On a hot, sunny summer day, nothing beats getting out on the water. Nowadays, SUP are being used as a tool to access the water by lots of different people in many different ways. 

Not only is it a great workout and easy to learn, paddle boarding is also fun, invigorating and enables you to connect with nature. 

However, the styles, parameters, materials, types and structures of paddles on the market are diverse. How to buy a satisfactory paddle must be a headache for every paddle beginner, as it is the first step of learning the craft.

How to choose a stand up paddle board comes down to your lifestyle, what you plan to use it for, and of course, the paddle board’s price.

No matter what type of paddler you are, Goosehill always provide something that can help you learn more. in this article we’ll help you choose the paddle board that perfect for you.

The different types of paddle boards

To find the most suitable SUP for you, think about how you’re going to use the board. At this point, it is necessary to learn the differences between each type. Below, you’ll find the five most common types of SUP boards on the market. Be advised that there can be some crossover.

All around sups

  • It is usually wider and larger than other types of boards
  • Better stability
  • More suitable for first-time and beginner paddlers
  • Family friendly and dog friendly
All around SUPs

Racing sups

  • The shape is longer and sharper, which helps to improve the speed of competition
  • Only when it reaches a relatively fast speed can it have better stability
  • Sometimes challenging for beginners but perfect for elite
Touring SUPs

Touring sups

  • Designed for long-distance and fast paddling
  • Perfect choice for serious paddlers with an interest in high intensity workouts in open ocean, bays and lakes
  • Relatively friendly to beginner paddlers

Surfing sups

surfing SUPs

Fishing sups

  • Have plenty of space to store tackle gear
  • Extremely stable
  • Much more slowly than other types of paddle boards
  • Perfect choice for those who love to go fishing, but don’t want to invest in a boat or kayak
Fishing SUP

Volume and weight of paddles

Make sure to choose a stand up paddle board that is the right size and volume based on your skill level and weight. If the displacement of the board doesn’t match your weight, you won’t be supported well and making it difficult to paddle.

Beginner paddlers will usually want a wider board with more volume as well as thickness because of the additional stability this offers.

In general, board volume and weight capacity are two main factors that affect how stable you will feel and how well the board will travel through the water.

Volume: A paddle board's volume, expressed in liters, gives an indication of the board’s ability to float with weight on it. The more volume a board has the more weight it can support. A short board can have a good buoyancy if it’s wide and thick. Therefore, a short, easy to operate but large volume board (wide and thick) is a perfect choice for a 200 pound surfer.

Weight capacity: Each paddle board has a rider weight capacity, which directly affects how your board handles in the water. When you are overweight for the board, it will sink and create drag - making it much harder to paddle. Don’t forget to include any equipment when thinking about weight capacity, your body weight, your child, food and drinking that you’ll be taking with you.

Other features to consider when buying a board

Paddle board length

The length of a board plays a major role in determining how the board handles. Therefore, determine your intend use when choosing what length paddle board to purchase. Shorter boards perform better in surf and can maneuver better than longer paddle board, however longer boards are more stable and perform better when paddling long distances.

  • Short paddle boards (10’ and under) are ideal for surfing or kids. Compared with the long board, the short board has better maneuverability, which making them great for surfing waves. Boards under 8’ in length are usually designed for kids.
  • Medium length boards (10’ to 12’6) are the ideal size of all-around use. A board length in this range is very versatile, which will be perfect for a range of rowing activities for most people, like paddling in the lake or simply surf in the sea.
  • Long paddle boards (over 12’6) are great for competition and long-distance touring. The speed of long board is faster than that of medium and short board, and it is easier to slide in a straight line. If you are interested in competing or hiking, you need a long board to race or glide long distances to your camp.

Paddle board width

Paddle boards are found in a variety of widths, the most common width paddle boards are from around 26 inches to 36 inches. Consider the following when choosing your ideal SUP’ s width:

  • Type of paddling: If you’re going on long tours or fishing that require you to carry extra gear, choose a wider board in order to have more storage space. Choose a narrower board if you plan on SUP Surfing or racing.
  • Ability level: Board width equates to stability. For this reason, beginner paddlers should usually look for a board that is designed with wide proportions. This usually starts around 32’, less than 30’ will be a little tippy at first and harder to get comfortable and find your stride.
  • Weight & body type: try to match the width of the paddle board to your weight and body type. If you’re a bigger person, you’ll find that choosing a larger width can make you balance easier. Similarly, if you’re a smaller and light person, choose a narrower board otherwise you’ll have to make wide, inefficient strokes with your paddle.

Paddle board fins

SUP fin

Finally, consider how the fins of your paddle board plays a role in your rowing activities. Fins influence your speed, maneuverability, and your board’s ability to move in a straight line. There are several different fin configurations out there, though one-fin and 2+1-fin are the most common.

  • Single fin: A paddle board needs at least one, large fin to track straight-- excellent for paddling on flat water and helps maintain stability. Otherwise, your board will fishtail back and forth.
  • 2+1 fins: This configuration includes a larger center fin with a smaller fin on each side of it. Their staggered pattern allows for excellent maneuverability while maintaining a stable paddling platform. The side fins help “bite” into the water and increase the maneuverability of your board, which is excellent for surfing or for whitewater.

Paddle board prices

As you look into buying a new stand up paddle board you may find yourself asking, “how much should I spend to get a good board?” Normally, you don’t want to choose a cheap board just to save money, which means it may not long lasting, but you also don’t want to spend much on paddle board. Thus, it’s significant to understand the differences between a cheaper inflatable paddle board and a more expensive one.

  • Basic level boards--$400 to $800

paddle boards in this price range are the sweet spot in giving decent performance and durability at a great price for exceptional value. You’ll find a lot of these boards will have the same or similar features to the high-end boards like: tri/quad-layer PVC, carbon fiber rails, and carbon fiber paddles. If you’re willing to sacrifice a little on construction or the finer details in durability or weight reduction, you can definitely find a decent board for less than $800.

  • Premium priced boards--$800 to $1500

One thing that you’ll always find with this price range is that the boards tend to be more durable due to their higher quality and built using the newest technologies, which often geared for more experienced rowers. In addition, you can also expect to receive a premium accessory package with high end inflatable SUPs, which gives you extra value. The Goosehill Sailor board is a fantastic example of this.

Purchasing a stand up paddle board is an investment, but the returns are definitely worth it. We hope you can use this information as a guide in researching your first board...Of course, it can also be the next board. At Goosehill, our only job is to make sure you find that perfect stand up paddle board and demonstrates how committed we are! Please feel free to call or email us regarding any questions or guidance you need.

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