You want to buy the best paddle board and find it difficult to get an overview? Then standup-paddle-board.com is the right place for you. We have put together all information needed for you to buy a paddle board and reviewed many well-known paddle boards.
The big four Paddle Board categories
- Allround Boards
- Touring Boards
- Race Boards
- Wave Boards
The shape of paddle boards of each category is shown here. For each category we have chosen a board that we can recommend and you can purchase without any hesitation:
You want to buy a paddle board?
We would like to inspire you for Stand Up Paddling and support you in buying the best paddle board for you. We experienced the same problem years ago when we were beginners in Stand up Paddling: Which Paddle Board should we buy? – it was very difficult for us to make the right decision as there is a large selection of brands, sizes and many different board types (“shapes”). At that time there were practically no paddle board reviews, test reports or buyer´s advice available online.
Since a paddle board is not a bargain for most people, we recommend to get an overview of different board types and sizes in order to find the right board for you and make the right purchase decision.
Two general rules of thumb to start with:
- higher volume offers a higher buoyancy – that implies: The thicker and wider the board, the more stable & calm it floats in the water, and the easier it is to stand upright and keep your balance.
- length runs – this means: The longer a board, the better & faster you get ahead! This is especially interesting for those of you who like to be more sportive or want to do track
Buy an all around SUP Board – one for all
If you buy a so called all around board, like this Mistral Adventure, which is easy to paddle even for beginners and are fun from the very first time, as you will quickly succeed in standing upright and paddling on them. If you are a little more experienced, the distinct advantage of these boards is also their disadvantage, as they are a little more difficult to glide in the water due to their large volume. So you are not as fast. Mostly these boards have a length between ~9’5″ and 11’6″.
Buy a touring iSUP board – for beginners and intermediates
Of course, there are plenty of boards that do not match any of these categories listed above and are therefore suitable for several board types at the same time. Many of these boards stuck between Allround Board and Race Board labels and are not as short as Allround Boards but also not as narrow as Race Boards. You gain stability and can stand upright better than on a race board and it is easier to cover longer distances than with an allround board. Boards of this kind are often called touring boards.
Buy fast inflatable Paddle Boards – race
A faster, sleeker variant, on the other hand, are so-called race boards. They are designed for better sliding with less effort, longer distances and speed. The boards are cut more narrow and significantly longer than beginner’s boards, so you have to bring more balance skills to enjoy these boards. Due to the enormous length of such boards you will also lose some of your manoeuvrability and agility compared to allround boards. One speaks of race boards from a length of approx. 12’0″.
Buy a Wave Board – for sea and waves
If you’ve been on holiday at the seaside for the last few years, you’ve probably seen some paddle board riders sliding elegantly through the waves with their SUPs. For these paddlers the so-called Wave Boards were developed.
The Paddle Board purchase – board selection
Now that you know about the basics and the different board categories, next, we deep-dive into the board selection:
In our opinion, 3 important factors are decisive for the purchase of a paddle board:
- Driver’s skills
- Range of use of the Stand Up Paddle Board
Before you go out to buy a paddle board you need to know what for and where you want to use your Stand Up Paddle Board. There are paddle boards that are suitable for several different applications. But basically, a board that is made to race as fast as possible, used for surfing in waves, can never reach the same performance as a board that is specially designed for that purpose.
Your weight and ability impacts the paddle board purchase
If you know what you want to use your board for, next you are the focus. Your weight and your skills determine the length, width and thickness of your board – in other words the volume. Paddle Boards for people with 50-60kg weight are designed differently than boards for people with >100kg of weight.
Especially for heavier persons it is important to pay attention to the volume, as boards lacking load capacity, they are submersed deep in the water and paddling becomes more difficult. Details about weight and recommended volume can be found in the overview tables below.
Use cases for your Paddle Board
You want to buy a Stand Up Paddle Board for a longer period of time? Then you should also know the different use cases. The SUP Sport has developed in many directions and there is a suitable board for every kind of water and rider type. Now we present you the most important paddle board use cases which will impact your choice of board significantly. For each area we have chosen three of our board favourites. You can find the respective paddle board review in the review section. We are currently concentrating our reviews solely on inflatable paddle boards. Common areas of use are touring, surfing, race, river, family and kids, yoga and fitness, white water.
Buy Paddle Board for allrounders – one for all
Understandably, most people want to buy a paddle board that can be used for several purposes – especially as a paddle board beginner when you don’t know yet in which direction you want to go and what you enjoy most. There are boards that are well suited for many use cases. Often these boards are also sold as beginner or entry level boards – which might not fit your level. These boards are slightly longer than beginner boards, and have a medium to high volume. However, the all around boards can not entirely replace boards that are designed for a specific area of application.
Buy Touring Stand up Paddle Board
Touring consists of longer tours on a lake or river. The boards are rather large in relation to their volume and therefore offer more stability. Since these paddle boards can also be used for multi-day tours, they usually offer the possibility to stow luggage – e.g. with a transport net. Sometimes you can find these boards also labelled Exploring. In our opinion, the purchase of one of these boards is an ideal compromise between beginner suitability, sports and sustainability.
Buy a Stand Up Paddle Board suitable for the whole family? No problem! These Stand Up Paddle Boards are also suitable to transport several people at the same time. For example, one parent and a child can be carried by this board without problems. These boards have high volume. By the way: Most children love to be on the boards as well!
There are also boards especially made for children. These boards are relatively short and narrow matching to the body weight and therefore offer a high agility & great fun factor – ideal for children.
Yoga Stand Up Paddle Boards tend to be more all-round boards. They have a high volume and are relatively wide. Both allow you to do yoga exercises without tipping over. A special coating, similar to a yoga mat, over the entire length of the board prevents slipping. The carrying handle is often conveniently located on the side.
We written a further article on the trend topic Paddle Board Yoga & the purchase of a corresponding yoga board, in which we deal with this exciting topic in detail.
Paddle Boards for surfing or Wave Boards
Stand Up Paddle Boards for surfing are wave boards to have fun in wavy waters at the sea. These boards have a high turning ability and are rather shorter with less volume to control the boards through edge pressure (similar to surfing). On the other hand, if you want to surf in rather small waves similar to a longboard, then a long, voluminous board is also a good choice.
Buy Race Paddle Board – for speed junkies
Race boards are tailored to experts or those who would like to become one. They are often used in Stand up Paddling competitions. These boards are very narrow and relatively long and allow high speed combined with great directional stability.
Weight and size table for Paddle Board purchase
These tables should help you to keep the overview when buying a board. You can check your favorites in the table and you can better classify if a paddle board suits you. The values in the overview tables are rough guidelines based on our experience and are not 100% valid for every board, as other factors like shape and fin design also have an impact on the board characteristics.
To make the paddle board purchase easier for you, we have converted foot and inch values into meters as well. As with all water board sports, the manufacturer’s specifications are almost always specified in feet.
The table is divided into an overview for beginners and advanced users.
|55 -80 kg||ca. 170 Liter||71-76 cm|
28 - 30“
|320 – 335 cm
10‘6‘‘ - 11‘‘
|85-100 kg||ca. 180 Liter||73- 81cm|
29 - 32“
|335 – 350 cm
11 ‘- 11‘6‘‘
|105-120 kg||> 220 Liter||>81 cm|
32 - 33“
|350 – 365 cm
11‘6‘‘ - 12
|125+ kg||> 230 Liter||> 83 cm|
|365 – 380 cm
Buy Paddle Board for beginners:
|55 -80 kg||ca. 150 Liter||66-69 cm|
26 - 27.5“
|275 – 320 cm
9‘ - 10‘6
|85-100 kg||ca. 160 Liter||71 - 73 cm|
28 - 28.5“
|320 – 335 cm
|105-120 kg||ca. 230 Liter||74-79 cm|
29 - 31.5“
|335 – 365 cm
11 - 12‘
|125+ kg||ca. 230 Liter||> 80 cm|
|365 – 380 cm
Buy Paddle Boards for advanced users:
You now know the secrets of buying a paddle board. For a better overview and easier board selection, to finally buy the right paddle board, we have put together these instructions including the table overview, taking into account the area of use, rider weight and paddle board volume. We have also written many paddle board reviews to make your choice even easier. For example, have a look at the report of our favourite paddleboard.
If you are new to Stand Up Paddling, have never stood on a board before and want to try it out in advance, there are a huge varietyof Stand up Paddling courses and rental stations at one of the countless German lakes. It is a good idea to try the sport before you invest and buy a paddle board yourself.
Many providers also offer a gift voucher if you want to give somebody the present of a Stand up Paddling course in a cool atmosphere.
You see, if you submerse yourself in the informational material you will surely find the matching paddle board for you. Have fun with it!