WHAT SUP BOARD SHOULD I CHOOSE ?
You finally decided to get your first Stand Up Paddle board? If this is the right moment, we will give you a little help to make the right choice according to your needs and preferences.
First of all,
A HARD BOARD OR AN INFLATABLE?
This is definitely the first question you must answer to start refining your choice.
Let's make it simple. Here are the advantages of a HARD BOARD:
A better performance than the inflatables, which gives you a great glide feelings
A better stability and stiffness,
More freedom concerning the regulations (the hard board can legally ride away from a coast up to 2 miles, while the inflatable SUP can only move 300 meters away).
Now, the benefits of the INFLATABLE BOARD:
Greater resistance to shocks! Despite what everyone thinks, inflatables are less fragile and more resistant to impacts. It’ll be easier not to damage your board because of an uncontrolled paddle shock or some rocks on the track.
A more attractive price! Indeed, in general, inflatable boards are much cheaper than hard boards.
Much more practical too, an inflatable SUP, as the name suggests, inflates for the SUP session, and deflates to be easily stows in your car, your house or apartment, or even in your boat.
In summary, if you use your SUP on beaches or lakes, if you are more attracted by a cheaper price than the performance, and live in apartment where you do not necessarily have room to put away a SUP 12'6 behind your couch, we will obviously recommend to purchase an inflatable board.
On the other hand, if you have a good storage space at home, a more comfortable budget, a desire to escape without (almost) any limit, and if you have a desire to experience a good performance and great feeling of stiffness, we will suggest a Hard board.
Now that you have made your choice between a hard board or inflatable SUP, it ‘s important to think about the the most appropriate type of SUP, depending of your needs and desires. So here are the 3 general categories of stand up paddle boards : The cruising boards, the race boards and the SUP surf boards.
THE CRUISING BOARDS:
If you orient yourself more towards cruising on beaches and rivers, we will give you 2 options: A TOURING board or an ALL ROUND board.
1. TOURING BOARD
The touring boards have the particularity to have a little more speed than an all around board. Indeed, longer and thiner, it is definitely a slimmer model that will make you appreciate speed and fluidity.
To choose your touring, you must first know the weight, length, and volume of the board. For beginners, we advise to start with a 27” wide board and 14’ long in the best case, or a board 12'6 can also be adequate.
2. ALL ROUND BOARD
The ALL ROUND boards have the advantage to be "versatile". If you want to ride a bit of everything, these boards are usually used for cruising, but can also be used to surf.
Concerning the choice of the size for the ALL ROUND board, we advise a lengths from 10’ to 12'ft. Below 10ft, the ALL ROUND board may be too unstable for beginners. Concerning the width level, we advice you to choose between 32 "and 35" to ensure a good stability.
THE RACE BOARDS:
If you aim to invest yourself in this new passion and the challenge does not scare you, then, why not start with a competition board.
The race boards are perfect to excel in speed and long distance races but also for cruising.
There is a wide choice depending on weather conditions, but also specific goals.
In general, the longer and the thinner they are, the faster they go! Remember to keep a certain stability and comfort to maximise your technics and optimise your speed, especially if you are beginner or intermediate.
The Flatwater boards : they will allow you to achieve a maximum speed (sprint or long distance) these boards can really take your breath away! Just keep in mind that these boards need calm water conditions, as its name suggests. Ex: The ARROW from 425pro
The Downwinder boards: Those boards are typically for Downwind (riding down the swell). They are a little more voluminous and especially with more rocker. There aman be flat or recessed deck boards. In general, the flat decks are a bit more difficult in light weather but are extremely pleasant in big conditions. Much more manageable in connections. Recessed decks allow more stability with a lower center of gravity. In general, they have more volume and therefore, can carry more. To sum up, the shape of the hull makes all the difference.
The Pin Tail boards : Pin Tail are usually the ones that ride easily on a bump but also saturates generally in maximum speed. Square or round tails are a bit harder to catch small bumps but can reach more impressive speeds if the swell is big. So there is a choice to make, ether a PIN CODE for average conditions and more ease over time, or a TITAN for more sensations, as long as you’re fit enough.
The technical race type boards : We must not forget the technical races. Passage of buoys and often, shore brakes in passages of buoys. It is very important to have a stable board for cornering but also to handle sometimes surprising waves at any time of the race. It is for this type of racing that we drew the OUTLAW. This board defies all laws by the flat, the medium and the big condition. Whatever the condition, it remains our most versatile board.
THE SUP SURF BOARDS
As you can imagine, the main objective of this SUP category is to be able to SURF! We can then find here different styles of boards to meet different needs.
Concretely, the more your board will have volume and width, the more it will have stability, but the less it will have manoeuvrability. So you will have an advantage for starting with your paddling and taking your wave, but it will be a little less responsive and manoeuvrable in pure surf.
By contrary, if you choose a shorter board, it will challenge you will a little more at the start of the wave and during the phases of waiting, but it will be much more manageable and will quickly gain speed for more technical tricks on the waves, but with obviously, less stability.
There are also longer GUNS in the SUP SURF category. These SUP boards are specialised for big to giant waves, like Tehaupo'o, Jaws, Pipeline, in very big conditions. Real GUNS !!
We do not advise you right away unless you already have the required experience. :)
The choice of your board has to be between its volume and your weight:
The lighter you are, the less the board needs to have volume for better efficiency.
For example, we would recommend more 10'6 x 30” or 32'' for light bodies, and 12'x35 '' for stronger bodies.
Although, at 425pro, you have the option to choose a board more narrow because our boards are more stable and with an adapted volume to your weight.
We will be happy to help you make the choice that will suits you.
We recommend this article, so click on the link below to check out more information on how to choose your stand up paddle.