Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing sports in the world and for a good reason. It is a great workout, loads of fun, highly calming, and, most importantly, simple and easy to pick up by almost anyone, regardless of the age. However, choosing the first paddleboard might not be as simple as paddleboarding itself.
For that matter, we will go through the main types of paddleboards, so as to help you purchase your first board, in case you want to enter the exciting world of SUP.
There are three main types of SUP boards
These types of boards are usually longer, wider and thicker than other types. They are highly versatile, multipurpose boards that are great for beginners, as they are perfect for exploring all the crucial aspects of stand up paddleboarding. All-round SUP boards are very stable, due to their width, and have decent tracking and gliding capabilities for open ocean touring or flatwater paddling. Additionally, they also feature enough sidecut and rocker for a good surf performance. Some all-round boards also feature the windsurf option as well. These boards are equipped with mast foot fitting, to allow for the mounting of the windsurf sailing rig, thus making the boards even more versatile.
These types of boards are shorter than the all-round boards, feature a narrower tail and nose, and have a stronger curve than the flat water and all round types. If you are someone who enjoys surfing, or just spending time in the surf, a board such as this would be a perfect choice. These boards are highly maneuverable, thanks to their narrow shapes. However, they are somewhat slower and not so good at staying on a straight line. They are also less stable too.
Flat water boards
These models are designed for flat water paddling, as well as “downwind,” which involves going from one point to the next with the help of the wind. Flat water boards are usually longer than other types of boards, and they have a pointy nose area, which allows them to smoothly slice through the water, thus allowing the board to follow a straight line and increase its gliding capabilities. The sides of these boards usually feature a rounded design, for increased speed and glide. Even though flat water boards are wide enough to provide a decent level of stability, they are not recommended for beginners. This is especially true when it comes to the race boards, which are also a type of flat water board, and which are very fast and highly unstable.
Solid boards Vs. Inflatable boards
Solid SUP boards, like the versa paddleboard, are usually built from a variety of materials, such as Kevlar, wood, plastics, fiberglass, or foam. High-performance and quality paddleboards are commonly made from epoxy fiberglass. Thanks to their foam cores and fiberglass layers, these boards are very strong, durable, and rigid.
On the other hand, there are inflatable SUP boards. These boards are commonly made from PVC plastic layers, along with woven fibers which are used to connect the bottom and the top inside the board itself. Once inflated, theses fibers become highly rigid and strong, thus offering stability and durability.