We have been paddleboarding a lot lately, mostly on flat water, usually under sunny skies, always on the Mississippi River.  During our time on the water, we have racked up hundreds of hours: paddling, teaching, exploring and learning about paddleboards.

Soft Top Paddleboards

Soft Top Paddleboards

We have found that some of the best paddleboards are the least sexiest.  Known in the paddling community as ‘soft tops’ these boards provide a great mix of stability, speed and durability under the most extreme conditions.  While they aren’t the most attractive boards, and do not come with bamboo inlays, they hold up to a lot of use, can be rested on their sides without damage, and are generally lighter than their epoxy counterparts.

Paddleboard Flatwater

Group paddle

If you are looking for a board to buy, you have to think about where you will be using the board, who else will be handling it, and how much you want to worry about it cracking, breaking or chipping.  If you are like me, you will probably find yourself looking at one of these soft tops.


Paddleboarding the Mississippi River