SUP Buyer’s Guide – All Around or Touring Shape?

paddle board buyer's guide

When you are researching to purchase a paddle board, it can be confusing to figure out if you want an all-around board or a touring board. 

all around sup board

All Around SUP

Most of the paddle boards that you see on the beach fall in to the all around board category.  They look like big surfboards that are between 10 1/2 and 12 1/2 feet long, come in a variety of widths, and are fairly thin from the deck to the bottom.  These paddle boards are made to do everything and go everywhere….but not to be great at any one thing.  You can take them for a flat water paddle session, surf small waves in the ocean, cruise down a river, or use it for an impromptu yoga session.  The only limitation is how stable the board is for you and your imagination!  You can see some of the all around boards that we sell in our on-line store.

But if you try to race your friend who has a touring board – you are in trouble!  The extra width that makes it a stable yoga platform and the added rocker that makes it work in the waves also make the board slower through the water. 

why buy a touring sup

Touring SUP

Paddle boards that fall into the touring board category look a lot like a racing paddle board.  Generally longer and narrower and with a pointed nose, the touring paddle boards are made to cruise through the water more efficiently.  With better glide, you cover more distance with each paddle stroke than you would on an all around SUP.  These boards are made to work well in flat water and choppy water, the kayak-like pointy bow cuts nicely through the water they are nice for paddling in a bit of breeze as well.  Extra thick from the deck to the base, touring SUPs are still quite stable even though they are narrower than an all around board – so you can still bring your dog, your kid, or a cooler and a fishing pole along with you!  Some yoga moves can still be done – but you do lose the full length flat deck that you get on an all around or yoga specific paddleboard. 

On a touring shape SUP you will be able to paddle longer distances with less fatigue and get a greater feeling of gliding through the water.  Check out the touring boards that we sell in our store.

So what should I get?

Which type of board you should own really depends on what you will be using it for the most.  If surfing is your thing (or you want it to be), but you know that you will be in flat water a big chunk of the time – and all around SUP is great.  When the swell is up (or you get to take a road trip to the coast), or the kids in your family just want to try to be surfers, you will love that you can get surfing performance out of your SUP.  On the other hand, if you know surfing is not part of your plan, a touring paddle board will most likely be the board for you.  With fantastic glide and tracking you will have the most fun exploring your nearby waterways on a SUP that is efficient through the water.  If you still aren’t sure what kind of board you should have, give us a call at 727.656.6569 or send us a note we’re always happy to help!

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