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What SUP board should you choose?

Stand Up Paddle (SUP) is growing rapidly and as a result many fantastic boards are now available and that the amount of brands to choose from is increasing all the time. But what board is best suitable for you? SUP boards differ on many aspects, such as stability, maneuverability, speed and the volume of the boards. We'd like to make the choice a bit easier for you and provide you with some useful information that will hopefully help you make a better choice.

For what purposes would you like to use the SUP boards?

Surf - Are you looking for a SUP board that was build to withstand the biggest waves? Then you should go for a Surf SUP-board. These boards have more rocker than race and touring boards. This prevents the nose of the board to dive under water as soon as you're being picked up by a wave and it will give you more control while steering.

Race Are you that experienced supper that can handle any speed? And do you participate in matches? Than the right choice for you would be a Race SUP board! With extra length and less width, the new generation Race boards literally cut through the water! Due to the streamlined design, you can easily develop speed during your session. Race Boards do have less stability because developers have had their aim completely on speed purpopes. Having some SUP experience is therefore essential before we can recommend a Race SUP board.

Touring Touring boards have more volume than race boards, causing them to be in the water more stable. This allows you to move yourself across the water more easily and comfortable. The biggest advantange compared to a Race board is that once you obtain the optimal speed, it takes significantly less effort to maintain that speed. Usually there is also the ability to attach 'tie downs' to the board, allowing you to safely take luggage, camping gear and/or fishing equipment with you on the board!

- There are also SUP boards with an allround design, suitable for both waves & calm waters. A board that is not too extreme in terms of length and rocket, but one that is shorter and that has less volume compared to the longer touring- and race boards. Allround is the broadest category and you don't specifically choose for a specific characteristic. If you're not sure yet what kind of SUP board you would like or if you are just getting started with Stand Up Paddling, than choosing an allround board is usually the right choice for you.

Inflatable Perfect for on holiday, because travelling with a large SUP board usually isn't convenient. The inflatable boards offer the best possible solution for this and make SUP boarding also suitable for people without a car or large storage facilities. All these boards come with a bag to easily carry the board with you to anywhere and with a pump so you can inflate your board anytime, anywhere. Have a great vacation!

Windsurf - A windsurf SUP is available in polyester (hard) or as an inflatable board. Most windsurf SUP boards are being used as entry level for windsurfing, because many of them have a centerfin. This causes you to have just that little bit of extra stability on the water making it fun for everyone! As SUP boards they have the charactaristics of an allround board and can be used for multiple purposes. They are often bought by families!

What length and width do you need?

Two factors that play a major role with SUP Boards are the length and width of the board. These factors have a big influence on speed, stability & maneurverability. The biggest difference is that the longer boards are faster, more stable and easier to sail in one straight line. Longer also means that the board is more difficult to steer sharp turns. For that reason, surf SUP boards are often 2x smaller than race and touring boards. The width of the board mostly determines the stability of the board. Wider boards mean you'll have more stability while on the water and smaller boards allows you to steer  the board a lot easier.  Wider SUP boards are therefore best suitable for racing and touring, while the smaller boards are perfect for surfing.

Are you just getting started with SUP boarding and want to learn it in a calm way? We'll then advice you to choose a longer and wider board, so you'll have sufficient stability to practise. Would you rather go surfing with you board right away? Then you should choose a smaller board, so you'll be able to steer yourself through the waves a lot easier.

Board characteristics

Besides factors such as length and width there are four more relevant factors to take into account when choosing a SUP board.

Maneurverability: Very important if you're looking for a SUP board that can steer fast. As we previously mentioned, maneurverability is generally determined by the length of the board (shorter = better maneuverable). This characteristic is especially important if you want to go surfing with your SUP board or if you're going to be on rivers with a lot of turns. Are you going to be on calm waters? Then we recommend you to choose a longer board for a more comfortable experience.

Stability: The stability of a SUP board is by 95% determined by its width. Are you a beginner? We then recommend a wider board so you'll have the best stability on the water to practise. Of couse board stability also improves the comfort during your session as it requires you to balance significantly less.

Glide: The degree of glide of a SUP board is the sup-term for the degree of resistance that a board experiences. A wider board will experience more resistance by the water and will therefore lose speed a lot faster than a smaller board. The shape of the board is also very important in this. A touringboard will cut through the water more easier due to its 'displacement' hull, while an allround SUP board is mostly on top of the water at all times.

Tracking: In short terms you can say that this is the opposite of maneurverability. When you're paddling on flat waters and want to cover distances, it's convenient when you don't have to switch sides while paddling to prevent you from sailing in the famous 'S-curves'. The primairy factor that determines the tracking is the length of the waterline of the board. With the touring- or race boards, where tracking is most important, the nose will be in the water while classic surf board shapes (allround & waveboards) have it on top of the water.


Are you still not ready to make a choice after reading this page and do you have further questions? Please don't hesitate to contact us through our contactpage. We'll be more than happy to help you out with making the perfect choice!