If you’ve never actually enjoyed the hobby, the sport, the passion of stand-up paddle boarding, then to you, maybe a SUP is just a SUP.
But to those of us that are really into it, there are all different sorts of nuanced differences between different types of SUPs and the different disciplines they encourage.
For instance, you wouldn’t necessarily want to race on the same stand-up paddle board you use to do SUP yoga – the keyword being necessarily.
On that note, we’re going to break down two of the most popular types of SUPs in this article – all-around and touring paddle boards.
The All-Around Stand Up Paddle Board
You can tell an all-around paddle board right away simply from the shape of its nose. All-around paddleboards have round noses which give them a little bit of extra stability in the water.
The rounded nose of the all-around paddle board is also slightly raised out of the water. Because of this profile and orientation, all-around paddle boards have very good primary stability, which makes them easy to maneuver and balance.
In addition, this shape and orientation also make these paddle boards a little bit more efficient at handling a little of a light chop. The rounded, raised nose makes it easier to handle these types of paddle boards if the water’s not quite glass smooth, although they’re also ideal for flat water.
This profile, however, makes them a little bit heavier. In addition, the fluid dynamics at the front of the board are not engineered for speed and efficiency. As a result, all-around paddle boards are typically best for beginners, or those interested in cruising, exploring, yoga, fishing or even SUP surfing.
What Are They Best for?
All-around paddle boards, due to their stability, are a great choice for beginners that are just looking to get their feet wet, although they’re suitable for stand up paddle boarders of all skill levels.
In addition, and also due to their stability, all-around paddle boards are great for those interested in pursuits that require extra comfort, such as fishing, yoga, or just exploring. Also, since all-around SUPs tend to have a little extra room and are easier to handle, they’re better for bringing along pets as well.
A Touring Paddle Board
Like an all-around paddle board, you can also tell a touring paddle board a mile off from the shape of the nose. However, whereas all-around SUPs have a rounded, raised nose, touring paddle boards have a pointed nose, sort of like a kayak or canoe. This helps them cut through the water.
The pointed nose of the touring paddle board affords less water resistance when the SUP is underway, making it more efficient to attain – and less taxing to maintain – higher speeds in the water. The pointed nose also makes it easier for the SUP to track straight in the water, with less “sliding” from side to side.
Sometimes, these types of paddle boards also have narrower boards. This also makes them faster but it further impacts primary stability.
While they’re faster than all-around paddle boards, touring paddle boards offer less primary stability (meaning they’re harder to handle) and some also consider them tougher to turn and maneuver.
What Are They Best for?
Because of their pointed nose, their ability to easily track straight and attain higher speeds, touring paddle boards are ideal for those into paddle board racing.
They’re also good for paddle boarders who intend to cover greater distances or actually go somewhere with their paddleboards. If you’re taking a trip over the water or into long distance paddling, the touring route is probably the way to go.
However, since they can be a challenge to handle and maneuver, they’re also a good choice for SUPers looking to challenge themselves or take their skills to the next level.
Where Can You Find Both All-Around and Touring Paddle Boards?
Whether you’re interested in a high-quality all-around paddle board, a touring paddle board, or both, you can find everything you need to get started online at CruiserSUP.com.
They carry a wide selection of SUPs as well as accessories and accessories and gear. Visit their website via the link above to get started!