7 Best Paddle Boards for Beginners

There are so many reasons people enjoy paddle boarding. It’s fun. It’s easy to get the hang of and is something the entire family can do. You can do it pretty much anywhere with water. Did I forget to mention that it also helps you get into some serious shape?

In a recent article on paddle boarding, I shared how stand up paddle boards (SUP) have increased in popularity in recent years. If you’re like the many people who are discovering the amazing benefits of SUP and jumping on the bandwagon, you may want to invest in one of your own!

If this is you, then you have come to the right place! In this article, we’re going to be looking at the 7 best paddle boards for beginners! We’ll be looking at price points, qualities, and reviews shared by others to help you make the best decision possible!

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Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Premium sup Accessories & Backpack, Non-Slip Deck,...
ISLE Cruiser Soft Top Stand Up Paddle Board (4.5" Thick) SUP Package | Includes Adjustable Paddle,...
2 PACK!
Name
Roc Inflatable SUP Kit
ISLE Cruiser Rigid SUP
Lifetime Hardshell 2-Pack SUP
Length
10'
10' 5"
10'
Weight Limit
350 lbs
235 lbs
230 lbs
Customer Rating
BEST PRICE!
Preview
Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Premium sup Accessories & Backpack, Non-Slip Deck,...
Name
Roc Inflatable SUP Kit
Length
10'
Weight Limit
350 lbs
Customer Rating
Preview
ISLE Cruiser Soft Top Stand Up Paddle Board (4.5" Thick) SUP Package | Includes Adjustable Paddle,...
Name
ISLE Cruiser Rigid SUP
Length
10' 5"
Weight Limit
235 lbs
Customer Rating
2 PACK!
Preview
Name
Lifetime Hardshell 2-Pack SUP
Length
10'
Weight Limit
230 lbs
Customer Rating

 

How to Choose a Paddle Board for Beginners

Best Paddle Boards for Beginners

If you are a beginner, then it’s hard to know what you’re looking for in an ideal paddle board. For me, it comes down to understanding what each paddle board offers and combining that with what you want out of it. Here are the fundamental things you need to consider when figuring out which paddle board is best for you!

Experience

If you’re looking for the perfect paddle board for you, you’ve got to first think about how experienced you are with this activity. Considering the fact that you are reading this, we will assume you are a beginner. Maybe you’ve paddle boarded some, but you’re not exactly ready to go out and SUP surf!

Any paddle board on our list below will be a good fit for you since they are the 7 best paddle boards for beginners. If you are more experienced, you probably will want to do more research.

Location

While you can paddle board in lots of different locations, your beginner status should keep you in calmer waters. You’ll want to pick a board that is more forgiving and sturdy. You’ll want a paddle board designed for lakes, marshes, ponds, and other areas that don’t have too much movement.

Because we designed this article for people looking for the ideal paddle board for beginners, we’ve already taken this into account.

Types

There are different types of paddle boards you’ll have to evaluate and decide which is best for you.

Essentially, there are three main types of SUP: surf, allround, and flatwater. While surf SUPs are very maneuverable, their size and shape are more conducive to harsher waters (like the Ocean and waters with a lot of movement). As a beginner, you’d be better starting off with a flatwater or allround SUP.

Flatwater SUPs are typically longer than allround SUPs, and their pointier front helps them to cut through water more efficiently. Still wide enough for beginners, this would be a good option for you if you are near the Ocean or waters that have some movement. It’s still stable, but also very versatile.

Like the name suggests, allround paddle boards are more rounded on the front and the sides. They are probably the best option for beginners who are near calm waters and don’t plan on doing much other than simply joy rides. These boards don’t move through the water with a lot of speed, but their width and shape will provide the most stability for sure!

Material

For the material of your paddle board, there are two options: solid or inflatable. With solid, you have more choices including: foam, fibreglass, kevlar, plastics, and wood. Each offers different things for your experience and your pocketbook.

They make most solid paddle boards of epoxy and fiberglass with a foam interior, but you can definitely find full foam boards if your budget is tight. With the fiberglass, you’re going to get more stability and rigidity in your board. So, if you’re wanting one that is solid, you will need to consider your budget and potentially your size.

For inflatable paddle boards (which we will discuss later), they make these mostly of a plastic or PVC shell and inflated inside. Of course, there will be pros and cons to going inflatable, so we’ll share more on that down below.

Size

There are several things to consider with the size of the paddle board you desire. First, you need to find a paddle board that offers the correct weight capacity for you. Some can have weight limits as little as 200 pounds, while others can go up to 600 pounds.

Once you find a paddle board with the right weight limit, you can look at other details about their size. I’m talking length, width, and depth.

With length and width, bigger equals more stability. If you’re a beginner who wants to feel most secure, look for boards longer than 10 feet and wider than 32 inches. For depth, most SUPs are 4.5 inches, but we can find some inflatables 6 inches or more.

Are Inflatable Paddle Boards Good?

Best Paddle Boards for Beginners

Now that we’ve looked at all the different factors to help you find the best paddle board for you, let’s revisit the inflatable paddle board. Is it good? Is it worth it?

Well, it depends! It depends on what you’re looking for in a paddle board. Just as with solid ones, inflatable ones offer some incredible pros, but also may have a few cons.

For starters, you can probably snag an inflatable SUP for a better price. So, from the start, it’s easier on your wallet. On top of this, they are much easier to store since you can deflate them. If you don’t have a garage or a way to transport a 10+ foot long board, it makes complete sense to go with an inflatable one.

Another thing to think about with inflatable SUPs (iSUPs) is that they would also be easier to take to places that are off the beaten path. Say, you have an amazing spot you’d like to explore on water, but if you have a solid SUP, it might be too hard to lug it there.

As with anything, there are cons to having an inflatable SUP. It may bother you that it takes time to inflate. You may want to park your car and get right out on the water. Another thing to think about is that it may not be as sturdy for you as a traditional, solid SUP.

Overall, the inflatable SUP is completely worth it depending on how you imagine yourself using your first stand up paddle board!

Best Paddle Boards For Beginners

Now that we’ve explored the different things to consider when investing in a SUP and have a better understanding of what to look for, let’s explore the 7 best paddle boards for beginners!

Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

If you’re considering an inflatable SUP, this may just be it. It measures 10 feet long and 32 inches wide while weighing a mere 18 pounds. Not only does it come with all kinds of accessories, it also comes with a 1-year warranty.

While some may worry that inflatable stand up paddle boards may not support them, this is not the case. This iSUP has a weight capacity of 350 pounds!

Sale
Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Premium sup Accessories & Backpack, Non-Slip Deck,...
  • Roc's premium inflatable paddle board is made of the highest quality military grade material. We provide the most durable lightweight boards on the market using the same materials as boards costing...
  • Our extra wide design creates an incredible all-around board for riders of all skill levels. These kits can be used in the ocean, freshwater lakes, and rivers. Our board is an industry-leading weight...
  • Our premium paddle board package has everything you need to enjoy your day on the water including: your board, collapsible aluminum paddle, removable fin, coil safety leash, hand pump, waterproof bag...
  • We stand by the quality of our board and are glad to provide a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty at no additional cost. Supported by the best customer service in the industry, you can trust Roc as the...

There’s not much negative to say about this choice. Even the price point is nice (less than $400). On Amazon, it boasts a 4.8 out of 5 star rating with over 4000 reviews currently.

It was pretty difficult to find any cons for this one, but there were some reviewers who expressed concerns about the quality of the air pump and keeping it inflated. But, keep in mind, these comments were VERY few.

FBSPORT Premium Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

This is another incredible paddle board for beginners. Compared with the first on the list, this one is a little longer, 10.6 feet, and a bit narrower, 31 inches. The weight capacity is on the lower side at 280 pounds. While this option may have smaller dimensions, it’s also important to note that this iSUP is more affordable.

Similar to the other listing, it comes with all kinds of accessories including the paddle, safety leash, pump, and carry bag. It also has a great review, receiving 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Sale
Premium Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 inches Thick) with Durable SUP Accessories & Carry Bag |...
  • WIDE AND LIGHTWEIGHT SUP DESIGN - Three sizes stand up paddling board, 10'6" long and 31''of deck width for improved stability and balance while standing.Paddle Boards Premium Inflatable Paddle Board...
  • PREEMINM MATERIAL - Inflatable Paddle Boards is Made Of The Highest Quality Military Grade Material.Max load is up to 280 lbs Providing The Most Durable Lightweight Board On The Market. Brushed...
  • SUPERIOR MANEUVERABILITY - The triple bottom panel fins help board improve overall speed, one big fin is removable, and two small fins are unremovable which are fixed on the board, handling and...
  • VERSATILE PORTABLE STAND UP PADDLE BOARD - Quickly inflates or deflates for easy storage - packing down to the carrying bag.FBSPORT pandle board can be used in different water including sea,lakes,...
  • COMPLETE PREMIUM PADDLE BOARD ACCESSORIES - Package comes with paddling essentials, including Board, Paddle (premium alloy paddle that floats),a coiled ankle cuff safety leash, Pump, And A Premium...

It was difficult to find cons for this inflatable board, but I noticed a trend of customers discussing potential issues with the PSI gauge.

If you’re looking for an inflatable SUP that is more affordable than the first option, but has just as many bells and whistles, this may be the one for you!

SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

We’ve got another great inflatable option on our list of the 7 best paddle boards for beginners! It’s 10 feet long and 32 inches wide with a max weight capacity of 275 pounds. As you can see, it is the same dimensions as the Roc SUP, but has more of a weight limit than the FBSPORT.

This SUP comes with all the typical accessories that an inflatable seems to come with, but I found it interesting that it also comes with a patch repair kit. Something that could really come in handy!

Sale
SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with Premium Accessories & CarryBag |...
  • WIDE SUP DESIGN – The Serene Life stand up paddling board is 10’ long and provides 32” of deck width for improved stability and balance while standing
  • SUPERIOR MANEUVERABILITY – The triple bottom panel fins help board improve overall speed, handling and steering for easier use by kids, teens and adults alike
  • NON-SLIP SOFT TOP DECK – Great for beginners, our paddleboard is made for early learning and for less accidents or injuries should you fall—happens to us all!
  • INFLATABLE & PORTABLE – Take your paddleboard with you wherever you go! It quickly inflates or deflates for easy storage, making it ideal for the lake, river or ocean.
  • COMPLETE PADDLEBOARD KIT – Every SereneLife Paddle Board also comes with paddling essentials, including a coiled ankle cuff safety leash, oar Pedal, manual air pump, patch repair accessory kit, and...

Again, the reviews for these iSUPs are incredible and this is no different. This iSUP received a staggering 4.7 out of 5 stars with thousands of people sharing their love for this product. People really love the versatility and reliability of this SUP.

When looking for cons, I could only find that some people had a hard learning curve figuring out the right amount of air it needed to inflate. But, once they did, it was perfect!

Aqua Plus Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

If you really liked the details and features of the FBSPORT, but the weight limit wasn’t ideal, this may be your ticket! It’s 10 feet 6 inches long and 33 inches wide, and has a weight capacity of 330 pounds! That’s almost 100 pounds more than the other.

Aqua Plus 10ft6inx33inx6in Inflatable SUP for All Skill Levels Stand Up Paddle Board, Adjustable...
  • 1 YEAR WARRANTY ON MATERIALS.inflatable paddle boards,paddle board,inflatable paddle board,stand up paddle board,aqua plus inflatable paddle board,inflatalbe sup,paddle boards,standup paddle...
  • Ultra Portable : Deflated it's only 1 foot in diameter by 37". Inflated size : 10'6" length, 33" wide and 6" Thick. Weight 20lbs, Maximum capactiy is up to 330lbs, Stable and great for all skill...
  • Rigid Design : It feels very similar to a hard board.The board is made of Military Ultra Light PVC Drop Stitch Fabric. Constructed with additional PVC layer of board rails are highly strengthened the...
  • Deck Features : 5mm Comfort diamond groove traction for grip. 11pcs of 316Stainless Steel D-Rings and bungee on front deck for storage.
  • Complete Package : Board, Fully adjustable aluminium paddle measures from 65-82inches long, Navigator ISUP travel backpack, Shoulder Strap, Coiled leash, Waterproof bag, Removable fin, Double Action...

This inflatable SUP also comes with a waterproof phone holder, which I think is pretty neat.

This iSUP also received 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon with people sharing how easy it was to set up and inflate. Similar to the other negative comments, it seems people struggled with the pump and may suggest investing in a new/better one if it doesn’t work for you.

ISLE Cruiser Stand Up Paddle Board

This is the first non-inflatable paddle board on our list! This is an allround SUP that is made of foam. It is 10 feet 5 inches long and 32 inches wide. The weight capacity is on the lower side at 235 pounds while the price point is on the higher side.

ISLE Cruiser Soft Top Stand Up Paddle Board (4.5" Thick) SUP Package | Includes Adjustable Paddle,...
  • ALL-AROUND CLASSIC SUP DESIGN: Rigid and stable for riders of all skill levels. Perfect for activities like flatwater paddling, yoga, fishing, and more. This construction makes the Cruiser rigid like...
  • RUGGED CONSTRUCTION WITH COMFORTABLE SOFT TOP: Ultra-durable soft-top deck with croc skin padding for comfort and grip. The molded EPS foam core with dual wood stringers for strength and rigidity, but...
  • INCLUDES FULL ACCESSORY BUNDLE: Each paddle board comes with all the gear you need to get on the water. Includes carbon hybrid adjustable SUP paddle with nylon blade, 8’ coil leash, and nylon...
  • SIZE SPECS: 10'5" model weighs 28 pounds. The wide stance ensures stability for fishing, yoga, and family activities. Up to 235 lb. weight capacity.
  • WHY SHOP ISLE? Born and bred on the water in San Diego, California since 2004. Our team is committed to bringing you the best quality paddle boards designed and tested by people who surf and paddle...

The reviews on this one are still pretty great with it receiving 4.4 out of 5 stars! Reviewers shared how they felt it was perfect for beginners, but also expressed their want for hardier material. Some even shared that the material would crease or arrive at their homes already creased.

If you’re on the lighter side, this might be a great first option for you if you want a solid SUP!

ISLE Versa Rigid Stand Up Paddle Board

Coming from the same brand as above, we see this to be a step up, both in price and in material. At just under $1000, you can get this rigid, allround SUP that is made of epoxy (which offers lightweight stability). It is the same dimensions as above, but it’s important to note that the weight limit is even less (215 pounds).

ISLE Versa Rigid Stand Up Paddle Board & SUP Bundle Accessory Pack — Hard Board Lightweight Epoxy...
  • ALL-AROUND CLASSIC SUP DESIGN: Rigid and stable for riders of all skill levels. Perfect for activities like flatwater paddling, yoga, fishing, and more. Ideal for any skill level and provides an easy,...
  • RUGGED CONSTRUCTION: The Versa offers new thermal-molded technology that eliminates waste in the construction process and creates an eco-friendlier epoxy board that’s both lightweight and...
  • INCLUDES FULL ACCESSORY BUNDLE: Each paddle board comes with all the gear you need to get on the water. Includes carbon hybrid adjustable SUP paddle with nylon blade, 8’ coil leash, and nylon...
  • SIZE SPECS: 10’5” x 32” x 4.5” with 175 liters of volume and 27 pound board weight for riders up to 215 pounds; or 11' x 32" x 5" with 216 liters of volume and 32.2 pound board weight for...
  • WHY SHOP ISLE? Born and bred on the water in San Diego, California since 2004. Our team is committed to bringing you the best quality paddle boards designed and tested by people who surf and paddle...

While it doesn’t have as desirable of a weight limit, it has a more desirable review section on Amazon with 4.6 out of 5 stars. Many reviewers love the high quality material and boast about how long the board has lasted them!

Because it has less than 100 reviews, it was hard to track down a trend of any potential cons. So, the biggest con for this board has to be the weight capacity. If you’re near that limit, you will definitely need to be looking at other options.

Lifetime 10′ Hardshell Horizon Stand Up Paddle Board 2-Pack

Our final of the 7 best paddle boards for beginners has to be something a little different from the rest! One of the biggest differences is that it comes as a 2-pack, which is ideal for a couple or pair of close friends who plan to paddle together a great deal.

Lifetime 10' Hardshell Horizon Stand Up Paddle Board 2-pack
  • Durable High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Construction
  • 2 Paddle Boards
  • 2 Adjustable Paddles
  • 2 Carry Straps
  • Length: 10'

These hardshell SUPs are more of a flatwater style than an allround SUP and are made of Durable High-Density Polyethylene. They are 10 feet long and 34 inches wide, which would offer great stability. The weight limit, however, is on the lower side at 230 pounds.

For two solid SUPs that come with paddles and carry straps under $1300, this is a great deal. While there are hardly any reviews on Amazon, all of their reviews received 5 stars!

Conclusion

In this article, we talked about how to choose a paddle board for beginners.  To do this you should consider your current experience level, the locations you want to paddle board, the different types of SUPs, the material and different SUP sizes.  We also covered are inflatable paddle boards any good? And finally, we reviewed the 7 best paddle boards for beginners!

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