If you head towards the shore this summer, you’ll no doubt see a water sports stand offering the choice of a paddle boarding or kayaking experience.

The two sports are often pitted against each other. While they’re similar in many ways, you’ll probably be wondering ‘Which one is best?’. Whether you’re just looking for a summer hobby or something more long term, we’re here to help you decide which one is the better water sport for you.

We’ll assume you know nothing, so here it goes: 

Paddle boarding

Paddle boarding, also known as stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), involves standing on a large board and using a paddle to propel yourself through the water. The board is typically wider and more stable than a surfboard, which makes it easier for beginners to balance. 

Paddle boarding can be done in calm or choppy waters and is suitable for exploring lakes, rivers and even the ocean.

One of the benefits of paddle boarding is that it is a full-body workout. It might look like nothing when you’re watching from the shoreline, but trust us when we say it’s harder than it seems. It requires you to engage your core muscles to maintain balance, and it also works your arms, shoulders and back as you paddle. 

Whilst paddle boarding can be a full-on workout, it’s a low-impact activity, which means it is easy on the joints. This makes it a great option for people of all ages and fitness levels, including those with injuries or mobility issues.


Kayaking involves sitting down, which immediately makes it more appealing for some people. Sat in a small, enclosed boat, using a double-bladed paddle to move through the water, you’ll get a more intimate experience with nature.

The enclosed boat allows you to get up close and personal with wildlife and scenery without disturbing them. Kayaking can also be a great way to explore narrow waterways that are not accessible by larger boats.

Kayaking is also a great upper body workout. The activity requires you to use your arms, shoulders and back muscles to propel the boat through the water. Kayaking also requires good core strength to maintain balance and stability.

Which is best for you?

When it comes to deciding which water sport is better, it really depends on your personal preferences and what you're looking for in a water activity. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Fitness level: If you're looking for a low-impact activity that is easy on the joints, paddle boarding may be the better choice. If you're looking for a more intense upper body workout, kayaking is king.
  • Stability: If you're a beginner or you're not as comfortable on the water, paddle boarding may be a better option because the board is wider and more stable than a kayak. However, if you're an experienced water sports enthusiast and you're comfortable with a narrower boat, kayaking might just float your boat.
  • Scenery: If you're looking for a more intimate experience with nature and want to explore narrow waterways, kayaking may be the better choice. If you're looking to cover more distance and explore a larger body of water, paddle boarding is more suitable. 
  • Social: Both paddle boarding and kayaking can be done solo or with a group. Kayaks can be linked together, allowing you to travel together and enjoy the scenery with others. On a paddle board, you can go side by side easy enough. 

Does that help? To help you make up your mind, why not shop our range – we offer both paddle boarding and kayaking start kits!

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