If the spring weather has inspired you to take to Britain's coastlines or waterways for an active adventure, you'll want to know the best paddle boards to buy right now.
Relatively new to the UK, stand-up paddle boarding, or SUP, goes back thousands of years, while the modern version we know was born in Hawaii in the 1900s. It's taken the active world by storm and is a brilliant way to explore the UK's coastline, rivers and lakes.
The outdoor water sport sees a rider stand on a large, floating SUP board and use their paddle to move across the water. Excellent for all ages and great for working on your balance and core strength, stand up paddle boarding is now more accessible than ever.
Paddling on the surface of the water isn't all they're good for either. SUP yoga and Pilates are other ways to use a stand up paddle board, while some convert to kayaks so you can experience a more comfortable seated adventure.
With the Covid-19 pandemic making us rethink hiring shared equipment, now could be the perfect time to invest in your own inflatable paddle board.
Why choose an inflatable stand up paddle board over a solid one?
For beginners and general leisure paddling, inflatable paddle boards offer a few benefits over narrower hard SUP boards.
They're considered more durable than hard boards, which can require expensive repairs to dings and dents.
Inflatable paddle boards are easier to store once deflated too, and you can roll them up with ease to carry on your travels at home and abroad.
They also hurt less if you fall on them and while hard boards are known for offering better performance and speed, an inflatable has numerous advantages - including cost.
Of course, there are downsides to choosing an inflatable paddle board over a solid one. As they're lighter than solid boards, they's slower in windy conditions.
It also takes time to inflate them before you can head out on the water and you might wish to buy an electric pump for ease.
Though unlikely to happen, you'll want to be careful of punctures, the RNLI advises, and it's important to keep an eye on the seams over time. Rinsing the boards after use in salt water and keeping them out of the sun when they're not being used is advisable.
Whether you plan on stand up paddle boarding in the Lake District, the River Cam, Strangford Lough, around Barafundle Bay or another superb SUP spot in Britain, these are the inflatable stand up paddle boards you can buy online in the UK.
The best inflatable paddle boards for 2021
ITIWIT Beginner Inflatable Touring Stand-Up Paddle Board
Size: 11 Feet
BUY NOW £349.99, Decathlon
Designed by Decathlon's team of paddlers, this touring stand-up paddle board is ideal for us on half-day trips. It's great for beginners who weigh more than 80kg and holds up to two people, with satisfied customers saying it's a "good sturdy beginner board" as well as "easy and quick to pump up, super stable and the bag fits everything in".
Bluefin Cruise SUP Package
Size: 10 feet 8 inches - 12 feet
BUY NOW £499 - £649, Bluefin SUP
For an all-inclusive inflatable stand up paddle board package, Bluefin's design comes with the essentials and a host of extras. The SUP board for cruising comes in three different sizes - junior (8ft), 10ft and 12ft - and is made from 1000 denier exo surface laminate PVC and pro weave drop stitch for one of the toughest stand up paddle boards you can buy in the UK. The clever package includes D-rings and a padded seat so you can turn it into a kayak, plus there's room for a second seat. The package contains a fibreglass paddle and a backpack to carry the board.
Molokai Huli Full iSUP Kit
Size: 10 feet 2 inches
BUY NOW £499, Wiggle
A brand from New Zealand that's internationally recognised, Molokai's SUPs are some of the best stand up paddle boards available in the UK. Each board made is pressure tested for 24 hours before it leaves the factory to military standards of durability. Built for long term, frequent use, the Molokai Huli Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board Package is ideal for all abilities and adventures, from small wave surfing to cruising river and yoga - or even taking the dog along for a ride. At 32 inches wide, it's super stable on the water and is six inches thick to increase volume and improve your distance per stroke.
ITIWIT Beginner Inflatable Touring Stand-Up Paddle Board
Size: 10 feet
BUY NOW £299.99, Decathlon
Easy to ride, ultra-stable and generously sized, this inflatable stand up paddle board is for paddlers weighing 60 to 80kg. It's designed for cruising small waves, with a versatile pointed shape, and is easy to transport in the carry bag. You'll need a pump and to buy the paddle separately. Satisfied paddlers rate if for the quality and value, with one saying: "As a competent paddler I bought this as a convenient alternative to poodle about with friends on lazy days. The quality is surprisingly excellent and even comes close to a rigid epoxy board. It handles the surf pretty well."
Awesafe Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
Size: 10 feet
BUY NOW £329, Amazon
One of the best all-round stand up paddle boards in the UK, this one offers affordability, quality construction and comes with great reviews from SUP riders. One happy user said: "This was amazing value, felt a lot lighter than some SUP, however this isn't a bad thing. The kit, pump, paddle, fin are all good quality and easy to assemble." The lightweight stand up paddle board comes with everything you need, including the fin, paddle, hand pump, safety leash and valve tightening wrench, as well as a waterproof accessory bag to carry your essentials.
Red Paddle Co 14’0″ Ride L Package
Size: 14 feet
BUY NOW £1,499, Red Paddle Co
Looking to paddle as a group? Red Paddle Co's SUP measures a huge 14 feet long and 47 inches wide, making it one of the best stand up paddle boards in the UK for families or friends looking to share the adventure. It comes with four paddles, a pump, fins and accessories including a handy repair kit and water-resistant phone case. The large inflatable stand up paddle board is designed to stand up to tough challenges and conditions, with a wide deck and tail making it extremely stable. It's also fitted with the brand's indestructible iFin system, so you don’t have to worry about damage or running it up the beach after surfing a huge wave back to shore.
Bluefin SUP Aura Fit Stand Up Paddle Board Kit - Fitness & Yoga Paddle Board
Size: 10 feet 8 inches
BUY NOW £549, Bluefin SUP
Yogis after the perfect inflatable stand up paddle board for balance will like Bluefin SUP's Aura Fit, which is an excellent all-rounder for beginners too. The SUP board for yoga, Pilates and fitness is extra wide in shape at 91cm, giving you more space for your workout. It's made from military grade PVC and has a UV-resistant coating for a board built to last a lifetime. The kit also comes with a pump, paddle, backpack, smart lock fins and a coiled ankle leash.
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