Board Buying Guide

What are inflatable paddle boards?

Inflatable paddle boards are quite simply paddle boards that can be inflated! They are really handy if you are short on space and want to travel around easily! They pack down into a backpack so can be popped into the back of your car or on public transport easily.

What types of inflatable paddle boards are there?

There are several types of Stand Up Paddle Boards (Also known as SUPs & iSUPs). Below is a brief overview of the most popular types of paddle board you can buy:

  • All-round
  • Touring
  • Racing
  • Surfing
  • Yoga

Which type of board should I buy if I am just starting?

Choosing a paddleboard is down to preference, where you will be paddleboarding, how experienced you are and your budget. If you are just starting to SUP, I would suggest getting an ‘all-round’ paddleboard. They are very stable, work well in flat and choppy water, you can even catch a wave on them. They are great for all conditions, hence the name!

What’s the difference between a cheap and expensive paddleboard?

You know that saying ‘Buy cheap, buy twice’ well thats the thing with paddleboards. I speak to so many people who have bought a cheap paddleboard and they are wondering why the feel unstable on it and can’t keep up with everyone else! Cheap paddleboards are made cheap which means they are unstable to stand on, don’t paddle well and will probably pop as soon as you go over anything sharp! Research how your board has been made and ALWAYS try it before you buy it.

My personal preference

When I first started supping I choose a Red Paddleboard 10’6 Ride. They are based in Salcombe so just down the road from me which meant I could try them out and I am a big fan of buying local! Red I love because they are lightweight – some iSUPs are really heavy to carry around which is no fun! They are super stable, just like being on a hard board. The pump is AMAZING, much less effort than other pumps I have used. The bag is great – taken it on holiday lots, goes in hold baggage on the plane easily. Check them out here.

However, my recommendation before you buy any board is to try it out! There are so many great board brands out there (RED, Blue Fin, Fanatic, Starboard), but there are also so many crap ones (I won’t name them!) It’s the fastest growing sport in the UK, so naturally, everyone wants a piece of it! Try not to fall for the marketing, get excited and buy one and then discover you don’t like it that much (I have done this before!) Have a play with a potential board on a demo day or hire one, see which one you like the best. Buying a board is a big investment so make sure you get it right.