|| The First Step in Joining the SUP Family ||

Considering joining the SUP family, but don’t know where to start? The first step is matching the right board for you! Depending on if you choose an inflatable or solid paddleboard will be based on how you can store and transport it. From there, a few factors come into play when comparing boards such as proper length, width, thickness, and shape. Paddleboards are broken down into four main categories: All-around SUPs, Surf SUPs, Touring SUPs, and High-Performance SUPs


ALL AROUND SUPs are a great fit for beginner paddlers due to their versatility in both flat and choppy water conditions. If you are looking for a family or dog-friendly board, then this is the choice for you! Since the nose of these boards are wide and rounded they can sit in the water creating more stability. The most common length associated with these types of boards is around 10-12 ft. range. This is a great choice if you are looking to leisurely paddle and explore with family and friends.


SURF SUPs are a perfect choice for intermediate to advanced paddlers that are looking for more adventure and action out of their paddling experience. These boards are normally 10 ft. and under which makes them more maneuverable on waves and water. They are essentially larger surfboards with a paddle, making them a lot less stable than all around SUPS.  If you are an avid surfer but also enjoy paddleboarding, then a surf SUP is an excellent fit for you!


TOURING SUPs are designed for long-distance, flatwater paddling. If you are looking for a high-intensity workout then this is the board for you! You can identify a touring board by its thickness and pointed nose. The thickness of these boards allows you to sit on top of the water, allowing you to slice through the water to give a faster and smoother ride. These boards are typically over 12 ft. which helps them track in a fast, straight line.

High Performance/Race

HIGH-PERFORMANCE SUPs or also known as RACING SUPs are constructed for flatwater races or open ocean competitions. These types of boards are geared towards advanced paddlers who are looking to generate speed and efficiency for long periods of time.

Now that we have covered the basic types of paddleboards, it is important to understand how to choose the right length, width, and thickness for you! The answer to these questions will be primarily based on your weight and what you are looking for out of your paddling experience.


Hardtop board or inflatable? Before you read on, check out our post here with tons of info on this topic, from storage to durability to transportation there are so many factors to consider.


When deciding on the length of your board, it is important to understand how that correlates to the volume and weight capacity. As you increase the length of the board, the volume also increases allowing you to feel more stable and carry more weight.


Width is another factor that affects how the board handles in the water. The wider the board, the more stable, but also the slower it tracks in the water. If you are over 200 lbs., considering having multiple people on your board, or plan on carrying gear, then a board that is 31 inches or wider will be a great fit. If you are a smaller person using the board for your own recreational purpose then a narrower board around 29-30 inches would be a much better fit.


After deciding the length and width you need for your paddling experience, you want to determine what type of thickness you need. The average thickness ranges from 5-6 inches, the thicker the board the more volume or weight it can support. The thinner the board the more maneuverable it is in the water but the less stable it is for paddlers who have more than 200lbs on their board.

Now that you have more board knowledge, start thinking about how and where you will use your SUP. Take into consideration who will be using your board and how to match a style that’s perfect for you. Keep in mind how the length, thickness, and width play a role & most importantly get out on the water and have some fun!

——> Check out part III of this blog series here with more information about purchasing an inflatable SUP, uses and how to get discounts on the best brands available through us and support small business!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *