Choosing the Right SUP Board Based on Your Paddle Goals
by Marina Scott
When purchasing a stand up paddle board, it is important to consider your paddle goals. Are you a weekend paddler, looking for an outlet to reduce stress and enjoy recreation with friends and family? Or are you an adventurous paddler, intent on advancing your skills and achieving new paddle hobbies? The good news is, with such a diverse range of inflatable boards on the market, you can be both and more. Travel the world or enjoy your own backyard from a new perspective, we’ve compiled some of the best inflatable sup options based on your unique recreational goals:
To explore with leisure
For the kayaker turned stand up paddle boarder or if you can't decide between the two, the Calypso by Pau Hana combines the best of both worlds. The versatile hybrid design is stable and comfortable for all paddling levels, it also comes with a custom kayak seat that provides a welcome relief for your legs. Hang out and stay a while, one of the coolest features of this board is the large window in the deck to see below the surface. Perfect for your littlest passengers or exploring the reef without getting wet.
For weekend adventures with friends and family
If exercise, sightseeing and social time is your goal, a Yolo board may just be your jam. All of these boards feature eye catching colors and artistic designs combined with superior performance. These all around SUP’s are perfect adventure boards for the entire family. Carry kids or pets on the front of the board, rely on stability to practice yoga (check out the very zen artwork on the Yolo Serenity board) or cast a line and reel in a fish (to be stored in a cooler tied down with the integrated bungee cargo system of course). They are great on flat water and in small waves, appropriate for beginner to intermediate skill levels. The Yolo Mermaid is one of our all time favorite graphic board designs, perfect for the ocean lover.
To surf and advance your skills
If you want to catch some waves but don’t want to compromise cruising ability, go with an all around board shape that will allow for versatility. The best board for you is largely based on your body type (see our buying guide for more on this), but if you hope to advance your surfing skills it is advised to choose a board at the shorter end of your recommended range, a width in the middle range and a thickness that provides sufficient buoyancy to glide on flat water. Touring boards also perform well in small, smooth surf and if you’re not looking to pull any fancy maneuvers, the Yolo boards listed above are also great options.
To practice yoga and relaxation
Dhyana by Aqua Marina is designed specifically with yogis in mind. This board is thick and wide, providing a stable deck for posture practicing. The style and shape are also great for cruising so you’ll love the effortless glide even post savasana. Check out the yoga dock attachment for additional, stable teaching space. Up to eight boards fit into the dock, making this a must have for sup yoga teachers.
For the opportunity to try it all
All of the above! The Tarpon ISUP by H O Sports is one of the most popular all around advanced boards offering versatility and exceptional quality for the paddler who wants to do it all. The Tarpon’s wide-glide profile paired with 6” thick, dual-layer/dual-sidewall construction rides high in the water and provides unmatched stability. The new Dual-Layer marine grade deck pad will have your feet feeling like they’re standing on a cloud while delivering great traction.The Tarpon is a valuable option that will stand up to your personal stand up paddle evolution.
If you’re looking to purchase an inflatable sup, chances are you like the benefit of easy transportation. Your ideal board will not only fit your body but also your skill level, adventure goals and lifestyle. Lightasairboats.com is proud to offer a variety of boards at discounted prices to suit and exceed your paddling expectations.