Board Recommendations for 230lb newbie

I am a complete newbie to Stand Up Paddle Boards. I have had one lesson and one rental experience. Both experiences started out extremely disappointing because I started on a board that was not suited to me.

Any recommendations on a good starter board for a 230lb newbie?

I’d reco the Aqua Marine Vapor
I’m always a big fan of an iSUP for a beginner. The Aqua Marina Vapor should do you well - quality product, affordable, and really easy to transport. It’s rated for 250lbs so you should have plenty of room to spare. I personally think they are a bit underrated in terms of weight - I’ve seen 300lbs sumo wrestlers on these guys.

We wrote a review on this board too if you’re looking for more information:

I posted earlier for another newbie who had combined weight of 160 plus a 60 lb dog but the ISLE Soft Top SUP is a solid board designed with beginners in mind.

There’s a 275 lb weight limit, it’s fairly lightweight, and best of all, it’s cheap so beginners who don’t want to spend a ton of money to get into a new sport can get a solid, well-constructed board for not a lot of money until they want to graduate on to something else (if they ever do!). ISLE is a good, reputable manufacturer. You can find this board on Amazon.

The downside to the Aqua Marine board is that the detachable fins have a habit of coming off coming in/going out when you drag in shallow water. Just something to keep in mind. I much prefer built in fins…no worry of losing one.

You need to give a little more information about what you want to do on a SUP board. Are you paddling on a small lake, large lake with wind and waves, river, protected ocean bay or open coast? Do you just want to cruise around or are you interested in paddling fast for fitness or racing. Have you heard of downwinding? Do you want to learn to surf? Explaining how the boards you rented were unsuitable for you would help a lot. I would suggest finding a local store that has at least 5 years experience selling boards and teaching SUP and see what they recommend and see if you can demo a couple of boards. It’s likely they will make you a fair deal and if not you can look on craigs list or several online lists for used boards. Your best value will be in a used board not a cheap new board or an inflatable.

A lot of people would suggest a board of about 210 liters of volume for your weight for an absolute beginner, but if you are short, or athletic or have been paddling a lot already you can go with a lower volume board. The Isle board recommended above is not bad for a cheap starter board, the volume is probably around 190 liters. In the videos Isle posts the paddlers are all lean young people, so YMMV, best to try out a board before spending your money. You’ll need a paddle too. Don’t go with a cheap plastic and aluminum paddle. (It’s heavy and flexes, making you work harder for nothing.) Both werner and aquabound (well known to kayakers) make decent entry level fiberglass SUP paddles. If you really enjoy SUP paddling getting a decent carbon paddle is not a bad idea, as it will increase your enjoyment and skill development. A decent SUP store can probably make you a package deal on a decent board and fiberglass starter paddle. Also if you go the used route you can often find people selling their entry level boards and paddles as a package on craigslist etc as they are moving up or decided the sport was not for them. If you live on the coast there are probably several facebook groups where people advertise used paddles and boards.

When you find a board you are interested in look for online reviews. If all the reviews come from people who have never paddled SUP, until they just bought the board they are reviewing, then exercise some strong scepticism There are lots of online webpages focused on SUP that give reliable reviews.

Another vote for ISLE. It is a decent board for newbies.

We just purchased GLIDE paddle boards, got the “retro” model. Very pleased… at 32 inches wide, 11 ft front to back… very stable on estuary waters for a 230 lb man. Holds up to 280 lbs. Only weighs 30 lbs. Bought it because they are durable. Picture: We had ISLE soft-serve boards for 2 years but they eventually starting to color fade and chunks of material were coming off… but we used them for at least 100 hours each.

there’s someone who recommended ISLE for me too but I’d like to check out other suggestions