Paddleboarder and stand-up paddleboard instructor, Duncan Slater, takes a look at eight of the best paddleboard options on the market

Given its huge surge in popularity over recent years, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) will need little introduction to anyone that spends time on the water. If you want to get into the world’s fastest-growing sport too, here are eight of the best paddleboard options for entry-level and all-round use, or if you want to read more about the differences in Paddleboards jump ahead here.

8 of the best paddleboards available right now


Red Paddle Ride 10’6″

Best paddleboard for beginners – full review

Reasons to buy:

• Great for learning, plenty of stability
• High build quality, 5-year warranty
• Sold complete with pump, paddle and bag.

Reasons to avoid:

• Not dynamic enough for intermediate paddlers

Size options: 10’6″ x 32″, 10’8″ x 34” and 9’8″ x 31″

There’s no overlooking the world’s best-selling paddleboard – the Red Paddle Ride is undoubtedly the finest inflatable beginner board you’ll find.

At 10’6″ x 32″ and 10’8″ x 34”, both bigger sizes of Ride are floaty and wide so offer plenty of stability for learning how to SUP. Red also offer a smaller 9’8″ x 31″ version for children and super-lightweights.

Build quality is of the high standard Red are renowned for, guaranteed with their 5-year warranty and sold complete with top-end pump, paddle, and bag.

This size and shape of board is great for learning the basics and extremely easy to paddle, yet intermediate paddlers may prefer something a little more dynamic…

RRP: £999

Buy it now from Red Paddle Co

Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn’t affect our editorial independence.


Bestway Hydro Force Fast Blast 12’6″ SUP

Best cheap paddleboard for beginners – full review

Reasons to buy:

• Affordable price
• 120kg capacity; can carry one adult and one child
• Comes with a bag, pump, paddle and leash

Reasons to avoid:

• Pump and paddle didn’t perform well on test

Size options: 9′ x 30″, 10′ x 33″, 10’6″ x 31″ and 12’6″ x 30″

Available for less than £300 including a bag, pump, paddle and leash, the Bestway Hydro Force Fast Blast SUP is one of the cheapest 12’6″ paddleboards available on the market right now, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on quality.

Our reviewer Jake Frith reports: “The board is happiest when well-weighted, ideally near to its 120kg max. It gets along nicely enough for what it is and will do the intended job for me as a two person fun craft and for occasional yacht tender duties.”

However, he warns that the supplied pump and paddle aren’t the best quality and you’d be better off paying extra for a separate paddleboard pump.

RRP: £279.95

Bestway Hydro Force Fast Blast SUP deals

Buy the Bestway Hydro Force Fast Blast SUP on eBay

Buy the Bestway Hydro Fast Blast SUP on Amazon

Buy the Bestway Hydro Fast Blast SUP on

Red Paddle Sport 11′

Best paddleboard for all-rounders

Reasons to buy:

• Size options suit various environments
• Glides satisfyingly well between strokes
• Sold complete

Reasons to avoid:

• Expensive compared to the rest of the list

Size options: 11′ x 30″, 11’3″ x 32″ and 12’6″ x 30″

Once you’re comfortable standing up and paddling, in all but the very choppiest of waters a more progressive shape such as the Red Paddle Sport range will perform better than a shorter, wider ‘beginner platform’.

This 11′ x 30″ is an ideal all-rounder for flatter water and/or lighter paddlers; alternatively the 11’3″ x 32″ will suit larger riders and/or choppier waters, while the 12’6″ x 30″ is slightly more specialised towards flat-water ‘touring’.

The stiffening side battens, rubberised hard-release ‘speed tail’ and slightly racier outline make the Sport glide satisfyingly well between strokes. An incredibly rigid feeling inflatable sold complete and suitable for a broad range of use.

RRP: £1,149

Buy it now from Red Paddle Co


Best paddleboard on a budget

Decathlon ItiWit 11′

Reasons to buy:

• Great price on a budget
• Offers a bundle discount
• Good overall build quality for price range

Reasons to avoid:

• Recommended air pressure doesn’t perform well
• Poor fittings

Size options: 11′ x 34″

If you’re on a super-tight budget, Decathlon’s own-brand ItiWit offers an adequate inflatable range for the money and this 11′ x 34″ would be a fair choice for a heavier or less confident rider.

However, the recommended 15psi of air pressure isn’t great – some rigidity achieved by increased board thickness, which makes it ride high in the water so harder to climb back onto and prone to getting blown around.

While the overall build quality is the best you’ll find at this budget, fittings such as the slide-in fin system are poor. Although sold with a leash, be advised that the pump and paddle aren’t included: you can select these at a ‘bundle’ discount.

RRP: £349.99 (board only) or £385.17 (complete bundle)

Buy it now from Decathlon

Starboard Whopper 10′ ASAP

Best paddleboard for ‘real-world’ waves


Strong, stable design
Comes into its own in a real-world wave environment
Full-length deck pad with Impact-resistant high-density EVA


Fairly heavy
Sold as board only
Not ideal for long-distance

Size Options: 10′ x 34″

Starboard’s 10′ x 34″ Whopper is a little too short and wide to be ideal for covering much distance, but it’s a really stable and forgiving design – and this solid board really comes into its own in ‘real-world’ waves, as it loves to catch everything from ankle-slapping mush to head-high surf.

ASAP (As Strong As Possible) construction means a full-length deck pad, plus impact-resistant high-density EVA wraps the whole rail to protect both board and rider from bumps and dings.

Extra fibreglass, epoxy resin and Australian pine reinforce the layup too, although this does all add up to make it fairly heavy. Sold board only, so you’ll need a leash and paddle to go with it.

RRP: £1,099 (board only)

Buy it now from SupCo


TAHE 10’6″ Beach Performer

Best paddleboard for the beach

Reasons to buy:

• Great brand reputation for virtually indestructible boards
• Strong outer skin
• Solid value for money

Reasons to avoid:

• Sold as board only
• Hefty weight

Size options: 10’6” x 31.5″

BiC Sport – the watersports subsidiary of the famous biro company – rebranded as TAHE following a 2019 merger. BiC’s surfing and windsurfing reputation has long been for virtually indestructible, mass-market products, and TAHE paddleboards follow that theme.

This 10’6” x 31.5” is a no-frills, versatile solid that looks wave-friendly and should be fun in flat water too.

Constructed in thermoformed ’Tough-Tec’, an extremely strong outer polyethylene skin wraps a watertight EPS foam core for maximum impact resistance, but that comes at the price of weight – a hefty 14.5kg.

Solid value for money, but supplied without a leash or paddle.

RRP: £699.99

Buy it now from Decathlon


Gladiator 11’2″ Pro

Best paddleboard for value

Reasons to buy:

• Great value for money
• Performs well in all conditions
• Suitable for larger riders

Reasons to avoid:

• Doesn’t have top-spec accessories
• No super-plush finish

Size options: 11’2″ x 30″ and 11’4″

While many ‘more affordable’ brands can be a false economy, as the build standard can be terrible, there are some well-made inflatables available at lower price points.

Gladiator is the best example, offering the highest quality package around for price-conscious buyers. Akin to the Red Paddle Sport, this Gladiator 11’2″ x 30” doesn’t have the top-spec accessories or super-plush finish but would really suit a lighter paddler looking for a decent board that won’t break the bank.

For larger riders, this board’s bigger sibling the 11’4″ is similarly impressive. The sleek outline suits flat-water use yet the shape isn’t so specialised that it won’t perform well in all conditions.

RRP: £535

Buy it now from Gladiator paddleboards

Freshwater Bay Classic 10’6″

Best paddleboard for surfing

Reasons to buy:

• Surf pedigree band, the ideal shape for catching waves
• Performs well in all conditions
• Suitable for larger riders

Reasons to avoid:

• More delicate construction than others on the list, needs looking after.
• Bundle is recommended due to the storage option

Size options: 10’6″ x 32″

If surf’s your thing, then this 10’6″ x 32″ could be ideal. On the south-western coast of the Isle of Wight, Freshwater Bay itself scores great Atlantic groundswell earning this little brand a genuine surf pedigree.

The longboard shape will really help you catch waves, while classic all-round measurements mean it will work perfectly well on flat water too.

Constructed in wood-sandwich with added carbon underfoot and kevlar around the rails, nose and tail, you’ll still need to look after this stick more carefully than the others featured here – hence, alongside a carbon paddle and the essential leash, the ‘bundle’ includes a padded boardbag for storage and transport.

RRP: £945 (board only) or £1,170 (complete bundle)

Buy it now on

What size of paddleboard do I need?

In SUP, as in surfing, measurements are generally imperial. In a nutshell, an average all-round paddleboard is around 11 feet long and 32 inches wide. The wider the board the more stability it has – but that width is also drag, so a narrower board will be faster yet tippier.

Taller, heavier riders generally appreciate a little more width for comfort. A 32” wide board is a sensible beginner / all-round option – although a lighter or more progressive rider might prefer a 30”, while heavier or more nervous paddlers may appreciate a full 34”.

The longer the board, the better it will glide in a straight line, but the harder it will be to turn. All-round boards tend to be 10’ to 11’4” in length; longer will be more satisfying for flat-water ‘touring’, shorter more suited to ‘messing about’ in choppier water and even catching small surf.

Best paddleboard brands

The massive growth in paddleboarding over recent years has also seen un upsurge in frankly substandard brands looking to ‘cash in’ on the sport’s popularity for both the boards and the many SUP accessories, such as paddleboard pumps, to be found on the market.

Most reputable brands are sold via dealer networks, although there are a few notable small independents selling direct on the domestic market. Many of the best paddleboard brands were borne from the windsurfing industry; Starboard, Naish, Fanatic, JP – and in fact the inflatable market leaders Red Paddle were founded by Tushingham Sails down in Devon.

Solid or inflatable?

Although the best paddleboard for top-end surfing and racing is still generally of solid construction, inflatable paddleboards are justifiably more popular for most recreational uses. A good quality inflatable (ie; well constructed and able to pump up to sufficiently high pressure) has minimal performance disadvantages, yet will be much more resistant to damage from the inevitable knocks and scrapes.

Often more pertinently, storage and transport is much easier with an inflatable that packs down into a backpack than a relatively delicate solid board. This is particularly true for sailors, who increasingly have a paddleboard onboard as a boating accessory.

If you are specifically looking for a pump up paddleboard take a look at our guide to the best inflatable paddleboards on the market.

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Head to Amazon’s dedicated sailing page for more marine products.