At some point, we’ve all been beginners in paddleboarding, but no matter your level of beginner-ness (that’s a word), there are probably a few things you already know about paddleboards. If not, this is an excellent place to start, and you might find that our guide to beginners’ stand up paddle boards useful.
How to Choose the Right Paddleboard
First, ask yourself if it’s stable. Look for a board that’s somewhere around 11 feet long and 30 inches wide to allow for that stability.
Then, of course, there’s the price — there’s no sense in splashing out on the most advanced board if you’re only going to stick it on Gumtree in a few months, but there’s also no sense in cheaping out. There are a few different types of SUP to choose from, and the right one for you is all down to what you’ll be doing on it.
Finally, there’s the construction, where you have a choice of an inflatable or epoxy SUP. The former is beginner-friendly, softer to fall on, and easier to transport and store thanks to the fact that it can be deflated and rolled down; the latter will need either a car rack or a vehicle big enough to accommodate a nine-foot board and enough storage, but their performance currently has a significant edge on the inflatable.
The 5 Best Paddleboards for Beginners
- Crossbreed 11 Inflatable SUP Board
This all-round inflatable SUP boasts a design that’s large and versatile enough for all kinds of users. At 11 feet by 34 inches, it’s sturdy and stable on the water, wide enough to accommodate more than one paddler at once, and its maximum inflation point of 18 PSI makes it rigid and unflexing to mimic the feel of an epoxy or fiberglass board. Add to that incredibly durable DropStitch construction to see off wear and tear, plus it has received feedback that shows this paddleboard exceeded buyers’ expectations.
- IRocker 11
Despite this inflatable SUP being filled with nothing but air, it’s a pretty rigid paddleboard. Its weight limit is claimed to be similar to that of a hardboard when inflated to its maximum 15 PSI. Also, the inclusion of military-grade materials — while this might seem over-the-top for a watersports accessory, actually reflects its indestructibility. The diamond-textured non-slip deck and large size mean it’s a good one for beginners to find their feet on, and the backpack carry bag is a nice touch for holidays and days at the beach, too.
- Easy Rider 11’6″ Blu Wave SUP
Enticed by the prospect of taking your yoga practice out onto the water, but not sure you can justify buying a dedicated yoga paddleboard? This Easy Rider SUP could be your new go-to, with its sturdy oversized (11’6) design leading Blu Wave to claim it’s ideal for saluting the sun or a good sunbathing session. If you’re not into yoga, it’s still a great all-round beginners’ board, and its GoPro attachment is a neat addition for when you get better and want to show off your skills.
- IRocker Inflatable Paddleboard 304 CM
Just like the iRocker 11, this board counts military-grade durability and extreme rigidity among its more exceptional qualities. The manufacturers are so confident in this paddleboard that they claim you can run it into rocks or run over it in the car with no lasting damage. While we wouldn’t suggest you test that out, reviewers have paid testament to its sturdiness, finding it quick to inflate to an impressive firmness and is strong and stable on the water. Out of the water, it’s easy to pack and carry, and rolls smoothly into the included backpack carry bag for unrivaled portability.
- Thurso Surf Prodigy
Don’t let that wood print fool you, because this is an inflatable paddleboard extraordinaire. This is our best choice of paddleboard for kids, as it’s light to carry down to the water, extra thick to aid balance, soft (just in case if they faceplant) and, reviewers say, easy to inflate. It also comes with a whole host of useful accessories including paddle, traction pads, removable fins, leash, deck bag, pump, and even more to get them started straight away. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t get involved too, assuming you’re under the requisite 74 kgs (165 lbs.)
So there you go, the top 5 paddleboards for this year, which are currently in the market. While everyone’s needs may be different, these choices are an excellent spread for anyone who wants to start paddleboarding or are beginning to get into it. Whichever paddleboard you pick, you’re getting the best option depending on your needs, and the purpose that your new paddleboard will be serving.