We've tested and reviewed some of the best paddle boards for beginners and you know what? They're all pretty darned good fun!
When it comes to picking the best paddle boards for beginners there are two key considerations, you will want a stand-up paddle board that is stable and, for ease of use, fast assembly is also a key consideration.
Typically for the newcomer to the sport of paddle boarding, picking the best paddle board for you, will mean getting your hands on an inflatable paddle board. These are much easier to transport than rigid paddle boards and, with modern materials, can be inflated enough to imitate rigid boards pretty well.
We have tested a variety of the best inflatable paddle boards for beginners to get a real feel for how they handle and how easy they are to carry and assemble.
The joy of standup paddle boarding is the accessibility it offers to all, no matter what your fitness level may be, to get out on some water, be that a canal, river, lake or sea.
They’re light enough you can pack it with you to take on holiday and small enough to chuck in your boat cabin as an alternative to a heavy yacht tender. The standing up position gives you a great view of the scenery and are ideal for exploring shallow places or quiet secluded inlets. Sharing your adventures with your furry friends is easy too.
But there’s such an array of paddle boards out there for sale, it is overwhelming trying to find something that might suit you, especially if it’s your first board.
We’ve rounded up 7 inflatable standup paddle boards that we think are worth your consideration if you are brand new to the sport
Best paddle boards for beginners
Typhoon 10’2″ Inflatable SUP
Reasons to buy: Simplicity of assembly | great value for money | shorter length keeps it agile
Reasons to avoid: The colour scheme might not appeal to everyone
The Typhoon 10’2″ x 32″ stand up paddle board is an ideal beginner friendly model at a beginner friendly price point.
In the bag you get all the essentials but no frills. The pump is a fairly standard but decent model and allowed me to pump the board up to the recommended pressure in 7 minutes.
The carry bag isn’t particularly sophisticated so the paddle simply wedged in behind the rolled up board. The paddle is adjustable and again, no frills but it does the job well enough.
The board has one fin which is the standard fitment. The Typhoon SUP doesn’t flex too much either making it feel adequately stiff and nimble for most leisure paddling.
I was able to turn easily and it felt really stable due to the 32″ width. My dog didn’t mind sitting quietly up front, but if was to carry a larger dog than my dainty toed chihuahua, I’d consider adding a bit more tread surface to the nose to help avoid claw marks.
It weighed in at about 13kg. So it’s not the lightest, but it felt easy enough to carry.
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Yellow V Heartbeat standup paddleboard
Reasons to buy: Tracks well with three fins | feels stable | very little flex | comes with additional paddle for kayak style paddling
Reasons to avoid: Some might not like the black appearance | it may be hard to find a retailer
The Yellow V Heartbeat standup paddleboard is new for 2022. It comes in a nicely designed carry bag with an array of little additional extras as standard.
It offers a stiff ride with very little flex. The three fins give good tracking too meaning you’ll be able to keep this thing going in a straight line quite easily. The longer length means that this has a slightly higher load capacity, which is ideal if you’re taking your dog with you plus a bag.
It’s relatively lightweight too at 12kg.
It comes with an array of little extras, from the micro towel that is rolled up with it when it’s deflated, to the small dry bag, mobile phone dry pouch, wooden counters for playing a came as seen on the underside of this board and the extra paddle end, which means you can convert your paddleboard single paddle to a kayak style double ended paddle.
The carry bag is nicely padded with good organisation.
Overall, you get A LOT for your money with this paddleboard. We really enjoyed testing this one.
Two Bare Feet allround 10’6″
Reasons to buy: Great price | solid performer | tidy looking carry bag
Reasons to avoid: Might lack a little sophistication for some
This is a very similar model to the Typhoon with very similar dimensions and specifications.
It comes in a tubular dry bag style rucksack which has external stowage loops for the paddle.
With one large and two mini fins it tracks pretty well but retains some good maneuverability too.
At 9.4kg it’s one of the lighter models in our beginner paddleboard lineup.
Sandbanks style Ultimate Malibu 10’6” iSUP paddleboard
Reasons to buy: Fun colourful designs | stable | carry bag has wheels
Reasons to avoid: Not many handles | if you’re carrying luggage then tie downs are limited
Lots of people are really raving about the Sandbanks style paddle boards. Head over to one of the facebook groups in the UK dedicated to paddleboarding and you’ll see this brand come up time and again everytime anyone asks for recommendations for best paddle boards for beginners.
The company offers a rental service so you can try before you buy which is pretty forward thinking.
The bright colourful designs standout and there’s likely to be a design to suit most peoples tastes. As the entry level beginner board these lack a little in the sophistication department, with fewer grab handles and tie-downs compared to those number found on other slightly pricier models.
The deck tread is grippy though and these are a great way to get on the water for the first time.
Spinera SUP Light 11.2
Reasons to buy: Very light weight | rolls up small and easy to stow | stable design
Reasons to avoid: Not a lot of deck tread so may be easily damaged with pet claws if you carry one | the lightweight can be a disadvantage in windy conditions.
As the name suggests, this beginner friendly inflatable standup paddleboard is really light.
How light? about 7.3 kilograms. That’s the equivalent of two fat chihuahuas.
The width is carried quite far back to a squared off tail, giving additional stability and the length at 11’2″ gives a good amount of rider weight capacity
It comes in a variety of colour ways so there’s likely to be one that you like.
One of the ways they have shaved weight from this board is by having less deck tread, so bear that in mind if your planning to carry a pet or small child with you on board.
On the flip side though, it’s so light weight, you’re highly likely to carry this with you on a longer walk to the beach or if you don’t have a car, it’s much easier to carry on your bike or public transport.
Red Paddle 10’8″ RIDE
Reasons to buy: Excellent build quality | long life or research and development | reliable
Reasons to avoid: Quite pricey
Premium brand RED paddle set the standard to which others can only aspire to reach. It comes with the strong brand reputation for quality and excellent construction. The designs are perhaps a little less inspiring compared to some of the fun designs on other models.
They make their boards thinner than most of the others on the market, 22% thinner than the average board in fact. They reckon it adds stability by lowering the centre of gravity. I’m not convinced. But they are well put together and they do inspire confidence when paddling.
There’s no question that this is an excellent board. Though at twice the price of most other beginner boards, we’re not convinced it’s twice as good. Most rental places have Red Paddle boards due to their hard wearing build quality so you may be able to try before you buy.
THURSO SURF Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board All-Around SUP Waterwalker
Reasons to buy: Looks fab | really well laid out thoughtful deck | smart fin arrangement | nicely designed carry bag
Reasons to avoid: None!
Just look at this beauty! Designed to look more like a traditional hard board with a wood look finish this is the classiest inflatable board in our lineup.
There’s a load of tie downs and well placed handles with a paddle holder too.
So this practically laid out board not only looks ace, it’s functional too.
With three fins this tracks nicely but with two of the smaller fins slightly toed in, this gives an improved maneuverability.
If all of that wasn’t a pretty good set up, the carry bag is really well designed and comes with wheels.
We love this board! This is our top choice of the best paddle boards for beginners.