- Buy X100 10ft Inflatable Touring Stand Up Paddle Board from Decathlon (opens in new tab)
If you fancy giving the art of SUP a go, you'll want to start with a fuss-free, comfortable and affordable beginner board that's easy to learn on. Enter Decathlon's X100 Inflatable Touring Board, which is easy to use, deflates for easy storage and comes in a handy backpack for portability. There are 9ft, 10ft and 11ft touring paddle boards available in the X100 range; this review focuses on the 10ft option, which has an RRP of £299.99 (although at time of writing it's had a pretty big price drop).
I strapped in to test it out on Welsh waters – and to see if it's worthy of inclusion in T3's best paddle boards for beginners or best inflatable paddle board ranks, as a budget-friendly touring option. Here's my Decathlon X100 touring paddle board review.
Decathlon X100 touring paddle board review: design and features
Meet Decathlon's X100, a stand-up paddleboard designed with beginners in mind. The top of the X100 is wide and well-balanced, to suit those finding their feet, and features a handle for easy carrying, plus a towing ring that makes it suitable for taking along on sailing holidays.
Decathlon X100 SUP specs
Max weight: 230kg
Colours available: aqua or red
Accessories included: some
It comes in one size – 10ft, which Decathlon recommends for paddlers up to 80kg. If you weigh more or are over 6ft, consider an 11ft board for more stability. I'm 66kg and 5'7, and found the 10ft board a great fit.
The X100 looks attractive – it's currently available in turquoise or bright red, both of which I think punch above their weight when compared to the design of other budget boards. Make sure you know what you're getting if you order this board, though. The bag contains only some of the kit you need to get started – the board, a fin, a leash and a repair patch. You'll need to buy a paddle and a pump separately. Decathlon offers paddles for around £35 and pumps for £40, or if you already own these items and just need a new board, this design may also suit you fine. Still, I'd have preferred to order the whole kit and kaboodle in one go, especially when it's aimed at beginners.
Decathlon X100 touring paddle board review: setting up and packing away
The X100 is pleasingly easy to whip out of its carry bag and get set up. The backpack itself is also a good design – its wide, boxy size holds all the accessories you need, and the straps are padded with comfortable foam. There's room in the backpack for the board and all the accessories you need, plus a bit of space to spare for a life jacket or personal possessions. I also like that the backpack has a handle interior panel printed with clear instructions on how to inflate and deflate your new board – I wish all outdoor kit did this!
Inflating the X100 is easy even on your first attempt – you just attach a pump to the valve at the top of the board and twist. I used a hand pump and had the board ready to go in under 10 minutes. The included fin slots easily onto the bottom of the board, with no fiddly tools needed. Then you just attach the ankle strap, which is simple but comfortable, to your foot, and you're ready to hit the water.
Decathlon X100 touring paddle board review: out on the water
Once inflated, the X100 is a hefty five inches thick, and feels pleasingly rigid and solid, unlike some budget SUPs, which can look and feel flimsy once inflated. I tested Decathlon's board out on a placid lake in Wales, and found it a fun choice for flat water.
The X100 is a good compromise between a beginner-friendly wide width and a narrower nose, which allows you to reach a decent speed when you get going. Rounder noses usually offer better manoeuvrability, but this board didn't feel tough to turn – it's easy to start out on but will also still be great fun as you progress. On top of the board, tactile rubber panels offer good grip if you're standing up and are comfy to kneel on, and I liked the added indentations where your feet go, so that you can feel where to place them when you transition to standing without having to look down. Bungee cords at the top of the board help to secure a dry bag to the board.
The only design feature I found limited was the central handle – it's thin and feels flimsy, and isn't comfortable for carrying the board for more than a few metres. Then again, if you're popping the board out of its backpack near a dock or lakeside, this will never be a big issue, and wouldn't stop up recommending the board.
I've used the X100 about six times, and so far it's been pleasingly robust. A few other reviewers have reported eventual leaks, although there is an included repair patch if this does happen, and I think with good care this board should last for a few summers of adventures.
Decathlon X100 touring paddle board review: alternatives to consider
Wave SUP's Woody is another good entry level board, with the added bonus of including a pump, a paddle and a GoPro attachment so that you're ready to use it as soon as it arrives. If you're already feeling competent and want a nimble board to progress with, the NKX Flash (opens in new tab) is smaller, lighter and faster, and will suit intermediates heading into the sea to tackle more challenging conditions.
Decathlon X100 touring paddle board review: verdict
A good entry-level board for anyone who wants a design they can start out on and progress with on flat water. On test I found that the X100 offered good build quality for its price tag, and easy inflation and packability makes it a fuss-free choice if you're ordering a few SUP boards for your next family holiday. It's a pity the X1000 doesn't come complete with pump and paddle, but these can be ordered separately.
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