Tips for Selecting the Right Paddleboard for You

types of paddle boards

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If you are ready to take part in this fun and exciting sport, then the next step is going to be to purchase a paddle board. With the right type of board, you can have a great time on the water and get in shape.

While there are more than a few options to choose from, finding the right paddleboard for your needs doesn’t have to be a difficult or overwhelming decision.

The first thing you need to do is learn about the various types of paddleboards that are available. They include:

  • Boards that are surf specific
  • Touring boards also called all-around boards
  • Racing boards
  • Inflatable stand up paddleboards
  • Yoga/Pilates boards

Surfing Paddleboards

Best Paddle Board for SurfingA surf stand up paddleboard is typically lighter, shorter, narrower and have a much narrower tail and nose. These are uniquely designed to provide high performance, fast turns and used mainly in the surf zone.

If you are planning on using the paddleboard to cover long distances, then this is not the right option for you. In fact, it will require that you do quite a bit of work to keep them on the right course. Also, they are not as stable as the bigger boards that are available.

Check out our best-rated Paddleboard for surfing – 12’6” Surtech Lard Bark Tuflite Paddleboard This is a great, durable board that can handle just about any surf conditions you throw at it!

Touring/All-Around Stand Up Paddleboards

Best Stand Up Paddle BoardsThese are considered to be multipurpose boards and are usually much longer, wider and have a greater volume. They also usually have a pointed nose. The volume and size make them more stable than the traditional wave boards.

If you plan on spending most of your time on flat water or on lakes outside of the surf zone, then this is the type of paddleboard that you need to purchase. These are also a great board option for beginners. If this is the first time that you are looking into a SUP, and you are going to be on flat water most of the time, then it is best to choose this option.

Our top all-around board is the ISLE Classis Soft Top SUP. It has a secure feel for the rider, features a unique soft top deck, and comes with a great warranty.

Stand Up Inflatable Paddleboards

Best Inflatable SupThe inflatable boards were introduced to the scene to solve several issues. The main issue that these were designed to solve was transportation and storage concerns. There are many paddlers who live in apartments of that have cars that are just too small to move large boards from one place to another. As a result, the inflatable options make perfect sense in these situations.

Another interesting factor about these boards is that if you are going to be on the river, the inflatable option is the best one. These will act like an inflatable raft, which allows you to avoid holes, and dings if you bump into or go over the rocks in the river.

Our top choice for an inflatable SUP is the Solstice Bali Stand-Up Paddleboard. It’s lightweight, yet surprisingly durable, and comes with a free bag, pump and gauge!

Racing Paddleboards                                  

In the paddling industry, racing boards have become a rather large sector. In fact, there are competitions in virtually every country and city around the world.

If you like the thrill of competition or just want to put some time into intense training, then a race board is going to be the best option. These boards are longer, much narrower and have a nose that is extremely pointy and a longer fin.

The race board is also designed so that you can remain on a track and cut through the surface of the water as quickly as possible. Something that you need to keep in mind about these types of boards is the fact that they aren’t very stable unless you are going forward at a faster speed. These boards are typically best for those who are advanced in this sport since they can take some time to get used to.

SUP Pilate and Yoga Boards

Best Paddle Board For Yoga EnthusiastsThe SUP boards for yoga and Pilates are longer and wider than the wave boards. They will usually have a softer top and a place to attach some exercise tools, such as safety equipment and resistance bands. Also, most people who use these boards need a way to anchor it so that it doesn’t float away from the group while doing the exercises.

The best paddleboard for Yoga that we have found is the Naish MANA 9’10. This board features a wider than nor deck for all your poses and is versatile beyond just Yoga use.

Choosing the Right Size Board

After you have figured out what type of board that you want, the next step is to figure out the size that is right for you. You can think of the size of a board in terms of the volume. The thicker, longer and wider that a board is, the more volume that it is going to have. When a board has more volume, then it is going to be much more stable when it is on the water. If you are new to paddleboards, then you should select one that has more volume until you are used to the sport and at this point, you can downsize.

Something to keep in mind is that the majority of larger boards are going to be much less responsive when you are in the water. This means that they aren’t going to turn as quickly or easily as the smaller wave boards available on the market. You have to select a board with the volume that is appropriate for your weight, height and your paddling style.

Buying Your Board

If you are ready to make a purchase and embark on your first attempt of paddle boarding, then it is a good idea to find a reputable seller to purchase your board from. This will ensure that you get a quality item that is going to last and offer you the performance and durability that you want and need.

Keep in mind, today, paddle boarding is an extremely popular sport. As a result, you should be able to find some great deals if you shop around. Don’t simply buy the first board you come across. Take some time to really find one that suits your needs and your skillset. Failing to do this may result in you being unable to get the hang of this fun but somewhat tricky sport.

As you can see from the information here, paddle boarding can be fun and exciting, but it does take some practice.

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