5 Styles of Standup Paddle Boards and What They're Best For

Standup paddle boarding (also known as SUPing) is one of the greatest ways to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and get some exercise as well! But did you know that you can enjoy using a SUP while doing a variety of different activities? It’s pretty wild how adaptable SUPs can be! From fishing to yoga, SUPs are the ultimate in self-powered recreational watercraft.


If you’ve ever wanted to push the limits of what your SUP can do or even build your quiver of SUPs in your garage, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll discuss 5 styles of standup paddle boards and what they’re best for! Let’s get started.


Yoga SUPs


One of the best things that you can do for your yoga practice is taking it out on the water. The instability of the SUP will ultimately improve your practice because the small stabilizing muscles of your body are all firing as you go from pose to pose.


The best SUPs for yoga are boards that are between 33” and 36” in width. A wide deck allows for more surface area for you to progress through your flow as well as better contact with the water. The wider the contact area with the water, the more stable the board will be.


Another factor to consider when sourcing a SUP for yoga is the shape of the nose. SUPs with a wide, broad nose are much more stable that SUPs with tapered noses. Broad nosed boards have more surface area that creates a better surface for standing on in the water. Conversely, these boards don’t track through the water as well as tapered nosed boards, so staying close to shore is a good idea as paddling over large expanses of water is difficult.


Fishing SUPs


Looking to land a few fish while out paddling around? Then be sure to get yourself a fishing SUP. Fishing SUPs offer many advantages for catching fish over motorboats or even kayaks. One of them is that they are much more maneuverable than motorboats, which allows you to get into areas that motorboats can’t.


Another advantage fishing SUPs have is that you can stand up on them, which is something you’re not able to do in a kayak. Standing while casting and reeling your line is a lot more comfortable and accurate than sitting down.


In terms of what to look for when it comes to fishing SUPs, try to get a board with a lightly tapered nose. This will give you plenty of surface space to keep your board stable when you’re actively fishing but will also give you a bit more tracking ability while paddling out to your spot. Another great feature to look for in a fishing SUP is d-rings and tie down points. Keeping your tackle on your deck is a top priority, so having multiple places to secure your gear is imperative while fishing from a SUP.


Touring SUPs

If you want to get out and see as much of an area as you can, be sure to get a touring SUP. Touring SUPs are built for paddling over long expanses of water. Their nose is long and tapered so that it acts more like a knife going through the water. The sharp angle cuts through the water, which will not only get you to where you want to go faster, but much more accurately.


Touring SUPs are also equipped with multiple fins on the tail of the board to assist with tracking as well as velocity through the water. As you paddle, water gets channeled through the fins. The compression of the area that the water can go through speeds the water up a bit, thus giving you more velocity with each stroke that you take!


Keep an eye out for tie down points when purchasing a touring SUP. It’s likely that you’ll be out on the water for a while when paddling several miles in a day, so be sure to bring along plenty of snacks and water to keep yourself fueled up to complete your journey.



Racing SUPs


Some of the most interesting looking SUPs out there are racing SUPs. They are long, sleek, and skinny, which gives them the ability to cut through waves and track better than any other board out there.


One of the most unique features of racing SUPs is their displacement hulls. The board’s deck is designed to sit a bit submerged in the water. This ends up displacing much more water than an all-around SUP deck, giving it much less drag with each stroke you take.


If going as fast as you can on the surface of the water is a priority for you, get yourself a racing SUP. 


All Around SUPs


As you’ve been reading and learning about the different styles of SUPs out there, you may begin thinking about doing each one of these activities. As mentioned earlier, SUPing is one of the best and most versatile ways to enjoy being outside on the water. So, if you’re thinking of getting a SUP to try out each of these activities, be sure to pick up an all-around SUP.


These are great because they can be used for multiple SUPing activities. All-around SUPs come in a variety of shapes and sizes which will enable you to get the board that suits your preferences best. Some come with broad noses, while others come with narrow tapered noses. Some are inflatable and come with multiple tie down points while others are made from fiber glass and have a displaced hull.


In any rate, if you’re new to SUPing and want to give each SUP discipline a try, consider picking up an all-around SUP. It’ll give you a good idea of what sort of specialized SUP you’d like to buy in the future without having to invest too much money right off the bat


Final Thoughts


Alrighty, we’ve discussed a lot so let’s recap. There are several different styles of SUPs out there that allow you to enjoy a wide variety of activities while on the water. From wide broad nosed yoga SUPs to high speed, low drag racing SUPs, there’s a SUP out there for everyone.


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