How should I choose a standup paddleboard? There are so many different boards.
First, decide who is going to use it. In the shop we typically ask the following questions.
1. Is this board for you or is it for a group of people?
2. What are you hoping to do with the board? Will you do yoga on it,? Will you take it to the ocean and paddle surf with it, or will you paddle a couple of miles a day with it?
3. How much do you weigh or how much does the heaviest person who will use the board weigh?
Answers to these questions will help in your selection process. If the board is for a group of people durability may be the most important thing. If you want to do yoga on the board a wider board will provide a more stable platform on the water. If exercise is your primary focus then maybe consider a touring board. These boards glide through the water better than traditional surf shape boards.
A paddle is a paddle right?
Wrong. Do not overlook the paddle that you choose. Paddling is a very repetitive motion. Anything you can do to reduce fatigue especially if paddling a long distance will help keep you injury free. Basic paddles are usually heavier and may flex more which will prevent all of your energy from getting to the water when paddling. Better paddles will cost more money but they will be lighter and may also be available in different blade volumes depending upon the size of the paddler. You can paddle any board if you have a good paddle; especially one that is the proper size. Without a good paddle you can get on the nicest board that money can buy but you won’t be able to get the performance out of it that is built into it.
What makes a touring board different from a surf shape board?
A touring board has a displacement hull or to simplify a pointed nose. This will help the board track straighter and cut through choppy water better. They are narrower in width and usually longer in length. Once they’re moving they glide through the water much more efficiently. If exercise is your reason for paddle boarding this is the way to go. A surf shape board has a rounded nose and more rocker which is the curve in the board from the tip to the tail along the bottom. They look like surf boards only longer and wider. These are more all around boards then a touring board. Width will translate into a more stable ride for the paddler. You can paddle any board in the ocean but on a surf shape board you could actually paddle into waves and ride them.