Best Paddle Board Kayak Hybrids 2023: Combining Both Worlds

Merge the thrills of paddleboarding & kayaking with the best paddle board kayak hybrids! Explore our favorite designs and find your perfect match.

Best Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid

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Why trust us?

As the world of outdoor recreation evolves, paddleboarding has rapidly gained momentum as a favorite pastime, particularly in tranquil and sheltered waters. Meanwhile, kayaking has long held its own as an exciting and versatile water sport. So why not combine the best of both worlds?

We’ve taken a look at the best paddle board kayak hybrids, and we’ll share our favorite designs, comparing their durability, speed, maneuverability, and other features that help them stand out from the competition. For more information, check out our comparison table and buying advice. And if you have some questions, take a look at our list of frequently asked questions.

The Best SUP Kayak Hybrids

If you’re in a hurry, here are our picks for the best SUP kayak hybrids. Or continue scrolling to see our in-depth reviews.

ISLE Switch

Best overall SUP kayak hybrid

Isle Switch


Length: 11’6″ | Width: 35.5″ | Weight: 19 lbs | Capacity: 425 lbs

What we like

  • Lightweight and easy to carry on your own
  • Multiple bungee cords to store your gear
  • Can be paddled solo or tandem

What we don’t like

  • Cheaper options available

Lightweight but built with a rock-solid construction, the ISLE Switch provides a flexible hybrid model that’s easy to carry and transport. 

Pivoting between paddleboarding and kayaking is simple and intuitive thanks to ISLE’s innovative ISLE-Link Connecting System. This lets you switch between the two modes with a series of hooks and webbed loops that run along the board. 

The board can hold 425 pounds and carry one or two paddlers, though this may push you close to the weight limit.

There’s a built-in holder to secure your paddle and two adjustable bungee systems, so you have plenty of places to store your gear.

Multiple carry handles allow you to carry your Switch in tandem if need be, and there’s also a central carry handle if you’re traveling solo. A high-pressure valve on top of the stern makes inflating easy and takes less than five minutes. 

The included skeg helps keep you on track in windier weather, but this is certainly a board for calmer conditions. Add in the super tough and resilient traction pad, and you’ve got a vessel that can perform aptly in either paddleboarding or kayaking configurations.

BOTE Breeze Aero 10’8″

Best value SUP kayak hybrid

Bote Breeze Aero 10'8


Length: 10’8″ | Width: 33″ | Weight: 20 lbs | Capacity: 250 lbs

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What we like

  • Rigid PVC material that can take a beating
  • Three fin setup improves tracking
  • Excellent stability

What we don’t like

  • Seat not included with base model

Noteworthy for its excellent stability, the BOTE Breeze Aero makes for a low-cost option for beginners and those looking to hit the beach with minimal experience. It’s also compatible with BOTE’s Travelink Sling, so you can easily carry your board long distances.

The Breeze Aero is a little shorter than the Switch, so to make their design track even better, two additional side fins have been installed in addition to the central skeg, which can be removed with little trouble. This improves the Breeze Aero’s performance in wind and waves. It’s also narrower than some models that are designed for stability, giving it an adequate top speed.

This model is meant for a single paddler since the weight limit is much lower, and the removable seat must be purchased independently from the board. While it’s still one of the more price-efficient models available, it’s important to keep that in mind.

That smaller weight limit means storage space isn’t as necessary, and the Breeze Aero only has bungee stretched across the bow for gear. In addition, the seat is placed further back in the stern, giving you decent control over the Breeze Aero’s maneuverability when you’re in kayaking mode.

Bluefin Cruise 10’8″

Best budget SUP kayak hybrid

Bluefin Cruise


Length: 10’8″ | Width: 32″ | Weight: 27 lbs | Capacity: 330 lbs

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What we like

  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Included camera mount and paddle
  • Three fins for improved tracking

What we don’t like

  • Minimal storage space

With similar dimensions to the Breeze Aero, the Bluefin Cruise is another user-friendly model that can easily convert between a paddleboard and a kayak. If you’re looking for a budget board that can hold more than one person, Bluefin makes two other Cruise models (12′ and 15′) that perform similarly.

A three-fin tracking system is included, so you don’t have to worry as much about wind. However, the shorter length limits your speed and ability to get out of trouble if anything arises. So I’d stay close to shore and out of choppy water.

The seat is included with your purchase and attaches to the board with durable metal clips that give you a secure and comfortable position for kayaking.

Bluefin has also thrown in some nice goodies to go along with the seat and the ankle leash that’s standard for most paddleboards. My favorite is the universal camera mount on the bow, so you can document all your adventures without worrying about where the camera needs to be placed.

The weight limit is decent. However, I wish the bungee cord webbing on the bow was bigger so I could easily squeeze a decently-sized backpack under it.

Sea Eagle FishSUP FS126

Best SUP kayak hybrid for fishing

Sea Eagle FishSUP FS126


Length: 12’6″ | Width: 40″ | Weight: 45 lbs | Capacity: 500 lbs

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What we like

  • Big, sturdy, and stable
  • Swiveling seat is great for fishing
  • Room for two people

What we don’t like

  • Not as responsive or easy to maneuver

Sea Eagle is known for their big inflatable kayaks that can hold a ton of gear and handle an array of ocean conditions and activities. Their hybrid FishSUP FS126 is no different and can carry two people and a lot of equipment.

The kayak seat swivels 360 degrees which is fantastic for when you’ve got a big one on the line, and it’s running every way. For your extra fishing gear, the FishSUP comes with D-ring attachment points to keep your lures, fishing rods, and other toys close at hand. There’s even a fish ruler on the hull, so you can immediately measure your catch. 

If you’d prefer to stand, the EVA non-slip pad feels safe and stable whether you’re standing or casting. Then, when you’ve reached your fishing spot, a convenient holder keeps your paddle secure when you want both hands free. If paddling isn’t your style, there’s also a spot to install a small motor. 

While the FishSUP has the three-fin design for improved tracking, it’s a longer and wider inflatable paddle board than others on this list, making it feel unwieldy if you’re not comfortable with a design of this dimension.

Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight

Best pedal SUP kayak hybrid

Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight


Length: 9’5″ | Width: 40″ | Weight: 37 lbs | Capacity: 350 lbs

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What we like

  • Kick-up fins minimize potential damage
  • Responsive with a decent top speed
  • Weighs just 20 pounds without the pedals

What we don’t like

  • Expensive

The smallest of Hobie’s illustrious line of pedal kayaks, the iTrek 9 Ultralight is a kayak, first and foremost. Changing to paddleboard mode takes a little more time as you have to remove the pedal and fin setup.

But once you have your iTrek 9 setup the way you want, it’s a fun and sporty little vessel. Of course, you won’t get the same speed in paddleboard mode as in other models due to the iTrek9 being wide at 40″ while only being 9’5″ long. But when you’re pedaling, the efficient fin system is excellent and gives you a respectable top speed.

While the fins sit a decent distance below the waterline, Hobie has implemented a clever kick-up feature. So if you’re traveling through shallow water and the fins hit an underwater hazard, they automatically retract up towards the hull, minimizing the potential of serious damage. I wouldn’t say that means you should treat the iTrek 9 recklessly, but it’s nice to have some room for error.

For pedaling, it has one of the comfiest, sturdiest seats in the category. A breathable mesh back and an adjustable frame provide excellent support and make a handy camp chair at the end of the day.

Bluefin Cruise Junior

Best SUP kayak hybrid for kids

Bluefin Cruise Junior


Length: 8′ | Width: 29″ | Weight: 17 lbs | Capacity: 176 lbs

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What we like

  • Easy to convert between SUP and kayak
  • Built-in camera mounting point
  • Excellent stability

What we don’t like

  • Too slow to keep up with larger boards

For those looking for a child-specific hybrid with excellent stability and all the necessary accessories to get them going, look no further than the Bluefin Cruise Junior. Bluefin is also the maker of our favorite budget model (that comes in three sizes), making them a one-stop shop to get the whole family on the water.

As you’d imagine, the Cruise Junior is all about stability. This isn’t the highest-performing model. So if you’re looking to do a longer paddle with your kids, it may be better to go with one of Bluefin’s longer models that can accommodate two people. But for introducing your kids to paddleboarding and kayaking in protected waters, the Cruise Junior is an excellent choice.

The SUP comes with a fiberglass paddle and a seat for kayaking. The seat attaches easily to the board and can be done on land or in the water. Unfortunately, most children-specific kayaks and paddleboards are tiny and are soon too small. But the Cruise Junior can hold up to 176 pounds, making it a viable option for several years.

The top of the board has an EXO laminate surface, making it plenty stable and tacky for standing while still being comfortable when seated. Like the bigger models, the Cruise Junior also comes with a camera mounting point so your kid can document their adventures.

Perception Hi Life 11.0

Best hard-shell SUP kayak hybrid

Perception Hi-Life 11.0


Length: 11′ | Width: 34″ | Weight: 55 lbs | Capacity: 280 lbs

What we like

  • Built-in cooler and accessory track
  • Easy to climb back onboard
  • Big open bow is perfect for a dog

What we don’t like

  • Heavier weight due to being hard-shell

Loaded with accessories and well-designed features, the Perception Hi Life 11.0 is an easy choice for our favorite hard-sided model in a category filled with inflatable options. The seat for kayaking is well-padded and comfortable, and there’s enough room on the deck that you don’t necessarily have to remove it if you’d prefer to paddleboard.

Lift up the seat, and you’ll find a cooler for drinks and other small items, a clever edition that could make you very popular on the water. The Hi Life has the sort of stability you’d expect from a design this wide. Still, if you do end up in the water intentionally or accidentally, the swim step on the stern makes getting back onboard a piece of cake. 

The big solo skeg does an excellent job keeping you on course when paddling on mellow lakes or protected coastal areas. But this isn’t a board for more significant water like an exposed ocean.

If you’d like to customize your kayak hybrid, there’s a gear track between the two standing pads that can house a camera, fishing rod holder, and similar items. The only significant drawback is the weight. Since it’s a hard shell, it weighs over 50 pounds, making carrying it more cumbersome.

Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid Comparison Table

Paddle Board Kayak HybridLengthWidthThicknessWeightCapacitySuggested PSI
ISLE Switch11’6″35.5″6″19 lbs425 lbs12 PSI
BOTE Breeze Aero 10’8″10’8″33″6″20 lbs250 lbs10-15 PSI
Bluefin Cruise 10’8″10’8″32″6″27 lbs330 lbs15-18 PSI
Sea Eagle FishSUP FS12612’6″40″6″45 lbs500 lbs12-15 PSI
Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight9’5″40″20 lbs / 37 lbs fully rigged350 lbs10 PSI
Bluefin Cruise Junior8′29″6″17 lbs176 lbs15-18 PSI
Perception Hi Life 11.011′34″55 lbs280 lbs

Factors to Consider When Buying a Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid

woman attaching kayak seat to paddle board

Now that we’ve looked at the different types of SUP kayak hybrids, let’s examine the characteristics that make up these designs.

This will help you better understand how a kayak hybrid will perform and provide a better understanding of what type of vessel is best for you.

Hybrid Construction Materials

Like most paddleboards, the majority of hybrid designs are inflatable. They’re made of a plastic material, usually PVC, with a few like the Sea Eagle FishSUP FS126 composed of a specific brand called Denier. Denier is a popular material for many outdoor companies and is often used for outdoor backpacks, duffel bags, and similar items.

PVC and Denier are thick enough to withstand collisions with underwater hazards and can handle everyday bumps and drops without suffering long-term damage.

The one hard shell model on our list, the Perception Hi Life 11.0, is made of a more rigid plastic called polyethylene. While heavier than the inflatable materials, it’s more durable and efficient to paddle, favored by kayaking companies for its UV resistance and cheap production cost.

Speed & Efficiency on the Water

A stand-up paddle board or kayak’s speed is correlated with how long and narrow it is. If speed is a priority, go with one of the longer Bluefin Cruise models or the ISLE Switch. Both are long while being narrower than the Sea Eagle FishSUP, which is also quite a bit wider.

Hard shell designs tend to be more efficient to paddle since they don’t warp or accordion on the water like inflatables can. While a little shorter, expect the Hi Life 11.0 to outrun inflatable models of comparable size. And, of course, adding an engine to the FishSUP will boost your speed, as will using a pedal hybrid like the Hobie iTrek 9 Ultralight

Agile Maneuvering & Control

mother and son paddling a paddle board kayak hybrid on lake

Perhaps the trickiest part of paddle boarding is learning to squeeze into tight spots and perform tight turns without falling. Shorter boards do this easier, making the BOTE Breeze Aero and Bluefin Cruise more straightforward boards for beginners to master.

The stubby Hobie iTrek 9 Ultralight is even shorter and is very responsive as a result. This is especially true when using the pedal system, as the hand-controlled rudder makes steering effortless and intuitive.

Comfort Considerations

While all the kayak seats in the models we’ve reviewed are well padded, they won’t be quite as comfortable as the seats in most kayaks built solely for kayaking. Also, since they have to be removable, they may feel more flimsy and have less support for your back and legs. 

I’ll make an exception for the Hobie iTrek, thanks to the rigid external frame and higher back support, making it a more comfortable paddle.

That said, the nice thing about these hybrids is that if you get uncomfortable, you can stand up to stretch your legs whenever you want.

Stability & Precise Tracking

Since boards need to be solid enough to stand on, all the designs on this list have fantastic stability that surpasses most traditional kayak designs.

The Sea Eagle FishSUP is incredibly stable since it’s so wide and is specifically designed for a lot of moving and rocking when you have a fish on the line.

From a tracking aspect, I love the models with the tri-fin skeg design, like the Bluefin Cruise and BOTE Breeze Aero. These provide more wiggle room for inexperienced paddlers who may have more trouble maintaining course.

Long-lasting Durability Factors

mother paddling a paddle board while her son sits on it

It’s hard to beat a hard-shell SUP hybrid made of polyethylene like the Perception Hi Life 11.0 when it comes to durability. It can take a serious beating when being carried or while on the water and keep on going. 

If you’ll be launching and landing on rocky beaches or if there’ll be a lot of surf, it may be worth going with this hard-shell design.

The thinner, more flexible plastic used for inflatables still have pretty good durability. But you’ll definitely need to be more careful. The best way to ensure these inflatables last long is to land and launch as gently as possible and avoid big surf and shallow water. 

Easy Portability & Storage Solutions

While the inflatable models may be a little less durable, they’re much easier to transport to your favorite paddling spot. In addition, these hybrids can be carried by many people on their own. They also have handles for tandem carries if you’d prefer, and since all but the Sea Eagle FishSUP are under 40 pounds, they are feather-light.

Even the Hobie iTrek 9 Ultralight with the fin and pedal system in place weighs a manageable 37 pounds.

The Perception Hi Life 11.0 weighs quite a bit more than any of the inflatables, checking in at 55 pounds. This is still manageable for most tandem carries, but you may need to invest in a kayak cart if you’re transporting it solo.

Most inflatable paddle boards utilize bungee cord rigging to keep your gear secure. Unfortunately, there are no dry storage options, so make sure any water-sensitive items are in dry bags.

While most boards only have one set of bungee cord, I like that the Isle Switch has them on the bow and stern, and the bigger load capacity makes it preferable for longer trips. The Sea Eagle FishSUP also has a huge load capacity and a ton of room for extra gear or people.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hybrid paddle boards can be an excellent option for people who want the best of both worlds. These versatile boards are designed to function as a stand-up paddle board and sit-on-top kayak, allowing you to easily switch between the two activities.

Here are some benefits of stand-up paddle board kayak hybrids:

  1. Versatility: As mentioned earlier, hybrid SUPs allow you to enjoy stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking with just one piece of equipment, which can be particularly appealing if you have limited storage space or a tight budget.

  2. Stability: Hybrid SUPs are typically wider and more stable, making them suitable for beginners and those looking for a more secure experience on the water.

  3. Comfort: Many hybrid SUPs come with attachable seats and footrests, making transitioning from standing to sitting more comfortable and enjoyable.

  4. Fitness: Switching between paddling while standing and sitting can provide a more varied workout, engaging different muscle groups and offering a better overall workout.

  5. Adaptability: Many hybrid SUPs are designed to handle various water conditions, from calm lakes to choppy ocean waves, making them suitable for a range of adventures.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to consider:

  1. Weight: Hybrid SUPs can be heavier, which may make them more difficult to transport or maneuver.

  2. Performance: While hybrid SUPs offer versatility, they may not perform as well as specialized equipment in certain conditions or for specific activities.

  3. Cost: Hybrid SUPs can be more expensive, particularly if you’re looking for a high-quality model.

Ultimately, whether a stand-up paddle board kayak hybrid is a good choice for you depends on your preferences, budget, and intended use. If versatility and the ability to switch between activities are important, a hybrid SUP may be an excellent option. However, if you’re seeking top performance in a specific activity, you might be better off with specialized equipment designed for that purpose.

While you cannot convert any stand-up paddle board into a full-fledged kayak, you can modify many to make them function more like a kayak for a hybrid experience. The most common way to do this is by adding a seat and using a kayak paddle instead of a SUP paddle. Here are some steps to help you convert a paddle board into a kayak-like setup:

  1. Check compatibility: Ensure your stand-up paddle board has the necessary attachment points (such as D-rings or mounting points) to secure a seat.

  2. Purchase a kayak seat: Choose a seat that’s compatible with your paddle board and ensure it has straps or clips to attach to your board’s attachment points.

  3. Attach the seat: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to attach the seat to your paddle board. This typically involves connecting the straps or clips to the attachment points and adjusting the seat’s position for comfort and stability.

  4. Use a kayak paddle: Switch from a single-blade SUP paddle to a double-bladed kayak paddle for more efficient paddling in the seated position. Some SUPs come with a convertible paddle that has a detachable second blade to create a kayak paddle.

  5. Adjust your stance: When using the paddle board in a kayak-like setup, you’ll be seated instead of standing. Be prepared to adapt your paddling technique and body position accordingly.

A hybrid paddle board and a crossover kayak are not the same, even though they both combine features of different types of watercraft. Instead, they have distinct designs and purposes. The hybrid paddle board focuses primarily on paddleboarding, while the crossover kayak emphasizes kayaking.

  • Hybrid Paddle Board: A stand-up paddle board kayak hybrid is primarily a paddle board with added kayak features. It has a wide, flat, and incredibly stable design similar to a traditional SUP and often includes attachment points for a kayak seat, extra storage, and other accessories. The primary function of this type of hybrid is as a paddle board, but it can be easily converted into a kayak-like setup by adding a seat and using a kayak paddle.
  • Crossover Kayak: A crossover kayak, on the other hand, is mainly a kayak designed for versatility. It combines features of recreational, touring, and whitewater kayaks, making it suitable for a wide range of paddling activities. Crossover kayaks have a semi-planing hull that balances tracking and maneuverability, adjustable or drop-down skegs for improved tracking on flatwater, storage compartments for gear, and durable construction for handling various water conditions.

The Verdict

Determining the best paddle board kayak hybrid for you depends on your specific needs and what activities you’re planning. For example, a high-performing model may not be necessary or as enjoyable to paddle if you’re just starting out.

But, overall, we love the ISLE Switch the most due to its lightweight construction, flexibility to be paddled solo or tandem, and storage space.

Whichever model you choose, we hope this article has made the selection process easy for you. See you on the water!