6 Beginner Friendly Stand-up Paddle Boards
We have seen that stand up paddle board on the water. Looked at it on racks at our local shop. And the day comes, to make the purchase and bring it home.
How did we choose that special board? And make sure it was the best fit for our needs?
We want to help answer those questions by suggesting 6 of our favorite beginner friendly boards. And why.
Before we jump into naming our favorite boards. We want to give a bit of background on why these boards are beginner friendly and make great first board purchases. We also want to explain all the accessories that are required to make the time on the water the most enjoyable.
Accessories: The following pieces of equipment may or may not accompany the purchase. This checklist will help get you out on the water safely and experiencing stand up paddling easily.
Safety Equipment: A life jacket and leash. These two pieces are a must have, and in some areas mandatory, accessories to accompany us when we are heading out for a paddle. There are many options of both and the local shop will help us suggest the best options. Always check with the local authorities on the requirements. As each body of water may have different rules.
Paddle: This piece of equipment is the one we use the most. By having it properly sized and lightweight will help our on the water experience. If you were to spend a bit more money upgrading, the paddle is a great option to do so.
Fin: Without a fin, paddling is nearly impossible. Most boards come with one at the time of purchase. And they will be between 7” and 9” in length. Along with the fin there is a screw that will secure it to the board. The shop will be able to provide guidance on this, don’t be afraid to ask how to put it on.
Tie Down Straps: This piece is always the one we forget. We make the big purchase. And go to leave the store and find out we don’t have the equipment to bring it home. Having stand up paddle board specific straps to secure the board on the roof is the easiest way. Other types of straps can work but may also damage the board. And not secure it properly.
Stand-up Paddle Board: What makes a board beginner friendly? Uses. Stability. Lightweight. Durable. Price.
Based on these 5 categories we are going to suggest boards that fill this need. As paddlers we understand that the boards need versatility. Are stable while paddling. Can be carried to the water. Won’t damage easily. And are not too expensive.
To further expand on these 5 categories here some general rules.
Uses: Lakes, calm streams and rivers, Intracoastal, Bays and the ocean. Wind below 6 mph and light to zero current.
Stability: Having a board that we can stand on without any issues. 32” is a great width for paddlers up to 200 pounds. A board that is under 32” can still be a beginner board if the paddler is smaller, under 130 pounds. Widths of boards below 30” are for paddlers with a bit more experience. And those boards will fall in the intermediate range.
Lightweight: Weight is an important feature of a board. If we are unable to carry it to the water. Load it on our vehicle. Then we will most likely not use it. Under 30 pounds is best.
Durability: The most upsetting day is when our board gets damaged. Whether it is from hitting something in the garage. Or the dock. Having a board that can withstand those minor bumps and bruises keeps us on the water.
Price: Boards are an investment. And like any investment, the more you invest the bigger the return. But we understand there's a limit. Beginner prices can vary between $800 and $1400.
Our 6 Favorite Beginner Friendly Stand-up Padle Boards
Lido: It is a new addition to our line this year. Has received a lot of great feedback. As it falls into everyone of our categories of being a great beginner, friendly SUP. Coming in two sizes, 10’6 x 32” and 11’6” x 33”. A great board for families and friends to use and share. It is the most durable board we have made. It can be locked to a dock. Has tie downs to secure belongs while paddling. In the US, prices start at $799.
Transit: Another new board for 2018. The sizes 10’6” x 32”, 11’6” x 32” covering a large range of paddlers. The construction is a bit softer material and still a durable model. Another great option for families or for an individual owner. It also has tie downs and can be locked up. In the US, prices start at $999
Universal TEKEFX: A staple in our line. The Universal showcasing a wood reveal and is a stable ride. Having the sizes to handle paddlers up to 220 pounds in the 11’6 size. In the US prices start at $1349.
NSP P2 Cruise: New for 2018 this 10’2 x 32” cruiser shape is a versatile shape. The soft top construction, soft deck and bottom wrapped around a hard board. Is durable. Stable and a great price. In the US starting at $899.
NSP Elements Allrounder: The Allrounder has been a mainstay in the lineup. It is a board that handles a wide variety of conditions. Flat, glassy lakes. Small ocean surf. It has a great glide and is stable. Is durable. And priced In the US at $899.
NSP Coco Cruise: A shape that is designed at doing a bit of everything. And a construction that has a connection to nature. Cocomat technology integrates Coconut husks from our friends at Harmless Harvest into the construction of the board. Making the board lightweight, durable and providing a unique look. Prices in the US start at $1349
We hope these tips and boards help you in your search for your first paddle board. Check out our dealer locator to find the Surftech/NSP dealer nearest to you.
See you on the water,