Paddleboarding is only enjoyable when you have the right paddle board. If you are new to this activity, choosing the right board can be a daunting task. To make this easier, there are certain factors that you can focus on, such as where you will use it and how much experience you have.
Where Are You Paddle Boarding?
The paddleboard you get will depend on where you are going to use it. The water conditions determine the style of paddle board you need. Getting the wrong paddleboard for the water conditions will make it harder to enjoy yourself.
If you are paddle boarding on flat water such as ponds, lakes, marshes, you need to get an All-Around model paddle board. These paddle boards offer the stability you need in these conditions and are great for beginners and intermediate paddlers. These boards are usually the largest on the market with a wide deck pad and a long length. This makes them easier to use while still providing the maneuverability you need.
If you are going to larger lakes, bays, or the ocean, you need to get a touring isup. These boards allow you to travel long distances, which is ideal in these locations and are more suited to intermediate and expert paddlers. Touring model boards have a displacement hull allowing them to glide on the water like a surfboard and gain speed as they cover greater distances. These boards are also ideal for areas where exploring is possible.
If you are paddling where there are waves, you need to get a surfing paddleboard. These boards allow you to catch the wave and offer more maneuverability than others. They have a wide hull and will taper at the edges to make sharp turns. As with the touring paddle board, these boards are best for intermediate and expert paddlers.
How Much Experience You Have
While you need to match your inflatable paddle board to the location you use it in, how much experience you have also plays a role. There is no point in getting a touring board when you are starting out. This will make it harder to get used to paddle boarding, and you might not want to continue in the future.
If you are a beginner, your primary goal is to have fun on the water. You are also learning what paddle boarding has to offer. The best place to head will be the flat water locations where you need a stable paddleboard. All-Around SUP models and inflatable stand up paddle boards are the best for beginners.
They offer the stability you need to get used to the motion of paddle boarding while getting out on the water. Inflatable stand up paddle boards are also great for anyone who wants to quickly pack up their board. They are portable and durable while offering you the stable surface you need on flat water.
More experienced paddleboarders will have more choice. At this point, you will need to consider what you want from the board. If you are looking for speed, you need to choose a touring or racing SUP. These boards cut through the water with ease but are slightly less stable. If you want to hit the waves, you need to get a surfing paddle board, but you can also consider yoga and fishing boards based on your activity.
The Size Of The Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
Once you know the model you want, you have to look at the size of the paddle board. The board needs to have enough volume or buoyancy to keep you floating. Your weight will need to be taken into account when looking at the size of the board.
If you have a board that is too small for our weight, it will sit lower in the water. When this happens, you get more drag, and this will make it harder to gain speed and momentum. You will also have issues with movement and will not be able to make any sharp turns.
When choosing the right size, you will need to use a sizing chart. The material of the board you look at will also impact the sizing. The hardness of the material will impact the size you need based on your height.
It is important to note that being too light for your board is not a problem. This will not make a difference as it will not cause drag or any other issues.
The Fins Of The Board
When you look at a SUP, you will notice the different fin setups. There are some common configurations that you need to know about. You also need to understand how these configurations will affect your use of the board.
A lot of boards will have one large fin in the back of the board. This will be close to the tail and in the center of the board. The single fin configuration will help the board track on flat water. They are also seen on surfing boards as they help you connect with the face of the wave.
Another standard configuration is the 2 plus 1 fin set up. Boards with these fins will have a single 8” to 10” fin in the center with two smaller fins on the right and left of this. The side fins will help you turn the board with ease when surfing while the large fin enables you to hold the wave.
The last configuration is the quad fins, which are 2 large find and 2 small fins. This configuration is not as common as the others but helps the board in slow spots because there is no drag from a large central fin. The fins will be on the rail line, and this will also help track hollow waves.
Choosing the right paddle board can be a challenge because there are many factors to consider. The most important considerations will be where you use the board and the experience you have. Specific boards should only be used by experienced paddle boarders while others are better for beginners.