Beginners Guide To Paddleboarding In The UK

Paddleboarding is one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK, and it is clear to see why. There is so much variety and fun to be had with SUPing, from SUP surfing and racing to touring the idyllic UK coastline on a paddleboard. In this blog, we look at the following:


  • What is paddleboarding?
  • Is paddleboarding good exercise?
  • What equipment do you need for paddleboarding?
  • How to choose a beginners paddleboard 
  • Are inflatable paddleboards good?
  • What size paddle board do you need
  • Paddleboarding accessories 
  • What to wear paddle boarding 
  • Paddleboarding wetsuits
  • Wetsuit tops and rash vests for paddleboarding 
  • Tips for a successful first-time paddleboarding 

What Is Paddleboarding?

You can enjoy leisurely exploring the UK coast or a lake or reservoir. Stand-up paddleboarding, which is also sometimes known as SUPing, is where to stand up on a large board and propel yourself through the water using a paddle. 

Or you can partake in SUP surfing, where you paddle into oncoming waves while standing up on your paddle board and ride them as though you are surfing.

Women paddleboarding

Is Paddleboarding Good Exercise?

Paddleboarding is an excellent form of exercise. You can achieve a full-body workout by stabilising yourself on the board and using your legs and core while paddling using your upper body. Furthermore, it is also a great cardiovascular workout, ensuring your heart and insides remain healthy. 

That's not all either; paddleboarding is incredible for your mental health. Being out in nature has a proven calming effect; when paired with exercise, you can improve your mental state. 

What Equipment Do I Need For Paddleboarding?

The main piece of equipment you will require is a stand-up paddleboard and the necessary equipment, such as a paddle and fins. Furthermore, there are several potential paddleboarding accessories you might want to consider purchasing.

How To Choose A Paddleboard For Beginners 

The first decision you will need to make is whether you choose an inflatable paddleboard or a hard-top paddleboard. 

If you are new to the sport, we strongly recommend selecting an inflatable paddleboard set. Not only do our inflatable paddleboard starter packages provide you with everything you need to get started, but inflatable paddleboards are easier to use than hard-top paddleboards.  

Are Inflatable Paddleboards Good?

They are often more budget-friendly and easier to transport and store (they deflate and can be stored in a bag). Other positive points to choosing an inflatable paddleboard include:

  • Softer Surface
  • Stable
  • Durable
  • Dog-Friendly
Man and womne on paddleboard

What Size Paddleboard Do I Need?

The next question you will need an answer to is what size paddleboard you need. This will depend on your body mass; generally, the more you weigh, the bigger the board you require. If you are under 150lbs, you can purchase a 9'6" to 10'9" (foot) length paddleboard with a 31" to 32" width. However, if you are over 150lbs, we recommend purchasing a 10" to 12'6" foot paddleboard with a 32" to 34" width.

what size paddleboard do i need

As we mentioned above, you’ll need several paddleboarding accessories to have a successful time in the water: 

When you purchase an inflatable paddle board starter package, such as the one from Red Paddle, you receive all the required equipment to get you started. 

There are a number of accessories that aren't essential. However, they can make your time in the water more pleasant and interesting. For example, a SUP deck dry bag can hold all your valuables, electronics and a packed lunch while you explore the UK coastline while SUP touring.

Another fantastic accessory that many water sports enthusiasts can’t live without is a changing robe. While you are getting used to paddleboarding, the likelihood of you falling into the water is pretty high; therefore, having a changing robe to use when removing your wetsuit can make a massive difference, especially in the wintertime. 

What To Wear Paddleboarding

Now you have purchased your paddleboard and accessories; it's time to choose what you are going to wear on the water. 

Wetsuits For Paddleboarding 

In the UK, the most common clothing to wear when SUPing is a wetsuit. It is often cold and windy here, and when out on the water, these conditions can be amplified. Furthermore, the water temperatures in the UK’s oceans rarely reach above 20 degrees Celsius, so a wetsuit can also protect you from that. 

We have a vast range of winter and summer wetsuits for women, men and children, so you can be sure to find a suitable wetsuit. 

For more guidance and information regarding choosing a wetsuit for stand-up paddleboarding, check out our blog.

Wetsuit Tops And Rash Vests For Paddleboarding 

If you intend to paddleboard solely in the summertime and you don't feel the cold easily, then you may want to consider a wetsuit top or a rash vest paired with your favourite swimwear. 

This can be much less restrictive than a wetsuit, and on very hot days, a wetsuit can provide too much thermal protection. 

Check out our range of rash vests and thermal rash vests for men, ladies and children below.

Tips For Beginner Paddleboarders 

Now you have everything you need to begin your paddleboarding journey, here are some tips and pointers to ensure you have a fantastic first time in the water:

Choose a calm day- Especially if you are paddleboarding in the ocean for the first time. The calmer the surface of the water, the better you get used to balancing and manoeuvring. 

Try paddling from your knees- If you struggle with balance, paddling from a lower centre of gravity can really help.

Use a wide stance - Regardless of whether you are on your feet or knees, ensure your stance is wide to provide more stability. 

Bend your knees- With each swipe of your paddle, bend your knees slightly and pull the face of the paddle through the water, as this will help with stability. 

Look Forward- Naturally, our body will follow our gaze; if you are looking at the surface of the water, that is where you will most likely end up; therefore, look at the horizon, as this will help with balance. 

Stabilise using your paddle- When you lose your balance, avoid thrashing your arms around to stabilise yourself, as this will rock the board more. Instead, put the face of the paddle in the water and use that to steady yourself. 

Don't be afraid to fall off, and have fun!

Below is a video demonstrating the best techniques for beginners when paddleboarding.

If you would like any more information or advice when it comes to purchasing your paddleboard or wetsuit, please don’t hesitate to contact Wetsuit Centre today.