How to choose your first paddleboard

How to choose your first paddleboard

November 16, 2020

April 5th, 2020



If you’re looking to break into the ever-growing sport of paddleboarding but haven’t chosen your first paddleboard yet then stick with us and we will run through the things you need to know before buying your first board.

Paddleboarding has gained traction as a sport over the past few months, and as an ideal way to get outside and be socially distant, it’s no surprise. Not only is paddle boarding a great workout, but it also has great health benefits for the mind. Studies show that spending time outside in nature can lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormone levels, and enhance immune system function - what’s not to love!

'Not only is paddle boarding a great workout, but it also has great health benefits for the mind.'

Shopping for your first paddleboard can be a daunting task if your knowledge is limited. There are so many boards on the market these days, all with specific uses and different technologies it can be hard for a first-timer to choose the right one for them, so here’s what you should be looking at to make sure you find your perfect board:


When choosing your first paddleboard, size matters. In general the bigger the paddleboard the more stable it will be. Wider boards offer a larger platform underfoot and therefore a more stable ride. Longer boards are generally faster but less maneuverable. We recommend choosing a board that is relatively wide and is mid-length, this will enable you to learn with ease and carry on using the board as your skills develop without having to change boards as you progress. Our 10'10 Oahu board is a best seller and great for beginners right through to those who can surf waves on a SUP.


Generally speaking boards with a displacement nose (pointed nose) are more aggressive, narrower and are used for touring or race training. We would recommend looking at boards with a rounded nose to begin with. These are often labeled as all-around paddleboards.


There is now a broad range of construction options to choose from when looking at buying a SUP. The biggest decision you have to make is whether to choose a hardboard or an inflatable one. Hard boards are great for those who have ample storage space, a roof rack, or van to transport it or if you live close to the water, that’s because they perform much better in the water. However, if storage and transport are an issue there are plenty of inflatable options to choose from that pack down so small they can easily fit in the boot of any car.

Price & Warranty.

The final consideration to make is what you’re willing to pay. With paddleboards, and like most things, you most definitely get what you pay for. Generally speaking, the more premium brands have better research and development behind each board model, which translates into better construction, build, and a smoother ride. They will use better quality components and they usually come with a great warranty against manufacturing faults. Also bear in mind that the more premium all-around and beginner boards hold their value more in the second-hand market and especially with the better construction so you can be confident you’ll see a good return when the time comes to upgrade your board.

Written by Jennifer Chrimes


the oahu paddle board is best for beginners to intermediates
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pumping up an inflatable paddle board for a beginner
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pau hana inflatable paddle board in hawaii


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