Best SUP Kayak Hybrid

4 Best SUP-Kayak Hybrids (An Explanation and Review)

(I may earn a small commission on the products mentioned in this post.)

If you’re in the market for a new SUP board you’ve probably wondered which paddle board is best. You likely thought about the types of boards and variations too.

Not all SUP boards are the same and there’s a secret hybrid that combines the best features of a SUP board with a kayak. Can it be true?

It’s called a SUP-Yak, or SUP-Kayak hybrid and it’s a flexible option for people who love the water. On this website, I usually focus on the ocean, but paddle boards and kayaks can be used on lakes, in rivers, and any place there’s water.

Fishermen have long used kayaks but more and more are choosing to use the SUP-Yak hybrid. Why

One reason is that you can stand up on a SUP-Yak. I certainly wouldn’t try that on a kayak. Simply put, SUP-Yaks are versatile options for people who love relaxing, working out, and fishing.

What Does A SUP-Kayak Hybrid Mean

SUP stands for Stand Up Paddle board and Yak is an abbreviation of a kayak. Some people will argue of whether a kayak or SUP is better, but together, they create the SUP-Yak, a hybrid board/kayak that can be used for a variety of things.

A SUP-Yak Hybrid probably wouldn’t be the best option for a paddle board race, nor would it be great for kayaking down a river, but it’s a fun compromise between the two and perfect for weekend activities.

My First Encounter With A SUP-Yak Hybrid

I spend a lot of time in near the San Diego harbor and routinely see people on their kayaks and paddle boards. Some people are fishing, others are relaxing, and some are working out.

But it wasn’t until recently did I begin to see paddle boards that had components of a kayak, most notably a seat!

It makes sense right? Why shouldn’t a kayak be able to transition to a paddle board and visa versa.

Few people who spend time in the water would want to spend money on two products. 1 SUP-Yak is better financially and takes up less space in storage.

Pro’s and Con’s Of A SUP-Yak Hybrid

I’ve already mentioned a few of the benefits of a SUP-Yak Hybrid. Before choosing an option it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of buying a hybrid. First, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will it work with your interests?
  • Do you have space?
  • Are you sacrificing functionality or quality?

Pros Of a SUP-Yak Hybrid

  • Combines 2 products into 1 (multifunctional)
  • Cheaper than buying separate
  • Takes up less space than 2 products
  • Can satisfy someone with diverse interests (fishing, paddling, relaxing)
  • Easier to transport
  • Generally less expensive than a premium kayak

Cons of a SUP-Yak Hybrid

  • Not pure (not 100% SUP or kayak)
  • Won’t provide the best features of each (slight sacrifice)
  • Some don’t have seat backs, while others rely on attachments
  • Attachments might not be as strong
  • Less gear storage than a kayak
  • Less water protection than a kayak

The pros and cons, however, should be considered with each individual SUP-Yak because some lean towards a SUP with a detachable seat, while other options resemble a kayak with minor SUP features.

5 Best SUP-Kayak Hybrids For Your Budget

#1 BlueFin SUP w/ Kayak Conversion Kit

BlueFin is the board I’m currently using on the smooth seas of South Florida. So far I like everything about it.

This inflatable SUP includes a conversion kit that turns it into a kayak.

BlueFin is, for the most part, a paddle board. However, it provides the essential gear (seat attachment and paddle conversion to turn it into a kayak).

best sup-kayak hybrid
My inflatable SUP-Kayak Hybrid

I like the look of the board and the fact it comes in 10′ 8″, 12’, and 15’ options. The blue and white color scheme looks great and the narrow design on the front of the board was made for speed (check BlueFin SUP and Kayak on Amazon or on the Bluefin website).

The D-rings, located all around the board provide extra options to attach gear and equipment.

Highlights:

  • 9 lbs
  • 10’8” x 30” x 6”
  • Max weight 410 lbs
  • Carrying handle
  • Primarily SUP but adaptable
  • Extras: bag, pump, oars, seat, fins

This SUP-Yak comes with a dual action pump (it’s an inflatable board), a 3 piece paddle, bag, leash, fins, repair kit, and seat. In other words, it has everything you need to use as a paddle board or a kayak.

In case you’re curious, it only took me 5 minutes to pump up this paddle board (so I wasn’t tired before I got in the water).

Inflatable SUPs are actually very strong. They are made with PCV construction and overlapping seams and most people who ride them can’t tell they were inflated (not your typical pool toys that deflate over time).

All the extra gear was included

The board is marketed for surfing, touring, relaxing, racing, yoga and pilates. I use it for cruising and I really like it.

This might not be the best choice for fishing because there is a lack of storage space, but it’s definitely a solid, versatile option.

It’s wide enough to do yoga on, but serious fishermen might want to consider other options.

#2 Vibe Kayaks – Maverick Hybrid Kayak with Angler Package and Paddleboard

Vibe Kayaks has created a great looking board that includes the best features of a paddle board and a kayak. It’s 12 foot and weighs 72 lbs (solid).

It’s made of a single piece high-density polyethylene and injects inner foam.

The deck is solid and supports up to 475 lbs. This product uses strong technology taken from a kayak and puts it into the look of a paddle board (check Vibe Kayaks price on Amazon).

Highlights:

  • Solid, polyethylene and inner foam
  • 12 foot, 72 lbs
  • Created with fishing in mind (plenty of attachments)
  • 4 color styles including camouflage
  • 475 weight limit
  • Straps, bungees, optional seat attachment
  • Premium price-point

It includes multiple storage areas, tracks for rigging (think cooler, pole holder, GoPro holder, seat attachments).  A seat can be purchased and installed using connection points.

There are also bungees, carrying handles.

Not all SUP-Yak Hybrids have a flat deck, but this one does. A flat deck makes it easy to transition to paddle boarding.

This is a fun rigid board that I wouldn’t mind trying!

#3 Ocean Kayak Nalu Hybrid Paddle Board

Ocean kayak makes a unique kayak that easily transitions into a paddle board. The design is sleek and comes in 4 color choices (lemongrass, camo, envy, and surf).

This SUP-Yak has a body that resembles a kayak but the shape looks more like a paddle board.

It works well as a kayak or a paddle board, with two sunken areas for your feet which provide stability. Ocean kayak includes a quick seal hatch, similar to what you’d find on kayaks (check out Ocean Kayak Nalu on Amazon).

Highlights:

  • 4 colors
  • 150x 30.5 x 18 inches and 35 lbs
  • Firm, dense surface
  • Sharp bow and broad hull
  • Bungee for top storage
  • Quick seal hatch
  • Padded foot area for balance when sitting or standing
  • Seat attachment sold separately

Compared to the Vibe Kayak I like this option more for paddle boarding and for kayaking. It has a sleek shape that will slice through the water.

If you primarily fish I’d go with the Vibe because there are more places for attachments

#4 Bestway – Hydroforece White Cap SUP and Kayak

The Hydroforce is a transformer. It’s designed as a paddleboard and is inflatable – something the #1 and #2 don’t offer (both of those are rigid).

An inflatable SUP-Yak makes it easier to transport from your home to the water, however, it won’t have the hard exterior like a traditional kayak.

For smaller people or seniors, this hybrid is lightweight and easier to carry into the water than a kayak (check out Bestway Hydroforece price on Amazon).

Highlights:

  • 10 foot
  • Storage: 19.69 x 11.81 x 33.86 inches
  • 120 x 32 x 4 inches
  • 34 lbs
  • Inflatable
  • Paddle board that converts into a kayak (includes seat and oar)
  • Travel bag, pump, gauge, seat, oars included
  • Great reviews

While this is primarily a SUP, a seat can be added. The seat is included and can be tied down using connection points on the board.

I also like that the oar changes from 1 into 2 paddles depending on whether you’re kayaking or standing.

The main reason I included this SUP-Yak Hybrid is to show another option that’s much more affordable. It’s listed at several hundred dollars less than the #1 and #2 options because it’s not the same quality.

However, it might be a better option for people who focus on paddle boarding and occasionally want to sit down.

Conclusion

Now you know what a SUP-Kayak Hybrid is!  It’s a combination of two popular water activities. 

Whether you’re relaxing on the weekends or trying to catch dinner with your fishing pole, a SUP-Yak Hybrid brings two activities together.

Sure you could purchase 2 boards, but why not combine them to make things easier.  There are many reasons you should invest in a SUP-Kayak Hybrid.

Combined, they take up less space in your garage.

It will save money in the long run, your board becomes a multi-tool (cruising, workouts, exploring, or fishing) and can excel in various conditions.

#1 BlueFin SUP w/ Kayak Conversion Kit

#2 Vibe Kayaks – Maverick Hybrid Kayak with Angler Package and Paddleboard

#3 Ocean Kayak Nalu Hybrid Paddle Board

#4 Bestway – Hydroforece White Cap SUP and Kayak

These are my favorite SUP Kayaks,  The first two are more like a kayak with a paddle board option and the last two are paddle boards that include conversations into a kayak.

Depending on your needs and budget, one of these might suit your lifestyle.  All have their own pros and cons and all will keep you afloat whether it’s in the ocean, a lake, or a river.

Thanks for reading another Beach Life article.  Check out the home page for the latest articles, tips, and reviews!