SUP’s or Stand Up Paddleboards seem to be the new must have piece of kit. Their popularity seem to explode last year over lockdown in the same way that hot tubs did. People were staying in the UK and taking to the water if they could in droves.
We live within 5 minutes of the sea and within 5 minutes of a Marine Lake which is perfect for beginners to practice kayaking or to take out their SUP’s.
As a family we’ve all tried SUP’s before, but mainly in Greece where it really doesn’t matter if you fall in the sea. The kids have borrowed friends inflatable boards before in the sea too, and whilst we are not experts we do have an idea of what seems to work for us and what doesn’t.
So what did we think of the Portofino 10ft SUP Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board?
The first thing an inflatable SUP has to be is easy to blow up and easy to pack away again when you’ve finished. If it isn’t easy then it won’t get used and it’ll just be another addition to the garage/basement/under stairs cupboard – you get my drift.
The Portofino 10ft SUP Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board is easy to pump up, took us about 6-7 minutes and also easy to deflate (a similar time, perhaps less).
Perhaps the most important thing for the beginner. Can you actually stand up on it. Stability is key when choosing a SUP, especially if you lack experience or confidence. At 33”, the Portofino is a good 3” wider than many other 10ft SUPs. This helps to improve its buoyancy and reduce the amount it wobbles, making it far more stable to ride on. Balance is further enhanced by its unique Griptech deck which is designed to retain optimum grip when wet.
Is the Portofino SUP good for kids?
Ours has so far exclusively been used by the kids. They are 9 and 10. They can all stand up on it. They can all manoeuvre it around once its in the water and due to the height adjustable light paddle this is easy to use too.
What else do you need?
The Portofino SUP is a complete starter set, so you don’t need anything else. It includes a pump with pressure gauge (15 PSI), telescopic aluminium oar (167-210cm), removable fin, travel bag with easy-load front, coil leash and repair patches.
You can carry the bag like a normal bag or it also has backpack straps for longer trips. The SUP weighs 7.8kg.
SUP or Kayak?
Interestingly the Portofino SUP can be easily converted into a sit-down kayak using the kayak conversion kit (sold separately) which includes a seat with backrest, footrest, and paddle blade extension, so you don’t need to choose!
At £299 the Portofino SUP is not the cheapest SUP on the market but it is my no means the dearest either. I’ve seen them around for £199 and over £1000 too so this one to me seems to represent really good value for money at it’s price point.
If you are looking for one to start with, I’d say this is a really good bet!