I’m a beginner, bought this board after having tried paddling ONCE. Love it. Easy to balance on, decent speed, easy to turn in, and good looking. If you like getting compliments, then this model is for you. Sits higher above water compared to an epoxy board, so it doesn’t cut through wakes as easily. This is a pretty minor drawback.
I’ve taken it out on the ocean as well as a lake. I recommend investing in a shorter fin for rivers and lakes. I also recommend investing in an Electric Pump. Takes about 10 minutes to inflate to 15.5 PSI. Manual pumps will take considerably longer and will be a workout on their own.
Don’t let the inflatable part scare you. This thing is very durable. I’ve flown with it as checked luggage, hit a bunch of boulders in the water, tossed it around haphazardly on the beach and it’s fine.