The best stand up paddle boards to navigate rivers, canals and coasts
Rider Style: Tour | Rider weight: 130Kg | Cut: 12 feet 6 “
Constructed with a laminated double skin fusion and an easy to attach center fin, this 30 “wide Sandbanks Style Sports Touring Classic (Â£ 649) board provides a sturdy and stable platform on which to ride. Our testers were impressed with the overall high-quality specs, the deckpad with a diamond grove for support and stability when standing, and, at 9.5kg, a reasonably light board weight to carry in and out of the boat. ‘water. Similar to the Gladiator model, it also has front and rear cargo ropes that make it easy to carry luggage on board, which is useful when touring. Our testers found the board to perform well with good pace and handling and were particularly impressed with its stability for its width, even in surfable waves, making it ideal for coastal hikes.
âIt has a long, streamlined shape that glides beautifully through the water,â explains Price. “I like the kick-step – aka raised platform – at the back of the board which makes it easier to grip a back pivot.” Sandbanks Style says it’s also good for sunbathing, which Price says is “a pretty attractive feature when you’re feeling a little tired!” The boards come with a good bag, pump and adjustable fiberglass paddle which can be upgraded to carbon fiber. Very inexpensive boards tend to come with a metal paddle, he explains, which will be heavy and could cause you shoulder problems. Sandbanks also aim to be carbon neutral in their manufacture, paper packaging, and contributions to tree planting and other environmental issues.
Advantages: Attractive light design; good value for money; Raised platform design for back pivot turns
The inconvenients: The 30-inch width may seem too narrow for some; raised platform not for everyone
Price: Â£ 649 | Check Price on Sandbanks Style | Anne’s chalet
What to consider when buying an inflatable stand up paddle board
When choosing your inflatable board, it’s important to think about the big picture and where your SUP adventures can take you. “There are a number of inflatable board models to choose from, including versatile leisure style boards that are ideal for extra passengers and fitness sessions,” explains Price. You can also buy specific boards for long distance “touring”, running, water and surfing, etc. For a board that’s best for you, start by checking that it will support your weight and this will determine the best board height and width you buy. Next, think about your experience and the water you plan to sail – will you be using it in the river or the sea? What do you want to use the board for – for fitness or recreation?
Many people start with a 10.6 inch board and can go up to a 14 foot racing board. You can also find 15 foot boards that can accommodate up to two people. Our testers were keen to highlight how much easier it is to start on a bigger board. “If you like SUP you tend to progress quickly and if you intend to involve your family and pets, buying a longer board seems like a practical place to start,” explains Blundell.
How to inflate and deflate
An inflatable stand up paddle board is easy to deflate and inflate and therefore ideal to throw in the trunk of your car next to your bucket and shovel. Many cards come with a hand pump as part of the package and most consider the dual chamber pressure pump versions the best, but these can cost a lot more than your standard pump. âManual pumping can be hard work initially to get it to the right PSI, but it’s good exercise,â says Poretta. âRegular paddlers often invest in an electric pump – a pump that you can use with a 12V port in your car, or some people invest in a pump that runs on a battery. Newbies often think their pump is broken, but that’s because they haven’t yet reached the low PSI at which the pump starts measuring. Make sure you have one that goes at 20PSI. It is not the same as a pump that you use with an air mattress because paddle boards are pumped at a very high pressure.
Look for a good drop point because when the board is inflated, the more drop points there are, the stiffer and easier the board is to climb. Double skin boards are sturdy, but can be heavier and slower. The front and rear cargo straps will also come in handy if you intend to ride with a dry bag on one side and a child or dog on the other. Also look for a decent set of handles to hold the board and check its weight to make sure it will be easy to carry in and out of the water.
Practical bridge bearings
If you want to put a dog or a child on your board, check the length of the deck pads and if they reach the end of the board. These will help protect your board from, for example, the dog scratching it and make it more comfortable for your child to sit on. Most companies will sell boards as part of a package and include such items as a paddle board, ankle leash, repair kit, pump, and bag to store everything. Some companies offer a paddle upgrade as part of the package, which is worth considering.
The higher end paddle boards are built to last and will hold their value, so if you decide to upgrade your board down the line you have a good chance of reselling it – there’s no point in buying one. budget board that won’t last you, after all. Many companies are investing in ways to make their products and production more sustainable by recycling and producing durable panels that will last for many years, using recycled or natural materials such as bioresins and lamination rather than gluing their panels. and donate to charity. However, a sea of ââdisused paddleboards in landfills is a disturbing thought, and there is still a long way to go. For tips on how to clean and maintain your board so that it lasts longer and performs at its best, try Savior Watersports. Surfers Against Sewage is also a great stopover for anyone interested in learning more about how to protect the coastline.