Best stand-up paddleboards: inflatable, touring and race boards

From paddleboard professionals to watersport beginners, these are the only stand-up paddleboards you need.

Best stand-up paddle board

by Lily Anderson |
Updated on

Love an adventure? Have the best day out with family and friends with a stand-up paddleboarding experience. It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or professional - the best stand-up paddleboards will help you explore lakes, marinas, canals, sea coves and calm rivers unlike ever before.

What is a stand-up paddleboard?

A stand-up paddleboard, which is commonly known as SUP, is a type of watersport equipment that is sweeping the nation. According to the surfing news website, Surfer Today, "Stand-up paddleboarding is an outdoor watersports activity where a rider stands up on a large board and uses a paddle to move through the water."

We know what you're thinking - despite the temperate climate, in recent years, the UK really has seen an increase of interest in watersports with stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and surfing all in high demand. Why? Well, we can only presume because it's easy to pick up, is a great full-body workout and a relaxing activity.

Whether you're looking to float along a river, drift in the sea or paddle around in a lake, here at What's The Best, we've created the ultimate guide for stand-up paddleboards.

The different types of stand-up paddleboards

Are you new to paddleboarding or thinking about switching to a new board? Here's everything you need to know about the types of stand-up paddleboards.

Inflatable paddleboard: Inflatable paddleboards are a type of surfboard that should be pumped full of air. Take one to the ocean, lake or river and use an oar to move through the water. Benefits include: being able to support more passenger weight and being easy to store away.

Touring paddleboard: You'll be able to spot a touring paddleboard as it features a point at the front like a kayak. Use this option if you're planning on spending the whole day in the water. We'd recommend this type for more experienced paddleboarders as it's not as stable as other options.

Race paddleboards: The best option for watersport professionals is a race paddleboard, designed to increase speed, these narrow boards will help you cut through the water.

Best stand-up paddleboards 2023

Best paddleboard for beginners
Photo: Amazon

Calling all beginners and occasional paddlers alike, if you're looking for an affordable option that offers you a stable platform for those first few wobbly rides, then this is the one for you. With features like the removable fin, super-fast inflation functionality and adjustable paddle height are just some reasons why this option gets a seal of approval from us.

Adam Binnie, Commercial Content Editor said, "The Portofino Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board is a great all-rounder pitched right down the middle in terms of size – this paddleboard will suit beginners of most shapes and weights. Plus, because it comes with everything you need, will get you out on the water straight away. In time, more serious paddlers will probably want to upgrade some parts like the pump and paddle, but the included kit suits newbies and occasional use perfectly. The only thing we’d recommend adding is a flotation device, and of course, some training with a reputable SUP teacher."

Read the full Portofino stand up paddleboard review: start your SUP journey here.

SAVE £50 Best touring stand-up paddleboard
Beginner Touring Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard 10 FootPhoto: Decathlon
Price: £249.99 (was £299.99)

Available in red or turquoise, this touring stand-up paddleboard is perfect for slow-moving rivers, lakes, canals and coastal bays. It's also another option for beginners, but we'd recommend only taking this beauty out on the water for half-day trips. The only downside is that the paddles and pump must be bought separately.

Review: "Easy to inflate and deflate, great fun, super stable for beginners... Just be careful to avoid the fin going on the floor or very shallow water."

Best stand-up paddleboard with a kayak conversion kit
Bluefin Cruise SUP PackagePhoto: Amazon

Rrp: $599.00

Price: $399.00

Talk about the whole package - the Bluefin Cruise SUP includes everything you need to try out this watersport. If you're a seasoned pro, the best thing about this option is that it provides a kayak conversion kit so that you can sit down on the board, relax and leisurely paddle through the water.

Review: "I did a lot of homework checking out which board I would enjoy and be happy with. The Bluefin sup board has surpassed my expectations. When inflated the board is very rigid, strong and very stable in the water. I have only used the board on rivers, which is what I want to use it for. It can be used as a kayak or stand up and kneeling. The pump supplied is more than adequate, and it takes less than 15 mins to inflate. I can highly recommend this sup board. Whilst it appears expensive compared to budget-priced sup boards, this is a good quality product, and if possible it is worth stretching your budget. I also believe this is the only sup board offering a 5-year manufacturers' warranty."

Best lightweight stand-up paddleboard
Goosehill Inflatable Stand Up Paddle BoardPhoto: Amazon

Whether you're travelling a few minutes or hiking all morning to arrive at your paddleboarding spot, choosing a lightweight board can be beneficial. As well as being easy to transport, a lightweight board will help seasoned paddleboarders glide through the water. Tthis is a brilliant option if you like to race with your family and friends.

Review: "Excellent product. I’m 6ft3 and 18st. I was worried about it holding me. I was impressed by how well it was made as I was unpacking it. Took me about 3 minutes to inflate as the pump inflated in both directions. It was clear it would easily hold me, even when not inflated to full psi recommendation. I've not taken it for its launch yet as the weather is awful. This is a premium product and the bag/holder is also well made and easy to pack with all the equipment. I recommend it. Update - I’ve now used it in the sea. Can’t fault it. Perfect, although the bag it comes in could do with being about 2-inches longer. Struggle to get it back in the carry bag."

Best inflatable stand-up paddleboard
FBSPORT SUP BoardPhoto: Amazon

Whatever your skill level, the FBSPORT SUP Board has it covered. The thick base helps to improve balance for beginners, and the adjustable paddle is good for professional paddlers. The best thing about it? It comes with a hand pump, which will inflate the board in just five minutes.

Review: "Bought it as a birthday present and tried the board for the 1st time yesterday, and for a complete novice, it felt nice and sturdy. A lady I met on our canal complimented the board, which was a good sign.

"Quick to inflate until you get close to the recommended psi but a good workout for the members of your family who have come out to support (laugh at) you 🤣👍.

"Easy to deflate and fold up, and put away in its bag. Lots of different straps on the outside of the bag, but no indication as to whether they are for the pump or whatever, but am sure I will work it out in time.

"I will probably invest in an electric pump as if I’m going out on my own it will make inflating a lot quicker but altogether a fab board, now just have to wait for summer to come back to get some decent use out of it 🤞🌞."

Best non-slip stand-up paddleboard
Bestway Hydro-force SUPPhoto: Amazon
Price: $477.76

Fed up with your board getting too wet and slippery when you're out on the open water? The non-stick traction pad on the Bestway Hydro-force SUP will give you that extra stability when you're paddling.

Review: "Great board for a great price. I was sceptical at first, but once it was inflated, I was super happy with it. I usually take my dog on paddleboards - however, I would not take him on this out of fear he'd scratch or damage it as it doesn't seem as hardy as others that are double the price. Great for non-serious paddle boarders like myself and looks great. The only negative is that I didn't realise how difficult it would be for me to inflate, 15 PSI is hard for me to achieve and takes a lot of effort. I weigh 65kg, and towards 13PSI, I have to put all my weight on the pump to get it down, and it takes me about 15-20 minutes. You also have to constantly be pumping for it to measure the PSI, and I find it hard to keep going towards the end. Now I simply leave it pumped up."

Lily Anderson is a Senior Commercial Content Writer at Bauer Media, where she reviews products for titles like Heat, Closer, What’s the Best, Yours and Mother&Baby.

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