woman on a non inflatable sup looking forward

Best Non Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards

Are you looking for a non inflatable paddle board?

There are basically two types of stand up paddle boards, hard boards, also known as rigid boards as well as non-inflatable boards, and inflatable SUPs.

There are many reasons to choose a non inflatable SUP, some people just prefer the feel of a hard board, and some need the extra performance.

Non inflatables were also the very first types of SUPs that were developed, and the manufacturer can do more to sculpt and direct the water on the bottom surface of the board, compared to an iSUP.

The Benefits of Non Inflatable Paddle Boards

The number one benefit of a non inflatable versus an iSUP is performance.  There is a more direct, near instant transfer of energy from the legs of the paddler to the board.  When you are on an inflatable, there is always going go be some give and some energy loss because of this, when you go to crank a turn.

There is a reason why no regular surfboards are inflatables.  They just don't maneuver as quickly as a firm non-inflatable surface.  

If you are looking for a more performance orientated SUP, or you just prefer the feel of a traditional non-inflatable paddle board, keep reading because we have complied a list of our favorites and we think you'll like them as well.

top, bottom, and side view of the adventure paddleboarding sixty forty mx


Features:

  • Dual purpose hybrid SUP
  • 60% surf 40% flat water
  • Nose plug for mounting a GoPro
  • Available in 2 sizes: 9'4", 10'0"
  • Center cavity handle for easy carrying

If you're looking for a versatile SUP that can go from the flatwater to the surf, without missing a beat, then you'll love the Sixty Forty MX.

The Sixty Forty MX benefits from being shorter, wider, yet still packed with volume.  You get the feel, glide, and stability of a larger board, when paddling in flatwater while loving the maneuverability of the smaller dimensions.

The subtle displacement of the hull minimizes slapping and improves cutting through the water.

The molded epoxy construction is quite durable and the soft deck traction and tail kick provides for hours of comfortable paddling.

The Sixty Forty MX is good for beginner, intermediate, and even advanced riders and is comfortably surfed in waves up to 4 feet high.

Pros of this Board

  • Anyone can use this paddle board
  • Basically: wide, stable, and great to learn on, with multiple color options available
  • 2 color options available

Cons of this option

  • You have to be ok with either teal or blue
top, bottom, and side views of Isle cruiser soft top rigid sup


Features:

  • Sturdy build
  • All around board good for all skill levels
  • Rigid
  • Value priced
  • Reasonably priced

The ISLE Cruiser Soft Top is a classic SUP that can handle a wide variety of people and skill levels. It is built using an epoxy core and adding a soft layer on top that is firm but also grippable with wet feet.

The Cruiser Soft Top is designed to handle everything from small ocean waves to lakes to fishing in quite coves and is even a good platform for SUP yoga, if you want to test your stability on the water.

It comes equipped with a smaller 4 point bungee system in the front, which is great for most situations. If you are doing some gear intensive activity like fishing, you might need a larger 6 point bungee system, but for most applications, you’ll be fine with the 4 point system that comes on the Soft Top.

Carrying your Soft Top is easy with a standard center mounted carry handle. What makes this carry handle better than most is the pop up feature, so that when it’s not in use, it closes flush with the board.

The board has a single center fin, and at 31 inches wide and 27 pounds this durable construction means that you won’t have to worry about bumping and banging your board.  It can handle it.

The Soft Top also comes with a carbon adjustable paddle

This is one of the best all around stand up paddle boards you can get for the money.

Pros of this Board

  • Non-slip grip covers the entire deck without the need of a traction pad
  • Basically: wide, stable, and great to learn on
  • This is the #1 selling non inflatable stand up paddle board on all of Amazon

Cons of this option

  • Only available in 1 size, and due to popularity (and Covid supply issues) can often be sold out
Tom Carroll outer reef sup top, bottom, and side view


Features:

  • Equally suited for flatwater or surf
  • Stability without sacrificing flow or paddle efficiency
  • Crafted for a clean smooth glide and uninterrupted momentum
  • Reasonably priced
  • Available in 4 sizes: 10', 10'6, 11', 11'6

Tom Carroll Paddle Surf (TCPS) makes beautiful looking SUPs and the Outer Reef MX holds up this tradition.

All of Tom Carroll boards are crafted by being more "water friendly".

What does that mean?  

It means that the Outer Reef MX is designed with Double Concave contours in an effort to get the water to spiral as it moves across the board.  The result is a board that glides through the water, as opposed to traditional SUP's that crudely push water forward, which results in a sluggish ride.

The Outer Reef MX design elements gives an increased flat water paddling speed, easy turning ability, and better response when riding waves.

The Outer Reef MX is fast, turns on a dime, is perfect on flat water and catches waves like it’s nothing. Also, it’s very light so you'll have no problem hauling it around.

If you're looking for a stable board that also glides through the water, this one is for you.

Pros of this Board

  • Equally suited to flat-water and the surf
  • Built with focus on speed and paddle power to ride the outer reefs of Oahu’s North Shore with ease
  • Fast, stable, yet sensitive to the rider

Cons of this option

  • Only 1 color option available
top, bottom, and side view of the boardworks versa sup


Features:

  • Length: 10'6"
  • Width: 32"
  • Wide and stable for smooth water paddling
  • Ideal for an all-around paddle board
  • Max weight capacity: 285 lbs.

The Boardworks Versa is constructed using their patented Bombshell Veneer Technology which is a super hard epoxy. The molded composite construction uses ultra durable Kevlar and PVC materials and finished with a beautiful bamboo veneer.

The Versa is designed to be an all-around paddleboard that any skill level can jump on and start having fun.  But, don't think this SUP is just for beginners, the Honey Fomb heat embossed deck pad and Extra wide nose and tail allow for excellent performance in nearly all waters.

The carry handle is integrated into the board, which is a feature that we love here at Paddleboard Surf.  You bring enough supplies so you can stay out all day on the Versa because of the four D-ring tie downs with bungee cordage for storing water bottles and other gear.

While the Boardworks Versa is a beautiful board, it has a smart SUP design. Its keeled nose cuts smoothly through chop while the flat sections under the tail and standing area helps with a fluid and stable ride.

If you're looking for an epoxy SUP for paddling for the whole family, and you want a beautiful design, then check out the Boardworks Versa.

Pros of this Board

  • High stability
  • Ultra comfortable Honey Fomb Deck Pad
  • Extra volume and speed, without sluggishness

Cons of this option

  • Not many in stock
top, bottom, and side view of the pau hana malibu classic with paddle


Features:

  • Length: 10'6"
  • Skill level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Board Stability: High
  • Width: 34 inches
  • Weight: 31 lbs.

The Pau Hana Malibu Classic is a great beginner to intermediate hard paddle board.  The Malibu Classic is a very durable board, at an affordable price, that can withstand taking a beating.  

The durability comes from the EPS foam core of the board being wrapped in ABS plastic and vacuum formed with Kevlar reinforcement lining the rails for extra rigidity.

This Pau Hanna is a quality board that is both stable and fast through the water, that can even handle a dog on the front of the board with no problems, you'll love the Malibu Classic.  The "Classic" longboard surf shape makes this a great cruiser that beginners and families will really enjoy.

This SUP comes with an adjustable aluminum paddle, an accessory attachment system that makes it really simple to add cup holders, paddle clips and easy-to-thread bungee tie-downs, and even has a hole to run a cable lock.

If you're looking for a board can do everything well, so it's great for beginners, first timers, and casual SUPers, then pick up the  Pau Hana Malibu Classic today.

Pros of this Board

  • Center handle insert is molded for comfort and sunken into the board to not interfere while in use, this is a feature we wish all SUPs had
  • Easy to balance which conserves energy
  • Ability to move side to side with performance compared to the competition

Cons of this option

  • Only available in wood color as of this writing
top, bottom, and side view of the isle glider rigid paddleboard with paddle included


Features:

  • Epoxy and wood paddleboard
  • Beautiful look and classic design that can handle flatwater to small ocean waves
  • 10'10" long, 31 inches wide, 4.5 inches thick
  • Weight: 23.5 pounds, lighter than many inflatable SUPs

Classic.

The look. The design. The ISLE Glider is a beauty of a board for those that prefer a clean and classic, timeless design.

The Glider is an all-around paddleboard that can handle beginners as well as providing a fun time for more advanced paddlers and wave riders.

This paddleboard is engineered for firmness, stability, while providing ample maneuverability by taking a precision EPS foam core, then layering on a fiberglass resin, paulownia wood veneer for extra stiffness, and a final fiberglass resin layer to lock it all together.

The Glider makes life easy with the ample bungee space on the nose of the board as well as a feature we love here at PaddleboardSurf.com, the carry handle that lifts up when you need it, then sinks down flush into place when you don't.

The middle of the board has a soft brushed traction pad, where you will spend most of your time. But the rear of the board has diamond grooved traction pad that is provides even more grip for more athletic moves when surfing waves.

Everything you need to get on the water is included, a leash, an adjustable carbon paddle, and a center fin that does not require a special tool to install or remove.

If you want something that is light, yet firm enough for a bit of performance on more challenging water conditions, all while being one of the best looking SUPs around, the ISLE Glider is for you.

Pros of this Board

  • Quality construction methods using fiberglass and a durable paulownia wood veneer finish
  • Rigid but lightweight paddle board that is easily portable
  • Ride it and love it for 60 days or return it! + 1 Year Warranty on Materials

Cons of this option

  • Only available in 1 size
top, bottom, and side view of the bote flood with paddle


Features:

  • Super tough Gatorshell construction technology
  • 2-piece adjustable carbon shaft graphic paddle included
  • Weigh Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Surf style shape
  • Stashpod storage container with an integrated bottle opener

The BOTE Flood is the perfect hard paddleboard for a laid-back beach day. The surfboard style shape hits the sweet spot for riding a wave or a relaxing cruise down the beach.

The Flood floats and glides easily and is super durable due to the Gatorshell construction.  The Gatorshell construction is an innovative material that designed to handle abuse.  BOTE made an excellent video explaining the details of the Gatorshell construction method that you can watch here.

Designed for fun, the Flood is at home surfing small waves or loaded up with a cooler and all the gear you need for a day of flatwater cruising.  There are also plenty of accessories BOTE offers to customize this SUP, like the TravelLink carry system and Wheel Rac, but you have to purchase these separately.

If you're looking for a super stable, easy to carry and even easier platform to paddle, the BOTE Flood is going to be the perfect fit for you.

Pros of this Board

  • A planing hull is flat and wide, for a stable, easy ride
  • We love the beer holder *cough, we mean Stashpod
  • Gatorshell technology for super durability and light weight

Cons of this option

  • Not cheap, this is a premium SUP
top and bottom view of the surftech generator


Features:

  • Super lightweight at 22 lbs.
  • Sizes 10’4” and 11’2”
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Premium design
  • Beautiful look

This board is awesome.  The Generator uses the best materials, design, and construction techniques and it shows.  This board excels in small to medium surf with good stability and maneuverability

The Generator has a flatter rocker design, which means it does well in flat to slightly choppy waters.  With a width of 32” and a depth of 4.4”, this board is designed more for stability than for speed

The board is constructed with natural wood fibers, carbon tail patches, that give it added strength while also maintaining a useful amount of flex.

The Generator has a standard 4 point bungee system and wider head and slimmer tail which makes it slip through water.  All around one of the best boards you can buy.

Pros of this Board

  • Ideal in small to medium surf
  • Good stability and glide in flat water
  • Extra volume and speed, without sluggishness

Cons of this option

  • Not cheap
top view of surftech promenade and paddle


Features:

  • Touring board
  • Durable construction
  • For mid to long range distance paddling
  • Affordable
  • Built for the whole family

The Surftech Promenade has a displacement hull and carries a lot of volume

One of the only downsides of this board is the weight.  At 34 lbs it is not the lightest board, but it is beefy.  You are not going to have to worry about it, this one can take a beating and be fine.

This board is great for touring or distance paddling.  It was made to with stand the abuse of being a rental board.  So if you are looking for a board for the whole family, and you don’t mind if friends or neighbors use it as well, because you know it’s going to hold up, then this is the board for you.

The Promenade is 11 ½ feet long and 32 inches wide.  It’s one of the thickest boards out there at 7.3 inches thick, which goes to durable go anywhere design.

A single center fin and 2 piece paddle is included.

Pros of this Board

  • Utility Armor plastic outer-shell
  • Light-weight 3/4 EVA deck pad

Cons of this option

  • The color you want may be out of stock

What is a non inflatable paddle board called?

Almost no one uses the term "non inflatable paddleboard", most of the time these type of SUPs will be called rigids, or hard boards.  All the descriptions are still correct, it's just that using the phrases rigids or hard boards are much more common.

A non inflatable paddle board is just what it sounds like, any type of paddle board that is not an inflatable paddleboard.

Is paddleboarding safe for non swimmers?

Everything and every watersport has risk.  This is a question that you have to answer for yourself.  Can someone that can not swim, still have fun and be safe on a paddleboard?  

Technically yes, a non swimmer can safely paddleboard if they are wearing a life jacket the entire time they are in the water.  So yes, it's is possible to SUP without being able to swim. 

BUT, we don't recommend it.  Why?  We here at Paddleboard Surf love watersports and to safely have fun, you need to be able to not only swim, but you need to be a relatively strong swimmer.  And you'll just have a better life in general if you know how to swim.  

No matter what age you are, even if you're an adult, if you don't know how to swim, go a take lessons and learn.  It's really that valuable of a skill and you'll be glad you took the effort to learn.  And you'll be safer and have more fun on the water, for the rest of your life.

What is the most stable paddle board?

Like so many questions, the answer is it depends.  A basic rule of thumb is that a paddle board with a large surface area is going to be more stable than one with a smaller surface area.

Then you also have to consider what type of SUP you're using.  Most agree that non inflatable paddleboards, because they are firm and there is no give or flex to the surface of the board, are more stable than inflatable SUPs.  

Although, some iSUPs are 6 inches thick and have a lot of surface area, and there are plenty of paddlers who think that inflatables are more stable than non-inflatables.  Then you also have to consider the underside of the board.  Some SUPs have a better design to cut through the water than others.

Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference as to which is the most stable paddleboard.

Can anyone stand up paddle board?

For sure!  That is what's so cool about stand up paddleboarding, just about anyone can do it.  As long as you can walk and you're not injured in some way, you can paddleboard.  Technically you don't even have to know how to swim (if you wear a life jacket) to paddleboard.

SUP is also user friendly because you can be a complete novice and still have fun.  As you progress and become an expert, there are still challenges like surfing or competitive racing.  SUP is a low impact sport that anyone from small children to elderly grandparents, can participate and have fun in.


Final Thoughts

Non inflatable stand up paddleboards are a lot of fun, there were the first ever stand up paddle boards. They come in a wider variety of styles than inflatables SUPs, so you'll need to find what will work best for your needs.


The boards we listed are some of our personal favorites.  We tend to prefer non inflatable paddleboards because we like the added performance.