Which Paddle Board Is Right For You?

Back to Pulse

So, you’ve tried paddle boarding, fallen in love with the sport, and now you want to buy a board of your own? Or maybe you’re already a paddle boarder, but now you’re looking to step up your game with a new board.

Making the right choice can be easier said than done, though. There’s a wide range of boards with varying features that make for different experiences. To help with this decision-making process, we’ve put together this guide to make things a little easier. And no matter which type you choose, they’ll be perfect for use with your FUSION StereoActive.

The first thing to consider when finding the right paddle board for you, is whether to get a rigid fiber glass board or an inflatable board.

The main differences between these is performance and practicality. Generally, rigid boards can have higher responsiveness while cutting through the water, while inflatables can be more comfortable when standing on them for long periods of time. Therefore, those who intend to use their board for racing and/or surfing may be more inclined to go for the rigid variety. But it's totally dependent on your personal preference and the use you intend it for! On ther other hand, inflatables are easier to transport, easier to store and are usually cheaper than their rigid counterparts - so this may be a big factor in your purchase decision also.

Once you've decided on whether to get a rigid or inflatable, next you need to decide on the type of board:

Surfing paddle boards

As the name suggests, these boards are predominantly used for surfing.

They’re the shortest and lightest stand up boards, with a narrower nose and can come in different tail shapes. They also have much more rocker (the amount of bend in a board), which is what you need for efficient carving, top turns, quick turns and avoiding nose dives when you drop in to a wave.

Their tails and fins are also a bit different – they can vary depending on the board, in order to provide stability through high-speed turns.

These boards aren’t ideal for long-distance paddles as they’re less stable and require a lot more work on each step. But, if you’re looking to take on some serious surfing, these are the boards for you.

All-round paddle boards

If you’re wanting to use your board mainly for fun and fitness – perhaps by taking some leisurely trips out onto flat water, or catching small waves, then these boards are a great option. They’ll serve you well in a variety of environments.

These are perfect boards for beginners, since they are versatile and stable. They tend to be wider, longer and bigger and typically have a pointed nose. This combination of size and volume means that as well as being stable, they tend to have impressive glide and tracking, while still having decent surf performance.

And a bigger paddle board means a bigger dance floor, right? Don’t forget to turn up the music on the StereoActive.

Touring paddle boards

Optimised for going long distances on flat open water - and once they’ve reached their maximum speed, these boards will let you travel faster with less effort.

Their noses tend to be pointed and V-shaped on the bottom, so you’ll cruise through the water smoothly. Some of these are a bit narrower though – especially racing boards – so if you’re a beginner, you might want to avoid these boards for now.

Touring paddleboards also often have room for cargo, which is super handy if you’re planning a lengthy paddle, because you can take food, camping and fishing supplies, and anything else you’ll need.

Inflatable paddle boards

If you want a board that is easy to transport – because let’s be honest, paddleboards are not always easy to travel with – you could go for an inflatable board. They’re also easy to store too, if you don’t have much spare room at home.

Yoga paddle boards

Doing yoga on your paddle board is a popular new trend that’s leading to a lot of people giving paddle boarding a go. If this is what you’re looking to do, then there are the boards for you!

They’re wider and longer, and typically have a soft top, as well as places to hold exercise tools – and place your

Good luck with finding your perfect paddle board – and we’ll see you out on the water!

Thanks to RED Paddle Co and Naish for the images.

Marine Preview