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The 5 Best Paddleboards for Beginners 2022

Looking to make your jump into the SUP world? Good on you.  

For those short of time, we’ve shortlisted the best entry-level boards to get you started.  

After searching far and wide, through the vast amount of boards on the market, we’ve managed to narrow it down to the top 5.

Read on for our findings.

What makes a good beginners board?

The main characteristic to consider for beginner boarders, is stability. Look out for width and volume. Ensure a sturdy start to your SUPping journey to enable you to find your balance, confidence and style.

Other factors, such as storage, transportability and manoeuvrability could be worthy of your consideration. (For more details on what you might want to keep in mind, see The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your First Paddleboard.)

Here, we provide an overview of all the specs we feel important in making the right choice for you.

The 5 Best SUPs for Beginners:

Gili Air 10’6
iRocker 10’6 Cruiser
Red Paddle Co 11’0 Compact
Blu Wave Easy Rider 11'6
Jobe Ventura 10'6

Our Top Pick - Gili Air 10’6


Why leave the best til last?

The Gili Air 10'6 is a great portable paddleboard. Lightweight and durable, it is the perfect blend of balance, weight and size. Designed for stability, speed and portability, it is proven to perform well in all conditions.

Here is why it took our number one spot:

The Perfect Balance

Certain characteristics of boards normally outweigh one another. Resulting in compromise. Stability usually results in less manoeuvrability or speed, for example. The more portable, the less durable, the more drag. Catch our drift?

The thing with this board is that it appears to attain the perfect balance between, usually conflicting, characteristics. Leaving little compromise and resulting in a great hybrid all-round shape ideal for beginners and intermediates alike.

Shape and Stability

The 32” width of the 2022 edition, combined with its round nose, enhances stability on the water. The 6” thickness, combined with length and width, results in good buoyancy and decent volume to allow for a load up to 275 lbs.

The versatility of the all-round shape allows beginners to experiment with different SUP styles before finding their love.

Portability and Durability

Portability is a major pro with inflatable SUPs. The downside usually being less rigidity and glide-ability. Although that is not so much of an issue here. The Gili is surprisingly stiff upon inflation. The outstanding construction demolishes the concern of flex that many inflatables have.

Build Construction and Design

We can’t  fault Gili’s design team. The 2 year warranty reflects the significant confidence they have in the construction of this board.  Made from military strength PVC, all boards are tested before selling. This alone shows their commitment to quality.

A decent deck with large traction pads, proves pet and family friendly. It also serves as a slip-free surface to try out some SUP yoga, if that’s what floats your boat.

The 3 fin snap-in system (the central fin being removable) does a good job in tracking, stability and manoeuvrability.

Gili’s 2022 design has more attachment points and improved accessories. An abundance of D rings are conveniently placed for bungee cords, your leash, a kayak seat or any other extras you may wish to load.

Style Options and Accessories

The price is inclusive of all necessary accessories. So you have everything you need to get started and hit the water: a 2 stage high pressure pump, that inflates the board in minutes and a practical backpack plentiful in pockets, with comfy carry straps.

You also have the freedom of choice, to personalise the board to best suit your style. Available in 5 vibrant, sexy shades from teal to coral to camo. From colour to size (an 11,6” option is also available) and your choice of aluminium or fibreglass paddle.


At $495 in the standard colours with an aluminium paddle, the price point is definitely a plus. Inclusive of a 2 year warranty and all necessary accessories to get started, which is more than can be said for many of the budget boards on the market.


And if that isn’t enough…

Gili donate a share of their profits to saving the oceans. You can make your purchase safe in the knowledge that you are doing your bit in helping to support aquatic life.

For us the Gili Air is, hands down, the best budget board of 2022.

Check it out - Gili Air 10'6


iRocker 10’6 Cruiser


This broad board, with an extra wide 33” base, is the most stable of the bunch. The perfect beginners board providing a smooth introduction to SUPping.

Family Friendly

With a weight capacity of 400 lbs, the iRocker is built to handle any rider.

Kitted out with many mounting points, it is easy to load and pack up with whatever you fancy, be it picnics, people or pets, for a leisurely, sturdy, cruise.

The board also features safety side handles ideal for paddling with kids.

Portability and Manoeuvrability 

Being another inflatable board, means the iRocker is easy to store and transport.

Much like the Gili Air, the high quality construction of this board ensures that this portability does not interfere with the manoeuvrability. Flexing is not really an issue as the Cruiser tracks smoothly and glides easily through the water.


The shape provides for a relatively versatile board. Although, as the name suggests, it is more geared towards cruising on calm waters.

More of a relaxation board, it is not recommended for surfing or racing, although highly recommended for SUP yoga.

The extra width and broad tail does mean a compromise on speed and although perfect for beginners and families, it may not be fast enough once you are past the beginner phase.

Accessories and Warranty

The reasonable price includes all necessary accessories to get you started on the water (and more!)

Inclusive of full carbon matte paddle, wheeled travel bag, pump, repair kit, action mounts, D rings, 3 flip lock removal fins and an ankle leash… iRocker don’t really leave you needing much else!

The standard 3 year warranty also provides peace of mind that the board construction is on point.

We highly recommend the Cruiser for the casual recreational paddler, families and yoga enthusiasts.

You’d be hard pushed to beat it if you’re looking for a sturdy, portable, platform from which to paddle.

Check it out - iRocker Cruiser 10'6


Red Paddle Co 11’0 Compact MSL


The Most Portable Touring SUP on the Market.

This full sized touring SUP packs down to half the size of its conventional inflatable competitors. A pretty impressive feat for a hard-to-fault All-Round adventure board.

Weighing in at just 20 lbs, this ultra-lightweight bit of kit folds snuggly into it’s 56cmx42cmx32cm ergonomic backpack. Offering first class performance in the smallest possible package!

Perfect Blend - Manoeuvrability and Stability 

The extended length of this 11’ beast is a step up from the average All-Rounder and allows for heavier riders. The maximum rider capacity being 240lb.

The split deck pad allows for water run off and improves ‘packability’ – allowing the board to fold at the hinge and making it easier to roll.

But flexion?

You would have thought that all these folds and creases result in flex and affect glide-ability. Red Paddle Co though have outdone themselves, the double-stitch cross weave core makes for an exceptionally rigid bit of kit and ensures that this is not the case.


Their 5 year warranty can also help put your mind at rest that this board is as durable as it gets.


The ergonomic backpack at 56cm hall, even houses the Titan pump, included in the price. The 5 piece carbon nylon paddle is also easily stored alongside the board bag.

The premium paddleboarding company has not failed to impress with this addition to their compact range, which we highly recommend to any avid adventurers looking to SUP the globe.

Check it out - Red Paddle Co 11’0 Compact MSL


Blu Wave Easy Rider 11’6


The first solid SUP of our line up. 

This 11’ 6” entry leveller is ideal for touring. The length and rigidity also makes it a popular choice for SUP yoga.

Easy Rider’s Go pro attachment is also a neat addition for those wanting to show off their skills.

Stability and Durability 

Designed with durability in mind, the moulded soft tech construction with carbon fibre reinforced rails that wrap around the soft top deck, make for a nice sturdy board.

It carries a fair sized paddler, up to 240 lbs and the front bumper and flexible fin adds to its robustness.

Keep in mind the size of this board though if you're short of storage and transportation space. It’s a bit bulky compared to it’s inflatable competitors.

Overall, an affordable, stable, solid SUP to get you started.

Check it out - Blu Wave Easy Rider 11’6

Jobe Ventura 10'6


Last but by no means least,  this bamboo-veneered beauty from Jobe.

At 10’6” long,  32” wide and 5 “ thick, it can carry a rider up to 243 lbs.

Control and Surf

An excellent All- Round SUP, it also has impressive surfing capabilities. With improved tracking, it has a sharp nose rocker designed to cut through water with absolute ease. Making for a manoeuvrable and controllable board.

It’s great for SUPping on lakes, canals and for catching small waves.


With sleek bamboo veneer layering and 2 bright green integrated channels, which maximise stability and speed, whilst supporting efficient tracking, this large surface area is also very easy on the eye. 

The hard wearing deck pad constructed from non-slip EVA foam provides comfort as well as style.


At $1210 it is at the higher end of our price range and do note that the paddle and board bag will also hike up the cost, as they do not come included.

Offering top end style and performance, the Jobe Ventura is another great All-round solid board, that may be of special interest to the potential surf enthusiasts amongst you.

Check it out - Jobe Ventura 10'6


So there we have it. 5 solid boards to suit all budgets, with different specific plus points:

Best budget All Rounder, for experimenting with all SUP styles: Gili Air 10’6

Stability and relaxed casual cruising, ideal for families: iRocker 10’6 Cruiser

Portability and durability, the perfect travel companion for those adventurous globetrotters: Red Paddle Co 11’0 Compact Inflatable Paddle Board

Best budget solid board and our number one for SUP yoga: Blu Wave Easy Rider 11’6

Control, style and surf: Jobe Ventura 10'6

We hope this helps to narrow down your search for the board to best suit your paddleboarding needs.

Still undecided?

For further details on what you may want to consider, make sure you check out The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your First Paddleboard or drop us a comment and we’ll be happy to assist.


Red 11'0" Compact MSL

Red Paddle Co

Gili Air 10’6"

Gili Sports

IRocker Cruiser 10'6"


Blu Wave Easy Rider 11’6”

Blu Wave

Jobe Ventura 10'6"

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"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water"

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