is also nice for beginners because if you lose control of your board, and it happens to bump into someone, it won't hurt the way a hard epoxy board would.

This SUP package includes a 9 inch removable and adjustable center fin, an adjustable paddle, and a leash; everything you need, out-of-the-box to start having fun on the water paddleboarding.

The internal compression-foam deck pad means you can paddle for hours and your feet will remain comfortable.  And this type of deck pad also lowers the strain in your feet because it offers plenty of grip and easy traction.

Because it's low priced, with a durable foam construction, this is an ideal SUP to keep at a beach or lake house where you won't be concerned about loaning it out to friends and guests.

Pros of this Board

  • Lightweight 
  • Good for flatwater conditions on lakes, rivers, and open water
  • Stable and easy to control

Cons of this option

  • Know that this is more of a beginner board.
california board co. sup set


  • High Density EPS foam
  • 100-Percent Waterproof Core
  • Surf leash
  • Adjustable SUP paddle

The California Board Company 9ft SUP set is a great, value priced board for a beginner.  This is also one of the very few boards you'll find, either SUP or surfboard, that comes with instant padded roof racks, making transporting your board to the water a breeze!

The advantage of this board is it's light and easy to carry and lift. Hard epoxy boards are heavy and hard to lift. But there is a trade off, light boards are less stable while hard boards are more stable.

This SUP is better for beginners, children, and smaller adults.  The weight limit of this SUP is about 160 lbs.

This paddleboard is best used as a toy to have fun on the water with, without having to spend too much.  Great for playing around at the lake or a quite bay, but not something that more serious paddlers will want to buy for longer tours or surfing bigger waves.

Pros of this Board

  • Inexpensive, ready to go SUP package
  • Tri fin system for added stability

Cons of this option

  • Best on flat water conditions, not great in choppy waters

Are foam paddle boards good?

Yes.  And well, it depends.  There are some foam SUPs, like the ones lister here, that are very good.  A few of the best are the South Bay Board Co. Premium Beginner SUP and the ISLE Cruiser.  These are excellent boards.  

But, you need to be careful.  A lot of foam SUPs are priced cheap, and are manufactured using super cheap materials and techniques.  You get what you pay for, and that's ok as long as you are aware of this going into your purchase.

Some foam SUPs are really cheap which is for a specific buyer.  There are a lot of families that go on vacation to the beach or the lake, and they'll pick up a cheap foam SUP and use it on vacation and basically throw it away when vacation is over.  

Can you use a foam surfboard as a paddleboard?

Sure, you can, but do you really want to?  If all you have is a foam surfboard and you have a paddle, you can certainly try to paddle standing up on your surfboard, but it's not ideal.

Surfboards are designed for surfing, not SUP.  A surfboard is going to be smaller and more narrow and a lot less stable than a paddleboard.  Surfboards are also best used... in the surf.  One of the cool things about SUP is that you don't need waves, you can SUP on flat water, like lakes or rivers, and a surfboard just won't perform well on flat water conditions.

What is the best SUP board for beginners?

It depends on the person.  In general foam paddle boards can be a great option for beginners and people new to the sport.  Foam boards are lighter and because of this they are easier to maneuver.  

Another nice aspect of foam SUPs for beginners is that the foam is a forgiving and softer surface for the falls that are basically guaranteed to happen when you are just learning how to stand up paddleboard.

Foam SUPs are also a lower price point paddleboard.  It makes sense when you are new to the sport, not to spend an arm and a leg on your first board, and so getting a foam SUP makes a lot of sense.

Are cheap paddle boards any good?

Some are and some are not.  It's like anything.  

If you spend too little, then you'll get a board that will break down on you quickly.  But you can still find good values, SUPs that are not too expensive, but that still have a decent quality so the board will last, and you'll have fun.

The best price to quality board on this list is probably the California Board Company's Hydra.  After that we'd pick the South Bay Board Co.'s Beginner SUP, and then our favorite is the ISLE Cruiser, but while the Cruiser is not expensive, it is certainly not cheap either.

But what is cheap?  

Is a board like the ISLE Cruiser, which is more expensive than a super cheap board like the Wavestorm, a cheap SUP?  Well, the ISLE Cruiser will last much longer than the Wavestorm.  You can easily get five to ten years of use out of the ISLE Cruiser, and you will probably get two to three years of use out of the Wavestorm.

So if something costs a bit more, but lasts much, much longer, isn't that the cheaper option?  It's similar to how a used Toyota costs more than a used Cheverlot, but the Toyota will last three to four times longer.

Final Thoughts

Foam stand up boards are fun to ride. They are ideal for beginners and not worrying about letting friends, family, and guests use your expensive SUP.

The highlighted boards are some of the best you can get, and it will enable you to get to a new level in stand up paddleboard fun.