Best Beginner Stand Up Paddle Boards
Nov 25, 2019
Stand up paddleboarding has exploded in popularity in the last ten years. Consumers have recognised the sport’s potential beyond just recreational paddling. Paddleboarding is an excellent workout and an exciting way to connect with the great outdoors. From SUP Races to SUP Yoga the possibilities for the sport is as limitless your imagination, so when you’re looking to invest in your very first board the choices can be overwhelming.
We have made it easy here at Bay Sports and picked the Top 3 boards from our range of Inflatable SUPs specifically for beginners. These boards are made for anyone looking to break into the world’s fastest-growing watersport. Whether you dream of taking your yoga practice to the water, boosting your balance and fitness or just exploring where your SUP journey will take you, these boards will get you there!
10’8 Seek | Best for high quality at an entry-level price
- Length - 10’8
- Width - 34”
- Capacity - up to 130kg
- Progression - advanced stances and turns
Globo Surf chose our 10’8 Seek as ‘a top rated choice in 2019’ for its versatility, usability and affordability. It is a premium quality board that comes complete with our BasiX range of accessories making it an affordable investment.
10'8 Seek has the length and width to keep you stable
You certainly don’t need to break the bank to purchase a quality board and Seek definitely proves that. It has been designed specifically with first-timers in mind. Its extra width (34 inches) and extra thickness (6 inches) make it the perfect SUP for beginners. These dimensions make the board incredibly stable, so you will feel confident as you start developing your SUP skills.
Transitioning to a standing position on a SUP is a common difficulty for first-time paddlers. Boards with smooth deck pads can feel slippery underfoot, which can make the transition even harder. Diamond-grooved deck pads are a great feature to look for when choosing a beginner board. This style provides excellent grip so that moving from your knees to feet feels much less daunting.
Seek features our signature Diamond-Grooved EVA Deck Pad which is soft underfoot. EVA is a flexible material with a soft, foam feel as opposed to a rigid plastic deck pad that is used on some hardboards. This provides a nice, soft landing for any knocks or tumbles you may take while finding your sea legs!
The 10’8 Seek is a versatile board that will continue to perform as you develop beyond beginner status. A tapered tail provides you with the ability to make quick directional turns so you can start to practice more advanced moves and stances such as hybrid and surf stance and pivot turns. This pulled back design also makes the board track quick and smooth as you learn to put more power into your stroke.
11’6 Tour | Best for speed and stability
- Length - 11’6
- Width - 32”
- Capacity - up to 120kg
- Progression - Touring and racing
If you are looking for a fast, stable board then look no further than the 11’6 Tour. An extended nose gives you speed as it can cut through the water much more effectively than the rounded nose of the Seek. While you make think that you would have to compromise stability for speed this isn’t the case with Tour, we designed a squared-off tail to keep you stable even in choppier waters.
Choose the 11'6 Tour if you're a beginner looking for a speedy entry to paddleboarding
As with all the SUPs in the Signature Series, the 11’6 Tour comes with a full fibreglass, adjustable paddle. Many paddles that come included with stand up paddleboard purchases are a cheaper, plastic construction to keep the overall price of the board low.
The issue with plastic for a beginner is the amount the paddle flexes when you draw it through the water. This flex reduces the power of your stroke meaning you will have to paddle harder to maintain speed. Conversely, fibreglass paddles are much stronger meaning they have minimal flex which allows you to achieve the full potential of each stroke. Fibreglass is also lightweight which reduces arm and shoulder fatigue, particularly over long distances.
Signature series premium accessories with full fibreglass paddle
Once you pick up speed on the Tour you will be able to maintain it with ease, making long-distance paddling obtainable for even the most novice SUPper. This is the ideal board for someone looking for a paddleboard that will be comfortable while starting out but has the spec that will support further development.
11’ Mandala | Best for gentle, stable SUPping
- Length - 11’
- Width - 34”
- Capacity - up to 140kg
- Progression - SUP Yoga
The Mandala is more than just a dedicated yoga stand up paddleboard. Some SUP Yoga boards compromise good tracking for stability but that isn’t the case with Mandala. An FCS Connect II centre fin gives the board good tracking and the ability to turn with ease. This means that Manadala will serve as more than just a yoga SUP for someone looking to invest in their first board.
Mandala is 11 feet long and 34 inches wide providing the largest volume in the Bay Sport iSUP range. The extra volume can support a total weight of up to 140kg so a beginner will feel very stable and comfortable from their first paddle.
Unlike the other boards in the range, Mandala has a smooth EVA deck pad which provides all the grip you need as a beginner finding your feet. The deck pad covers the board from nose to tail so you will have that grip wherever you land your hands and feet during your practice. There is also no centre handle to contend with as you move around the board or bliss out in Shavasana. Instead, the board has a built-in, neoprene shoulder strap so you can carry it comfortably down to the water’s edge.
Stand up paddleboarding has the fastest progression of any board sport, on or off the water. Any of these boards will give you the confidence as a beginner but if you are still looking for even more hints and tips before investing in your own board check out our Beginner’s Guide to Stand Up Paddleboarding.