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Finding the right paddleboard for you - alderford

Finding the right paddleboard for you


Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) offers something for everyone. You can head out for a relaxing paddle on a calm lake or catch some waves on the ocean. You can give your body a great workout combining balance, strength, and endurance all while in a beautiful environment. If you are new to paddleboarding and need some help choosing the right paddle board, this blog can just help you out.

When buying a paddleboard there are various things that need to be considered; where you are going to launch your board, you experience and the setup of the paddleboard itself.

Where will you be launching your paddleboard?

Flat Water

Where: Lakes, Ponds and Marshes (Flat Water)

SUP Style: All Around SUP Models

Paddler Experience: Beginner/ Intermediate

Flat water provides an excellent and easy starting point for anyone that is learning how to paddle. All Around SUP Models are perfect for the flat environments due to their stability designed characteristics. As the name implies, the All Around Model are great for most conditions. They are also typically larger in width with a larger deck pad which results in a paddleboard that is easier to use.


Where: Bays, Large Lakes and Oceans

SUP Style: Intermediate/ Expert Touring Specific Models

Paddler Experience: Intermediate/ Expert

If you are looking for an excellent opportunity to explore and cover long distances, bays, lakes, and oceans can provide exactly that. Touring model paddleboards feature a slight displacement hull, allowing them to glide on the water and carry more speed over the longer distances, more efficiently than the traditional style paddleboard.

SUP Surfing

Where: Waves

SUP Style: Surfing SUP Models

Paddler Experience: Intermediate/ Expert

Looking to ride the waves in the surfs? Surf SUPs are great for wave riding and due to their planning hull they are highly manoeuvrable. A planing hull is wide and tapers towards the edges of the board, similar to the bottom of a boat but just less drastic and allows for banking and sharper turns.

All Locations

Where: ANY!

SUP style: Inflatable paddleboard models

Paddler Experience: Beginner/Intermediate

If you are unsure of where to go or pinpoint a location to launch, then an inflatable paddleboard is a great choice. An inflatable paddleboard is an affordable package that when deflated can be packed down to the size of a sleeping bag and then inflated in minutes. If you are looking for value, durability and portability this is your go to.

How experienced are you?

As a beginner of paddle boarding your main goal is to have fun and explore the water with the ideal waters of flat lakes and ponds. Beginners usually prefer a wide and more stable board with the most popular options being the inflatable and All-Round SUP models.

An experienced paddler has spent a large amount of time practising their paddling skills and have identified their favourite locations. Experienced paddlers also use their boards to practise their hobbies including fishing and yoga with some people doing extreme challenges.

Accessories and Setups

Here are a few common setups you should be familiar with.

Single fin

Most paddleboards usually have one large fin directly in the back centre of the board located near the tail. The fin helps to track the board on flat water or face of the wave while surfing.

2 Plus 1

This is a very common type located in the centre and two smaller fins to the left and right. The side bites help the board track through turns while surfing and help the tail hold the wave.

Quad fins

Four fins in total, with a large and small fin mounted along the rail on both sides of the tail. These fins help the board drive in slow spots due to the lack of drag. They also help the board grip and track on the hollow waves.

Don’t forget you’ll need a good paddle to go along with your SUP. Most paddles are made up of aluminium, fiberglass or carbon fibre and come equipped with a nylon blade. Beginner paddles are normally made from aluminium or carbon fibre.

If you feel like this has helped you find the right paddleboard for you, it’s time to get out on the water and explore!

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