The SUP basics
Your budget, the amount of storage space you have and the kind of water you plan to paddle on all play a role in your decision making. After all, there’s no point buying a nimble SUP board suited to waves when you really need a stable board to glide through calm waters.
The stability of a stand up paddle board broadly depends on its width, while its agility is largely influenced by its length. Here’s a quick rundown of how this plays out with some of the most popular categories of stand up paddle boards:
• Surf SUP boards: these are the shortest available boards, designed to turn quickly and easily when playing the waves. They may be nimble, but they have the least glide of all the boards and fall at the lower end of the scale when it comes to stability.
• All-round SUP boards: boards that live up to their name. As the widest boards out there, they deliver fantastic stability in the water, while their medium length means they also deliver pretty good glide and agility.
• Race-cruiser SUP boards: these boards are long and thin, giving excellent glide and momentum through the water. You’ll get the best speed on these boards, but their lack of width means they have less stability than other boards and their long length makes them hard to turn, particularly for beginners.
Don’t forget to check the extras that come along with your new board. We’re talking essentials like paddles, carry bags, ankle leashes and pumps.