If you are looking for a way to start taking your paddle boarding hobby more seriously, you will be thinking about investing in your own paddle board. Stand up Paddleboards (SUPs) have become increasingly popular over the last few years, especially inflatable paddle boards (iSUPs). For users and brands alike, they are way easier to transport and store, and are cheaper than the traditional hard board. This means companies want to sell them, and people want to buy them!
In turn, this has created a big market and a load of options for consumers, which makes it confusing and hard to choose what board to buy. It’s all too easy to search on Amazon for the cheapest board possible, but we all know cheap does not mean good value.
For our list of the best inflatable paddle boards in the UK, we have only selected well-known brands and many of them are UK based companies.
All the SUP’s below are perfect for those looking for their first ‘all-rounder’ type board to get comfortable and confident at sea. Most are 10 ft 6 which means they will glide nicely on flat water, be stable enough but will also manoeuvre in a way that you can practice all the different turn variations. The shape of pretty much all 10ft 6 boards means you could have a play in small waves if you were feeling adventurous!
We’ve also included the Fanatic Ray Air 11ft 6 as inspiration for those who know they want to go on longer paddle board cruises and need something that glides faster across flat water.
If you’re looking for lower-cost alternatives, you might want to read our blog about the best budget paddle boards.
Table of Contents
Reviews of the best inflatable paddle boards in the UK
Red Paddle Co – 10 ft 6 Ride
The inflatable board that started it all
The best all-rounder/beginner board
5 year warranty
This Red Paddle paddleboard is an award-winning board promising durability and stability in the widest range of conditions. You have probably noticed this board is in pretty much all ‘top paddle board’ type reviews and it’s not surprising, if you’re wanting the best in class all-round board, then this is the best inflatable paddle board in the UK to buy today.
Red Paddle Co uses a process called TecAir to test and manufacture its paddleboards. This innovative technology is what gives this board superior bonding and design. It is the inside of the board that ensures it will be durable. It is made with a thread structure in a layer of adhesive, formulated to create a superior seal. High-density PVC is machine laminated over the top to produce a smooth, blemish-free finish on the outer layer. This gives you the peace of mind that the paddleboard won’t let you down in the water.
It comes in either purple or blue and has a unique self-closing bungee strap design to keep all of your gear in one place on the board.
Looking good is not the only thing to consider as a beginner. At 120mm thick, this board is thinner than every other board on this list, but somehow Red has created a board that is super rigid and is suitable for all rider styles for both surfing and cruising. This is part of the reason why it feels so good underfoot.
It is a classic board that has earned its popularity with good reason. Its shape provides stability, and its underside fins are almost indestructible.
However, it isn’t the cheapest option but it still offers value for money and it can be bought as part of a package with its own backpack for easy transportation and a pump and paddle which makes it a great all-rounder for a beginner to get started.
If you do buy a Red board you will have no problem selling it on again and probably not lose out on too much money.
Volume: 240 L
Weight: 9.8 kgs
Bluefin SUP – Cruise 10 ft 8
Full package from £599 – View on Bluefin’s website
Best budget package
Made to last
Great first board
5 year warranty
Bluefin SUP is a dedicated UK inflatable paddle board brand, and since launching their first board in 2018 they have quickly become a hugely popular option here in the UK. On any sunny day at my local beach, I am almost guaranteed to see a few Bluefin SUPs on the water.
The reason why Bluefin SUPs are so popular is that you get a very well constructed board for your money and they offer one of the best value packages around.
Bluefin has released their latest version of the Cruise which we love. They have really worked on the aesthetic and the boards look so much better now. Bluefin have also improved the paddle and pump, so although the new Cruise package is a bit more expensive, you are still getting something of good value.
The board is extremely stiff and rigid, which will make you feel very secure on the water and will help with your confidence in the early stages. This rigidity also means the board will feel very reactive once you start trying step back turns.
Shape-wise, the design is exactly what you would expect from a 10”8 board. The width and thickness are very similar to other boards in this list, which offers a great compromise of stability, glide and manoeuvrability.
The 10’8 should be the go-to board inflatable paddle board for most riders, but if you’re 90kgs+ and need more stability underfoot, you might want to go for their 12ft option.
Some reports suggest the Bluefin is heavy, and whilst this might be a problem if you are on the smaller side, most people should not find this an issue. I personally try to avoid brands that build very light products, because most of the time they have reduced the weight just by using less materials.
Bluefin’s goal is to create a tough, durable board that lasts, which is better for our wallets and the planet.
For more information, read our detailed Bluefin Cruise review.
Weight: 10.93 kgs
Sandbanks Style – Ultimate 10 ft 6
Full package from £549 – View on Anns Cottage
Excellent customer service
Love the graphics
5 year warranty
Sandbanks Style is a wonderful, carbon-negative company based in Poole Harbour, Dorset. They were one of the first companies to take advantage of a gap in the inflatable SUP market, filling the space between the super expensive Red Paddle Co type boards, and the cheap and pretty awful £200 boards you can find on Amazon.
The Sandbanks Style Ultimate board is built with quality and the user in mind, and you can tell from the hard-wearing materials and stitching to the shape of the board. The board is pretty light (9.5kgs), making it easy to carry for smaller riders.
You’ll notice the board has a wider nose (the front) and a narrower tail (the back) than other designs on this list. This design, along with the nose rocker (upturned shape), lends itself to being a super all-rounder that can handle a lot of different conditions, from being manoeuvrable on small waves to cruising around nicely on flat water.
Of course one of the biggest features of the Sandbanks Style SUPs is the graphic design on the board. If you want to stand out of the crowd and have a very good all-round inflatable SUP at a decent value, then a Sandbanks Style board could be the one for you.
The board also comes as a package as standard, with everything you need to get paddleboarding like a pump, paddle, leash and bag. All of which also feel high in quality.
Decathlon – iTiwit 11 ft
From £349.99 – View at Decathlon
Great for heavier riders
Basic but good value
iTiwit produced this board for Decathlon and for beginners who want a basic board to get them going. It’s a great beginner touring board that will easily cope with half-day trips and is even big enough to accommodate 2 people!
We’ve included the iTiwit 11ft for the larger person who needs greater buoyancy and stability whilst paddleboarding. Similarly, if you could only buy one board for the whole family, this might be the best option. The size means the board is fun for adults of all sizes and abilities to go for a cruise on, but not too big for the kids to happily play on together and be in control.
Its lightweight design makes it easy to carry in its foam-lined bag. It inflates in 6 minutes which is slower than other brands of paddle board. The board does not have a kick pad and the EVA-deck and nose are all one colour making it less stylish than other brands. You can attach a SUP leash to a leather strap, but it does not come with a useful D ring.
The board itself has a wide design and a stiffness that is designed to increase stability, which beginners will appreciate helping them stay balanced and feel confident. It’s not the fastest board and it might feel slightly more sluggish than other boards of similar length, however the pointed nose helps to make it ideal for cruising in choppy seas and it will even cope with small waves. It has a drop-stitch construction and is made from PVC making it robust and durable.
The board comes without any accessories so you will need to purchase a pump and paddle and a coiled leash if the included basic leash is not good enough. This does make this an affordable option and you can choose your own accessories. There are no fancy extras like a mount for a camera so this board concentrates on getting you paddle boarding rather than providing any frills.
Hatha – Oxygen 10 ft 6
This is a premium paddle board made by Hatha. It is a great all-rounder for beginners and comes with a three-year warranty. It has a round nose with a pintail for easy paddling and is ideal for all waters including some waves.
It is made from military-grade PVC and constructed with thermofusion so that it remains extremely lightweight whilst ensuring stability and strength. It also has a patented underside dolphin fin making it easy to turn and control. These technologically advanced features make the paddle board more superior than budget versions.
It is the package that makes this great for beginners. Not only does it come with a premium bag on wheels for easy transportation, but it also has a shoulder strap and mounting for an action camera. Great for getting those action shots but not necessary if you aren’t expecting to use an action camera. With its extra strong leash, you will not lose your board when you fall off which can be very reassuring for beginners. A super lightweight fibreglass paddle comes as standard.
Despite this paddleboard being lightweight it can take up to 140kg so it will suit people of larger stature or those who want to paddle with a passenger.
Fanatic – Ray Air Pocket Edition 11 ft 6
From £649 – View on The Sup Co
Long so glides very well
Great for cruising
Fanatic is a brand I have known and trusted for years. They are big in the windsurfing scene but have also been designing and producing paddleboards since the craze started.
Fanatic brought out the Ray Air Pocket Edition to add to their touring range of paddle boards. Made from ultralight construction it fits into a much smaller backpack than all of the other boards in this review. The condensed design is helped by the thinner material and flexible construction which enables it to be rolled up extremely small. Its compact size means that you can fit the paddle board and all the accessories in one bag. It also comes with a neat little compact HP2 pump that will easily store in the bag with the paddleboard.
The pocket board is 31 inches wide with a thickness of 6 inches and the construction comprises of layers of PVC and a tarpaulin surface providing both durability and rigidity.
Fortunately for beginners, the Ray Air’s pocket design doesn’t compromise on stability and it comes with 2 click fins that are a doddle to fit or remove. The shape is perfect for touring and its extra length gives it desirable additional buoyancy. Its sleek lines give it an immense glide that is perfect for those beginners who are hoping to explore on their paddleboards. Its shape makes it efficient, and it is a pleasure to paddle so even beginners will cope with longer distances.
One downside of this board is that it can only carry up to 100Kg meaning that it isn’t the best board for those who are on the heavy side or who want to take along a passenger.
Starboard – 10 ft iGO Deluxe
Slightly shorter but wide and stable
Great for smaller people and waves
This entry-level shorter board by Starboard is designed to get you going easily. It has a handy shoulder strap that is perfect for allowing you to be hands-free on your way to the water. Great for making your way down the beach or carrying your board back to your car.
The Starboard also has a lightweight leash that will help you feel secure and stop you from worrying about losing your board if you take a tumble. You will find bungee straps at the nose end that can secure your dry bag for your paddling adventures.
This board makes things easier for beginners. The design gives extra stability, and the straight edges allow you to make more paddles per side which will help you build up a reasonable speed without too much effort.
The design uses unique welded rails that reduce the risk of the glue failing. This should prevent the material from coming unstuck and help the board to last for longer. The straight design of the board allows you to use your paddle closer to your body which gives beginners more control of steering.
The glide in the water is good and turning is simpler with the shorter body shape. Weight-bearing is not an issue as it can take up to 120Kg.
The carry bag comes with wheels to help with transportation and the integral carry handle on the board is a handy tool if you ever want to give yoga a try.
The boards come in 2 types of construction called Zen or Deluxe. The zen is the best value with a double stitch build that makes it lighter and stiffer and gives the feel of a hard paddle board. The Deluxe option is lighter and more responsive.
Jobe – Yarra 10 ft 6
From £549 – View on The SUP Co
All-round good board
Built well with little flex
3 year warranty
The Yarra paddleboard by Jobe has a good balance between functionality and looks. It has a handy patented EZ Lock fin that does not require any tools to fit. The board is made from a high-quality construction using heat bonded technology. This makes it a great all-round board.
Jobe has used lightweight x-stitching technology and the board also has built-in stringer technology that helps the board to compress when in use and that makes it more rigid and stable. It has a cool bungee net for holding your gear and has a carrying handle. It also boasts some other handy features such as a nose rocker and two D-rings. It also comes with a carbon and fibreglass paddle as standard.
The board has carry handles on the front and back which will help beginners to recover their boards from the water. A nice touch is the Velcro paddle holder on the centre carry handle of the board that can be used to store the paddle when you are transporting it.
Its large volume means it can take passengers up to 110Kg so it is ideal for most people.
Two Bare Feet – Entradia 10 ft 6
From £375 – View on Two Bare Feet
Designed for smaller riders
This board has had its spec upgraded and is well suited to both beginners and intermediate paddleboarders. It is priced competitively but features reinforced double wall fabric to add some rigidity and keep it lightweight. The underside has a thicker material to protect the board.
PVC strips help to reduce the weight of the board but add some key strength where needed. The extra rigidity helps beginners to make more effective paddle strokes. This gives you a responsive board that is easy to turn.
It is a good all-round board but is only suited to small and medium riders. The medium length provides a balance between speed and manoeuvrability and the 34 inch width, and 4.75 inch thickness gives a low centre of gravity that helps beginners while they learn.
The board does not have lots of extra features, but it has innovative technology and ideas to make it a good buy. It’s a good versatile all-rounder that can be used easily by beginners who need to build their confidence. This board has the capability of being used in calm water, surf and wilder waters.
Buyers guide to inflatable paddle boards
Buying the best inflatable paddle board in the UK means you must consider what features are the best for you, what price you want to spend, your weight and where you want to use your paddle board.
There are some differences in quality and extras that come with each board. You don’t need to pay for features that aren’t important for you, and
It is worth spending time making a list of what is important and what your budget is before you start looking. Some beginners may want a basic model to get themselves started in an occasional hobby while others may want to spend lots of time in the water and will gain advanced skills pretty quickly.
Why are inflatable paddle boards good?
Firstly, an inflatable paddle board is easier to store than a rigid board. Inflatable boards pack up into a bag which means they are also easy to transport in a normal car. They can even be packed as luggage on a plane. They can be stored in a cupboard, shed or garage without taking up too much room.
Complete beginners are looking to stay upright on a paddle board and move easily. Beginners don’t need the abilities of a hard paddle board for things like advanced surf skills. Maybe one day, but there is no point paying for that when you are starting out.
An inflatable paddle board has the best durability and stability which is the most important consideration for beginners. More skilled paddle boarders will want to consider speed and agility.
Inflatable paddle boards are less likely to inflict a serious injury if you take a tumble which is great news for those just starting out.
What to look for in an inflatable paddle board?
The best inflatable boards in the UK will need to be robust, comfortable and stable.
It can be hard to know where to start but beginners should not just go for the cheapest option as that could end up being an expensive mistake.
Boards described as entry-level, or all-rounders are the best ones for anyone just wanting to get on the water and have fun. That’s because they focus on stability and durability. You want to feel stable, and a more rigid board will help you to balance.
Look out for a rounded nose and straighter sides for ease of paddling. You might also want to check out what accessories come with the board as a whole package can help you get going until you know what kind of paddle you would prefer. You can always upgrade these extras at a later date.
Think about where you are going to be using your paddle board. Just a gentle cruise along a calm river or are you going to use the board in surf or wilder waters? Narrower noses and slimmer profiles provide more agility when tackling more advanced water conditions.
Complete beginners will want to focus on a board that can get them started and help them feel confident right from the start.
Understanding how design impacts the board will help you decide what board is right for you:
Length: Generally, the longer the board the better it will glide and track in a straight line. Shorter boards will be lighter and more manoeuvrable, so better for smaller riders, kids and for those wanting to try in waves.
Width: The wider the board, the more stable it will feel. However, a wider board will create more drag and may feel more sluggish in the water
Volume: Volume relates to the amount of buoyancy the board has, so the higher the volume, the more buoyant the board is. But remember width is stability, so just because a board has a lot of volume does not always mean it is very stable.
What is the best size paddle board for me?
Size is important when it comes to paddle boarding. Beginners should look for a board that is at least 32″ wide, 6″ deep and 10’6″ long. Remember to check out the maximum rider weight as your size and stature will suit different boards.
Also, think about whether you will ever carry a passenger such as a friend or young child or even a dog! Check out the total weight capacity of the board if you want to use it with your family or friends.
How much should you spend on an inflatable paddle board?
Even if you decide to not go for a brand on this list, please don’t pick the super cheap £200 board you found in the darkest parts of Amazon’s website, it just won’t be worth it.
Price is dependant on the features, quality and extras that come with the board. The Decathlon iTiwit comes in at under £400 which is a great starting price, but you will need to purchase a pump, paddle and coiled leash on top of that.
The top-priced beginner model, the Red Paddle, is nearer £1000 for the whole package.
This means you can pay between £500 and £900 for a starter board and package depending on what you are looking for.
It is important to remember that the higher-priced boards may be made from superior quality materials and have undergone greater testing and a more thorough manufacturing process.
About the author
Watersports Pro is managed by Ollie, who has been in the industry since 2007. A paddleboard and advanced windsurfing instructor, Ollie has travelled the world teaching these sports.
Now based on the South Coast of England, he shares his experience and knowledge on watersportspro.co.uk.