What Type of Paddle Board is Best for Beginners?
The explosion in popularity for stand up paddle boarding led to massive growth in paddle board brands over the last 10 years. New technologies were developed and paddle boards could be purchased for as little as $300 to more than $3000. In a world where there seems to be endless paddle board options, a common question from shoppers is “What type of paddle board is best for beginners?”.
The best paddle board for beginners is a hard paddle board in an All-Around style.
THE BENEFITS OF HARD PADDLE BOARDS
Hard paddle boards are exactly that – HARD. When you’re on the water standing on a hard paddle board, it will feel as rigid as cement. This rigidity makes it easier for a beginner paddler to stand and maintain balance. Inflatable paddle boards on the other hand are filled with air. If not inflated properly, they will sag and offer less rigidity and stability to the paddler.
Beginners are also affected by a paddle board’s bottom. Inflatable paddle boards have a flat bottom which is good for flat and glassy water. However, with any waves or water chop, flat bottoms become unstable. Beginner paddlers enjoy stability which hard paddle board bottoms offers. Hard paddle boards can have their bottoms shaped into concaves. Concaves allows for better water flow and better board stability. These types of bottoms are only available on hard boards. It is impossible to inflate a concave shape.
ALL AROUND STYLE
Now that it’s been determined that hard paddle boards are best for beginners, the next part of the answer is to determine which paddle board shape is best for beginners.
Beginners should use an All-Around style of paddle board. All around styles are relatively wide. Averaging 32” in width, they offer strong stability and plenty of space for beginners to get comfortable on the board.
The All-Around style is designed to perform all paddle boarding types, which is exactly what beginners want. At first, simply getting up and cruising is every new paddler’s goal. However, once basic stability is conquered, a paddler might want to try catching a couple of small waves, or going for a tour across the lake. All Around paddle boards enable the beginner try and do it all. This style of board is welcome in every paddler’s collection, and should be the chosen style of every first-time owner.
Beginners who use an All-Around hard paddle board will have a better experience than the beginner using an inflatable. Hard boards offer better stability and rigidity, and they flow over the water better than an inflatable. The All-Around style offers plenty of width for balance and. To start off on the right foot, beginners to paddle boarding have the best chance of success on a hard paddle board in an All-Around style.
The Wappa Blog
Written by Wappa's founder Layne Pennell, the blog's aim is to educate and share his love of stand up paddle boarding with anyone interested in SUP.
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