Best Inflatable Paddle Boards for Beginners | 2022 Top SUPs

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Best Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard (iSUP) for Beginners
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One of the best things about Stand Up Paddleboarding is its accessibility. You don’t need much to get started, and the learning curve for beginners is very friendly. But what makes an ideal paddleboard for beginners?

The most common worry with beginner paddleboarders is: Do I have enough balance to stand up? With that in mind, our criteria for a great beginner paddleboard is one that provides the best stability while still being designed to paddle in a variety of different conditions. We’ve also taken price into account as many beginner paddleboarders want to keep their initial investment into the sport low until – and we get that!

One of the many wonderful things about the paddleboards on our Best Beginner iSUP list is that they are great all-around iSUPs to keep even if you do decide to upgrade later on (and then it becomes a great way to get your friends and family on the water with you!).

The iSUPs on this list are hand picked for a mixture of reasons to meet the different needs that you may have. All of them have one thing in common – we wouldn’t hesitate for a second to put a brand-new paddler on any of them.

Best Beginner Paddle Boards Comparison Chart

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Best Beginner SUPs

BOARDPRICEDIMENSIONSCAPACITYWARRANTY
Nautical 10’6”

Nautical 10’6”

Nautical 10’6”
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Read ReviewCheck Price10’6” x 32.5" x 6"
19.8 pounds
320 lbs3-years,
90-day money back
Isle Pioneer 2.0

Isle Pioneer 2.0

Isle Pioneer 2.0
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Review Coming SoonCheck Price10’6” x 34" x 6"
24 pounds
285 lbs2 years,
60-day money back
Gili Air 10’6”

Gili Meno 10’6”

Gili Air 10’6
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Read ReviewCheck Price10’ 6” x 32" x 6"
19 pounds
280 lbs2-years,
60-day money back
Nixy Venice G4

Nixy Venice G4

Nixy Venice G4
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Read ReviewCheck Price10'6" x 34" x 6"
23 pounds
400 lbs2-years,
30-day money back
Thurso Waterwalker 132

Thurso Waterwalker 132

Thurso Waterwalker 132
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Read ReviewCheck Price11’ 0” x 32" x 6"
26 pounds
400lbs2-years,
30-day money back

bluefin-cruise

Bluefin Cruise 10’8”

Bluefin Carbon Cruise 10'8
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Read ReviewCheck Price10'8" x 32" x 6"
33 pounds
330 lbs5 years,
60-day money back
Bote Wulf

Bote Wulf

Bote Wulf’
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Review Coming SoonCheck Price10'4" x 34" x 6"
20 pounds
250 lbs2-years,
30-day money back
Honu Fairlight

Honu Fairlight

Honu Fairlight
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Read ReviewCheck Price10’ 9” x 32.25" x 4.7"
17.1 pounds
285 lbs2+2-years,
30-day money back



Isle Switch

Isle Switch

Isle Switch
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Review Coming SoonCheck Price11'6" x 35.5" x 6"
19 pounds
425 lbs2-years,
60-day money back
Gili-Meno

Gili Meno 10’6”

2021 GILI Sports Meno 10'6 Touring inflatable paddle board’
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Read ReviewCheck Price10'6" x 35" x 6"
23 pounds
450 lbs2-years,
60-day money back

Red Paddle

Red Paddle Co. 10’8” Ride MSL

Red Paddle Co. 10’8” Ride MSL’
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Review Coming Soon Check Price10'8" x 34" x 4.7"
23 pounds
265 lbs5-years,
30-day money back


Nautical 10’6”

10’6” x 32” x 6”
Availability: US, Canada, Australia, UK, Europe
Read Full Review Here

Nautical 10’6”
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The Nautical 10’6” is a lightweight iSUP with beginner-friendly stability at an unbeatable price point.

The Nautical 10’6” retains much of the same design DNA and features of the iRocker All Around 10’ with a few notable exceptions. The Nautical drops a layer of PVC (double layer rather than triple) while still keeping a stiff and stable base. The extra six inches of length not only adds volume to increase rider capacity, but also adds a little to the speed of the board. The Nautical still boasts ample cargo tie-downs, two kids’ safety handles, plenty of d-rings for a kayak seat or other accessories, and a single action mount on the front of the board. The triple fliplock fins provide excellent tracking and stability while paddling with the fiberglass/nylon paddle.

Bottom Line:The Nautical 10’6” is a great performing board that will work well for beginner paddlers, loaded with accessories, and is backed with excellent customer service.


Isle Pioneer 2.0

10’6” x 34” x 6”
Availability: US
Full Review Coming Soon

Isle Pioneer 2.0
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The Isle Pioneer 2.0 improves upon the Pioneer’s already excellent performance. The 34” width and soft deck pad offer a stable and comfortable ride for all-day fun.

At 34” wide with a wide tail, the Pioneer 2.0 offers incredible stability – perfect for beginner paddleboarders. The double layer construction is durable and adds stiffness to the board, and the soft EVA foam deck pad is comfortable to stand, sit, kneel, or lay down on. The Pioneer 2.0 includes an adjustable carbon fiber paddle with a nylon blade to balance weight and durability.

Large cargo areas, kayak seat compatibility, and a built-in paddle holder make the Pioneer 2.0 an extremely versatile board great for beginners, families, dogs, and even SUP yoga.

Bottom Line:The Isle Pioneer 2.0 is a super stable, super versatile iSUP at an excellent price.


Gili Air 10’6”

10’6” x 32” x 6”
Availability: US, International Shipping Available
Read Full Review Here

Gili Air 10’6
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The Gili Air 11’6” brings great stability and big features to a lightweight and affordable package.

The Gili Air 10’6” is so packed full of features at such a great price it’s hard to leave off of any list of best SUPs! This lightweight board has only a single layer of PVC but still has enough stiffness and stability for beginner paddlers. Paddlers who want a slightly larger board should take a look at the Nautical 11’6”.

The three snap-in fins keep the board tracking straight and quick and the deck of the Air has ample room for storage in both the front and rear, three action mounts for your GoPro, rod holder, or any other number of accessories, and easy-to-use paddle holder straps.

Bottom Line: The Gili Air 10’6” is one of the most versatile boards on this list, and its light weight makes it easy for anyone to use.


Nixy Venice G4

10’6” x 34” 6”
Availability: US
Read Full Review Here

Nixy Venice G4
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What do you get when you cross an ultra-stiff platform, a wide and stable shape, and a full length deck pad? It’s the Nixy Venice G4.

The Nixy Venice G4 is one of the stiffest inflatable paddleboards on our list. Together with its 34” width, the Venice offers an incredibly stable-feeling board for new paddlers. The full-length deck pad has plenty of room for practicing SUP yoga, or giving your favorite four-legged passenger a comfortable and secure place to stand with you.

Nixy switches things up with the cargo areas on the Venice, providing more room in the back of the board and a small set of d-rings and bungees up front. This helps keep the prime standing areas of the deck clear, but still offers five threaded action mounts, kayak seat compatible d-rings in the mid-section of the board, and a paddle holder.

Bottom Line: Stable, solid, versatile, and paddles well. There’s not much more you could ask for that the Nixy Venice G4 doesn’t offer for beginners.


Thurso Waterwalker 132

11’ x 32” x 6”
Availability: US, Canada, UK, Europe
Read Full Review Here

Thurso Waterwalker 132
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The Thurso Waterwalker 132 is not only one of our favorite boards for beginners, but one of our favorite iSUPs all around.

The Thurso Water Walker 132’s woven drop stitch construction with carbon fiber rails and long, parallel, shape with gentle tapers at the front and back of the board keep the Waterwalker 132 stable under foot and fast in the water. If you are a beginner who is looking for stability without sacrificing speed, this is your board. While the rounded nose may not look the fastest, the rest of the Waterwalker 132’s shape helps to maximize how much glide you get per stroke, making it an efficient paddler.

The large cargo area in the front is complemented with a GoPro-ready action mount, paddle holder, and more D-rings along the board for extra cargo or a kayak seat. Thurso was able to place all of these options on the board while still keeping a clean look with a very well done subtle wood grain graphic on the deck.

Bottom Line: The Thurso Waterwalker 132 is one of my favorite all-around SUPs. It feels great to paddle, is user friendly, and I absolutely recommend it to beginner paddlers.


Bluefin Cruise 10’8”

10’8” x 32” x 6”
Availability: US, UK, Europe, Australia
Read Full Review Here

Bluefin Cruise 10’8
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The Bluefin Cruise 10’8” comes standard with more accessories than we can shake a stick at. If you’re looking to get it all in one go, this is your board.

Durability and stiffness are the rallying cries of the Bluefin Cruise 10’8”. Bluefin uses heat welded rails and high density drop stitch materials to support an 18 psi inflation pressure to make the Cruise a stable board that won’t let you down or sag under a heavy load. It has ample cargo room in the front of the board, tons of D-rings, and includes kid’s safety grab handles and front action mount.

Did we mention accessories? The Bluefin Cruise 10’8” also comes standard with a kayak conversion kit in addition to the double-action pump, triple flip-lock fins, and fiberglass/nylon paddle.

Bottom Line: The Bluefin Cruise 10’8” is the heaviest board on this list, but is so stable and is such a great value that it’s easy to overlook the weight.


Bote Wulf

10’4” x 34” x 6”
Availability: US, Australia
Full Review Coming Soon

Bote Wulf
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The Wulf is Bote’s budget and beginner friendly iSUP designed with stability first.

The Wulf’s 34” width and extra wide tail make it incredibly stable on the water. The AeroUltra single-layer construction reduces weight (the Wulf is only 20 lbs) without sacrificing performance or durability.

An extra large deck pad stretches all the way to the tail of the board and a six-point cargo area on the nose of the board offers a ton of cargo space for dry bags, soft coolers, water bottles, and more.

Bottom Line: The Bote Wulf focuses on stability above everything else. It doesn’t have as many features as some other boards, but paddles well and is very light for its size.


Honu Fairlight

10’9” x 33” x 4.7”
Availability: US, Australia
Read Our Honu Review Here

Honu Fairlight
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The Honu Fairlight offers stability and excellent performance for beginner paddlers.

The Honu Fairlight prioritizes performance along with stability in a minimalist design. You won’t find an abundance of extra D-rings or action mounts on the Fairlight, but the front cargo area will easily hold a medium-sized dry bag (plenty for a day on the water) and there is a paddle holder located just behind the kick pad.

The 4.7” thick Fairlight may not support quite as much weight as a 6” thick board (the Fairlight has a capacity of 285lb), however the thinner board lowers your center of gravity, making it even more stable. Like all of Honu’s boards, they do not include a paddle with your kit, but do offer a 20% discount when you bundle a paddle with your board. The Honu carbon paddles are an amazing value, even without the discount, and you definitely won’t be disappointed with their performance.

Bottom Line:The Honu Fairlight is a fantastic choice for a beginner board with a focus on paddling performance and a beautifully clean design.


Isle Switch

11’6” x 35.5” x 6”
Availability: US
Full Review Coming Soon

Isle Switch
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The Isle Switch is the newest board in Isle’s lineup. It’s also incredibly versatile, lightweight, and stable making it an easy choice for beginners.

The Isle Switch is the latest offering from Isle Surf and SUP. It’s the first board with new product developer and US paddling champion Jimmy Blakeney. The Switch is a super-stable paddleboard that can accomodate two paddlers as easy as one. It’s built for extreme versatility and customization, and even includes a high-quality inflatable kayak seat, foot rest, and kayak paddle conversion with the board.

The Switch doesn’t just have a new design, but also new materials. The woven drop stitch and dual-layer fusion PVC make the Switch both incredibly stiff and incredibly light at just 19lbs.

Bottom Line:The Isle Switch offers extreme versatility in a single, well priced package.


Gili 10’6” Meno

10’6” x 35” x 6”
Availability: US, International Shipping Available
Read Full Review Here

Gili 10’6 Meno
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The 10’6” Meno from Gili Sports is well built, stiff, stable, and a great choice for the river.

The Gili Sports 10’6” Meno is built with a double layer PVC skin and carbon fiber reinforced rails for a paddleboard that offers stiffness, stability, and performance. The shorter length and 35” width also make it very maneuverable. Three removable fins let you change up how the Meno handles by swapping different fins, or removing some of the fins entirely.

Because the 10’6” Meno offers such great maneuverability, stability, high-quality deck pad, and changeable fins, it’s a great choice for beginners who paddle in rivers and shallower waters. It’s even a good choice for an introduction to whitewater SUP for the thrillseekers out there.

Bottom Line: The Gili 10’6” Meno is a great choice for beginners who want flexibility in how well their board tracks and maneuvers.


Red Paddle Co. 10’8” Ride MSL

10’8” x 34” x 4.7”
Availability: US, Canada, UK, EU, Australia, NZ
Full Review Coming Soon

Red Paddle Co. 10’8 Ride MSL
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The Red Paddle Co. 10’8” Ride offers the highest quality construction with an incredibly high performing board.

The most expensive board on this list, the Red Paddle Co. 10’8” Ride MSL, is well worth the price if you are looking for the highest quality materials, construction, and performance available. Red Paddle Co. is known for going above and beyond with their materials and constructions and it shows.

The 10’8” Ride is a super-stable all-around iSUP thanks not only to its 34” width, but also its thinner build. At 4.7” thick (compared to most iSUPs at 6” thick) the 10’8” Ride sits lower to the water and lowers your center of gravity, instantly improving your stability beyond what other 34” (or wider) boards can offer. The twin fins on the bottom of the board pull double duty to help the board track incredibly straight, but also increase stability by better resisting rolling from side to side.

And of course, Red Paddle Co.’s attention to detail doesn’t end at their boards. The entire kit is incredibly well built and effective including the bag and pump.

Bottom Line: The Red Paddle Co. 10’8” Ride is a top choice for beginners with arguably the best construction on the market.


Beginner Stand-up Paddleboard FAQs

What is a Beginner SUP?

A beginner SUP is a paddleboard that is very stable and easy to paddle. Our goal with choosing Beginner SUPs is to pick the ones that will get you out on the water and paddling comfortably as quickly as possible. This usually means wider boards with a medium length.

How big of a SUP do I need?

Inflatable SUPs fit a large range of paddler sizes and take the guessing game out of board sizing that you encounter with hard boards. There are still some sizing considerations to take. In our experience, shorter and lighter paddlers prefer boards that are a little bit shorter in length, while taller and heavier paddlers prefer longer boards. A longer board has more buoyancy and weight capacity, but is more difficult to handle on the water. Wider boards offer even more volume and stability, but may be more difficult for new paddlers to use efficiently. Stronger paddlers may not experience this difference.

Most paddlers between 5’4 and 6’ tall and 120-220lbs will usually be comfortable on boards roughly 10’6”-11’6” long and around 32” wide. Shorter paddlers may want a board 10’-10’6” long. Taller and/or heavier paddlers may be more comfortable on a board closer to 34” wide.

How Durable are iSUPs?

Believe it or not, but in most cases inflatable SUPs are actually more durable than hard boards. Because they are made of a flexible PVC material, if you run into a rock, dock, or duck, the board will bend slightly to absorb that impact and bounce off. Boards made with additional layers of PVC material will be more resistant to damage than those with fewer layers. All iSUPs are susceptible to sharp objects and abrasion. Take care where you set your board down (glass in a parking lot or beach is a big concern!) and never drag your SUP. With a little TLC, your iSUP will last you a lifetime.

How do I store my iSUP?

Always clean and dry your SUP completely before storage. Once your board is dry, roll your board just tight enough to fit into its storage bag. Rolling your board too tightly can crease it, which can create weak points over time. Store your board in its bag in a dry location out of the sun, and avoid excessively hot or cold conditions. If your board is stored around or below freezing temperatures, allow your board to warm up to room temperature before unrolling. If storing in a garage, attic, or other non-residential location, consider storing it in a hard plastic tub to deter potential pests.

How Much Should I Spend on My First SUP?

The best thing to do is find the best quality SUP that fits your needs and is within your budget. We have included several Budget Beginner Boards in this list under $700. If these boards are out of reach financially, we recommend two other routes:

  • Rent a SUP from a local outfitter if you will only be paddling a few times per year
  • Buy a quality SUP used if you will be paddling frequently

We do not recommend buying significantly cheaper new boards from large online retailers/big-box stores. There is a certain base level of cost that goes into making a quality SUP. These very cheap boards cut corners in production, and are usually not backed up with any kind of manufacturer warranty if something goes wrong.

Recommended Gear for Beginner Stand-Up Paddleboards

While Beginner SUP kits will include everything the paddleboard needs to get you out on the water, there are a few accessories that will give you a better and safer experience on your new SUP.

  • PFD – A PFD (Personal Flotation Device), sometimes called a life jacket or buoyancy aid, is a critical piece of safety equipment while on your SUP and may be required by local law. There are thousands of options for PFDs, and it is important to choose one that not only fits you well, but is designed for paddling. A quality, well-fit PFD is not noticeable when being worn. See our Best SUP PFD reviews here.
  • Dry Bag – Not everything we bring with us on our SUPs should get wet. Soggy sandwiches and waterlogged phones can ruin a good day out on the water. Dry bags come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes to fit your needs. See our Best SUP Dry Bag reviews here.
  • Coolers – whether you are keeping your drinks cold or your catch fresh, a great cooler can make the difference after hours out in the sun. Plus hard coolers make a great seat to take a break from standing! See our Best SUP Cooler reviews here.
  • Electric Pumps – Using the hand pump that comes with your board is a great way to warm up for your day paddling. But every now and then it’s nice to relax while getting ready, too. Electric SUP pumps are easy to use and let you focus on other things while inflating your board. See our Best Electric SUP Pump reviews here.

Final Thoughts – Best Beginner SUPs

Beginner SUPs don’t have to be low-quality or poor-performing paddleboards! Beginners will benefit more from higher quality SUPs as they will be more stiff and stable, and be easier to paddle than low-quality SUP-shaped-objects you might find at a big-box store. And they don’t have to break the bank! We’re confident that as a beginner paddleboarder, you’ll thoroughly enjoy any of the SUPs we’ve recommended here – because we enjoy them too!

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