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15 Best Paddle Boards For Beginners

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15 Best Paddle Boards For Beginners

Paddleboarding has been one of the most trending watersports in terms of increasing popularity over the last decade. If you’ve seen photos of paddleboarders and you’re ready to give it a try, you’ll need one of the best paddle boards for beginners.

Paddleboarding is a relatively easy sport to learn, but it does require a few different skills than you’d use for kayaking. For starters, the goal is to stand up, which requires a bit more balance than you’ll need just to sit inside of a kayak.

That being said, the beauty of paddleboarding for beginners is that you don’t have to stand up right away. You can paddle from a seated or a kneeling position until you are ready to give standing a try.

Many paddleboarders that like to paddle with dogs also prefer keeping their center of gravity lower in case their dog jumps off unexpectedly. Fortunately, the best paddle boards for beginners provide the stability you’ll need to pick this sport up quickly.

Let’s check some of them out!

Photo by Sanchik via Shutterstock

Best Paddle Boards For Beginners

  1. DRIFT Inflatable Paddle Board
  2. ADVENOR Inflatable Paddle Board
  3. Roc Inflatable Paddle Board
  4. Bluefin Cruise SUP Package
  5. FunWater Tiki Inflatable Paddle Board
  6. Soopotay Primary Inflatable Paddle Board
  7. SereneLife Inflatable Paddle Board
  8. Isle Pioneer Inflatable Paddle Board
  9. MURTISOL Inflatable Paddle Board
  10. DAMA SUP New Energy Inflatable Paddle Board
  11. Lifetime Freestyle Hardshell Paddle Board
  12. ISLE Cruiser Hardshell Paddle Board
  13. Boardworks Surge Hardshell Paddle Board
  14. Boardworks Kraken Hardshell Paddle Board
  15. Lifetime Amped Hardshell Paddle Board

Paddle Board Buying Guide

Photo by Lilkin via Shutterstock

If you’re a beginner, there’s no need to overspend on a super fancy paddle board. However, if you know you’re going to love this sport (and we think you will), it’s a good idea to get something that’s going to last for a few years.

Here are a few factors you should think about when comparing paddle board models:

Length and Width

The obvious place to start your search is determining how long of a paddle board you need. Generally speaking, a longer and wider board is going to increase your total surface area and provide more stability.

The only issue with this method of thinking is that many longer boards get skinnier on purpose. That’s because the manufacturer designs them more for speed and efficiency rather than for primary stability.

Longer boards are also a little more difficult to maneuver if you need to make quick turns. As we mentioned, they are built more for straight-line speed and, therefore, don’t turn on a dime if you are navigating narrow waterways or simply need to avoid an obstacle.

All that being said, most beginners should look for a board somewhere in the 10 to 11-foot range. Most of the boards in this range that are designed for beginners will be somewhere between 32 and 36 inches wide, on average.

Of course, if you are a taller or heavier paddler (above 6’5” or heavier than 275 pounds), you will want to start your search for a slightly longer board. Look for something at least 12 feet long that still maintains that width of 32-36 inches, if possible.

Inflatable Versus Rigid

The next thing to consider is whether one of the best inflatable paddle boards makes sense for your lifestyle. Inflatable paddle boards offer several advantages over rigid boards, but they also have a few disadvantages.

Inflatable boards are best for folks that live in smaller homes or apartments. They are especially good if you’ll have to lug your board up several sets of stairs to get to your apartment or you don’t have a proper roof rack to transport a rigid board on top of your vehicle.

If you do decide to go with an inflatable paddle board, make sure to check its deflated dimensions as well as inflated dimensions. The former will tell you whether the board will fit in the trunk of your vehicle when you want to transport it to your preferred paddling destination.

Traditionally, inflatable paddle boards didn’t perform nearly as well as their rigid counterparts. Indeed, inflatable boards have a higher profile than most rigid boards, which makes them more susceptible to being blown around in the wind.

That being said, most beginners don’t need the kind of aerodynamic efficiency that you’ll only get with a rigid paddle board. Plus, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be paddling on windy days when you’re just learning this new sport.

That being said, inflatable paddle boards do come with a longer setup time than hardshell paddle boards. They will need to be inflated and deflated before and after each trip, which extends the amount of time it takes you to get ready and clean up from paddling.

So if you’re comfortable with lifting a paddle board and strapping it down on top of your vehicle or in the bed of a truck, rigid boards can save you a little time. Just make sure you know how to transport boards with a roof rack, as well as without one, to make sure your board doesn’t fly off as you’re driving down the highway.

When it comes to the bottom line, some of the more affordable paddle boards for beginners are of the inflatable variety. This might be enough to push you towards one in and of itself, but consider all your options before you finalize a decision.

Accessories

The nice part about a lot of these beginner paddle boards is that they tend to come with a lot of the extra accessories that you will need to get started. This includes things like a paddle, leash, fin, pump (if it’s inflatable), and more.

Unfortunately, that’s not true for all the models on the market today. So, it’s important that you weigh the added costs of those accessories and factor them into your decision-making process.

For example, you might be comparing two boards at a similar price point, but if one comes with a bunch of the required equipment and the other does not, it should be relatively obvious which model represents the better overall deal.

One accessory that even the most comprehensive paddle board packages rarely come with is a quality life vest. So, check out our guide to the best personal flotation devices (PFDs) to make sure you’re protected and compliant with local boating regulations before you head out.

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DRIFT Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board, SUP with Accessories | Coiled Leash, Pump, Lightweight Paddle, Fin & Backpack Travel Bag (Native Floral)
ADVENOR Paddle Board 11'x33 x6 Extra Wide Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with SUP Accessories Including Adjustable Paddle,Backpack,Waterproof Bag,Leash,and Hand Pump,Repair Kit (Green)
Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Premium sup Accessories & Backpack, Non-Slip Deck, Waterproof Bag, Leash, Paddle and Hand Pump. (Black)
Bluefin Cruise SUP Package UK Design | Stand Up Inflatable Paddle Board | 6” Thick | Fibreglass Paddle | Kayak Conversion Kit | All Accessories | 5Year Warranty | Multiple Sizes: Kids, 10’8, 12’, 15’
FunWater Inflatable 10'6×33"×6" Ultra-Light (17.6lbs) SUP for All Skill Levels Everything Included with Stand Up Paddle Board, Adj Floating Paddles, Pump, ISUP Travel Backpack, Leash,Waterproof Bag
Title
DRIFT Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board, SUP with Accessories | Coiled Leash, Pump, Lightweight Paddle, Fin & Backpack Travel Bag (Native Floral)
ADVENOR Paddle Board 11'x33 x6 Extra Wide Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with SUP Accessories Including Adjustable Paddle,Backpack,Waterproof Bag,Leash,and Hand Pump,Repair Kit (Green)
Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Premium sup Accessories & Backpack, Non-Slip Deck, Waterproof Bag, Leash, Paddle and Hand Pump. (Black)
Bluefin Cruise SUP Package UK Design | Stand Up Inflatable Paddle Board | 6” Thick | Fibreglass Paddle | Kayak Conversion Kit | All Accessories | 5Year Warranty | Multiple Sizes: Kids, 10’8, 12’, 15’
FunWater Inflatable 10'6×33"×6" Ultra-Light (17.6lbs) SUP for All Skill Levels Everything Included with Stand Up Paddle Board, Adj Floating Paddles, Pump, ISUP Travel Backpack, Leash,Waterproof Bag
Star Rating
Prime Status
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DRIFT Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board, SUP with Accessories | Coiled Leash, Pump, Lightweight Paddle, Fin & Backpack Travel Bag (Native Floral)
Title
DRIFT Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board, SUP with Accessories | Coiled Leash, Pump, Lightweight Paddle, Fin & Backpack Travel Bag (Native Floral)
Star Rating
Prime Status
Details
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ADVENOR Paddle Board 11'x33 x6 Extra Wide Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with SUP Accessories Including Adjustable Paddle,Backpack,Waterproof Bag,Leash,and Hand Pump,Repair Kit (Green)
Title
ADVENOR Paddle Board 11'x33 x6 Extra Wide Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with SUP Accessories Including Adjustable Paddle,Backpack,Waterproof Bag,Leash,and Hand Pump,Repair Kit (Green)
Star Rating
Prime Status
Details
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Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Premium sup Accessories & Backpack, Non-Slip Deck, Waterproof Bag, Leash, Paddle and Hand Pump. (Black)
Title
Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Premium sup Accessories & Backpack, Non-Slip Deck, Waterproof Bag, Leash, Paddle and Hand Pump. (Black)
Star Rating
Prime Status
Details
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Bluefin Cruise SUP Package UK Design | Stand Up Inflatable Paddle Board | 6” Thick | Fibreglass Paddle | Kayak Conversion Kit | All Accessories | 5Year Warranty | Multiple Sizes: Kids, 10’8, 12’, 15’
Title
Bluefin Cruise SUP Package UK Design | Stand Up Inflatable Paddle Board | 6” Thick | Fibreglass Paddle | Kayak Conversion Kit | All Accessories | 5Year Warranty | Multiple Sizes: Kids, 10’8, 12’, 15’
Star Rating
Prime Status
Details
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FunWater Inflatable 10'6×33"×6" Ultra-Light (17.6lbs) SUP for All Skill Levels Everything Included with Stand Up Paddle Board, Adj Floating Paddles, Pump, ISUP Travel Backpack, Leash,Waterproof Bag
Title
FunWater Inflatable 10'6×33"×6" Ultra-Light (17.6lbs) SUP for All Skill Levels Everything Included with Stand Up Paddle Board, Adj Floating Paddles, Pump, ISUP Travel Backpack, Leash,Waterproof Bag
Star Rating
Prime Status
Details

Reviews of the Best Paddle Boards For Beginners

1. DRIFT Inflatable Paddle Board

DRIFT Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board, SUP with Accessories | Coiled Leash, Pump, Lightweight Paddle, Fin & Backpack Travel Bag (Native Floral)

Check Price on Amazon

Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 10’8”
  • Width: 33 inches
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Deflated Dimensions: 38” x 18” x 12”
  • Weight: 19 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

At just under 11 feet long, this paddle board is a great stable platform for beginners to learn with. Although it is an inflatable, it is made with military-grade PVC material that resists puncturing or tearing even if you’re not as careful on rocky shorelines as you should be.

It has grab handles at the nose and tail, as well as at the center of the board, which make it easy to carry by yourself or with a partner. It also comes as part of a larger package that includes a pump, a three-piece paddle, a leash, a removable fin, a repair kit, and a backpack-style carrying bag that everything fits nicely inside.

2. ADVENOR Inflatable Paddle Board

ADVENOR Paddle Board 11'x33 x6 Extra Wide Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with SUP Accessories Including Adjustable Paddle,Backpack,Waterproof Bag,Leash,and Hand Pump,Repair Kit (Green)

Check Price on Amazon

Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 11’
  • Width: 33 inches
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Deflated Dimensions: 35” x 14” x 8.5”
  • Weight: 18.7 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds

This board from ADVENOR is another inflatable model, but this one offers a slightly higher weight capacity that makes it more suitable for larger paddlers. It also comes with three removable fins, which allow you to customize the fin box depending on how much control you need.

This model also comes with a bunch of the extra accessories you’ll need, including a waterproof phone case, a manual pump, and a carrying bag. The paddle that it comes with also adjusts from 65 to 82 inches, which makes it suitable for paddlers up to about 6’2” tall.

3. Roc Inflatable Paddle Board

Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board with Premium sup Accessories & Backpack, Non-Slip Deck, Waterproof Bag, Leash, Paddle and Hand Pump. (Black)

Check Price on Amazon

Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 10’
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Deflated Dimensions: 33” x 16.2” x 12.2”
  • Weight: 17.5 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 350 pounds

The Roc inflatable paddle board is the shortest board on our list so far, which makes it a great choice for smaller paddlers. At its size, it is also one of the most lightweight paddle boards in the industry.

This complete SUP package comes with a collapsible three-piece paddle, a removable fin, a leash, a waterproof dry bag, a manual pump, and a backpack-style carrying bag that contains everything.

4. Bluefin Cruise SUP Package

Bluefin Cruise SUP Package UK Design | Stand Up Inflatable Paddle Board | 6” Thick | Fibreglass Paddle | Kayak Conversion Kit | All Accessories | 5Year Warranty | Multiple Sizes: Kids, 10’8, 12’, 15’

Check Price on Amazon

Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 10’8”
  • Width: 33 inches
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Deflated Dimensions: 36” x 22” x 10”
  • Weight: 39 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 287 pounds

The Bluefin Cruise SUP Package is unique in that it actually comes with a padded kayak seat that can help you convert this paddle board into a sit-on-top kayak. There are multiple D-rings on the deck of the board for securing that seat in various positions.

It is also a complete package that comes with a lightweight fiberglass paddle that is actually 45% lighter than most paddles you’ll get with inflatable boards. The package also includes a removable fin, a leash, a manual pump, and a compact carry bag.

5. FunWater Tiki Inflatable Paddle Board

FunWater Inflatable 10'6×33"×6" Ultra-Light (17.6lbs) SUP for All Skill Levels Everything Included with Stand Up Paddle Board, Adj Floating Paddles, Pump, ISUP Travel Backpack, Leash,Waterproof Bag

Check Price on Amazon

Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 10’6”
  • Width: 33 inches
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Deflated Dimensions: 36” x 14” x 8”
  • Weight: 17.6 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds

It will be tough to have a bad time paddle boarding with a board called the FunWater Tiki. It’s a great base model for beginners because it’s lightweight, super stable, and offers plenty of weight capacity for you and your stuff.

This board comes with three removable fins that allow you to customize your fin box and the construction boasts strengthened board rails for added durability. The package also includes a leash, manual pump, waterproof phone case, paddle, and carrying bag.

6. Soopotay Primary Inflatable Paddle Board

Soopotay Stand Up Paddle Board,Inflatable Paddle Boards for Adults, Blow Up Paddle Board 10' x 32'' x 6'', iSUP Package with All Accessories

Check Price on Amazon

Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 10’
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Deflated Dimensions: 35” x 16” x 11”
  • Weight: 18 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 280 pounds

Soopotay is right there in the same realm as the other inflatable boards on this list so far. It’s a slightly more compact package, but that keeps the weight down and makes the deflated dimensions slightly more manageable when you need to fit it in the trunk of a car or in your closet at home.

It’s still a complete package, however. It comes with a removable center fin and two permanent side fins, a leash, a waterproof phone case with an arm strap, a manual pump, a collapsible paddle, and its carrying bag.

7. SereneLife Inflatable Paddle Board

SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with Premium SUP Accessories & Carry Bag | Wide Stance, Bottom Fin for Paddling, Surf Control, Non-Slip Deck | Youth & Adult Standing Boat

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Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 10’6”
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Deflated Dimensions: 36.5” x 17” x 10”
  • Weight: 19.6 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 275 pounds

This inflatable board from SereneLife is sure to make you feel as serene as can be on a calm day on the water. It is made with double-layer fabric for extra durability and the deck includes a non-slip EVA pad for better grip if you like to paddle barefoot.

At the nose, there is a bit of bungee rigging to help you secure a dry bag or slide your water shoes into a secure location. This board comes with a paddle, a removable fin, a repair kit, a leash, a manual pump, and a carrying bag.

8. ISLE Pioneer Inflatable Paddle Board

ISLE Pioneer Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard & iSUP Bundle Accessories & Backpack — Wide Stance, Durable, Lightweight — 285 lbs Capacity (Teal Blue, 10'6" x 34" x 6")

Check Price on Amazon

Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 10’6”
  • Width: 34 inches
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Deflated Dimensions: 39” x 18” x 13”
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 285 pounds

The ISLE Pioneer is one of the widest models you’ll find out there at this board length, which provides extra stability for taller and heavier paddlers. While that extra width does mean this board weighs a bit more than the competition, that extra weight might be worth it.

In terms of being a complete package, with the board, you’ll also get a removable center fin, an eight-foot coil leash, a three-piece collapsible paddle, a manual pump, and a travel bag that stores everything neatly between outings.

9. MURTISOL Inflatable Paddle Board

MURTISOL Inflatable Paddle Board Stand Up Paddle Lake Blue

Check Price on Amazon

Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 10’6”
  • Width: 33 inches
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Deflated Dimensions: 37” x 18” x 9.5”
  • Weight: 37.2 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 280 pounds

The MURTISOL paddle board is a bit heavier than the competition, but it also offers something that many of these other boards do not. It comes with a backpack-style carrying bag that’s actually made for trekking this board into more remote locations.

Sure, lots of these boards come with backpack carrying bags, but few have a waist belt and the kind of adjustment points that this model offers. In fact, when everything is all packed up, you might even mistake this board bag for a large hiking backpack.

10. DAMA SUP New Energy Inflatable Paddle Board

DAMA 10'6"x32"x6" Premium Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 inches Thick) with Durable SUP Accessories, Wide Stance, Surf Control, Non-Slip Deck, Paddle and Pump

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Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 10’6”
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Deflated Dimensions: 34” x 14” x 11”
  • Weight: 19.8 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds

The New Energy is one of the most beginner-friendly SUPs that DAMA has to offer. Its dimensions provide plenty of stability without being too large to make it difficult to maneuver when you’re still learning the basic paddle strokes for paddle boarding.

It also features a sport camera mount at the front and center of the board so you can capture your funny falls as you’re learning. Plus, this board comes with a total of 12 D-rings on the deck, which make it easy to secure your belongings or attach an aftermarket kayak seat if you want to convert it for more comfortable seated paddling.

11. Lifetime Freestyle Hardshell Paddle Board

Lifetime Freestyle Hard Shell Paddleboard with Paddle, 9'8"/X-Large, Glacier Blue

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Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 9’8”
  • Width: 35.5 inches
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 220 pounds

The first hardshell paddle board on our list is the Lifetime Freestyle and this shorter design is ideal for smaller paddlers, teenagers, or even young kids learning how to paddle board. It offers plenty of width in spite of its shorter length and is still relatively lightweight for a rigid board.

It is made of UV-protected high-density polyethylene that’s very similar to what you’d see used in the construction of some of the best plastic kayaks. The deck features a non-slip EVA foam padding and the tail includes two removable injection-molded fins to improve your tracking ability.

12. ISLE Cruiser Hardshell Paddle Board

ISLE Cruiser Stand Up Paddle Board & SUP Bundle — Rigid Board with Lightweight Foam Core and Soft, Comfort-Top Deck Pad — 235 Pound Capacity, 10’5” Long x 32" Wide x 4.5” Thick (Green, 10'5")

Check Price on Amazon

Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 10’5”
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Height: 4 inches
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 235 pounds

The Cruiser board from ISLE SUP is excellent for beginners but also stable enough for those getting into paddle board yoga classes. The entire top of the board is padded for comfort and protection when you’re just starting out.

At the tail, there’s just one nylon touring fin, which is deep enough to provide easy maneuvering when you need it. This board also comes with its own eight-foot coil leash and a carbon hybrid adjustable SUP paddle.

13. Boardworks Surge Hardshell Paddle Board

Boardworks Surge | Recreational Stand Up Paddleboard | SDK Softdeck Epoxy Hardboard with Paddle | 10' 6", Blue/White

Check Price on Amazon

Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 10’6”
  • Width: 36 inches
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Weight: 23 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 245 pounds

The Boardworks Surge is an all-purpose rigid SUP that’s super forgiving for beginners. It has a soft outer skin that’s easy on your feet and doesn’t hurt if you fall back onto the board when you’re trying to stand up for the first time.

When you do get it going, the board’s slick bottom makes it glide through the water easily and an integrated handle makes it easy to carry when you’re done. Plus, this board comes with a two-piece collapsible paddle with a handle that adjusts for paddlers from 5’4” up to 7’ tall.

14. Boardworks Kraken Hardshell Paddle Board

Boardworks Kraken | Surf and Fun Stand Up Paddleboard | EXP Veneer - Epoxy Hardboard | 10' 3", Bamboo/Grey/Ocean

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Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 10’3”
  • Width: 34 inches
  • Height: 4.75 inches
  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 260 pounds

The Kraken from Boardworks is slightly more compact than the Surge, but it’s also thinner so you can sit a little lower in the water and be more efficient. This all-around board can handle everything from calm lakes to light surf once you boost your skills.

The SUPLift handle at the center of the board makes it super easy to carry and three tie-down points provide secure gear storage. It also features a center fin box and comes with a quick-connect fin that can be installed or removed without any extra tools.

15. Lifetime Amped Hardshell Paddle Board

Lifetime Amped Hardshell Paddleboard with Paddle, 11', Glacier Blue

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Paddle Board Specifications

  • Length: 11’
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Height: 5.8 inches
  • Weight: 47 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 230 pounds

The Lifetime Amped paddle board is somewhat of a big brother to the Freestyle model we detailed earlier. It does boast the same UV-protected high-density polyethylene construction but features just one nine-inch retractable injection-molded fin at the tail.

The deck is covered with EVA padding for added traction and cushion under your feet, knees, or bottom. It also includes an attachment loop for a coil leash, bungee rigging at the nose for storage, a central carry handle, and an adjustable fiberglass SUP paddle.

Our Pick – ISLE Pioneer

ISLE Pioneer Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard & iSUP Bundle Accessories & Backpack — Wide Stance, Durable, Lightweight — 285 lbs Capacity (Teal Blue, 10'6" x 34" x 6")

Check Price on Amazon
If we had to choose one of these models to recommend to beginners, it would be the ISLE Pioneer. ISLE SUP is one of the leading names in the paddle board industry today and both their inflatable and hardshell boards are known to be high quality.

Besides the brand’s reputation, ISLE goes above and beyond to include an extraordinary paddle with this SUP. Instead of the standard plastic paddle, the paddle it comes with has a carbon fiber shaft and a nylon blade, which makes it lighter than most while also offering improved performance.

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Best Paddle Boards For Beginners

Author: Peter SalisburyPete is the Owner of KayakHelp.com. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he grew up kayaking, fishing, sailing, and partaking in outdoor adventures around the Great Lakes. When he’s not out on the water, you can find him skiing in the mountains, reading his favorite books, and spending time with his family.

Welcome! I’m so glad you are here :-) I’m Pete. I am the owner of KayakHelp.com. I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I grew up kayaking, fishing, sailing, and partaking in outdoor adventures around the Great Lakes. When I am not out on the water, you can find me skiing in the mountains, reading my favorite books, and spending time with my family.