Want to try something new this summer? Inflatable paddle boards are light, portable, and easy to use. This handy guide will tell you how to choose the right SUP board and why you should buy one!
Do you remember the massive obsession with water sports last summer? My social media feeds were full of sunrise swims – and getting your hands on inflatable paddle boards, or even a wetsuit was next to impossible. With gyms and most indoor activities off limits, outdoor sports became not only necessary, but also the ‘in’ thing to do. In fact, stand up paddleboarding, or SUP as it is more widely known, is now one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.
For those of you who want to try something new this summer, SUPping is a great sport to try. It is relatively easy to get started, is a great full-body workout, and it is something that adults and children can master. It is also very accessible, as you don’t need to be near the sea. You can try SUPping on a lake or river, and once you buy a SUP board, the sport is free!
How to choose the right SUP paddle board for you
Like any sport, you need to make sure you choose the right equipment to suit you. SUP boards come in all shapes and sizes and choosing the right SUP board depends on your age, experience and requirements.
All of the boards listed below are inflatable paddle boards. They are less expensive, lighter to carry to the water, and much more portable for travelling. They all come with a backpack, so you can hike off the beaten track and SUP away to your hearts content away from any crowds.
It is important to choose the right size paddle board to suit you. Bigger SUP boards are generally easier to ride, they are more stable on the water, and are easier for beginners to balance. The downside to having a bigger board is that it is heavier to carry to the water, and are slightly less responsive to turning manoeuvres.
If you’re a heavier paddler, you will need a bigger board that is thicker and wider. A smaller person will balance easier on a narrower board. A wider board will be more stable, but a skinny board will paddle faster. Whatever board you choose, make sure you have a life jacket with you for peace of mind.
As you can see, choosing the right paddle board is crucial to having the best experience while SUPping. I have teamed up with Irish owned MicksGarage.com, who are Ireland’s number one online store for car and staycation essentials. They stock the highly rated Aqua Marina inflatable SUP boards, which come with pumps, paddles and backpacks included – these can cost more with other suppliers.
MicksGarage.com have first hand knowledge on how to choose the right SUP board to suit you, and have given me their top picks below.
Best Inflatable Paddle Boards for beginners: Aqua Marina’s All-Round Range
Aqua Marina, one the world’s leading SUP Board brands, have an All-Round range that are ideal SUP boards for beginners. There are four boards in the range, which vary in size, with a weight load capacity from 100kgs to 170kgs. All-Round models are inflatable paddle boards, and can be fully deflated and stored in the back pack provided, when not in use.
Pumps, backpacks and paddles are included when purchasing any of the All-Round range. They come with an adjustable bungee cord to easily tighten luggage, removable slide-in centre fin, and steel D rings on the deck pad for an optional seat. There is a double action pump for easy inflation, a zip backpack for easy storage, a Sports III Aluminium Paddle and a safety leash.
The Aqua Marina Breeze is a great all-round starter model for people looking to start paddle boarding for the first time. It is the smallest model in the All-Round range, making it ideal for smaller people. It has a weight capacity of 100 Kgs.
There are two mid size models in the All-Round range – Vapor (140kg) and Fusion (150kg). They should also be considered for smaller individuals who want to bring additional luggage.
The Aqua Marina Monster SUP board is the largest model in the All-Round range with a payload weight capacity of 170 Kgs. It is not only suitable for larger people, but also for those who wish to carry more luggage. It also has a solid neoprene carry handle specifically designed for a comfortable grasp.
See Breeze here
See Fusion here
See Vapor here
See Monster here
Best Inflatable Paddle Boards for Intermediates: Aqua Marina’s All-Round Advanced Range
The All-Round Advanced Boards are very similar to the All-Round range. They are eye-catching, portable, and the Drop Stitch Light Technology makes them the most valuable inflatable SUP on the market. There are four boards in the range, which vary in size, with a weight load capacity from 105kgs to 180kgs. All-Round models are inflatable paddle boards, and can be fully deflated and stored in the back pack provided, when not in use.
They are slightly larger than the standard All-Round range, so they could be more challenging for beginners to manoeuvre, and they have a Tail Kick Pad to facilitate quick turns – which is ideal for intermediate or advanced paddlers. The All-Around Advanced boards are designed for use across a wide range of conditions, by all kinds of riders. The shorter models are better suited to catch some waves, while the longer wider models are aimed at heavier paddlers or families who will be paddling together on one board.
Pumps, backpacks and paddles are included when purchasing any of the All-Round Advanced range. They come with an adjustable bungee cord to easily tighten luggage, removable slide-in centre fin, and steel D rings on the deck pad for an optional seat. There is a faster pump to cater for the bigger volume, an upgraded zip backpack for easy storage, a Sports III Aluminium Paddle and a safety leash. They also feature a solid neoprene carry handle specifically designed for a comfortable grasp.
The Aqua Marina Coral SUP Board is designed with ladies in mind. It has an eye-catching coral colour and has a payload capacity of 105kg. The Beast and Magma are the two mid-size models with payload capacity of 140kg and 150kg respectively, while the largest SUP board in the range, Atlas, has a payload capacity of 180kg.
See Coral here
See Beast here
See Magma here
See Atlas here
Best Inflatable Paddle Board for Kids: Vibrant SUP Board
Aqua Marina’s Vibrant SUP board was created specifically for the younger paddler. It is built to the same high standard and adopts the same innovative technology as their larger boards, but it is lighter, shorter and narrower, making it easier to manoeuvre.
It comes with a specially designed lightweight paddle, a double action pump for fast and easy inflation, a removable slide-in centre fin and a zip backpack for easy storage.See more here
Best Inflatable Paddle Boards for Families / Couples: Super Trip SUP Board
The Aqua Marina inflatable Super Trip is a family or multi-person SUP Paddle Board that will take up to 2 adults and 1 child on the water. The wide tail of the Super Trip makes the board super stable and easy to use. The integrated cargo D-rings make it easy to attach luggage, and the large dot grooving footpad provides ultimate grip and comfort.
The Super Trip comes with a removable slide-in centre fin and a double action pump for easy inflation, and a zip backpack for easy storage. The paddle is sold separately.See more here
Best Inflatable Board for Touring / Fitness: Hyper SUP board
The Aqua Marina Hyper SUP is the perfect cruiser for SUP enthusiasts. It has exclusive technology which provides extra safety and rigidity for a sturdy yet sporty adventure. The Hyper SUP boards are fast, easy to paddle, and their rigidity helps keep your luggage up and dry – ideal for campers. There is a double cargo net, a footpad ensuring ultimate grip and comfort, and D-rings for optional seat connection.
The Hyper Paddle Board kit comes with a racing centre-fin, a double action pump liquid Air V2, a coil leash and a zip backpack for easy storage. The added chamber offers up to 48 litres of safety floatation for use in open water and long trip touring.See more here
Best Inflatable Board for River / Whitewater: Rapid Wave Surf SUP Board
The Aqua Marina Rapid SUP board is made for is river and white water paddling, but it is great fun out on the surf too! Its sheer size (33″ wide and 300 litre volume) makes it easier to stay on board in tough conditions. The Rapid has a heavy duty fin system to help with tight turns and shallow water, and its double later technology makes it more robust for all types of waves. The integrated cargo D-rings allow luggage to be attached easily, and the crocodile skin footpad provides the ultimate grip even when wearing footwear.
The Rapid Wave Surf SUP board comes with comes with a slide-in river fin, four fixed fins, a double action pump for fast and easy inflation, and a Magic backpack for easy storage.See more here
MicksGarage.com are Ireland’s number one online store for all your car and travel essentials. They have a wide selection of SUP boards, camping equipment, bike racks and roof racks, many of which are available to order with next day delivery. Rated 4.7 on Trustpilot, MicksGarage.com should be your first port of call for staycation essentials this summer.
This post on inflatable paddle boards was sponsored by MicksGarage.com. I hope it helps you to start SUPping very soon.
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