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Learn All About SUP Paddleboards

There are four basic types of stand-up-paddleboards:

1. Surf & Wave SUP Paddleboards

Surf specific stand-up paddle boards are typically shorter, have a narrower nose and tail and more rocker (curve) than all-round, and flat-water/race boards. Surf paddle boards are perfect if you are always going to spend your time in the surf. The narrow shape makes the board much more maneuverable on a wave, but the trade off is that is that they are slower and don’t track in a straight line on flat water and are also often less stable.

2. All-round

All-round boards are typically thicker, wider, and longer than surf specific models. These versatile, multi-purpose boards are great first time boards because they allow you to explore all aspects of the sport with only one board. All-round boards are wide enough to be very stable, have decent glide and tracking for flat water paddling or open ocean touring, but also enough rocker and side-cut for decent surf performance.

3. Flat-Water / Touring / Race

Flat-water boards are optimized for flat water, open ocean paddling. They are typically longer than all-round boards and often have a nose area that is pointed to help the board slice through the water smoothly, increase glide and help the board go straight. The sides are usually rounded for more glide and speed. Most flat-water boards are wide enough to be stable for beginners, however race boards, which are in the same family, are narrower to increase the boards speed. The narrowness makes race boards challenging for beginner paddlers and are not recommended. If you are a paddler looking for more speed and efficiency, the touring models are a magnificent choice.

4. Yoga

Yoga boards are normally around 3.20 meters (10.6 feet) and 80 centimeters wide (32 inches). The boards have a large surface area and are specially designed so that you can move easily. They also have a soft grippy deck pad that covers most of the top surface.

Solid SUP Paddleboards

Solid stand up paddle boards are built of many different materials ranging from foam, fiberglass, Kevlar, plastics, and wood. Epoxy boards are made from a foam core laminated with layers of fiberglass for strength and rigidity.Most solid stand up paddle boards have an air vent installed on the deck. Air vents are used as a way to help prevent delamination of the epoxy resin from the EPS foam blank.


* No inflation time / effort required.
* You can get straight out on the water.
* Super stable with stronger wind or choppy water.
* Ultimate performance
* Speed and agility
* Great for tricks while surfing

Inflatable SUP Paddleboards (iSUP)

Inflatable stand up paddle boards (iSUPs) are manufactured from layers of PVC plastic with woven fibres connecting to the top and bottom inside the board and are surprisingly rigid once inflated. Inflatable SUPs tend to be a little lighter than many Solid boards because they are composed mostly of air.


* Minimal storage space required as iSUPs pack-down into a backpack.
* Easily fit into an airlines hold allowance for travelling abroad.
* Perfect if you want to paddle in locations that are not easily reachable by car.
* More affordable than solid SUPs.

SUP Board Size and Volume

Board volume and length are key factors when selecting the right size stand up paddle board. Use the formula below to estimate how much Volume you should be looking for in your board.

* Beginners - your weight in (kg) x 2 (e.g. 90kg x 2 = 180 litres)
* Intermediates - your weight in (kg) x 1.7
* Advanced - your weight in (kg) x 1.3

SUP Board Length

Board length plays an important part in the overall handling of a SUP Paddleboard.

Short boards (under 10’) are great for surfing and/or kids. These boards almost always have a planing hull. They are more maneuverable than long boards, making them great for surfing waves. 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 planing 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.