The Best Stand-Up Paddleboards of 2022
Purpose-built platforms for a variety of experiences
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Many of this year’s crop of stand-up paddleboards are specialists for specific thrills rather than the do-everything quiver killers we’ve seen in the past. Infinity, Bote, and Fanatic have established their respective niches and stuck to them, honing their products over decades. From one of the fastest flatwater race boards on the market to a versatile fishing platform, the results are the best stand-up paddleboards on the market in 2022.
Bote HD Aero 11’6″ Bug Slinger Echo ($1,049 and up)
Fish-catching platforms are what Bote does best, and its Bug Slinger is no exception. At 34 inches wide, with thick, six-inch rails, it provides a virtually unsinkable base for fly-fishing, spearfishing, tossing worms from a rod and reel, or just lazily cruising on a lake. Simply put, it’s extremely versatile. The Bug Slinger is intended for catching big fish, and deep pools and estuaries are where it shines (with its stiff, ten-inch plastic fin and two built-in side bites, testers found out the hard way that it’s not made for shallow, rocky spots). We loved the nifty paddle holder to stow your blade as you concentrate on landing fish. And it all packs down into an included backpack. If that’s not enough, you can enhance the fishing experience with add-ons like a multi-rod holder ($220) or a proprietary cooler ($235) that can double as a seat. (250 liters, 11’6″x 34″)
Fanatic Bee 7’8″ ($1,699)
The Bee is for people who like diverse thrills. This high-performance stand-up paddleboard is designed for surfing and no fewer than three foiling disciplines (SUP, windsurf, and wing). At 30.75 inches wide, it’s quite stable, but a narrow, thin tail makes it extremely maneuverable while traditional SUP surfing. It also comes with mounts for a foil, a mast, and windsurfing footstraps, so you can take advantage of any conditions. Downside: because of all those attachment points, designers had to reinforce the board with bamboo, carbon fiber, and fiberglass, making it heavier than purpose-built stand-up surfboards. Still, it’s an excellent learning platform for those who are interested in trying wing and windsurf foiling but who don’t want to spring for a dedicated foiling platform—yet. (120 liters, 7’8″x 30.75″)