In this guide we’ll look at the best paddle boards for beginners.
We’ve compared stability, manoeuvrability, weight and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What is the Best Paddle Board for Beginners?
More Detailed Beginners' Paddle Board Reviews
Pioneer Beginner Inflatable Paddle Board Review
The Pioneer Inflatable Paddle Board is the best stand up paddle board for beginners due to its superb stability and outstanding durability. This board will allow you to build up your confidence on the water at your own pace and last for years to come thanks to its military-grade PVC construction.
The Pioneer is a lightweight board that’s easy to manoeuvre on the water. As an inflatable SUP, it’s also easy to handle and store on dry land, while the high-pressure valve means you can inflate or deflate in just five minutes. It comes with two bungee systems, so you can take plenty of provisions with you as you get to grips with paddling.
Not only is the Pioneer a versatile board, suitable for everything from touring to fishing to yoga, it’s available at a superb price, making this our best inflatable paddle board for beginners.
- Length: 10’6”
- Width: 31”
- Thickness: 6”
- Volume: 225 L
- Weight: 21 lbs
- Capacity: 240 lbs
Versa Entry Level Inflatable Paddle Board Review
The Versa Paddle Board is the best paddle board for beginners looking to paddle on flat water, though as a highly versatile model it can also be used for everything from yoga and fishing to surfing.
The decent template and six-inch thick board mean that the Versa delivers a delightfully stable ride, so is perfect for those wobbly first forays out on the water. It’s also easy to manoeuvre, so you can build up your skills with relative ease.
An epoxy paddle board made from an EPS blank in a precision mould, this board is both lightweight and durable. It’s also a top choice for those looking for an eco-friendlier construction process, so you can feel good about your green credentials.
The mid-range price is appealing to beginners looking for a first board that will see them through their first few years of paddling fun.
- Length: 10’5”
- Width: 32”
- Thickness: 4.5”
- Volume: 175 L
- Weight: 27 lbs
- Capacity: 245 lbs
Outpost Beginner Stand Up Paddle Board Review
The Outpost Paddle Board is a great choice for the best SUP for beginners thanks to its super durable construction. This is a board that will see you through the early days of clumsy handling, bumps and scrapes, thanks to its near-indestructible, thermo-moulded polycarbonate outer shell and shock-absorbing rail bumper.
A traditional epoxy paddle board, the Outpost features a thick, full-length layer of brushed EVA traction that makes for a comfortable ride while also standing up to the clacking of claws, so you can take your pet(s) out on the water with you once you’re confident in your paddling abilities.
The Outpost is ultra-functional, with a touring-style centre fin to deliver a high-performance paddling experience, a pop-out Lift SUP carry handle and a six-point bungee system on the nose to keep your gear secure while you paddle. A superb choice for new paddlers, at a decent, mid-range price.
- Length: 10’6”
- Width: 32”
- Thickness: 4.8”
- Volume: 227 L
- Weight: 29 lbs
- Capacity: 275 lbs
Megalodon Inflatable Paddle Board for Beginners Review
The best stand up paddle board for beginners looking to head out onto the water with friends, the Megalodon Inflatable Paddle Board is designed for fun. As a larger board, it’s at the upper end of the price scale, but that wide, eight-inch deep template also brings superb stability, making this an excellent choice for beginners who haven’t yet found their balance and poise. The grooved EVA traction pad provides a comfortable ride and is non-abrasive, should you stumble.
Made from military-grade PVC, the Megalodon is durable enough to withstand knocks and to take on double overhead surf, so suits a wide range of uses. There’s a six-point bungee system on the nose for storing your gear and both rail-mounted grab handles and a founded carry handle for easy transportation. Storage is also a doddle as the dual high-pressure valves mean you can deflate the board in under five minutes.
- Length: 12’
- Width: 45”
- Thickness: 8”
- Volume: 584 L
- Weight: 34 lbs
- Capacity: 450 lbs
Explorer Beginner Inflatable Paddle Board Review
The Explorer Inflatable Paddle Board is the best stand up paddle board for beginners who are seeking a touring board. It has plentiful storage, meaning you can plan longer expeditions, and a durable design that will stand up to even rocky coastlines.
Once you find your feet (and your balance!), the Explorer really comes into its own. The pointed nose is ideal for paddling at speed, so you can cover plenty of distance. As well as being suited to flat water, the Explorer also delivers superb performance in other water conditions, so is a good choice for those looking for an all-rounder that they can really put through its paces as they build up their paddling skills.
Rigid enough to be super stable yet fast to inflate and deflate, this could well be the best SUP for beginners who plan to use their board for a range of uses.
- Length: 11’
- Width: 32”
- Thickness: 6”
- Volume: 238 L
- Weight: 22 lbs
- Capacity: 275 lbs
Beginner Paddle Board Buyer’s Guide
If you’re looking for the best paddle board for beginners, then stability should be a key factor in your decision-making process. Paddle boarding can be an incredibly rewarding way to see some of the most beautiful places on the planet from an entirely new perspective, but it does take time to learn to balance and to manoeuvre the board, as well as to tackle different types of water.
With our hand paddle board buyer’s guide, you can ensure that you choose a board that will give you the maximum chance of success as you learn, thus minimising any frustration while you find your footing.
How to choose a beginner SUP board?
Focus first and foremost on stability. Quite simply, the wider your board is, the more stable it will be. Length and depth also come into play here, so compare the measurements of the boards you’re considering carefully. The more substantial the template, the more stable the base will be for your first wobbly attempts at stand up paddling.
Think carefully about practical considerations too. How will you be transporting the board and where will you store it? What sort of weight will you be able to handle? If you’re short on space, an inflatable board might be a better choice than an epoxy board.
Choose military-grade PVC if you’re going for an inflatable board, as that will provide you with superb durability. Check how long the board takes to inflate and deflate as well. With the ready availability of high pressure valves, you shouldn’t need to spend more than five minutes getting air into or out of your board.
It’s also worth thinking about how you plan to use the board. Will you be mainly touring or do you plan to surf? Or are you simply after a way to find an isolated spot to fish or practice yoga in peace? How you plan to use your board should influence which one you choose, so that once you’re confident in your skills, you have a board that’s perfectly suited to your needs. For surfing or touring, opt for a pointed nose and a narrower deck, which will deliver greater speed. For fishing and yoga, a rounded nose and a wider deck will provide greater stability.
If you’re just starting out on your paddle boarding experiences, we have to recommend the Pioneer Inflatable Paddle Board. Its exceptional stability, easy manoeuvrability and long-lasting durability make it the best stand up paddle board for beginners. This is a versatile, all-round board that will serve you well as you get to grips with this thrilling means of enjoying the water.