We tested and reviewed over 50+ stand up paddle boards in 2017. The result is not just the most in-depth paddle boards reviews you can find but also buying guide and all the information you could ask for before buying a new board. We sorted all boards by Build, Price, Skill and Use to make it easy for everyone to find the perfect boards fast, no matter if you know exactly what you’re looking for or are a first-time buyer.
Hardboards are your ready to go boards generally made from one of the following: foam, fiberglass, kevlar, plastics, or wood. They’re extremely rigid and durable. An advantage is unlike the inflatables, you can get straight in or out with no inflate/deflate time. Disadvantage; harder to transport. They tend to be heavier and can’t just roll up into a backpack if you are having to carry your board a long way!
Have a guess, yep, they need air to become alive. Inflatables are great if you tend to get adventurous with where you go SUP-ing, you can just roll them into their backpack and hike to wherever you like. Their durability and density aren’t to be confused to being like a balloon either, with woven fibres between top and bottom layers that stretch out when inflated, they can be just as sturdy as a hardboard.
These are the low-range boards that tend to be pop outs that sacrifice a lot on quality and durability. They are commonly heavy and only suited for beginners on a budget. Though while saying this, there are some exceptions on the market.
Mid-range boards that have aspects like shape or style that show improvements on board quality. You can find great beginner or hobby boards in this price range but will still struggle to find a board that has true lightweight technology at this price.
Mid-High range boards. These are most commonly sold, it’s where you start to see an overall improvement on the boards quality and performance. You can find a reasonably lightweight board at this price range. Perfect for advanced paddlers as well.
Pro boards. These are high-quality boards that are built with light-weight technology and tailored specifically for different styles of SUP-ing with pros and serious paddlers in mind. Close attention is paid to detail and extra accessories that make an overall more enjoyable experience.
When looking to get into paddle boarding all-rounds are a great choice as they suit all conditions. Generally, they are wider, thicker and longer than surf SUPs which provides easier steering and improved speed iflat waterer. However, all-arounds also a curved nose and rails for manoeuvrability in the surf. However, if you are wanting to become proficient in one particular type of paddle boarding you are better off buying a board thats designed for that particular purpose.
Touring boards are longer (10’+) for the benefit of gaining momentum in water and have an average width (28’-30’) for a balanced stance. Perfect for beginners, flatware conditions and going long distances.
Wanting speed and a challenge? Racing boards are a lot narrower in the body and nose (25’-29’) than the rest of the SUP family. This is to improve it’s speed and momentum once going. These are not ideal boards for beginners as the narrower board will make it hard to shake those beginner wobbles.
There are some brands styling boards specifically for yoga as it gains popularity. The extra width and length provide the extra balance you need. As you tend to be more stationary when doing yoga, things like speed and manoeuvrability aren’t as important. They also tend to come with tie downs which are super handy to keep your paddle and gear in place while doing yoga as well as soft tops to keep you comfy.