Finding the Best Stand Up Paddle Board

Finding the Best Stand Up Paddle Board

Finding the Best Stand Up Paddle Board

If you are new to the world of stand up paddle boarding, you might think that all stand up boards are designed with a one size fits all approach. However, when you consider all of the different types of paddle boarding activities that exist in the world, it only makes sense that there are a vast array of stand up boards that are suited to different uses.

There are many factors at play when paddleboarding, like your experience level, water conditions, duration and type of activity, and the logistics of transporting your stand up board, so it is important to do some research to find the best stand up paddle board to meet your needs.

What Should I Think About When Choosing a Paddle Board?

When choosing the best stand up paddle board, you’ll want to consider how different design choices will impact your experience when using the board. Three things you’ll want to keep in mind as you research different boards are how the board is constructed, the size of the board, and the activities you want to use it for.  


One major difference you might notice when looking for a stand up board is the type of material the board is constructed with. The best stand up paddle boards will be divided into two types: hard and inflatable. 

A hard stand up board, also referred to as an epoxy board, is a hardboard with an EPS foam core. These are extremely durable, high-performing boards that can support more advanced manuevering while providing increased speed and glide. The size of the board requires more planning to transport and store, but serious paddle boarders will love the unmatched performance. 

An inflatable stand up board, or iSUP, is inflatable but just as durable as a hard stand up board. These are great all around boards that offer stability and one extremely special benefit: they are easy to transport. An inflatable stand up board is a great option for first-timers as well as adventurers who want to be able to transport their board wherever their journeys lead them. They can be inflated with the help of a SUP pump, either electric or manual, and then easily deflated, rolled, and stored in your travel backpack. 


Once you’ve determined wether you want an inflatable or hard stand up board, you need to decide what size you are going to get. Choosing the best stand up paddle board by size is crucial to ensuring your board is going to provide you the stability you need to enjoy whatever paddle boarding activity you plan on enjoying.

As you think about the size of your board, consider the following dimensions for your stand up board:

  • Length
  • Width 
  • Thickness
  • Volume

The length and width are the basic dimensions of your board. The width will impact both stability and speed, with a wider board providing more stability and a narrower board allowing you to move faster.

It is also important to note the thickness of your board as it will impact your functionality. Generally speaking, you can expect a hard stand up board to be 4 inches thick and an inflatable stand up board to be 6 inches thick. All of these measurements work together to determine the volume of your board. The higher the volume, the more weight capacity your board can support.

In addition to the measurements of your stand up board, you’ll also need to consider the shape of your board. There are two basic hull shapes you are likely to encounter:

  • Planning hull
  • Displacement hull

Stand up boards with planning hulls are flat and wide with a rounder nose, while those with displacement hulls are thinner with pointed nose. The best shape for you will be dependent on the type of activity you expect to be using your paddle board for. Choosing the right board for the right activity will help you ensure that your stand up board will do everything you want it to when you are out on the water.


Where you’ll be using your stand up board and what activities you’ll be using it for will also influence which type of stand up board is best for you. In your search for the best stand up paddle board, you might come across the following types:

  • All-around
  • Surfing 
  • Touring
  • Racing 

All-around stand up boards are great for beginners. These types of boards tend to be wider with round noses, which provides increased stability and surface area for first-time paddleboarders. These types of boards are also great for those who want to use their board for different activities, like paddle cruising or yoga.

Surfing stand up boards are generally shorter in length and designed to maximize maneuverability. Rather than gliding on top of the water, these types of boards can carve into the water, allowing you to make sharp turns as you navigate ocean waves.

Touring stand up boards are similar to all-around boards, however they are built specifically for longer distances on flat water. These boards tend to be extra long, with room for additional items.

Racing stand up boards are specifically designed to be fast. These boards are light, long, and narrow, which makes them suitable for both elite and recreational racers who want to have an extra edge working in their favor.

Is a Paddleboard Worth the Investment?

If you’re planning to make paddleboarding a regular activity in your life, it is worth investing in the best stand up paddle board possible. While it may feel like a larger upfront cost than you were expecting, a strong, durable, dependable board will pay off in no time and last through anything.

Remember, when looking for a stand up board, the best stand up paddle board will be the one that fits your specific needs and is made to last. Every single one of our Hydrus SUPs are designed with you in mind. When you invest in a Hydrus board, you invest in expert craftsmanship backed by a lifetime warranty so you can count on your board holding up for years to come.

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