Which SUP Board Should I Buy?

Knowing which SUP board to buy depends on how you’ll be using your board and what types of water conditions you’ll be paddling in.

Here’s a brief look at how SUP boards differ to give you a better idea of which one is for you:

All-Around Paddleboard

All-around boards are great for beginners, as they’re long, wide and stable. You can use them as a recreational board in various water conditions: flat water, the ocean, even surf. A great option for the family cabin or your weekend paddling excursions.

(One note: Because the ocean is an entirely different environment than lakes and rivers, you’ll want to be comfortable paddleboarding before attempting it—especially in waves!)

grey duck SUP board
Grey Duck's All-Day board is an example of an all-around board

Flatwater/Touring Paddleboard

These boards are a little longer and a little narrower than the all-around board, which means more speed and efficiency over long distances. They’re great for open water,m including the ocean, and yet still stable enough for beginners. You’ll notice the pointed nose on these boards as opposed to the rounded nose on the all-around board.

malibu tour sup board
Pau Hana's Malibu Tour board is a flatwater touring board

Surf Paddleboard

Surf SUPs are the shortest of the boards, making them ideal for maneuvering through waves. They’re a one-purpose board—slow and cumbersome on flat water, and less stable than longer boards. Great for intermediate and advanced SUPers who love action!

carve surf paddleboard
Pau Hana's Carve paddleboard is an example of one designed for paddling surf

Race Paddleboard

Long, narrow and maneuverable, race boards are built for…racing! Beginners will find them a challenge, so this one is better after you’ve built up some experience.

Yoga Paddleboard

If you’ll use your SUP board mostly for yoga, it’ll be worth investing in a yoga-specific board. It’ll be wide enough to give you plenty of room (and therefore very stable), and also have extra padding on the deck for comfort.

red paddle co's activ paddleboard
Red Paddle Co's Activ board is designed for yoga

Fishing Paddleboard

You could fish from an all-around board, of course. But buying a board that’s designed for fishing gives you pre-installed mounts for your rods, fish finder and other accessories.

Pau Hana's Big Easy fishing board
Pau Hana's Big EZ paddleboard is designed specifically for fishing

As you can see, SUP boards are designed with function in mind. Where will you be padding? What kind of paddling will you do?

The important thing is to get out on the water and have fun!

More for you:
Talk the SUP Talk
Learning to Stand-Up Paddle
Why Spend More on a SUP Paddle?