The Ultimate Buy SUP Guide!
Buy SUP Guide: There is a reason stand up paddle boarding is one of the fastest growing sports on the planet. You get to get out into nature, explore your world, all while getting fit and working on your core fitness. Buy SUP, then start learning how best to use it and eventually you will be both healthy and adventurous. Before you get started though, there are numerous considerations to bear in mind before you should buy SUP, paddle, and accessories. Below we outline the most important things to consider.
How to choose a stand up paddle board comes down to your lifestyle, what you plan to use it for, and your budget. You certainly want to make the most informed decision you can, before spending your money. We will take you through the different types of SUP, the accessories needed for each and how to get it to your destination so that you can buy SUP, transport SUP and enjoy your SUP.
Buy SUP: How Much Do They Cost?
This is the first question asked by most buyers, especially first-time buyers. You don’t want a super expensive board, but you also don’t want to buy a cheap board just to save money.
Stand Up Paddle Boards under $500
Often cheaper boards sacrifice quality, materials, and design to achieve their lower price. Be wary. The board may not last as long as a board constructed with higher quality materials. If you are getting a board for minor use and just some fun, then under $500 could be an option.
Check out our online shop for a full range of casual and inflatable SUPs that will suit this choice.
Stand Up Paddle Boards over $500
If you plan on using your SUP a lot, then you want one with high quality build, great performance and durability. There’s not much more you can want from a paddle board.
We have a full range of mid to premium range Stand Up Paddle Boards for every type of paddler, Check our online store to find the right SUP for you.
Buy SUP: What Size Paddle Board Do You Need?
The first considerations to bear in mind when you are looking at buying a SUP are your experience and weight. These two factors will influence the volume you require of your SUP. The wider, longer and thicker the board, the more volume and weight capacity it will have. In fact, the more volume the board has, the more stable it will be on the water.
Beginner paddlers will usually want a board with more volume as well as thickness because this provides additional stability and can support more weight. As your skill, balance, and strength improve, you can downsize to a board with less volume. By then, your older board will be great for friends and family to use! Professional wave and race SUPs will have the least volume as they need to be highly maneuverable. This does make them less easy to balance on, and you will need to be a ‘trigger’ paddler.
Buy SUP: Stand Up Paddle Board Hull Types
Before you buy your SUP, you need to consider the design of your board’s hull. The hull will also determine the characteristics of how your board performs in water. The two most common types of paddle board hulls are:
A planing hull is when the bottom of the board slightly tapers off towards the edges (like the bottom of a boat). This makes it an excellent choice for casual paddling as well as surfing due to the designs added maneuverability and stability. This hull is flatter through the midsections and only tapered on the rails, with a slight rocker in the nose and tail sections.
A displacement hull has a sharp pointed nose which displaces the water to either side, making it the perfect choice for paddlers who want to cover long distances. The sharper nose allows the hull to slice through water and gives the rider a fast and smooth ride. Most touring boards are designed with a displacement hull, allowing the rider to travel longer distances with ease. These hulls are less easy to balance on as they have no flat areas through the hull, meaning they can roll very easily.
Buy SUP: Different Types of Paddle Boards
To find your ideal stand up paddle board, it is crucial to know the difference between each type of SUP.
Most people are going to have some form of crossover, as they use their SUP for more than one activity (surf, recreational, touring or racing). Below we outline the most popular models so you can make the most informed choice before you buy your own SUP.
Buy SUP: All Around Stand Up Paddle Board
This is the general choice for first-time buyers and a perfect choice for beginner paddlers. The all-around SUP is versatile and can work in all conditions, flat or choppy water. It has the most common standup paddle board shape. Most beginner paddle boards are family friendly and dog-friendly! Nice to know you can take your best friend or kids for a paddle. This is because they tend to be larger, more stable, and easier to paddle.
Buy SUP: Surfing Stand Up Paddle Board
This is the perfect choice for intermediate to advanced paddlers wanting to get into the action in the waves. If you want to improve your balance and core, this SUP will certainly do it. The surfing SUP is way less stable on the water, making it much easier to fall off of. That, however, means it is very maneuverable on the waves, allowing you to surf it radically. These are essentially oversized surfboards, with a paddle. You will definitely want to get your paddling and balancing skills together before you choose this model.
Buy SUP: Touring Stand Up Paddle Board
If you are a serious paddler with an interest in high-intensity workouts, while getting out into nature, this is your best choice to buy. Touring SUPs are designed for paddling long distances in flat water, whether on the open ocean, rivers or lakes. They are constructed for maximum glide and efficiency over the water. Some models can be wide and stable enough for beginners, but professional touring boards can be more difficult for beginners. If you buy SUP and choose this model, you will need to have some experience.
Buy SUP: High-Performance/Racing Stand Up Paddle Board
This type of SUP is designed for flat water races, downwinders, or open ocean competitions. Designed to cover vast distances as fast as possible, they are sleek and very narrow, making them for experienced paddlers only. They have extra length and extra width, which generates fast sprint speed and long glide efficiency. These boards are sometimes challenging for beginners but perfect for elite and recreational racers alike. If you want to go fast, this is the model for you.
Buy SUP: Fishing Stand Up Paddle Boards
For those that prefer a mellow paddling experience and catching their own food. For those who love to go fishing, but don’t want to invest in a boat or kayak either. Then your choice is simple. You want a fishing SUP. Fishing SUPs have the most volume, so you and your gear can stay high and dry out of the water. They are also wide and very stable, allowing you to cast and fight fish while standing on the deck. Pre-installed mounts let you personalize your fishing experience giving you the option to add rod holders, fish finders and anything you need for your fishing experience. They are also great for the family, as even the kids will have no problem paddling this SUP.
Buy SUP: Yoga Stand Up Paddle Boards
This paddle board shape is designed for yoga, flat water paddling, and any fitness related exercise. They are generally longer and broader than any other model, making them incredibly stable on calm water. This model will also have an expansive deck pad, which gives you ample room for doing yoga, pilates, or any other form of stretch exercises. They make for easy paddling, and you can generally fit more than one person on board if you are exploring. This makes it an excellent choice for families who need their SUP for the holidays.
Buy SUP: Inflatable or Epoxy
Once you’ve figured out the type and size of SUP you want, it’s time to decide if you want an inflatable SUP or an epoxy stand up paddle board. There are many differences between inflatable and epoxy paddle boards. When determining whether an inflatable or epoxy SUP is right for you, it really depends on your budget and storage/transportation options.
The difference between inflatables and epoxy paddle boards are:
For a first time paddler, an inflatable board is ideal and works great in all conditions. If you plan to travel a lot with your SUP, an inflatable will be the best choice as it’s easy to take wherever your adventure takes you. Inflatables are effortless to transport compared to epoxy and hard boards. Inflatable paddle boards deflate and roll up to the size of a sleeping bag. Inflatables are perfect for people short on space because regardless of the size board you have, you’ll be able to deflate it and store practically anywhere.
When it comes down to performance, epoxy boards surpass inflatables – for now, at least. If you’re a serious paddler and are looking for increased maneuverability, speed and glide, then an epoxy board will be the right choice for you. Epoxy SUPs are a little more cumbersome and usually require a large vehicle or rack and straps for your car. Epoxy boards can be challenging to store. You will need to have enough space for at least a nine-foot SUP. It is recommended to stow an epoxy SUP in a board bag as it will help prevent scratches, dings, and other disasters.
No matter what option you go for though, you should keep epoxy and inflatable paddle boards out of direct sunlight because it can cause epoxy SUPs to de-laminate and could potentially bust the seams of your inflatable. The golden rule is that if you are not using it, your stand up paddle board should be out of the sun.
Buy SUP: Where Will You Store Your Paddle Board?
One of the major concerns most first time buyers have is where you will store your SUP. To keep your board in great condition and increase its lifespan, you’ll want to minimize its exposure to the elements when not in use. Regardless of the type of climate where you live, it is highly recommended that you keep your stand up paddle board indoors when not in use. Regardless of what kind of board you have, the key is to keep your SUP in a cool dark location where it is safe and protected.
Storing your epoxy paddle board in its bag will not affect its integrity or how durable it is. For an inflatable stand up paddle board, it may cause creases because it will be rolled up to fit in a bag for an extended period of time. However, once you pump up your inflatable SUP, the creases will disappear.
It doesn’t matter whether you store your inflatable SUP inflated or deflated. There will be no damage either way. If you do decide to keep it inflated, we recommend releasing a few PSI just in case the area where you store your board becomes too warm. Too much warmth could potentially damage the seals of your board. If you’re going to store your epoxy board in a bag, it’s important to store it indoors or in a climate-controlled space.
We recommend you remove your board’s removable fins for a long-term storage solution. Removing your fins will avoid the risk of your fins getting stuck inside your fin boxes. If you use your paddle board a lot in salt water, make sure to remove fins occasionally to wash the salt off to avoid this from happening.
Now that you are armed with all the answers to the most common questions asked before buying a SUP, you can make the right decision. We hope you enjoy your time on the water and look forward to assisting you with any other questions you may have — simply contact our team on our website.