5 Unique Types of SUPing


Not long after modern SUP came on the scene a decade or two ago, it became the fastest growing outdoor recreation activity in the US.

There are lots of reasons for that. You can read more about that here: The Staying Power of SUP.

And like other recreational activities, creative and adventurous people keep inventing new ways to adapt the board and paddle to new venues.

Here are the five main types of stand-up paddle boarding (and there are bound to be more coming!):

Recreational SUP

Tooling around the lake at the cabin…renting some boards and paddles for a couple hours of fun on a local river…

woman on a stand-up paddle board

One of the reasons SUP has gotten so popular is because it’s so easy for so many to do. Recreational SUP is an entry-level activity for young and old, and everyone in-between.

An all-around paddle board is ideal for the recreational SUPer, whether it’s solid or inflatable.

Touring SUP

SUP touring—and even marathon SUPing—is taking the board and paddle out on larger bodies of water or longer rivers. It’s making a day of it…or a week of it…or longer.

touring SUP
(photo courtesy of Jesse Hieb)


You’re covering distance, seeing beautiful scenery—maybe even urban scenery. You may be packing gear and food for an excursion.

Touring boards are a bit narrower, and nice and long for efficiently gliding through the water for hours at a time.

SUP Yoga

Yoga is another activity that’s exploded in popularity in recent years. It was only a matter of time before someone had the idea of taking their yoga to the next level by switching their mat on the floor for a board on the water!

SUP yoga
(photo courtesy of Emily H. via Facebook)


Yoga on a slightly-moving board on a slightly-unstable surface adds challenge, yes. But also adds the natural benefits of being in nature and being on the water.

Boards designed for yoga are stable, not too long, and have a soft deck.

Read: SUP Yoga Basics

SUP Surfing & Racing

These two activities aren’t the same, but we’re putting them together here because it’s those who love speed and adventure that get into it!

Modern SUP began in the surf, really. Some surfers decided to bring a paddle along to get them to their waves quicker and give them extra maneuverability. It stuck, and voilà.

SUP surfer
(photo courtesy of Luke Foley via Facebook)


And of course there are those who’ll race on anything that moves, so it’s no surprise SUP racing is getting popular, too.

Surfing and racing boards are designed for speed and quick turns. They’re shorter than touring boards and narrower than recreational boards.

SUP Fishing

Anglers have taken to the stand-up paddle board, too. With lots of room for their gear and the ability to fish waters not accessible by motor boat, some anglers even prefer a paddle board over a fishing kayak.

SUP angler
(photo courtesy of John S. via Facebook)


SUP boards designed for fishing are low on agility, but high on speed and stability. They have pre-installed mounts ready for your rods and accessories.

So…which type are you? Which will you try? Why not find a local rental shop and check out the possibilities!

Have questions about SUP paddles? Our friendly Customer Service Team is ready to help: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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