There are a few different things you should consider before selecting and buying an inflatable stand up paddle board. There are basically three different types of paddle boards; surf, all-around, and touring. Surf oriented boards are shorter and narrower than other boards. You’ll find that these boards have a more narrow nose and tail. This is a great option if you know you’ll spend a lot of time in the surf zone, but it will be a less stable board.
Thicker, wider, and longer boards are found with the all-around boards. These are the most versatile boards, hence their name. All-around boards are excellent for the surf and flatwater paddling. Touring boards are longer with a pointier nose. They’re designed specifically for the flat water. Touring boards are great for a day on the lake or river. Race boards are a type of touring board and they are the most difficult boards to stand on.
Make sure you have a quality board, you don’t want a cheap inflatable. Pump up SUP has a variety of high-quality options to choose from. If you choose a thicker board, it is going to flex less under your feet and give you more support on the water. The seams on the board should be flawless and you should see professionally glued seams.
Depending on the way you prefer to enjoy your board, you may want to choose a multi-use board. Do you plan on using your paddle board on flat water Pump Up SUP or whitewater? Consider how important it is for your board to have a handle to make it easier to carry. Do you need your board to be wide and a substantial enough platform to do yoga or sunbathe? Perhaps the kids will be playing together on it and you need a larger board. If you plan on going fishing on your SUP, you’ll want a board with more bungees and d-rings, making it easier to carry more items and equipment with you.
Would you prefer to have a normal surfboard that’s heavier to carry but gives you incredible momentum? A heavier board is likely to perform better in less than ideal conditions like wind, choppy water, and current. A lighter board will give you greater speed and is a good option for paddlers. To get the best blend of maneuverability, speed, and stability, you may want to choose a SUP that is used for instructional purposes. The more narrow your board is or the closer it is to a 30” speed board, the more speed you get. The wider the board, the easier it will be for a beginner to take it on. A more blocky shaped board is going to give you greater stability.
Easier to store than a hardboard made from epoxy or fiberglass. If you’re going to get a SUP, get a quality made board with a warranty. If you’re not sure how much work it will be to manually pump up your SUP, you may want to get an automatic pump. Plus, an automatic pump will save you time so you can spend more of it on the water. Although, inflating your SUP should not take longer than 5-10 minutes.