The Best Boards for Beginners

The Best Boards for Beginners

Best Evolve Boards for Beginners

Every expert was once a beginner. 

You’ve probably heard this famous quote a time or two before. If not, then you’ve definitely seen it underneath a stylish picture on Instagram. 

What makes it so popular is because it’s true. Every expert in any field, anywhere, was first brand new. They had no prior background. No discernible skills. And no way of knowing they would be as good as they are in whatever they chose to pursue. 

No more is this true than in SUP. 

When beginners show up to their first lesson, it can be difficult to even stand on a board. Let alone paddle it in any conditions. 

And this feeling of helplessness can be exasperated by a few different factors. The wind, the weather, the instructor, and more. But the largest obstacle a beginner in SUP faces is often the board. 

If you don’t start on the correct board, your time on the water will be difficult. To remedy this situation, we’re going to discuss what attributes make for a beginner paddler and what boards in the Evolve lineup are perfect for a brand new paddler in SUP. 

What Defines a Beginner?

Everyone has their different ideas of what a beginner is in paddle boarding. Over the years, we’ve given hundreds of lessons to all types of people from different backgrounds and locations. 

After a while, patterns started to emerge. More specifically, two common qualities were observed. 

First, is the ultimate beginner. These are the people who show up to their first class with zero confidence. They think they’re going to fall, they know they're going to fall, and most of the time, they usually end up a little wet. 

The second type of beginner is the non-believer. These types show up ultra cocky to their first lesson. They’re confident in their athletic abilities and expect to stand up right away without any problems. 

Most of the time, this overconfidence will lead them to stand too soon and results in a quick drop into the water. 

Really though, a beginner is defined as someone who is interested in paddle boarding, but has never attempted to paddle board before. 

On the water, we tend to end up on an even playing field. And for this reason, the type of boards that are great for beginners, are great for everyone regardless of athleticism or ability. 

Board Attributes Important for Beginners

Beginners always should look for these specific attributes in a board - length, width, and thickness. 

Combined, they all contribute to the balance you will feel on the water. 

Let’s break it down a bit. 

The longer a board is, the better it will track. If you’re unfamiliar with tracking, it is the length a board will move in the water, in a straight line, for one full paddle stroke. The longer a board is, the straighter and farther it will move for one paddle stroke. 

The wider a board is, the easier it will be to balance side to side. With more surface area in the water, you have a bigger platform to stand on. And with a bigger platform, you’ll be able to balance much easier, even during your first time! 

The thicker a board is, the more weight it will float. And if you’re a light rider, the board will remain more above the water as opposed to sinking down into it. With this attribute, you will have way more balance on a board that floats higher on the water. 

So, if you haven’t guessed it by now, the best boards for beginners are ones that produce the easiest time to balance on the water. 

This means, the longer, thicker, and wider the board is, the better it will be for a beginner paddler. 

In addition, beginner paddlers are tough on boards. It’s only natural to hit the rails on the side with your paddle, fall on the platform, or bump into obstacles when you first start out. 

Due to this propensity for destruction, beginners will also want boards that are durable. 

Luckily, we can help you out. 

Evolve Boards Great for Beginners

At Evolve, we have a large range of boards perfect for any situation, environment, or paddler. 

As such, we also have the best boards for beginners. 

Below, we’ve ordered them first to last. Of course, what you want to do with your board, as well as your body size will ultimately determine the board you buy. If you have any specific questions, feel free to reach out to us personally and we’ll be happy to point you in the correct direction. 

10’6’x32’’ Rhino/Rhino Woody

The number one board we have for beginners has to be our most durable hardboard - the Rhino. This board has a molded plastic body that is ultra-durable. It also comes standard with a full deck pad, an extra strip of rubber to protect the rails, and can easily be bumped into obstacles, fallen on, and whatever else you can think of without suffering as much as a crack. 

The only downside - this board is for average-sized rider sizes only. 

10’6’’x32’’ Brawny

If the Rhino is our most durable board, the Brawny is a close second. This brushed bamboo board can take a beating and keep on going. Plus with brushed white paint on the bottom, you’ll never notice any scratches that are bound to happen from transport. 

10’6’’x33’’ Inflatable Boom Boom Series

Inflatable boards have certainly come a long way over the last few years. And no more is this true than with our Inflatable Boom Boom series! The board is tough, with a bit of a softer side. While we can’t say it’s as durable as the Rhino, it will still hold up against bumps, bangs, and paddle strikes. Plus, it’s full of air - so if you do happen to fall right onto the board, you won’t damage yourself or the board. 

11’4’’ Softy XL

Now we’re getting into the boards for the big riders. The 11’4’’ Softy is a fully molded epoxy board with a hard foam shell. This combination makes for a board that paddles just as well as a hardboard, but has the soft touch of an inflatable. Plus the foam acts as a fantastic barrier to paddle strikes, drops, or loading miscues when you go to throw your board onto your racks. 

10’10’’x35’’ Big Sexy/Big Fish 

The ultimate big-boy board. We included the Big Fish for it’s wide and thick proportions. And as we’ve already learned, the wider a board is, and the thicker it is, the easier it will be to balance on! For those who really struggle with balance issues, the Big Fish is the right board for you. 


If you are a beginner who is ready to start your journey into SUP, then we have one suggestion for you, even before purchasing a board - take a lesson with a qualified SUP instructor. This will provide you with the foundations you need to be successful on the water. And on your own board. Plus, you’ll have a better understanding of your balance on the water, and what you’ll need in terms of dimensions for your first board. 

Not sure where to go? Reach out to us and we can point you in the right direction!