Beat Summer Holiday Boredom With The Best Paddle Boards For Beginners
The summer holidays have only just started and the kids are already bored of their new-found freedom, right? They’re coming to you for inspiration - “Muuumm, I’m booorred! Daaadd, there’s nothing to doooo!”
Foreign holidays are out of the question, staycation destination prices have gone through the roof, so it falls on you to supply the itinerary. Fortunately, OnBuy is here to provide a helping hand. You might be thinking about buying toys, games, or the latest title for their console to keep them quiet. But hold on just a second - we’ve got something perfect for ensuring fresh air, fun in the sun, as well as the chance to keep cool in the sweltering temperatures... paddleboarding!
Paddleboarding is a simple way to get into the world of water sports and relatively easy for beginners - it can be as simple as getting a stand-up paddle board (SUP) set and hitting the water. Even if you’re not confident with your balance, you can start by sitting or kneeling so everyone can ride the waves! This video shows you just how simple it is to get started!
Okay, I’m hooked - what do I need to get started?
As mentioned previously, the beauty of paddleboarding is that you only really need the essentials to get started. This includes the board itself, a paddle, and a pump. However, there are some simple yet superb extras you can add to your board to take your riding experience to new and exciting levels. One of our favourites is this flexible seat that transforms your SUP into a kayak in seconds (if that floats your boat, check out the Bluniza paddle board in the selection below).
In addition to extra embellishments, you’ll also want to consider safety gear - especially when little ones are involved. Once you’ve picked out your paddle board, add a life jacket and a safety whistle, if one isn’t already attached, to your OnBuy basket - it will give you peace of mind, if nothing else! Many SUPs will already come with a safety cord to wrap around your ankle, ensuring the board doesn’t float away when you fall into the water, but it’s worth double-checking before you buy.
When it comes to clothing, your usual swimwear or swimsuit (we also have ranges for boys and girls) can be enough, although if the water you're going out on is particularly chilly, you might want to consider wetsuits instead.
Time to dive in!
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to make a splash with our hand-picked selection of the best paddle boards for beginners!
In this list, you’ll find five inflatable paddle board sets. We chose inflatable over solid SUPs as they’re space-saving, pocket-friendly, and perfect for beginners, and we opted for sets over single purchases to ensure you have everything you need to hit the water right from the off. We also included a range of basic kits and premium picks that come with all the bells and whistles, to help you make the perfect choice for you.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in!
Pros: Includes everything you could ever need to enjoy a fun-filled day on the water, inflatable for convenient storage and transportation, wide board design for extra stability
Cons: Long exposure to the sun can cause warping, manual hand pump, glue not included in repair kit
This is the ideal purchase for any beginner looking to get into paddleboarding, thanks to the sheer number of accessories that come included in the relatively low price. As well as the standard SUP and paddle, it also comes with a pump, safety leash, repair kit, and transparent protective plate, along with complimentary cap and backpack.
The wider design of the board and high-intensity PVC reinforced material gives extra stability while you’re still trying to find your feet. Thanks to the high-pressure air valve, it quickly inflates and deflates which, along with the removable fins, makes it much easier to pack away and transport - ideal if you’re short on space in the car! However, it’s worth noting that the included pump isn’t electric, so it’ll take a lot of elbow grease to get it up to 15 PSI… Just consider it a warm-up before you get out on the water!
Pros: Cheapest product in this selection, includes inflatable board, aluminium oar, hand pump, repair kit, and carry bag
Cons: Only suitable for one person at a time, maximum load weight of 100kg
This offering from vidaXL is another brilliant beginner set that comes packed with extra accessories, including a pump, repair kit, and carry bag. The difference in price between this and the TriClicks set above appears to come in the lower maximum load, meaning it can only be used by one person at a time - perhaps this one might be better for the kids! Equipped with special high-pressure screw valves, it’s quick and easy and quick to inflate and deflate, while the carry bag makes for convenient storage and transportation.
The board is designed with the perfect level of curve to enhance its rigidity, creating a more stable ride. It glides effortlessly through flat waters and rides smoothly in the surf, making it ideal for learning, recreational paddling, and small wave riding with comfort and stability. Like the Sudoo set below, it includes a hand pump, which could eat into your time on the water, but unlike it’s rival, it doesn’t include a safety leash (although you can buy one separately here).
Pros: Durable two-layer PVC board, includes durable leash, repair kit, hand pump, and storage backpack
Cons: Manual hand pump, wide design makes for a slower ride
Next up on our list of the best paddle boards for beginners is this incredibly convenient kit from Sudoo - one of the most popular sets available on OnBuy, which is likely down to its superior durability and convenience. This durability comes as a result of the two-layer PVC deck that effortlessly repels any pesky pebbles or rocks that risk causing a puncture on the water. As with many items in this selection, it also includes a durable safety leash, handy repair kit, hand pump, and storage backpack.
The board has been designed to be wider to increase stability and has an EVA anti-vibration pad to reduce any slipping. It also utilises ‘drop-stitch technology’ to reinforce the deck, while all three fins on the underside are removable to help fold it away after quick deflation. What more could you possibly want from a SUP set?
Pros: Stylish board design, fully-loaded 9pc set, made with high quality, military-grade materials, D-rings allow for a seat to be added
Cons: Style and materials used means a more premium price tag, 158kg maximum load
This inflatable SUP is sure to stand out from the crowd with its bright and bold design. It comes with everything you need to get out on the water, including a pump and safety leash, as well as a handy repair kit in case of any unfortunate accidents, not that it’s likely thanks to the durable, military-grade materials. If that doesn’t give you peace of mind, nothing will!
One aspect that sets this SUP apart is the ability to turn it into a kayak; the board has seven built-in D-rings (one of which is for the safety leash), allowing a flexible seat to be attached, and the oar included in the set can be shrunk down thanks to the adjustable handle. There’s also a bungee rope pocket on the board if you need to bring anything with you - this one is probably better for the solo paddleboarders heading out for an aqua adventure!
Pros: Designed for extra speed and stability, non-slip traction pad, includes hand pump, travel bag, safety leash, and repair kit
Cons: Premium price tag, 120kg maximum load
Want something more exciting than a relaxing day on the water? The Bestway Hydroforce SUP includes their ‘Flastblast Tech’ to make for a more manoeuvrable paddle board that’s faster on the waves. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not for beginners; the stable design ensures you’re supported while you develop your paddleboarding skills and also have the ability to grow into the board's faster features.
This inflatable paddle board is the largest SUP in this selection, standing at 12ft 6” long - while that makes paddle strokes more economical so you can go faster for longer, it also means you’re going to be working out your arms while you try to inflate it with the included hand pump!
It’s time to take to the water!
Whether you’re bringing the kids or not, one thing’s for certain: paddleboarding is one of the best ways to enjoy the summer holiday season! Whether you’re after some family fun that’s a little different to the norm, some much-needed R&R, or a solo adventure, it’s a breeze with a paddle board in your outdoor activity arsenal.
However, there’s much more to the wonderful world of water sports than just SUPs. We’ve put together a brilliant blog explaining how you can dip your toes into other water-based activities, and we’ve got a packed water sports range for you to peruse once you’ve got off your new paddle board. If you’re also interested in getting active on dry land, we’ve taken a look at how to capitalise on a packed summer of sport.
So, what are you waiting for? There’s no way the children can scream cries of boredom with the wonderful range of summer activities on OnBuy’s shelves - head on over there now!
The information in this buyers guide is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.