Choosing the Right Stand Up Paddle Board
There are three main types of stand up paddle board; the all-around paddle board, the surf specific paddle board and the racing/touring paddle board. Choosing the right SUP for you will depend on what kind of paddle boarding you plan on doing.
All-around Stand Up Paddle Board
These are the most versatile types of paddle boards. They are generally very thick, wide and long making them very stable and user friendly. The all-around paddle board is great for people who live near lakes, rivers or ponds where there are not many waves. While the all-around stand up paddle board can be ridden on waves, the surfing stand up paddle board is a better choice for this kind of activity.
Surf Specific Stand Up Paddle Board
The surfing stand up paddle board is characterized by its pointy nose, narrow tail and shorter shape than the all-around paddle board. This allows the SUP to paddle faster and create sharper turns that are needed to catch and ride waves. Because surfing paddle boards have less volume or surface area, they are not as stable and may not be a good fit for beginners or people who live in an area where there are no waves.
Racing/Touring Stand Up Paddle Board
The touring paddle board is characterized by its V shaped bottom or hull and long body which allows the paddle board to travel smoothly through the water. Like the all-around paddle board, the touring paddle board is a great for people who live near lakes, rivers, ponds and of course the ocean.
The racing paddle board is built for speed. It has the same look as the touring paddle board only narrower which means it is very unstable and not a good choice for beginners.
Weight and Construction
When choosing the right paddle board, your body weight will play a large factor in what size board you get. The bigger the paddle board, the more volume it will have making it easier to balance but less responsive to turning.
Stand up paddle boards can be made out of a variety of materials from fiberglass to epoxy and even foam and inflatable material. The materials used to construct the paddle board will determine the price, weight, durability and performance of the board.
The best way to find out what type of stand-up paddle board is right for you is to try a few different styles and shapes first.
We have one of the largest selections of all-around and surfing paddle board rentals in Kona, Hawaii. Our location, Kahalu’u Bay is one of the best spots to test drive a stand up paddle board. We also offer Stand Up Paddle Surf Lessons daily. With areas for stand up paddle surfing and beginner stand up paddlers, you are sure to find the SUP experience you are looking for.
New to stand up paddling? Check out our beginners guide on How To Stand Up Paddle.