Best Lifetime Paddleboards For 2023

Paddling Buyer’s Guide

Lifetime paddleboards are a very popular starter standup paddleboard for budget-minded novice paddleboarders and families with kids who want a paddleboard that is stable and durable. They are low-cost, low-quality, mass-production paddleboards found at big box stores like Walmart, Costco, Bass Pro Shops, Sam’s Club, Home Depot and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Lifetime standup paddleboards are best-suited for flatwater such as calm lakes or gentle rivers and are geared for recreation, exercise, short paddles and kids playing on the water. They have been enjoyed by many paddlers who use them to find peace and solitude on the water, to bask in the sunshine and to explore photography in new environments.

There are currently five Lifetime paddleboard models to choose from, ranging from 8 to 11 feet in length, with the shortest paddleboard length being a youth model. There are four hardboard styles available made of HDPE plastic and one inflatable paddleboard style. The Horizon 10-foot and Freestyle XL 9.8-foot models are both available in bundles of two boards at select retailers—the more you buy, the more you save.

Likely the biggest appeal of Lifetime paddleboards is the low cost, at around $805 CAD at the top end of their hardboards and about $830 CAD for the inflatable model. These are generally low prices for the paddleboards market, but as the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” While beginners may find the price hard to beat, if you are an intermediate paddler or have paddled on higher-quality boards before you will notice a difference in your paddling experience and may well be left unimpressed.

In my opinion, Lifetime standup paddleboards are a good option if you don’t want to make a big investment because the paddleboard might only be used a few times a year, or if these are the paddleboards that are within your budget range and so are the ones that will make paddleboarding accessible to you.

Check The Weather
  • Plan for changing weather conditions. Prepare for the worst case.
  • Don’t forget to check tide, currents, or river levels.

If you are searching for additional entry-level standup paddleboard options for a similar price, take some time to compare Lifetime paddleboards against Tower paddleboards and Body Glove paddleboards.

Take note that the number-one complaint on Lifetime paddleboards reviews is that they are very heavy paddleboards. The heaviest Lifetime standup paddleboard is the Amped 11-foot model, which weighs a whopping 47 lbs. This is twice the weight of some other paddleboards on the market.

However, weight may not be an issue for you if you plan to leave the paddleboard down by the water and not often move it far. At the same time, the weight may be a deal breaker for people who will often need to transport the board. The Vista 11-foot inflatable model is a more reasonable 27 lbs, making it easier to carry and transport.

To help determine if a Lifetime paddleboard is a good option to spend your savings on, have a look at the pros and cons lists below. If the pros outweigh the cons for you, head to the shopping section below to browse Lifetime paddleboards on the market.

Lifetime paddleboard pros and cons

Pros

  • Stable paddleboard for beginners, which helps build confidence on the water
  • Good entry-level standup paddleboard for beginners to use at the cottage, on short leisurely paddles, for exercise, puttering around at the beach and with kids
  • Durable material that is fairly indestructible
  • Low-cost entry point into standup paddleboarding
  • Option to buy some models at a discount in a double pack from select retailers
  • 5-year limited warranty on hard boards
  • Bungee attachments for on-board storage
  • Non-slip deck pad provides comfort while standing or kneeling
  • Fits inside a minivan for transportation
  • Retractable fin is good for shallow water or rocks
  • Generally good customer service reviews
  • Sends warranty replacement parts quickly and for free
  • Four hardboard options and one inflatable option

Cons

  • Very heavy, making them hard to carry and lift
  • Retractable fins are wobbly, don’t lock into place, and can fall off and be lost in the water
  • Low-quality construction of both hard boards and inflatable board
  • Hard boards accumulate water on the deck pad even if the paddler weight is well under the maximum weight capacity
  • After use of the hard boards they must be tilted up on their end in order to drain out water that got inside the board while paddling
  • Not known for good speed or tracking ability
  • There are limited paddleboard design options and lengths available
  • The leash attachment point is in an awkward place in the front centre of the deck pad on some boards
  • Deckpad is known to develop bubbles and get air pockets when left in the sun
  • Do not excel at SUP yoga, racing, camping, paddling whitewater or surfing

Top picks: Best Lifetime paddleboards for 2023

The following Lifetime paddleboards have received the highest star ratings by reviewers in our Paddling Buyer’s Guide. See and review all Lifetime paddleboards here.

Shop Lifetime paddleboards

The most exciting part of paddleboarding, other than actually paddling, is looking at the paddleboard that you might just soon find yourself on.

Whether you prefer to shop online or head to your local big box store to see the standup paddleboard in person, you can do either for Lifetime paddleboards as they are available through many big box stores.

Shop Lifetime paddleboards below by type, size or store through our Paddling Buyer’s Guide where you can find every Lifetime standup paddleboard on the market, including specifications, prices, reviews and places to buy. If you know if you would prefer a hardboard or an inflatable board, then shop by type below and if you know where you’d like to purchase your board perhaps shop by store to see which models are available near you.

If you’re still not sure what to look for in choosing your board, read the buying advice section below and then come back.




Shopping for a used Lifetime paddleboard?

You might be on the lookout for a used Lifetime paddleboard if you are trying to snag a good deal or want to try out a board for less before you drop a lot of cash into a new activity. There is a good chance that Lifetime paddleboards may surface on the used market as rentals from outfitters or resorts, as well as from individual sellers.

Here are a handful of tips on what to keep an eye out for should a used Lifetime standup paddleboard cross your path.

The bungee cords located at the front of the Lifetime paddleboards have been known to snap or break. Ensure the bungee cords are fastened securely and are in good condition if you plan on using them to secure anything while out on the water.

It is common for drain plugs on the hardboards to break or get lost. Look over the board to see if all of the drain plugs are accounted for.

Look over any retractable fins to confirm that they work properly and are in good condition.

If any bungee cords, drain plugs or fins are damaged or missing it may be possible to get replacement parts through the Lifetime Customer Service Department if the paddleboard is still under warranty. Perhaps ask the seller to contact Lifetime to receive replacement parts or to have them shipped directly to you.

Take a look at the deckpad to see if there are any noticeable air bubbles or to see if the deckpad is lifting away from the board around the edges. Ideally the deckpad should be well secured and free of bubbles and if not, it is up to you to decide if that is a dealbreaker and will impact your paddling experience or to ensure the price takes that condition into account.

Many Lifetime paddleboard reviews talked about insufficient buoyancy, as indicated by water accumulation on hardboards, even when the paddler was well under the maximum weight of the board. For this reason I would recommend paddling the board prior to purchasing, if possible, to see if water collects on the deckpad. It can be less enjoyable to paddle while standing in water, especially if you like to sit or kneel on the paddleboard.

Another reason to test the board before you buy is that Lifetime paddleboard users have noted that older board models are made with thinner material that bent under the weight of the paddler standing on the board. The material would sag and dent under their feet, even if the paddler was lighter than the maximum weight capacity. Don’t purchase the board if the material is flimsy and not strong beneath you.

Hardboard models of Lifetime paddleboards should be looked over for cracks. If there are cracks do not purchase the board as the cracks allow more water to get inside of the paddleboard, affecting its performance and buoyancy.

Lifetime has discontinued the 11-foot Tidal model. Considering that Lifetime considered this model not worth continuing, it might not be wise to put your money into it if you come across a used model.

For more tips on what to look for when selecting a used standup paddleboard, read our article How To Buy A Used Paddleboard.

Lifetime paddleboard buying guide

If you’ve looked over the pros and cons of buying a Lifetime paddleboard and feel ready to learn more about which Lifetime paddleboard might be best for you, let’s break down the different models to help make your selection.

There are five Lifetime paddleboard models to choose from, with one being an inflatable paddleboard and one being a youth paddleboard. The remaining three models are all hardboards and are fairly similar to one another. Let’s get into each of them below based on those categories.

Vista Inflatable Lifetime Paddleboard

  • 11 feet long
  • Highest capacity at 275 pounds
  • Lightest Lifetime adult paddleboard at 27 pounds
  • Best option if you want the lightest option
  • Comes with a carry bag, hand pump for inflating the paddleboard, an adjustable paddle and a repair kit
  • Easy to transport and store when deflated
  • Not a good option if you don’t want to inflate the paddleboard before using
  • Better than the hardboards for going a little bit faster and a little bit further
  • Will not accumulate water on the board and will be better for lounging, kneeling and sitting on
Wear The Appropriate Leash When Stand Up Paddleboarding
  • A leash should be worn to keep your SUP with you when you fall off. An ankle leash is appropriate for surfing, but not on rivers, in swift currents or any conditions where being tied to the board could prove dangerous. For those activities, use a quick-release leash that attaches to your life jacket.

Hooligan Youth Lifetime Paddleboard

  • 8 feet long
  • Has a capacity of 130 pounds
  • Weighs 27 pounds
  • Choose this board for kids or small adults who weigh under 130 pounds and want a light board

Freestyle XL, Horizon and Amped Hardboard Lifetime Paddleboards

  • Freestyle XL: 40 pounds, 220-pound capacity, double retractable fin
  • Horizon: 44 pounds, 230-pound capacity, single retractable fin
  • Amped: 47 pounds, 230-pound capacity, single retractable fin, universal media mount
  • These boards are heavier and will be more difficult to carry, lift, and transport
  • As the boards go up in size they should be a little bit easier to paddle straighter
  • The hardboards will be more durable than the inflatable paddleboard

Here’s one last thought to leave you with before we head into commonly asked questions. Please buy a leash. Lifetime paddleboards do not sell or provide leashes when you purchase a paddleboard from them. A leash that tethers an ankle to the board is an important part of safety gear so that you don’t get separated from the board in wind or waves.

Want to know more? Find our answers to common questions about Lifetime paddleboards below.

  • Are Lifetime paddleboards good?

    Lifetime paddleboards are good if you are looking for a relatively inexpensive entry point into standup paddleboarding for new or leisure paddlers and families. They are stable and durable yet very heavy and produced as a low-quality, mass-produced standup paddleboard available at big box stores.

    Beginners may be happy with a Lifetime paddleboard for going on short paddles, playing at the cottage, taking kids on the water, and exercise. Intermediate paddlers or anyone who has paddled a well-designed or light paddleboard will be disappointed and not find this to be a good paddleboard.

  • Lifetime paddleboard weight limit

    The Lifetime paddleboard models for adults have a weight limit of up to 230 pounds while the youth model has a weight limit of 130 pounds. The hardboards have been known to accumulate water on the deckpad even when the paddler’s weight is under the maximum-rated capacity. The Lifetime inflatable paddleboard model has a weight limit of 275 pounds.

  • What are Lifetime paddleboards made of?

    The Lifetime Vista 11-foot inflatable paddleboard model is made of single-layer PVC plastic. The Lifetime hardboard paddleboards are made of HDPE plastic and are hollow in the middle. Both the inflatable and hardboard styles of paddleboard are products of low-quality manufacturing.

  • How much does a Lifetime paddleboard weigh?

    The weights of Lifetime paddleboards range from 40 to 47 pounds for the adult hardboards, 27 pounds for the youth paddleboard and 27 pounds for the inflatable paddleboard model. The adult hardboards are very heavy by market standards which makes them difficult to carry, lift and transport.

  • Dimensions of Lifetime paddleboards

    Vista – 11 feet long, 33 inches wide
    Amped – 11 feet long, 32 inches wide
    Horizon – 10 feet long, 34 inches wide
    Freestyle XL – 9.7 feet long, 35.5 inches wide
    Hooligan – 8 feet long, 29.5 inches wide

  • How much is a Lifetime paddleboard?

    Lifetime paddleboards are relatively inexpensive at a cost of around $805 CAD at the top end of their hardboards and about $830 CAD for the inflatable paddleboard model. The Horizon 10 foot and Freestyle XL 9.7-foot models are both available to purchase in a dual pack at select retailers, offering some savings and landing at around $1,500 CAD for two Lifetime paddleboards. The trade-off that come with a lower-cost board is that Lifetime paddleboards aren’t very high quality and are quite heavy.

  • Lifetime paddleboard warranty

    Lifetime standup paddleboards come with an impressive five-year limited warranty on the hardboards and a two-year limited warranty on the inflatable board.

Carry A Waterproof VHF Radio, Use Your Phone Only As A Backup
  • A handheld VHF marine band radio allows you to communicate with the Coast Guard and other boat traffic. Use Channel 16 only for hailing and emergencies. The radio should be waterproof, because it is virtually certain to get wet.
  • A cell phone, even if in a waterproof case or sealable bag, might not work, so don’t rely on it as the primary means of emergency communication.

Lifetime paddleboard reviews

Reading reviews is a great way to narrow down your list of paddleboards to test paddle—and give you insight on what to pay attention to when you are test paddling a given model. Find our expert reviews of Lifetime paddleboards below.

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