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Choosing the right kit to make your SUP business run smoothly

It’s a bit of a minefield isn’t it? There are so many boards to choose from. From Lidl selling board packages to £200, to Red Paddle selling board packages at over £1k. How on earth is a new SUP business owner meant to decide the right balance of reward and risk? Do you choose a cheaper board that you replace every year (or more regularly), or a more expensive board that lasts for many years?

Inflatable paddleboards for SUP schools and paddleboard businesses

There’s a reason why almost every SUP school uses inflatable paddle boards rather than hard boards. And that’s because they are so much better suited to rentals and daily use than hard boards:

In the UK, inflatable paddleboards are definitely number one for clubs, rental businesses and outdoor companies. And with all these reasons, it’s hard not to see why.

Of course, it goes without saying that not all boards are created equal. And this takes us back to trust. Poor performance boards will cost your business money, make it hard to plan and run, and turn the idea of a happy lifestyle business into a nightmare. And it’s not even all about cost. Cheap boards of course won’t stand up to the rigours of a paddleboard business. But even some of the top-end boards perform less well for longevity, quality of build, weight for example than McConks!

It’s recommended to get a range of different boards for different sizes, weights and abilities. Therefore, you’ve got something suitable for everyone who turns up to paddle. And having a range will appeal to more than just beginners, and also allows you do a bit more than just having all-round boards. Having a few longer touring boards allows you to run longer day paddles for example.

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As with all major purchases, it’s always best to do lots of research.  Speak to other instructors/businesses to get their advice. You can find those SUP rental businesses and schools close to you using the SUP business map on SUPhubUK. or alternatively, ask for advice on a few Facebook groups. SUP hacks is ideal because it has got a number of instructors and businesses among its members.

When you’re making your final decision about which stand up paddleboards to buy for your business, make sure you speak to the companies directly. Most offer trade prices for businesses. But also watch out for things like delivery costs, delivery times, location of the company etc. We’re a bit biased of course, but we think buying from a smaller family business guarantees you better service. And promises made are more likely to be honoured when they come straight from the horse’s mouth, rather than from a retailer, or salesperson at a distributor.


We’ve been working on making it easier for our customers to choose the right kind of board, and we’ve developed a SUP selector to do just that. You can use the SUP selector to help you decide what board is better for different weights, different abilities and different types of location.

Paddleboarding is all we do at McConks. It’s our passion. And we are invested in helping the SUP community grow. We’re small enough to care, but big enough to have good a good social media reach and media presence. There’s nothing we love more than using that to help others grow. If you want to be part of our SUP business family, please register as a trade customer here.

If you’re as passionate about sustainability and ethics as we are, check out our Go Beyond initiative.

If you’re as passionate about developing grass-roots paddleboarding, check out our Go Inspire initiative.