In the boardshape jungle - which SUP board suits me?
As in almost all aspects of life, there is a wide range of options available, depending on the field of application. Standup paddle boarding is no different. So if you're looking for a new SUP, this guide will help you find the right board for your needs.
Table of Contents
1. Board construction
In general, a distinction can be made between hardboards and inflatable boards (inflatable SUP or iSUP). The advantages are quite obvious: a hardboard convinces with performance and precise shapes, while an iSUP is more compact to transport and less fragile. There are also approaches that manage to combine the advantages of both worlds - if you want to learn more about this, check out our ClustAir and VacuuAir technologies for example.
Sidefact: Around 90% of all boards sold on the market are inflatable SUPs.
2 The most common shapes
There are different shapes for different requirements. Here we briefly present the (currently) most common shapes.
The allround board is, as the name suggests, suitable for all areas of use. This shape is especially popular among SUP beginners. With this board beginners can easily get a taste of the different areas of stand up paddling and still have a lot of fun. So, with an allround board you can paddle in a relaxed way on the lake, do the one or other small tour or even venture into sea waves.
With its sharp rails, the TRIPSTIX iSUP Allround offers you a longboard feeling in the ocean, but enough volume and buoyancy for touring and lake fun.
A touring board is very similar to the allround board in terms of construction. It is also very wide, which provides a certain tilt stability. The touring board is as the name suggests designed for touring. Therefore, it also has one or two luggage nets installed as standard. Addiotionally, it has a very high load capacity. Compared to the allround board, the touring board is slightly longer and has a more pointed nose, which allows a better water displacement and thus an easier and, above all, faster progress. However, the maneuverability in the wave is severely limited due to the size of the board; only when it runs, it runs.
"Oh Mama, i wanna go surfing..." If your SUP heart beats for waves, then you are well advised with a wave SUP. The rather short boards are very agile and maneuverable. Due to the relatively strong rocker and the sharp rails, the wave board offers the necessary performance in the wave. These boards are designed for maximum fun in the ocean - without compromise. A prime example of a performance wave SUP is our BELUGA. With this in mind, surf's up!
2.4 Yoga and fitness
Yoga and nature - they get along. So it's no wonder that people want to combine the free-spirited SUP sport with Far Eastern body meditation. And it actually works very well. Assuming you have the right board for it. A yoga SUP has an extremely wide standing surface and is therefore extraordinarily stable against tipping. This means that a wide variety of yoga and fitness exercises can be performed in the middle of the lake. Nevertheless, a certain body balance should be brought along, since the degree of difficulty on the board is sometimes increased.
You want to go down a river with rapids? Then you should on the one hand already be a bit more experienced on the SUP and on the other hand have a board specifically for these demands. Whitewater SUPs are similar to wave SUPs: they are relatively short, have a strong rocker and are only slightly wider, especially at the tail. The design provides extremely good maneuverability so you can quickly paddle around obstacles in the river. A whitewater SUP is also a bit more robustly built than the other shapes. Even the best SUPer can sometimes run over a stone. iSUPs should therefore only be used with caution and on waters you know. Protectors and a quick-release leash are a must in whitewater!
Last but not least, the Raceboard. They are the runners and sprinters among SUPs and built to go fast. You can recognize a raceboard by its extreme length and the very pointed nose. The very narrow boards are fast, but not very stable. So you should definitely have enough experience before you buy a raceboard. Since the boards are very long compared to the other shapes, they are very fast, but not very agile.
So you see, there is a suitable shape for almost every application.
So, before you go out and buy a SUP, you should be clear about exactly what kind of board you want to have, or in which waters you mainly want to be on it.
Here is a table summarizing what distinguishes the individual boards:
This should give you a little insight into the world of different board shapes. At this point, it should be noted that this is not a universal statement. There are always trends and variations, so the specifications mentioned don't fit 100%. With this article you should get a feeling for what differences there are in general. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which board is right for you. We recommend you to test the potential boards before buying. If you feel like trying a TRIPSTIX board, just write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit one of our test stations.
In our next article we will go into more detail and look at accessories. These include paddles, fins and leashes. Because believe it or not, a paddle also has an extreme impact on performance.
Do you have any questions or suggestions about SUP shapes? Feel free to post it in the comments.