When choosing a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) that’s perfect for you, there are a few questions you want to answer…
1. Where are you paddling—flatwater or surf?
Generally, flatwater boards are longer, surf boards are shorter and more maneuverable.
2. How much do you want to spend?
The rule of thumb: The lighter the board and easier it is to haul, the higher the price point. Boards are made from a variety of materials, including: epoxy resin, polyurethane, fiberglass and carbon fiber…some are even inflatable.
3. What type of paddling do you plan to do?
Ocean surf—You want a shorter board that turns well and is designed to handle waves.
Recreation for the family—A durable board that’s wide and stable.
Cruise—A long board with room for cargo that’s built for flat water.
Fitness and Race—A long, narrow board built for speed and every water condition.
Yoga—A wide, stable board. These often have a full deck pad for better grip.
As you can see there’s a lot to think about!
If you can, rent or borrow different types of boards to try them out first. After all, a SUP set-up is an investment. You’ll drop a few hundred dollars minimum, and can spend several thousand if you go top-of-the-line.
To start with, buy a moderately priced board that’s suitable for the type of paddling you’ll be doing—something you can cruise around on and experiment with, and aren't afraid to bang up a little.
You can try before you buy. Find a local Aqua-Bound dealer that rents SUP boards.
"Life has no limit—if you're not afraid to get in it" - Mason Jennings
Here’s a list of some board manufacturers where you can start comparing boards with their features and materials:
The important thing is to get started and get on the water!