You can find many inflatable paddleboards online, but which one should you choose? If you are new to paddling, you may want to buy an inflatable SUP for beginners.
Why Get an Inflatable SUP VS a Hard Board?
A beginner stand up paddleboard doesn’t really look much different than other SUPs. However, they tend to be easier to balance on. Therefore, you can learn the sport faster and enjoy it more.
In addition, I like inflatable SUPs because they weigh less. This makes them easier to lift, carry and move. Plus, you can deflate them and store them pretty much anywhere.
Also, due to the fact that they can deflate, inflatable paddleboards typically ship for free. iSUPs can save you a bunch of money.
Best Beginner Paddle Board: What Do I Look For?
There are 4 key factors I use when recommending an inflatable sup for beginners. I list them below and explain why I think they are important.
1. SUP Stability
First of all, you want a board that you can balance on easily. Generally, this means you want to look for a wider SUP that has at least a 6″ thickness.
The extra height will lift the board higher out the water. Plus, it will enable you to inflate it to a higher PSI, thus making the SUP more firm and stable to stand on.
Tip: By the way, SUPs marketed as “Yoga Paddleboards” work really well as multi-use SUPs and offer great stability for beginners. And, you don’t have to use them for yoga either.
2. Best Type of Paddleboard for Beginners:
Second, look for a “Touring” style rather than a surfing, river or racing SUP. Touring paddleboards make good general use boards and work well for families.
A touring SUP typically doesn’t glide as fast, but it can be easier to steer and turn. These multi-purpose/all around boards can also be used by people of all sizes and skill levels.
I think touring boards are one of the top choices for lakes, and some beginners even use them to surf small waves.
More Inflatable Paddleboards for Beginners:
3. Look for a High-Value SUP Bundle:
Third, I look for an all-inclusive package. In other words, you get paddleboarding accessories bundled with your SUP at a cost savings to you.
This way, I don’t have to go out and spend more money on additional accessories like paddles.
New inflatable paddle board packages will always include a high pressure air pump. In addition, most bundles include a carrying bag and repair kit. See if you can get a paddle and leash included as well, since these can save you more money.
Note: Some inflatable paddleboards come with a detachable kayak seat, so you can use your board as a sit-on-top kayak as well. If you like having that option, Z-Ray offers a good price.
4. Best SUP Size for Beginners:
Paddleboards can get pretty long. The longer 12′-14′ boards move faster in the water and people prefer them for racing.
However, with a shorter board, you can turn and navigate the water more easily. Plus, they don’t weigh as much and therefore are easier to carry. Many 10′ paddleboards can carry 250-300 lbs of weight, and the iRocker can carry up to 350 lbs. It also makes a great SUP for beginners.
I personally like the 10′-11′ lengths, especially for novices. In fact, even as an experienced paddler, I often choose my 10-foot SUP over my 12’6″ SUP when I just want to go out for a quick paddle.