Buyers guide

What you need to know

Are you keen to buy your very own paddle board or want to upgrade your existing board, but just don’t know where to start?

Choosing a paddle board is about making sure it’s right for you. The good news is there are a few fundamental factors to consider when looking for a paddle board and most of them are easily determined by your own personal measurements and requirements, such as your weight and the style of paddling you intend to do.  

Using just a few key factors we can help guide you in the right direction and find the perfect match.  

While it is relatively simple for us to define the most suitable board, it is not always very clear WHY these factors are important. We outline the key options and considerations below to help you make the right choice. 


Put simply, premium inflatable SUPs are generally the best option for the majority of people looking to buy a board. They deflate, roll up and pack into a speciality designed board carry bag so are easier to store in your home. 

Inflatable boards are also much easier to transport to a variety of waterways as you can put them in the boot of your car, carry them on your back or even take it on a plane checked-in as standard luggage on your holiday. Inflatable boards also offer far greater durability than their hardboard counterparts, making them more suitable for families and all-round paddlers.

Hardboards still have a place in the market, primarily for the elite and pro side of the industry. Yet, the global popularity of the sport is a direct result of the ongoing innovations and developments of the premium inflatable market.

If you are looking for a board that makes it easy to explore a whole range of waterways and offers the very best in performance, durability and transportability then a premium inflatable board will be the right choice for you.  

Why do we say Premium Inflatable board?

Not all inflatable paddle boards are made the same. While they might look very similar, they can be worlds apart in how they are designed, the materials used and how they’re made. 

The importance of rider weight when buying a paddle board

When speaking to new customers one of the first questions we will ask is: How much do you weigh? 

The reason for this is we need to know if the board you are looking at buying can carry your weight. Most boards will come with specific rider weights assigned to them. Thankfully, when buying a premium board like Red Paddle Co, you can be confident the advised weight is true to form and will offer the very best performance on the water.  

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for cheaper, budget boards, with many board manufactures being a too optimistic and misleading with how much weight their boards can truly carry. If a paddle board cannot carry your weight, it will feel more unstableride too low in the water and generally won’t be a fun experience. Not to mention the safety aspect of this too. 

TOP TIPThe maximum weight capacity is a good starting point for helping narrow down which board is better suited to you.

What previous experience do you have and what ‘style’ of paddling do you intend to do?

Understanding how much paddling you have done in the past will help determine how stable you need the board to be and in turn will help define the type of board you need. The less experience you have, the more stable you will want the board to be as you build confidence and experience. Stability comes from width, length, thickness and the volume of air the board has in it. There are also some other key factors to consider related to how you’ll use the board. Perhaps you plan to paddle for longer distances or just want to paddle with your family on the beach every so often.

There are a variety of styles of paddle boards for different uses, let’s break it down below:  


The most popular type of paddle board, all-round boards are a great option for beginners but are equally as fun and versatile for more experienced paddlers too.  

All-round boards are stable and perform well in a variety of conditions and waterways.  

They normally range from 9 – 11ft in length and are often wider (32”- 34”) and sightly thinner (4” – 4.7”) than their touring counterparts to deliver a more stable paddling experience.  

The Red Paddle Co Ride range of boards are classed as All Round


Designed to be used for longer trips and often the next choice for people looking to upgrade or buy their second board.  
These boards are more streamline in shape, which means you can paddle further for longer at faster speeds.  
They range from 11 – 13ft in length and are 5.9″ thick to assist with glide. They also have additional space for carrying gear, such as camping or day trip equipment. The Red Paddle Co Sport and Voyager board ranges are classed as touring boards


Deciding if you will be paddling alone or plan to take the kids or dog out with you, can also be defining factor in which board to get.  
Some all-round boards are wider and longer to cater for additional weight making them perfect for paddling with a small passenger.  
Other multi-person SUPs are designed for two or more paddlers – these can be a great way of sharing the experience with your friends and having even more fun on the water.

There are variety of Red Paddle Co boards for a range of uses.
These include paddle boards for kids, SUP racing, wind surfing and surf specific SUPS…

Why does thickness of the board matter?

The thickness of your board effects its stiffness, stability and directional control, as well as the time it takes to inflate. Boards designed for manoeuvrability and all-round/first time paddlers should be 100 – 120mm / 4” – 4.7” thick. 

Boards designed for longer distance paddling should be 150mm / 6” thick.  

How does the width of the board effect the riding style?

The most popular boards (all-round SUPs) are mostly 32-34 inches wide. This makes them incredibly stable and ideal for beginners and building confidence on the water. The narrower the board the more rock there will be but the faster you will glide through the water. Race boards for example will have a width of 25 -26inches, that is quite a big difference!  

Why do premium inflatable SUPs cost more?

Put simply, the big differences in price across the market today is down to the construction processes, the time it takes to manufacture a high-quality board (including design & testing) and the cost of the materials used in the creation of a board. The quality and durability of construction are, of course, key for performance but are vital when you consider the importance of the safety of the paddler when out on the water.

All Red Paddle Co inflatable SUPs come with essential accessories, as part of the package. These items have been engineered to the same high-quality as our boards to deliver the very best experience; from transporting to pumping to paddling – every element have been developed with user-cantered design 


The Red Paddle Co Titan pump was designed to deliver a completely new pumping experience. To make the job of pumping as easy as possible, our pump uses two chambers instead of one. 
The thin chamber allows air to be pushed out at over 60mph, whilst the larger chamber is used when the going gets tough, allowing you to reach a higher pressure in half the time – and more importantly by using half the energy! 


Another key accessory is of course the backpack used to carry your board. 

All Red Paddle Co boards are supplied with the All Terrain Back Pack and feature wide, padded shoulder straps and waist straps – these help to spread the weight evenly, when carrying on your back. 

Our bag also has integrated wheels. These are great help when travelling or getting from your car to the water. As with the boards and pump, it’s worth researching the type of bag a board is supplied with before making that all important purchasing decision.


Like any Red Paddle Co product, there is a perfect paddle to suit your riding experience. Our designers have ensured there is a paddle for all abilities and people. 

When you buy a paddle board package on our website you will receive the Alloy paddle as standard, with an option to upgrade. 

Which paddle you choose depends on who will be using it and the kind of paddling you’ll be doing. There are durable paddles for kids, paddles for shorter riders and more advanced, light weight paddles for people who want to go further and faster. To find out which paddle is suitable for you,