SUP Buying Guide - TheYogaBoarder

SUP Buying Guide

An Overview of Board Characteristics to Help You Find the Right SUP

This post is a guide to the distinctions in SUP Boards and applicable components for board choice. In this post, we cover:

  • Stand Up Paddleboarding Goals & Environment
  • Hull Shape
  • Board Size
  • Board Features
  • Board Construction
  • Fin Selection
  • Paddle Selection
  • SUP Pricing

Yet, first . . .

Why SUP?

Stand up paddleboarding has turned out to be immensely well known sport in last few years. Such a large number of individuals are pulled in to this game, and it's straightforward why. There are an excess of advantages to list – yet first off:

It's an amazing workout. Getting out there for 20 to 30 minutes of reliable paddling will give you a mind blowing aggregate body and cardiovascular workout.

It's protected and simple to learn. You simply need to get your balance right, comprehend somewhat about weight appropriation and position, make sense of which approach to hold the paddle, and you're basically great to go.

Expanding on that last point, it's incredible for family and friends. In the event that you possess a paddleboard, odds are your relatives and summer visitors will need to give it a shot. They'll most likely get snared as well.

It gives you an unparalleled vantage point on the water. There is no other water sport that gives you a chance to remain on while going at your own particular pace, investigating new territories and simply welcoming your environment like SUP.

There are more advantages, however risks are you'll locate your own particular purpose behind becoming hopelessly enamored with SUP. It's not only a trend (please disregard the naysayers.. they're simply desirous). The game of stand up paddleboarding has been around for quite a long time.

A Complete Guide to Buying Your First SUP Board

 The reason for the SUP Board Guide is to give an asset on the numerous parts of this game, particularly for those of us who are generally new to SUP. At first the most imperative viewpoint will include discovering your first board. This post will ideally help you with this procedure.

Where to Begin

Your Playing Field

The main board ought to be something that will give you a chance to learn SUP and get settled in your own environs and at your own pace.

To start with consider where you will be utilizing the board. It is safe to say that you are wanting to utilize your board principally in flatwater conditions? For instance, in the event that you live almost a lake, lake or narrows. Some place you are unrealistic to experience huge surf. These are incredible conditions to take your SUP board on longer oars, or train towards an objective of entering your neighborhood SUP race circuit.

You can simply expect a little hack, yet generally, this board would be outlined as all-purpose flatwater touring board with a displacement bow and good overall stability

Wider boards will usually add to the stability, as will rails with added thickness and volume.

In the event that your point is to begin in the waves, you're going to search for something with surf board design attributes. This may include a thruster fin set-up(three fins – one centered, one on each side).

A surf or wave SUP will as a rule be a bit shorter and have a planing hull. These boards likewise frequently have expanded rockers and sunken structures towards the tail to make it less demanding to cut in waves.

A number of us need the choice of taking the board on flatwater travels and into the little surf. In this case, a hybrid or crossover SUP can be a great choice.

Hybrid and crossovers SUPs sometimes fall into the all-arounder category, where the board description would note the ability to handle waves as well as displacement in choppy flatwater.

In the event that you are searching for something to simply mess around on – something that will be a good time for the entire family – then adhere to the all-rounder and beginner’s boards. These boards are planned with moderate toughness, cushy deck cushions, and a lot of steadiness for first time SUPers.

You can find something that has composite construction with a fiberglass or poly shell, or even a plastic board that will suffice for most near shore stand-up paddling and family usage.

In the end, finding the right board all depends on your goals and how much you expect to use the board, the area where you paddle and the type of conditions, and, of course, your budget

Hull Shape


We’ve already mentioned the displacement hulls in touring, racing, and all-around flatwater cruising board.The most ideal approach to think about this is that they are more like a V-shaped hull in a boat.

The nose is intended to dislodge water, and the base of the board smoothes out a couple feet from the nose. This additionally gives you a chance to venture back on the board to pop the nose out of the water. Displacement hulls also add to stability for heavier riders.


A planing hull is a flat hull, more much the same as your customary surf board or windsurfer outline. These are adaptable frames that can be utilized as a part of most conditions.

Albeit planing structures are regularly not the best decision for a touring or racing board, the vast majority of us will be splendidly glad utilizing a planing board as an all-arounder.

They additionally work truly well in the surf. These boards can be shorter and more extensive, with expanded volume to make sure they are light and stable.

Board Size

Most board portrayals will incorporate a rundown of specs. This is imperative. Pay consideration on suggested rider sizes for every board.

The specs will for the most part incorporate a greatest rider weight (i.e. up to 250 lbs). The last thing you want is to start with an undersized board. It will make paddling much harder.


Longer stand up paddleboards are for the most part better for going speedier and paddling downwind. These boards will for the most part range from 12'6″ to more than 14′.This is a big piece of equipment, so make sure you’re able to store and transport a board of this size.

Longer boards are also better for long distance paddling. Plus, they allow for more space to carry and store gear on your board. If touring and downwind paddling are in your future, then definitely consider buying a longer board.

Shorter paddleboards begin at under 9′ and go up to 12′ (despite the fact that a 12′ board is still long once you see it in individual). They are less demanding to turn and move. They are additionally less demanding to handle in waves.

If you’re a larger rider or worried about stability, make sure the board has sufficient width (i.e. at least 32″).

Again, a shorter board is not the best choice if your goal is touring or racing. These will not displace water to make for efficient paddling, and you’ll have a hard time catching momentum on downwind runs.

Many fitness boards, crossovers, and family oriented all-arounder SUPs are in the 10 – 11.5′ range. These lengths accommodate many rider sizes and abilities. Boards of this length are also easier to transport, carry and store.


Board width equates to steadiness. Thus, learner paddlers ought to typically search for a board that is planned with wide extents. This as a rule begins around 32″ in the waste.

Under 30″ will be a bit tippy at first and harder to get settled and discover your step.

On the other hand, smaller boards are likewise quicker and intended to coast better. So it's a bargain. For most recreational purposes and flatwater conditions, we suggest beginning with a more wider board.


The general rules for volume in the matter of learners is double the rider's weight. Volume is regularly communicated in liters. So we have to do a little math.

On the off chance that you measure 180 lbs, that is about 82 kgs (180/2.2). You would then search for a board with a volume of no less than 164 liters.

Again, this is the guideline for beginners looking for something with sufficient float and stability. As we noted, board manufacturers will usually give you the recommended weight range in their board specs.

Be that as it may, it's useful to think about volume, particularly in case you're looking for boards in a shop and don't have the makers specs before you.

Board Features

Deck Pad

When you’re searching for a board online, it can be hard to appreciate the finer details that some SUP boards offer compared to others.

Case in point, an imperative element of SUPs, particularly for new riders, is the deck cushion.

Deck cushions give solace and footing. Numerous beginner’s boards include a full-length deck cushion. It’s a nice feature, but probably not necessary for most of us. It’s more about the thickness, traction design (i.e. diamond or alligator patterns), and durability of the foam material.

If you plan on spending some time on this board, then make sure the manufacturer includes a high-quality deck pad. After a long paddle, with your feet fixed in a certain position supporting your weight, the deck pad will give you much welcomed traction and comfort. It will also make for a nice place to sit or kneel when you need to take a rest.

Carry Handle

Most (if not all) stand up paddleboards incorporate a carry handle. Else it would be difficult to wrap your arms around (or extend your head) a huge paddleboard.

Most board makers consider this and consolidate a carry handle into the focal point of the board. This permits you to carry the board against your hip with weight appropriated equitably.

Carry handles are usually recessed or molded into the board so they don’t get in the way while you’re paddling. Look for one that is ergonomically designed. They also either use the deck pad material or another soft, comfortable layer to make it easier on your hands.

Leash and Tie Down Attachments

A leash attachment allows you to attach the leash to a stainless steel, recessed crossbar usually located towards the rear or tail of the board. Leashes are great for long-distance paddles and surfing.

Notwithstanding, leashes are not suggested for utilizing your SUP as a part of waterway rapids unless they have a fast discharge component.

Tie down attachments allow you to use straps or bungies to hold down your gear. Many boards come with the ties in place. These are great for holding a dry bag or pack, especially if you’re covering some distance or using the SUP as transportation to-and-from the mainland

Board Construction

EPS Foam Core Layered with Fiberglass and Epoxy

This is the most well-known kind of SUP development. You'll see numerous great boards in the mid-value reach utilizing this innovation. There are also differences in layering techniques, foam quality and performance enhancements (i.e. carbon fiber and wood stringers).

Advanced construction will affect price, but will also make for a lighter, more durable board. Many of the top brands offer boards with EPS/Epoxy construction. Generally, this includes a styrofoam core, fiberglass cloth and epoxy lay-up.


Numerous beginner’s boards and kayak hybrids are made of strong, formed plastic. While these are heavier and certainly less execution situated, there are more reasonable and regularly extraordinary section level alternatives.

While these are heavier boards and definitely less performance oriented, there are more affordable and often great entry-level options.

You can find boards like this at big box retailers and large outdoor gear shops. If you’re looking for something the whole family can use without breaking the bank, a plastic SUP is not a bad choice.

If you decide to advance to a higher quality board at some point, you will notice a major performance difference in the reduced weight and smoother glide.

EPS + Plastic

While some refer to these as plastic boards, the construction actually consists of a foam core, fiberglass layering, and styrene polymer outer layer.

This makes for a lighter version of straight plastic boards. It’s also a very durable construction technique.

Inflatable SUPs

Inflatable SUPs have turned out to be exceptionally prevalent because of their astounding unbending nature and strength. This, consolidated with the comfort of pressing the SUP in a duffel sack for your next seaside trek or waterway run, makes inflatable SUPs an alluring choice for some.

The key is to find one that is of high-quality construction. Look for double seams and reinforced PVC exterior. They should also have a high PSI (lbs per square inch) range. This should be in the 15 – 25 range.

Boards that handle a high PSI will be very rigid, but also able to handle and bounce off rocks and other stationary objects. This especially important if you plan on taking your SUP into the rapids

Wood Construction

Let's be honest, nothing looks preferable on the water over a SUP with a finished wood outside. These will normally be more extravagant however.

SUPS that feature wood construction, usually incorporate other materials or techniques to make sure the boards are light enough. This may mean the board is designed with a hollow or EPS foam core.

SUP Fins

Most entry level SUP Boards accompany a standard 9″ or 10″ plastic fins. These are more than sufficient for most amateurs.

However, you can always look to enhance tracking performance by attaching a longer fin. Fins usually come in single or thruster set-ups.

Thrusters are 3 fin configurations used with planing hulls. They are better for riding waves.

Long, single fins are designed for touring and racing, where tracking becomes more important. Fins are usually either plastic or fiberglass. Fiberglass fins are good for long, single fin designs.

SUP fins are attached in the fin box located in the center of the board towards the tail. Most boards come with a nut and bolt to easily secure and remove the fin. This also allows you to slide the fin along the track before securing.

You can position the fin towards the tail for better tracking and touring performance. Moving the fin forward will allow you to turn and maneuver better. Thruster side fins are usually fixed on the outer edges of the board.

Paddle Selection

Many entry-level or all-around SUPs will come with an adjustable paddle. Adjustable paddles are great if you plan on sharing your board with friends and family.

A good adjustable paddle should display height measurements along the inner shaft so you know where to tighten. Paddles should be 8 – 10 inches taller than your height. This will give you sufficient leverage for efficient strokes when in the water.

You want something that is lightweight and durable, so finding a fiberglass composite paddle is usually a good place to start.

As you become more advanced in your paddling skills and exploits, look for lightweight, fixed length paddles made from carbon fiber or other advanced materials.

More advanced paddles will also feature different blade lengths and angles, depending on your focus (i.e. racing and touring versus wave riding).

SUP Pricing

Like any piece of high quality outdoor equipment, stand up paddleboards can be quite expensive.

However, with the increasing amount of manufactures and retailers entering the SUP market, there are definitely deals to be found

When all is said in done, for somebody purchasing their first load up yet searching for something from a top brand that will give them a genuine taste of SUP and will keep going for quite a while, search for boards estimated in the $700 – $1400 territory. That may appear like a major spread.

However, remember that sheets estimated over $1200 can be found discounted in the $900 territory.

If you’re willing to sacrifice a little on construction or the finer details in durability or weight reduction, you can definitely find a decent board for less than $800. It just takes some research.


Buying your first SUP is a big investment. But the returns are definitely worth it. Take the time to research the board and consider where you will be using it. Don’t just buy a board because the shape or design looks cool.

You want something that will maximize your time out on the water, not make it a struggle.

We hope you can use this information as a guide in researching your first board . . . or your next board.