There are three key things to look for in a paddleboard;
- Stability: your board must have enough volume, width, and length.
- SUP Construction: you have the choice between an inflatable or a hard paddleboard.
- Versatility: you want a paddleboard that can be used in a variety of conditions.
The most important thing to look for in your first paddleboard is if it is stable enough for you to stand on comfortably. The stability of your board is dependent on a paddle board’s dimensions, or a board’s length, width, and volume. The longer, wider, and more volume a SUP has, the easier it will be to balance on it. Consider the following factors:
- Length: How tall your paddleboard is
- Width: How wide your paddleboard is
- Volume: How many liters your paddleboard is
Here are the ideal dimensions of a beginner paddleboard:
Length: 10 to 12 feet
Volume: Inflatables | 225-240 L
Hard Paddle Boards | 175 L
Width: 31-33 inches
Even though these are great dimensions to base your first paddleboard on, please keep in mind that there are a few other factors you need to consider that might alter these ideal dimensions slightly. These factors are:
Your weight and height: If you plan on paddleboarding with your dog a lot, you should keep your dog’s weight in mind.
If you plan on paddling with a lot of gear on your board: The more weight you have on a paddleboard, the more volume your board will need for the most stability. Also, the more volume a paddleboard has, the smoother your board will glide across the water.
- SUP Construction
There are three types of paddleboard constructions:
- Soft top
Believe it or not, all three constructions are great for beginners. However, your lifestyle and needs will determine which construction is right for you.
An epoxy paddleboard is right for you if…
You want a paddleboard that provides you with exceptional performance. Hard paddle boards are the most agile type of SUP. You will have the most control and glide on a hard paddleboard. You have enough storage space at your house. Hard paddle boards are big and will need a designated spot for storage. If you have room in your garage or any other place in your home, you should be good to go.
An inflatable paddleboard is right for you if…
You don’t have enough storage at home. Inflatables deflate to the size of a medium-sized backpack and can be stored in small spaces like a closet. You like traveling and want to take your board with you. Inflatables are easy to transport because of their size when deflated. Throw it in your car’s trunk with the rest of your stuff or check it as a bag at your favorite airline.
You’d prefer a durable paddleboard. Inflatables are the most durable type of paddleboard. It will not be damaged if you drop it.
A soft-top paddle board is right for you if…
You live close to a lake, beach or bay. Soft top SUPs are great to use as a designated family board at a beach or lake house. Keep in mind that you will need a good amount of storage space for a Soft SUP. You’re on a tight budget. Soft SUPs are the cheapest construction of paddleboard.
Your first paddleboard should be versatile. Meaning, you should be able to use it for a variety of paddleboard activities. When looking for a paddleboard online, search for these keywords: “All Around Paddle Board” and “Recreational Paddle Board.” Both of these keywords will help narrow your search down for a reliable, versatile paddleboard.