If you like recreational aquatic sports, you’ve probably heard of how much fun people are having with sup boards lately. In fact, if you really love the water, you probably want to try it out for yourself.
However, there are several types of sup boards out there, and your choice will dramatically affect what you can do with it. If you make the wrong choice, and it doesn’t match what you want to do, you might get the wrong idea about the whole sport.
So, here’s a quick rundown of the main sup board options on the market to help you figure out which one you need.
All-Around Sup Board
This is the “jack of all trades, master of none” option on the market, and these boards are clearly labeled as such. So, it’s not hard to pick them out.
They have fairly standards shapes, balance stability, and speedwell, and they’re pretty accessible to newcomers. You can use them for just about any sup board activity, but you’ll typically get better results in any given activity by picking a specialized board.
Still, if you’re just trying out sup boarding, an all-around board is a great choice.
Fishing Sup Board
These are wide, highly stable, and heavy sup boards meant for fishing in tributaries, channels, lakes, and calm beach shores. They’re usually outfitted with holes and attachment points for you to secure your fishing equipment and tow coolers or fish baskets behind you as you move from spot to spot.
These are awesome options for die-hard fishermen because they’re essentially low-cost, easy-to-transport, fishing boats. However, they’re not very accessible for beginners. First, the added weight can make it a lot harder to move through the water, and you’ll need to develop some strong muscles to do it with ease. Reeling in big fish while balancing on a board can also be difficult until you really build a sense of balance.
Racing and Surfing
These are two different types of sups, but they’re similar. Racing and surfing sup boards are long, narrow, and built for speed. They require a lot more balance, but experienced surfers will feel right at home on one of these.
However, their length and slender design make them some of the most specialized boards on the market, and that means you won’t be doing much more than speeding around on either of them.
These boards are typically shorter and fatter in nature. They’re perfect for calmly paddling through channels and touring the sights, but they’re not conducive for faster activities or handling waves. While limited, they’re great for beginners.
Finally, a yoga paddle board is a highly specialized sup board that shares a lot in common with flatwater and fishing sups. They’re built mainly for stability instead of speed, wave handling, or tugging a bunch of equipment along.
These are wide, fairly long, and great for finding a calm beach to try your favorite yoga poses right on top of the water. It’s a unique experience, and yoga enthusiasts will love it, but it’s hard to recommend these unless you’re interested in yoga.