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The Best Beginner Inflatable Paddle Boards Of 2022 Tests & Reviews

best beginner inflatable paddle board

Stand up paddleboarding or SUP is a lot of fun. It’s one of the fastest growing watersports today for good reasons. It is easy to do. It is a great outdoor exercise. If your new to paddle boarding and want to get your first board, there are a ton of choices out there. Which board should you get as a beginner? You need a SUP board that is stable and easy to paddle until you develop your paddle boarding skills. Let’s take a look at the best beginner inflatable paddle boards available today.

Below is a table of all my recommended pics and important specifications. Keep reading below for reviews and beginner paddleboard guide.

iRocker Cruiser

NIXY Newport G4

Chasing Blue Infinite

iRocker Cruiser Ultra

Bluefin Cruise

ISLE Pioneer 2.0

BOTE Wulf Aero

THURSO Waterwalker 132

DAMA Nature

Serenelife Thunderwave

Top Pick

Top Pick

Best Value

Rating

8.3/10

9.0/10

8.3/10

8.0/10

8.0/10

8.1/10

7.6/10

8.7/10

7.6/10

7.3/10

Price

Pros

  • Carbon paddle and triple action pump

  • Wide stable fun to paddle board

  • Lots of D-Rings for mounting accessories

  • Very stiff and light woven 2 layer construction

  • Slightly faster board shape that is still stable enough for beginners

  • Carbon paddle, 3 wheeled bag and double barrel pump

  • Stable, easy to paddle, and works with paddlers up to it’s 320 lb weight limit

  • 22 D-Rings and lots of handles for versatility and easy transport

  • Quality accessories such as roller backpack

  • Big stable board that can hold a lot of weight

  • Very compact package half the size of a normal SUP backpack

  • Electric pump included instead of a bulky big hand pumpNew List Item

  • Very complete package including a kayak seat and 2 blade paddle

  • Croco-diamond EVA deck pad with kick pad at the rear

  • Very stiff and durable board

  • Wide stable board that turns easily

  • Comes with a hand pump and electric pump

  • Includes a carbon paddle

  • Stylish looking design

  • Very stable board perfect for beginners

  • Fun to paddle on the beach or anywhere else you want to go

  • Longer faster board shape

  • Stable enough for beginners up to it's 210 lb weight limit

  • High performance carbon paddle and accessories

  • Good looking board with wood grain deck

  • The board shape is easy to paddle with good glide. 

  • Good value overall package with lots of accessories

  • Low cost complete paddleboard package

  • Easy to maneuver board shape

  • Good for who don’t want to spend much

Cons

  • Board is slower than 32″ wide boards

  • The large pump makes it difficult to load the board and pump into the bagNew List Item

  • Front bungee cord is a bit small

  • Heavier beginners should look at a Nixy Venice or Monterey for more stable options

  • Accessory and action camera mounts included but not installed on board

  • Like all wide high capacity boards, it needs a little more effort to paddle into chop and wind

  • Board is slower than 32″ wide boards.

  • Double fins need a couple more inches of water depth

  • The board is a bit heavy carrying around

  • Fin attachment can be tricky to use and replacement fins are hard to get

  • 34inch wide boards need more effort to paddle into chop and waves

  • No D-Rings for mounting a seat

  • Would prefer a fiberglass paddle at this price

  • No D-Rings for attaching a kayak seat

  • Narrow tail makes the board faster but a little less stable

  • No action mounts built into the board

  • The manufacturing of the board is a little sloppy. D-Rings aren’t centered on the board

  • The board feels a little bouncy on the water.

  • Thin feeling materials throughout

  • Paddle is flexible with soft blade

Summary

The iRocker Cruiser is the most popular board from iRocker.  It is a large wide relaxed cruising board. It can hold a lot of weight thanks to it's width and wider tail. It is great for lazy day paddling. It is one of the best beginner paddleboards available.

A really fun sporty 10'6" all around board. Woven and carbon reinforced construction makes it very stiff. Comes with a great accessory package including carbon paddle and roller bag

Chasing Blue Infinite is a great value board that we have used right up to it's 320 lb weight limit.  It uses 2 layer woven construction for stiffness. It is a wide stable board great for beginner paddlers. It comes with a great roller backpack.

The iRocker Cruiser Ultra is an updated version of the Cruiser. It fits in a bag half the size of the normal Cruiser and weighs less. It is a perfect travel board that is easy to paddle and won't take up much space. As a bonus it includes an electric pump instead of a bulky hand pump.

A fun easy all around paddleboard.  Heavy duty construction makes this one of the stiffest boards out there. Comes standard with a kayak conversion seat and paddle blade.

The ISLE Pioneer 2.0 is a great stable easy to paddle inflatable SUP. As a bonus they include both a hand pump and an electric pump. The board is stable and behaves well on the water. It is fun for learning or just going for a relaxing paddle.

A fun stylish board from popular board maker BOTE.  The Wulf is designed to be a perfect beginners board.  It's ery stable and fun to paddle. It's very light and easy to transport anywhere.

The THURSO SURF Waterwarlker 132 is their largest all around board. At 32 inches wide it is stable enough for beginners up to 210 lbs. The tail is narrowed to make the board faster and more nimble. The board includes an excellent carbon paddle and nice roller bag and triple action pump.

A very good looking board for the price. Doesn't look like a plane cheap paddleboard. Comes with more accessories than most boards.

The most popular paddleboard on Amazon.  Performs good for the price. Good for first timers who don't want to spend a lot to try paddleboarding

Review

Warranty

3 years

2 years

2 years

3 years

5 years

2 year

2 years

2 year

1 year

1 year

Size

10'6" x 33" x 6"

10'6" x 33" x 6"

10'6" x 34" x 6"

10'6" x 33" x 6"

10'8" x 32" x 6"

10'6" x 34" x 6"

10'4" x 34" x 6"

11' x 32" x 6"

11' x 33" x 6"

10' x 32" x 6"

Weight

25 lbs

21 lbs

22.5 lbs

21 lbs

29 lbs

24 lbs

20 lbs

26 lbs

19.8 lbs

19.6 lbs

Capacity

400 lbs

300 lbs

320 lbs

300 lbs

287 lbs

285 lbs

250 lbs

210 lbs

330  lbs

275 lbs

Construction

3 Layer

2 Layer Woven w/Carbon Rails

2 Layer Woven

2 Layer Woven

2 Layer

2 Layer

1 Layer

2 Layer Woven w/Carbon Rails

1 Layer

1 Layer

Ratings

iRocker Cruiser

NIXY Newport G4

Chasing Blue Infinite

iRocker Cruiser Ultra

Bluefin Cruise

ISLE Pioneer 2.0

BOTE Wulf Aero

THURSO Waterwalker 132

DAMA Nature

Serenelife Thunderwave

Stiffness

9/10

10/10

9/10

10/10

9/10

9/10

7/10

10/10

6/10

6/10

Stability

8/10

8/10

9/10

8/10

8/10

8/10

7/10

7/10

7/10

7/10

Speed

7/10

9/10

7/10

7/10

7/10

7/10

7/10

9/10

8/10

7/10

Tracking

8/10

8/10

8/10

8/10

8/10

8/10

8/10

9/10

8/10

7/10

Accessories

9/10

10/10

8/10

10/10

9/10

9/10

7/10

9/10

7/10

7/10

Setup

9/10

9/10

8/10

10/10

8/10

8/10

8/10

9/10

8/10

8/10

Portability

8/10

9/10

8/10

10/10

7/10

8/10

9/10

8/10

9/10

9/10

Overall Score

8.3/10

9.0/10

8.3/10

8.0/10

8.0/10

8.1/10

7.6/10

8.7/10

7.6/10

7.3/10

iRocker Early Summer Sale Banner 2022

The 10 best beginner inflatable paddle boards

Here are the 10 best beginner inflatable paddle boards to help you find the very best board for you. We considered features, price, performance, and user feedback in making our recommendations.

1 – iRocker Cruiser

☆ Top Pick
iRocker Cruiser on mountain lake
image courtesy of iRocker

Specifications

  • Size – 10′6″ x 33″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 400 lbs
  • Board Weight – 25 lbs
  • Construction – 3 Layer PVC
  • D-Rings – 20
  • Paddle – 3 piece carbon
  • Pump – Triple action double barrel hand pump

Rating

8.3

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Carbon paddle and triple action pump
  • Wide stable easy to paddle board
  • Durable 3 layer construction
  • Lots of D-Rings for mounting accessories
What we didn’t like
  • Takes some effort to paddle into waves and chop
  • The large pump makes it difficult to get everything back into the backpack

Summary

The iRocker Cruiser has everything you would want in a first time paddle board. It is big and stable with a large weight capacity. It comes with high quality accessories including a carbon paddle and triple action pump. It is made from durable 3 Layer PVC construction. It has enough D-Rings and handles to attach any accessory you could want to use. More expensive boards may get a little lighter and stiffer but they cost way more also. The Cruiser is 33 inch wide and has an all-around shape that is easy to paddle and turn. It is long enough to have good glide without being difficult to turn.

The iRocker All Around is also a great beginner board. It is a little faster and narrower but still very beginner friendly, especially for larger paddlers. It has the same construction, bag, pump, paddle, and accessories as the Cruiser.

See our review of the iRocker All Around to learn more.

iRocker Cruiser product image

Save up to 50% on iRocker boards and more during the Early Summer Sale at iRocker.com


2 – Nixy NEWPORT G4 ALL AROUND

☆ Top Pick
Newport paddling on lake

Specifications

  • Size – 10′ 6″ x 33″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 300 lbs
  • Board Weight – 21 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer Woven PVC with Carbon Reinforced Rails
  • D-Rings – 14
  • Paddle – 3 piece carbon
  • Pump – Triple action, double barrel hand pump

Rating

9.0

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Very stiff and durable woven construction
  • Fast and nimble performance on the water
  • Carbon paddle and durable roller bag
  • Stable enough for beginner paddlers
  • Very lightweight board that is easy to carry
What we didn’t like
  • Fewer handles than other boards
  • Can be tricky to get back into the bag with the large hand pump

Summary

The Nixy Newport G4 All Around paddleboard is a great first paddleboard. Nixy only makes their G4 line of inflatable paddle boards and produces a great board and accessories. The Newport is their all around board that is stable enough for beginners and is easy to turn with good glide.

It comes with a carbon paddle, double barrel pump, and carbon paddle. All of them feel durable and high quality. The bag has so many pockts and webbing loops on it you would think they made it for an expedition and not paddleboarding. The hand pump can inflate quickly and deflate.

The Nixy Newport makes a great paddleboard to learn on and one you will want to keep for all your adventures.

Review

Read NIXY Newport G4 Full Review

Nixy Newport G4 Product Image

Get Big Savings now during the 4th of July Sale at NIXYSPorts.com


3 – Chasing Blue Infinite All Around SUP

☆ Best Value
man paddling outdoormaster infinite sup

Specifications

  • Size – 10′ 6″ x 34″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 320 lbs
  • Board Weight – 22.5 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer Woven PVC
  • D-Rings – 22
  • Paddle – 3 piece aluminum
  • Pump – Double action hand pump

Rating

8.1

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Stable, easy to paddle, and works with paddlers up to its 320 lb weight limit
  • 22 D-Rings and lots of handles for versatility and easy transport
  • Quality accessories such as roller backpack
  • Stiff woven 2 layer construction
  • Easy for any beginner to stand on
What we didn’t like
  • Wider board is stable but takes more effort to paddle into chop
  • Could use more pockets in the carry bag

Summary

The Chasing Blue Infinite All Around paddleboard is a great paddle board for beginners. It is 34inches wide making it really stable. At 10’6″ long it still has good glide. The all around shape makes it easy to turn. The board uses 2 Layer PVC drop stitch construction for stiffness and durability. The board has 22 D-Rings and 6 handles making it easy for beginners to grab onto. The included accessories are perfectly suited for a beginner. The 3 piece aluminum paddle works well. The padded backpack with wheels is well made and holds everything. The double action pump makes inflation quick and easy.

Review

Read Chasing Blue Infinite Full Review

Chasing Blue Infinite Product Image

Use the Coupon Code ERO2022 for 20% off at OutdoorMaster.com


4 – iRocker Cruiser Ultra Inflatable SUP

Cruiser Ultra Paddling

Specifications

  • Size – 10′6″ x 33″ x 6″ thick
  • Weight Capacity – 300 lbs
  • Board Weight – 21 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer Woven
  • D-Rings – 15
  • Paddle – 5 piece carbon
  • Pump – Electric pump

Rating

9.0

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Big stable board that can hold a lot of weight
  • Very compact package half the size of a normal SUP backpack
  • Electric pump included instead of a bulky big hand pump
  • High quality 5 piece carbon paddle
What we didn’t like
  • Board is slower than 32″ wide boards.
  • Double fins need a couple more inches of water depth

Summary

The iRocker Cruiser Ultra is the latest offering from iRocker and is a great beginner paddle board. The Ultra line from iRocker are more compact and fit in bags half the size of normal paddleboard bags. The boards weigh several pounds less making them easier to transport and store. If you weren’t sure where you would keep a paddleboard before, this could be your answer.

The Cruiser Ultra comes with an electric pump instead of a hand pump. Hand pumps take a lot of effort and people find themselves exhausted before they even start paddling. The electric pump means you can save all your strength for paddling instead of pumping up the board. Learning to paddleboard is no fun when you wear yourself out before you even get on the board.

The iRocker Cruiser Ultra has the same big stable easy to turn shape as the original cruiser. It is great for first time paddlers to learn to paddle and steer a board.

Review

Read iRocker Cruiser Ultra Full Review

iRocker Cruiser Ultra Product Image

Save up to 50% on iRocker boards and more during the Early Summer Sale at iRocker.com


5 – Bluefin Cruise SUP

Bluefin Cruise Walking towards water
image courtesy of Bluefin SUP

Specifications

  • Size – 10′ 8″ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 287 lbs
  • Board Weight – 29 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer PVC
  • D-Rings – 9
  • Paddle – 3 piece fiberglass convertible
  • Pump – Double action hand pump

Rating

8.0

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Very complete package including a kayak seat and 2 blade paddle
  • Croco-diamond EVA deck pad with kick pad at the rear
  • Very stiff and durable board
What we didn’t like
  • The board is a bit heavy carrying around
  • No wheels on the carry bag

Summary

The BlueFin Cruise paddleboard is one of the stiffest boards made at any price. It uses 2 layer PVC laminate combined with 1000 denier material to create a super stiff board. The BlueFin Cruise comes as a complete package including a kayak seat and fiberglass paddle. You can use it as a paddle board or sit on top kayak. Convertible paddles don’t work great as kayak paddles. It gets the job done. The board has an all around shape that makes it easy to paddle and turn with decent glide. Any first time paddler will have no trouble standing up and getting around on it.

Bluefin Cruise Product Image

Get $100-$250 off. Check out the current Hot Deals at BluefinSUPBoards.com


6 – ISLE Pioneer 2.0

isle pioneer on water
image courtesy of ISLE Surf & SUP

Specifications

  • Size – 10’6″ x 34″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 285 lbs
  • Board Weight – 24 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer PVC
  • D-Rings – 11
  • Paddle – 3 piece carbon
  • Pump – Double Action hand pump  + Electric Pump

Rating

8.1

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Wide stable board that turns easily
  • Comes with a hand pump and electric pump
  • Includes a carbon paddle
  • Decent glide in flat water
  • Stable enough for almost any beginner
What we didn’t like
  • 34inch wide boards need more effort to paddle into chop and waves
  • No D-Rings for mounting a seat

Summary

The ISLE Pioneer 2.0 is the latest beginner all around offering from ISLE Surf & SUP. The Pioneer 2.0 is a wide stable friendly design that is perfect for beginners or relaxed paddles. It is a 34 inch wide board so it will need some extra push to get it to go into chop and waves. It comes with a high end accessory set that includes a carbon paddle and both a hand pump and an electric pump. New paddlers don’t have to wear themselves out hand pumping before they ever get on the water. The board has plenty of storage with front and rear bungees. It does not have D-Rings around the middle that could be used for attaching a kayak seat. Beginner paddlers can’t go wrong with the ISLE Pioneer 2.0.

ISLE Pioneer 2 product image

7 – BOTE Wulf Aero

BOTE Wulf Paddling

Specifications

  • Size – 10’4″ x 34″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 250 lbs
  • Board Weight – 20 lbs
  • Construction – 1 Layer PVC
  • D-Rings – 7
  • Paddle – Aluminum 3 piece
  • Pump – Double Action hand pump

Rating

7.6

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Stylish looking design
  • Very stable board perfect for beginners
  • Lightweight easy to carry package
  • Good stiffness for an entry level board
  • Good double action hand pump
  • Fun to paddle on the beach or anywhere else you wnat to go
What we didn’t like
  • Would prefer a fiberglass paddle at this price
  • The bag should have wheels at this price
  • No D-Rings for attaching a kayak seat

Summary

The BOTE Wulf is the latest entry level board from BOTE. It brings all the style and technology BOTE is known for in a beginner friendly package. It comes in at a very attractive price. The Wulf uses 1 layer PVC construction to produce a light weight board that is easy to carry anywhere. The board is 34 inches wide making it very stable and easy to paddle. It includes everything you need including an aluminum paddle and double action pump. We prefer a fiberglass or carbon paddle at the $500 price point. The Wulf is ready to take you on your first paddle.

BOTE Wulf Product Image

Get 10% Off or more during BOTE SUMMER SALE at boteboard.com


8 – THURSO Waterwalker 132

Thurso surf waterwalker 132 paddling on water
image courtesy of THURSO SURF

Specifications

  • Size – 11′ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 210 lbs
  • Board Weight – 26 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer Woven PVC w/Carbon Rails
  • D-Rings – 15
  • Paddle – 3 piece carbon
  • Pump – Triple action, double barrel hand pump

Rating

8.7

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Longer faster board shape
  • Stable enough for beginners up to it’s 210 lb weight limit
  • High performance carbon paddle and accessories
  • Stiff woven 2 layer PVC construction
  • Deck pad that extends all th way to the front of the board
  • Built in paddle holders
  • GoPro mount on the front of the board
What we didn’t like
  • Narrow tail makes the board faster but a little less stable
  • No action mounts built into the board

Summary

The THURSO SURF Waterwalker 132 is the largest of the Walterwaker all around series. It is a longer board at 11 feet and average width at 32 inches. It has a narrow tail that makes it more nimble and reduces drag for better glide. The 32 inch width makes it stable enough for lightweight beginners up to 210 lbs. This is a board suited to light beginners or intermediates of any weight. The board uses carbon reinforced 2 layer woven PVC construction so it is stiff and light for its size. It comes with a carbon paddle, roller bag, and triple action pump to round out the package.

Thurso Waterwalker 132 product image

9 – DAMA Inflatable SUP

Standing with DAMA board

Specifications

  • Size – 11′ x 33″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 330 lbs
  • Board Weight – 19.8 lbs
  • Construction – 1 Layer PVC
  • D-Rings – 8
  • Paddle -3 piece aluminum convertible
  • Pump – Double action hand pump

Rating

7.6

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • The board looks really good with the fake wood top and grooved deck pad
  • The board shape is easy to paddle with good glide. Would make a great beginner board
  • Good value overall package. This board feels like it should cost more.
What we didn’t like
  • The manufacturing of the board is a little sloppy. D-Rings aren’t centered on the board.
  • Check new boards to make sure there aren’t any leaks. A few users have had leaks around the air valves or other areas of the board.
  • Board feels bouncy for heavier paddlers

Summary

The DAMA Paddleboard is one of the best looking cheap paddleboards available. It is a good cheap way to get started paddleboarding. The wood deck and deck pad give it a premium appearance that looks much more expensive than its $300 price. The board is available in 3 different lengths. Most paddlers will want the 10’6″ or 11′ versions. Paddlers over 200 lbs should only pick the 11′ version. The accessories including the pump and backpack are basic and work. The fit and finish of the board are not what you would find on a $500 or more expensive board but on par for its $200-300 price.

Review

Read DAMA Inflatable SUP Full Review

DAMA Product Image

10 – SereneLife Inflatable SUP

Serenelife thunder paddle board on water
image courtesy of Serenelife

Specifications

  • Size – 10′ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 275 lbs
  • Board Weight – 19.6 lbs
  • Construction – 1 Layer PVC
  • D-Rings – 11
  • Paddle – 3 piece aluminum paddle
  • Pump – Double action hand pump

Rating

7.3

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Good value for a low cost complete paddleboard package
  • Easy to maneuver board shape
  • Good for first time paddle boarders who don’t want to invest too much to try out the sport
  • 10 foot board length is good for smaller paddlers
What we didn’t like
  • Thin feeling materials throughout
  • Paddle is flexible with soft blade
  • Not good for beginners over 150 lbs

Summary

The SereneLife paddleboard is the most popular paddleboard available on Amazon with 15,000 ratings. It is a basic cheap paddleboard with 2 layer construction and basic accessories. It comes with a double action pump and adjustable 3 piece paddle with basic carrying backpack. The board is 10′ with an all around shape that is easy to paddle and turn. It is most suited to smaller paddlers who find 10’6″ and larger boards challenging to maneuver. This board will get you on the water with a board you can enjoy at a very reasonable price. Beginning paddlers above 150 lbs should look for a board that is at least 10’6″.

Serenelife Thunder Product Image

Beginner Inflatable SUP guide – What to look for

What should I look for in an inflatable paddle board?

As a beginning paddleboarder, the most important thing to find is a paddleboard that is stable and easy to paddle. Nothing is more frustrating than falling off your paddleboard over and over. After you find a board with a good design, the other factors to consider are cost and what the board comes with. A more expensive board will have better materials and better accessories.

Lets take a look at what matters when buying a beginner paddleboard.

Paddle board size and volume – What size inflatable SUP should you get

The size, shape, and volume of a paddleboard will determine how stable the board is and how easy it is to paddle. A higher volume board will float more weight and be more stable. A wider board will also be more stable to stand on. Board length will determine how well a paddleboard glides and tracks straight. A longer board will glider easier and track more straight. A shorter board will be easier to turn.

As a beginner, you want a good all around board that is between 10 and 11 feet long. You should look for a board that is at least 32 inches wide. 33 inches is even better. You want a board with a rated weight capacity well above your actual weight. See our article on how much weight can a paddle board hold to learn more.

Boards longer than 11 feet tend to fall into the touring category. These are designed to be easy to paddle long distances. They don’t turn as easily. They may be less wide as well. You don’t want a long narrow touring board as a beginner.

Construction and materials

All inflatable paddle boards are made from PVC. They all utilize drop-stitch construction. PVC is the only material that you can bond to the threads easily. All drop-stitch is not created equally.

A better board will have 2 or 3 layer laminate PVC. The more layers you have, the heavier the material. Heavier thicker material will give you a stiffer, more stable board. It will give you a more durable puncture and scratch resistant paddle board. A board made with single layer PVC will be softer and more easier to damage.

Some drop-stitch has much higher thread density. Bluefin claims to have the highest thread density in their boards. They produce very stiff inflatable paddle boards. You have to pay for it. See this article to learn more about drop-stitch construction.

D-Rings, handles and mounts

D-Rings are useful for attaching bungee cords, seats and other accessories. A more expensive board tends to have more D-Rings mounted to it. Some boards can come with over 20 D-Rings from the factory. An inexpensive board may have as few as 5. More is better. You can easily add more D-Rings to a board that doesn’t have them.

Almost every board has a center carrying handle. As you go up in level, boards will have front and rear handles and sometimes safety handles in the middle. A single handle is fine for carrying a light board on your own. If the board doesn’t have a front and rear handle, it is difficult for someone to help you carry an inflated board.

More expensive boards may have action mounts for mounting GoPro’s and other accessories. You can always add a mount by gluing one on if you need one.

Paddle

Inflatable stand up paddle boards typically come with a 3 piece travel paddle. Paddles are either aluminum, fiberglass, or carbon fiber. Carbon fiber paddles are the lightest and stiffest. Aluminum paddles are the heaviest and softest. A stiffer paddle will let you put more force into the water. A flimsy soft paddle will flex a lot and not paddle great.

A good carbon paddle by itself can cost more than a low end complete paddle board package. If your just starting out a aluminum paddle can be fine. If you like to paddle hard, you might find an aluminum paddle is just too flexible.

Pump

Most boards come with at least a double action pump. This means that the pump pushes air into the board on both the up and down stroke. Higher end boards come with a triple action pump. These have 2 air chambers that can pump on the in and out stroke. As the board fills you can then pump with 1 chamber on both strokes or 1 chamber on just the down stroke. A triple action pump will fill the board faster.

Inflating your paddleboard will be the biggest dislike and reason why you don’t want to use it. If it’s your first time pumping it up, it seems like you pump forever before the pressure gage moves at all. The board looks fully inflated at 1 psi pressure. You have to keep pumping until you get to 12-14psi on most boards. If you like paddleboarding get an electric pump. I like to spend my time paddling, not pumping.

The Outdoor Master Shark 2 Pump and Whale Rechargeable Pumps are best pumps available and what I use.

Outdoor Master Shark Electric Pump
Outdoor Master Whale Pump Review

See our guide to the best electric paddleboard pumps to learn more.

Backpack

All paddle board packages will include a backpack carrying case. This will fit the board, paddle and pump. As you go up in price, the backpack gets nicer. Better materials and more padding on the straps. Some will add wheels to the bag also. A nicer backpack is nice if your going to hike anywhere with your board.

Leash

A leash attaches the paddleboard to your ankle. This keeps you with the board if you fall in the water. On a windy day, your paddleboard can drift away from you pretty fast which is not good.

What to wear paddle boarding

In the summer you can wear whatever you would wear swimming. If it’s colder out you may need a spray top or wetsuit. If it’s a lot colder out you may want to consider a dry suit. You can safely paddle board as long as the water isn’t frozen with the proper clothing. See our guide to what to wear paddle boarding in the summer and our guide to paddle board wetsuits to learn more.

PFDs

The United States Coard Guard classifies paddle boards as vessels. If you are using a paddle board in US waters you are required to have a PFD with you. If you are under 12 you have to wear it. To read more about USCG requirements click here. If your new to paddle boarding it’s a good idea to wear it since you will fall in the water a lot.

You should not get an auto inflating PFD to use on a paddle board. Sooner or later you will walk or fall into the water and inflate it burning up a CO2 cartridge. Every time you do it you will need to repack it with a new CO2 cartridge.

See our article – Do you need to wear a life jacket on a paddle board – to learn more about life jacket rules and life jacket types.

ALSO READ: See our Guide To The Best Inflatable Paddle Boards for other good options of all paddleboard types.

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About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an outdoors enthusiast always looking forward to my next adventure. I spend as much time skiing, biking, and paddleboarding as I can. I decided to start Endless Rush Outdoors as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for all things outdoor adventures and to help other people have as much fun as me.

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