Book Review – The Paddleboard Bible by Dave Price


The Paddleboard Bible: The Complete Guide to Stand-up Paddleboarding

by Dave Price


A bit about the author

Dave Price is a SUP Instructor and Tour Guide, from Dorset.  He came from kayaking background and particularly loves the wildlife you can view from your board, or kayak, that you otherwise would not get the opportunity to see.  But his tours are not limited to the Dorset area, he includes paddles in far-flung places as well as most of the UK. 

I had seen this book around and thought about getting it since surely every avid paddle boarder should have at least one paddle boarding book on the coffee table?  Then I met the author, Dave Price, at my local paddle boarding group Christmas do!  We had a lovely chat and the next day I put it to my partner that this book  would make a great stocking filler..

The book duly appeared at Christmas and I started taking a look at the chapters.  At first impressions, it seemed like a book that you can dip into, rather than have to read cover-to-cover.  I do like a book that you can delve into the topics that suit you at that given time or take your fancy.  During this lull in suitable paddle boarding weather, I have been taking an interest in the wildlife on my local river that I shamefully know little about, in the hope to spot them myself.   I mean, I can recognise a swan, and now a heron, but the rest are a bit of a mystery to me. 


Looking at the reviews given on Amazon (click here to buy), where the book is available at £15.31…. (at the time of writing January 2023) there seemed to be mixed responses.   Some wanted more safety information and details on how to self-rescue and others wanted help with the differences in the type of paddle boards available. 

So I will quickly address this if the author doesn’t mind!   In my opinion,  that type of information can get out of date easily and is not really appropriate for this book which is designed to help you get the most out of paddleboarding.  Dave Price is a SUP enthusiast wanting to share his passion and not a retailer or distributor well-versed in the differences between brands and constructions.  That said, he does have a working knowledge of how boards are made and explains it in CHAPTER 4 ‘Choosing Equipment’ where he also discusses board shapes and how to choose your inflatable paddleboard for the type of paddling you are wanting to do.

Also, safety is an emotive issue and people’s opinions do vary.   We have seen a wave of videos online of fantastic acrobatic self-rescues, but some of these may in fact damage parts of your board which you could rely on in a real emergency,   but also, may invalidate the warranty and not all types of rescue sort all sizes and abilities of rider.   It would be far better to have a lesson and figure out the right way to get back on the board for you, with the safety and support of your instructor.  You should be very aware of your limitations and sometimes the best way to stay safe is not to paddle at all, rather than put your faith, and life, in a Buoyancy aid and chapter in a book or a YouTube video of someone shimmying up their paddle.   Self-rescue is very personal, and everyone has different heights, weights,  length of arms, upper body strength and agility, so being on the right board for your size is so important, you should get specific advice from an experienced retailer.

Where some reviewers have pointed out areas they find lacking, others say that it covers everything and more…so you can’t please everyone, but the 4.6 out of 5 ratings indicate that most of the reviews were complimentary, although stating on the front cover that it was ‘The Complete Guide to Stand-Up Paddleboarding’ is a brave claim…! 

Whats inside the cover?

Some of the chapters have very intriguing names, such as Body And Soul, which talks about the health and fitness side of paddle boarding, or Stand Up for ‘Supways’ which discusses things like access, respecting nature and also volunteer work.  There are also some very self-explanatory chapters such as ‘Basic Techniques’.  


I found that I turned immediately to Chapter 5: ‘Places To Go, Wildlife to See’  as I am keen to try new places this year.

And as I mentioned before, I am not very knowledgeable about wildlife, so being able to spot and identify a few of the birds native to our rivers has increased my enjoyment along my regular river paddle.    A useful chapter to compliment this is Chapter 8: ‘Sense of Adventure’ which helps you plan your SUP trip, what to pack, how to navigate, and the weather conditions.  I shall be getting myself familiar with this chapter!


There is a fun chapter in the book about games you can play, which is something I would not have considered – mostly rooting myself to the board as I don’t like to fall off!  I paddle in a group and I think there are some likely people who would love to give these games a go, and I may be tempted to join them.  It looks like games can help with your confidence, helping you to balance, and not be afraid to fall off! Giving you plenty of practice getting back on the board. 

Who would it suit?   

I think this is a great book for everyone, even if you are not new to paddle boarding, its a good coffee table book to have and something you can dip into randomly.  If you have only paddled on the river, it may encourage you to try the sea or a lake or even try a bit of SUP racing.  

The book is jam-packed with photos, which are often of Dave’s friends, and its lovely to see a variety of people proving that Paddleboarding really is for everyone.  

Anybody starting to paddle as well as those who have paddled for some time.  It’s easy to understand for a complete novice but also with enough interest and tips for a more experienced paddler.

We can all do with refreshers on paddle stroke and gain inspiration to try new places to paddle, both in the UK and abroad.  It may even give some regular paddlers the idea to get another lesson to hone skills, and improve performance and confidence. 

Worth a read?  

Definitely, and some of the locations in the photos are very inspiring…maybe there is an exotic location waiting for me…for now I shall dream, but this book may well inspire me to make it a reality…

Click here to buy the book! 

Response from the author..

Thanks very much for the review ! Originally I was going to call it ‘The Fun and Sport of SUP’ and when Bloomsbury/Adlard Coles decided on ‘The Paddleboard Bible’ I thought that’s a lot to live up to. They were an excellent publisher to work with so I was happy to bow to their expertise.
You read Amazon reviews and think, as you mentioned, some aspects of equipment and brands will change and have done. Some things you think, defensively, well I noted that aspect in a later chapter and others you think are fair.

Writing it and getting it out there were a great adventure.  Hopefully, it will help people to enjoy SUP adventures and the wonderful benefits they bring. Giving people lessons and tours helps with this too, but there’s only so much instructors can cover in a lesson of one or two hours. The Passion 4 Paddleboards blog definitely contributes, including an excellent episode on equipment. Between your blog, the book, lessons, tours and the SUP community we’ll hopefully help people to have many great, safe SUP experiences!


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