How to Choose a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)

Stand up paddle boarding, or SUP, is a great way to get out on the water and get a full-body workout at the same time.


Stand up paddle boarding, or SUP, is a great way to get out on the water and get a full-body workout at the same time. If you’re new to this nautical sport, you might be wondering how to choose the right board.

There are several factors to consider when choosing a stand-up paddle board:

What style is right for you?

The hull, or body, of the board comes in two styles.

  • Planing hulls are flat and wide, with a rounded nose. Planing hulls are easy to maneuver on the water because they offer increased stability. This style board is a great choice for SUP yoga, casual paddling, and whitewater activities.
  • Displacement hulls have a pointed nose that creates more efficiency in the water. They are slightly less agile on the water than planing hulls, but because of their speed, they may require less effort to paddle. This style is a good choice for racing and fitness paddling.

What is your storage capacity?

The question of solid vs. inflatable SUPs largely comes down to your storage space: do you have room to store a board in the off-season? If not, an inflatable board may be the way to go. They take just minutes to inflate and pack down into a backpack for easy transport.

What volume and weight capacity do you need?

Getting the right board for your size and weight is crucial because you need to be well-supported on the water to improve stability. Be sure to check the weight capacity for the boards you are considering and don’t forget to include the weight of any gear you’ll be bringing on your stand up paddle boarding adventures!

Pelican Boracay

Best Stand Up Paddle Boards for Beginners

Boardworks Sōlr 10'6 - All-Around SUP with Paddle & Leash

The Sōlr is a versatile, all-around paddle board designed with the family in mind and is wide and stable for smooth water paddling. The paddle is included with this set, so you’ll have everything you need to jump in the water and go!

BW Solr

Pelican Boracay NXT 10'4 - Inflatable Paddle Board

The Boracay NXT 10'4 inflatable paddle board is ideal for beginners who want to discover the sport. The Drop Stitch construction ensures great rigidity, durability, and stability. The Boracay NXT 10'4 is the perfect solution for easy transportation and limited storage space.

Pelican Boracay

Boardworks SHUBU Lūnr 10'4 - Inflatable Paddle Board

TheSHUBU Lūnr is designed to get you on the water fast and affordably. A lightweight, versatile board that loves to travel, the SHUBU Lūnr comes with our ultra-comfortable Honey Fomb heat embossed deck pad and neoprene carry handles for easy transport to and from the water.

BW Lunr

Boardworks SHUBU Kanaloa 10'4 - Inflatable Paddle Board

The SHUBU Kanaloa is our high-end board designed with high-quality DFL Construction. It benefits from performance, durability, stability, and rigidity without the added weight and ecological impact. This paddle board has 10 anchor points with bungee cords and deck tie-downs to hold gear. It’s the perfect board for paddling adventures!

BW Kanaloa

Boardworks Nomad - 11'6 Fishing Paddle Board

The Nomad is a stable and buoyant fishing paddle board equipped with loads of anchor points, rod holders, and tie-down options, allowing you to haul plenty of gear, coolers, and bait.

BW Nomad