beginner using a prone paddle board inflatable

Many people from different backgrounds want to try Prone Paddle Boarding. Maybe you are getting into Surf Life Saving or your children are in Nippers and you need to help with the safety cover for the training sessions? Or maybe you like the idea of exploring the coastline but don’t feel comfortable using a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard)?

Using a prone paddle board or rescue board is great fun and can be a great starting point for a job as an RNLI Beach Lifeguard or just to paddle around your local beach on a sunny day!

Prone Paddle Boards can be placed in four categories:
1. Surf Life Saving Race Boards (Weight 7.6 – 8.5kg, Length 320cm, Cost £1300+)
2. Lifeguard Rescue Boards (Weight 9.5 – 12kg, Length 320cm, Cost £1000+)
3. Long Distance Boards (Weight 9.5 – 10.5kg, Length 365 – 580cm, Cost £1400+)
4. Machine Inflatable Rescue Board (Weight 7.6kg, Length 320cm, Cost £690)

I will highlight the differences and explain why some of these might not be the best option for a beginner to use, or purchase as a first board.

Surf Life Saving Race Boards

These boards are the lightest of all the prone boards you can buy, as the minimum weight allowed in races is 7.6kg. They can’t weigh any less then this, so it is great for carrying down to the sea! Our inflatable boards weigh 7.6kg so they weigh the same as the lightest brand new SLS Race Board. These boards are very narrow as the are built for speed, this means they are more unstable than other boards. Most people who compete in Surf Life Saving will start by using a Lifeguard Rescue Board and move onto a race board once they have improved their balance.

Machine lifesaving race boards

Lifeguard Rescue Boards

Wide and Stable are the main characteristics of these boards due to them being designed to carry two people (Casualty and Rescuer). Most people who have ever tried prone paddling at a Surf Lifesaving Club will have used these boards. They are great boards in the sea but what will stick in everyone’s mind who has used one is they are heavy and cumbersome to carry down the beach! A brand new board weighs about 10kg and after some use, a few dings and some repairs they get a lot heavier. As a new paddler you are very unlikely to be given the clubs brand new Rescue Board to practice on, you will probably get the Rescue Board with a few dings and repairs!

traditional hard lifeguard rescue board

Long Distance Boards

Made for speed over long distances these boards are fast in a straight line. Some knee or prone (lying down) paddling can be done on these boards. I have met people who have had one of these boards for several years and still can’t paddle on their knees unless it totally flat calm. These are great boards for experienced paddlers and super fun for distance paddling or down wind paddling. As they are designed for straight line speed these boards don’t turn fast (or at all really), so are no good in waves or anywhere when you need to turn or maneuverer the board. You can catch waves but you will be going in a straight line so make sure no one is in the way!

12ft Stock Prone Paddleboard

Why Choose a Machine Inflatable Prone Rescue Board?

They are a super light Prone Rescue Board, weighing 7.6kg fully inflated they are easy to carry down the beach and maneuver in the sea.
They won’t get heavy when repaired and full of water. Traditional hard boards get dinged (holes in) and water gets in the foam, the materials used to repair are heavier than the original material so they get heavier with every ding. Old Board = Heavy Board.

We have been selling Inflatable Rescue Boards for 7 years (previously as ‘Sudeste Sports‘) and have not had a single board returned or had to repair any of our boards inflation material. The materials we use are the latest technology and are super hard wearing. Most dings on hard boards come from transporting boards (straps to tight on roof racks) or accidentally hitting them on hard surfaces (floor, steps, walls). Inflatable boards just won’t be damaged by these incidents.

Storage is a massive issue for Lifesaving Clubs and Individual Users. Our boards pack down to 63cm wide x 40cm long x 20cm high so you could fit 8 inflatable boards in the rack space that 1 hard traditional rescue board takes up. Or they could be staked away in a cupboard when not needed to save even more space.

Cost of our boards in the UK is £690 with no VAT to add or delivery costs. We design our own boards and sell direct to the customer so you save money. This price includes the full kit of a Carry Bag, Fin, Pump, Repair Kit and the Inflatable Prone Rescue Board.


We make our boards for different uses so have them in different colours and designs. The Red and Yellow board is great for Lifeguard Courses and Events Water Safety Cover.

The Royal Blue board has been designed with No Lifeguard or Rescue branding, this is so anyone can use this board no matter of qualifications or location. Use this board at a Lifeguarded Beach without people thinking you are anything to do with the Lifeguard or Lifesaving Service. We often teach people to prone paddle on the Royal Blue board and its also great for children so they get used to an adult size board before they move up to SLS Race Boards with the local Surf Lifesaving Club.

blue inflatable prone paddle board at beach cornwall

Get in touch or come and try out an inflatable rescue board in Hayle, Cornwall.

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