how to choose a stand up paddle board

How to Choose a Stand Up Paddle Board

SUP can be a really fun and rewarding outdoor water sport to try but only if you have the right equipment of course. It’s not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle that many people are starting to enjoy and in order to make the most out of SUP, you gotta know how to choose a stand up paddle board. There are plenty of different paddle boards out there on the market that caters to the specific needs of each user so here we’ll discuss the different types of boards and help you choose which one will suit your paddle boarding style perfectly.

There are many different ways to enjoy SUP. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing hobby to pick up on, improve your fitness levels through yoga and pilates, or get your adrenaline pumping by participating in races and sprints. All these SUP disciplines require a different board that varies in construction and the key to finding the correct paddle-board for you is to identify where you will spend most of your time in SUP.

1. Surfing paddle boards. If you want to ride the waves while doing SUP, a surfing paddle board should be your choice. This is perfect for riders who want more thrill and action out of their SUP experience. Novice riders may want to work their skills first before picking up a surfing paddle-board because the narrow nose and tail make it less stable and is only ideal for using on quick turns over at surf zones.

Surfing paddle boards

2. All-purpose paddle boards. These types of boards are the perfect option for neophyte SUP’ers where they can benefit from the paddle board’s volume and width which makes it very stable, helping you perfect your technique as you practice your skills. All-purpose paddle boards are great on any calm, open water like flat lakes and rivers.

3. Yoga/pilates paddle board. The sport of SUP has grown considerably over the past few years and people are starting to incorporate different activities like SUP yoga. You can purchase a specific board for doing fitness activities which come with a wide base for increased stability and you can attach resistance bands for an intense workout on the open water.

yoga pilates paddle board

4. Competition/racing boards. If you’re looking to take your SUP experience to the next level, then you may want to consider getting a racing paddle board. These boards are more agile, swift, and are capable of shredding through the waves. Not to mention you get an intense cardio workout while strengthening your core because it requires a tremendous sense of balance to handle properly.

What size of paddle-board should I pick up?

Knowing how to choose a stand up paddle board requires a bit of knowledge when it comes to the correct size that’ll match your body weight properly. Picking up a paddle board of the wrong size can make your SUP experience less enjoyable so it’s best to figure out which sizes are the one for you. Generally, you’ll want to look at the maximum capacity of the board to make sure it’s capable of handling your own weight.

Secondly, take a look at the volume of the paddle-board. The higher the volume of the paddle board, the more stable it will be. Paddle boards with plenty of width and volume are great for beginners who are looking to hone their skills on SUP. Experienced enthusiasts will likely benefit from narrower, pointer paddle boards that offer more agility and quickness out on the open water.

Once you’ve grown more comfortable with your first paddle board, you can purchase a narrower one to further heighten your skills. You’ll have more control over your paddle board compared to a paddle-board with high volume because these are typically less responsive than their narrower counterparts.

Inflatable or hard epoxy?

SUP boards come in two main variants; inflatables and hard epoxy. There are quite a lot of differences between these two types of boards and we’ll go over the two of them to help you understand which one will suit your SUP needs perfectly. Because of the rising popularity of SUP, the industry made it very accessible to everyone of all ages and skill levels by creating an inflatable paddle board that’s easy to store and is portable enough to be carried anywhere. Inflatable paddle boards are perfect for flat water SUP and to just enjoy the beauty of nature while you’re out paddling in open water.

inflatable or hard epoxy

Hard epoxy SUP boards are more performance-oriented and typically respond better than their inflatable counterparts because it’s more rigid in construction. These paddle boards are perfect if you’re looking to use it on the surf zone to catch some waves.

If you’re just starting out in the world of SUP, we highly recommend that you get an inflatable paddle board. You can take it anywhere and enjoy SUP on any calm, open water and you won’t have to worry about its storage because of its portability. Veteran SUP’ers will appreciate the added responsiveness of a hard epoxy paddle board that’ll offer more performance benefits during use.

How to choose a stand up paddle board: conclusion

SUP is ever-growing and the amount of interest it’s garnering is making it a thrilling outdoor water sport to try. Choosing the correct stand up paddle board for you depends on the type of SUP discipline you’ll be doing. Will you spend more hours in the calm, flat waters? Or do you want to challenge yourself and take on the waves or do competition races? Perhaps you’re interested in maintaining your fitness levels while doing SUP?

Think about it carefully and make sure you get the correct board size by taking note of its volume and maximum weight capacity. Now go out there and buy yourself a brand new stand up paddle board!

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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