Everything You Need To Know When Choosing Your First Paddleboard

Paddleboarding opens up new landscapes, giving individuals and groups access to lakes, seafronts, and even rivers. It requires little in the way of equipment and can be picked up by all ages, taking only a small amount of time for most to find their feet on the water. Before you get started, however, there’s only one major hurdle to cross: choosing your paddleboard.

While you may be able to enjoy yourself on a variety of boards, it is worthwhile picking one out that will suit you in the long run. Additionally, you will give yourself the best opportunity of comfort and confidence by choosing a board that suits your intentions out on the water, as well as your lifestyle. 

Inflatable Or Solid

Going into any watersport store and asking for your first paddleboard will very likely result in one question, which will be asking you to choose between an inflatable or solid paddleboard. For those unsure what this means, it’s quite simple. Some paddleboards are designed to retain their shape, while others are compactable and inflatable. 

Unless you’re paddleboarding at a professional level or looking to improve your speed and maneuverability on the water, you’re unlikely to see much difference between the two options. Instead, it is best that you consider which would suit your transportation and storage. If you need to carry your board, as well as store it at home, then it may be advantageous to purchase an inflatable board, since this will make it easier for you to enjoy the activity overall.

Size And Shape

While there are an endless number of nuances to paddleboards, there are two basic shapes to choose from. These are rounded and touring. 

Rounded boards are great for beginners that are looking to find their feet on the water, but are also celebrated by those wanting a greater deal of stability in general, such as yoga practitioners and fishers. Rounded boards, or all around boards, are designed for comfort and slower movement, making them ideal for a sure-footed experience.

Touring boards are, alternatively, pointed. While they might not offer as much stability when motionless, they have a greater deal of speed and turning on the water, making them the design of choice for those looking to travel, explore, or race. If you’re planning on taking longer trips on the water, whether around the coast or downriver, then this is the design for you.


The right board for you should also accommodate your equipment. Some paddleboarders will, for example, want to equip cameras on their boards or load up with waterproof bags for a weekend adventure. Be sure that, when choosing your first board, you do so with your interests in mind as different boards will be more suited to your endeavours than others.

If you need help choosing a board, it can be worthwhile speaking to local paddleboarding groups or taking a few lessons out on the water. By testing out the equipment of others, as well as seeing how it is utilised, you will be able to make a more informed decision about your new activity.