Guide to Buying Your First Stand Up Paddleboard

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Paddling boards are fun! Selecting the right one would enable you to have a blast on the water and give you a lovely experience. If you are looking to buy a stand-up paddle board, it is important that you consider a few things.

How to buy a Stand UP Paddle Board

Having prior knowledge of these things would help you to easily choose a perfect paddle board from the lot without being overwhelmed. So what are these things?

Things to consider when buying a paddle board

  1. The different types of stand UP paddle boards
  2. What the stand UP paddle board would be used for and where
  3. Would you be using the board with others?
  4. Volume/Your weight and height
  5. Other considerations

The different types of stand UP paddle boards

To find the perfect and most suitable board, you must first know the difference between the various types of Stand UP Paddle boards.

All-round SUPS - Just like the name suggests, this type of paddle board is for all around use. They are long, wide and thicker than most boards and are perfect for beginners. All-round SUPs are family and dog-friendly and very easy to use. These are the most common paddle boards around.

Surf paddle boards - Surf SUPs are short and narrower at the board’s tail and noise. They make quick turns and are less stable than the all-round Sups. This board type would be most suited for intermediate and more advanced paddlers. This would be a good choice if you want more action from your paddle board experience. It is not exactly for leisure activities.

Race Paddle boards - This type is very popular amongst racers. These type of boards are very long and narrow with a long fin for tracking. Its features are designed for open ocean competitions, flat water races and racing in general. It has very fast speed and gliding efficiency. It is not recommended for beginners, but for advanced paddlers and paddle racers.

Touring paddle boards - These type of boards are meant for long distances on the water. Though they are mostly used by paddlers that are interested in high-intensity paddling workouts, these paddle types are also wide and stable enough for beginners.

Yoga paddle boards - These boards are created with a lot of room to allow for yoga poses and other fitness related workouts. They are long and wide with a soft top and spaces to attach bands. They are designed for balance and stability.

What the stand UP paddle board would be used for and where

Do you want to be splashing in the ocean’s waves or do you want to be using it on more stable waters? You must first establish what you want to use the board for before going to buy a board. Of course if you spend more time on the ocean, a longer board would not be necessary. If you’d be using the paddle board on much calmer waters, you would need a longer board that is enhanced for speed. Longer boards are designed for speed and quick maneuverability.

If you want a board for fitness and exercise purposes, then you’d need a broader and more stable board to accommodate your poses. Needless to say, establishing where you want to use the board and what for, goes a very long way in narrowing your choice of selection.

Would you be using the board with others?

This is a very important point to consider. If you are going to be sharing the board with other people, you would have to consider their own preferences too. You might be an advanced paddler, but the people sharing the board with you might not be. It might be limiting and quite challenging for them if you buy a paddle board for advanced users. Getting a suitable board that would accommodate their needs and yours would be the best course of action.

Your weight and height

It is important to know about the volume especially if you are looking to buy a board in a shop with no manufacturer’s specs in front of you. The volume of the paddle board to buy is usually dependent on the weight and height of the paddler.

If you are short, getting a very wide board would not be very ideal because you would have to stretch far too out to the side to get your paddle into the water. This can be very stressful and it increases your risk of developing a shoulder or back injury. All paddle boards are designed with a specific weight range in mind. The general advice for beginners is to buy a board that is two times the paddler’s weight. The volume is usually expressed in meters. That is to say, if you weigh about (82 kg) 180 lbs., you would be expected to get a board with a volume of at least 164 liters. That is the general idea.

SUP fins

For calm and flat waters, centre spaced large fin would be a typical setup. A board can have about four to five fins, and the more the fins, the more surf oriented it is. Most entry level boards have a standard nine or ten-inch plastic fin. These are suitable for first timers. Although, you can always enhance your tracking performance by attaching a longer fin to your board.

If the board is for touring or racing purposes where tracking is most important, then long, single fins would be most ideal. Fins are usually made of plastic, nylon or glass. If the board is to be used in the shallows where fans can easily get snapped, it would be smarter and cost effective to get flexible fins that are made out of nylon.

Other considerations

Pricing- Like most outdoor equipment, stand UP paddle boards can be quite expensive. But there are good deals to be found. You do not want to buy a cheap board that would not last long, but then, you do not want to go overboard either. Consider boards that have a good guarantee and average prices.

Paddle- Just as there are different SUPs, there are different paddles. Most boards come with paddles attached to them. In general, light paddles are better as they would help reduce stress and fatigue while paddling.


Stand UP Paddleboards are fun and exciting. They are also a huge investment, and getting the ideal one requires a lot of research and thought. If you bear all that have been mentioned above in mind when looking to buy one, it would be easy to select a paddle board that would suit your needs and allows you to enjoy your time on the water, regardless of what you intend to use it for.