If you are looking to learn multiple watersports this summer, then having a WindSUP (Windsurf / Stand Up Paddleboard) is the board for you.
A WindSUP is a board that can be used for both stand up paddleboarding and windsurfing.
Comprising different sizes, materials, patterns and packages available, there truly is something for everybody with a WindSUP board.
Table of Contents
What are the best uses for a WindSUP board?
WindSUP boards are great for people who are beginners in paddleboarding and windsurfing. Known as the best all-rounder board, the WindSUP is perfect for kids or adults who are looking to try something new, or have been windsurfing or paddle boarding for a while and wanting something fun to play on that can be used by family and friends.
These boards are brilliant for beginners and intermediate windsurfers and paddle boarders, which means if you are a beginner right now, your WindSUP board can take you through the years as you improve and gain confidence on the water!
The WindSUP is also the ideal board for families because they are durable, easy to transport (especially inflatable WindSUPs) and long-lasting. If you want to get into water sports this summer without buying specialist equipment, a WindSUP board is the perfect balance to strike.
On the other hand, if you are an advanced windsurfer or paddleboarder looking to get a professional-grade board, WindSUP might not be for you.
These boards are designed for those who want a safe, fun hobby to do during the summer months on the beach. That’s not to say these boards aren’t sturdy or high quality – it just means that for someone committed to becoming an advanced windsurfer or paddleboarder, you might want something designed for this high level.
How good are WindSUPs for windsurfing?
Windsurfing in the UK is again becoming increasingly popular and on many beaches and harbours you’ll probably find windsurfers hitting the water at all times of the year. If you’ve never windsurfed before, you might want to give it a go in the summertime.
For someone who is at a beginner or intermediate level, WindSUP boards are a fantastic addition to your equipment repertoire.
These boards will be great for learning how to tack, gybe and practice getting into the harness in lighter winds. As soon the winds blow, these boards will feel sluggish and you may be better off on a proper windsurf board.
How good are WindSUP boards for paddleboarding?
If someone is new to watersports, they are likely to choose paddleboarding as the first one they try.
For paddleboarders who are starting out on smoother waters, WindSUP boards are ideal.
This doesn’t mean you can’t improve your skills using any of the WindSUP boards in this review, and some of them can hold their own in small waves.
WindSUP boards are designed for easy paddleboarding for children, teens and adults alike.
Inflatable or rigid WindSUP?
In this review we will look at both inflatable WindSUP boards and rigid ones too. Let’s take a brief look at the pros and cons of each!
Inflatable WindSUP Board Pros
- Portability. This is the number one pro of the inflatable boards we explore in this article. Deflatable and foldable into a backpack, the inflatable WindSUP board can be taken anywhere in the world.
- Lightweight. These boards are also lightweight, making them even easier to carry, especially for teens and kids.
Inflatable WindSUP Cons
- Less control in harsher conditions. Inflatable boards are lighter, making them less easy to navigate in rough winds and seas.
- Less durability. The rigid boards are, naturally, longer-lasting and more resistant to knocks and scrapes.
Rigid WindSUP Board Pros
- Longer lasting. Infused with glass, bamboo, graphite and other strong materials, rigid boards are more resilient.
- They can be used in wilder conditions. Rigid boards make the perfect strong wind companion, with the ability to ride waves with more control.
Rigid WindSUP Board Cons
- Heavier and less portable. These boards are much more difficult to carry around than the inflatable versions, making them more finicky to transport day to day.
- Less easy to store. To own and store a rigid board, you’ll need a little more space than for an inflatable one!
WindSup Board Reviews
Red Paddle Co – 10’7″
This inflatable board package from Red Paddle Co is an ideal windsurfing starter for a light or medium weight person. While it is designed for beginners, the 10’7” windsurf paddleboard package can also be used by experienced or advanced windsurfers for cruising.
With a 5 year warranty included, this board is definitely a sound investment.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of this lightweight 10.6kg inflatable board. The lightweight feel of this board, combined with the firmness and durability of the materials used, means that this board is perfect for light travel with steady balance on the water.
In addition, this board is super easy to travel with, as it can be deflated and folded into the All Terrain backpack that comes with the package. This allows you to take your board around the UK, or even around the world if you wanted to!
Included in this package, priced from £1,199.00, are:
- The board itself
- Titan II pump, designed for maximum efficiency when inflating your board
- All Terrain backpack for transporting your deflated board
If you are looking to paddleboard, this entire package has all you need. However, if you want to use it for windsurfing, you can pair it with a 1.5m – 4.5m size windsurfing rig – depending on the height and weight of the surfer.
What are the downsides to this WindSUP paddleboard package?
Firstly, if you are searching for higher-level sporting equipment, you will likely want to avoid the inflatable boards – meaning this one won’t be for you. In addition, this board is designed for a maximum rider weight of 110kg, so taller, heavier individuals may struggle to use it.
In short, for medium weight riders or children getting started on the water, this WindSUP inflatable board is the one for you! If you wanting something more technically advanced, take a look at the other boards on this list.
Fanatic Inflatable ‘Viper Air’
The Viper Air WindSUP board is described by Fanatic as ‘the most versatile entry-level inflatable Windsurf / SUP board ever.’ That pretty much sums it up! For total beginners or intermediate windsurfers/paddleboarders, the Viper Air comprises sturdiness, a lightweight feel, and cool aesthetics for teens and kids.
The main feature of this inflatable board is stability. While it is a lightweight inflatable, not a solid board, it rides the water beautifully, giving new windsurfers or paddle boarders confidence on the water.
Foldable into a backpack, this inflatable board can be carried around the country and the rest of the world, meaning that if your family likes to travel light, you can easily achieve this using the Viper Air.
Weighing in at under 10kg, at 11ft long and 33.5 inches wide, this standard size board can be transported very easily, especially when deflated.
The windsurf sail size recommended for this board is up to 8m squared.
What are the downsides to the Viper Air 355?
At a recommended maximum weight of 100kg, the Viper Air can be used by adults and kids – but as with all inflatable boards, a heavier person may need to upgrade to a solid board.
Additionally, this board doesn’t come as a package with other equipment, meaning you will need to purchase the accessories separately and factor these into your budget. Priced at a reasonable £859.00, though, this price allows for accessories to be purchased additionally.
Our second Fanatic board on the list, the Bee is a versatile solid board with tonnes of potential.
With four dimensions of watersports activity to choose from with the Bee – SUP Surfing, SUP Foiling, Wing Foiling and Windsurf Foiling – you can try multiple types of surfing or foiling with this board.
Perfect for any level of watersports fan, the Bee truly is an investment worth making.
Comprising a foil mount, optional windsurf features and fin options, you can make this board what you want it to be. Made with a combination of bamboo, glass, fibre and net, this solid board has the ideal strength-to-weight ratio for a smaller board.
The shorter length of 7’8” makes the Bee a perfect board for lighter weight people, up to 85kg. To be used in mild to medium conditions, the Bee is ideal for anyone who already loves windsurfing or paddleboarding, and wants to add foiling into their watersports repertoire.
Any downsides to the Bee?
Being a smaller board, the Bee can only really function with a lighter person. In addition, when compared to the inflatable boards we have already looked at in this review, the Fanatic Bee will be much harder to transport, as it is a solid board.
Priced at £1,368.65, this is an investment, for sure. While this board is of high quality, it is on the expensive side compared to some of the other models we are looking at here.
Starboard Starlite WindSUP
If you are searching for an all-purpose solid board, the Starlite WindSUP board is the one for you on this list.
The Starlite Board a centre fin box that allows you to fit a large US Box fin in the middle of the board. This helps the windsurfer to prevent drifting downwind, and generally keeps the board more steady – ideal for beginners and intermediate windsurfers!
For paddleboarders and windsurfers, this dual purpose solid board has all you need to improve your watersports skills.
The Starboard Starlite WindSUP Board has the strongest rail protection EVER tested. With new technology formed from 200g twill azure fibre, this board is scratch resistant and strong for long-lasting durability.
The deck is formed of Australian pine, which has high breakage strength and reduces the weight of the board for easier transportation.
With multiple sizes available in this model, ranging from 10’ to 12’ in length, this board can be used by anyone, ranging across all heights, weights and abilities too. These boards can easily be paired with any SUP fins for windsurfing.
Priced between £800.00-£1200.00, depending on the size of board you opt for, the Starlite is a reasonably priced board that will last a long time with the appropriate care.
Downsides to the Starboard Starlite WindSUP Board
Like all board models, there are downsides to the Starlite. The heaviness of this board at up to 14.4kg, along with its solid non-inflatable structure, means that it requires some forethought if you want to transport the board up and down the country, or even just to your local beach.
Starboard Hyper Nut
The Starboard website truly sums up the power of the Hyper Nut. They say,
“The Hyper Nut offers the stability from a larger board and performance of a smaller board. This paddleboard is a new found love in every quiver, it offers excitement to the most mediocre conditions. The short outline, thin rail and tail shape transform the performance.”
The Hyper Nut is a unique solid board because it comprises a wide nose, a straight outline and, crucially, inverted nut rails. The inverted rails are a new and innovative way of structuring a board that provides greater acceleration and helps windsurfers and paddleboarders have a great experience, even when the conditions aren’t great.
The Hyper Nut board has a channel tail that gives bite through the turns, with a flat section in front of the fins on the underside of the board for maximum acceleration.
Just like the Starlite, the Hyper Nut is available in multiple sizes that can be suited to a wide range of surfers and paddle boarders, from young people to mature riders of all weights and heights.
Its solid structure doesn’t make this board super heavy – this board weighs in at around 10kg.
What are the cons of the Hyper Nut WindSUP Board?
This board is a solid board that provides excellent acceleration and makes the most of all conditions. This means that for complete beginners, this may not be the board for you. If you are someone who loves windsurfing or paddleboarding and wants a challenge and to improve your skills, this is a great choice.
Priced at just over £1500.00, the Hyper Nut board is an investment for watersports enthusiasts who want to improve their skills.
JP WindSUP Air
Ideal for cruising, paddling and windsurfing, this multipurpose inflatable board is a good all-rounder. Comprising a centre fin for great upwind performance, and available in two models, the LE3DS and the LE, this board is a versatile piece of equipment that will improve your form and deliver on quality.
The materials used to create the JP WindSUP Air are sustainable, ethical and also fantastic for strength, agility and durability. The fibre layers within the board minimise the chances of stretch and reinforce the board for a long life with its user!
The LE3DS is the longest of the boards at 11ft, with the LE model standing at 10ft6. These two models are designed to fit lighter or heavier riders respectively, giving you options when you buy.
The recommended fin sizes for the LE3DS and the LE boards are 9” + 10”. Priced at just over £1000.00, this board is a medium level price that suits its all-purpose use!
The downsides of this board are similar to other inflatable boards. For professional level windsurfers or paddleboarders, this product probably isn’t for you. The JP WindSUP Air is designed for transportability, versatile use and safe riding in all conditions for beginner and intermediate users.
Tabou Supawind Board
The Tabou Supawind WindSUP Board is designed for equal performance as a paddleboard or a windsurfing board. Like other boards we have reviewed in this article, this board comes as a package with a centerfin included, making it the ideal purchase for people who want to try both windsurfing and paddleboarding in summer!
If you are looking for a board that’s comfortable and easy to use, this is the one for you. Fitted with a centre handle so you can carry it under your arm with ease, the Supawind is designed with ease and comfort in mind. The deck is equipped with a super grip for beginners to get their bearings on the water!
We also reviewed the Tabou in our beginner windsurf board guide.
The length of the two boards available are 10’2”-11’2”, so you can choose the board that’s right for your height and weight respectively. Priced similarly to the other boards on this list, at approximately £1200.00 depending on the specs you choose, the Tabou Supawind is a reasonably priced board.
Are there downsides to the Tabou Supawind?
If you are searching for a board that will turn you into a pro, this isn’t the board for you. The Supawind is designed for hobby windsurfing and paddleboarding. This doesn’t mean it isn’t a great quality board – it is top quality and worth the investment! – but it is designed for milder conditions and less experienced users.
If you are searching for the right windsurfing board or paddleboard for you, use this helpful review guide to choose the WindSUP board that’ll float your boat!
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.