Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boards: Which one is right for you?

The world of stand up paddle boarding can be a bit daunting at first. With all the different types and sizes of SUPs on the market, it's tough to know where to start. But don't worry, we're here to help you figure out which SUP is right for you.

The first thing you need to consider is what type of SUP you want. There are two main types of SUPs:

  • Inflatable
  • Rigid 

Inflatable SUPs, or iSUPs, are made of a tough canvas material that can be inflated with a pump. Rigid SUPs are made of a hard material like fibre glass or carbon fibre and can be called hardboards too.

Why would you want an inflatable SUP?

  • Inflatable SUPs are great for beginners plus they're easy to transport and store. They're also more forgiving if you happen to fall off your board. Rigid SUPs are generally faster and more stable, making them better for advanced paddlers, or those looking to surf with their SUP.
  • They’ve have made lots of improvements in the past few years and are no longer akin to a large air mattress. In fact, most inflatables like Red Paddle Co SUPs are often much stronger than their rigid counterparts, which are prone to getting dinged.

How do I choose between rigid and inflatable?

Generally, if you're looking to surf your SUP board, then rigid is the way to go. If you're looking for a board centred around leisure and primarily river paddling, then the inflatable is right for you!

How do I know which size SUP to choose?

SUPs come in all different sizes; from small boards that are more agile and performance orientated, to large boards that provide better stability. It's important to choose a size that's comfortable for you and that will fit in the space you have available for storage.

A great rule of thumb to figure out what size hardboard will suit you is to look at the board's volume in litres. If the total litres are about equal to twice your body weight, then it should be a great first board! For example, if you weigh 80kgs and you’re looking at a rigid board of about 160 litres then you’re on the right track.

Inflatables are a lot more general. Typically, something around 10'6 should suit most riders. In fact, the 10’6 Red Ride model is the biggest selling iSUP in the world because it suits so many different suppers – no matter your skill level. Once you've decided on the type and size of SUP you want, it's time to hit the water and start paddling!

See you on the water!


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