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Best Stand Up Paddle Boards for Beginners – Buyer’s Guide

The use of stand up paddle boards has gone up quite a bit in recent years, and along with it the availability of various types of paddle boards.

For any beginner who has very little or no experience, it can be a bit intimidating to get into the sport. There’s a lot to learn after all.

However, with the right beginner’s stand up paddle board, learning paddle boarding will not only be easier but also incredibly fun. It also serves as a great low impact exercise and way of relaxing if that’s what you’re looking for.

Top Stand Up Paddle Boards for Beginners

We’re going to help your buying decision a lot easier with this article. We’ve compiled a list of what we think are the five best beginner paddle boards available on the market. At the end of the article, we also have a buyer’s guide to optimize your purchasing process better. Let’s get started.

Best Overall

Best Overall

Tower Paddle Boards iSUP Adventurer 2

A Perfect Product for Beginners

The Tower Paddle Adventurer 2 is an inflatable stand up paddle that greatly improves on the original Adventurer and gives a brilliant and streamlined performance with its update design and length.

Tower improved on its vastly popular Adventurer to bring the Adventurer 2, which we believe is the best begineer stand up paddle you can buy.

Best Value

Best Value

Tower Paddle Boards iSUP Adventure

The Predecessor of the Best

You might be confused and think we pasted the same product again. We didn’t. The Adventurer is the original board by Tower and still remains one of the most popular SUPs in the market. It has everything you need to start your paddling adventures at an affordable price.

The fact that the Adventurer is still going strong even after a “successor” was introduced is a testament to this product’s incredible value and performance.

Tower Paddle Boards iSUP Adventurer 2

TowerPaddle

Specs:

  • Size: 10.4” x 32” x 6”
  • Weight: 25 lbs
  • Weight limit: 350 lbs

The Tower Paddle Adventurer 2 improves on the highly popular Adventurer to bring a fantastic product for beginner and intermediate stand up paddlers.

With an additional six inches of length and a hydrodynamically better design, the Adventurer 2 greatly improves the speed and performance of the Adventurer and brings in the form of the Adventurer 2.

This isn’t a replacement product but a new one its own, taking inspiration from its older brother to offer a near-perfect stand up paddling experience.

The PVC material used is tough and reliable, and the overall construction of the board, the included pump, paddle, and carrying strap are of top notch quality.

In addition to its great construction and improved tracking, the Tower Paddle Adventurer 2 also features an added bungee system for attaching gear, and front and rear handles for carrying the board in and out of any body of water with ease.

The Adventurer 2 sounds like the perfect beginner inflatable stand up paddle board, and it actually is. That’s why we believe it’s the best overall choice for any individual looking to getting into stand up paddling.

Pros

  • Great speed and tracking
  • Comes with everything you need as a beginner
  • Good durability and build quality
  • Paddles included are great

Cons

  • The shape may not suit everyone

ISLE Versa Epoxy 10’5 Standup Paddle Board

IsleVersa

Specs:

  • Size: 10.5” x 32” x 6”
  • Weight: 27 lbs
  • Weight limit: 275 lbs

ISLE is one of the original manufacturers of stand up pedal boards, so it’s no surprise that one of their products makes it to our list. The Versa Epoxy is a more traditionally constructed paddle board – something you’d expect from one of the original creators of the product.

It is a solid paddle board made of epoxy and EPS material to provide a strong board. The package deal itself includes a fin, adjustable paddle, and a carry handle which makes it a great set for beginners to practice on.

The rigidity of the EPS used in the ISLE Versa makes it rigid and durable. Solid boards have a tendency to chip and get dinks in them anyway, so it’s nice to see ISLE choose tough materials.

The material choice also makes it comparably faster and easier to paddle. This is generally true for solid boards due to their rigidity, but the Versa adds extra to it with its choice of material.

The Versa is a paddle board dedicated for beginners who want a convenient and effective way to start their paddling adventures. It does have its downsides of course. It is slightly heavier than most other models and its warranty is rather disappointing, covering only 180 days.

However, ISLE Versa does give you a 30 day guarantee in which you can return the product if you don’t like it, which is encouraging.

Pros

  • Robustly build board with good materials
  • Very easy to maneuver
  • Package is great
  • 30 days money back guarantee

Cons

  • Warranty is disappointing

Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer Inflatable 9’10

TowerPaddle1

Specs:

  • Size: 9’10” x 32” x 6”
  • Weight: 25 lbs
  • Weight limit: 350 lbs

The Tower Paddle Board Adventure is one of the most popular stand up paddle boards available in the market. It is regarded as the ideal beginning and intermediate board due to its price, performance, and reliability.

The original Adventurer is actually lighter, more compact, and easier to maneuver than the Adventurer 2, although the latter still improves a lot of features in its iteration. The PVC material is tough and durable, and the shape provides very good balance.

One of the most iconic features of this board is its great weight limit. This board can withstand up to 350 lbs of vertical weight, which covers the vast majority of all users. It is also extremely competitively priced when compared to other boards, and it’s not hard to see why it the most popular SUP on the market.

One of the bigger reasons this isn’t an automatic choice for all beginners and intermediates is that it doesn’t come with a carrying bag. While this may be expected at the given price point, it is a hassle to carry a board despite it being comparatively lightweight. Additionally, the design and color choice aren’t the most appealing out of the lot.

Yet despite that, the Tower Adventure is still the best value stand-up paddle board on the market. It’s reliable and popular, and that’s all you really want as a beginner, right?

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Sturdy build
  • Excellent weight capacity
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Aesthetics could’ve been better
  • Doesn’t come with a carrying bag

JLF Standup Paddle Board

JLF

Specs:

  • Size: 12’ x 32” x 6”
  • Weight: 23 lbs
  • Weight limit: 275 lbs

The JLF Standup Paddle Board is one of the highest rated paddle boards on Amazon for its great reliability, performance, and relative affordability. The inflatable paddle board is stiff when fully inflated, enough to make it hard to tell the difference when paddling.

What makes the JFL such an effective paddle board though is that it serves as a great long term board that could be used alongside or as a back up to a hardboard if you choose to buy one later. This makes it great for beginners as they don’t have to worry about the board being a momentary investment.

At just 23 pounds, the board is slightly lighter than majority of the other inflatable stand up paddle boards in the market. The combined weight including the accessories is 37 pounds. Luckily, this product comes with a carry strap, which makes moving it around easier than it would be otherwise.

The JLF also comes with adjustable paddle boards, which can be extended all the way up to 87 inches. Most paddles will short of this.

There’s very little in the JLF paddle board that can be criticized, given its price and target audience. It can be a little hard to maneuver for beginnings given its length, but most individuals with even a slight amount of experience would be able to handle it.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Excellent tracking due to its length
  • Paddles are adjustable in length
  • Makes a great long-term product

Cons

  • Hard to turn for beginners due to its size

iROCKER CRUISER Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

iRocker

Specs:

  • Size: 10’6” x 33” x 6”
  • Weight: 25 lbs
  • Weight limit: 400 lbs

Stability is the name of the game with the iRocker Cruiser. This standup paddle board is 6 inches thick which gives great stability both inside and outside the water.

It also has extra air capacity which bumps its weight limit all the way to 400 lbs. Safe to say, there’s not going to be anyone who would have any issue there.

The iRocker Cruiser itself weighs 25 pounds when inflated which is pretty much standard for most inflatable paddle boards. It comes with fiberglass paddles with edges protected by TVR to prevent chipping and fracture. The paddles are long lasting, lightweight, and will also float in the water.

What makes the iRocker Cruiser a great stand up paddle is the extra stability you get due to its large width throughout most of the board. It combines exceptionally well with the very wide tale. Taller beginners will enjoy using this very well.

The iRocker Cruiser also fills up quite quickly due to its 25 inch chamber, despite having extra capacity and good width. The shape of the board when full inflated is designed well enough to allow for smooth tracking on water.

You also get a 2-year warranty on the product at the time of purchase, which is reassuring and shows the confidence iRocker has in its product.

Pros

  • High stability
  • Great tracking
  • Paddles that come with the product are excellent

Cons

  • The cover on the carrying handle is unremovable

Buyer’s Guide

    Choosing between an inflatable stand up paddle board or a solid one will probably be the biggest choice you’ll have to make while buying one. There are pros and cons to both type and you’ll need to consider various factors such as your storage space, accessibility, type of waters, availability of time, and more when deciding what kind you want.

    Right off the bat, we’ll say that inflatable stand up paddle boards will benefit beginners and intermediates far more than solid ones. The biggest two reasons are the ability to store the board in its deflated form very easily and the fact that inflatable paddle boards don’t chip and break the way solid ones do.

    However, you’ll have to realize the negatives too. Inflatable stand up paddle boards will also be harder to maneuver than solid ones due to reduced speed and hydrodynamics. Secondly, taking time and effort to pump the board itself can be quite a workout, tiring you well before you’ve even started paddling.

    Solid stand up paddle boards have far superior speed and surfing due to an improved design and more rigidity, and they don’t need any kind of setting up either. However, they are less durable as water minerals and impacts can dent them easily. They are also a lot harder to store and transport than inflated paddle boards.

    The length of the paddle board will determine three things: maneuverability, tracking, and speed. Anything less than 9 feet in length will be incredibly maneuverable. 9 feet and less paddle boards are great for surfing and relaxing. However, they are also much harder to keep in a straight line (tracking).

    Anything above 9 feet and up to 12 feet is what you’d call a typical length of the paddle board. This is the ideal length for a beginner as it offers a mix of maneuverability, speed, and tracking. They aren’t particularly good at any one of those, but are decent enough at all of them.

    Boards that are 12 feet or longer are touring or racing boards. These are designed for incredible speed and tracking, but the maneuverability suffers. Boards of this size are generally recommended for more advanced users.

    The design of the board not only includes the length (discussed above), but also the shape of the board and other factors such as fins, the rocker, and more.

    You can find entire articles on exact engineering design of stand up paddle boards, but we will try to keep it as short and simple as possible.

    A paddle board with a narrower nose will mean better tracking and less resistance when paddling. However, it will affect the stability of the board.

    Similarly, the rocker, which is the shape and angle of the front or nose of the paddle board, will be an important decision to make and will depend on the kind of waters you are going for. A small rocker (small upward tilt of the nose) is best for calm waters, whereas a large rocker (larger upward tilt of the nose) will work best in rough waters with waves.

    Finally, there are fins. Fins come in different combinations and are primarily designed to improve the tracking or ability to keep the paddle board in a straight line. The longer the fins, the easier it is to track, but longer fins also means making it harder to track.

    How effectively can I workout from stand up paddle boarding?
    Paddle boarding is a great full body work out. You’ll be surprised at how tired you get during your first few sessions. However, this is mainly a low impact exercise that is meant for enjoyment. A great way to use a paddle board is to do some yoga and breathing exercises on it.

    What’s the ideal length for me?
    As a beginner, the ideal length would be between 9 and 12 feet.

    How do I stop falling in the water?
    Stand up paddle boarding is all about balance. You will need to learn to stay upright and have good balance while paddling. Don’t be scared of falling in the water; invest in a life vest as it will remove that fear and you will be able to easily learn from every fall and get better.

    Can more than one person ride a single paddle board?
    Absolutely. The size and weight capacity of the board are the limiting factors. Children in particular do very well riding a single paddle board.

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