At The SUP Company we have made finding the Stand Up Paddleboard that is best matched to your needs a slight easier task by seperating the hard and inflatable boards we stock into clear catagories that cover the most popular SUP disciplines - Allround, Touring, Surf, Race Touring, Race and Wind SUP. The paddleboards in these catergories have their own characteristics and depending on what you are looking for some will suit your needs better than others. You can also get an overview of the shapes and sizes available by using our SUP Board Guide below -
There are however some general rules of thumb that you can abide by when considering a paddleboard -
Width - A Stand Up Paddleboards width will undoubtly have the greatest effect on the paddleboards stability. The wider the SUP, the more stable the paddleboard is. Although, it is worth remembering that the wider board, the less agile and less glide the SUP will have. Wide paddleboards also do not track (stay in a straight line) particularly well because you are forced due to their width to paddle further away from the centreline of the board, there by inducing a turning moment with each paddle stroke. Narrower SUP's mke it easier to maintain a straigher course and therefore tracking is greatly improved.
Length - SUP length will have the greatest effect on a paddleboards glide as well as its agility ie: ability to make quick turns. Longer Stand Up Paddleboards can also be suprisingly stable given their often narrow width due to the high levels of paddleboard volume fore and aft. However it is worth noting that a SUP's width still has the greatest effect on a paddleboards stability.
Ultimately every paddleboard is a compromise in some way. The thing to bear in mind is what are you prepared to give up in order to gain more in another area, this goes some way to explaining why All Round paddleboards are so popular. As All Round SUP's offer the broadest range of use to the broadest audience, however it does not mean they are for everyone, particularly if you are wanting to pend the majoirity of your time in surf or touring or racing.
For some impartial and expert advice, just phone us on 023 8017 2189 and let us help you narrow down your selection, so that we can get you on the water.
To learn more why not jump to one of the SUP Categories below -
Allround SUP's are the most popular catergory at The SUP Company and as such are the choice for the majority of paddlers both new and old to the sport. Allround Stand Up Paddleboards come in different lengths and widths; generally ranging from 9'8" to 11'2" feet in length overall to 31" to 35" inches width. This broad range enables a very broad range of paddlers to find a paddleboard which offers a good amount of volume in which allows them to paddle across a wide range of disciplines. As a rule Allround SUPs generally glide easily, offer good stability while remaining manoeuvrable and responsive to paddler input. As you would expect Allround SUP's are extremely versatile and cope with everything from flat-water, cruising, to surfing.
Some of the best examples of Allround hard board SUP's are the Starboard 10'5 Wide Point and the Fanatic Allwave 10'5 and Jobe Bamboo 10'6. While superb examples of Allround inflatable SUP boards would be the Red Paddle Co 10'6 RIDE and a Jobe Aero 10.6.
View all of the Allround SUPs here
80% of all stand up paddleboarding takes places on flat water and some paddlers know they are very unlikely to ever experience surf , so many opt for a SUP that is more orientated to exploring rivers, lakes or coast line. A Touring / Cruiser SUP offers a great on the water experience while being slightly more focussed that an Allround SUP. Touring style paddleboards have a longer water line legnth and therefore have excellent glide yet remain wide enough to be very stable. The additional length and often square tail of these boards does stop the fun in smaller waves but they won't be as manoeuvrable as an Allround SUP board due to their longer length. The added advantage of this longer length is also improved tracking as it means few paddle changes and course corrections; more paddle strokes per side
As more people take to the water and enjoy SUP, touring and cruising is a growing catergory for both those new to the sport and experienced paddlers looking for that next or perhaps additional board which is more focussed. A great example of a hard Touring / Cruiser SUP would be the SIC Okeanos while a superb example of an inflatable board would be the Red Paddle Co 12'6 Voyager.
View all of the Touring SUPs here
Surf SUPs are short and as a result very fast turning. Although a Wave / Surf SUPs low volume means that overall stability is not as good as longer boards, this lack of volume makes them extremely agile - perfect for responding quickly on a wave. These Stand Up Paddleboards are slowest to paddle in a straight line due to their short overall waterline length and are most definetly best suited to those paddlers who plan on spending the majority of their time in the surf.
While solid / composite Stand Up Paddleboards are often favoured in surf, don't discount the ability of inflatable SUP's as a number of these boards now offer performance on a wave that many wouldn't have thought possible only a few years ago. Significant developments in both design and construction mean they are incredibly rigid and satisfy even the most experienced surfer without the hassles that go with owning and storing a hard paddleboard. Great examples of Surf SUP hard boards would be the Starboard 8'4 Hypernut or JP Australia 9'8 Fusion, while inflatable Surf SUP's would be the Red Paddle 8'10 Whip and the Fanatic Stubby.
View all of the Surf SUPs here
The Race Touring SUP category is that half way house between full blown race balancing carbon encrusted madness and having a SUP that you can cruise on while covering distances with ease. Just because a SUP is 12.6 long, doesnt mean it is instantly a race board and nor does a SUP board with a width of 29"-31" mean it is to wide to be racey. Race Touring SUP is a much more accurate term for SUP's that have good stability with a waterline length that is fast for distance munching paddles. If you generally have good balance, know you are going to spend the majority of your time paddling in flat water and want a faster, more efficient than average touring SUP, a race inspired tourer SUP is for you. A good example of a hard race touring SUP would be the excellent Starboard 12'6 Touring Lite Tech, while a great inflatable option would the Fanatic 12'6 Falcon.
View all of the Race Touring SUPs here
Race Stand Up Paddleboards are as you would expect, the fastest of all SUP's. A Race SUP's speed comes primarily from their overall length and narrow width, meaning maximum glide from each paddle stroke with minimal resistance. Tracking is also arrow like, as the reduced width also means the paddling effort is nearer the centre line of the board; pulling it forwards rather than inducing any turning moment. Race Stand Up Paddleboards are available in 12'6 and 14' lengths due to class rules, with 'Unlimited' paddleboards reaching around 17' in length. Just because a SUP falls into the 'Race' catergory, doesn't necessarily mean that it is uncompromising beast. Many Race Stand Up Paddleboards that have a width of around 27" to 28" are actually really easy to live with and make exceptional 'fast paced' tourers. Great examples of this would be the Red Paddle Co 12'6 Elite at 28" wide and the Starboard Allstar 14'0 x 28". While narrower examples such as the Fanatic Strike and SIC RS provide a very rewarding paddle.
View all of the Race SUPs here
WindSUP is no joke! Yes, there’s a lot of haters out there, but the truth is, it’s hard to ignore the benefits – and fun – that windsurfing in light wind on a Standup Paddle Board offers.Whether it is a solid SUP board or an inflatable SUP board, you will find that both types have Wind SUP variants. While many people can comprehend a solid / composite SUP fitted with a UJ mount for a windsurf rig, it is the technology and rigidity that is found in an inflatable Wind SUP that shocks many people - it simply does work and very well too!
If you are new to windsurfing and are wanting the set up to learn on, then a Wind SUP represents excellent value for money. After all you end up with a windsurfer that has a smaller (and therefore cheaper) rig to learn on, a larger board than normal to learn on and when the wind has gone - you are left with a SUP to paddle. A great example of an inflatable Wind SUP is the Red Paddle Co 10'7 WindSUP, while those looking for a hard board should consider pretty much anything from Fanatic or Jp Australia as they come with a UJ mount fitting.
View all of the WindSUPs here
If you are undecided on what might suit you best or simply the sheer choice of paddleboards is all a bit much, then we have earned a reputation as the best for matching a paddleboard to your needs. Simply give one of our team a call on 023 8017 2189 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or why not book a visit to our Test Centre and try a selection of paddleboards from the largest demo range in the UK.