How Will You Use Your SUP?
Other than just knowing if you want an inflatable stand up paddle board or a solid one, you need to know in advance what you plan on doing your with your board. This is important because different boards are optimized for different things. Some are versatile and can be used in a variety of water conditions while others excel at just one thing.
All-Around or Flat Water Boards
This is the best entry-level stand up paddle board type because you get a lot of stability, which means less time spent worrying about landing in the water. This stand up paddle board for beginners makes learning very easy. Of course, they’re not just for the newbie paddler either! You’ll find that these are great for your flat water paddling and for using a SUP for fishing.
The best all-around SUPs range between 30″ and 34″ in width because that this the sweet spot for maximum stability when out in the water. This due to giving you a lot of space to take your balancing stance. You’ll also want to stick to something that is between 10′ and 11′ in length as this gives best maneuverability for a flat water board.
Yoga Paddle Boards
Though you can use an all-around SUP for doing your yoga moves, it’s probably better if you can stick to those designed just for practicing yoga. This because they are not only wide enough for the poses but they also have a nice grip pad to keep you from slipping but that also won’t rough up your knees and legs like with some other SUPs.
Based on my experience, an inflatable SUP is better for yoga than a solid board just because the surface is not as rigid. That makes it so much easier to do the poses.
You can also use your yoga iSUP for some flat water paddling, so you’ll get more value for your money that way.
Racing or Touring Paddle Boards
If you are looking to take your SUP seriously and get the most speed when out on the water, then this is the board type for you. It is generally shaped a bit longer and not as wide as your all-around flatwater paddle board so that it can move through the water faster. It is also thicker than other types.
This is probably not the best choice for a beginner, but great for the intermediate stand up paddle boarder who wants to increase water speed.
Surfing Paddle Boards
If you see yourself riding some waves on your stand up paddle board, then you will want to make sure that you shop for a shorter board as they tend to maneuver better in the surf. Anything under 10′ in length should be able to turn on a dime and help you stay upright while riding the waves. You’ll find some great surfing SUP options available.