If you’re in the market for some new SUP gear, then we can help you out. Here at Just Paddleboard we do extensive evaluations of what’s available in the marketplace to find the very best gear – from boards to paddles to dry bags. What you get is an honest opinion – we are never influenced by any manufactures or brands. So, if you need a little help comparing boards or other related gear, then know that you can trust the opinions that you read here. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for in any of the guides below, then feel free to contact us and we’ll help as best we can.
Here are the current buying guides that we have available:
- Comparing the Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards for the Money
- Comparing the Best Rigid/Hard Stand Up Paddle Boards for the Money
- Upgrade Your SUP Paddle With One of the Best SUP Paddles for the Money
- Stay Safe With the Best PFDs for Paddle Boarding
- Compare the Best SUP Leashes for the Money
Don’t see a guide for a product you need help with? Let us know and we’ll see what we can do!
What Type Of Paddler Are You?
When you’re ready to shop for a new SUP, what you should look for really depends on what type of paddle you are. Do you need a board for touring/racing or just for recreation or fitness? How you answer that question determines the best type of stand up paddle board for your needs.
Most people who do stand up paddle boarding are either doing it because it is a really fun water sport or because they have made it part of their fitness routine. For this type of paddler, a good all-arounder board is most likely the best SUP type. However, there are a few specialized types of boards that might be of interest. For example, some companies make yoga SUPs and some boards are better for surfing than others. But for flat water paddling or just general recreation, then stick with an all ’rounder paddle board. This is your most stable type of SUP.
For those paddlers who take the sport seriously and do races or touring, then a touring/racing SUP is obviously the wise choice here. This type of SUP has a slightly different design because it is made to move through the water quickly and efficiently.
The Different Body Types of SUPs
As you compare the all arounder SUPs to the touring/racing ones, you will immediately notice that their bodies have a very distinct and different design style. This is because all arounders are designed primarily for stability while racing/touring models are designed for maneuverability and efficiency in the water.
As you can see in the image above, the two body (or hull) types are displacement and planing. You get the displacement hull with the touring/racing boards and the planing hull with the all arounder boards.
Common SUP Features To Look For
As you shop and compare the different stand up paddle board brands on the market, you will start to notice that there are some common features to look for on the various models. And even boards that look very similar can have very different features. To help you make the best decision when shopping for your new stand up paddle board, we want to point out some of the most common features that you will come across when shopping.
Paddleboards come in a variety of different lengths, with around 10-ft being the most common. You will find that the shorter boards (those under 9-feet) are really good for surfing and a lot of them are really stable. And the longer boards (over 12-feet) are good for racing/touring.
The wider the board, the most stable it is most of the time. That being said, you won’t find too much variation from one SUP to the next when it comes to width. Wide boards are those that are 31-inches and wider. And narrow boards are those that typically measure in at 29-inches to 31-inches in width.
One of the most important things to pay attention to when shopping is the weight limit of the board. Most of the time, the longer (and bigger) boards have a higher weight capacity, but not always. The reason you need to pay attention to this is because you don’t want to exceed it when you’re out on the water. Plus, if you intend on taking your dog or another person out with you, then you need to be sure that you get a SUP that can support that extra weight.
You will notice that SUPs can have different fin setups. The purpose of fins on a stand up paddle board is to give extra stability and to offer better tracking in the water. Here are the different setups that you can encounter:
- Single large fin
- Race fins
Keep in mind that even inflatable SUPs have fins. They will be semi-rigid but will still work the same as they do on a hard body board.
Some SUPs don’t come with any accessories and others come as part of a package deal that includes a few items you might need out on the water. While some of the accessories are necessary (like a paddle) others might not be for you (like a leash). Check out some of the common accessories you might need in the list below.
- Stuff sack or carry bag
- Pump (if using an inflatable board)
- Dry bag
- Car rack
- Storage rack
Keep in mind that sometimes you get one or two of these accessories if your SUP comes as a package. However, the accessories in these packages are not always of the highest quality, so you still might need to buy your own.