Guide: How To Choose a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP)

Guide: How To Choose a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP)

AQ Staff
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Looking to spend some time on the water this summer? Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is a great activity to get you out there! With so many different options out there, it can feel overwhelming trying to choose a paddleboard that fits your needs. That’s where we come in. We’ll break down the various types of paddleboards available and provide some tips on how to choose the perfect one for your activity of choice. So, whether you're interested in leisurely floating down a river or seeking the thrill of whitewater, keep reading to learn more!

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Recreational Paddleboards

If you're looking for a casual paddle for an hour or two, a recreational paddleboard might be the perfect choice. These boards are typically nine to 11 feet long with a round nose and flat bottom, providing stability and ease of use. They're ideal for floating down a slow-moving river, paddling around a small sheltered lake, or just enjoying a relaxing time on the water. Recreational paddleboards are great for beginners or those who want to have fun on the water without any specific goal in mind.  
how to choose a paddleboard - woman flatwater sups on alpine lake
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Touring Paddleboards

For those who want to cover more distance with less effort, a touring paddleboard might be the way to go. These displacement-style boards are designed for speed and efficiency, with a shape that helps them move efficiently in a straight line. They're perfect for those who want to paddle flat water, cover long distances, and get a good workout. However, because they are narrower than recreational paddleboards, they may not be as stable, especially for beginners.

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[ Also Read: Best Inflatable Paddleboards for 2023 ]

Whitewater Paddleboards

If you're more of a thrill-seeker, whitewater paddleboarding might be the right choice for you. These boards are shorter, wider, and have more volume for stability, but they also have a lot of rocker, making them maneuverable in rapids. Whitewater paddleboards are built for stability and maneuverability, rather than speed, making them ideal for navigating rivers with class two to three rapids. However, they're not suitable for flat water paddling and may be challenging for to choose a paddleboard - woman standup paddleboarding on a whitewater river

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Yoga Paddleboards

For those who want to take their yoga practice to the water, yoga paddleboards are a great option. These boards are designed with stability in mind, allowing yogis to practice their poses without worrying about losing balance. Yoga paddleboards are typically wider, have a lot of volume, and don't have much rounding to the nose. They're perfect for peaceful sessions on calm waters, but not recommended for windy conditions.

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How To Choose A Paddleboard

Once you've identified what kind of SUP adventure you're after, it's time to choose a paddleboard that's right for you. At AQ Outdoors, we carry a selection of high-quality boards from NRS, STAR, Kootenay Paddleboards, and BadFish, among others.

For recreational paddleboarding, you have a wide range of options to choose from, depending on your preferences and budget. The same goes for touring paddleboards, with brands like NRS, Badfish, and Kootenay paddleboards offering excellent options.

[ Also Read: How To Stand Up Paddleboard: Complete Guide ]

If you're interested in whitewater paddleboarding, NRS has a specific board for this purpose called the Quiver, but Badfish and Kootenay Paddleboards also have boards that are suitable for up to class two to three rapids. For yoga paddleboards, Level 6 is the brand that carries boards specifically designed for this purpose, but you can also use reverse stand-up paddleboards from Badfish or Kootenay Paddleboards.

Choosing the right paddleboard can make all the difference in your experience on the water. We appreciate your interest and hope to see you on the water soon!

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Edmonton:  (p) 780 463-4892 (e)

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