Do you want to enjoy access to paddle boarding, but not lose half your garage trying to store a board? Then you really need to consider getting yourself an inflatable stand up paddle board so that you get the best of both worlds.
Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is an emerging physical activity in the UK and it’s easy to see why it’s becoming so popular. The UK has vast water spots for you to use. From rivers, canals, reservoirs, lakes and the coastlines you will find an ideal spot to get on “on the water”. Investing in your own equipment will allow you total freedom to get out and enjoy yourself at any time. However, you may be faced with a dilemma when choosing between a rigid/stiff SUP or an inflatable SUP.
We like this SUP and the whole Hurley SUP range as it has drop stitch material which inflates to a high PSI.
This deal has everything you need to begin your stand up paddleboarding adventures.
Why Should I Buy An Inflatable Stand Up Paddle board?
If you are looking for reasons why to choose an inflatable SUP then consider the following points:
Easy storage: You can keep your SUP neat and tidy in your house. This is important for people like myself as I only have a small/compact garage. Aside from my surfboards, I also need some “real world” essentials inside it, like lawn mowers and bikes. If you have the same issues, then buying a rigid paddle board will be an issue. The modern SUP is designed to be inflated and deflated so that you can easily put your paddleboard away once you are done. They come in small, easy to pack rucksacks, so they don’t take up much boot space or garage space.
Simple transport: Paddle boards are big. If I am comparing them to my surfboards then they are heavy when fully inflated. If you want to transport a rigid paddle board around with you then you will need the means to get it to places and this is more difficult than just putting it in your car boot. The inflatable paddle board is great for packing away and allowing you to tour round with it. Once deflated it can be thrown in the car or on your back and you are on your way. I’ve had times where I needed to trek to locations – having a deflated paddleboard made this so much easier, so I think this is a major consideration for anyone who may need to carry their board longer distances than just out of the car and onto the water.
Price and improved technology: Some of the boards on the market these days are much cheaper than a rigid board. You may not plan on using the board all year round so it offers a cheaper alternative. There are also lots of package deals on the market, so you can end up getting fully kitted out for a reasonable price. Some of the best budget SUP’s can start from £200. This is very reasonable considering you get everything you need to get on the water straight away. Also, the improved technology of the inflatable paddleboard means you will have good durability out of the board.
Beginner friendly: Just like surfing – if you are a beginner, the soft top will give you more durability. If you fall off or bump the board then you are not left with a huge hole in your board. Inflatable stand up paddle board will stand up to bumps and bangs into objects and not leave your fibreglass board needing repair. They also come with repair patches should the worst happen.
Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboards
Inflatable Yak Beach 10.6 SUP Stand-Up Paddle Board TAHE Outdoor
A one stop shop for your paddleboarding needs. This is a great option for your first time purchase as you get everything you are going to need in order to get started in paddleboarding. It comes with a board, paddle, leash, carry backpack, repair kit, detachable touring 9”fin and a dual-action pump with pressure gauge. That’s a lot of equipment on offer at a reasonable price.
If we examine the paddleboard more closely you get some nice features. It’s a stable, lightweight board that is durable and capable of carrying up to 135kg. The volume of the board is nice and floaty so you will have no trouble getting around on this.
One unique feature with this board is that it is a 2 in 1 option as you can convert this board to a sit on kayak. It has a daisy chain attachment system that allows you to fit a seating harness for kayaking. This is a real plus as you can take out the family on the water with ease and the seating positions can be customised to your own needs.
Easy to inflate and deflate, it stores away easily and the backpack allows you to transport this board around with relative ease. One of my favourite options on the inflatable range.
Jobe Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board
Premium quality is on offer with this Jobe inflatable paddle board and I really rated my first experience on this. This board has great stability when on the waves so it is suitable for beginners and intermediates.
The adjustable aluminium paddle is lightweight and easy to store away when finished. The pump comes as standard and doesn’t take too long to fill with air when it’s time to use it. The two stringers on the top and bottom of the board give this excellent stiffness when paddling – it really does have that comparable feel to a rigid board.
From the backpack, to the tip and tail handles, this board is easy to transport around. The fins have an easy click in feature, so it took seconds to have them in pace before hopping onto the water. Its stability was something I really enjoyed as it meant I could take my kids out on the water too and they weren’t at risk of falling off. This SUP performs well on almost all water ways. I wouldn’t recommend for waves however because of the single fin feature. It leaves you vulnerable when it comes to carving out turns on the face of the wave.
Hurley Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
This is a very sturdy vessel that allows all levels of rider to have fun on the water. For me, it’s one of the best looking inflatables on the market. Hurley has a range of different colour options for you to choose from, so it has the stylish catwalk model that you might be looking for.
As I mentioned, it looks very stylish. Hurley carried this across with the dry pack backpack that is included when you buy this inflatable paddle board. The backpack has a very comfortable strap that contains extra padding. This makes carrying your board and tools over land as easy as it can be. It is totally waterproof, so your valuables can stay dry when you need them to be.
The paddles are easily adjusted, so not matter your size you can make then length suit your size. The single fin system was easy to attach and made assembly simple. The Hurley ISUP Dual Action Pump has a premium valve. You can attach the hose via a twist mechanism which made pumping very easy. Once at the recommended PSI (15-17) the board was sturdy and rigid, which I would expect from a high end inflatable that has drop stitch material. The textured grip deck and kick pad was pleasant underfoot and made for an enjoyable paddle afternoon. I would highly recommend this as an option.
Aqua Spirit Stand Up Paddle Board
A really stable paddle board to cover the basic/mid range SUP. The Aqua Spirit SUP offers riders a rigid feel but still allows for a fast tracking experience. This board is suitable for all users and abilities, including a taller/larger rider.
The quality of composite construction is high and gives the board great durability, which is what I look for in an inflatable option. The double side walls give great reliability in keeping the board afloat and ensuring that there isn’t any air pressure leakage.
Once deflated this board is easy to roll up and place in the backpack. The carry bag itself is very comfortable to transport around. The SUP accessories can be put into the provided back pack easily, and there is some room for you additional packing needs such as food and phone etc. With a two year warranty you can get a high level of security in the fact that this board will last you a long amount of time.
Goosehill Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
This is another package offer that includes board, backpack, leash, repair kit and double action pump, so it rivals other, all in one offers. This board is lightweight and fairly versatile, so it is well suited to all water options, like racing, cruising or out on the high seas!
Durable in the skin of the board, it also has it’s own SCE Technology, which helps to provide a more stiff feel when standing. This is good as it gives the advantage of having an inflatable paddleboard, with the stiff feel of a rigid/solid board. I personally like the way this board packs away as I found it easy to to slide in and out of the backpack and didn’t take me too long to put away.
Goosehill also offers a customisation package to help you get what you are looking for in terms of a colour scheme, which is a nice feature.
Leader Accessories Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
This set up is what I would consider entry level. In most purchases, you get what you pay for…however, if you’re looking to dip your toe in the market, this would not be a bad option. This 10.6” board is well suited to every rider regardless of size. In other words, there is plenty of volume on offer to keep even the biggest of riders above water level.
It’s a lightweight model so carrying it around is a piece of cake. It comes with the usual offerings of a bag and adjustable paddle. The pump is effective so you don’t have to work too hard to get it pumped up and ready to use. When inflated the Drop Stitch Technology keeps it nice and stiff, allowing for a solid ride. On the deck is a non-slip EVA footpad so you have plenty of grip under foot and the bungee tie down system keeps your gear securely tied down.
In terms of paddle quality, it works well. Speedy over the water and stood up well when I took it out over some small waves at sea. If you are on a budget but want in the paddle board lifestyle, then consider this as a good option.
Aqua Marina Wave – Stand Up Paddle Board (Suitable for Surfing)
At Surf Unleashed we are always looking at ways to spend time on the waves and this little number is a SUP that is suitable for surfing. Given that you might want to take this out on the waves, the water you’ll be surfing on will be more unstable than that of a river or a lake, therefore this SUP is recommended for at least an intermediate level paddleboarder.
This board has a rounded and wide nose, which is designed to help the board get through the waves more easily, while its narrow tail provides improved manoeuvrability. It comes with a removable fin that gives a very responsive cut into the wave and that provides additional hold how to make tight turns. this board come inflated up to 18 PSI and offers a high level of stiffness that you might expect from a rigid or stiff paddle board. if you’re taking it out on the waves you might be concerned about the grip on offer when trying to make your turns, well the Deep diamond groove deck pad offers comfort and grip and gives you good stability when trying to make turns.
At 8’8”, it is smaller than the other boards I have reviewed, which also makes this a lighter and easier carry. It comes with all the usual trappings of leash, paddle, pump, fin and bag. You can still take this board out on rivers or lakes and enjoy your time on it, so if you’re looking for a board that is multi-purpose as well as accessible to some surf action then this is one of the best ones to consider.
Saltrock Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
This is a beautiful paddle board both in terms of looks and performance.
Let’s start with the superficial aspects. This board stands out in a crowd thanks to it’s tropical turquoise colour scheme. It has the recognisable Saltrock emblem on display so you get the added street cred when you buy this.
Suitable for beginners and more advanced ability levels, this board gives a high level of stability so that you can master your craft during the learning phase. However, it also offers a great deal of manoeuvrability – which means you can have more playful excursions once your skill levels have risen.
As standard, you get a cord to help you stay attached to your board, while the attachable fin gives you the control and speed. Thrown in is a 2pc paddle and repair kit should you need it. The laminate PVC material should mean that this repair kit is a last resort as there is a good level of durability, so expect to get lots of use out of this board.
Portofino Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard
Are you looking for a great all-round SUP that gives high performance for a great price? Then the Portofino Stand Up Paddleboard could be the all in one SUP set up you’ve been searching for.
This is a complete starter set that will get you on the water to start your paddle boarding adventures. This is a 10’ board that performs well in a mix of conditions. For example, we tried it on some small waves and found it to be stable, yet easy to manoeuvre. The stability in the board is thanks to a nicely balanced thickness throughout the board, meaning less flex and more response when you ask it to move in different directions.
The grip tech surface performs well when wet and it has a really fast inflate time. It took us about 5 minutes to go from bad to water, which is pretty impressive.
The board comes with an easy to carry rucksack that makes transporting the gear around easy. You also get a neoprene council leash and adjustable paddle, so it does really provide a one stop shop for paddleboarding. Some other notable features are the bungee cord to lock down you spare gear, the tow loop at the front should you want to catch a ride. It also has an easy to carry handle that makes carrying it that bit easier.
A very good setup for a beginner paddle boarder.
What To Look For In A Stand Up Paddleboard?
Once you’ve decided to dip your toes into the world of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) you might be wondering what sets certain boards apart from others. There are certain things to consider when choosing the right SUP:
Shape and Size: The shape determines how the board glides through the water. A flat, wide nose provides stability for beginners, while a pointed one offers better performance for more experienced paddlers. The length affects the board’s speed and manoeuvrability. Longer boards cruise well across calm waters, while shorter ones excel in waves and turns.
Volume and Weight Capacity: Volume, just like in surfing, determines a SUP’s buoyancy. This is important as it directly links to the board’s ability to support weight without sinking. A board with higher volume is more stable, making it an excellent choice for beginners. Consider the weight capacity too – make sure the board can handle your weight along with any additional gear you might carry. Be honest when purchasing your SUP. If you are heavy then opt for a board that will be able to carry your weight.
Stability vs. Performance: A wide and thick board is stable, which is great for beginners and leisurely paddling. If you’re chasing waves or looking for a speed boost, a narrower board might be more suitable, even if it requires more balance.
Fins: Fins play a crucial role in tracking and stability. Most SUPs have a centre fin which is great for cruising along calm waters. It’s not so helpful for anyone wanting to surf on their paddleboard. You will want to find a SUP with side fins as you will have a better chance of turning the board.
Deck/Traction Pad: A good SUP offers a comfortable deck pad that prevents slipping and sliding, ensuring you stay securely on your board. Most boards will have a sloid traction pad to keep you glued to your board. With some of the surfing styled SUPs you also get a kick pad to help you carve out turns.
What To buy With An Stand Up Paddleboard?
Things that you will want to ensure you have when buying an inflatable paddleboard are:
Lifejacket: Don’t take your safety lightly. Make sure you have a buoyancy aid to keep you afloat. Let’s not forget, if you are buying an inflatable paddleboard there is always a risk that if it deflated, you’d want some safety precautions to help keep you alive. Always notify someone of your route and plans just in case you got into difficulty when out on the water. The worst thing I ever see happening is when a parent takes their kids out to sea without buoyancy aids. remember you are paddling on an inflatable device. Should anything fail or rip, then you will need some type of flotation device to keep you alive. Always plan for the worst case scenario.
Paddle: There are lots of options to choose from – but don’t leave home without it otherwise you’ll be spending lots of time in the same spot…or have burning shoulders from paddling with your hands. The paddle you choose should be proportional to your height and the type of paddling you intend to do. If you plan on cruising a clam lake then having your paddle longer offers better reach and efficiency. For surfing a shorter paddle works for the more aggressive stroke action.
Leash: Beginners more than anyone will want to make sure you have a way to stay connected to your board. A leash tethers you to the board, preventing it from drifting away from you if you fall. Choose a leash that is suitable for the activity you plan on using. Coiled leashes are perfect for calm waters, whereas a surf SUP leash it better when straight.
Pump: A motorised pump is a good investment to help speed up the inflating time. Make sure you get the correct PSI when pumping up your board or else the level of performance from the board will suffer.
Dry Bags or Waterproof Phone Cases: Having your phone with you can be great for photo’s. You will experience some amazing sights while out at sea or on a lake so having a way to take some snaps is a must. However ,you don’t want to end up losing your phone to water damage or it dropping in the ocean. Get yourself a drybag or waterproof phone case to keep it safe.
Wetsuit Boots or Shoes: Even in calm waters you can fall off. If you are new to an area this could mean some unknown hazards on the floor. A good set of wetsuit shoes will help prevent any accidents. It also means your trek to the water is comfortable.
Sunscreen and Eye Protection: Paddleboarding in the sun is glorious. You’ll get a great tan and some well needed Vitamin D. Make sure that’s all you get by buying some high quality sunscreen and a pair of sunglasses. If you are a beginner choose a cheap pair in case you lose them falling in. As for the sunscreen, get a water resistant product that has a high SPF broad spectrum guarantee to prevent sunburn.
In the world of stand up paddleboarding having the right gear can transform how much you enjoy the sport. I you just want a cheap product to play on then the budget boards on our list will serve you well. However, if you want something that offers high performance then a paddleboard with drop stitch material and a higher PSI is going to allow you to get way more out of your SUP sessions.