Stand Up Paddle Board Types: A Beginner’s Guide


Before taking a step towards buying your first stand up paddle board, it’s better first to know the types of paddle boards that are out there. Knowing all the various types of paddle boards in the market would make your decision to pick the right one for you a much easier job to do. There are mainly five types of stand up paddle boards, and most of them fit a specific need. Some of these paddle boards can be used for various things at ones, which is excellent in case you decided to do something different every once in a while.

Stand Up Paddle Board Types

1. Yoga Paddle Boards

This type of paddle boards is the one that allows you to take the art of yoga off-shore and perform it while stand up paddle boarding. In most instances, this activity is practiced in calm water and clear sky. Yoga paddle boards can be taken and practiced on in any calm waters, and that could be inside of a swimming pool or the ocean.

If you’re a yoga enthusiast, you can practice your favorite sport on this type of paddle boards and gain strength and flexibility. That will give the ability to balance and precision yourself in more of unsound water such as the river. Yoga paddle boards are not so different from most paddleboards, and the length of the board that you need is fairly the same.

Some paddle board brands offer specially designed yoga stand up paddle boards that are high in quality and has more balance. In some cases, you may want to close your eyes while doing yoga, but by doing that your risking to drift on water.

A good way to solve that is by getting an anchor system that holds your board in one place and makes sure it’ll not move. One of the best paddle boards for yoga is the ISLE Airtech paddle board, this will give you the balance that you need as well as durability.

2. Inflatable Paddle Boards

This type of paddle boards is the easiest to transport. For most hardboards, you always need a large SUV or a van, meanwhile, inflatable paddle boards have the ability to deflate and roll up into a backpack.

Another thing that is positive about these boards is that you can take them where ever you want. Because they have the ability to fit in a bag, you can fly with your inflatable paddleboard to experience new paddle boarding areas.

The only downside for most people is that they require to inflate and deflate every time you want to paddle. Some of the myths that people carry around are that inflatable paddle boards are for beginners, and that certainly not true. Inflatable paddle boards are also a great option for intermediate and advanced paddlers.

The thing that determines whether you should go with an inflatable board is not how much experience do you have. It all depends on how are you going to use your paddle board. If you intend to use it for lakes, white water or rivers, then regardless of how much experience you have, inflatable paddleboards are your best choice.

When it comes to the best inflatable paddle board, then the Atoll paddle board offers you a smooth ride and high-quality construction that’s similar to hard boards.

3. Touring/Racing paddle boards

The sport of racing with your stand up paddle board hasn’t been for a long time, but in the last few years, the popularity of this sport has grown a lot. These paddle boards are generally designed for speed and long-distance tracking. Most of them are designed for advanced paddlers, but there are board brands who make reliable racing and touring boards. Moreover, if you want to get on a race paddle board, it’s better to have a little bit of experience to use wider and shorter paddle boards.

These touring boards are much narrower when it comes to width than normal paddle boards and it would be much harder to paddle on narrow board than a wide board. Typically, this type of stand up paddle boards are also more expensive than regular boards, and that’s because of the materials that these boards are constructed from.

Touring and racing boards usually constructed with a pointed nose that will cut easily through water. The inflatable Z-Ray is one of the best paddle boards in the touring and racing category.

4. Surf Stand Up Paddle Board

Surf SUPs are the new fashion nowadays to catch the ocean waves, and they’ve pulled the rug from under surfboards. Stand up paddle surfing is unlike the traditional surfing were the surfer waits for the perfect wave to come. Instead, you can stand on your board and use the paddle to move yourself around.

When you’re SUP surfing, you first have to decide on what kind of surfing you plan to do. For more experienced surfers, there are a couple of options to choose from. One is a longboard style SUP, or a shortboard that’s quick and easily maneuverable. However, most beginners should consider the longboards style, this paddle board type has balance and that will prevent you from tipping over.

Some of the essentials you should have while surfing is the surf leach, this will prevent you from losing your paddle board. Also, to make your life easier, you should consider taking handle that helps carry the board to the water. The inflatable paddle board Peak Expedition is one of the best when it comes to SUP surfing.

5. Flat Water Stand Up Paddle Boards

This paddle board type is more suitable for beginners who prefer to paddle on calm water and clear sky. This type of paddleboards works best in un-choppy water and perform better under these conditions. In order to have the maximum amount of stability and balance, should always head to your favorite lake or bay and start paddling there.

Don’t ever think of going to the river or to a rocky ocean with this kind of paddle boards, as this type of paddle boards cannot give you your desired experience under these conditions. To find the best flat water paddle board for you, there’re a few considerations you need to keep in mind.

First, the type of hull the want, and that could be planing or displacement hull. The second thing is whether you won’t have a solid or an inflatable board, this will be based on the amount of performance and durability you want to have.

Lastly, the volume of the board and the amount of weight capacity you want to have for your paddle board is another consideration you need to look at. The best paddle board for beginners is the iSUP iRocker, this board contains the stability and performance you need while paddling.