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How to choose an inflatable or rigid stand-up paddle (SUP) board

Find out how to choose your inflatable or rigid stand-up paddleboard, according to your level of proficiency and how you want to use it.

How to choose inflatable or rigid stand-up paddle board

When it comes to stand-up paddle boards (SUP), you have a wide range to choose from. It’s not always easy to find your way around when you are buying one for the first time. And inflatable or a rigid stand-up paddle board? Occasional or regular trips? Beginner or experienced? We invite you to ask the right questions to make the right choice.

How to choose your stand-up paddle board

Stand-up paddle board for occasional touring or beginners

You tour for 1 or 2 hours a day on your SUP or you are new to stand-up paddling. Most of all, you need stability. You need a wide and thick board that will allow you totake a child with you on the front of the stand-up paddle board.  Inflatable stand-up paddle boards are much easier to transport, because they fit in a large rucksack, with the paddle and a pump. They are also safer in the event of a shock or if you fall onto the board. Important: remember to attach your leash to your ankle, even on calm waters, so that you are permanently in contact with your board.

stand up paddle beginner
inflatable touring stand up paddle

Stand-up paddle board for regular touring

You paddle for more than 2 hours a day and you cover long distances.  

You need a good glide quality, stability and sufficient loading capacity to take your kit, drinks and some food with you.

You need a long, streamlined and light stand-up paddle board, equipped with straps to attach waterproof bags, and handles for greater ease of transport. 

Inflatable stand-up paddle boards are much easier to transport, because they fit in a large rucksack, with the paddle and a pump. They are also harder-wearing than rigid boards in the event of a shock against a rock.

Important: remember to attach your leash to your ankle, even on calm waters, so that you are permanently in contact with your board.

Racing stand-up paddle board

You take part in races or paddle to stay fit by paddling as fast as possible and you take part in competitions. You need an excellent glide quality. You need a long, streamlined, narrow, light and very rigid stand-up paddle board.  Inflatable stand-up paddle boardsare much easier to transport because they fit in a large rucksack, with the paddle and a pump, while standard 14’ rigid racing boards are more than 4m long.  Important: remember to attach your leash to your ankle, even on calm waters, so that you are permanently in contact with your board.

racing stand-up paddle board
Surfing stand-up paddle board

Surfing stand-up paddle board

You can use your touring board to catch your first waves on a stand-up paddle board. It will enable you to discover the thrills of gliding, while staying straight on the waves. If you want to go SUP surfing regularly, and you ride waves measuring up to 1 metre, then you need manoeuvrability. You need a stand-up paddle board that is shorter and thinner, with a bigger rocker, so that you don’t dig in when gliding down a wave. Inflatable surfing SUP boards are easier to transport, and offer a real advantage in terms of safety, because you will not be injured when the board hits you, which is the most frequent accident in SUP surfing. Important: remember to attach your leash to your ankle. This is compulsory when surfing to avoid losing your board every time you take a fall.

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