Stand up Paddleboarding has swept the country over the last decade. Initially, a Peruvian method of fishing over 3000 years ago, SUP has evolved into a recreational pastime, moving from its primary outlet in Hawaii to California and then eventually taking over the globe.
For those wanting to try SUP, achieving balance and coordination is often challenging for beginners. You have to find a board that is easy to use, durable, versatile, and just plain fun.
When looking for a stand-up paddleboard, consider the materials, the length, and width. Inflatable boards are often the best for beginners, as they're durable and easy to carry. A height of 9-12 feet is ideal with a width greater than 30". Recognizing the difference between a planing hull and a displacement hull can also be helpful in the decision process. Your best bet is to go with a planing hull -- it's flat, wide, and maneuvers well in the water. If you plan on racing, the pointier displacement hull is better suited for fast speeds.
Six Great Beginner Boards
1.) Tower Adventurer 2 10'4'' Inflatable SUP Package
Advanced features from its original design make Tower Adventurer 2 the go-to option for beginner stand up paddle boarders. Constructed of military grade PVC, this board is packaged with a pump, paddle, and carrying strap. It holds up to 350 lbs. and contains a bungee rope that allows you to harness gear to your board. The pointier nose gives these paddle boards a faster ride.
2.) Tower Adventurer 9'10'' Inflatable SUP Package
Although the second Tower Adventurer may have improved upon its predecessor, it's still hard to beat the original. The inflatable Tower Adventurer is just as sturdy as its successor, able to hold 350 lbs. Since the nose is flat, it's easier for beginners to navigate. As far as features go, the Tower Adventurer has a handle for carrying, and a 2-year warranty backs it. Plus, you won't be breaking the bank as you might with other boards.
3.) Surftech Generator
If you can splurge, choose the Surftech Generator. It's not inflatable, instead made from lightweight bamboo and fiberglass and weighs under 25 lbs. What's particularly special about the Surftech Generator is its flexibility regarding purpose. You can use it in just about everything, from racing to touring, and even fishing. Beautifully designed and highly durable, the Surftech Generator stands out among the stand-ups.
4.) Isle Versa Epoxy 10'5'' Standup Paddle Board
An epoxy is used to create these popular inflatable boards. Like the Surftech Generator, the Isle Versa is pretty lightweight (at only 27 lbs.) and can hold up to 275 pounds. Due to its epoxy material, the board holds up to wear and tear, making it a solid board for beginning riders.
5.) Thurso Surf WaterWalker 11'
Like the Tower Adventurers, the Thurso Surf uses military grade PVC. One thing that sets it apart, however, is that it possesses three removable fins, allowing for different types of surfing depending on your preference. The Waterwalker is a huge board, able to accommodate approx. 350 lbs. Bundled with a lightweight carbon paddle, a safety leash, and a cooler, this is one board with much to offer.
6.) Pau Hana LotusFor yoga fans, this non-inflatable board is cleverly crafted for stability and precision. With calming pink and white coloring, the Pau Hana Lotus is also a pretty-looking board. Not only that, its design (a square nose and tail) is unique for SUP boards in general, just adding to its balance in the water.
Stand up paddleboarding may be difficult to grasp, but these boards make it easy to learn. They're well-designed for multiple uses, so find the board that works best for you. And remember, have fun out there!