How to choose the best paddle board?


To learn to use a paddle board is exciting, but it can be difficult to find the right paddle board. If you want to get the best out of your SUP, choose a paddle board that’s right for you.

How to find the right paddle board

Before you invest in a board, you need to consider a lot. Let’s first look at the types of boards that you have available based on what your board is for.

Hull type

For paddleboards there are two types of hull: preparation and displacement:
  • The best choice for leisure paddling, surfing, SUP and whitewater is a planning hull
  • The best choice for SUP touring and racing is a displacement hull

Paddle Board choice

Now you know what type of hull you need, you have to know how different boards for each activity vary.

Surfing SUP

You will need one designed for the sport if you plan to surf on your paddle board. These boards are usually shorter, because you don’t need much room, and the smaller size makes it easier to manage them on the surfing so you can manipulate them to benefit from more waves than regular surfboards. The nose is narrower and can glide through the surf, while the tail is curved. If you’re new to boarding, you need to take the time to become accustomed to the board before you surf, because the board is designed to move quickly across the water. On the negative side, it’s harder to steer and slower when you try to use the board on flat water. Their size can also make them a little unstable and are a better choice for those who already have a good experience in paddleboarding.

SUP all Around

It is a decent choice for both beginners and seasoned paddleboarders. These are bigger than surfing surfaces and allow you to do more. The board is thicker, wider and longer, which gives you more space and control. The additional width makes them more stable in the water and is good for leisure paddling and touring.
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All paddle boards are so-called because they do have a style that can be used while surfing if you want more flexibility on your board. Some all-around SUPs can also install a mast so you can use it to surf. The larger you can even carry your dog so that they can enjoy being on the water too.

SUP Flatwater

Whether you want to enjoy paddling on the sea or playing with the wind (downwind), the flatwater SUP is the right option. The width gives beginners good stability. They are longer boards and have rounded faces and a pointed nose that can quickly pass through the water. They are also good for leisure and touring. However, you should be aware that when you consider how to choose a paddle board, running SUPs are also Flatwater SUPs. The difference is that racing boards are smaller to make them travel quicker. Although a flatwater SUP is good for beginners, a SUP race is less stable and not suitable for new people.

Yoga SUP

This is another surface with flat water. It has a good area with better width and longer length, which allows you to extend and bend while maintaining stability. The larger size makes it a good option for beginners as it has been built to be stable.

Fishing SUP

You can get boards specifically designed for SUP fishing, but a flatwater or all-round board can also be employed. Extra width is useful to stand with your rod and a bigger panel also allows you space to fight. Some SUPs can be adapted to add a kayak seat.

Solid or inflatable paddle board

Once you choose the appropriate board type, you have to decide whether to invest in a solid or inflatable board. Beginners typically prefer an iSUP, but this is mainly due to the cost. Boards are the same in size and form, but all have advantages and disadvantages.

Solid paddle board

A combination of materials consists of solid boards or epoxy boards. These can include foam, fiberglass, Kevlar, and plastic. More expensive carbon fiber boards are used. The boards are sturdy and durable enough to withstand all conditions and lightweight. It can be used for any SUP activity and is available in various sizes and forms.
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Inflatable paddle board

Boards or iSUPs that are inflatable are designed to be tough. They have PVC layers that are connected to the top and bottom with tissue fibre layers. They are rigid and stable and a little lighter when completely inflated than solid SUPs. When folded up, they are easy to bear and are used for all SUP activities. Before they can be used, they must be inflated. They usually come with a pump and look at the best-inflated paddles here:
  • Price: The big benefit of an inflatable board is the cost. They ‘re cheaper than strong frames, so beginners and people on a budget are in favor of them. Both types of boards are very tough and are not designed to break down.
  • Transport: This is an important factor in the choice of the right board type. To move it, a sturdy paddle board requires a rack or trailer. An inflatable SUP can be carried in a rucksack or pack, which makes it much easier to transport. This can be taken on holiday or where a strong board can be difficult to get. An inflatable SUP can also be stored much better, as a solid board takes up more room.
  • User-friendly: You can only put your strong SUP in and out when you get to the water. It will need to be pumped up before you use your inflatable board so that you lose some time when you arrive.
  • Speed: Boards are both suited for surfing and racing, but the solid board gives improved maneuverability and glides through the water more smoothly. For more seasoned paddlers, this is a major advantage.
  • Beginner vs experience: Beginners tend to feel more relaxed on an inflatable board, as balancing and paddling is simpler, even if a solid board has a more rigid feel. Experienced paddlers, particularly surfers and racers, profit from the additional pace of a strong SUP.
  • Preference: While inflatable boards in a wide range of sizes and shapes are available, hard boards offer a wider range of sizes so that they can fit much better.
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SUP Size

You may need support and advice as you seek to figure out how to pick a paddle board. The dimension is critical because it affects your water balance and maneuverability. Volume and length combine to provide you with stability in the water.


The third element that influences the paddle board that is right for you is thickness. After you have worked out your total volume, you have found a board with the right length and width to choose the thickness. If your width and length are large, find out how thick you need the board to hold your weight and size appropriately. Generally speaking, the heavier the board, the more weight it holds, but most boards have a guide as to how much they can carry.
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