Paddle Board Buying Guide
If you want to have fun on water and try something new, consider buying a paddle board that will allow you to explore different ways of surfing. If you are not a professional surfer, chances are you are not familiar with the types of paddle boards available on the market. If that is the case, you should read some online inflatable stand up paddle board reviews and invest in an easy to use, low maintenance inflatable board. However, if you want to be serious about this sport, and you want to compare all your options and make a long term investment, you will find our paddle board buying guide to be very helpful.
How to choose the right shape for your skills
There are three main categories of paddle boards namely surf, allround, and flatwater or race boards that differ in shape and can be used on various types of waters. To make sure you will enjoy safety and comfort in use, you must choose the right shape that matches your needs and paddling skills.
- The surf paddle board is shorter and narrower at both ends which makes them great for surfing because they are easier to maneuver on waves. These boards are slower than the others and can often become unstable.
- The allround paddle board is thicker, wider, and longer than the rest of the models and is the most versatile as well, being perfect for any type of water activity. It’s very stable, it glides smoothly over the water, it can be used for surfing and speed paddling and it is great for stand up paddling since they are very safe to use, even for beginners.
- The flatwater or race paddle board is longer with a pointy nose that slices through the water to offer you speed. If you need the paddle board for racing, opt for the narrowest shape which will provide you with great speed but not so much stability.
Paddle boards come in different material choices
Paddle boards can be classified into two categories, namely solid and inflatable and each category has its advantages and disadvantages and it’s best to know them before choosing a certain model.
- The solid paddle boards can be made either of foam, kevlar, which is a synthetic fiber similar to rubber, plastic, fiberglass, or wood. They are heavier, more stable, and more appropriate for windy conditions and rough water.
- The inflatable paddle boards are made of PVC plastic layers with woven fibers and are more lightweight since they are made mostly of air. They are easier to carry and store and perfect for calm waters. However, they too have several specifications which can make a difference between a quality board and a cheap one so don’t hesitate to read some inflatable stand up paddle board reviews to see which inflatable boards are more recommended by customers.
Learn how to choose the right board size
As expected, the paddle board you will be using should match your body weight so you will be safe while paddling on the water. Depending on their type, paddle boards range in size, from 9′ to over 12’7”, and they should be chosen according to the user’s body weight, as follows:
- Surf boards smaller than 9′ are great for paddlers that weigh less than 68 kg, the ones that are 10’6” long can be used by people weighing less than 113 kg while the boards that exceed 11′ are great for weights over 120 kg.
- The allround paddle boards that measure less than 9′ long work for maximum weights of 56 kg, the ones measuring as long as 10’6” can hold up to 80 kg, the ones that reach 11’6” can handle up to 113 kg and the boards as long as 12’6” are good for people weighing over 120 kg.
- The flatwater and race paddle boards measuring between 9’1” and 10’6” can be used by people who weigh less than 56 kg, the boards smaller than 11’6” are suitable for weighs less than 80 kg, while the boards that exceed 11’7” and reach over 12’7” can hold people who weigh as much as 113 kg.