Paddle boarding is a somewhat new, but delightful sport.
If you're new to water sports, your probably wondering:
"How do I get started with paddle boarding?"
Well, first things first, you have to get yourself a board!
The needs of beginners are different than the needs of more experienced paddle boarders. So, we've put together this list to help people who are new to the game get a grasp on the best paddle boards for beginners.
Here's a summary of the boards that made the cut. If you want more details about any specific board, click "Jump to more details" and we will send you on your way!
An all-around paddle board known for its quality and affordability. It's inflatable and only weighs 35 lbs. Great entry level board overall. Can hold 225 lbs and withstand light surf.
Boardwalks SHUBU Solr
One of the stiffest and most durable paddle boards. Designed to hold up well in most conditions. Great for ocean or flat water. Lightweight, water-shedding deck provides the traction beginners require.
Fishing-specific paddle board that provides unmatched stability, but at a considerably higher price point than other boards. Great choice if you know you will use your paddle board to fish and need the unique features it provides.
Driftsun Balance 11
An absolute steal of a board for what you get. Specifically great for paddle board yoga, but also make for an excellent all around paddle board. Comes bundled with accessories at a price point much cheaper than comparable boards.
Choosing A Paddle Board
Even if you are new to paddle boarding, there is no reason not to have the best paddle board available. In fact, beginners will benefit from having a well-designed paddle board as much as an expert.
If you are a paddle board beginner, you’re going to want to invest in a reliable, stable, effective and affordable board.
Fortunately, this list will get you on your way with finding the best paddle board to suit your needs!
Before you check out the suggested paddleboards, read these tips on how to purchase the best paddle board for beginners first!
Determine What You Want:
Depending on your intentions, you need to choose the type of paddle board that's best for your lifestyle.
The first decision you need to make is whether you want to purchase an inflatable or traditional paddle board. Inflatable paddle boards are becoming more durable by the year, and are nearly as rigid as a conventional paddle board already.
Most people would agree that a traditional board is still firmer and more reliable. However, they can be cumbersome and difficult to store.
The inflatable paddle board is dramatically easier to carry. Inflatable paddle boards weigh only 30-40lbs when taken in a backpack, and can even fly with you on a plane.
There is a clear difference between the benefits of each type. After you choose whether you want an inflatable or traditional paddle board, you need to decide how you want to use it.
The names generally clarify their purposes, although you should still be conscious of the style of board you need.
Types of Paddle Boards
All-Around Paddle Board: Effective and useful for multiple different activities. However, it is still mostly used for recreational activities and leisure.
Race Paddle Board: Lightweight paddle board built for speed. These probably aren't great for beginners, but if you're already familiar with surfing or other water sports, you could consider this option.
Touring Paddle Board: These are traditionally more stable and used out beyond the shoreline.
Fishing Paddle Board: Equipped with multiple accessories, and room for accessories. There should be plenty of space and stability. Great for...well...fishing 🙂
Yoga Paddle Board: The most stable paddle board available, developed to allow work as a “floating” yoga mat.
Surf Paddle Board: Designed to handle rivers, rapids, wave riding, and more intense paddle boarding adventures!
When you are looking at a paddleboard, you're going to want to be aware of is its structure and ability to float. You want a board that is stable and will glide effortlessly.
The longer, wider, and thicker the paddle board you purchase, the easier it will float. Beginners should choose a paddle board which has a large total volume of space, which will float the easiest for them.
As a general rule, the volume of the paddle board (in liters) you choose should be around twice your bodyweight (in kilograms).
Another crucial factor is the accessories available to your board, and how well you can use it for multiple purposes. Again, the paddle board you purchase actively depends on what you plan on doing with your board!
Finally, the most critical remaining factor for purchasing your paddle board is the price. It might seem helpful to buy the cheapest board available, but if you're serious about getting into paddle boarding, you may want to go for the board with the most value. Sometimes this is the cheapest; sometimes it isn't. Either way, you want to make sure you are getting your moneys worth.
As you will see with the paddle boards listed below, you can still purchase a high-quality beginners paddleboard for an affordable price if you do enough research!
The Morea by Pelican is an excellent paddle board for beginners for many reasons. One of the main reasons the Moorea is an attractive option is because it is one of the most affordable options on the paddleboard market. Not only is this board reasonably priced, but it is also well designed and very reliable.
A Simple Paddle Board
The Pelican Moorea does not come with features that advanced-level boards come with, but it is an excellent option if you're starting out. It has decent glide and is made with top quality materials.
This is a very stable board for being an inflatable. It is great for holding up to 225lb and is stable in light surf.
As a beginner, you are going to want to focus on purchasing a board with the most overall value, and the Moorea by Pelican offers that.
Driftsun is a brand with a solid reputation in the watersports community. They always produce high quality products at incredibly reasonable prices. The Driftsun Balance 11 is no different.
The Driftsun Balance 11 is designed to be stable enough for even the toughest yoga poses, which is why it is a wise choice for beginners.
However, you should note: this is a pretty big board. It is not inflatable, so be prepared for a bit of heft. It is made of premium PVC material though, so its damn near indestructible.
Out of the box, this board comes with the following:
-Fully-adjustable 7-foot long fiberglass paddle
-Sleek-looking carrying backpack with comfort straps
-Hand-pump with pressure gauge
-Set of detachable fins
-Patch and repair kit
If you are looking specifically for a yoga paddle board, this is one to consider strongly. As far as value goes, for what you pay, this board is arguably the best.
The price tag might shock you, but the Rackham by Bote is well-worth the cost.
The Rackham is an excellent paddle board for beginners because it is stable enough to help you stay-standing no matter what fish you are catching.
You don’t want to skimp on a fishing paddle board, because once you start trying to land medium to large fish, you're going to want that extra stability.
The Rackham contains thick rails that make it rock solid, and it can withstanding torque and aggressive conditions.
The Rackham by Bote can hold up to 500lbs, so you can easily bring all of your gear on board! While on the expensive side, if you are looking specifically for a paddle board for fishing, investing in a quality board up front can help save you a ton of money in the future.
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Whether you are looking to leisurely cruise, practice yoga, or fish, the SHUBU Solr will work wonderfully. The SHUBU Solr is a brand new paddle board from Boardworks, designed to work well in many different conditions.
The Durable Inflatable Board
The SHUBU Solr is an inflatable paddle board, but it contains a “Dual Fusion Laminate” which makes the board stiffer and more durable than others.
Although the Shubu Solr does contain many unique features, it was still made for beginners. One of the least expensive boards on this list, this board is an excellent option if you are looking to test the waters (pun intended) with paddle boarding.
Choosing The Board For You
Especially for beginners, purchasing the correct equipment is an easy way to improve your stand up paddle boarding ability.
When you are looking for a new paddle board, remember to do your research and make an educated purchase. If you are a beginner, the stability of the board is the most crucial part.
If you purchase a cheap paddle board, you're going to get a cheap paddle board that you'll likely grow out of quickly. If you're considering paddle boarding for just an occasional hobby, you may want to consider renting a paddle board instead if you aren't ready for the investment.
Now it's your turn!
What type of paddle board is the most interesting to you?
Let us know in the comments section below.