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Top 5 Beginner Paddle Boards

There has never been a better time to become a stand up paddle boarder. 

When SUP first became popular about 10 years ago, boards were narrow, unstable, and pretty tough to learn on. Fast forward a few years and the sport has never been easier to learn.

With lightweight yet durable constructions, and shapes that are stable and easy to learn on, SUP success is nearly instant. Let us highlight the 5 best stand up paddle boards for beginners and help you pick the one that will best suite your needs and budget.

Stand Up Paddle Boarders on a lake

Cruiser SUP Dura-Maxx Series

Available in 10'6" for riders up to 250lbs, and an 11'4 that handles up 325lbs, there is a Dura-Maxx for all sized riders.  Cruiser SUP's Dura-Shield Technology is the most durable construction on the market, making the Dura-Maxx a SUP that will last for years to come.

Why we picked it

The Dura-Maxx offers tons of width and volume making it and ultra stable platform for learning, but still with lots of room for progression. The full length deck pad also makes it great for SUP Yoga or paddling with your kids of dog.  

Who it is for

  • First time paddlers looking for a super durable board to learn on, but one that will also let them progress beyond the beginner level.

  • Paddlers who place a premium on durability, such as families with kids or lots of shared users.

  • Anyone looking for a highly durable, stable, and light weight board.

Quick Facts

Length -  10’6” and 11’4”
Width -  33” to 34”
Weight -  29lbs to 33lbs
Capacity -  Up to 325lbs (depending on size)
Fin – Single Center Fin
Warranty – 2 Year
Where to Buy -  Cruiser SUP Dura-Maxx

 A Stand up paddle boarder coming out of the water


Cruiser SUP Escape Series

With sizing ranging from 7'11" through 11'4", the Escape makes a great beginner board for anyone up to 260lbs.  The full wrap deck pad covers not only the top of the board, but also the sides offering premium grip and traction over the entire surface of the board, as well as added durability.   The Performer series offers versatility and superb ease of use for first time paddlers, but also will satisfy the performance needs of more seasoned veterans.

Why we picked it

Do not make the same mistake that many first time paddle boarders make and buy a low cost "soft top" from a big box store.  The Escape is a fiberglass/bamboo construction (with carbon reinforcement) that has a full wrap deck pad.  This means you get a light, stiff, and durable performance board with the added benefits of a full wrap deck pad. A cheap "soft top" from a big box store is nothing more than a deck pad over a styrofoam core. This spells disaster even after your first couple of uses as cheap soft top board is fragile, unstable, and very easy to damage.  

Who it is for

  • First time paddlers who are looking for a stable, easy to paddle, full wrap deck pad to make allow for fast and fun learning
  • Families, SUP Yoga enthusiasts, or any paddler that loves the comfort and added durability and full wrap deck pad brings
  • Paddlers looking for a high quality board at an easy on the wallet price

Quick Facts

Length – 7'11" through 11'4"
Width – 32” to 33.5”
Weight -  18lbs to 28lbs
Capacity – Up to 250lbs (depending on board size)
Warranty – 2 Year Warranty
Where to BuyCruiser SUP Escape Series

 Stand Up Paddle Boards in calm water

Cruiser SUP Fusion Series

You name it, the Fusion can do it. With tons of width, volume, and full deck pad the Fusion is a breeze to learn on, but will never limit your progression.  Small surf, SUP Yoga, and SUP Fishing are all in the Fusions wheelhouse. With sizing in 10'0" through 11'6", the Fusion is a no nonsense all around board that is beginner friendly, and progression focused.

Why we picked it

Cruiser SUP's Feather-Lite Technology from Cruiser SUP is the ideal mix of durability and stiffness, while the sophisticated shapes are the perfect blend of stability and tracking.  With ample volume the entire Fusion range feels stable underfoot, but the refined shapes offer great glide and precise tracking.

Who it is for

  • Riders looking for stability and ease of use without any performance sacrifices once beyond novice.
  • Riders looking for premium construction and performance, without the premium price.
  • Thanks to the full deck pad, the Fusion is a hit with families, SUP Yoga practitioners, and those looking to paddle with kids or dogs.

Quick Facts

Length -  10’0”, 10’6”, 11’0”, and 11’6”
Width -  32” to 34.5”
Weight -  24lbs to 31.5lbs
Capacity - Up to 300lbs (depending on board size)
Fins - Center Fin + 2 Side Fins
Warranty -  2 Year Warranty
Where to Buy-  Cruiser SUP Fusion

  stand up paddle boarders on a lake


Cruiser SUP Bliss Series

Starting at only 24lbs, the Bliss series is a women's specific board that offers superb stability for the ultimate in SUP success.  Available in 3 sizes and 4 vibrant color options, the Bliss is loaded with features including a  premium full length deck pad and multiple bungee tie down points.

Why we picked it

Cruiser SUP's lightweight Feather-Lite Technology offers exceptional durability, stability, and versatility.  The full length pad is ideal for SUP Yoga, paddling with kids or dog. The ample width and refined board shapes result in optimal stability for a learning experience that is pure bliss.

Who it is for

  • Beginner paddle boarders looking for a light weight board that is easy to learn on.
  • Those looking for the versatility and comfort that a full deck pad offers. Full deck pads are great for family use, SUP Yoga, or paddling with kids or dogs.
  • Paddle boarders that want a board that is easy to learn on, but will not limit progression past the beginner phase.

Quick Facts

Length - 10’0”, 10’6”, and 11’0”
Width -  32” to 33.5”
Weight - 24lbs to 27lbs
Capacity - Up to 230lbs (depending on board size)
Fin - Center Fin + 2 Side Fins
Warranty -  2 Year Warranty
Where to Buy - Cruiser SUP Bliss


a female paddle boarder on a lake


Cruiser SUP Crossover Air Inflatable Series

If part of your requirements for your beginner board is that it must be easy to store in small spaces, as well as doesn't require roof racks to transport it, you do not need to look beyond the Crossover Air.  Inflatables tend to be more stable than a non inflatable as they are thicker and have more volume per size.  This makes them very easy to learn on, but inflatables also have huge benefits of storing in small spaces,  and travelling in the trunk of your car as opposed to the roof rack!

Why we picked it

The Crossover Air takes will inflate to a whopping 18psi, which is rigid beyond belief.  An inflatable SUP that does not inflate to at least 15psi is going to be soft, flexible, and very unstable to learn on. Starting from $595, the Crossover Air is a light, stiff, and highly durable inflatable paddle board that makes learning to SUP a snap.

Who it is for

  • Beginner stand up paddle boards that want ultimate stability and easy learning in a more portable form than a non-inflatable board.
  • Those who are starting to SUP, but do not have storage space for a full sized board.
  • Safety conscious families with younger kids, as the softer than fiberglass construction all but eliminates the worry of falls onto a hard board.
  • Anyone who wants a board that is easy to learn on, durable, versatile, and affordable.

Quick Facts

Length - 9’8”, 10’2”, 10’8”, and 11’6”
Width - 32” to 33”
Weight - 19.5lbs to 25.5lbs
Capacity -  Up to 300lbs (depending on board size)
Fins - Center Fin + 2 Side Fins
Warranty -  2 Year Warranty
Where to Buy Cruiser SUP Crossover Air 

 stand up paddle boarding on an inflatable SUP


Make This the Summer You Learn to SUP

The late, and iconic ski film director Warren Miller used to end each movie with “If you don’t learn to ski this year, you will only be one year older when you do”.  Don’t waste another summer wishing you were a paddle boarder. These beginner boards will make learning to stand up paddle board easy, safe, affordable, and fun.  If you don't start this year, you will only be one year older when you do.

Not sure which is beginner paddle board is best for you?  Let us give you the advice and customer service you deserve. Live Chat, call, or send us an email!


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