What You Should Know Before Buying a Stand Up Paddle Board

Standup paddle boarding is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Paddle boarding is an excellent workout and easy to learn. It’s also a blast, invigorating, and gets you into the great outdoors. 

After you have rented a paddle board a few times, you may want to buy one of your own. There are several things you should know about stand up paddle boards (SUP) before you plunk down the cash for one. 

Remember these paddle boarding basics when you are considering your purchase. 

Different Paddle Board Types

To find the best paddle board, you should know about the different types: 

All Around SUPS

  • A good choice for the beginner. 
  • A versatile board that works well in most conditions, including flat or choppy water. 
  • The most-frequently purchased board type. 
  • Most of these are beginner boards and excellent for children. 

Surfing SUPS

  • A good choice for the intermediate or advanced paddle boarder. 
  • Good for people who want more action out of their experience. 
  • Not as stable on the water, easier to fall off. 
  • A large surfboard with a paddle. 

Touring SUPS

  • A good choice for the serious paddler who wants hardcore workouts
  • Designed for longer distances in flat water, such as open oceans and lakes. 
  • Built for maximum efficiency and glide. 
  • Can be wide and stable enough for the novice. 

High-Performance SUPS

  • Made for flat water races or competitions on the ocean. 
  • Longer and broader which provides excellent sprint speed and better glide efficiency. 
  • Can be challenging for beginners to master but excellent for racers. 

How Big of a Paddle Board? 

You determine the size of paddle board you need based on your experience level and weight. Think about it in terms of volume. When your board is wider, longer, and thicker, it has a greater volume and weight capacity. The more volume, the more stable on the water. 

The beginner usually wants a board with greater volume and thickness because it is more stable. Your skill, balance, and strength will rise over time, and you can get a lighter board with less volume later. By that point, your beginner board will be perfect for friends and family. 

Types of SUP Hulls

Another critical factor to consider is the design of the board’s body or hull. The hull also dictates how the board behaves in water. The most common hulls are: 

  • Planing: The board bottom tapers off to the edges, such as on the bottom of a boat. This makes it a good choice for the casual paddler and surfing because it is more maneuverable and stable. 
  • Displacement: Features a pointed, sharp nose that displaces water to both sides. It is the ideal choice for the paddler who wants to go long distances. A sharper nose lets the hull move through the water better and provides a smooth, fast ride. 

What Do SUPS Cost? 

A big part of your decision to buy a paddle board is the price. If you are just getting started, you don’t want to break the bank. But you don’t want a cheap, low-quality board either because it won’t last. Here’s how the prices break down: 

  • Basic board: Less than $500. Usually made from lower-quality materials and design to hit a lower price point. Many beginners start here, but the board may not last as long because of the lower quality. 
  • Premium board: Between $500 and $1,000. These are higher quality, excellent performance, and moderately priced. You can get an excellent board that will last you for years in the $700 to $800 range. 

With this knowledge of paddle board basics, now you have more information so you can buy the perfect board!