Aqua Marina Magma 11’2” review: an easy paddle in a convenient package for SUP-ing newbies

A superb value all-in-one pack that’s perfect for paddling beginners, Aqua Marina’s Magma will last well beyond the honeymoon period

Aqua Marina Magma 11’2” review
(Image credit: Matt Buckley)
T3 Verdict

Easily found with big discounts, this is an excellent starter SUP that comes with all of the kit you need to get on the water and have fun in no time at all. Despite the competitive sticker price, the accessories bundled into this package are of good quality and feel built to last. You can spend a lot more and get a more refined SUP experience, but those dipping a tentative paddle in the water likely won’t sweat the small stuff.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Quick and easy to inflate

  • +

    Quality foldable paddle

  • +

    Tracks and paddles well

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Cargo straps and carry handles flimsy

  • -

    Carry bag could be more robust

  • -

    All-rounder not great in chop

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The market for inflatable stand-up paddle boards (or iSUPs, for short) went absolutely berserk during the global pandemic, as seemingly everyone fancied taking up a new water-based hobby.

As a result, a number of burgeoning brands sprung up, offering low-cost alternatives to a brace of technically advanced models from established names, such as Red Paddle Company, Naish and Jobe.

However, this vast array of choices is both a blessing and a burden, as it can be difficult to separate the best paddle boards for beginners from the cheap, plastic rubbish. 

Thankfully, the Aqua Marina Magma delivers on the quality front but also helps to keep the cost down, which is great for those just getting into paddling.

As with many pump-up rivals, the kit includes everything you need to get started: a pump, fin, paddle, leash, and carry bag. Thus, you can get out on the water without incurring any additional costs. 

The Magma sits in the middle of Aqua Marina’s advanced line-up, meaning it has a slightly higher price point than the standard all-rounder range but packs double reinforced rails for extra stiffness and a little extra volume for carrying heavier payloads. 

Aqua Marina also sells iSUPs geared towards long-distance touring, more performance-orientated boards, and stubbier units that are good when the swell picks up and the surfers head out. 

The Magma is 11’2” long and 33” wide, providing a large enough platform for even the most nervous beginners to get comfortable and start building confidence when going from the knees to a full standing position.

Aqua Marina Magma 11’2” review

Price and availability

The Aqua Marina Magma 11’2” stand-up paddle board is available to buy directly from Aqua Marina for a recommended retail price of £559 (approx. $703/ AU$ 1,079).

The brand often sells its boards for less on its website and third-party retailers such as Amazon. At the time of writing, the Magma 11’2” is sold for £399 – a very friendly price indeed.

Aqua Marina's website is a bit ambiguous about international delivery. We know they are UK-based, so UK mainland deliveries should be okay. For international deliveries, contact Aqua Marine via its website.


  • Dimensions: 11’2” x 33” x 6”
  • Max payload: 150kg
  • Weight: 9.5kg
  • Pressure: 15psi
  • Volume: 330l

What’s included?

Aqua Marina Magma 11’2” review

(Image credit: Matt Buckley)

I'm not immediately sold on the slightly flimsy carry bag, as the zips, stitching and general build feel like it’s probably going to give up the ghost fairly soon. If you’re careful, it shouldn’t be an issue, but salty water, sea air and plenty of sun are not going to be its best friends.

Aqua Marina provides a dual chamber pump, which we feel is 100 per cent necessary in the iSUP business. Trying to reach the lofty PSI figures required for a rigid board is too much of a workout with anything else.

Thankfully, the dual chamber pump means it can be filled on both the up and down stroke, drastically reducing inflation time. Aqua Marina suggests a 15psi required pressure, but we pushed it slightly beyond that just to get the desired firmness underfoot.

Despite being slightly flimsy, the carry case holds everything comfortably and even has space for an extra paddle if you’re planning to ride in tandem.

The leash is similarly middling in its build quality, although it isn’t from a recognised surf brand like Dakine or Ocean Earth. That said, the board isn’t particularly heavy, and it’s highly unlikely it’ll be used in monster surf, so the need for a high-performance leash is negligible.

Finally, the paddle follows the same theme as the rest of the accessories: high quality without being anything special. Folding up into three pieces for transport, it fits back together with a combination of sprung buttons and levers to allow for a wide range of adjustability. 

It is made from aluminium with a plastic paddle blade, which performs perfectly reasonably. The handle is comfortably shaped for extended paddles and the paddle overall is lightweight enough not to be uncomfortable to use. There is a little bit of flex when paddling hard, but nothing that is detrimental to the overall experience.

Build quality and features

Aqua Marina Magma 11’2” review

(Image credit: Matt Buckley)

First impressions of the Magma are pretty good, as the quality full-print graphics on both the deck and base immediately elevate it above some of the cheaper and more basic SUPs that can now be found in multiple places online and off.

The double-layered rail design adds extra protection to the most delicate area of an inflatable board and introduces the all-important rigidity, key if you don’t want a board that awkwardly flexes in the middle, bends like a banana and proves impossible to paddle. 

Grip is afforded by an EVA foam-covered deck pad, which manages to be both helpfully non-slip underfoot and comfortable. Aqua Marina claims the “crocodile skin” inspired deck pad has been designed so it’s also slightly squashy if you fancy pausing the paddling for a spot of sunbathing. 

Towards the rear of the deck, you’ll find the raised tail kick pad, which helps with initiating tighter turns for the more experienced paddle boarder. In the middle of the deck pad there’s a sturdy neoprene handle to make it easy to get the board in and out of the water. 

At the nose of the board, a set of metal D-rings with elastic bungees helps to keep any bags that you might be carrying firmly on the board and not at the bottom of rivers, lochs or the sea.

Underneath there’s a plastic fin box which holds the provided single slide-in fin. It’s not the best, and we would have preferred a fin box from a recognised surf fin manufacturer, allowing users to swap out for something larger to improve performance further.


Aqua Marina Magma 11’2” review

(Image credit: Matt Buckley)

It is best to view the Aqua Marina Magma very much as a starter stand-up paddle board. That’s not to say it doesn’t perform, because it does, but those expecting lightning-sharp turns and perfect tracking will likely be disappointed.

Instead, the ultra-wide and grippy deck makes balancing things really easy, while the chunky six-inch side rails further encourage that solid feeling underfoot. It also means the board is good for heavier riders, too.

The downside is a slight sacrifice in performance, as we found that it isn’t the sharpest on the turns, nor does it carry speed like some of the more touring-orientated iSUPs we have been lucky enough to test. 

It’s perfectly rigid enough for day trips and fun on the rivers or lakes, but inflatable boards in this price bracket always feature a little flex and can’t really compete with rigid rivals when it comes to true performance. In short, if you’re after a board that’s quick to turn and even faster to get up to cruising speed, it is probably best to look elsewhere. 

The paddling experience is overall very good. However, there are a couple of things we would like to see implemented to make this one of the best iSUPs for the money. 

Firstly, it needs more handles. The central handle is perfect for when the board is being carried by one person under an arm, but a second at the rear and another at the front would make it easier to haul in and out of the water. Two people could also carry it or load it on a car roof if you fancy keeping it inflated and moving to another location. 

Another nicety would be an accessory mount on the front of the board. Some rival models have a thread for mounting an action camera onto the nose, which is great if you like to capture the action on a GoPro or similar device.


Aqua Marina Magma 11’2” review

(Image credit: Matt Buckley)

Overall, the Aqua Marina Magma is a great introduction to the world of paddle boarding, as the package includes everything you really need to get going. Better still, these iSUPs pack down surprisingly small, meaning you can get it in the car or even on the trailer of a bicycle if required.

The board itself looks great, and Aqua Marina definitely has its graphics and branding on point. In fact, it's aesthetically up there with more expensive models from Red Paddle Co. and Starboard, in my opinion. 

However, it's not particularly fast or responsive, so this is definitely the board to buy if you need something stable and slow to brush up your skills. More advanced paddlers will likely find it a bit sluggish for long touring sessions, and it's definitely not something we would recommend taking into big surf. 

Also consider

If you fancy something more premium, Red Paddle Co's 9'6" Compact MSL PACT has got you covered. It offers a slick paddling experience but lacks stiffness, which means it’s also not as efficient in the water as some pump-up rivals. However, it's a superb board overall, especially for budding SUPers. Read my full Red Paddle Co 9'6" Compact MSL PACT Inflatable Paddle Board review.

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned paddle pro, Bluefin's Cruise Lite board floats your boat with its feather-light build and top-notch materials. Packed up snugly in a waterproof backpack, it's your go-to for day trips, staycations, or jet-setting adventures without the baggage. Read Bryony's full Bluefin Cruise Lite review.

Leon Poultney

Leon has been writing about automotive and consumer tech for longer than he cares to divulge. When he’s not testing the latest fitness wearable and action camera, he’s out in a shed fawning over his motorcycles or trying not to kill himself on a mountain bike/surfboard/other extreme thing. He's also a man who knows his tools, and he's provided much of T3's drills coverage over the years, all without injuring himself.