how to choose a paddle board

How to Choose a Paddle Board

When it comes to paddleboarding, choosing the correct equipment is paramount because it will affect your entire experience when you’re out there on the water. That’s why it’s important to know which paddle-board to choose based on your specific needs. Paddleboarding has taken off in the last couple of years and many are looking to get into the sport because of how enjoyable and rewarding it is and once you get started, you’ll definitely get hooked!

It can be quite daunting at first to select a paddle-board since there are so many options out there on the market that range from different sizes and purposes. Here we’ll cover the different types of boards and discuss which one will work best for you. Here is how to choose a paddle-board!

Different types of Paddle-Boards

The variety of choices when it comes to paddle-boards makes it a very challenging process for newbies to buy one that they can confidently use. There are many types of stand up paddle boards that cater to beginners all the way to advanced users and here are some of the most common types of surf boards that you’ll encounter at the market today:

all around paddle boards

1. All-around paddle boards are the consensus choice when it comes to beginners looking to try paddleboarding for the first time. It offers a wider overall volume that contributes to greater stability and can support plenty of weight which inspires confidence for first-time users. The advantages to picking up an all-around paddle board are:

  • Increased stability and control
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Can support tons of weight
  • Ideal for all-purpose paddle boarding

2. Touring paddle boards are perfect if you’re looking for more adventure and intensity with your paddleboarding experience. These boards are built to efficiently glide through long distances and demands a lot more core engagement which is great if you want a bit more intensity with your paddleboarding. It’s also sufficiently wide enough for beginners to use because it’s quite easy to keep stable. Touring paddle-boards are a great choice for:

  • Paddleboarding long distances in calm, flat waters like lakes and bays
  • Provides a slightly higher intensity in your paddleboarding workout
  • Glides more smoothly and efficiently
  • Stable enough for beginners to use

3. Racing paddle boards are for hardcore enthusiasts who love to compete in flat water races and appreciate the added speed it delivers thanks to the extended width and length. It also glides more smoothly than standard paddle-boards but since it’s quite harder to keep stable, racing paddle boards are often best used by recreational racers and paddleboarding enthusiasts.

  • Able to generate fast speeds because of its narrow construction
  • Perfect for flat-water racing and other open-water competitions
  • Beginners may find it hard to keep racing paddle boards stable

4. Surf paddle Inflatable boards are for intermediate users who are looking for more action out of their paddleboarding experience. These boards are designed to handle small waves with ease and will suit the needs of users who love to paddle and shred with the waters. The only downside is that it’s also hard to keep stable especially if you’re a newbie looking for your first paddleboard.

  • Perfect for shredding waves
  • Offers more maneuverability
  • Versatile for almost any condition
  • Hard to keep stable for most beginners

These are some of the most common surf boards you’ll find today and you’ll certainly come across many more when you explore the market. There are other paddleboards out there that are perfect for fishing and for doing yoga. The key is to identify how you will use the paddleboard and make a decision from there.

Paddle-board sizes

One important tip to keep in mind when purchasing your first paddle-board is the size. Paddle surfing boards come in a range of lengths and sizes and the board size will highly influence your experience when you’re out there on the water. For beginners, a paddle board with more volume is a good choice because it’ll be more stable when you’re paddle boarding.

If you’re an experienced user, a narrower paddle board will offer you more control and maneuverability. Knowing how to choose a surfing board’s size is key to handling your paddle board perfectly. As you continue to improve your balance and overall skill in paddleboarding, you can purchase a nimbler, less wide board and hand over your previous board to family and friends who might be interested in trying out paddleboarding as well!

Inflatable paddle-boards vs. hard epoxy paddle-boards

Usually, Surf boards are made out of hard epoxy or inflatables. Here, we’ll discuss both paddle surf boards and help you choose which one fits your needs better.

Inflatable paddle-boards are good if you want more portability. You’ll almost never have to think about having problems with storing your paddle-board since you can deflate it easily and roll it down much like a sleeping bag. You also don’t have to worry about damaging your paddle board, unlike the hard epoxy ones which can get dinged or cracked when you drop it.

inflatable paddle boards

The downside to inflatable paddle-boards is that they are less agile when compared to their hard epoxy counterparts. Inflatable surf boards are perfect for hobbyists and recreational users looking to get into the sport.

Hard epoxy paddle boards are perfect if you want more performance out of your board because these tend to be swifter and are more adept at handling the waves. Hard epoxy paddle surfing boards are also faster out on the open water compared to paddle-boards. The only problem is that you’ll have to have a car rack or a large storage space to store your epoxy paddle-boards since it doesn’t fold or deflate.

hard epoxy paddle boards

When you finally know how to choose a paddle-board, it’s time to set out on the open water and test it. Do keep these tips in mind when purchasing your paddle board to help you make an informed decision.

About the Author Thomas

I suppose you could say I came to surfing later than most. I didn't grow up by the water, but after years working the 9-5 grind I felt its draw and decided it was time to lead a slower life. These days I try and spend time in the water every day and consider the ocean as my living room: a place to relax, have fun, and just enjoy life.

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