Starboard Element 9'8
When people ask advice about buying a SUP, the common brief, is they want something that does a bit of everything. They want to be able to flat water paddle for fitness and leisure and ride a few waves. I got hold of an old one of these at the start of the summer to tide me over on the smaller surf days as well as to replace an older hard board we sold. Since that time I've had it out in a range of conditions, and would say it certainly ticks alot of boxes.
Flat paddling for lighter folk its great, and unless you're doing something really silly, pretty stable too. My wife paddles this as quickly (if not faster) than me on an 11'2, so it makes a great board for families quiver building, or for a 1 all rounder.
In the surf, mainly due to the pin tail, it can be incredibly responsive, and getting weight over the fins can really reward you with some decent gouging turns. Nose riding also is highly doable on the platform this board affords. As with most round nose boards, I would say unless you're prepared to move fore and aft you really aren't getting the full benefit from this board.
As ever, a great finish and solid bit of SUP product from Starboard. Mine is getting on for 4 years old and third hand (possibly more) and still looks great. I would say if you're lookin for a decent all rounder, you could do alot worse than a 9'8 Element. The fact its been in Starboards range for 4 years is the testament to a winning shape.