Stand Up Paddle Essentials: How to choose your first SUP Board
At SUPDubai.ae we pride ourselves on providing expert advice and having the largest selection of premium Stand Up Paddleboards in the Middle East. That makes it really easy to find your perfect first SUP. Read through our guide below and answer the questions to know which board will suit you best.
1. What type of Stand Up Paddle Board do you want?
These are the basic types offered by most major Standup Paddle Brands:
1. All Around boards – Improve your paddling skills quickly and easily.
All around paddle boards are perfect entry level boards for a wide variety of uses and conditions. Easily cruise in flat and choppy waters, learn how manoeuvre the board and negotiate your way around waterways. All Around boards usually measure around 10′ to 12′ long and between 29″ and 36″ wide.
2. Touring Boards – Go far and explore.
Touring SUPs are narrower than the all around boards and usually longer, so they cut through the water more cleanly, and the drawn-out nose section gives them more glide across the water. These are perfect for fitness paddling and longer paddles. They are also better suited for choppy and windy conditions. Some of the boards are also perfectly suited for recreational racers and long downwinders. Touring boards usually measure around 11′ to 17′ long and between 28″ and 33″ wide.
3. Racing boards – Challenge yourself to an intense core and legs workout offshore.
Race SUPs are even narrower than touring boards for faster acceleration and glide. These boards are extremely fast. Inexperienced paddlers can still paddle a wider race board however the thinner models can be technical and challenging to ride for novice paddlers. Standard Race boards are 12’6″ long, but there is also a 14′ and Unlimited (17’6″) class. Their width can vary from extremely fast and tippy 22″ to a stable 31″.
4. Surf boards – Increase your wave count.
Surfing Paddle boards are usually shorter and lighter for increased manoeuvrability in the waves. The more advanced boards are also narrower for increased performance and larger waves. These are perfect if you are a surfer and want to have a great time on smaller waves and paddle into more waves per session. SUP wave boards vary from choptop boards at 5′ to short pro boards at around 7′ to beginner wave boards at 10′. They also vary in width from 23″ to 34″.
5. Yoga Paddleboards – Start your day practicing Sirsasana on the water and change your life.
Yoga SUPs are designed with your sun salutation in mind. These boards are an excellent compromise between tracking and stability and usually incorporate a yoga mat textured deck for a good grip.Yoga boards are typically between 9′ and 11′ and range in width between 30″ and 34″.
6. WindSUPs – Harness the power of the wind and glide.
WindSUPs are dual purpose: you can paddle or windsurf. Since Windsurfing can be intimidating to start off, these dual purpose boards are perfect for learning and improving your skills.These extremely practical options come with standard windusrf mast insert and some come with daggerboard or central fins for impressive tracking and upwind ability. Look out for our packages (complete with board, paddle and rig) as stock sell fast.
2. What is your budget?
Establish your budget early and keep in mind you will need a board and a paddle, and possibly a leash and other accessories in the future. Generally, you get what you pay for. At SUPDubai.ae we only deal with reputable manufacturers. These brands spend significant resources on design and quality control. They also offer a customer service guarantee and limited warranties so you won’t be out of the water for long if there ever is a problem. Save on your total purchase by looking for our package offers and let us know if you are purchasing more than one board. We also beat any advertised price out there.
3. Do you want a rigid or inflatable?
Although the term “rigid” may imply that the inflatable boards are soft don’t let that fool you. The design and technology used to build inflatable boards have come a long way over the past few years. Today’s inflatable boards offer 90% or more of the performance of traditional fibre glass boards. Most inflatables can be pumped to over 18PSI making them very solid with the added benefit of ease of transport and storage. More info regarding the differences between rigid or inflatable boards to follow in our next post.
4. How much do you weigh?
The more you weigh, the larger the board size (both length and width) and volume needed to maintain the same stability. Consult with the weight limits mentioned in the product pages and stay within the manufacturer recommended limits. When in doubt get in touch with us.
5. How often will you paddle?
You will improve much quicker if you paddle regularly. You may want to choose a board that will progress with you and you won’t outgrow too soon. You can do this by getting a slightly smaller size than you’re comfortable with for surfing or a narrower race board.
6. Who else will be using your SUP?
Consider a large allrounder if you’re planning on regularly paddling with your partner, kids and dog onboard.