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Swimming & Water Sports

Best Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP)

Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) can be a fun and exciting way to spend time on the water. The first step to finding the best paddleboard for you is to determine what type of paddleboarding you are most interested in.

Beginning paddleboarders should consider an all around stand up paddle board or a hybrid stand up paddleboard. Both types of boards are versatile enough to paddle flat water and light surf. If you’re looking to go on longer expeditions, you will want to look for longer boards with a greater volume capacity and excellent tracking. These boards are most often great racing paddle boards in addition to their touring capabilities. The surfing paddleboards have their Hawaiian surfing roots at heart, and are shorter and very agile.

Whether you are going to take on large waves or flat water, you will want a stand up paddle board that is stable, maneuverable, tracks well and is built from durable materials. We've provided a helpful buyer’s guide below loaded with useful information to help you in your search for the perfect SUP.

SUPCO Classic Bamboo All Around Stand Up Paddle Board

SUPCO Classic Bamboo All Around Stand Up Paddle Board

The Classic 11’2” Stand Up Paddle Board by SUPCO is the best all around paddle board because of its suburb stability. It tracks extremely well for an all around and is versatile enough to easily paddle calm waters, light surf and on long trips. The Classic is wide at the nose and slightly tapered at the tail, making it a versatile all around paddle board that can surf small waves and paddle flat water.

The triple fins make the Classic track well and easy to maneuver even in choppy water. The Classic has a light weight foam core and three layers of fiberglass skin with reinforced rails, making it a board that will last a long time. The Classic is an all around paddle board that can be enjoyed by all ages in most any conditions.

Naish Surfing NALU 11.6 All Around Stand Up Paddle Board

The NALU 11.6 GT by Naish Surfing is an excellent all around stand up paddle board for paddlers who want to be able to do it all. This versatile SUP can easily handle flat water paddling and riding small surf. Thanks to a rocker line on the NALU so it performs exceptionally in light surf while giving beginning paddlers the stability to build confidence.

This board has a built-in handle with an ergonomic grip which makes it easy to carry this wide board with one hand. The NALU is very sturdy, built with wooden reinforcements in the core where the paddler stands yet still weighs just over 28 pounds. This added attention to detail coupled with the versatility makes the NALU 11.6 a must have all round stand up paddle board.

Starboard 12'6" Cruiser All Round Stand Up Paddle Board

Starboard 12'6" Cruiser All Round Stand Up Paddle Board

The Starboard 12'6" Cruiser All Round Stand Up Paddle Board is a lightweight and stable paddle board. Designed with fitness training in mind, the Cruiser is versatile and easy to maneuver as well as extremely comfortable on account of the full length EVA foam pad. Wide on the nose and tapered just enough at the tail, this board surfs small waves well for an all around board.

The triple fins give the Cruiser excellent tracking in most conditions. The Cruiser comes with either a carbon, wood or fiberglass skin ranging from 23-31 pounds depending on the material. It’s a perfect board for flat water paddling to build strength before moving up to a surfing our touring SUP.

2015 YOLO Original All Around Stand Up Paddle Board

2015 YOLO Original All Around Stand Up Paddle Board

The YOLO Original Dolphin Stand Up Paddle Board is a classic all round paddleboard. With rounded tip and tail, this 12 foot paddle board offers the stability a first time paddler will appreciate. However, don’t count out the YOLO Original if you are an intermediate or advanced paddler, this paddleboard tracks extremely well in light surf and choppy water conditions.

The Original Sunrise even has excursion capabilities with a few upgrades like a bungee system and convenient stowage for fishing gear. Whether you are interested in weekend tripping, light surfing or flat water paddling, the YOLO Original Sunrise is an exceptional choice.

Focus SUP 10'0" Classic All Around Stand Up Paddle Board

Focus SUP 10'0" Classic All Around Stand Up Paddle Board

The Focus SUP 10'0" Classic All Around Stand Up Paddle Boardb is the ultimate flat water paddle board for beginners. The 4 1/8 inch thick board is extra buoyant, giving the paddler a greater sense of control. The added buoyancy makes the Poseidon able to carry all the gear you need for a weekend long flat water excursion. Plus, the traction pad is comfortable enough for longer excursions across a lake or down river.

Narrower than the average All Around Stand Up Paddle Board, the Classic All Around SUP has cuts across the surface with little resistance without sacrificing stability. The carbon skin version of the Classic weighs only 20 pounds while the EPS/Wood Veneer Classic weighs 24 pounds.

Liquid Logic Versa Board Stand Up Paddle Board

Liquid Logic Versa Board Stand Up Paddle Board

The Versa Board by Liquid Logic is the ultimate hybrid stand up paddle board. The Versa can be paddled while standing or sitting and maneuverable enough to surf, but tracks well enough to go on longer paddling trips with little effort thanks to the skeg system. This board is extremely stable because of the dual tunnel design and it comes in two solo sizes: 10’ and 12’3”.

The Versa can be rigged for fishing with rod holders and even a comfortable seat with a backrest for a relaxing paddle. With a weight capacity of 300 pounds, the Versa can carry all the gear you would need for a weekend excursion. This is the perfect SUP if you want to do a little bit of everything.

East Coast Paddle Boards Hybrid

East Coast Paddle Boards Hybrid

The Hybrid by East Coast Paddle Boards delivers the best of both the recreational and the surfing stand up paddle board models. This board is highly responsive to even the slightest effort, making it excellent for flat water touring while the triple fin set up gives it excellent tracking and maneuverability, even handling choppy waters and small waves extremely well. Both of the 10’6’ and the 11” standard lengths are lightweight, weighing only 22 and 23 pounds respectively. The slightly rounded nose and high volume capacity make this buoyant hybrid very stable.

Naish Odysseus Paddleboard

The Odysseus by Naish Surfing is the perfect hybrid stand up paddle board for surfing, touring, and fitness training. The squared tail and full rails on the Odysseus makes it perform exceptionally well in light surf while giving beginning paddlers the stability they need to build confidence. The Odysseus is almost 5 inches thick with a width of 34 inches, making it super stable.

The comfortable EVA deck pad and recessed deck, makes long expeditions a pleasure. Lightweight and easy to carry with the built in handle with an ergonomic grip, this board is ready to pick up and go on almost any adventure. The added attention to detail coupled with the versatility makes the Odysseus a must have hybrid stand up paddle board.

YOLO 2015 Coastal Cruiser 12' SUP

YOLO 2015 Coastal Cruiser 12' SUP

The YOLO 2015 Coastal Cruiser 12' SUP is a classic hybrid paddleboard. With rounded tip and tail, this 12 foot paddle board offers the stability any first time paddler will appreciate. This board is extra buoyant, with a capacity of almost 237 liters, making it extremely stable and capable of carrying a lot of gear. The excursion capabilities don’t stop there.

With a few upgrades like a bungee system and convenient stowage for fishing gear, you can be ready to cast a line at your favorite fishing hole in no time. Whether you’re interested in weekend tripping, light surfing or flat water paddling, the YOLO 2015 Coastal Cruiser SUP is a great hybrid paddle board that can help you do it all.

Surftech Lynch Hybrid SUP

The Lynch Hybrid stand up paddle board by Surftech is a paddle board for intermediate to advanced paddlers. The Lynch is wide for a 6’8” board; at almost 20 inches wide, this hybrid is extremely agile, yet stable. The rounded tail adds to the stability, while the triple fin system allows this board to track well in choppy conditions. The lightweight construction of fiberglass over an EPS foam core is strong, but still has the right amount of flex for surfing. This hybrid is durable, high performing stand up paddle board in most conditions.

Naish Surfing 2015 Glide 14.0 GS Racing and Touring SUP

Naish Surfing 2015 Glide 14.0 GS Racing and Touring SUP

The 2015 Glide 14.0 GS Touring and Racing Stand Up Paddle Board is built for speed. The sleek rocker on the latest version of the glide is designed to for increased speed and the tapered tail allows the Glide14.0 to cut across open ocean like it was flat water. The 9 ½ inch fin allows the Glide to track well even in choppy conditions with minimal effort.

With the thick diamond groove EVA deck pad on the recessed standing area, the Glide is comfortable and stable for long excursions. The Glide is built to last through years of salt and sun while featuring an extremely buoyant foam core supporting a 280 liter capacity. The skin of the board is a highly durable fiberglass layup with a carbon bottom for extra rigidness. The Glide comes in two widths, 29 and 30 inches, weighing 35 and 37 pounds respectively.

BIC SUP 12'6" ACE-TEC Wing Racing and Touring SUP

BIC SUP 12'6" ACE-TEC Wing Racing and Touring SUP

The 12'6" ACE-TEC Wing Racing and Touring SUP BY BIC Sports is versatile touring stand up paddle board. The 9 inch single fin, pointed bow and tapered tail help the Wing glide across the surface of the water; this excellent tracking makes paddling easy for day trips and longer expeditions. With 285 liters of buoyancy, the Wing has plenty of capacity to haul your gear and keep it dry.

This SUP is 30 inches wide, making it extremely stable. BIC Sports is a mass production water sports company, which enables the Wing to be moderately priced but don’t let the cost fool you. The Wing comes standard with a number of sweet extras, from the extremely comfortable deck pad built for touring to the ergonomic carrying handle.

14'0" Cali Racing and Touring SUP by Focus SUP

14'0" Cali Racing and Touring SUP by Focus SUP

Based in Hawaii, the birthplace of stand up paddle boards, the Focus SUP Boards delivers one of the best SUPs for racing with the 14.0 Cali. The narrow 27 inch wide design allows the Cali to cut through chop with ease while maintaining outstanding tracking. The sleek structure makes the Cali fast, but the high buoyancy on the 5 inch thick board offer you plenty of stability as well. The standing area is recessed to lower the center of gravity and extra stability, making the Cali a perfect stand up paddle board for a beginning to intermediate paddler. The Cali 14’0” is made from either fiberglass or carbon, weighing 29 and 24 pounds respectively.

2015 14’All Star Racing Stand Up Paddle Board

2015 14’All Star Racing Stand Up Paddle Board

The 2015 14’All Star Stand Up Paddle Board by Star Board SUP is a versatile racing paddle board that’s great for intermediate to advanced paddlers who want a board that performs well in open ocean and on calm, flat water. The standing area provides added stability with the raised box design while the slight rounded nose and increased bow volume allow the All Star to punch through choppy water without losing speed.

The quick response of the All Star makes it a breeze to accelerate with minimal effort and relatively easy to maneuver. This SUP is 28 inches wide, making it stable without sacrificing too much maneuverability in rough conditions and it also tracks extremely well thanks to its single center Race Ultra Hexcel fin and rigid carbon bottom deck. The All Star comes in both carbon and fiberglass; the former weighing just under 28 pounds and the latter coming in at 31 ½ pounds.

Fanatic 11' Ray Racing and Touring SUP

Fanatic 11' Ray Racing and Touring SUP

The Fanatic 11' Ray Racing and Touring SUP is a classic design offering outstanding performance in flat water. This SUP is versatile enough for surfing small waves to open water racing. The Fanatic owes its incredible range and quick response to rounded tail and sharp bow design. This shorter board is highly stable with a width of 30 inches and is easy to maneuver because of the wider nose and squared off tail. The Fanatic comes with a mastfoot insert for windsurfing while the RTM single fin allows the Ray to track well in most conditions.

Naish 2015 Hokua 9.0 GT Stand Up Paddleboard

Naish 2015 Hokua 9.0 GT Stand Up Paddleboard

The 2015 Hokua 9.0 GT Surfing Stand Up Paddle Board by Naish is a versatile paddle board that performs in ocean surf and on flat water. The Hokua has a concave nose and V-shaped tail, allowing for quicker acceleration and sharp maneuvers; depending on your skill level, the Hokua can be easily maneuvered in large surf.

The EVA foam deck pad is comfortable enough for day-long excursions and the Hokua has incredibly buoyancy for a short board because of the lightweight EPS core. Wooden reinforcements added under the deck pad give this board extra flex so it pops off of waves. At 28 and three quarters of an inch wide, the Hokua 9.0 GT is a stable, yet responsive surfing SUP and since it only weighs only 18.7 pounds, you get a SUP which is incredibly lightweight for its size.

Riveria Paddlesurf 9' 2" Turbo Carbon Nugg Stand Up Paddleboard

Riveria Paddlesurf 9' 2" Turbo Carbon Nugg Stand Up Paddleboard

The 9’2” Turbo Carbon Nugg Surf SUP by Riviera SUP made for the experienced surfer who wants a high performing surfing stand up paddle board. This surfing SUP is designed to look like a standard short board with a slightly rounded nose and flattened tail. This shape, coupled with the concave bottom, makes the Turbo Carbon Nugg SUP extremely maneuverable in any surfing conditions.

Riviera only uses the highest quality materials on their boards with the Turbo Carbon Nugg made from carbon fiber with an EPS foam core, making it extremely durable, with just the right amount of flex, This surfing stand up paddle board is definitely one built to withstand years of abuse. This SUP features a Quad plus 1 fin system, making it easy to maneuver in most surf conditions.

Starboard SUP Element Surfing Stand Up Paddle Board

Starboard SUP Element Surfing Stand Up Paddle Board

The Element Surfing Stand Up Paddle Board by Starboard SUP is a fast and hard hitting surfing SUP. This board is agile and owes its quick response to its triple fin design and lightweight carbon wrap while the concave design, rounded nose and tapered tail make it highly maneuverable. This SUP is wider at 30 inches, offering you greater stability while it also tracks well and can handle bigger surf because of the lowered density. The Element comes in four different weights, with the AST version having the added wind surfing option. The brushed carbon version of the Element weighs less than 19 pounds.

Starboard PRO 9'0" x 29" Stand Up Paddleboard

Starboard PRO 9'0" x 29" Stand Up Paddleboard

The 9.0 PRO Surfing Stand Up Paddle Board by Starboard SUP is one of the most responsive surfing SUPs that Starboard offers. The square tail and well defined rocker gives the PRO excellent tracing for a surfing SUP, making it versatile enough to paddle flat water with ease. The PRO is built to take the beating of some serious surf, made with an incredibly strong carbon outer wrap of carbon. This board SUP might have flat water maneuverability, but this is truly a surfing SUP. The brushed carbon version of the 9.0 PRO SUP weighs just over 14 1/2 pounds. Highly maneuverable, yet moderately stable, this is a board for an intermediate to experienced paddler.

Focus SUP Torpedo Surfing Stand Up Paddle Board

Focus SUP Torpedo Surfing Stand Up Paddle Board

The 9'6" Torpedo Surfing SUP by Focus is a surfing stand up paddle board which dominates small to medium surf. Made in Hawaii, the birthplace of the standup paddle board, the Torpedo is a fast and agile surfing paddle board. The 9’ 6” version of the Torpedo performs extremely well in the pocket because of its 4 plus 1 fin system.

This board is reasonably priced despite it having a high density, high quality EPS foam core with a lightweight fiberglass skin. The deck is reinforced with a thin piece of lightweight Australian pine giving the Torpedo just the right amount of flex. The carbon fiber version of this Torpedo weighs 20 pounds while the fiberglass version weighs 26 pounds.

Buyer's Guide

Standup Paddleboard Buyer's Guide

When choosing a stand up paddle board, the first thing you will want to do is determine the type of paddling you will be doing the most. If you plan to be out on the water for exercise or recreation, then you will want to find a stable, maneuverable model like an all around paddle board or a hybrid.

If you’re planning on paddling long distances or at fast speeds, a racing or touring SUP may be a better fit because they’re built to track efficiently and cut through the water quickly. Weight capacity, length, width, fin design and construction are the main features that you will want to consider in addition to the type of stand up paddle board.

Types of Stand Up Paddle Boards

All Around Stand Up Paddle Boards
All Around Stand Up Paddle Boards are the most common of all stand up paddle boards and are ideal for beginners. All around SUPs are wider than touring and surfing paddle boards, making them more stable. 

The increased width of the all around SUP is a standard feature of the planing hull, a flat-bottom design with a rounded bow allowing the board to ride on top of the water. These boards are versatile and can be paddled in flat water and even small surf.

Surf Stand Up Paddle Boards
Surfing stand up paddle boards have many of the same features as a regular surf board. These SUPs are typically much shorter than other paddle boards and have a pointed bow and tapered stern. The shorter the board, the easier it is to maneuver in surf. Fin configurations can vary but the most common is the 3-fin set up.

Race and Touring Paddle Boards
Stand up paddle boards made for racing and long-distance touring have a pointed bow and are designed to displace water instead of riding on top of it. This displacement allows the longer, narrow board to cut through the water thus increasing speed and tracking. These SUPs are less stable than their wider counterparts, but are far more efficient.

Hybrid Paddle Boards
Hybrid paddle boards combine some of the best features of the other board types. Each hybrid design is different, depending on the manufacturer. These boards are versatile which make them a great board for beginners who want to paddle in any conditions. Many hybrid SUPs incorporate the advanced fin systems of racing or touring boards to make the hybrids track well in surf and flat water.

Weight Capacity

Part of choosing the right SUP for you is making sure it’s built for the type of water you want to paddle and can support your weight. The volume of the board is usually measured in liters and tells you how well the board will float with added weight. In general, the greater the volume of a board, the more weight it can support. The thickness of a board has just as much impact on the volume as the length and width.

Weight capacity is measured in pounds or kilograms and gives you a weight range possible for a SUP. Riding a board with the appropriate weight capacity is crucial to safety and comfort while on the water. Boards which don’t have enough capacity for the rider are hard to paddle and ride lower in the water.

When looking at the weight capacity for a board, be sure to take into consideration any gear you may want to take with you on the water such as coolers, fishing rods/tackle, camping gear, etc.

Length

The length of the standup paddle board you choose should depend on where you will paddle the most. Boards made for paddling in the surf are shorter so they’re easier to maneuver. These boards are typically less than 9 feet in length while mid-range boards between 9-12 feet are common for all around paddle boards suited for calm conditions. Longer SUPs measuring 12+ feet made for touring or racing track extremely well.

Width and Stability

Sometimes referred to as tippiness, the stability of a stand up paddle board is largely determined by the width of the board. Wider boards are more stable, but tend to sacrifice speed and tracking; however, they're great for beginners because you can balance on them easily and ideal for paddlers who plan to carry extra gear for fishing or overnight excursions. The wider SUPs range from 31-36 inches while narrower boards measruing less than 30 inches wide are faster and track well, but may be more difficult to stand on.

Fin Design

Once you determine the type and size of stand up paddle board you are looking for, fin set up are the next things to take into consideration. The fins on an SUP make the board track and maneuver easier. There are a number of fin configurations, the three most common are the single fin, 3-fin, and racing fins.

The single fin set-up usually has a mechanism for the fin to be raised or lowered as desired. The 3-fin set up is common on surfing SUPs and also allows for better tracking in flat water. Racing fins are more rigid and help the SUP track well in rough weather, large swells, or surf.

Construction

The core of an SUP is what gives it its buoyancy. Paddle boards are typically made using a core made from a lightweight material and then covered with a fiberglass, carbon fiber, plastic or wood skin. The three main types of cores are EPS foam, hollow core and Polyurethane foam.

The most common core for a SUP is EPS foam. EPS foam boards vary greatly in weight, depending on the manufacturer’s technique and the material used for the skin. Hollow cores are most often found in racing and touring SUPs because they’re lightweight and faster; these designs are more often the more expensive SUPs on the market. Polyurethane foam cores are heavier than EPS cores, making them the least expensive and most common type of core for use by beginners.

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