Paddle boarding has become an increasingly popular sport in the UK over the last few years and it’s easy to see why. Delivering a versatile, fun and excellent whole-body exercise that improves coordination, balance, stability and core strength, it also allows you to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of the outdoors alone or with friends and/or family.

Whilst the benefits of paddle boarding are clear, choosing a paddle board can be a challenge with so many different options available to choose from.

With this in mind, we’ve created this comprehensive guide that includes all the information you need to help you choose a paddle board. Covering the types of paddle boards available, the different paddle board sizes/lengths sold, the accessories you will need to accompany your board, and much more, you’ll find all the information you need to ensure you can buy a paddle board with confidence.

After reading this guide you will be much clearer on which paddle board to buy so you can get out on the water in no time!

man on a paddle board


There are two main types of stand-up paddle boards available to you, inflatable and solid. Both paddle board types have their benefits which we outline below.

Solid Paddle Boards

Solid paddle boards are fantastic for surfing and racing. They will offer a high performance for competitive boarders as these boards are designed to promote high speeds but will compromise on stability, making them more suited to advanced paddle boarders, who have already developed their balance and stand-up paddle boarding skills.

Inflatable Paddle Boards

Also known as ‘blow up paddle boards’, ‘inflatable stand-up paddle boards’ or ‘iSUPs’, inflatable paddle boards are becoming increasingly popular amongst users of all abilities/experience levels. If inflated to the correct pressure the difference in stability between solid and inflatable paddle boards is minimal.

The fact they are inflatable makes them easy to store which is a huge benefit compared to hard boards, as not everyone has storage space for an 11ft+ paddle board. When deflated, transporting the paddle boards is easy as they can be carried in a rucksack or carry bag. The fact they can be carried in such a small bag means they can be taken on trips at home and abroad with ease which is a major benefit of inflatable paddle boards.

Inflatable paddle boards also tend to be more affordable without any compromise on the durability of the iSUP. AquaTec inflatable paddle boards use military-grade PVC to maximise longevity. Military-grade materials are very difficult to puncture so the likelihood of experiencing a puncture is low, but we still supply our boards with repair kits just in case which can be used to easily fix boards without the need for a repair specialist.

Paddle Board Sizes - What Size Paddle Board Should You Get?

The most popular paddle boards for general recreational use are between 10 to 12 feet (3.05m to 3.7m) long and 30 to 33 inches (0.76 to 0.84m wide). The thinner boards tend to be easier to paddle and can travel at faster speeds, whereas wider boards provide more stability but move slightly slower.

The volume of the paddle board will also affect the stability of the board. The greater the volume of the paddle board the more stable it will be. The volume of a paddle board will typically range from 225 to 270 litres. If you are looking for a board for competitive racing then opt for a slightly smaller volume, as this and a narrower width will reduce drag in the water which results in faster speeds.

For inflatable stand-up boards it is important that they are inflated to the correct size and air pressure level. It is recommended for the board to be inflated to 12 to 15 pounds per square inches (PSI) of air pressure. Having a board that isn’t inflated enough and too flat will lead to a decrease in stability, as the board will move a lot more than it should, potentially even sinking under the weight of the user. Over inflating the board will lead to warping under the extra pressure and will damage or maybe even burst the seams of the paddle board.

Below is a table detailing all the paddle board sizes from the iSUP AquaTec range at Net World Sports. We have included the length, width, thickness, and volume measurements for all the boards as well as the recommended paddler weight for each board. The heavier the weight of the paddler the longer the board they should use as this will help stabilise the board on the water.

AquaTec Lucia (10ft 6in) AquaTec Lucia (11ft 6in)AquaTec Cruiser (10ft 6in)AquaTec Cruiser (11ft 6in)AquaTec Speed and Adventure AquaTec 2 Person Giant Board AquaTec 4 Person Giant Board
Length 10ft 6in 11ft 6in 10ft 6in 11ft 6in 11ft 6in 14ft 15ft
Width 32in 32in 32in 32in 32in 32in 58in
Thickness 6in 6in 6in 6in 6in 6in 8in
Weight 10kg 12.5kg 11.5kg 11kg 10kg 12.5kg 25kg
Volume 225L 270L 225L 270L 225L 365L 950L
Recommended Paddler/s Weight 22kg -79kg 68kg-113kg 22kg-79kg 68kg-113kg 68kg-113kg Max. 220kg Max. 450kg

Paddle Boards for Sports & Activities

Different stand-up paddle board sports and activities will require their own unique board shape or size to suit the demands of the activity. Below we will cover all the different paddle board shapes and their performance characteristics.

iSup shapes

Surfing Paddle Boards

Whilst paddle boards can be broadly categorised into hard and inflatable models, many people look to buy a board that is suited to a specific sport or activity. Surfing paddle boards are designed for catching waves and are generally used by people with experience of surfing or those who are highly competent stand-up paddle boarders. Slightly harder to balance on, surfing paddle boards are smaller than other boards but provide excellent manoeuvrability so surfers can twist and turn at speed.

Touring Paddle Boards

Touring or adventure stand up paddle boards tend to be relatively long and wide. This makes the boards more stable and, therefore, great for beginners and for those looking to embark on relaxing river adventures. Touring paddle boards are designed for long-distance or long-duration trips. For greater energy efficiency over longer distances, they tend to glide further across the water with each stroke. Touring boards will also have straps to hold down items such as safety gear, food and drink. Touring and adventure paddle boards will tend to be 10.5 to 12 feet (3.2m to 3.7m) long.

Racing Paddle Boards

There are several competitions around the UK for racing stand up paddle boards. Some races are categorised by the length of the paddle board - with separate races for boards under 12.5ft (3.8m), another for boards under 14ft (4.3m), and a final category for boards of "unlimited" length.

The longer the board, the faster it will tend to be. Longer boards are easier to hold in a straight line but more challenging to steer and tend to be less agile than shorter boards. Both ends of the boards are narrow and streamlined in order to help the paddler build up as much speed as possible.

All-Round Paddle Boards

All-round paddle boards are designed to be your all-in-one iSUP. They are built for all water types and balance speed, stability and tracking. If you need a versatile stan-up paddle board for tracking on flatwater or surfing large waves out at sea, then an all-round paddle board is the right option for you. Typically, all-round paddle boards are smaller in size measuring 9ft 6in – 11ft 6in in length with rounded ends to make turning in the water easier.

Family Paddle Boards

Fantastic fun for family and friends, giant stand up paddle boards are typically 13 to 15 feet (4m to 4.6m) long and much wider than standard paddle boards.

Inflatable or blow up giant standing paddle boards are a great option if you are looking for a board that the whole family can enjoy. Easy to store and transport despite their size, AquaTec giant paddle boards fit inside a carry bag and can be pumped up in a few minutes. Suitable for up to 4 people to use at the same time, the AquaTec boards are made with military grade PVC and feature an EVA non-slip decking area.

4 man paddle board
family paddle board

Paddle Board Accessories & Parts

Different paddle boards will come with various accessories that enhance the performance of the board and help with the practicality of using a paddle board. Examples include a repair kit to help with board maintenance or a carry bag for easy storage and transportation.

Below we’ll go through all the accessories you’ll need to give yourself the best possible experience when stand up paddleboarding. Many of the accessories listed are included with the purchase of a board, whilst other accessories can be purchased separately to enhance your paddle boarding experience.

Paddle Board Paddles

Paddle board paddles consist of a handle, a shaft, and a blade, and they are hugely important for paddle boarders as they are used to propel and steer paddle boards. The blades are curved and positioned at a slight angle so when holding a paddle, the blade should point or curve away from the user.

The user will then use the blade of the paddle to push the water away behind them in order to move the board forwards and glide through the water. They are made from lightweight materials such as aluminium, carbon or fibreglass, so that it is easy to manoeuvre the paddles around and push the water to move the paddle board.

The ideal paddle length will depend on your height. When you have the paddle board blade in the water, the top of the handle should be at the same height as your forehead. If the paddle is not at the optimal height, it can affect your technique and efficiency. Different types of stand-up paddle boarding will require different paddle heights. For paddle board racing for example, it is recommended that the height of the paddle should be 6-10 inches above your head to help gain maximum speed on the water. Therefore, it is essential to have a paddle with a height adjustability feature so that the height of the paddle can be altered to suit the user’s height and needs. The graphic below shows the heights you’ll need to adjust your paddle to for each type of stand-up paddle boarding.

iSup paddle heights

All our AquaTec paddles are all manufactured with an adjustable handle and measurement markers to suit paddlers of all ages and heights. The high-performance paddles come in three styles all of which are suited to paddleboarding. The standard paddle features an aluminium construction with a classic blade design, the pro paddle is suited to more intermediate paddlers and features a larger more streamlined blade, giving a reliable performance even in stronger waters with bigger waves. The carbon fibre paddle is ideal for experienced water sports enthusiasts and boats a more concaved paddle design with a lower surface area which allows for the best water catch when paddling.

The AquaTec Lucia iSUP comes with a standard, premium, aluminium paddle so you are ready to glide through the water with ease, with the Cruiser model upgraded to have a pro paddle, for those intermediate paddlers looking to further improve their performance in the water.

iSup paddle types


Fins are an essential part of any stand-up paddleboard set up. Fins allow you to move forwards in a straight line. They prevent the rail of the board from slipping sideways as you put pressure on either side of the board as you paddle. Each board will have a different fin design which will affect the speed, stability and how easily you can turn your board around.

The AquaTec Lucia and Cruiser paddle boards have a three-fin setup with one detachable centre fin and two side fins or ‘side bites’. Also known as a ‘thruster’ setup, the three-fin design works perfectly for tracking on flatwater.

The Aquatec Speed and Adventure board has one large single U.S box fin. This setup is most suited for thrill seekers looking to travel and turn at greater speeds through the water.

The AquaTec 2-person paddle board is equipped with 1 central larger U.S box fin to help with speed on the water with 2 side fins to help with the alignment of the boat to help you paddle in a straight line and prevent drift. 3 detachable fins are provided with the 4-person family paddle board in the thruster setup, as discussed before, to help give the larger board maximum stability and alignment through the water, helping the family have an enjoyable, controllable paddle.

Life Jacket

It is always recommended to wear a life jacket or buoyancy aid when stand up paddle boarding. If you are paddling in deep or turbulent waters having a floatation aid to keep you above the surface of the water is essential to prevent drowning. Being above the surface of the water also will aid people in being able to spot you if you are in danger and need help.

Whilst not included alongside the paddle boards, at Net World Sports we stock AquaTec buoyancy aids in all sizes from extra small through to double XL to ensure maximum safety when you are out on the water.

ankle leash for paddleboard
iSUP pump

Ankle Leash

Ankle leashes are one of the most important paddle board accessories you can have, especially for safety. They are simply a piece of Velcro that you will strap around your ankle on the end of a long leash, usually made from a waterproof thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), that is then attached directly to the board.

The ankle leash will prevent your board from floating away without you, if you fall off, and will bring your paddle board directly to you ready to re-mount. Being attached to the board will also keep you afloat if you fall off, as the paddle board will act as a big floatation device, keeping you safe from drowning, especially in choppy waters or strong tides.

Ankle leashes come in two main types; standard and coiled. Standard leashes are regular cords, like those used on surf boards. Despite being less likely to tangle, they will drag through the water and make paddling slightly more difficult.

Coiled leashes are designed to stretch out when under tension, so that your board is kept at a safe distance when you fall off, and coil up compactly when paddling. This prevents the leash from dragging through the water, making your paddle smoother by taking away any unnecessary forces pulling the other way.

All paddle boards in the inflatable AquaTec range are fitted with a 10ft coiled ankle leash made from a waterproof TPU material, keeping you safe at all times when you’re out on the water, even when you fall off your board.


As we’ve already covered, it is important to have a paddle board inflated to between 12-15 PSI in order to get the best performance out of the board. Therefore, having a portable pump with you at all times is an essential piece of kit, so if at any point during your paddle, you can reinflate or deflate your board if you feel the air pressure isn’t right, which will save you from having to pack up and go home if you don’t have a pump to hand.

All our AquaTec inflatable stand-up paddle boards come equipped with a portable double action hand pump that features inflate and deflate options, so that you can ensure your paddle board is inflated to the right pressure at all times. This pump also is equipped with a pressure gauge, so you have an accurate measurement of your board’s inflation.

The AquaTec 12V electric car pump is ideal for quicker inflation of inflatable stand-up paddle boards to the correct pressure. This pump is more useful for iSUP users who are looking to save time as they are regularly having to inflate and deflate their boards.

Paddle Board Seats

Attachable paddle board seats are a way of adding comfort to your paddle boarding experience. In seconds, you can attach the seat to your board and quickly switch from stand-up to sit-down paddle boarding.

The AquaTec Lucia and Cruiser paddle boards include the option to add an AquaTec paddle board seat. Each seat is securely attached onto the paddle board using corrosion resistant hooks with corresponding D-rings designed to keep the seat in place. The seat can even be upgraded to our water resistant AquaTec premium paddle board seat, which features supreme quality EPE foam inside the seat to ensure maximum comfort and to take your paddle boarding experience to the next level.

iSUP seat
iSUP bag

Repair Kit

As mentioned previously, our inflatable paddle boards are made from military grade PVC which are very difficult to puncture. However, if damaged, the boards can be easily repaired without a specialist. Carrying a repair kit at all times with you is recommended, as if you damage the board whilst you are out, you can quickly get the board back to land, repair the board and get back out on the water. If you don’t have a repair kit to hand, you may have to end your paddle and go home to fix your paddle board.

All AquaTec iSUPs are equipped with a repair kit including a wrench PVC patch and glue, so that you can quickly and efficiently repair any damage to your board.

Carry Bag

Having a carry bag for your inflatable paddle board makes for easy transportation and storage of your board. Quickly deflating your stand-up paddle and storing it away in a carry bag will take away the extra stress of storage, transportation, and lead to you having an even more enjoyable experience with your paddle board.

All AquaTec inflatable paddle boards come with a durable, polyester coated PVC backpack so you can easily store and transport your paddle board stress free.

Now you know everything there is about stand-up paddle boards, why not go and check our vast range of AquaTec water sports equipment!

At Net World Sports, we pride ourselves on the quality of our AquaTec water sports equipment. We stock a range of individual and family size stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, wetsuits and other water sports accessories such as; paddles, buoyancy aids, dry bags, paddle board seats and more! Whether you’re a beginner looking to buy your first paddle board or an experienced paddler looking for a new board, we’ve got you covered!