Here are some great tips on how to pick out a Standup Paddleboard


There are many types of Boards and here we will give you some insight.

All Around SUPS
•Perfect choice for first-time and beginner paddlers
•Versatile and can work in all conditions
•The most common standup paddle board shape
•Family friendly (and dog friendly!)
* Both Inflatables and Rigid boards come in All Around Styles.

Surf SUPS/River Boards
•Perfect choice for intermediate to advanced paddlers
•For those who want more action out of their paddle board experience
•Less stable on water = easier to fall off
•Very maneuverable in the surf, highly shreddable
•Essentially oversized surfboards with a paddle

There are some great Inflatable River/Surf boards out now * Kahuna makes and awesome one!!!!!

Touring SUPS
•Perfect choice for serious paddlers with an interest in high intensity work outs
•Designed for long distances in flatwater – open ocean, bays and lakes
•Constructed for maximum glide and efficiency
•Usually wide and stable enough for beginners
Available in both Inflatables and Rigid and Carbon Fibre ( SUPER LIGHT AND FAST)

•Designed for flat water races, downwinders or open ocean competitions
•Extra length and extra width which generates fast sprint speed and long glide efficiency
•Sometimes challenging for beginners but perfect for elite and recreational racers alike
Race Boards are very unstable usually and are really only great for Racing, But if you Race they are a must. Touring Boards are super fast and a lot more stable

Fishing SUPs
•Perfect choice for those who love to go fishing, but don’t want to invest in a boat or kayak
•Fishing SUPs have the most volume, so you can stay high and dry out of the water
•Pre-installed scotty mounts let you personalize your fishing experience and having the option to add rod holders, fish finders and anything you need for your expedition
Yes their are specific Fishing Inflatables out there.

Yoga SUPs
•Designed for yoga, flatwater paddling and any fitness related exercise
•Constructed for stability
•Expansive deck pad gives ample room for yoga
Yoga SUP is becoming a very large movement in the SUP world. Super stable Boards and come in Both Inflatable and Rigid

What size paddle board do you need?

The answer to this question will be based on your weight and paddle boarding experience. Think of your ideal board size in terms of volume. The wider, longer and thicker the board, the more volume it will have. In fact, the more volume the board has, the more stable it will be on the water. A Good Shop with staff that know what they are talking about will help you out with this for sure. Company websites of Brands will have charts as well.

Beginner paddlers will usually want a board with more volume because this provides additional stability and can support more weight. As your skill, balance and strength improves, you can downsize to a board with less volume. By then, your older board will be great for friends and family to use!

The difference between inflatable and epoxy SUPs?

Once you’ve figured out the type and size of SUP you want, it’s time to decide if you want an inflatable or an epoxy paddle board. There are many differences between inflatable and epoxy paddle boards.

When determining whether an inflatable or epoxy SUP is right for you, it really depends on your budget and storage/transportation options

If you have a cabin and live at the lake all summer, a Rigid Epoxy board is ideal. You do not have to cart it all over the place. Rigid ( Epoxy boards are faster for sure , but the Inflatables have come such a long ways it is incredible)

The #1 advantage of an inflatable is the whole issue of ease to transport and storage. You can throw the whole pack, with board, Paddle, pump, leash. repair kit in the trunk or back of your SUV. As well it does not take up any room at the Condo or in the garage. They have come so far in the last few years it is incredible. Inflatables sell 70-30% now in most specialty shops.

Where can you get the best SUP value?

With plenty of standup paddle board companies to choose from, it can seem overwhelming to find the perfect one.

The key is to look beyond the marketing and pull back the layers to see exactly what each company offers. The major things to consider when choosing a company is the price of the board(s), the warranty and the customer service, since it’s usually a direct reflection of the company. Do your homework and ask lots of questions. Good Specialty shops are very knowledgeable and should know what they are talking about. They also should paddle and know what they are selling.


The biggest concern for most people is the price of the board. You may not want a super expensive board, but you also don’t want to buy a cheap board just to save money. It’s important to do your research to compare boards and companies.

Try and buy from a store that is close to you or easily accessible with great staff and great warranty programs.

If a shop has rentals , try one out or go to a demo day and try one out.

Look for a package deal if you are on a budget that includes ( Rigid) Board, Fin or Fins, Paddle and hopefully a board bag ( Protects your board) and Leash
(Inflatable) Roller back pack bag, Board, Fin or Fins, Leash, Repair kit, DBL Gauge Pump and 3 Piece Paddle that fits in bag ( Trust me, if you want to hike to a high mountain lake it is a bonus)

Set a budget and remember that you will get what you pay for.

Hope this helps you in looking for a board!!!!!!!

Red Nik Surf & Swim is Calgary and Southern Alberta’s Premiere Standup Paddleboard, Swim Wear, Cruisewear, and Surf Shop with the BEST SERVICE in all of the LAND

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