What Are The Different SUP Types Beginners Need To Know?

So, you’re becoming interested in stand-up paddleboarding and looking to buy your first board, but where do you start? Luckily, you’re in the right place, as SurfStar has a selection of paddleboards that can fit the needs of SUP enthusiasts of all ages, skill levels, and interests. But what types of SUP shapes are there and does it matter which one you get?


The short answer is yes it matters! While they may look similar, different SUP shapes are tailor-made for different kinds of riders. Some boards might be stable and great for beginners but not offer the speed and maneuverability that a pro is looking for. At the other end of the spectrum, some boards geared towards pro paddleboarders won’t be stable enough for new SUP enthusiasts who are just trying to “dip their feet in the water” with the sport.

Why should I make sure to choose the right paddleboard?

Especially as a beginner paddleboarder, choosing a board that doesn’t match up with your skill level and goals as a paddleboarder can ruin the fun of the hobby. If your board is too narrow for you and you just fall off over and over again, it will be difficult to continue to grow in the sport and learn to love the hobby. If you’re a competitive paddleboarder and you mistakenly purchase a board that’s meant only for beginners, you’ll find you aren’t able to get the speed and quick turns that you need to be competitive in races and other SUP events.

What are the different types of SUPs?


The beginner paddleboard shape is exactly what it sounds like, it’s for beginners! This board is shorter than the others, at 10’6” in length. This, combined with the wider frame of the board, makes it the most stable option for SUP beginners to help keep you on the board through flat or rough water. Additionally, the nose of a beginner paddleboard is rounded and blunt instead of narrow and sharp, which helps make your paddleboarding smooth and easily controllable.

This beginner paddleboard is what’s known as a “cruising” paddleboard, because it’s best for a low-stress cruise on flat water. You won’t have to worry as much about tipping over or falling off on this beginner paddleboard, so choose this one if you’re new to paddleboarding or just enjoy having a board with better balance. This is also a perfect board if you enjoy paddleboarding in lakes, as opposed to rivers and the ocean, as water will typically be calmer in a lake.


The all-purpose SUP from SurfStar is the best option for anyone interested in paddling long distances. This is also called a “touring” paddleboard because it maximizes the efficiency of your strokes and helps you travel long distances without expending as much energy. The all-purpose SUP is a similar shape to the beginner one, with a 10’6” long body and a wide and sturdy build.

Additionally, the all-purpose SUP comes with dual cargo straps so you can take anything you need with you. These straps let you tie a waterproof backpack or bag to the front or back of your board. This could help you haul anything from a picnic lunch for a day out to even a tent for a multi-day extreme paddleboarding adventure. This paddleboard is the best choice for any intermediate or experienced paddleboarder who wants to take things to the next level out on the water.


The family paddleboard is a perfect in-between for paddleboarders who know what they’re doing but are more concerned with stability and comfortability on the board than they are about achieving the fastest possible speed for races. This board is 11’6” long and offers better speed and maneuverability than the beginner or all-around paddleboard but it is still sturdy and very comfortable to use.

If you’re not sure which paddleboard to get at first, you can’t go wrong with the family SUP. It provides a good foundation for a beginner or intermediate paddleboarder but still has the longer and thinner body shape that makes it a very viable option in races and competitions as well. If multiple people in your family are interested in paddleboarding, this is a great SUP that will fit everyone’s needs equally well, and be sure to bring your family many great memories on the water.


A pro paddleboard is more difficult to ride, but it pays for it with the best possible speed and handling. SurfStar’s pro racing paddleboard comes in at 12’6” long and is the thinnest of all the paddleboard options, so it cuts through the water like a razor. Additionally, the front of this paddleboard is tapered and sharp, which makes it as aerodynamic as possible. This board has a bungee strap system on the front so you can still carry a bag with you when you paddleboarding, which makes it still an option for longer-distance paddleboarding trips. However, it doesn’t have the strap system on the back that helps the all-purpose paddleboard haul so much stuff.

This board should be your go-to if you’re interested in racing and getting as much speed as possible out of your SUP. To top off all the other great features, this pro paddleboard has a perfectly textured anti-slip EVA deck to ensure that you stay on your board. The pro racing SUP has been designed by experts with years of experience in watersports, and they’ve really outdone themselves with this one.

In conclusion

Whether you’re a brand-new SUP beginner, a casual intermediate paddleboarder who enjoys touring, or an experienced pro looking to get a competitive edge in SUP races, SurfStar has the right paddleboard for you. In addition to a state-of-the-art paddleboard, you’ll get all the accessories you need, including an air pump, safety leash, paddle, backpack, and more. So what are you waiting for? Get set up with the only SUP you’ll ever need and get out on the water today.

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