How to Choose a Stand Up Paddleboard

Whether you’re looking for a full-body workout or a relaxing day on the water, be sure to know what to look for when buying a paddleboard.

April 19, 2017

Finding the right stand up paddleboard can be the first step on your way to enjoying the sport.


Boards come in a variety of lengths, widths, thicknesses and constructions. Some are designed for flat water and others are designed to be used on the waves, while some can handle both.




Before you choose the type of paddleboard you want, first consider two things: weight and width. Most boards list a weight capacity so you know how much it can carry. Another factor that plays into stability is the width of the board. The wider the board, the more stable it will be. A narrower board often means it is capable of producing more speed.




Now you have to ask yourself what kind of paddling experience you’re looking for. There are a variety of styles of boards to choose from based on your preferred activity. 

  • All-Around Paddleboards: Most beginners will go for an all-around paddleboard. This is a great option for relaxed outings or fitness sessions on flat water. These boards also have the ability to surf small- to medium-size waves on the ocean.
  • Surf-Style Paddleboards: These are normally shorter in length and designed to maneuver well by carving into ocean waves.
  • Cruise or Touring Paddleboards: Looking to explore long treks on flat water? Touring paddleboards are long boards that normally have room for cargo.
  • Yoga Paddleboards: Yogis should go with this option because they are created with wide deck pads that help with stability and offer better grip as you go through various yoga positions.
  • Fishing Paddleboards: Fishing boards are wider and offer more stability to accommodate all your fishing gear.
  • Racing Paddleboards: These are long, light and narrow to help increase speed in any water condition.
  • Inflatable Paddleboards: These are a great option for those who may not have much space. They come in all sizes and types based on activity and are easy to transport and store. Whether you want to race or spend a relaxing day on the water, there will be an inflatable board for you. They are also durable. A collision with an object on an inflatable board could be less damaging than one on a hard board.

Be warned — getting a taste of paddle boarding can make you want to be on the water all the time. You may find yourself looking to buy multiple boards for different activities.