Best Inflatable Paddle Boards for Beginners | 2022 Top SUPs

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One of the best things about Stand Up Paddleboarding is it’s accessibility. You don’t need much to get started, and the learning curve for beginners is very friendly. But what makes the best paddle board for beginners in 2022?

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.

To determine how stable a SUP is, we consider the width of the board, how stiff it is under foot, and it’s overall shape and volume.

Finally, these boards will not only provide a stable platform for your SUP experience, but will let you paddle on lakes, rivers and oceans. You can use them for a fun time at the beach, take them on longer day trips, or anything in between.

Deal Alert: Due to all the craziness in the world right now, iRocker is running a limited time sale on all of their SUPs. It’s one of the best deals we have ever seen from iRocker, with prices that are very cheap for their Nautical SUPs (one of our top rated iSUPs for beginners).
*Click here to see the current sale.*

Or if your interested in either of the Nautical models, here are direct links to those!
Nautical 10’6

We’ve broken this list down into three groups: 

  • Best Beginner SUPs 2022

These boards are our highest recommendations for new paddlers. They are stiff, stable, versatile, and a blast to paddle.

  • Best Beginner SUPs on a Budget 2022

Quality and affordability can go hand-in-hand! These are our favorite boards on a budget that are very beginner-friendly.

  • Best Beginner Specialty Boards 2022

This last category is for the paddling and outdoor recreation enthusiast that is just getting started in SUP – you know you’ll love it and want something a little sporty, even if it’s not the most stable option.

Best SUP for Beginners – 2022 Top Picks

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Best Beginner SUPs

BOARDPRICEDIMENSIONSCAPACITYWARRANTY
Nautical-106

Nautical 10’6”

iRocker Nautical 10'6 SUP (Blue)’
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Read ReviewCheck Price10'6" x 32" x 6"
20 pounds
240 lbs2-years,
90-day money back

Gili-Komodo

Gili Komodo

Gili Komodo inflatable paddle board
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Read ReviewCheck Price10'6" x 33" x 6"
21 pounds
340 lbs2-years,
60-day money back

Nixy-Venice

Nixy Venice G4

NIXY Venice G4 inflatable paddle board
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Read ReviewCheck Price10'6" x 34" x 6"
23 pounds
400 lbs2-years,
30-day money back
Thurso-Waterwalker

Thurso Waterwalker 132

Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120 SUP board
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Read ReviewCheck Price11' x 32" x 6"
26 pounds
400 lbs2-years,
30-day money back

Honu-Fairlight

Honu Fairlight

honu-fairlight-2022
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Read ReviewCheck Price10’9” x 33" x 4.7"
18 pounds
285 lbs2+2-years,
30-day money back
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Best Beginner SUPs on a Budget

BOARDPRICEDIMENSIONSCAPACITYWARRANTY
Gili-Air

Gili Air 11’6”

Gili Air 10'6 inflatable paddle board
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Read ReviewCheck Price11'6" x 32" x 6"
21 pounds
295 lbs2-years,
60-day money back
Bluefin-Cruise

Bluefin Cruise 10’8”

2021 Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10'8
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Read ReviewCheck Price10'8" x 32" x 6"
33 pounds
330 lbs5-years,
60-day money back
Bote-Breeze

Bote Breeze 10’8”

Bote Breeze
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Read ReviewCheck Price10'8" x 33" x 6"
20 pounds
250 lbs2-years,
30-day money back
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Best Beginner Specialty SUPs

BOARDPRICEDIMENSIONSCAPACITYWARRANTY
Nixy-Newport

Nixy Newport G4

NIXY Newport G4 inflatable paddle board.’
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Read ReviewCheck Price10'6" x 33" x 6"
21 pounds
300 lbs2-years,
30-day money back
Blackfin-Model

Blackfin Model V

2021 Blackfin Model V inflatable paddle board
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Read ReviewCheck Price12'6" x 32" x 6"
30 pounds
485 lbs3-years,
90-day money back

Bote-HD-Aero

Bote HD Aero

Bote HD Aero’
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Read ReviewCheck Price11'6" x 34" x 6"
30 pounds
315 lbs2-years,
30-day money back
Red-Paddle

Red Paddle Co Sport 12’6”

Red Paddle Co Sport 12’6”’
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Read ReviewCheck Price12'6” x 30" x 5.9"
23.5 pounds
250 lbs5-years,
60-day money back

Nautical 10’6” – Best Paddle Board For Beginners (Overall)

10’6” x 32” x 6”
Availability: US, Canada, Australia, UK, Europe
Read Full Review Here
We have awarded the Nautical 10’6 by iRocker with the award for best paddle board for beginners given it’s performance, features, and super-competitive price for 2022

The Nautical 10’6” is a lighter weight and simplified version of iRocker’s All-Around boards without sacrificing stability. At it’s current price, it’s our top recommend paddle board for beginners. With the Nautical 10’6 you get a board that performs well, doesn’t break the bank, and comes with tons of great features and accessories.

The Nautical 10’6” retains much of the same design DNA and features of the iRocker 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. If your looking for a great first time SUP purchase on a budget, this is a fantastic option.


Gili Komodo

10’6” x 33” x 6”
Availability: US, International Shipping Available”>
Read Our Gili Sports Review

The Gili Komodo is a great option for beginner paddlers who are looking for a wider, more cruiser style inflatable SUP. The Komodo is 1″ wider than the Nautical, but it still is very lightweight. It does cost just a little more than the Nautical, but for those looking to take their dog, do yoga, or who just want an extra 1″ of stability, the Komodo is a great beginner (and intermediate) SUP.

The double layer construction of the Gili Komodo may slightly reduce stiffness, it makes up for it with it’s full-length deck pad. This feature is great for passengers, dogs, and practicing yoga (or just lying down for a rest). At 33” wide, even beginner paddlers can start practicing SUP Yoga without the worry of falling off with every movement. The included paddle holder also keeps your paddle out of the way and strapped to your board for easy access.

One thing I really like about the Komodo (besides it’s stability) is the wider placement of the D-rings on the front of the board. This increases the space you have under the cargo bungees, and makes the bungee cords slightly more parallel as they cross over each other – holding dry bags, layers, or anything else, just a little more secure.


The Komodo is kayak seat compatible, includes a great paddle, and the included center fin has additional surface area to help you track even straighter.

Bottom Line:The Gili Komodo is a fantastically stable SUP in a lightweight package, and is a great budget-friendly choice for the beginner SUP yogi and animal lover.


Nixy Venice G4

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

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 not just the widest board in our Best Beginner SUP list, but it’s also one of the stiffest. Together this makes the Venice the most 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.

While 34” of width offers a lot of stability, it can be a bit too wide for smaller paddlers. If you like what you see with the Nixy Venice G4, but worry it may be too wide, jump down this page and check out the Nixy Newport G4. Same great construction with a slightly different size and shape.

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
The Thurso Waterwalker 132 may only be 32” wide, but it’s still one of our favorite boards for beginners.

Thurso’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. Larger beginner paddlers (over 220lb) who aren’t so confident in their balance may want to consider a wider board like the Nixy Venice G4.


Honu Fairlight

10’9” x 33” x 4.7”

Availability: Australia

Read Our Honu Review Here

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If you are a beginner paddler in Australia you are absolutely in for a treat with this ultralight, ultra stable SUP – the Honu Fairlight.

Building off of the same design and construction as the Honu Byron (my own go-to choice for an all-around SUP), the Fairlight adds three inches in length and an inch of width over the Byron. While this might not sound like a huge difference, it actually adds 20 Liters of volume to the board increasing its weight capacity by 50lb. The extra inch of width, in addition to the woven drop stitch material and 20psi rating of Honu’s boards, will have beginner paddlers feeling stable and comfortable right away.

Honu prioritizes the overall performance of their boards with 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.

Lastly, Honu’s 4.7” thick boards 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, particularly for average to lighter paddlers.

Gili Air 11’6”

11’6” x 32” x 6”

Availability: US, International Shipping Available

Read About Gili Sports

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

The Gili Air 11’6” 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. We do recommend the 11’6” version over the 10’6” version for the additional volume and stability for beginners. Paddlers who want a slightly shorter board should take a look at the Nautical 10’6” below.

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 11’6” is one of the most versatile boards on this list, and it’s light weight makes it easy for anyone to use.

Bluefin Cruise 10’8”

10’8” x 32” x 6”

Availability: US, UK, Europe, Australia

Read Full Review Here

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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 Breeze

10’8” x 33” x 6”

Availability: US, Australia

Read Our Bote Review Here

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The Bote Breeze 10’8” balances stability, features, weight and price perfectly for the beginner paddleboarder.

The Bote Breeze is light as air – or at least close to it! At just 20lb, the single-layer board uses’s Bote’s AeroULTRA technology for a light, stiff, and durable ride. The Breeze’s 33″ width and nicely textured deck pad give a stable platform for the beginner paddler, or if you plan to bring along a kid or dog passenger.

The slide-lock center fin is simple to use and provides good tracking while the fixed side-bite fins simplify your preparation for getting on the water. The large front cargo area has plenty of room for all of your paddling essentials during the day and the four d-rings in the middle of the board allow you to attach a kayak seat, or use the Bote Travelink SUP Carry System for those with a longer walk to the waterfront. 

Bottom Line: The Bote Breeze is a great lightweight option, and with it’s extra width and length, it fits a wide range of passengers and activities.

Nixy Newport G4

10’6” x 32” x 6”

Availability: US

Read Full Review Here

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The Nixy Newport G4 is a great alternative to the Venice G4 for smaller beginner paddlers, or for paddlers who want an all-around SUP that has a sporty feel.

Like the Venice, the Nixy Newport G4 uses woven drop stitch fabric and carbon fiber rails to make a stiff and durable SUP. The 33” width is stable when standing directly over the middle of the board, but the strong taper to a narrow tail reduces stability with additional weight, or when standing closer to the tail, giving it a nimble and sporty feel.

The Newport G4 still has a large cargo area in the rear of the board and slightly smaller one up front and is kayak seat compatible. The Nixy Typhoon pump and carbon fiber hybrid paddle are some of my favorite iSUP kit accessories.

Bottom Line: The Nixy Newport G4 provides an easy-to-use stable platform for smaller paddlers.

Blackfin Model V

12’6” x 32 x 6”

Availability: US, Canada, Australia, UK, Europe

Read Full Review Here

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The Blackfin Model V is the perfect board for the beginner that wants to go far and do it all.

The Blackfin Model V by iRocker is a touring board at heart, but with a significant amount of versatility. The 12’6” length not only adds volume and stability, but the longer shape paddles faster and more efficiently. It’s extremely stable thanks to its width, triple-layer PVC construction and carbon fiber rails. The three-fin setup also allows you to adjust your settings for water depth and maneuverability.

While it takes it’s core from a touring board, The Model V is a great option for the paddler who wants one board to do it all from cruising to fishing to touring, and do it all well. There is one set of removable grab handles for passengers, and the Model V also adds two Scotty mounts for a fishing rack or rod holders.

Smaller paddlers may struggle a little with the Model V’s large volume and may feel better on the Red Paddle Co. Sport 12’6” below.

Bottom Line: If I could only paddle one board it would be the Blackfin Model V. It’s fast, it’s stable, and it’s loaded with features.

Bote HD Aero

11’6” x 34” x 6”

Availability: US, Australia

Read Our Bote Review Here

Check Price

If you are getting into Stand Up Paddleboarding to take your fishing game to the next level, or you want to bring everything and the kitchen sink on your trip, then the Bote HD Aero is the ride for you.

Bote’s HD Aero is an all-around SUP with a heart for fishing. The extra wide 34” board and parallel shape is not only incredibly stable, but also tracks well and has predictable handling.

There is plenty of space for fishing or camping gear in the front and rear, or even additional passengers. The HD Aero includes a Magnepod insert in the deck to hold metal water bottles or tumblers to keep your coffee at hand while chasing fish early in the morning, and the Travelink compatible d-rings make moving the board while inflated hassle-free.

The HD Aero is available in its standard configuration, the Bug Slinger edition – with even more fishing accessories, and the Full Trax edition that includes a full-length deck pad for passengers, dogs, or even some yoga.

Bottom Line: While it is a little heavy, the Bote HD Aero is ready to take on as much as you can throw at it.

Red Paddle Co. Sport 12’6”

12’6” x 30” x 6”

Availability: US, Canada, UK, EU, Australia, NZ

Read Full Review Here

Check Price

“I want to go fast.” If you’ve ever said these words, the Red Paddle Co. Sport 12’6” iSUP will help fulfill your dream.

The narrowest board on this list, the Red Paddle Co. Sport 12’6” is not for everyone at only 30” wide. But, if you are a new paddler who wants to paddle long distances, get a great workout on your SUP, or even start racing, then this is the best beginner board for you.

The double-layer MSL construction unique to Red Paddle Co. raises the maximum board pressure to 20psi. The patented Rocker Stiffening System battens on the side of the board create an incredibly stiff board that seems to fly across the water while you paddle.

The Sport 12’6” is indeed a fast board, but it is not as versatile as the other options on this list. Weight capacity and cargo space are on the low side, and the narrower shape makes the board less stable over all.

Bottom Line: The Red Paddle Co. Sport 12’6” does one thing and does it well. It’s an amazing board for those just getting into the sport who know they want to tour or race.

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.

  • PFDA 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.re.
  • 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!