SUP Introduction and Buying Guide

SUP (Stand-up paddle boarding) has strong water adaptability and diverse gameplay. To better match, different waters and game plays, SUP's leading equipment (boards) are quite other in size, shape and structure. Friends who have just come into contact with SUP often do not know their size and structure differences. The resulting performance difference, and therefore no choice. To help beginners, this article briefly introduces the structure and classification of SUP. 

Let's start with the SUP part names and structural differences. Analyze first, then synthesize. From the subtle to the whole, it gradually deepens the understanding of SUP. Finally, I would like to give some selection suggestions for friends who buy boards for the first time.

The Structure Of SUP 


nose SUP


At the front end of the board, the shape of the board's nose is pointed, which is conducive to breaking through waves and maintaining the course. The rounded shape of the board's nose is conducive to flexible steering. In the design, according to the primary use of the board, it is designed into a pure circle, a pure point, or a circle with a point, and a point with a garden. The standard shapes are shown in the figure below.



tail SUP


The shape of the tail is more diverse. Its body has the same effect on steering performance as the nose, but it is much weaker. The key point is that its streamline degree, thickness, draft depth, etc. affect the size of the tail vortex, that is, the size of the water resistance. The dovetail and fishtail shapes are specially designed for surfing on very steep waves, which greatly increases the ride's stability.



Deck SUP


The board or deck, that is, the front of the board, the side where people stand, doesn't have many design points. On the contrary, the area and position of the foot pads on the board, the number of luggage fixing points, etc., vary according to the functional positioning of the board.


The bottom or web is the side of the draft, and its cross-sectional profile has a great impact on performance. The bottom of the board is flat, and the stability is good; the slightly shallow arc, the stability is slightly less, and the controllability is good; the bottom of the board is shallow V, the controllability and tracking are good, and the stability is lacking. 


The edge of the board is the edge part on both sides of the board, and its design points are nothing more than thickness. Typically travel boards have thicker halves to increase volume and stability; surfing boards have thinner edges to enhance steering flexibility.


Rocker refers to the degree of curvature of the bottom profile from nose to tail. High rocker, high wave adaptability and steering flexibility; low rocker, sound tracking and speed performance. Boards with different functional orientations vary widely in rocker. Moreover, the degree of the rocker is reflected in the difference between the draft and the water parts.



SUP Fins


The tail fin is essential for the stability and tracking of the paddle, but it also adds a lot of water resistance. Its size, area and shape determine how well it performs in the properties above. Tail fin design is a specialized subject, and it isn't easy to write a separate post in detail, so I will briefly discuss it here. Generally speaking, the larger the area of the tail fin, the better the stability and the greater the water resistance; the deeper the tail fin enters the water, the greater the stability and the greater the water resistance; the more forward the installation position, the higher the steering flexibility and the more Afterwards, the traceability is better. Therefore, paddles with specific function positioning are generally also equipped with tail fins with corresponding function positioning, and there is no need to consider tail fins too much when purchasing.

The part names and design points of the paddle are mainly reflected in the above points, and other more subtle parts such as carrying handles, exhaust valves, foot rope holes, etc. are unimportant and will be skipped here. Next, let's talk about the paddle board's functional classification and review based on the design points of the various parts mentioned above.


SUP guide



SUP Functional Classification

1.Racing board


Racing board


As the name suggests, racing boards are all about speed. Stability, steering flexibility, and carrying capacity are secondary to speed performance.

Specific features:

The overall dimensions are narrow and thin, the length is greater than 12'6'', especially 14'', and the width is less than 28'', especially 24-26''.

The nose of the board is sharp, the board's tail is flat, the board is low and flat or shallow V, the warpage is almost zero, or the front end is slightly raised.

2.Touring board


Touring board


Focus on speed, stability, and carrying capacity; steering flexibility is not a key consideration.

Specific features:

The length is mostly 12'6'', the width is mostly 30'', the thickness is it's characteristic, generally not less than 6'', mostly 7-8''.

The nose of the board is slightly pointed, the board's tail is flat, the board is low and flat or shallow V, the warpage is almost zero, or the front end is slightly raised. The foot pads are not large, often occupying only the front and rear of the middle handle.

3.Allround board



As the name implies, a general-purpose board can do anything, but it owes a little more than a board with unique functions. Take into account all the performance, speed, steering flexibility, and stability.

Specific features:

The length is between 10'-11'6'', the width is between 28''-30'', and the thickness is thin, generally 4''-5''.

The nose of the board is blunt and round, the board's tail is rounded, the board is low, the warp is in the middle, and the foot pad area is large, often covering the middle and rear of the entire board surface.

4.Surfing Board


Surfing Board


Compared with the surfing longboard without a paddle, the surfing paddle board is slightly larger and the shape is not much different. Steering is nimble, and wave adaptability is its primary design consideration.

5.Paddle Board Yoga


Paddle Board Yoga


As the name suggests, the water yoga board is a paddle board for doing yoga on the water, which is the perfect combination of water sports and yoga.

Specific features:

1.The length is short, between 7'-9'6'', the width is wide, between 30''-32'', and the thickness is thin, generally 3''-4.5''.

2.The tip of the board is round, the tail of the board is blunt, the board is low, the warp is the largest, and the foot pad area is large, often covering the middle and rear of the entire board surface.

SUP purchase advice

After introducing the knowledge about the structure and classification of SUP, and combining it with your own needs, it is not difficult to buy SUP.

Waters for which you exercise regularly 

The functions of paddle boards are divided into different categories. In the end, in terms of water environment, it is either suitable for still water environment or suitable for surfing environment. Universal board is a cross-border product. Here are a few examples based on the differences in the water environment and combined with individual sports goals.

If you live inland and rarely have the opportunity to transport your board to the sea (no way), is there any reason for you to choose a surf paddle board? If you have good balance ability or want to challenge your balance ability and intend to use a paddle board as a daily fitness item, a racing board is your first choice. To reduce the difficulty of entry, choosing a width of 26" is more appropriate.

The same living environment as before, balance ability is average, a paddle board is used for weekend sports, parent-child sports, and short-distance travel. Travel boards are your first.

There is no good reason to choose a general-purpose board in a still water environment, with only one exception. If you like yoga and paddle board parent-child activities, select a general-purpose board with broader width, preferably 32'', with a large surface cushion area.


SUP buying guide


The coastal environment with waves. Still water can be found in coastal environments, but if you don’t want to ignore the fun of surfing forever, the board type has to take care of the surfing function. You can go directly to a longer surfing paddle board if you like a challenge. If you are conservative, you might as well buy a general-purpose board first.

Coastal, microwave environment, surfing does not want to play, to use paddle board for fitness. Racing boards and gravel boards can also be considered in this case. After all, to adapt to the micro-wave environment, choose a board with better stability and a slightly wider board of the same type. In addition, it must have a wave-breaking design. The nose of the board is somewhat raised, which is conducive to climbing over the microwaves, or the nose of the board is sharp, and the waterline is like a vertical blade. The original intention of this design is to break waves rather than climb them. The bow deck is preferably a V-shaped bulge, and the waves hitting the bow are conducive to rapid drainage.

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