How To Choose An Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)

How To Choose An Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is one of the fastest growing water sports at the moment. Inflatable paddle boards are very versatile and can be used at any activity level. Whether you like to paddle leisurely around a calm lake, prefer a more energetic paddle over the swell of ocean waves, or if you’re a fan of paddleboard yoga, this piece of sporting equipment has something for everyone. Inflatable versions can even be rolled up tightly and taken with you wherever you go. Here's what you need to know when picking your perfect inflatable paddle board.

What style of inflatable SUP?

SUPs come in three basic styles: surf, all-round, and flatwater/race.

Surf SUP:

These are slimmer and shorter than all-round boards, which gives them less stability but much more manoeuvrability in choppy waves.

All-Round SUP:

These are great for beginners, or for people who would like to have option of trying all aspects of paddle boarding, as these SUPs are the most versatile. Their thicker, longer size gives greater stability for flatwater paddling, but there's also enough manoeuvrability to allow for their use in the surf. If you're planning to use your board for windsurfing, choose an all-round board with a mast fitting.

Yoga-Specific SUP:

It's worth getting a yoga-specific model for increased stability if you're only planning to use your board for yoga, but if you'd like a more versatile SUP then an all-round board will serve you well.

Flatwater SUP:

These boards are even longer and wider than all-round boards, and usually have a pointed nose to cut smoothly through the water. This is the most stable kind of board, perfect for open ocean paddling and for fast, straight gliding along stretches of calmer water.

Race Boards:

For more advanced paddle boarders, race boards are in the same family as flatwater boards but are longer and narrower. This makes the board less stable, but much faster

What size board?

As well as considering what you want to use your SUP for, it's also important to consider how that relates to your body type. SUPs all have a volume, measured in litres – this shows how much weight the board can take. To find the volume that's best for you, you can use this formula:

your weight in kg x 2 (for example, 80kg x 2 = 160 litres).

For intermediate level riders, times your weight by 1.7, and advanced riders can times by 1.3. In general, larger people will need a larger board in order to ascertain a perfect balance. Each board also has a maximum weight capacity, which if exceeded will reduce performance.

Do you need accessories?

Many of our inflatable SUPs come in a package, ensuring that you have everything you need to get on the water. You can also add a sail to compatible models or switch up your SUP paddle for a more customised experience. Depending on where you will use the board, it might also be worth adding a wetsuit for comfort.