Sorts of SUP Paddling: Breaking Down the Totally different Paddling Disciplines

Sorts of SUP Paddling and the Boards You’ll Want

As extra individuals are discovering the enjoyable and advantages of standup paddling, many new paddlers I discuss to are filled with questions.  And lots of have completely no thought of the flexibility and types of enjoyable they will have with a sup. “What do you imply you possibly can surf a sup?” “Wait, there are races? What sort of board do I would like for that?” Except for figuring out they need be on the water, potential board patrons could don’t know learn how to reply one of many key questions when making an attempt to determine which board to buy: “What do you wish to do with it?”

So, here’s a fast abstract of the primary sup disciplines, full with the sort and size of board that’s preferable for every. Having the precise board for the precise situations and actions could make all of the distinction on this planet.

All-Round Leisure Paddling (Together with yoga)

The all-around form is the workhorse of sups.  And it’s the kind of board – each arduous and inflatable – that most individuals begin off on. Huge, steady and simple to paddle in delicate situations, surf-able and positive for the primary paddle race, it’s an awesome all-purpose board.

Form: Planing hull (designed to aircraft on high of the water), seems to be like a surfboard.

Perfect Size: 11″6-12′ 6″

Composition: Fiberglass, plastic or inflatable.

Sort of Water: Flat, calm lakes; huge calm, gradual transferring rivers; protected sounds and bays.

Sort of Paddling: Common recreation, household enjoyable, journey (inflatable.)

Talent Stage: All ability ranges


Downwinding is a specialised kind of paddling which usually takes place offshore within the open ocean.  The concept is to catch the swells and whitecaps, referred to as “bumps” and “surf” them one proper after one other, with the prevailing wind supplying you with a push from behind, It requires power, endurance, ocean data and board dealing with expertise together with footwork.  Key locations for downwinding within the US are the Columbia River Gorge, close to Hood River, Oregon and  Hawaii, significantly Maui’s North Shore.

Form: Specialised planing form normally with a number of nostril rocker.  Designed for catching open ocean “waves” or the distinctive situations discovered within the Columbia River Gorge.

Perfect Size: 14′ – 18’

Composition: Carbon fiber

Sort of Water: Open ocean, offshore, Columbia River

Sort of Paddling: Quick, excessive, severely enjoyable, undoubtedly superior. Instruction extremely really helpful earlier than making an attempt a downwind run within the Columbia River Gorge or on Maui.

Talent Stage: Superior

Speciality Manufacturers: SIC Maui


Form: Large, huge all-around form fort stability and to accommodate fishing gear.

Perfect Size: 10′-12’6”

Composition: Fiberglass or inflatable

Sort of Water:  Calm rivers, lakes, bays

Sort of Paddling: Particular exercise – lakes, rivers and many others.

Talent Stage: All ability ranges

Speciality Manufacturers: Bote, NSP

Racing – Flatwater and Ocean

You do not need to be an elite, superior paddler to take pleasure in sup racing! Most sup races have classes and distances to accommodate all ability ranges.  You’ll do higher when you’ve got a board designed for pace.

Form: Displacement hull – cuts by means of water, seems to be extra like a kayak than a surfboard. Is usually a flat deck or a dug-out fashion.

Ideal Size: 12’6″-14′

Composition: Fiberglass and/or carbon

Sort of Water: All situations – some designs are higher suited to ocean paddling.

Sort of Paddling: Newbie, Intermediate, Superior – extra superior paddlers will go together with a narrower board whereas newbies will begin with a wider race board.

Speciality Manufacturers: , SIC, Infinity, Flying Fish,   404


Sure you possibly can surf a paddle board! However it takes wave studying data, board dealing with expertise and data of browsing ettiequte. It’s greatest to begin out with a neighborhood or take a category. And have your flatwater expertise dialed in.

Form: Displacement

Perfect Size: 8’4″-10’6″ – newbies will begin with an extended and wider board, boards get smaller as you progress.

Composition: Mushy high, plastic, fiberglass and carbon

Sort of Water: Ocean seashores

Sort of Paddling: Excessive vitality, thrilling. Want to know tide, present, wave studying.  Instruction really helpful.

Talent Stage: Intermediate to superior

Speciality Manufacturers: Infinity, Starboard, SIC


Sup touring can embrace day-long journeys in addition to in a single day excursions and past! A displacement hull that may extra simply minimize by means of water and paddle extra effectively is really helpful.  Touring boards will typically be a bit wider than race boards and will embrace bungee cords fore and after for securing gear.

Form: Displacement hull

Perfect Size: 11’6″-14′

Composition: Fiberglass, carbon or inflatable

Sort of Water: Typically calmer flatwater however will also be ocean paddling.

Sort of Paddling: Typically simple and enjoyable. Distances might be difficult.

Talent Stage: All ranges

Speciality Manufacturers: Starboard, SIC, Hala


Consider it or not, whitewater SUP IS a factor! It is extremely thrilling however it takes particular expertise in addition to security gear. Data of how rivers behave is crucial, simply as it’s in whitewater kayaking.  Security gear consists of helmets, pads and inherently buoyant life jackets.  Instruction is suggested.

Form: Planing hull

Perfect Size: 10’6″ and huge.

Composition: inflatable or particular inflexible composition

Sort of Water: Fast

Sort of Paddling: tough and rocky – undoubtedly want to know learn how to learn rivers. Instruction extremely suggested.

Talent Stage: Superior

Speciality Manufacturers: Hala, Badfish




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