How do I choose a standup paddle board?

To find the right stand up paddle board for you, consider how you’re going to use it, how it will fit your body and how you want it to handle in the water. The key decision points will be the shape of the board, getting the correct volume and capacity, as well as the proper length, width and thickness. Whether you choose a solid or inflatable board will largely depend on how you will transport it and how much storage space you have. From there, you’ll consider a board’s fins and any extras or accessories that work for you.

The most common type of paddle board is your traditional epoxy paddle board aka hard paddle board. An epoxy paddle board is fiberglass wrapped around an EPS foam core, with one or more fins to help the board track in the water. You can browse our selection of solid paddleboards here.

In 2014, a new paddle board construction was born – inflatable paddle boards. Inflatable SUPs are great stand up paddle boards because they provide many benefits that epoxy paddle boards do not. For example, most iSUPs are sold with a backpack for easy storage and transportation. They will also include a fast pump and 3-piece paddle, which also fits into the backpack. Today, inflatable paddle boards are super popular. You can browse our selection of inflatable paddleboards here.

Yes, size DOES matter.

Short boards (under 10’) are great for surfing and/or kids. These boards almost always have a planning hull. Short boards are more maneuverable than long boards, making them great for surfing waves or short distance paddles. Boards designed specifically for kids are typically around 8’ long.

Medium boards (10’ to 12’) are ideal for all-around use and for SUP yoga. Most of these boards have planning hulls, but sometime you’ll find a displacement-hull SUP at this length.

Long boards (12’6” and above) are great for fast paddling and long-distance touring. The majority of boards in this size range are displacement-hull SUPs. They’re faster than short and medium boards and they tend to track straighter. If you’re interested in paddling fast or touring long distances, you’ll want a long board.

Basic Paddle Board equipment once you’ve chosen the type of paddle board you want, you’ll need a paddle, leash, board bag, and personal flotation device (PFD). In some cases, these items are offered with the paddleboard itself as they go hand-in-hand.

Looking to purchase a paddleboard? Check out our dealer map for a store near you, or contact us directly and we will help you pick out the best board for you!

Leave a Reply