2024 starboard inflatable stand up paddle boards best inflatable starboard sup

Best beginner inflatable stand up paddle boards

There are a lot of inflatable paddle boards on the market today and many of them are suitable as a beginner paddle board. However, as a first time buyer, or beginner paddle boarder, you may not know what you need to be looking for in a stand up paddle board, or more specifically an inflatable stand up paddle board. While there are many boards on the market at various price points, we at Green Water Sports strive to only stock the best quality boards that provide the best paddling experience.

So we’ve decided to highlight a few boards by Red Paddle Co and Starboard that we think are the best boards for beginners looking for an all round board. Naturally these boards are not exclusively for beginners, but for intermediate and advanced paddlers too. For example, I have a Red Paddle Co Ride 10’6″ as my main all round board, and I’ve been paddling for nearly 10 years.

Best beginner paddle boards from Red Paddle Co

The 10’6″ Ride is our most versatile board and the one we recommend to most customers. At 10’6″ long and 32″ wide, it just seems to be the best fit for 90% of the paddlers out there. Whether they are buying their first board, need a quality board as their go-to all rounder or want another board for family and friends to use, this is the board to get.

Check out our review of the 2017 Red Paddle 10’6″ Ride.

Following on from the 10’6″ Ride, the 10’8″ Ride is built for paddlers who need a little more carrying capacity. Whether they are bigger paddlers or want to carry a passenger or fishing gear. The 10’8″ Ride at 34″ wide also offers a little more stability for paddlers who are a little wobbly on their feet, might be in choppier water, or just prefer the extra deck space.

Best Starboard beginner inflatable stand up boards

The most popular Starboard inflatable paddle board we stock. Listed here as the Deluxe model, but also available as 10′ Whopper Zen, the Starboard 10′ Whopper Deluxe inflatable stand up paddle board is a perfect mix of manoeuvrability and stability. A short board at just 10′ but 35″, wide it makes it a very easy board to handle on and off the water.

In the 6″ thick Deluxe construction it features Starboard’s new fusion style construction. More meat, less fat is their marketing. Lighter than previous years, very durable and now with a nicer Magic Suit Case travel bag, the Deluxe is really a quality proposition.

Zen Construction boards are more traditional single skin boards with top and bottom deck stringers for stiffening and are designed more for lighter paddlers at just 4.75″ thick and more of a price point board. Read our review of the 2017 10′ Whopper Zen.

The Starboard 11’2″ Blend Zen has proven itself to be a great beginner board. Longer than the Whopper but a bit narrower at 32″, the Blend is a little faster through the water but still has plenty of stability. Shown here as the 4.75″ thick Zen model at just $999, it is a great starter board at a great price. As the 11’2″ Blend Deluxe, and 6″ thick, it is better suited to heavier paddlers or those seeking the nicer Deluxe construction and fittings.

The Zen construction is more focused on getting you on the water with all the requuired basics without breaking the bank. It includes the Magic Bag rather than the Magic Suit Case, and has more simple fin, deck and equipment setups.

The 12′ Atlas Deluxe inflatable stand up paddle board by Starboard is the prefect board for bigger paddlers who need a little more board to carry them, it’s perfect for paddlers who need a little more stability, or paddlers who want to carry a passenger, or paddlers who may want a big stable platform for fishing.

Also available in the 12′ Atlas Zen construction, the board is 4.75″ thick and trimmed down on features.

I use a 12′ Atlas Deluxe as my larger touring style board for when I want paddle slightly longer distances or want to throw my 2yo and 4yo on board and paddle around while still stable and tracking well. Read our review of the 2017 Starboard 12′ Atlas Deluxe.

How to SUP

Now that you have your board sorted, take a look at our how to stand up paddle board video guides so that you have all the tips and tricks for when you head out for your first session.

SUP Safety

We also like to ensure that you’re safe on the water with a leash and life jacket so read our article about which leash you should use. Then read our article about the US Coast Guard rules for stand up paddle boarding.

Any questions? Call us on 1-888-252-4983 or contact us via email here.

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.