Reading Time: 19 minutes(Last Updated On: August 24, 2021)

Long story short, the best beginner stand up paddle board is one that is inflatable with a width between 32” and 34”, and a length between 10-12ft, and a load capacity of 300 lbs minimum.

QUICK ANSWER: BEST BEGINNER PADDLE BOARDS

BEGINNER PADDLE BOARDS COMPARISON

PRODUCT SPECS PROS CONS RETURN/WARRANTY PRICE
THURSO SURF WATERWALKER 132

BEST: Beginner Inflatable All-around SUP
Type: Inflatable
Length: 11′
Width: 32”
Thickness: 6”
Weight: 26 lbs
Weight capacity: 210 lbs
PROS:
– Reasonably priced
– Stylish design
– Quality pump
– Speed, glide, and tracking exceeded all-around expectations
– Easily maneuvered
– Stiff
– Great customer support
CONS:
– No action mount on the rear end
– The paddle sunk in the 3rd time it fell apart for a user
– Bag started to fall apart 6 months for more than one buyer
Return:
30-day guarantee
Warranty:
2-year warranty
Check Price
on
ThursoSurf.com
NAUTICAL

BEST: Beginner Paddle Board Under $500
Type: Inflatable
Length: 10’6″
Width: 32”
Thickness: 6″
Weight: 20 lbs
Weight capacity: 240 lbs
PROS:
– Very stable
– Easy to maneuver
– Feels very sturdy
– Lightweight for carrying
– Rock-solid on the water
– Convenient transport
– Rides very smoothly
– Easy set up
– Nice for the money
– Lots of loops to attach things to
– Takes about 10 minutes to inflate it manually
– Multiple owners said they will get a second Nautical 10’6
– Amazing customer service
CONS:
– One user complained that the seam tape started peeling up on both boards after the first day out
– Another used complained that glue is showing on the handle and two places on deck
Return:
60-day guarantee
Warranty:
1-year warranty
Check Price
on
iRockerSUP.com
iROCKER CRUISER

BEST: Best Beginner Inflatable Paddle Board
Type: Inflatable
Length: 10’6”
Width: 33”
Thickness: 6”
Weight: 25 lbs
Weight capacity: 400 lbs
PROS:
– Easy to balance on
– Really stable
– Tracks well in flat water
– Durable
– Glides through the water better and turns easier
– Good looking graphics
– All fins are removable making folding it easier
– Lightweight and easy to use the paddle
– High-quality bag
– More than one owner get themself a second iRocker Cruiser
– Great customer support
CONS:
– Maybe a bit slow
– Paint chipped off the paddle after it came in contact with the sandy bottom
One owner said that the pretty weak shaft cracked by the river and the paddle came off and sank
– iRocker support said that the paddle is not covered under the warranty after 90 days
– Manufacturer defects happen and you should check it as soon as you receive it
Return:
60 day money back guarantee
Warranty: 
2-year Manufacturer’s Limited 
Check Price
on
iRockerSUP.com
BOTE BREEZE AERO

BEST: Least Expensive Beginner Paddle Board
Type: Inflatable
Length: 10′8″
Width: 33″
Thickness: 6″
Weight: 20 lbs
Weight capacity: 250 lbs
PROS:
– Light weight making it easy to carry
– Very stable even in pretty bad chop
– Affordable
– Enough room for an adult and a 60lb dog
– Very rigid and sturdy
– Tracks well
– Plenty of room for a big dog
– Takes less than 10 minutes to inflate
– Hand pump is good, but you’ll be well served with an electric pump
– Beautiful design
– Responsive customer service
CONS:
– Not the fastest board
– The included paddle is not the best in the market
– The last bit of inflating it with the hand pump can be hard for some
Return:
Try it for 30 days and if for any reason you aren’t happy, return it to us
Warranty: 
Limited 2-year warranty
Check Price
on
BOTEBoard.com
RED PADDLE CO RIDE 

BEST: Stable Beginner SUP
Type: Inflatable
Length: 10’6”
Width: 32”
Thickness: 4.7”
Weight: 21.89 lbs
Weight capacity: 220 lbs
PROS:
– Beginner-friendly
– Versatile
– Comes with everything you need to get started
– High-quality build
– Good stability even for a beginner
– Agile and quick to turn and maneuver
– Ideal for cruising and playing in the surf
– Lower gravity center allows for better performance and control
– Glide smoothly through the water
– Very durable fins
– Self-closing bungee cargo makes it really easy to secure your gear
CONS:
– May be expensive for some
Return:
No money back guarantee
Warranty: 
5 years
Check Price
on
REI.com
HONU BYRON 10’6 ALL-AROUNDER

BEST: Beginner Lightweight Paddle Board
Type: Inflatable
Length: 10’6″
Width: 32″
Thickness: 4.72″
Weight: 16.9 lbs
Weight capacity: 250 lbs
PROS:
– Super lightweight
– Feels really solid and stiff in the water
– Feels super stable
– Tracks very nicely and is quite quick
– Quality product
– Light and easy to use
– The company cares about the ocean
– Nice customer service
– More than one person bought a second one after trying it
CONS:
– May be pricey for some
Return:
Try it for 30 days and if for any reason you aren’t happy, return it to us
Warranty: 
Limited 2-year warranty
Check Price
on
HONUBoards.com
iROCKER ALL AROUND

BEST: Beginner Paddle Board for Big Guy
Type: Inflatable
Length: 11’
Width: 32”
Thickness: 6”
Weight: 26 lbs
Weight capacity: 435 lbs
PROS:
– Very stable even with two adults and a dog on board
– Tracks very well
– Lots of attachment points
– Carbon fiber shaft paddle is very lite
– High-quality storage bag
– Great maneuverability and speed
– More than one person bought a second one after trying it
– Great deal for the price
– Good customer service
CONS:
– Isn’t the lightest board 
– One user said that the cushioned footbed and two of the white stripes lifting/losing their adhesion after using only twice
– One user said that the fin locking mechanism is weak and he lost the main one
Return:
60 day money back guarantee
Warranty: 
2-year Manufacturer’s Limited
Check Price
on
iRockerSUP.com
THURSO SURF PRODIGY JUNIOR

BEST: Beginner Kids Paddle Board
Type: Inflatable
Length: 7’6’’
Width: 30’’
Thickness: 4’’
Weight: 19 lbs
Weight capacity: 80 lbs
PROS:
– Great for tweens
– Stable even in chop
– Excellent quality
– Pretty design
– Sturdy and solid
– Light carbon fiber paddle to not tire out your kid
– Beautiful design
– Great customer service
CONS:
– Does not come with a pump
Return:
30-day guarantee
Warranty:
2-year warranty
Check Price
on
ThursoSurf.com

BEGINNER PADDLE BOARDS REVIEWS

THURSO SURF WATERWALKER 132 11’

BEST: Beginner Inflatable All-around SUP

PROS:
– Reasonably priced
– Stylish design
– Quality pump
– Speed, glide, and tracking exceeded all-around expectations
– Easily maneuvered
– Stiff
– Great customer support
CONS:
– No action mount on the rear end
– The paddle sunk in the 3rd time it fell apart for a user
– Bag started to fall apart 6 months for more than one buyer

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Dual Layer PVC – Woven Drop Stitch Core
  • Length: 11′
  • Width: 32”
  • Thickness: 6”
  • Weight: 26 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 210 lbs
  • Return: 30-day guarantee
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty

NAUTICAL 10’6″

BEST: Beginner Paddle Board Under $500

PROS:
– Very stable
– Easy to maneuver
– Feels very sturdy
– Lightweight for carrying
– Rock-solid on the water
– Convenient transport
– Rides very smoothly
– Easy set up
– Nice for the money
– Lots of loops to attach things to
– Takes about 10 minutes to inflate it manually
– Multiple owners said they will get a second Nautical 10’6
– Amazing customer service
CONS:
– One user complained that the seam tape started peeling up on both boards after the first day out
– Another used complained that glue is showing on the handle and two places on deck

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Dual-Layer PVC – Drop Stitch Core
  • Length: 10’6″
  • Width: 32”
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 240 lbs
  • Return: 60-day guarantee
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

iROCKER CRUISER 10’6″

BEST: Best Beginner Inflatable Paddle Board

PROS:
– Easy to balance on
– Really stable
– Tracks well in flat water
– Durable
– Glides through the water better and turns easier
– Good looking graphics
– All fins are removable making folding it easier
– Lightweight and easy to use the paddle
– High-quality bag
– More than one owner get themself a second iRocker Cruiser
– Great customer support
CONS:
– Maybe a bit slow
– Paint chipped off the paddle after it came in contact with the sandy bottom
One owner said that the pretty weak shaft cracked by the river and the paddle came off and sank
– iRocker support said that the paddle is not covered under the warranty after 90 days
– Manufacturer defects happen and you should check it as soon as you receive it

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Triple Layer PVC – Drop Stich Core
  • Length: 10’6”
  • Width: 33”
  • Thickness: 6”
  • Weight: 25 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs
  • Return: 60 day money back guarantee
  • Warranty: 2-year Manufacturer’s Limited 

BOTE BREEZE AERO 10’8″:

BEST: Least Expensive Beginner Paddle Board

PROS:
– Light weight making it easy to carry
– Very stable even in pretty bad chop
– Affordable
– Enough room for an adult and a 60lb dog
– Very rigid and sturdy
– Tracks well
– Plenty of room for a big dog
– Takes less than 10 minutes to inflate
– Hand pump is good, but you’ll be well served with an electric pump
– Beautiful design
– Responsive customer service
CONS:
– Not the fastest board
– The included paddle is not the best in the market
– The last bit of inflating it with the hand pump can be hard for some

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Single-layer PVC – Drop Stitch Core
  • Length: 10′8″
  • Width: 33″
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs
  • Return: Try it for 30 days and if for any reason you aren’t happy, return it to us
  • Warranty: Limited 2-year warranty

RED PADDLE CO RIDE 10’6″

BEST: Stable Beginner SUP

PROS:
– Beginner-friendly
– Versatile
– Comes with everything you need to get started
– High-quality build
– Good stability even for a beginner
– Agile and quick to turn and maneuver
– Ideal for cruising and playing in the surf
– Lower gravity center allows for better performance and control
– Glide smoothly through the water
– Very durable fins
– Self-closing bungee cargo makes it really easy to secure your gear
CONS:
– May be expensive for some

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Monocoque Structural Laminate (MSL) fusion composite and airtight coating – Drop Stich Core
  • Length: 10’6”
  • Width: 32”
  • Thickness: 4.7”
  • Weight: 21.89 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 220 lbs
  • Return: No money back guarantee
  • Warranty: 5 years

TODAY’S PRICE

HONU BYRON 10’6 ALL-AROUNDER

BEST: Beginner Lightweight Paddle Board

PROS:
– Super lightweight
– Feels really solid and stiff in the water
– Feels super stable
– Tracks very nicely and is quite quick
– Quality product
– Light and easy to use
– The company cares about the ocean
– Nice customer service
– More than one person bought a second one after trying it
CONS:
– May be pricey for some

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: X-Woven and Fused drop stitch PVC
  • Length: 10’6″
  • Width: 32″
  • Thickness: 4.72″
  • Weight: 16.9 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs
  • Return: Try it for 30 days and if for any reason you aren’t happy, return it to us
  • Warranty: Limited 2-year warranty

iROCKER ALL AROUND 11′

BEST: Beginner Paddle Board for Big Guy

PROS:
– Very stable even with two adults and a dog on board
– Tracks very well
– Lots of attachment points
– Carbon fiber shaft paddle is very lite
– High-quality storage bag
– Great maneuverability and speed
– More than one person bought a second one after trying it
– Great deal for the price
– Good customer service
CONS:
– Isn’t the lightest board 
– One user said that the cushioned footbed and two of the white stripes lifting/losing their adhesion after using only twice
– One user said that the fin locking mechanism is weak and he lost the main one

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Triple Layer PVC – Drop Stich Core
  • Length: 11’
  • Width: 32”
  • Thickness: 6”
  • Weight: 26 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 435 lbs
  • Return: 60 day money back guarantee
  • Warranty: 2-year Manufacturer’s Limited

THURSO SURF PRODIGY JUNIOR 7′6″

BEST: Beginner Kids Paddle Board

PROS:
– Great for tweens
– Stable even in chop
– Excellent quality
– Pretty design
– Sturdy and solid
– Light carbon fiber paddle to not tire out your kid
– Beautiful design
– Great customer service
CONS:
– Does not come with a pump

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Triple Layer Coating PVC, Drop stitch core
  • Length: 7’6’’
  • Width: 30’’
  • Thickness: 4’’
  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 80 lbs
  • Return: 30-day guarantee
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty

BEGINNER PADDLE BOARD BUYING GUIDE?

WHAT A GOOD BEGINNER PADDLE BOARD?

  • STABLE

As a beginner paddler, stability should be your number one priority, because having something sturdy under your feet will definitely help a lot when you try to learn the paddleboard basics.

With that, you should choose a board with a width of between 32” and 34”, and a length between 10-12ft.

  • VERSATILE

Purpose-specific board (touring SUP, yoga SUP, surf SUP …) will not suit you as you begin, because either they are too narrow, which will make them less stable, or too long, or too long.

When you are still a beginner, I recommend you to get an all-around paddleboard because it suits different paddling conditions like flatwater, whitewater, and at the same time different paddling activities, like surf, yoga, racing, etc.

  • AFFORDABLE

You should think twice before spending $1,000+ on a super high-end SUP because you won’t notice the difference when you are still a beginner.

This is why I recommend you to get something in the range of $500 and $700.

  • RELIABLE

Since beginners are more likely to knock and scratch their boards unintentionally, they should opt for a durable one. For inflatables, a triple-layer PVC is good and can handle a little wear and tear.

TYPES OF PADDLEBOARDING

If you don’t have a specific use like fishing, yoga, or surfing, an all-arounder SUP is what will be best for you because it’s versatile and work for a variety of activities.

  • SURF SUP

Surf SUPs are shorter, narrower, and have a narrower nose and tail design. This shape makes them extremely agile and fast at turning, but they lack stability compared to longer boards.

This shape that lets them be quick to respond to waves makes them also slower at paddling in a straight line.

Inflatable board technology has evolved to make iSUPs (like Fanatic Stubby and Red Paddle 8’10 Whip) that are able to satisfy even experienced surfers.

  • ALL-AROUND SUP

An all-around SUP is longer (between 10′ and 12′) than a surf SUP, wide (between 29” to 36”), and thick.

All-around SUPs are known to offer good stability, glide easily while being responsive and maneuvrable.

The versatility of all-around SUPs makes them the best choice for the majority of beginner paddlers since they are not sure yet about the activity or the water type they’ll paddle most often.

  • TOURING SUP

Touring paddleboards are longer and narrower than all-around SUPs, with a pointed nose that makes them good at cutting through the water and good at tracking.

Compared to all-around SUPs, touring paddleboards are less stable, which makes them a little bit of a challenge for beginners.

This type of board is oriented for paddlers that who wants to explore lakes, rivers, and coastlines.

  • YOGA SUP

Yoga or fitness SUPs are wider than all-around SUPs, larger, and sits higher up on the water.

They are very stable, with a large deck pad for more room for your yoga on the water.

If you don’t know, balancing yourself on the board not only looks cool but at the same time trains your muscles and core strength.

I love this type of paddleboard because it can also be used as recreational paddleboards by beginners.

WIDTH

When speaking of beginner paddle board width, you should look for wider boards, because the extra stability helps them feel more secure.

  • NARROW BOARDS: boards with a 30” or less width are faster, cut through the water with ease, track well, and are more maneuverable. But they are less stable, which makes them not beginner-friendly, one of the things that make the difference between beginner and advances paddle board.
  • WIDE BOARDS: boards with a width of 31” or more are more stable and perfect for recreational use. These boards are less agile, glides less, and do not stay in a straight line while you paddle, because your paddle strokes are further away from the centerline of the board.

If you are a beginner paddler on the bigger side, you should get a board that is 33+ inches wide.

If you are a smaller beginner paddler, I recommend you a SUP board with a width between 31” and 32”.

LENGTH

Paddleboard length notably affects its speed, glide, and agility like quick turning.

  • SHORT PADDLEBOARDS (<10’): These are excellent for surfing and kids. They are more maneuverable, but slower and don’t track so well.
  • MEDIUM PADDLEBOARDS (10’ to 12’): This is the correct length for a beginner paddle board. If you are on the smaller side, a board with a length between 10’6 and 11’ will be good for you. Medium SUP boards will not be as fast as a touring SUP or maneuverable as a surf SUP, but they do everything well.
  • LONG PADDLEBOARDS (>12’): These are excellent for racing because they are faster than short and medium boards, good for touring because they track straighter, but they are harder to turn.

INFLATABLE OR SOLID?

Choosing between these two options depends more on your lifestyle than on what you will do with your SUP.

  • SOLID PADDLEBOARDS

Traditional solid paddleboards use a Hollow core, Polyurethane foam, or EPS foam core that’s wrapped with fiberglass, carbon fiber, plastic, or made purely from wood.

The most common type of solid paddleboards uses fiberglass and/or epoxy wrapping, which makes them fairly lightweight, durable, and affordable.

Solid paddleboards wrapped with carbon fiber are more lightweight, durable but expensive.

Solid paddleboards that use plastic in their wrapping are the most affordable but not as maneuverable or high performing compared to the other materials because they are very heavy.

PROS 

  • No inflation/deflation required makes them ready to use once off your vehicle.
  • Their extra rigidity makes them the fastest option, which means more range per effort.
  • Ease of turning, maneuverability, and stable feel make them the best options for SUP surfing.

CONS

  • Transport requires effort to lift and strap it to the top of your vehicle and additional tools like a roof rack or a paddleboard cart.
  • Solid paddleboards can be easily get scratched or dented.
  • Takes more storing space in your home.

If you want top-notch performance and stability, go for a solid SUP.

  • INFLATABLE PADDLEBOARDS

Since their first appearance in 2014, the inflatable paddleboards or iSUPs market skyrocketed because the drop stitching technology evolved to start offering comparable stiffness and rigidity and a lot of additional advantages.

PROS 

  • Easier to transport in pretty much any vehicle.
  • Do not require large storage space.
  • Lightweight
  • Flying with them as checked baggage saves you renting money.
  • Less painful if you fall on it
  • Don’t require a roof rack or paddleboard cart.
  • Handles bump up against rocks and logs.
  • Durable if your drop it.
  • Affordable prices.

CONS

  • Needs to be fully dry before storage to prevent mold
  • Inflation is a bit of a workout and takes some minutes (an electric pump solves this problem).
  • Slower than a solid paddleboard.
  • Not the best option for surfing.

As you see, the advantages of inflatables are more than those of solid SUP boards.

NOSE ROCKER

The board rocker is how angled up the nose.

Small rocker boards are better for calm water because they will not submerge.

Boards with large rockers are good for rough water because they help keep them afloat.

HULL

Paddleboard hulls are either planing or displacement. You should choose one of the shapes depending on your use, and both of them can be enjoyed by beginners.

  • PLANING HULL

Planing hulls are wide, flat, with a rounded type nose, making them easily maneuverable and less tippy which is a good choice for beginner paddlers. Boards with planing hulls are the best beginner paddle board shape.

  • DISPLACEMENT HULL

Boards with displacement hulls have “V” shaped noses. This shape that is commonly found in kayaks and canoes makes your SUP cut through the water at a fast speed and track nice and straight, but less maneuverable and less stable than boards with planing hulls.

MATERIAL

Like we’ve seen before, solid paddleboards are made with a foam core layered with fiberglass, carbon fiber, plastic, or totally with wood, usually bamboo.

On the other side, some of the best inflatable paddleboards use a military-grade PVC for the outer shell, carbon-reinforced rails, and drop-stitch technology on the inside. Some inflatables use more than one chamber to get better stability and rigidity.

As a general rule, the more warranty period a company gives to its product the more confidence you can have in it.

VOLUME AND WEIGHT CAPACITY

Volume and capacity are determined by your size and weight and are what you should pay attention to when you are looking for a SUP.

Getting the right volume and weight capacity is definitely helps your stability and board maneuvrability.

  • VOLUME: SUP volumes are expressed in liters. More volume means more ability to float, more weight the board can handle, and more stability.
  • WEIGHT CAPACITY: SUP volume is expressed in pounds, and means the total weight (body weight, gear, food, water, etc) that the board can handle without affecting much of its performance. My advice for you is that if you are close to the weight capacity listed by the manufacturer, it’s better for you to get a bigger one to get the best performance.

THICKNESS

More board thickness equals higher board volume, which means more weight capacity.

Thinner boards can handle flat water and youth paddler’s weight, when thicker boards are more rigid, making them good for chop and waver, and can support adult and heavier paddlers because they have less flex.

Inflatable SUP boards on the market have a thickness around 4” to 6”, while solid SUPs have a thickness around only 4” to 5” due to the used materials.

FINS

Larger fins with wide bases and long edges are what provide good tracking, and more stability than smaller ones that provide better maneuverability.

The three-fin setup that is common in today’s paddle boards is a good compromise for tracking and maneuverability. In inflatables SUPs, the center fin is removable and the other two are smaller and flexible.

ACCESSORIES

  • PADDLE

The included paddle is often not the best available, this is why when you get experience, you may have to upgrade to a lighter all-carbon fiber one, for easy paddling and more reach for the same effort.

When you are choosing a new paddle, consider if it floats, its weight, the material made with, and the handle that you will be touching most of the time.

For construction, they are made of plastic, aluminum, wood, and carbon fiber.

For size, your SUP paddle should be around 6” to 10” above your height when standing straight.

SUP paddles are slightly bent to allow for more forward reach with each stroke, for maximum paddling efficiency.

  • LEASH

I see SUP leashes as a mandatory safety tool, because they are what keeps you close to your large flotation device in case you fall from it, not lose it, or hurt others around you because the board becomes lethal with the force of an ocean wave.

When you are choosing your SUP leash, get one that is coiled to prevent it from getting in the way when paddling.

  • LIFE JACKET

Because every year people drown practicing their water sports, a life jacket helps you stay above water and visible to people trying to save you.

In the United States, if you paddle outside the limits of the swimming area, you are required by laws to have a USCG-approved life vest.

If a life jacket is not required by law in your area and you don’t want to wear one, at least strap one down when you are on the water.

  • D-RINGS

D-rings let you attach things like a seat or customize your board with more bungee areas to tie down your personal belongings.

If your board does not come with d-rings or is not enough for your use, you can learn how to add additional ones if you want.

  • ATTACHMENT POINTS

Attachment points can be used to attach fishing rod holders, cameras, or seats.

  • BUNGEE STRAPS

Bungee straps are most of the time found on the front, and they are stretchy straps that allow you to keep your personal belongings like drybags, clothes, and coolers secure and safe while you are on the water.

  • PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE

In the U.S, when you are paddling beyond the limits of the swimming area, you are required by the coast guards to wear a PFD.

  • PROPER CLOTHING

The right clothing depends on the weather. If it’s freezing, wear a dry suit or wetsuit to prevent hypothermia. If the weather is mild, shorts and a t-shirt are good because they let you move freely.

  • CAR ROOF RACK

Car racks are used to transport your solid SUP or your inflatable one if you don’t want to deflate it.

BEST BRANDS OF BEGINNER SUPs

Personally, I don’t believe in ”the best brand”, because I analyze what I will use, which is the product, instead of the brand.

Some of the brands that have been around long enough are :

  • BIC (1945): Yes, the pen and lighter manufacturer makes also paddleboards
  • NRS (1972): Founded by Bill Parks and in 2014 it became 100% employee-owned
  • ISLE (2004): San Diego based company that specializes in quality surf and paddleboards
  • BOTE (2009): Founded by Corey and Magda Cooper who has always been surrounded by water
  • Tower (2010): Backed by the investor Mark Cuban and one of the biggest success stories in Shark Tank history
  • iRocker (2016): Known for high-quality and affordable products and own two other brands Nautical and Blackfin.
  • Thurso Surf (2016): A Canada-based company that is specialized in inflatable paddle boards and bodyboards

BEGINNER PADDLE BOARD TIPS

  • LEARN HOW TO FALL: If you are about to fall, do not drop to your knees, fall in the water away from the board to not hurt yourself.
  • USE YOUR LEASH: This will not only prevent losing your board, but it will also ensure keeping a large flotation device near you that can get you help in case you fall from it.
  • KEEP YOUR DISTANCE: If there are other people swimming, paddling or on their kayaks, keep yourself away to at least if you want to turn, you can do it without bumping into them.
  • BE SMART WITH WIND: If the wind is in your favor, paddle standing up, this way your body acts as a sail. If it’s not the case, sit down to reduce the wind effect.
  • DO NOT HOLD YOUR PADDLE LIKE A BROOMSTICK: Hold your paddle with one hand on the grip and the other on the shaft acting as the pivot point.
  • DO NOT PADDLE WITH JUST YOUR ARMS: Use your shoulders and core along with your arms and large back muscles to pull your paddle through the water efficiently and without tiring yourself fast.

HOW TO STAND ON A PADDLEBOARD AS A BEGINNER

  1. Get the widest SUP possible.
  2. Get it into calm and flat water.
  3. While you are still kneeling, paddle on each side to start moving.
  4. Staying in the middle of your board, start standing up slowly with one foot at a time.
  5. While keeping your knees slightly bent, start paddling and if you are about to fall, do it away from your board to not injure yourself.
  6. If you keep feeling unstable, maybe you should try a wider and thicker SUP.

PADDLING TECHNIQUES FOR BEGINNERS

THE IDEAL FORWARD STROKE

  • Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  • Your arms should be fairly straight, with elbows slightly bent.
  • Insert the paddle into the water as far forward as possible
  • Instead of pushing back your paddle to your foot, think of pulling yourself past your paddle
  • Try to fix your arms throughout the stroke to use your abs and lats instead of your arms, to avoid getting tired fast.
  • To stay in a straight line, take few strokes on one side and move to the other side after your switch your hands to paddle efficiently.

HOW TO TURN WITH A FORWARD SWEEP STROKE

  • Bend your knees slightly more.
  • To turn left, plant the blade fully in the water at the right side of the nose of your board and pull to the right away from your board.
  • While you are helping by turning your torso, your board will turn quickly to the left.

HOW TO TURN WITH A REVERSE SWEEP STROKE

  • Bend your knees even more.
  • Plant your blade near the tail and on the side in which your want to turn.
  • Sweep the blade out and away from your board until it reaches the nose of your board.
  • While you are helping the turn by shifting your torso, your board will turn to your desired side.

FAQ:

WHERE TO LAUNCH YOUR STAND-UP PADDLE BOARD IF YOU’RE A BEGINNER?

When you are still beginning, choose a day with little to no wind, and found yourself a sandy beach because it’s the easiest place to launch your stand-up paddle board.

STAND UP PADDLE BOARD OR LONG BOARD FOR BEGINNER?

Definitely, a stand-up paddleboard, because standing on a longboard requires being lightweight and having skills, which is not possible with a beginner.

BEGINNER PADDLE BOARD HOW BIG OF A BOARD

If you are still beginning, I recommend you getting an all-around SUP paddleboard with a width of 32” at least, and a length between 10-12ft.

BEST BEGINNER PADDLE BOARD SHAPE

The best paddle board shape for a beginner paddler is a wide, flat, and rounded nose board. Its maneuverable and less tippy, making it the best beginner paddle board shape.

CORRECT LENGTH FOR A BEGINNER PADDLE BOARD

10’ to 12’ is the correct paddleboard length for beginner paddlers.

IS CONNELLEY A GOOD SUP FOR A BEGINNER?

I don’t think so, since Connelly Classic SUP 11′ is only 30″ wide, he might be a little unstable for beginners.

CAN I USE A 9 FOOT SUP AS A BEGINNER?

I don’t recommend doing it even if you are lightweight because the lowest paddleboard length you can go with is 9’6” if weigh less than 150 lb, and a 9 foot SUP is below that.

WHAT IS THE BEST SIZE SUP FOR A BEGINNER?

The best SUP size depends more on your weight and height than on your paddling experience. If you are an average size paddler, get a SUP with a width of between 32”-34”, and a length between 10-12ft.

WHAT LENGTH SHOULD A SUP BE FOR A BEGINNER?

10’ to 12’ is the correct SUP length for a beginner paddler.

Last modified: August 24, 2021

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