You don’t know the differences between the various types of SUP boards. You would like to try it but you don’t know which one to choose. Or maybe you already know how to go, but you’d like to try another type of board or another discipline. Right? This article gives you an overview to help you choose.
the most frequently asked questions
how many types of board are there?
Which one is the best for me?
What are the differences?
Do you really need a bigger board?
You absolutely have to try it
Means of transport, variant of surfing, sports, summer play activities, these are the many faces of the SUP, acronym that stands for Stand-Up-Paddling. Its versatility, as well as its simplicity, have led it today to be among the most popular summer activities, at sea, in lakes, on rivers, all over the world.
It takes very little to learn the basics, and the tools are simply a board and a paddle, and you are ready to experience an experience that combines a desire for adventure, fitness, love for nature. Thus, you can travel long stretches along the coast in search of beaches otherwise unreachable from land, but also spend a few hours of good body exercise between sky and sea, in total safety, under the coast, away from the chaos of the city.
What do you really need to get started?
Definitely have a good water skills is a must. This does not mean being a good swimmer and, we can say it, you are not in the water often, perhaps never with a little practice, but certainly having a solid foundation in swimming allows paddlers of all ages, and generally, to enjoy every ride in total safety.
A board and a paddle is all you need. But it’s easy to just say “board”. At the beginning, the offers on the market can put the less experienced in confusion due to the many types of boards present, and not fully understand the different specifications that makes a board more or less suitable for their needs. We can certainly group the different types of boards into two broad categories: inflatable boards and rigid boards.
Today, the “inflatables” have reached very high levels of performance, with the use of new high-tech materials, which make them very popular even by the “purists” of rigid boards. Of course, they are the most comfortable to carry, deflated they fit in a bag no bigger than a suitcase. They are not a problem for our travels by car, train, plane. To inflate them you need a small pump, and off you go! Ready for our outings. Attention to maintenance, and to exposure to the weather and the sun, are, let’s say, the only precautions that must be taken into consideration when dealing with inflatable boards.
The “rigid” ones are the classics, loved by “old school” purists, always ready, safe. They give that unique feeling of standing on a solid wooden board (even if today there are very few of them around) masters of the currents and conditions, even the most extreme. Tables that certainly allow high performance, with high reliability and good longevity of use. Carrying them around is not easy considering that even the shortest ones are about 3 meters long, and therefore you have to organize yourself well, whether traveling by car or by train, for example. But both an inflatable board and a rigid board can have a length, a width, but also a weight (expressed in liters), which make them suitable for a specific use.
the different types of table
What SUP board do I need?
Fortunately, the market for SUP boards offers a great variety, with specifications that aim to satisfy every need in the practice of SUP and its disciplines. From boards for professional athletes, fast, and very light, to those for first time beginners, stable and safe. To simplify our life a little, we distinguish 4 large families of types of SUP boards, within which the nuances are practically infinite.
ALL-ROUND boards, usually with dimensions of 10 feet as length (about 3 meters), and 30 inches – 34 inches in width (76-86 cm), and with a own body weight) such as to make them stable and reliable. Good for more or less short walks, without ambitions for performance, but also for riding waves, small, and less small (but without too many pretensions). It is the most recommended board for those approaching SUP, who do not need a too specific board, and who indeed intend to use it in all situations.
For those who love to ride the waves, and a surfer mood, there are the SUP WAVE boards. Extremely specific boards, short, even under 8 ‘(2.4 meters!), And with a literage at the limit of buoyancy (also here, pay attention to their weight, it makes the difference), which usually makes them unsuitable for distance. They are in fact designed to allow the surfer to take waves, even the most challenging ones, and have fun with adverse sea conditions.
Then we find the SUP RACE boards, the racing boards, which according to the specialty and category can be 12 ‘or 14’, with a width that can border on 20 “, extremely fast, designed for racing performance, and which require practice and training as a sportsman, competitive or amateur, and are aimed precisely at them, the many who have found in SUP a sport, but also a form of training, in the name of love for nature, the ‘water, wind, and all those conditions that make a paddler also an expert navigator, and it’s not for nothing that SUP races are called regattas!
The CRUISING boards, the “tourist” ones, designed for those who, with their SUP, intend to travel long distances. They are certainly the ones that most refer to a use of the SUP as a means of transport. They are as long as RACE boards, so no less than about 12 ‘(or at least 3.6 meters), but comfortable and stable, with widths of at least 30’ (76 cm). Equipped to carry bags, tools, and everything the paddler may need for both a few hours and a few days outings.
Now, it’s all about trying them!
If you want to know the cruising boards we recommend, read this article.