Stand up paddle boards are a great way to get out on the water and enjoy the outdoors. Getting the right type of stand up paddle board will help you do that. The basic types of stand up paddle boards include recreational, touring, surf, and racing. Different types of paddle boards are made from various materials and come in different shapes, sizes, and purposes. Paddle boards can be made of fiberglass, wood, inflatable polyethylene, and foam. Inflatable boards are super convenient if you don’t have a ton of space available for storage or paddle board transport. They’ll deflate all the way down to fit into a duffle bag for easy transport in minimal space. Many inflatable SUPs come with their own backpack so you can throw it on your back and hike to your desired destination before inflating it.
All around paddle boards are fantastic, versatile options that can perform well in many roles. They are best for flatwater paddling and are suitable for any level of experience. A good all-around board can take a beginner from learning how to paddle, right through to a competent paddler enjoying a cruise.
The Key features include:
- Wide deck and rounded nose
- Usually 10’6 or longer in length
- Planing hull for increased stability while motionless
- Inflatable all-around SUPs are a popular choice
All around SUPs are best for general paddle boarding, SUP yoga, SUP fishing, tandem paddle boarding with a dog or friends, and learning the basics.
Performance paddle boards, specifically surf SUPs, are designed for an increased maneuverability and speed element. They are shorter and highly sensitive to the riders’ weight distribution. As these boards are more specialized, they are only recommended to riders with more experience and are not suitable for lazy lake paddles.
The Key features include:
- Narrow and pointed nose
- Typically between 7’ and 10’ in length
- Planing hull to cut through the water efficiently
Surf SUPs gain stability through movement. They are difficult to keep balanced on when stationary.
Last but not least, is the touring type paddle board. These SUPs are long and streamlined to produce a cutting speed, perfect for racing and endurance paddling. These paddle boards are often made with specialized fiberglass and carbon fiber materials to get the most lightweight board possible. The tracking and storage areas are also super important.
Their Key features include:
- Narrow deck and pointed nose
- Length between 10’ and 13’
- Displacement hull for speed and a smooth ride
These finely tuned SUPs can be difficult to control at first, but once the rider has mastered the weight distribution, then there will be no stopping the adventure. Touring boards are perfect for long-distance paddling.
Inflatable SUPs are versatile and fun and offer new or experienced paddlers a convenient way to get out on the water. These boards can paddle lakes, oceans, and rivers and can even surf, and when you're all done, they easily roll up and pack into any car trunk. We think most recreational paddlers will be pleased with the performance and convenience of an inflatable SUP and that only serious SUP racers looking for optimum performance should overlook this category.