EXTRA,  GEAR,  July 2024,  Product Reviews

The best water sports equipment for outdoor swimmers

Fancy bringing a new water sports element into your outdoor swimmer adventures? We test the best water sports equipment and clothing for open water swimmers.

Best all-rounder paddleboard | RED 10’6” Ride Purple MSL Inflatable Paddleboard Package, £799
Best paddleboard for touring | ALPKIT Longshore Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard, £374.99
Easy to store kayak | ORU Kayak Lake, £516
Best multi-use wetsuit | ZONE3 Yulex Switch Wetsuit, £349

RED 10’2” Ride MSL Inflatable Paddleboard Package


They say: The new 10’2” Ride inflatable paddleboard is a versatile all-rounder for lightweight paddlers and budding SUPsurfers. Sharing the fun-loving character and style of our award-winning Rides, this narrower 29” board is even more agile, quicker to inflate and more manageable for beginners and improvers. The package includes board, carry strap, leash, ATB bag, pump and paddle.

We say: If you are confident and nimble, then you will love this board. It sits lower in the water and is narrower than other boards, which means it moves fast. It would be a good board once you have some paddleboard experience, for beginners it feels a little wobbly. However, this one was amazing in surf and sea! Simple to inflate, set up and get going, it was ideal for a child. The package includes a carry strap, leash, ATB bag, pump and paddle and we used everything apart from the phone case – because we had one, but the package is a great way to buy all you need!

RED 10’6” Ride Purple MSL Inflatable Paddleboard Package


They say: The 10’6” Ride Purple MSL inflatable paddleboard is our best-selling all-round SUP. The multi-award-winning design offers a mix of stability, manoeuvrability and ease-of-paddling for riders up to 100kg. At 32”, our versatile all-rounder is perfect for learning to paddle and then improving skills in a range of conditions.

We say: As beginners we loved this board. Standing up felt impossible on a smaller, low sitting board but this wider board gave us the confidence to stand tall. It’s simple to inflate and set up; everything you need comes in the package. It is heavy though – to carry and manoeuvre out of the water! We understand why it’s market-leading: this is the board to buy if you’re seeking a new hobby. We packed a picnic and spent the whole day swimming and paddling.



They say: SEABIKE is a portable water bike that is attached to a belt (included with the transport bag). Pedaling it helps you travel across long distances in freshwater and saltwater alike. This original mechanism is designed to make water recreation with friends or family even more fun and memorable. After all, nothing brings people together like experiencing new activities.

We say: We came across this cool piece of kit on Instagram and having now tried it, we love it. Everything you need comes in a neat little bag that can be slung over your shoulder and it’s simple to assemble. It took a little trial and error to get the pedals in the optimum position, perhaps a strap across the top of the pedals would improve this. But once in the water, we loved the ease of movement. Using swim-stroke arms while pedalling is a bit of a head muddle, but using a kickboard helped and with each use it became a more interesting piece of kit.

ORU Kayak Lake


They say: The ORU Lake is the lightest kayak on the market. All you need to connect to the water, it assembles in under a minute. It’s a stable and beginner-friendly boat that’s great for all ages. Our smallest, most portable kayak with the same durability as our expedition models fits easily in a backseat, trunk, or even a plane for all your adventures.

We say: We fell in love with the ORU Kayak Lake on first use. What a well-thought-out piece of kit! Living in a small flat, our tester could store the kayak in a cupboard! It also fits easily into the boot of a hatchback car. It’s light enough to carry to the water and you can be set up and paddling within five minutes. Paddling is simple, safe and surprisingly comfortable. This would be great for anyone who wants to support swimmers while they swim long distance, or for those who don’t want to get in while their pal does. It was also great for a kid to paddle alongside a swimming parent. Stable and safe in the water!

C-MONSTA Wetsuit Hanger V2


They say: The c-monsta hanger turns drying hassles into a breeze. Engineered for surfers, swimmers and triathletes, this isn’t just a hanger; it’s a game-changer for your gear. The uniquely tailored hanger airs your wetsuit, boots and gloves, banishing the dread of damp kit.

We say: Drying and storing your wetsuit and neoprene accessories always feels problematic: a recipe for snapped flimsy hangers, stretched or ripped material and lost gloves. Which is why we love this seriously sturdy wetsuit hanger, which allows you to hang your wetsuit at the waist not the shoulders. It not only dries your gear faster, it also ensures it lasts longer and keeps all your kit in one place. The V2 design features a wider mouth and extra accessory hooks. We also loved the adjustable strap, which allows you to use it in different scenarios: over the bath or from your car roof rack. We loved it so much, we got two.

ALPKIT Longshore Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard


They say: Touring stand-up paddleboard for confident paddlers wanting longer day trips and multi-day adventures. Designed to cut through the water for maximum straight line speed and paddling efficiency. Comes complete with paddle, pump, leash, carry bag and repair kit.

We say: From box to paddling took 15 mins; everything we needed was included. Once inflated, the board was lightweight to carry and looked sleek. On the water, it was less stable than our beginner boards, but it didn’t take long to get used to and felt stable at speed. In fact, it was a joy to paddle, moving smoothly in a straight line and coping well with choppy conditions. It’s designed for covering distances and that’s exactly how it felt. The downside of a board designed for straight-line speed is a loss of manoeuvrability. Elasticated cargo areas mean you could easily carry enough for an overnight trip.

ZONE3 Yulex Switch Wetsuit


They say: The revolutionary Yulex SWIM SURF SUP wetsuit is the first of its kind, and ZONE3 are proud to lead the way by creating a sustainable multipart wetsuit. The main body comprises Yulex, a natural plant-based rubber sourced from the Havea tree, coupled with speedflo shoulders for reduced drag. Abrasion resistent knee pads are ideal for paddle boarding, while the orange colour is eye catching.

We say: Is this the perfect all-rounder wetsuit? Zone3’s first environmentally-friendly Yulex watersports suit, the Switch ticks a lot of boxes for general water lovers. Although not a triathlon-style swim wetsuit, the smooth shoulders reduce drag in the water and are more flexible than the rest of the suit for when swimming. Although we wouldn’t want to swim a 10k in it, for easy leisure swimming it performs well. Padded knees tick the SUP and surfing boxes for durability.

GILL Edge Boot


They say: Ideal for those wanting the flex and adjustability of a lace closure, the Edge Boot offers optimised grip and comfort with engineered flex zones and raised instep profile. Easy to slip on, with a lace closure system and wide adjustable ankle strap for additional support, they are constructed with 4mm Neoprene and blind stitched seams for maximum comfort and warmth. The wrap-around stiff rubber sole offers optimised grip on wet surfaces.

We say: These are a super-sturdy pair of boots that will be perfect for winter paddleboarding. In warmer summer weather we found them a bit too heavy and hot – they didn’t give us the feeling of freedom we like to have on the water. The soles are grippy and thick so no danger of hurting your feet on rocky causeways. Velcro strap and laces make them easy to get on, adjust and fit securely. A highly protective boot perfect for cold water adventures.

GILL Women’s Pursuit Neoprene Jacket


They say: The Women’s Pursuit Neoprene Jacket, with 1.5mm Neoprene, is ideal for transitional weather when you don’t need a full wetsuit. Ideal to wear over a swimsuit or paired with the Pursuit Neoprene Leggings. Featuring flatlocked seams and seamless underarms for comfort and a silicon grip print at the hem to prevent it from riding up. Ideal for any water activity.

We say: This versatile long-sleeve top, which you can throw over a swimsuit or wear with neoprene leggings for an extra layer of warmth, is ideal for water sports during the shoulder seasons. We liked its long body length, which came well onto the hips on our 5’10” tester, with a silicon grip print at the hem to stop it riding up. The high neck keeps neck and shoulders warm, while the four-way stretch neoprene felt immediately comfortable. Also good for dips or playing in the waves.

Last updated June 2024. All products were chosen independently by our editorial team. This review contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission for purchases made. Click here to subscribe to the magazine. Read more Outdoor Swimmer gear reviews. Main image: RED

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Jo is the Gear Editor for Outdoor Swimmer and also writes news and features for the website. A keen open water swimmer and long-distance walker, she loves seeking out lakes and lidos close to her home in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. She is the author of The Slow Traveller, editor and founder of independent magazine, Ernest, and has previously tested outdoor clothing and kit for BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC Focus and Ernest Journal.