SUP BUYING GUIDE
This entry was posted on October 5, 2016.
There are several factors to consider when buying a stand up paddleboard and sometimes it can be a little daunting. We're here to make it as simple as possible with our handy guide to choosing your perfect SUP.
TYPE OF PADDLING
The first thing you will want to identify is what type of paddling you want to do. Do you want to race? Tour? Perfect your SUP yoga skills? Hull type, volume, length, and width all affect a board's stability, maneuverability, speed, and efficiency. Once you know what performance qualities you need most, it's easy to narrow down the right SUP.
VOLUME & WEIGHT CAPACITY
When choosing a paddle board it's important to pay attention to the board's volume (shown in liters) to ensure it's compatible with your size. A paddleboard's volume gives an indication of the board's ability to float with weight on it. The higher the volume, the more weight the board can support. Each paddle board has a weight capacity and if you're over that weight capacity, it will ride lower in the water, be more difficult to paddle, and therefore much less effective.
Experience level will also play into the amount of volume that you will want in a board. Beginner to novice riders generally prefer a higher volume to weight ratio as it provides greater stability. For more intermediate to advanced riders, a lower volume to weight ratio will work as they have increased balance and experience.
The hull of a paddle board is a big factor in determining how the paddle board moves through the water. SUPs have one of two hull types: planing or displacement. Check out this video for an explanation of the difference between the two types.
A planing hull is a great choice for anyone who wants one board to do it all. This type of hull tends to have greater stability due to its larger surface area, making it a favorite among beginner paddleboarders. In turn, the greater stability makes these "all around" boards more versatile for recreational paddling, surfing, SUP yoga, and other activities where stability is key.
Displacement hulls will feature a similar shape to a canoe or kayak, helping the board cut through the water to provide superior glide and tracking performance for paddlers. As this shape cuts through the water rather than bumping up against it, as with planing hulls, it makes paddling easier and allows riders to go further without as much fatigue on their arms. This makes displacement hulls a great choice for touring and racing.
The type of paddle boarding you want to do will have a big impact on the length of the board you choose. Surfing, whitewater, and racing are very different SUP styles and require different length boards to provide the best performance. Keep in mind that the longer the board, the better glide and tracking performance it will have, the shorter the board, the greater the maneuverability.
Saying this, surfers typically look for short boards as they provide greater maneuverability and therefore better performance in surf. Paddleboarders that are looking to do long-distance touring or racing will prefer the longer board as it will be faster and provide greater glide performance.
The width of a board will affect stability and glide performance. If you are a beginner paddleboarder or interested in SUP yoga, a wide board, having greater surface area, will be easier to balance on. Alternately, a narrower board is less stable but also creates less drag, making it much faster and a better choice for racing.
Keeping these factors in mind will help guide you to finding the perfect SUP. Just remember, we're always excited to help you find the best paddle board for your interests so if you have questions just give us a call, message us on the website, or come on down to the shop and have a conversation with one of our paddle board experts!