After personally paddling, weighing, and thoroughly testing 70+ boards, our expert staff has selected the best beginner stand up paddle board 2017 models. These are designated by the "A" grade and organized by categories (inflatable, all-around, touring, etc). The Supconnect team traveled across 3 states and spent 8 months individually assessing each one of the inflatable SUP boards below, counting a total of 23 metrics per board and consistently applying them across all products. The end result: simply the most comprehensive, consumer-friendly, value-added review platform in the standup paddle world. Click through each one of the reviews and find a consistent, in-depth assessment of each product listed.
The Best Beginner SUP Boards 2017
- Surftech Generator
- Boardworks Muse
- Pelican Moorea
- Pau Hana Lotus
- Boardworks Joyride Flow
- BOTE Rackham
- Pelican Antigua
- SIC Maui Air Glide Flow
- Slingshot Crossbreed
- Boardworks Shubu
- Red Paddle Co. Sport
- Starboard Zen Touring
The Best Beginner Paddle Boards 2017
|Surftech Generator||23.08 lbs||$1,399||All Around||Beginner||Non-Inflatable||32.5 inches|
|Boardworks Muse||27.3 lbs||$1,149||All Around||Beginner||Non-Inflatable||32 inches|
|Pelican Moorea||29.4 lbs||$849||All Around||Beginner||Non-Inflatable||32 inches|
|Pau Hana Lotus||35.3 lbs||$1,149||Yoga||Beginner||Non-Inflatable||34 inches|
|Boardoworks Joyride Flow||28.01 lbs||$1,099||Yoga||Beginner||Non-Inflatable||33 inches|
|BOTE Rackham||46.6 lbs||$2,349||Fishing||Beginner||Non-Inflatable||34 inches|
|Pelican Antigua||23.4 lbs||$649.99||All Around||Beginner||Inflatable||32 inches|
|SIC Maui Air Glide Flow||21.8 lbs||$999||All Around||Beginner||Inflatable||34 inches|
|Slingshot Crossbreed||22 lbs||$799||Touring||Beginner||Inflatable||34 inches|
|Boardworks Shubu||26.7 lbs||$1,099||All Around||Beginner||Inflatable||34 inches|
|Red Paddle Co. Sport||18.9 lbs||$1,499||Touring||Beginner||Inflatable||32 inches|
|Starboard Touring Zen||23.1 lbs||$1,099||Touring||Beginner||Inflatable||31 inches|
Beginner Paddle Boards 101
3 Things to Consider to Find the Best Beginner Paddle Board
1. FLOTATION & STABILITY
General Rule: First and foremost, you need a stable board. For most people, a board 11-foot in length and 30-inches wide will offer plenty of stability. Now there are features of the board that can make it more or less stable, even if having the dimensions above. Nonetheless, most boards with those dimensions should fit the bill. The goal of your first paddle session is to have fun. And for that, you can’t be struggling to keep the board stable.
More Precisely: For a beginner SUP board more tailored to your weight, use the volume of the standup paddle board as the guide. The board's volume should be about 2x your weight in kilos. Find your weight in KILOS, multiple it by 2, and replace the unit with LITERS. Say that I weigh 180 lbs (82 kg). Multiple it by 2 (82 x 2 = 164) and replace the unit with LITERS (164L). Your beginner board should be 164L minimum. Keep in mind, though, that simply using volume as a guide is not enough to get you the right board. The board may have enough volume to float you but it could be highly unstable if less than 30 inches wide. Chose the correct volume together with a minimum width of 30 inches, so you have a board that floats you but which also offers ample stability.
The beauty of stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is that there are so many ways and situations where you can participate. Here at Supconnect we break down the different uses of a paddle board into 7 categories: All Around, Touring, Yoga, Fishing, Race, Surf and River. Each category has their own specific purpose and thus, a different shape/design is necessary for each. There are boards that fit into multiple SUP disciplines and can be used in a variety of ways. A brief breakdown of each category is as follows:
- All Around: For multiple purposes but primarily for recreation
- Touring: For cruising paddles beyond the shoreline and for expedition paddling
- Yoga: For optimal stability as a floating yoga mat
- Fishing: For stability to cast the line, with plenty of accessories
- Race: For speed, coming with lightweight build
- Surf: For maneuverability and wave handling
- River: For rapids, river eddies and river wave riding
3. ADD ONS
Add-on’s are accessories for a paddle board that add to your experience on/off the water. The quality of the bag/backpack and the air pump tend to be directly related to the board’s price points. Aside from your paddle, bags and pumps are the most important add-on’s to your board and can drastically improve your overall experience with the board, such as helping you more easily carry the board and/or pump it up more quickly. Other popular add on’s include bungee cords, a minimalist way to haul things; Connexsup, which allows for all sorts of attachments, even fishing rods; and FCS II/Connect, for easy fin instal. Other add on’s could be upgraded handles like the Liftsup & EZgrab and paddle holders for when you aren’t using your paddle.
Best Beginner Paddle Board Reviews
The Generator is a beginner, non-inflatable SUP, offered at an affordable price but has a premium look. The board is very stable, lightweight and has some gorgeous looks, coming with an exceptionally beautiful play on color and graphics. The bamboo construction combined with either green or blue accent colors make the board really stand out. The board is best suited for short-range paddling around the beach and dock and is a great board that the entire family can enjoy. Its premium look and lightweight feel alone warrant Supconnect’s “A” grade.
|Price: $1,399||Build: Non-Inflatable||Weight: 23.08 lbs|
|Use: All Around||Skill: Beginner||Sizes: 9'6", 10'6", 11'6"|
The Muse is a very stable, non-inflatable beginner board designed for all-around paddling. The Muse is an award-winning board and has gorgeous graphics geared in particular towards the female paddler coming with an exceptional mix of bright colors and artwork that are eye-catching and nice to look at. The board misses a few points like lightweight construction and speed-centric design that many intermediate and advanced paddle boards encompass but for the affordable price the Muse is a stunning all-around board that is great for recreational paddling, well-deserving of Supconnect’s “A” grade.
|Price: $1,149||Build: Non-Inflatable||Weight: 27.3 lbs|
|Use: All Around||Skill: Beginner||Sizes: 10'6"|
The Moorea from Pelican is a non-inflatable, beginner SUP that is available at some of the lowest price-points in the market, but packs tremendous value with beautiful graphics and an all-around great package. It naturally misses some of the features of intermediate, advanced boards, such as faster glide and lightweight construction, however, at its very affordable price point this board offers great value and is one of the best that you can get, meriting it Supconnect’s “A” grade.
|Price: $849||Build: Non-Inflatable||Weight: 29.4 lbs|
|Use: All Around||Skill: Beginner||Sizes: 10'6", 11'6"|
PAU HANA LOTUS
The award-winning Lotus from Pau Hana is the ultimate SUP yoga paddle board that works for paddlers of all skill sets. The board is non-inflatable and is incredibly stable (as it should be since it’s geared for yoga). The Lotus has some beautiful looks, suited exactly in line for what someone who enjoys Yoga might like. The shape design is unique for boards in this category and has a squared nose and tail, which is very uncommon to see. It is pretty heavy and difficult to carry however, once you’re in the water you feel comfortable and stable while practicing yoga. The board also has multiple attachment points that can be used to hold you paddle or attach a number of your favorite accessories. The unique design and suitability for practicing yoga gives the Lotus a well-earned “A” grade.
|Price: $1,149||Build: Non-Inflatable||Weight: 35.3 lbs|
|Use: Yoga||Skill: Beginner||Sizes: 10'|
BOARDWORKS JOYRIDE FLOW
The Joyride Flow is a great non-inflatable all-around / yoga hybrid board suitable for paddlers with any skillset. The board is very stable due to its width of 33 inches and the graphics are gorgeous, featuring a wood deck and awesome artwork on the deckpad. The deck pad conveniently doubles as a yoga mat for times when you want to practice your yoga on the water and has bungee tie downs that are perfect for holding gear while you’re on the move. This paddle board is easy to carry due in part to the LiftSUP handle as the main holding point in the board. Because of the multi-purpose aspects of the board in part with premium features like the LiftSUP handle the Joyride Flow is awarded Supconnect’s “A” grade.
|Price: $1,099||Build: Non-Inflatable||Weight: 28.01 lbs|
|Use: Yoga||Skill: Beginner||Sizes: 9'11"
The Rackham is a non-inflatable, fishing-specific board that packs a punch all that it encompasses. The board is incredibly stable, perfect for what’s needed in SUP fishing and has a killer mix of colors and graphics. The board is very difficult to carry because of its size and weight, but the board comes with a ton of additions that are perfectly suited for SUP fishing. It has a paddle sheath which conveniently holds your paddle upright, ConnexSUP plugs, 2 fishing post holes, a cup holder, bottle opener, 2 through holes and 2 cooler tie downs. That’s a whole lotta extra awesomeness easily warranting it Supconnect’s “A” grade.
|Price: $2,349||Build: Non-Inflatable||Weight: 46.6 lbs|
|Use: Fishing||Skill: Beginner||Sizes: 12', 14'|
The Antigua is a beginner, inflatable SUP, offered at some of the lowest price-points in the market, but packing lots of value with beautiful graphics, a nice pump, and an all-around great package. It naturally misses some of the features of intermediate, advanced boards, such as faster glide, reinforced rails, and a more premium bag. But it is an excellent value for that beginner, price-point inflatable board, well deserving of Supconnect’s “A” grade.
|Price: $649.99||Build: Inflatable||Weight: 23.4 lbs|
|Use: All Around||Skill: Beginner||Sizes: 10', 10'6"|
SIC MAUI AIR GLIDE FLOW
The Air Glide Flow from SIC Maui is an inflatable, all-around board, perfect for beginner paddlers and is at an affordable price point under $1,000. The board has a very clean look and takes a simplistic approach with graphics and colors. The packaging that the board comes in is stunning and has a very high-quality, premium feel to it. The board is lightweight thus making it easy to carry and has FCS II tool-less fin compatibility giving it a great value for its price. The high-quality packing and materials combined with the premium look and feel make the board merit the Supconnect “A” grade.
|Price: $999||Build: Inflatable||Weight: 21.8 lbs|
|Use: All Around||Skill: Beginner
||Sizes: 9'6", 10'6", 11'6"|
Slingshot’s Crossbreed Inflatable is a stable, beginner-friendly SUP great for all-around paddling and/or short-distance touring. The Crossbreed has some nice looks, coming with a solid yellow throughout most of the board keeping it simple and striking. (The board is also offered in three other colors: Blue, Red, and Green.) At a very affordable price point the Crossbreed has premium qualities to it coming with a nice carrying bag, strong dual-action pump and FCS II fin, among other items, easily making this board a great value for its price and deserving of Supconnect’s “A” grade.
|Price: $799||Build: Inflatable||Weight: 22 lbs|
|Use: Touring||Skill: Beginner||Sizes: 11'|
The Shubu is a very stable, inflatable board that is great for beginners. The board takes the simple route in terms of looks, coming with a limited play on color and graphics however, it offers unique features having two side-bite fins and with the option of adding a third, FCS II center fin into the center fin box which is unusual for inflatables. It has reinforced rails and an arch bar in the center to help with rigidity and comes in a nice portable bag and has a repair kit in case of damage. The board has premium qualities for an affordable price, meriting it Supconnect’s “A” grade.
|Price: $1,099||Build: Inflatable||Weight: 26.7 lbs|
|Use: All Around||Skill: Beginner||Sizes: 9'6", 10'6"|
RED PADDLE CO SPORT
The Sport from Red Paddle Co. is an inflatable touring board that works for paddlers of all skill levels. The board has a very clean look to it with minimal colors and graphics keeping it very simple and clean. The construction appears very strong, as something that can handle heavy use. The board is very stable and very lightweight and is great for paddling mid to long-distances, between 3-10 miles. Its strong, lightweight construction combined with the ability to paddle some distance makes the Sport deserving of Supconnect’s “A” grade.
|Price: $1,499||Build: Inflatable||Weight: 18.9 lbs|
|Use: Touring||Skill: Beginner||Sizes: 11', 11'3", 12'6"|
STARBOARD ZEN TOURING
The Touring Zen is an inflatable SUP great for paddlers of all skill levels. Primarily designed with touring in mind the board is great for paddling mid-range distances up to 3-5 miles max. It has some nice looks with a mix of bold colors, blues and greens that are very eye-catching. This paddle board is easy to carry being that it weighs slightly over 23 lbs and the glide feels fast which is very surprising since inflatables aren’t usually fast. The board comes with a tool-less FCS II fin which is a perk and also has an FCS adaptor on the deck of the board which is unusual to have on an inflatable. The board has premium features at an affordable price thus deserving Supconnect’s “A” grade.
|Price: $1,099||Build: Inflatable||Weight: 23.1 lbs|
|Use: Touring||Skill: Beginner||Sizes: 11'6", 12'6", 14'|
To look through the 70+ boards reviewed for 2017 click HERE.
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