There are so many different types of stand up paddle boards how do you pick the best one suitable for long tours?
Well, there are three major categories of stand-up paddleboards, these are the All-Around SUP, the Surf SUP and finally the boards that are designed for racing and touring.
The All-Around Stand Up Paddleboard
An All Arounder is like a quiver of one. These are going to be the most versatile types of paddleboards around. They can do a little bit of everything, but don’t do any one thing particularly well. And All Arounder is usually thick and wide making them very stable and long.
All around paddle boards tend to do well and flat-water situations, where they don’t do as well in choppy situations with large waves like surfing.
The next category is a Surfing Paddleboard
Stand up paddleboarding is an offshoot of the sport of surfing so this is a very important category. A sub that is designed primarily for surfing will have a sharp nose a tapered tail and is generally going to be shorter in length than something like an all-around her. The reason for this shorter more nimble design is so the sup can paddle faster and turn sharper both of which qualities are needed to successfully catch and ride waves.
You can learn more about surfing SUPs by reading this Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standup_paddleboarding
Because surfing sups have a more agile design oh, they’re not the size of a dinner plate, they are not going to be as stable as something like all-around sup. This also means surfing subs are for more advanced paddlers usually not a good fit for beginners. and it goes without saying if you don’t live in an area that has waves that you can serve, surfing sup is not your best choice.
Racing and Touring SUP
The easy way to tell a touring paddle board is it begins to take on the characteristics of a boat. The front end is angular more in the shape of a v and you can see the whole rise up in the shape of a v as well. The body of the board is generally narrower 2 mm width of 28 in wide. And a touring board is generally going to be at least 14 ft long.
Also as is the case with a surfing SUP, a touring sup is a more advanced profile and shape. This means that it is for more intermediate to advanced level paddlers and not a good choice for beginners
Materials and Construction Methods
When it comes time to picking the right paddle board for you, you need to think about how much you weigh in relation to the size of the board you need to purchase.
A general rule of thumb to remember is the larger the board the more surface area it will have, therefore making it less responsive and harder to turn. The trade-off is that it’s easier to balance on and more stable.
Some of the materials that are used to make a stand up paddleboard can be epoxy fiberglass, carbon fiber, foam, plastic, and military-grade PVC material used in inflatable SUPs.
So how do you pick a touring board that will fit you the best?
The best thing you can do is to go and try several different ones. just like buying a new car, you need to go out and take many different boards for a test paddle.
What is SUP Touring?
At its essence sup touring is about going on an adventure, exploring new places, and just getting out there and seeing what’s around the corner.
How long should your SUP tour be?
As always it depends. How long are you trying to go out for it? It also depends on the gear that you have. If you are able to pack a lot of supplies like a cooler, water, food, and even camping gear on to your paddleboard and you can go for overnight and even multi-day touring trips. or maybe you want something smaller and simpler and simply want to take a water bottle and be out on the water exploring for just a few hours.
Let your spirit of adventure determine how long your trip will be.
A good rule of thumb, the longer the tour the more equipment you will need to take with you. The more equipment the harder it will be to paddle, so longer trips equal a greater difficulty.
What skill level do you need for SUP touring?
This is very similar to the question of how long a tour should be. All skill levels can go on a tour. but the longer that you were the more advanced you will need to be as well as the more athletic and in shape you will need to be in.
On a shorter tour of saying our just about anyone even a beginner skill level can do that.
Different types of water present many different types of risks and challenges. And you must prepare accordingly. For example, the gear you will need on a summertime sub trip at the beach is very different than the gear you would need paddling down a river.
For longer tours on open water, you’ll need to be aware of dangers such as wins tides and ocean currents.
Don’t be fooled by inland waterways and canals. Each different body of water presents different risks. And you need to be prepared to stay safe and to take care of yourself in all water conditions.
Where should you go on tours?
Well, that depends on where you live. It’s always good to start out on lakes.
After that, it’s fun to advance to more difficult and challenging terrains like rivers. To find out good places to go for longer tours get on the internet and look for some of the stand up paddleboard forums these are generally great locations to exchange other ideas with experienced paddlers almost guaranteed they can put you on to a great tour that is nearby your house.
The Travel Channel wrote a good article on places to go on a SUP adventure: https://www.travelchannel.com/interests/outdoors-and-adventure/photos/worlds-best-standup-paddleboarding
A few of the first challenges you’ll face when going on a tour are fitness and endurance. After that, it’s finding the right board and paddle that is not only comfortable but also see your ability.
Planning the route you take in addition to understanding the risks of the weather and the water type you will be traveling on, are the most challenging aspects of preparing for your trip.
We hope you’ve found this article informative and also entertaining. Please stay tuned and come back to the blog for more updates and How-To instructions about stand-up paddleboarding.