Inflatable SUPs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, each suited to a different paddler or type of paddling, from racing to touring to surfing. The go-to board type for most paddlers however is the ‘allround’ SUP. These boards offer a great combination of stability and maneuverability so they can be used no matter what type of paddling you’re into. With so many allround iSUPs available on the market at the moment, choosing the right board can seem a little tricky, so here’s the low-down on the offerings from each of the big brands.
First of all, what length allround inflatable SUP should you be looking at? The most versatile of all options are boards in the 10’6 area. The 9’8s are a little small and if you’re on the larger side you’ll possibly be falling in a fair bit (the 9’8s are great for the smaller rider or the extra big surfer though!). The 10’8s are wider and so you’ll be putting a lot of effort into your paddling and going slower than your 10’6 friends as the extra size makes this board a bit sluggish (the 10’8 is fantastic for bigger paddlers though!). 10’6 is just right, and perfect for all the family. You’ll be able to go from beginner to perfect paddling in no time and once you’re awesome this board will still feel great! Stick the kids or the dog on the front and the 10’6 is truly the all-round board for all the family.
Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride
What’s good about this board? The Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride inflatable paddleboard has long been a favourite of ours. Why? It’s the board that started it all 10 years ago and has lead the way in terms of construction and durability. It features MSL laminated construction, quality drop-stitch tech, 20 PSI rigidity which gives incredible stability, heat resistant glue and a glued-on fin system. This board really is bombproof. The bag’s excellent too, with travel wheels and rucksack, designed to fit all the kit inside including paddle and pump. Going on holiday with this board isn’t a problem even on budget airlines as the whole package weighs under 20kg.
Any bad bits about this board? One major drawback of this board for the more budget conscious is it’s quite pricey at £849 for the complete package. But on the flip side this board has a high resale value, with most used Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride SUP boards in good condition selling for about £600.
What’s good about this board? The range of Anomy 10’6 Inflatable SUPs are OMG gorgeous, featuring unique graphics by some crazy and amazing designers in Barcelona. These boards will make you stand out from any crowd. And the best bit? Anomy bring out new limited edition boards every year with graphics designed by different artists, meaning each design will only be available in limited numbers so that you will have a truly unique paddleboard.
It’s not all about the looks though! Like the Red Paddle Co 10’6 these guys really have gone all out on high quality manufacturing, with laminated construction, great dropstitch and a SUP that pumps to 20psi. This board is as rigid as any of the high quality SUPs and has 2 glued on side fins and 1 central FCS fins for an amazing tracking ability too! The bag is well designed, with wheels and rucksack. Most brands include a free basic alloy paddle with each SUP, but Anomy have gone one better and include an Anomy branded Glass paddle, which is a pretty cool thing to offer.
Any bad bits with this board? Not really! The board is again at the higher end of the budget for a 10’6 at £799 for the package. This is an allround family board but the fin is FCS and not as durable as the molded Red Paddle Co fins; you won’t appreciate it been rammed up the beach by clumsy kids so you might want to keep the stunning graphics of this board too yourself!
Starboard Wide Point Zen
What’s good about this board? The Starboard Wide Point Zen is ever so slightly shorter at 10’5 and is our favourite all round SUP board for surfing for quite a few reasons. It’s a great allround board but has been tweaked to be very efficient in surf, with a wider nose and a thinner tail giving the Zen added maneuverability in the waves. The double layer with stringer tech, keeps the board light and very stiff. The glued on fin system is a durable and no hassle option. The bags are gorgeous which is a nice extra when taking your board on holiday. Starboard are also planet conscious which we’re always a fan of. Their manufacturing process minimises off-cuts meaning less landfill waste, they give you a little hook for your paddle to hook bottles out the sea when you’re paddling and they try use only cardboard for their packaging as opposed to plastic.
Any bad bits with this board? At £769 it’s slightly cheaper than a Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride or Anomy SUP, but if I was choosing an all round family board I would probably choose a round tailed board to give more stability for flat water paddling. The surf orientation of this design is perfect for those who are likely to surf on it, but for flat water paddling it won’t be quite as stable as a rounder tailed board. I’m also not a big fan of the starboard alloy paddle but think the Starboard Tuffskin paddle is excellent, so would recommend upgrading to that if possible.
What’s good about this board? Fanatic have come up with 3 options for the family all round SUP board, all 10’4 in length. The Fanatic Pure Air 10’4 single skin construction allows for a budget conscious option at £599, it’s a great option budget board with Fanatic quality and brand attached. The bag is just a rucksack with no wheels though! The Fanatic Fly Air 10’4 is their middle price range board, at £769 with glass paddle as standard. This board comes with stringer construction, which is a single skin with a stiffening 2nd skin band going round the board, nose to tail. At 33’’ wide it is slightly wider than the other choices giving a little more stability with great tracking as the slide in centre fin is quite long. Finally the Fanatic fly Air Premium 10’4 is the all singing and all dancing double laminated construction with glass paddle and wheeled bag as standard. The Fanatic Premium range also has a windsurf attachment as standard so the Fanatic premium is one of my go-to choice’s for an all round board for the families who want to learn to windsurf .
Any bad bits twith these boards? Not really! I really like that Fanatic have offered different budget conscious choices within their range; 3 all-round boards at different price points. The 10’4 being slightly shorter offers a nice difference in the market and the 33” width gives possibly a slightly more stable board. The glass paddle as standard with the Fly Air and Fly Air Premium is also a nice touch. I really like the inclusion of the windsurf sail attachment point in all their premium range as it’s great fun for the kids to have a go windsurfing if you can beg, borrow or buy a sail. My only bug bear is the bag doesn’t come with wheels on the Fanatic Pure Air and Fly Air.
What’s good about this board? The Gladiator Pro is a one of a kind at the moment; a budget-priced iSUP that is genuinely good! It has a very strong, double laminated construction, excellent dropstitch and boasts a 25psi and 4.75 inch thickness which is the same as the Red Paddle Co and Anomy paddleboards. The paddle that comes with the basic package is fibreglass, it is a basic paddle though and we feel is best to upgrade if your going to be doing anything more than splashing around with the kids. The bag is pretty good, unbranded but large and has wheels and rucksack option. This SUP tracks well, allows all the family to get on the water and at £549 means that the more budget-conscious can now have a SUP that’s pretty awesome!
Any bad bits with this board? To be honest we are hard stretched to find anything wrong with this board! The board is great, graphics are OK, they’re not going to win awards but nor are you going to be covering it with a towel either. The major downside with this board is that the included paddle is very basic and needs an upgrade if you want a paddle that will last as long as the board.
What’s good about this board? O’Neill’s allround SUP is new to the market and an absolute bargain at only £449. It has a single skin construction and is 5 inches thick, its a well built board and light. It is an all-round board for the family and at 10’4 and 33 inches wide is a stable board that lends itself to SUP Surfing… what more would you expect from O’Neill?! Even though it’s only £449 O’Neill haven’t cut corners on making a great single skin board; it tracks well and is loads of fun when catching a wave. The bag has a suitcase style zip making it easy to get the board in and out with a comfortable rucksack making carrying the board to the beach easy.
Any bad bits with this board? The Paddle that is included as standard is not the best and could possibly do with an upgrade to a glass/nylon/carbon paddle. The pump is single action, just making it a little slower to pump the board, but at £449 this is an incredible priced branded budget board that will give the whole family a heck of a lot of fun.
So all in all – if I was buying a board tomorrow… I’d go for the Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride if I wanted full on, no compromise, kid proof durability with Red Paddle Co’s unfaltering warranty. To stand out from the crowd there’s no doubt I’d go for Anomy for stunning design. It would be the Gladiator Pro if I needed a budget board that did everything a branded board does. I’d choose Starboard if I wanted to surf and Fanatic if I wanted a quality branded choice with a windSUP option. Last but not least I’d choose O’Neill if looking for a beginner budget board for the whole family, with the kudos of the O’Neill brand attached.
I hope that you’ve found this helpful when considering which allround inflatable SUP to buy. If you’d like any personal advice about which board you should go for, feel free to get in touch.