1. ATOLL
Cruiser Deluxe Inflatable Paddle Board

OUR TOP PICK

ATOLL Cruiser Deluxe Inflatable Paddle Board

Overall Rating

4.8 /5

Build Quality & Design

4.7

Portability

4.8

Stability

4.8

Durability

4.7

PRICE ON AMAZON

General Impression

As the flagship inflatable SUP from Atoll’s line, the Cruiser Deluxe is one of the best paddle boards for beginners – especially if you’re after a lightweight design. It weighs in at 21 pounds when fully inflated (this is around 40% lighter than similar models) thanks to its ultra-lightweight, military-grade PVC. The tri-fin design ensures outstanding tracking on the water while the 15 D-rings on the deck means you can tie down a variety of gear – including kayak seats. It comes with a nylon-blade paddle, a dual-action hand pump, and a coil leash, all of which can fit into the complimentary heavy-duty backpack.

Specifications

BRAND: ATOLL
TYPE: Inflatable
DIMENSIONS: 11 feet x 32 inches x 6 inches
BOARD WEIGHT: 21 pounds
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 700 pounds
MATERIALS: Military-grade PVC
FEATURES: Detachable fins, EVA foam deck pad, 15 D-rings
WARRANTY: 2 year warranty

PROS

  • Boasts 15 D-rings for storing gear
  • Ultra-lightweight design
  • High-quality accessories

CONS

  • Pump tube prone to popping out during inflation
  • Seams could be more durable

2. NIXY
Newport 10’6

BEST VALUE

NIXY Newport Paddle Board All Around Inflatable SUP 10'6" x 33” x 6” Ultra-Light Stand Up Paddleboard Built with Dual Layer Dropstitch Includes Paddle, Leash, Pump, Shoulder Strap, and Bag (Purple)

Overall Rating

4.8 /5

Build Quality & Design

4.8

Portability

4.7

Stability

4.6

Durability

4.7

PRICE ON AMAZON

General Impression

Manufactured with fusion-laminated drop-stitch technology, these paddle boards for beginners from Nixy are among the toughest available. They’re also one of the lightest models on the market, weighing in at just 21 pounds when fully inflated and offering a sturdy ride no matter the conditions. The steeper angle of the rocker enables you to turn the board into waves, although it does result in a little more resistance in flatwater conditions. Stand up paddle reviews often praise the handy bag that comes with the board, not to mention the detachable fins, a repair kit, and a dual-chamber hand pump.

Specifications

BRAND: NIXY
TYPE: Inflatable
DIMENSIONS: 10.6 feet x 33.0 inches x 6 inches
BOARD WEIGHT: 21 pounds
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 300 pounds
MATERIALS: Fusion laminated drop-stitch PVC
FEATURES: Grab handles, D-rings, non-slip deck pad, paddle holder
WARRANTY: 2 year warranty

PROS

  • Fusion laminated technology for durability
  • Can accommodate larger riders
  • Lightweight design
  • Versatile for a variety of conditions

CONS

  • Low-quality paddle included
  • Slow-moving in flat conditions

3. PEAK
10' Yoga & Fitness Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

PEAK 10' Yoga & Fitness Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

Overall Rating

4.8 /5

Build Quality & Design

4.9

Portability

4.8

Stability

4.9

Durability

4.8

PRICE ON AMAZON

General Impression

If you’re getting into paddle boarding to practice yoga out on the water, then this SUP board for yoga from Peak is ideal. The extra-wide design makes it super stable – you can even bring your young ones or dog along for the ride! But don’t expect it to perform well out in choppy conditions or strong currents. This is definitely for leisurely cruising. Made from a scratch-resistant, military-grade PVC, this SUP also comes with a waterproof phone case, a high-pressure pump, an adjustable paddle, and a travel bag.

Specifications

BRAND: PEAK
TYPE: Inflatable
DIMENSIONS: 10 feet x 32 inches x 6 inches
BOARD WEIGHT: 18 pounds
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 275 pounds
MATERIALS: Military-grade PVC
FEATURES: Free waterproof phone case, 6-point bungee system, D-rings
WARRANTY: 1 year warranty

PROS

  • Side bungee cord for securing your paddle
  • Wide and stable design for doing yoga
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Rigid when inflated

CONS

  • Not designed for waves or strong currents
  • Relatively slow in the water

4. TRUE WAVE
8’0 Youth Junior Stand Up Paddle Board

TRUE WAVE 8’0 Youth Junior Stand Up Paddle Board

Overall Rating

4.6 /5

Build Quality & Design

4.7

Portability

4.8

Stability

4.6

Durability

4.6

PRICE ON AMAZON

General Impression

This solid SUP from True Wave is the best paddle board for beginners if you’ve got kids in mind. It’s lightweight enough for them to easily carry it to and from the beach and measures just 8 feet in length, making it manageable to handle. With a 93-liter volume and wide design, it’s incredibly stable on the water and comes with an adjustable paddle for navigating calm seas, lakes, and harbors. It’s not only durable but also affordable and one of the best cheap SUP options for young riders.

Specifications

BRAND: TRUE WAVE
TYPE: Solid
DIMENSIONS: 8 feet x 33.0 inches x 4.8 inches
BOARD WEIGHT: 12 pounds
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 100 pounds
MATERIALS: EPS core
FEATURES: Non-slip deck, molded grip handle, adjustable paddle
WARRANTY: N/A

PROS

  • Comes with an adjustable paddle
  • Durable design
  • Front strap for storing gear
  • Non-slip deck
  • Lightweight for kids to carry

CONS

  • Not for larger riders
  • Only for use in calm waters

5. PEAK
Expedition Inflatable Paddle Board

Peak Expedition Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board — Durable Lightweight Touring SUP with Stable Wide Stance — 11' Long x 32

Overall Rating

4.6 /5

Build Quality & Design

4.6

Portability

4.7

Stability

4.6

Durability

4.5

PRICE ON AMAZON

General Impression

Designed for recreational paddling, snorkeling, and fishing, this inflatable SUP from Peak deserves an inclusion on our list of best beginner stand up paddle boards. It weighs in at only 19.5 pounds when fully inflated but boasts exceptional stability thanks to its wide stance and sturdy design. It’s constructed from a dual-layer PVC with a drop-stitch interior and features a soft EVA deck pad that’s ultra-comfortable for long sessions on the board. It comes with a paddle, coil leash, and a high-pressure pump, all of which fit into the complimentary backpack.

Specifications

BRAND: PEAK
TYPE: Inflatable
DIMENSIONS: 11 feet x 32 inches x 6 inches
BOARD WEIGHT: 19.5 pounds
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 275 pounds
MATERIALS: Military-grade PVC
FEATURES: Brushed foam pad, triple-fin system, grab handles, bungee straps
WARRANTY: 1 year warranty

PROS

  • Nose and tail grab handles
  • Carry bag, pump, paddle, and ankle leash included
  • Two bungee cord storage areas
  • Triple-fin system

CONS

  • Low-quality paddles
  • Durability could be better

6. CALIFORNIA BOARD COMPANY
10'6 Typhoon Fiberglass Paddle Board

CALIFORNIA BOARD COMPANY 10'6 Typhoon Fiberglass Paddle Board

Overall Rating

4.8 /5

Build Quality & Design

4.9

Portability

4.6

Stability

4.7

Durability

4.8

PRICE ON AMAZON

General Impression

This solid epoxy paddle board from the California Board Company comprises a molded EPS foam core with a thermoformed plastic skin. It’s this combination of high-quality materials that makes it one of the most durable options in our beginner stand up paddle board review. The reinforced rails help to protect it from unwanted dings and scratches while the keeled nose will see you gliding through flat water with ease. It’s ideal for fishing or doing yoga, with plenty of attachment points for carrying your gear or cooler. Not only is this one of the best beginner stand up paddle boards that money can buy, but it also comes with a bonus travel bag and a lightweight carbon fiber paddle.

Specifications

BRAND: CALIFORNIA BOARD COMPANY
TYPE: Solid
DIMENSIONS: 10.5 feet x 33.0 inches x 4.8 inches
BOARD WEIGHT: 29 pounds
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 325 pounds
MATERIALS: Molded EPS foam core and thermoformed plastic skin
FEATURES: EVA foam deck pad, two bungee straps, carbon fiber paddle
WARRANTY: N/A

PROS

  • Lightweight carbon fiber paddle
  • Durable design
  • Rounded rails for smooth navigation
  • Fin and leash included

CONS

  • Not designed for waves
  • Heavier than an inflatable SUP

7. iROCKER
10’6 Cruiser

iROCKER Cruiser Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board 10'6" Long 33

Overall Rating

4.7 /5

Build Quality & Design

4.6

Portability

4.8

Stability

4.8

Durability

4.7

PRICE ON AMAZON

General Impression

The inflatable iRocker is one of the best beginner stand up paddle boards available, offering plenty of stability and buoyancy in the water. It’s ideal for cruising around on relatively flat waters or doing yoga. Sporting a tri-fin system it is easy to steer the paddle board in the direction you want to go. The drop-stitch construction and high-grade PVC make it incredibly durable and it feels much like a solid paddle board once inflated. It’s equipped with bungee straps on the front and D-rings for strapping on gear. Plus it comes with a bag, pump, leash, and repair kit – everything you need to get started!

Specifications

BRAND: iROCKER
TYPE: Inflatable
DIMENSIONS: 10.6 feet x 33.0 inches x 6 inches
BOARD WEIGHT: 25 pounds
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 400 pounds
MATERIALS: Military-grade PVC
FEATURES: D-rings, bungee straps, non-slip deck pad
WARRANTY: 2 year warranty

PROS

  • Durable design
  • Relatively stable
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty
  • Bag, pump, leash, and repair kit included

CONS

  • Side fins cannot be removed
  • Relatively slow in the water

8. THURSO SURF
Waterwalker 11’

THURSO SURF Waterwalker 11’

Overall Rating

4.7 /5

Build Quality & Design

4.5

Portability

4.7

Stability

4.8

Durability

4.6

PRICE ON AMAZON

General Impression

If you’re looking for an all-round, inflatable beginner paddle board, the Waterwalker from Thurso Surf is a standout option in our beginner SUP board review. It boasts a double layer construction with military-grade PVC coating on the deck and side, making the paddle board both durable and lightweight. While the carbon shaft paddle is a step up from the fiberglass ones that come with many paddle boards for beginners, some users have reported they don’t hold up in the water. But with a bonus cooler box, removable fins, and all the accessories you need (a pump, bag and leash), the Waterwalker is still one of the best affordable stand up paddle board options on the market.

Specifications

BRAND: THURSO SURF
TYPE: Inflatable
DIMENSIONS: 11 feet x 32 inches x 6 inches
BOARD WEIGHT: 29 pounds
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 280 pounds
MATERIALS: Military-grade PVC
FEATURES: Removable fins for different conditions, cooler box, bungee straps
WARRANTY: 2 year warranty

PROS

  • Attractive wooden design
  • Removable fins
  • Comes with high-quality accessories
  • Bungee straps for storing gear

CONS

  • Can be tricky for small riders to maneuver in the water
  • Paddles aren’t durable

9. CRAZZIE
Stand Up Paddle Board

CRAZZIE Stand Up Paddle Board

Overall Rating

4.7 /5

Build Quality & Design

4.8

Portability

4.5

Stability

4.7

Durability

4.6

PRICE ON AMAZON

General Impression

Made from bamboo wood with an EPS foam core, this CRAZZIE SUP is the best stand up paddle board for beginners wanting a solid design. Aside from its attractive aesthetics, it’s well-equipped with bungee straps and D-rings for stashing all your gear. In addition, it boasts a GoPro mount on the front so you can capture all your on-water action. It offers plenty of stability and will cruise through the water with ease whether you’re paddling on calm ocean waters or on lakes. It weighs in at just under 28 pounds, so you can easily lift it onto the roof of your vehicle – plus it comes with a carbon fiber paddle.

Specifications

BRAND: CRAZZIE
TYPE: Solid
DIMENSIONS: 10.6 feet x 33.0 inches x 4.8 inches
BOARD WEIGHT: 27.6 pounds
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 265 pounds
MATERIALS: Bamboo, EPS foam core
FEATURES: Carbon fiber paddle, bungee straps, GoPro mount
WARRANTY: Buyback guarantee if you don’t love it

PROS

  • Relatively lightweight for a solid board
  • Attractive bamboo design
  • Strong and durable
  • GoPro mount on the front

CONS

  • Heavier than most inflatable SUPs
  • Not designed for riding waves

10. TOWER
Adventurer 2

Tower Inflatable 10’4” Stand Up Paddle Board - (6 Inches Thick) - Universal SUP Wide Stance - Premium SUP Bundle (Pump & Adjustable Paddle Included) - Non-Slip Deck - Youth and Adult - Mermaid

Overall Rating

4.5 /5

Build Quality & Design

4.5

Portability

4.4

Stability

4.8

Durability

4.7

PRICE ON AMAZON

General Impression

Heavier and more expensive than some of the other beginner stand up paddle boards in this review, the Adventurer 2 from Tower is still a great choice. The 32-inch width means it’s incredibly stable in the water while the large, central fin keeps the board tracking in the right direction, no matter your experience level. The only downsides of these SUP boards for beginners are that the two side fins can’t be removed, and it doesn’t come with any accessories unless you upgrade to the paddle/pump package.

Specifications

BRAND: TOWER
TYPE: Inflatable
DIMENSIONS: 10.4 feet x 32 inches x 4.8 inches
BOARD WEIGHT: 26 pounds
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 400 pounds
MATERIALS: Military-grade PVC
FEATURES: Fiberglass paddle, high-pressure pump, grooved deck pad
WARRANTY: 2 year warranty

PROS

  • Durable design
  • Wide surface area for greater stability
  • All-rounder shape

CONS

  • No bag included
  • Can be slow in flat conditions

Just like surfing, paddle boarding has a wide variety of board choices depending on the conditions you plan on being in. From racing and touring paddle boards to yoga and inflatable SUPs – it’s important to think about the type of paddle boarding you want to do before purchasing a board. Will you only be paddling on calm lakes and harbors or do you want something that will perform in small waves? In this guide, we’ll introduce you to some of the features you should consider to ensure that you purchase the best beginner paddle board for you.

Length

Short boards (under 9 feet in length) are great if you want to surf waves as they are easy to turn and maneuver. However, they can be quite slow in calm conditions. Long SUPs (12 to 14 feet) are known as “racing” or “touring” paddle boards as they go faster but are much harder to turn. Somewhere in the middle (between 9 and 12 feet) is best for beginners, as you can easily cruise through leisurely waters and turn with relative comfort.

Width

The wider your stand-up paddle board, the more stable it will generally be. The best SUPs for beginners will probably have a width of 31 inches or more which ensures it’s easy to find your balance. Narrower boards will be much less stable for inexperienced riders but will be faster in the water.

Hull

This refers to the shape of the front or “nose” of the board. It can either be flat and wide (a planing hull) or pointed (a displacement hull). The latter is common on “racing” or “touring” boards, as they enable you to cut through the water much like a kayak does. Most beginner boards will have a planing hull as they’re good for all sorts of conditions and offer better stability.

Materials

The choice of material for your stand up paddle board will depend on your lifestyle and how you want to transport your SUP from A to B. Traditionally, stand up paddle boards were made from EPS foam wrapped in fiberglass and epoxy. But you can also find hollow core boards that are slightly lighter if you have to carry your board a few hundred meters to the water.

Some of the best paddle board brands are now making inflatable SUPs (iSUPs), which are not only durable but convenient for those who don’t have space in their vehicles or don’t want the hassle of roof racks. They’re usually made from a high-grade PVC and aren’t prone to dings and scratches, although you do have to pump them before each use.

1.    What is the best SUP board for beginners?

The best beginner SUP board for you will depend on your lifestyle and your preference for a solid or inflatable model. With a solid SUP made from EPS foam, you don’t have to worry about inflating your board every time you want to go for a paddle or be concerned about it getting punctured. That being said, an inflatable SUP is incredibly convenient if you have to walk a considerable distance to get to the water. Most inflatable SUPs are lightweight and can fit into a purpose-built backpack. Inflatable SUPs don’t get scratches or dings like solid boards, although some cheaper models are prone to leaking over long periods of use.

2.    What different types of paddle boards are there?

Stand up paddle boards come in a variety of shapes and designs for different uses. Racing and touring SUPs are narrow in width and longer in length, with pointed noses that help them to cut through the water. Surf SUPs are often quite short, so they are easy to turn which allows you to ride the face of a wave, much like a surfer. Mid-length SUPs are ideal for beginners or those wanting an all-round paddle board that can handle a variety of conditions. The wider the board, the greater stability it will offer in the water. You can also find yoga SUPs that are ultra-wide and enable you to strike poses and stretch on the board while out in the water.

3.    Which type of paddle board should I get?

If you’re just starting out, you should look for the best affordable stand up paddle board for your budget. Think about the type of paddle boarding you want to do now and in the future. Then look for a board that not only offers the stability you need as a beginner but will allow you to progress as you get more experienced. Whether you purchase a solid or inflatable SUP will depend on your lifestyle and where you intend to go paddling. It’s a good idea to read beginner SUP board reviews to see what other users have to say about a particular model and determine whether it’s right for you.

4.    Are inflatable paddle boards good for beginners?

Inflatable paddle boards or iSUPs are a great option for beginners as they offer a convenient entry into the sport. Most come with all the accessories you need and you don’t have to worry about investing in roof racks to get your board to and from the water. The best affordable inflatable SUP for you will depend on the conditions you want to paddle in and how much you are comfortable carrying. You can find inflatable SUPs for both adults and kids, as well as models that are designed specifically for yoga practice. Paddle board reviews are a good port of call to see how easy (or difficult) the iSUP is to inflate based on other users’ experiences.

best SUP board for beginners

5.    What size SUP should I get?

Boards under 9 feet in length are a good option if you want to surf waves as they are easy to turn and maneuver. That being said, they can be quite slow in calm conditions compared to longer boards. Boards between 9 and 12 feet in length are best for beginners or those after an all-round board which is great for cruising and will easily turn. Longer SUPs (12 to 14 feet) are termed “racing” or “touring” paddle boards and are designed for covering long distances with speed. You also want to consider the width of the board, with a narrower board being faster and a wider board offering greater stability.

6.    Can more than one person ride a SUP?

Some stand up paddle boards are designed for a single rider while others can handle multiple people and/or dogs! Always check the weight capacity of the SUP before purchasing, particularly if you plan on taking kids or pets with you. You should also consider any gear you might regularly be taking with you (such as fishing equipment or a cooler). If you exceed the weight capacity, your paddling experience isn’t going to be an enjoyable one!

7.    What material are paddle boards made of?

Traditionally, SUPs were made from EPS foam wrapped in fiberglass and epoxy, and you can still find plenty of these solid models on the market today. However, if you’re after something a bit lighter, consider a hollow core board. Alternatively, you can look for a polyurethane foam board if you want something more affordable and don’t mind the extra weight. Some stand up paddle board manufacturers have started making models using bamboo or paulownia wood for an attractive finish.

Inflatable SUPs are usually made from a military-grade PVC with drop-stitch construction. This enables the SUP to maintain its shape when inflated to high pressure allowing it to be completely rigid, just like a solid SUP.

8.    What is drop-stitch construction?

Drop stitch construction allows manufacturers to build inflatable SUPs with flat, rigid surfaces. They can be inflated to high pressure, without bulging out in the middle. The process sees two pieces of polyester woven support fabric joined with thousands of fine polyester thread lengths, effectively locking them together into a strong unit. An air-tight coating is then applied to the outer surfaces of both sides of the material before a polyester base sidewall material is glued to the top and bottom pieces. A wide seam tape is then glued over each lap seam to create an air-tight board that can be inflated to pressures of up to 20 psi. The technology has been used in the aeronautical industry to make inflatable airplane wings and is now being employed by SUP manufacturers to create rigid models that are super easy to transport.

9.    Can I get a good workout from stand-up paddle boarding?

Stand up paddle boarding is a great workout as it requires upper body strength, leg work and core. At the same time, it’s a low intensity and really enjoyable activity, particularly in the warm, summer months. No matter your level of fitness, most people can paddle board or even just enjoy the ride while someone paddles for you! If you’re paddling, you can burn up to 430 calories in the space of an hour, which is around double the amount you would use during a moderately-paced, one-hour walk. If you’re SUP surfing or touring and paddling continuously, you can burn more than 700 calories over the course of an hour.

10.    Can I sit and paddle on a SUP?

Yes! Despite the name, it’s possible to sit and paddle on a SUP. Some riders opt to kneel on their board while others simply sit on the deck. Some stand up paddle boards are also equipped with D-rings which allow you to attach a kayak seat to your paddle board for a more comfortable seated experience. Partners, children and even dogs can also sit on the front of your SUP while you paddle behind, making it a fun water sport for the entire family. The best beginner stand up paddle boards will have enough stability for you to paddle them in a variety of positions and with paddle boarding companions.

SUP board review for beginners

REACH OUT

As always, we create our content with you, fellow adventurers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next adventure is a great one!

Pippa Strickland

Pip is a product expert, a degreed environmental scientist, and an adventure-style traveler originally from Australia. Pip has been an SSI-certified Divemaster for over 5 years, during which time she’s worked with hundreds of certified divers. She’s dived widely throughout Indonesia, Australia, the Philippines and the Middle East, with a particular passion for night diving. When she’s not diving, her key interests include surfing, trekking and gardening in her ever-growing veggie patch.

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