SUP Board Choice
WHAT SHAPE SUP BOARD DO I NEED?
There are three basic types of stand up paddle boards: surf, allround, and flatwater/race.
Surf specific stand-up paddle boards are typically shorter, have a narrower nose and tail and more rocker (curve) than allround, and flatwater/race boards. Surf paddle boards are perfect if you are always going to spend your time in the surf. The narrow shape makes the board much more maneuverable on a wave, but the trade off is that is that they are slower and don’t track in a straight line on flatwater and are also often less stable.
Allround boards are typically thicker, wider, and longer than surf specific models. These versatile, multi-purpose boards are great first time boards because they allow you to explore all aspects of the sport with only one board. Allround boards are wide enough to be very stable, have decent glide and tracking for flatwater paddling or open ocean touring, but also enough rocker and sidecut for decent surf performance. A windsurf option is available on some allround boards. A mast foot fitting is included on the deck of the board so that a windsurf sailing rig can be mounted, making these boards exceptionally versatile.
Flatwater boards are optimised for flatwater, open ocean paddling, and ‘downwinders’ (going from point A to B with the wind at your back). They are typically longer than allround boards, and often have a nose area that is pointed to help the board slice through the water smoothly, increase glide and help the board go straight. The sides are usually rounded for more glide and speed. Most flatwater boards are wide enough to be stable for beginners, however race boards, which are in the same family, are narrower to increase the boards speed. The narrowness makes race boards challenging for beginner paddlers and are not recommended.
Do I buy a Solid or Inflatable SUP?
Solid SUP Boards
Solid stand up paddle boards are built of many different materials from foam, fibreglass, kevlar, plastics, and wood. At King of Watersports, we only offer the high-end performance solid stand up paddle boards made from epoxy fibreglass. Epoxy boards are made from a foam core laminated with layers of fibreglass for strength and rigidity.
Most solid stand up paddle boards have an air vent installed on the deck. Air vents are used as a way to help prevent delamination of the epoxy resin from the EPS foam blank.
- No inflation time required. You can get straight out on the water.
- Super stable with stronger wind or choppy water.
- Ultimate performance regarding speed and agility or for tricks while surfing.
Inflatable SUP Boards
Inflatable stand up paddle boards (iSUPs) are manufactured from layers of PVC plastic with woven fibres connecting to the top and bottom inside the board and are surprisingly rigid once inflated. Inflatable SUPs tend to be a little lighter than many Solid boards because they are composed mostly of air.
- Minimal storage space required as iSUPs pack-down into a backpack.
- Easily fit into an airlines hold allowance for travelling abroad.
- Perfect if you want to paddle in locations that are not easily reachable by car.
- More affordable than solid SUPs.
Solid SUP vs. Inflatable SUP Transportation
What size SUP board do I need?
Board volume and length are key factors when selecting the right size stand up paddle board.
Use the formula below to estimate of how much Volume you should be looking at in your board.
Beginners - your weight in (kg) x 2 (e.g. 90kg x 2 = 180 litres)
Intermediates - your weight in (kg) x 1.7
Advanced - your weight in (kg) x 1.3
Please use our SUP board length size guides below to find the best suited stand up paddle board to you.
Surf Stand Up Paddle Board Size Guide
Allround Stand Up Paddle Board Size Guide
Flatwater/Race Stand Up Paddle Board Size Guide