The Ultimate Guide To The Best Stand Up Paddle Boards For Beginners in 2017

How To Find The Best Beginner Paddle Board After 2015

Stand up paddle boards (SUPs) allow you to paddle out in the middle of the water, sit and relax as the wind blows. It’s a fun and exciting way to enjoy a spring or summer day out on the water.

Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer Inflatable SUP Package

Our favorite for 2017

ISLE Airtech® 10′ All Around Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Package

A great value option

ISLE 10’8 Wood Finish Soft Top Stand Up Paddle Board Package

A board for both beginner and intermediate

And you’ll find SUPs everywhere from lakes and rivers to the ocean.

When trying to find the best paddle boards for beginners, you’ll find that there are a variety of choices at your fingertips. But which one do you choose when they all look the same? This is a question that many beginners don’t know how to answer, so they end up buying advanced SUP equipment that far exceeds their budget.

We’re going to be reviewing a few SUPs that we have personally tried and that are aimed at beginners, but it’s important to know how to compare these models:

  • Recommended Water: Some boards will have recommended water usage. The ISLE Finish (the first item on our list) recommends that their board be used on flat water and small surf. If you wanted to use this board on a river, it may be susceptible to puncture or damage as a result.
  • Lengths: Beginners that are small in height or younger may do well on a SUP under 9’ in length, but adults need longer lengths for added stability. Children will need small boards to meet their body type.
  • Hardness: The PSI (pressure per square inch) indicates how hard the board can be inflated. Higher PSI makes an inflatable board similar in feel to a hard board and adds more stability in the process.

Reviews of the Best SUPs for Beginners

ISLE Soft Top Stand Up Paddle Board – Available in a beautiful wood design (3 to be exact) this SUP is 5-inches thick and includes an adjustable paddle which can accommodate users of all sizes. A center carry handle makes it easily to lug this SUP through a path or down the beach.

The deck is non-slip, and lengths of 9’6 and 10’8 are available. Supporting users of up to 275 pounds, this SUP uses a waterproof EPS foam core and high density polyethylene for the bottom.

Lightweight and stable, this is the ideal board for the beginner who doesn’t know their desired position just yet: standing, sitting or lying.

Meant for lakes and small surf, this is my preferred SUP for beginners.

Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer Inflatable 9’10” SUP – Designed for the true adventurer, this model is able to be inflated to 15 PSI, but it is stiff at just 10 PSI. Rigid and durable, this SUP can safely hold users of up to 350 pounds (a rarity in the industry).

Military-grade PVC material is used, so you never have to worry about cracks, dings or punctures.

Spanning 9’10, this board comes with everything you need to get out on the water, including a pump and a 3-piece adjustable paddle. Weighing just 25 pounds, this SUP is easy to transport and it is stable enough to do yoga on it.

If you and a friend or loved one want to paddle board together, this is the perfect choice. Just remember the weight limit of 350 pounds.

ISLE Airtech® 10′ All Around Inflatable Stand Up – The second iSLE model on the list, the Airtech rolls up to the size of a sleeping bag and is 36” wide while being 10’ in length. Ideal for anyone that will be doing yoga or wants a more stable board, this model’s larger dimensions add to the stability while keeping the unit at just 24 pounds for easy transport.

Military-grade construction allows this model to offer supreme durability, and it’s able to be safely deployed on flatwater, small waves and river runs.

But the maximum weight is only 200 pounds, so if you want to bring a friend out on the water, keep in mind that the combined weight should not exceed this limit. With a 6” thickness, this is one of the most stable and durable models on our list – perfect for the true adventurer.

ISLE 10’5 Versa ® Standup Paddle Boards – A newer model, the Versa offers a deck length of 10’5 and a width of 32”. Weighing just 27 pounds, this SUP is able to hold users up to 275 pounds in weight and has a center fin for added control in the water.

Carrying is easy thanks to the included carry handle, and a fixed carbon paddle is included.

Durable and stable, this SUP is one that can be used by all members of the family from children to adults. The only downside is that there is not a carrying bag included, but you can buy one separately. While not a major concern, it is worth noting.

Otherwise, this is a near-flawless SUP that offers better stability and durability compared to older ISLE models.

Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer 2 – If you’re the type of consumer that loves extras, the Adventurer 2 is the perfect choice. This is considered a package deal because there are so many extras provided: front bungee, carrying handles, paddle, fin, and pump.

Very similar to a hard paddle board, this board can hold up to 350 pounds and offers military-grade quality and materials.

You can even surf in waves up to 4’ with this SUP – it’s that stable. Rated to go up to 20 PSI, you can inflate this unit to 15 PSI or higher if needed. But the manufacturer recommends 15 PSI for the best results.

This is a great paddle board if you want the utmost in stability and durability, but it is a higher end model.

Buyer’s Guide –  How To Choose The Best Sup For Beginners

We touched on this slightly in the first section of this article, but we want to go a step further and help you choose the best SUP equipment for you. And there are a lot of caveats that need to be examined and features to consider before buying.

Stand Up Paddle Board

  • Price: Beginners that know that they like being out on the water and will be buying their first SUP should look at the mid-price range for long-lasting durable models.
  • Size: The size of the deck is very important because it adds to stability and functionality. If you plan on doing yoga or standing up on the board, it’s important that the width of the deck be 32” or wider (in most circumstances).
  • Maximum Weight: You don’t want to exceed the maximum weight limit for safety reasons. And if you plan on riding with your friends, children or loved ones, ensure that you choose a SUP that can accommodate heavier weights.
  • Fins: The fin is an integral part of a SUP. A fin allows for quicker turns and better overall control of the board, which is very important in rough waters.
  • Material: The stronger the material, the better. Military-grade materials are used in the majority of SUPs, and this material is simply more durable and able to withstand excessive usage without damaging or breaking in the process, which is a nice added bonus.

The best paddle boards are ones that will be able to meet your needs. With a higher price comes added stability and durability, and you need to find the right balance between cost and quality when making your purchase.