Beginners’ Gear Guide : 5 Basic Board CategoriesDecember 26, 2015
As there are so many varieties of materials and types of equipment, for those SUP enthusiasts who want to own a set of SUP gears, it is always best to know which to look for when picking your equipment.
As a rule, the first question to ask yourself is “where am I going to paddle?” The water you are going to paddle affects the choice of your boards, paddles, fins, and other equipment. Below, We SUP have listed all the useful information that will help you pick you own must–have SUP gears effectively.
5 SUP Basic Board Categories
Basically, Stand up Paddle Boards can be categorized into 5 main groups according to the usage and the activities for which the boards are designed. So let’s look at what you are going to be using the board for, and pick the right board. (In fact, your local retail shops can help you with this also.)
1. All-round Board
All-round boards are wide enough to be stable for beginners. And, they are the most popular style of boards mainly because they are multi-purpose. They can be used for surfing in small waves while they have the length and glide suitable for flat-water cruising as well. They are typically longer and have a much higher volume and stability than racing boards which generally makes them ideal for long distance travel on flat water, but not ideal for speed.
2. Surf Specific Board
Surf-Specific boards are generally shorter than racing and touring boards. In comparison, they have tapered or narrower nose and tail, with more rockers or curves. With a maximum length around 10ft, surf-specific boards are designed for quick turns and high performance. Hence, they are used primarily in the surf zone and will not be that great for long distance paddling, as you will have to do a lot of work to keep them on a specific track since they are less stable and a bit tippy.
3. Racing Board
Special racing boards are typically narrow and long to make it easy to paddle fast. They also come with small rockers to stop any drag in the water. Racing boards can be extremely quick, but it means that the design for stability is usually sacrificed for speed. Therefore, these racing boards, which take some time getting used to, can be very unstable unless you are moving forward at a relatively fast speed. These board are suitable for more advanced paddlers. For those beginners who fall in love with speed and challenges, racing boards can also be an option.
4. Touring Board
Touring boards are designed to be highly efficient cruising machines for long distance journey on flat water. With the shape that is slightly wider, touring boards typically have more volume in order to be able to carry dry bags and other equipment. With these touring paddleboards, you can get exploring closer to nature; try fishing on board or bring along your dog to enjoy the view with you (but don’t forget to bring plenty of water to keep your dog hydrated too).
5. Specialty Board
As the name suggests, SUP Specialty Board is designed especially for other disciplines including yoga, stream or whitewater paddling, fishing, and even for specific group of people like women and kids. For example, SUP yoga board is designed for yoga on SUP boards. As SUP Yoga is becoming more and more popular with yogis who want to take yoga a step further, SUP companies are tailoring for this demand to perform yoga on SUP. Hence, SUP Yoga boards are normally designed to be wider and longer then wave boards and often made with full deck pads so that yogis can perform all yoga poses comfortably and for better grip in various yoga postures. They usually have a soft top and places to hook up various exercise tools like resistance bands and safety equipment like PFD’s.