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Best Stand-Up Paddle Boards

last updated Dec 06, 2018

Have you ever wanted to glide across the ocean or perhaps a lake with the feeling of walking on water? Well if you have, paddle boarding is a summer activity you should definitely check out. Stand up paddle boarding is a terrific water-based recreational activity that not only provides a relaxing experience but also is a great core workout as you have to maintain your balance while gliding over the water. Even though you are using your core, it is quite easy to pick up, so this activity accommodates for the entire family as anyone can pick up a paddle board and glide over the water with ease.

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By Melissa Coleiro:

This buying guide for stand up paddle boards has been put together to show you the best researched and reviewed paddle boards to give you a hobby this summer that is not only relaxing but can take you to places you could never access without. A stand up paddle board to keep your eye on is the Serenelife. We love this addition, because it is highly rated, has great speed, control, and keeps you stable while riding.

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1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
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95%
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93%
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Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$349.99
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92.3
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92%
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94%
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92%
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Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$739.99
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Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$745.00
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Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$599.00
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85%
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Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$599.00
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80.8
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Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$499.00
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The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.3
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80%
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Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$319.00
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Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$645.00
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78.8
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83%
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Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$418.34
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The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.5
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Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$499.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • SERENELIFE SUP
  • ATOLL SUP
  • ISLE AIRTECH EXPLORER
  • IROCKER CRUISER
  • TOWER PADDLE ADVENTURER 2
  • XTERRA
  • PATHFINDER
  • ISLE CLASSIC SOFT TOP
  • SPORTSTUFF 1030
  • TEN TOES
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Top 10 Picks

1. SERENELIFE SUP

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
SERENELIFE SUP
Value
96
Style
95
Weight
93
Accessories
92
best offer for today
$349.99
Pros:
  • Three bottom panel fins for extra speed and steering
  • PVC-body makes the board stable without hurting anyone who accidently falls on top of it
Cons:
  • When inflated, it can prove difficult to stand up.

At the top of the heap sits the SereneLife Paddle Board. Combining its superb quality and reasonable price, it is no surprise to see why.

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Price

Compared to the competition, the price is below-average (in a good way). While paddle boards are not cheap, this version is cheaper than most.

Board Design

With marine-grade water-resistant and corrosion-resistant construction and three bottom panel fins to increase speed, maneuverability, and steering, the design is impeccable.

Weight Capacity and Size

The board, when inflated, measures 10’ x 30” x 6” (length, width, thickness), and will hold up to 275 pounds.

Extra Accessories Included

All the essentials come packed with this board, including an ankle safety leash, oar pedal, and manual air pump

Storage and Transport

Its nature and material allow it to deflate and roll-up into the convenient storage bag for easy transport.

Overall

All in all, no paddle board combines the SereneLife’s price, quality, design, and storage capabilities.

2. ATOLL SUP

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.3
ATOLL SUP
Value
92
Style
94
Weight
92
Accessories
91
best offer for today
$739.99
Pros:
  • Its ultralight and durable construction make riding a breeze
  • Two-year warranty that covers material defects
Cons:
  • Lack of instructions available; the printed information is not very helpful 

Atoll created a near masterpiece with their SUP board, it is just unfortunate that they typically ask an arm and a leg for it.

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Price

For several, this model will be too expensive. However, hardcore enthusiasts who do not mind spending the extra dollar will probably choose this one over any others.

Board Design

This board is fully wrapped with an additional layer of PVC material and rigged with 14 D-rings that will hold anything you need during the trip.

Weight Capacity and Size

The company claims this has supported people upwards to 300 pounds and it measures 11’ x 32” x 6”.

Extra Accessories Included

All the goods are included: a black aluminum-alloy adjustable paddle with a nylon blade, a repair kit, bungie tie-downs, a travel backpack and a Bravo dual action hand pump.

Storage and Transport

The included backpack is large enough to carry the pump, paddle, paddle board, and repair kit. Just know, with all that in one trip, it can be fairly heavy.

Overall

Outside of the steep price, this SUP board is as perfect as it gets. If you have the money, do not hesitate to pull the trigger.

3. ISLE AIRTECH EXPLORER

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
ISLE AIRTECH EXPLORER
Value
90
Style
91
Weight
89
Accessories
90
best offer for today
$745.00
Pros:
  • The board manages to be extremely durable without being excessively heavy
  • Risk-free returns within 30 days and a one-year warranty on the materials
Cons:
  • For long trips, it can be awkward to carry 

The ISLE Airtech is a fabulous combination of quality and design. But, once again, the price could steer people away.

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Price

This is another model that will run you a little extra than you probably wanted to go. The best bet, find it on sale. But, it is worth the money.

Board Design

Being constructed from military-grade PVC, this board is durable and will not be damaged easily. In addition, it is equipped with bungee systems and nose and tail carry handles.

Weight Capacity and Size

It will hold up to 275 pounds of mass and measures 11’ x 32” x 6”.

Extra Accessories Included

Outside of the paddle board itself, you also receive a high-pressure pump, carry backpack, adjustable aluminum paddle, and a removable travel fin.

Storage and Transport

When not inflated, it is fairly easy to store and transport.

Overall

Without the price tag weighing it down, once again, this could have taken the top spot. But, as it is, it is an expensive (but elite) paddle board.

4. IROCKER CRUISER

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
IROCKER CRUISER
Value
89
Style
90
Weight
85
Accessories
88
best offer for today
$599.00
Pros:
  • Included ankle leash to prevent the SUP board from traveling too far if your accidently fall off
  • Two-year warranty that covers everything besides everyday wear and tear 
Cons:
  • Heavier than most versions;
  • Can be hard to transport

It is slowly becoming a theme, but the iRocker CRUISER is an absolutely fabulous SUP board with an overwhelming price tag.

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Price

Without a discount, the price tag could scare many of you away. But, it is not much higher than the two previous entries.

Board Design

The entire board is thick and feels just like a hard board when fully inflated. The extra-wide tail adds extra stability and the build will prevent any accidental damaging from debris.

Weight Capacity and Size

It holds up to 350 pounds and is 10’6” x 33” x 6”.

Extra Accessories Included

An adjustable fiberglass paddle, carry bag, ankle leash and dual-action hand pump are all included from iRocker.

Storage and Transport

Once again, its nature allows it to be significantly condensed when traveling. Though, it can be heavy to carry at times.

Overall

The CRUISER is definitely a beast; holding up to 350 pounds. But, it is also efficiently designed and includes excellent accessories.

5. TOWER PADDLE ADVENTURER 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.3
TOWER PADDLE ADVENTURER 2
Value
88
Style
85
Weight
83
Accessories
85
best offer for today
$599.00
Pros:
  • Can be stored in your garage or shed and will not be effected by the cold weather
  • Two-year warranty that accommodates for everything past wear and tear
Cons:
  • Navigating a sharp turn can prove to be a difficult task

For the last several models, it is as close as flipping a coin. Once again, this SUP board is brilliantly designed.

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Price

At this point, you are beginning to understand that SUP boards are not cheap. You do get what you pay for and the Tower Paddle Adventurer 2 is no exception.

Board Design

On the nose and tail, there are convenient carrying handles. Built with drop-stitch material and military grade PVC, you also need not concern yourself with accidental cracks and nicks.

Weight Capacity and Size

It measures 10’4” x 32” x 6” and will hold up to 350 pounds on the water.

Extra Accessories Included

For your convenience, a fiberglass paddle, pump, and removable fin are included with your purchase.

Storage and Transport

When rolled up, it is about the size of a sleeping bag and can be easily stored in your vehicle.

Overall

Superb is the best word to accurately describe the Adventurer 2 and it succeeds in every major category possible.

6. XTERRA

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.8
XTERRA
Value
80
Style
79
Weight
84
Accessories
80
best offer for today
$499.00
Pros:
  • Double-sided reinforcement provides an excellent amount of durability
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Cons:
  • Could have been a better pump included
  • Can be very steep price

Quality-wise, the Xterra SUP board would surpass the previous entry. But, once again, the price has to be taken into consideration.

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Price

Without a discount, this can run your wallet dry in a hurry. Thankfully, the quality more than makes up for it.

Board Design

Built with military-grade drop stitch material, this board has enough reinforcement to drive a car over it; which is what Xterra did to test them.

Weight Capacity and Size

As heavy-duty as it is, it is only recommended to keep people 225 pounds or lighter on it. Size, it reads 10’ x 30” x 5.5”.

Extra Accessories Included

A repair kit, backpack, adjustable paddle, pump, three fins and a leash are all included with the SUP board itself.

Storage and Transport

It can be stored in the accompanying backpack and folds similar to a sleeping bag.

Overall

The Xterra SUP board is fantastic. The steep price and relatively low capacity limit keep it from climbing any higher, but it is still tremendous.

7. PATHFINDER

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.3
PATHFINDER
Value
82
Style
80
Weight
78
Accessories
81
best offer for today
$319.00
Pros:
  • Comes with all the essential items you need
  • Very cheap price as compared to the competition
Cons:
  • Takes a bit of work to inflate

Sometimes, a paddle board comes around that combines tremendous quality with a price tag that everyone can handle. That paddle board is the PathFinder model.

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Price

Yes, this is finally a model that the average Joe can afford. At least, as compared to some of the other paddle boards on the market.

Board Design

With a PVC exterior and strong multi-layer drop stitch, the construction is built to last. The large deck pad gives you plenty of breathing room, while the bungee and D-ring systems allow you to attach extra accessories.

Weight Capacity and Size

Measuring in at 9’9” x 30” x 5” and having a capacity limit of 240 pounds, it will accommodate for most people in your family.

Extra Accessories Included

A valve wrench, adjustable aluminum paddle, carry bag, pump and detachable center fin are all included.

Storage and Transport

Its nature allows it to be rolled up with ease and carried in the included storage bag.

Overall

It may not be as heavy-duty as other SUP boards, but it has a price tag that will be more reasonable for a vast amount of people.

8. ISLE CLASSIC SOFT TOP

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.5
ISLE CLASSIC SOFT TOP
Value
80
Style
79
Weight
79
Accessories
80
best offer for today
$645.00
Pros:
  • The polyethylene deck provides a comfortable section for your feet
  • 30-days to return the product if you are dissatisfied
Cons:
  • The foam scuffs too easily
  • Does not achieve great speeds

Last, but not least, is the ISLE Classic Soft-Top SUP Board. A visually appealing, faux wood design could put it over the top for a select few people.

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Price

Right down Broadway for this one; not too cheap and not too expensive.

Board Design

The top features a nice, soft construction with a triple stringer system designed from foam; while the bottom is high-density.

Weight Capacity and Size
10’8” x 31” x 5” with a capacity of up to 275 pounds.

Extra Accessories Included

A removable fin and adjustable paddle are included with your purchase.

Storage and Transport

While there is no storage bag and it will not roll-up (as it is made from foam), the center carry handle and lightweight nature ensuring an easy transport.

Overall

The foam design may not be quite as efficient, but the faux wood finish is a beautiful touch.

9. SPORTSTUFF 1030

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.8
SPORTSTUFF 1030
Value
80
Style
83
Weight
82
Accessories
70
best offer for today
$418.34
Pros:
  • The seat attachment is nice for smaller children
  • Cheaper than most models
Cons:
  • 250-pound weight capacity is a little exaggerated, can start falling in around 210 pounds
  • Included pump is very weak; may want to use an alternative

Getting down closer to the end, do not think that these SUP boards are not worth your investment. As you will see, the SportsStuff 1030 is worth an investment.

Read more

Price

Compared to the higher-end models, the price is pretty good. Because it is a SUP board, it can still be expensive for some but is mild compared to the competition.

Board Design

This is a paddle board with large anti-skid EVA pads to secure your footing.

Weight Capacity and Size

There is a maximum capacity limit of 250 pounds, while it measures 10’6” x 30” x 4”.

Extra Accessories Included

All the goods come with the paddle board. This includes a hi-pressure hand pump, valve wrench, pressure gauge, board leash, removable fin, stainless steel tow rings and removable seat.

Storage and Transport

Also included is a mesh backpack that will hold your rolled up, deflated paddle board.

Overall

You get nothing but quality with this model and for people just starting out, this is a great option.

10. TEN TOES

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.5
TEN TOES
Value
80
Style
78
Weight
78
Accessories
78
best offer for today
$499.99
Pros:
  • Designed with an extra-textured EVA foam deck pad
  • Two-year warranty included
Cons:
  • The paddle is less than adequate; easily gets water filled inside it
  • The pump is weak

While not the best version you will find, the Ten Toes stand-up board will more than suffice and still deserves recognition in its own right.

Read more

Price

Not too expensive but not extremely cheap, this board falls right in the middle of the pack in terms of price.

Board Design

The framework, which is held together by thousands of strong threads from top to bottom, is covered with a multi-layer protective shell of military-grade PVC.

Weight Capacity and Size

10’ x 30” x 6” with a weight capacity of 250 pounds.

Extra Accessories Included

This SUP board comes equipped with a manual pump, repair kit, lightweight aluminum paddle and three additional fins.

Storage and Transport
For easy storage, it can be rolled up into a compact package.

Overall

There is truly nothing wrong with the board itself, but nothing puts it over the top either.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Value

This is a very special criterion; one in which can sway people away from a product before they ever give it a chance. Not too many factors can own this claim and, of course, this is alluding to the price. If everyone made the same amount of money, the price would never be an issue. Unfortunately, the world is a bit more complex than that and some people need to remain on a budget. But, even if you are on a budget, you should be able to find a quality model that will be ideal for you.

As you recently learned, however, SUP boards can be extremely steep when it comes to price. Some models can creep up into the four-figure range, but you also can find some under $500. Either way, if you want to buy a brand-new paddle board, you must enter in with the mindset that you are willing to spend a good deal of money. The key is to compare prices of different models against one another to conclude which one is the most reasonable for you. Even though a particular SUP board may still cost a couple hundred dollars, it could still be significantly cheaper than other models.

However, even for the extra expensive versions, these boards truly are worth every single penny you spend for them. The pure enjoyment you will find yourself having with your family will compensate for the potential dip in your savings account.

Style

At the end of the day, the price may be your deciding factor. But, the paddle board itself is what you are investing your hard-earned cash into. So, one with a quality design is an absolute necessity. As you noticed throughout the list, a majority of the SUP boards were cheaper. This is not a coincidence and there is a reason why they appeared time and time again. Outside of any other design choice, strictly being inflatable can be a huge advantage. Specifically, because of its ability to be deflated for easier transport, stable-nature when fully inflated, and soft surface if you accidentally fall.

But, manufacturers who choose to make their boards must also add protection and additional features to complete the design. For starters, any models constructed from military-grade PVC, or wrapped in an additional layer of PVC, are a great choice. This is thanks, in large part, to PVC’s durability, abrasion resistance, lightweight nature, and safeness (being non-toxic). In fact, products that are constructed from PVC are so durable that frequent fixes and replacements are not necessary. In addition, board’s that include resistance against corrosion (which PVC will mostly cover) and anti-skid pads for secure footing are good to look for.

Now, these boards clearly hold a great advantage over the rest of the competition. But, they are not perfect; which means other models do have some advantages, as well. Perhaps the biggest is you do not have to waste excess energy blowing air into them. However, solid SUP boards also tend to have greater speed and agility.

No matter if you choose air filled or solid, another great design feature to look out for is if there is any way to hold attached cargo or items. This is typically achieved with either various D-rings or a bungee system. With them attached, you can bring along coolers, life jackets (if you want smaller children on it), or other accessories.

Weight

Now, it is time to look at some specifications and why they should be important in your buying process. If you are ignorant when it comes to understanding why the weight, length, width and thickness are important than you may be wasting your time altogether. First off, let us analyze the weight capacity that each board will hold. Each manufacturer’s weight capacity for their SUP board will fluctuate as compared to the rest. Thus, you can’t automatically assume that it will properly hold you (or other members of your family and friends that may ride it) without risking damage or sinking.

Thankfully, most designer’s will make it very clear what their board is capable of holding at one time. Most of the SUP boards on this list range from 225 to 350 pounds; which will accommodate most individuals. But, if you are a little bit on the heavy-side (or know people that will use it are) you will want to pay extra attention to the weight capacity. If it is right on the dot, you may want to look for one with a higher limit because it is a good idea to adapt for a little bit of leeway.

Secondly, you need to determine how important each measurement is to you. In general, SUP boards are measured length by width by the thickness and each is very important. The good news is most manufacturers will build their board with similar dimensions. But, in the situation where they are a little different, the length and width determine how much space and maneuverability you will have while standing on the surface. The thickness, on the other hand, plays a part in determining the stiffness of the board (with the thicker it being, the stiffer).

Accessories

Typically, when you talk about extra accessories for a product they are only used as an extra incentive to purchase it. For SUP boards, especially those that need to be inflated, they are a little more valuable and often times required. This is because if you received a plain SUP board with nothing extra included, you would need a pump (if it needs to be inflated) and a paddle for navigating (as it does not operate like a traditional surfboard). As for the other accessories often included, while not necessities, they greatly enhance performance and convenience.

For starters, the included pump and paddle are two very important accessories that are typically included with SUP boards. Obviously, if the board is solid then you will not need concern yourself with this. But, when they are, they are quite massive in size and need a lot of air to fully inflate. For some of the entries on this list, the included pump was below-average. If this happens to be the case for a model you are considering, you should not let this alone sway your decision. As you could simply invest in a superior hand-pump. However, it is still convenient when one (even if it is nearly-incompetent) is included.

Now, for the paddle. The makeup of the paddle itself is important, whether aluminum-alloy, fiberglass, or other, but you should truly prioritize models that are adjustable. Each person who operates the board will likely need the paddle at a different height setting. It is a simple concept, but an extremely important one. For the rest of the pack, which typically consists of an ankle safety leash, repair kit, removable fins, and a valve wrench, they are worth mentioning as well.

With an ankle safety leash, you can attach your ankle to the surface of the board. In the instance where you fall into the water, this will prevent the board from fleeing away. An included repair kit will allow you to manually fix any scuffs or damages that appear. Use discretion, as if you put a basketball-sized hole in the board the kit will most likely be rendered useless. But, it is convenient for simple fixes to prevent it from being unusable.

Then, there is the removable fin/fins that come with the board. Adding fins on a SUP board will allow you to improve the directional stability of the board. They can provide lateral lift and allow an easier time for you to control the direction. Lastly, it is nice when you receive an included valve wrench in instances where the compartment used to store air is difficult to open.

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Other Factors to Consider

Protection

Included warranties are important for products regardless, but it is augmented when the product in question is multiple hundreds of dollars. Guess what, this is the category a SUP board falls in. Ordering online, you simply can never predict what is going to happen to your package. Even if the manufacturer sends it to you with no damage present, during the shipping process carelessness from personnel can create damage. On rare occasions, it also could be sent to you with a defected part.

In this case, it is nice to have a two-year, 30-day, or various other warranty that accommodates for it. While you will not find many that will fix normal wear and tear, you should not be responsible for damaged or defected equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Can you use an electric pump to inflate a SUP?
a:

Most, if not all, SUP boards will include a hand pump of some nature. As big as these boards tend to be, it can take a great deal of energy to inflate them. Thus, it is not surprising that some people are interested to know if they can pump it via an electric pump. Well, there really is not a set yes or no answer for this one. Firstly, it depends on the specific board that you invest in. Some will need a special valve for using an alternative method, some will not advise using an electric pump as it may damage the inner walls and some will simply not fit.

But, if you can fit one on the valve that is used for air transfer and there is no warning against using one then there is no reason why you can’t. Just remember to not fill it past the recommended PSI; which should be displayed on the pressure gauge. All in all, it is generally not too difficult to manually pump SUP boards with air. It can just be a time-consuming process.

q: Can you use a SUP as a surfboard?
a:

First off, SUP boards do not work the same as a surfboard. To navigate it, you need to use a paddle whereas you do not with a surfboard. But, you can still technically “surf” with a SUP board. Truthfully, though, it depends on what you consider surfing. If you are just referencing riding waves, then a SUP board can handle that just fine. However, if you are talking about ripping through 10-foot monster waves like the pros then you may be disappointed.

When it comes to hardcore surfing, there are some limitations that SUP boards possess. One is specifically attributed to air-filled models and they will bow slightly in the middle. When needing to gain an excess amount of speed, the bowing in the middle will affect the board when it hits the wave and will not ride like a surfboard. Secondly, when you ram into a wave, due to the air, it will not react like a hard surfboard would.

q: Can your dog ride on a SUP?
a:

Not only can you take your dog paddle boarding, it is one of the best ways to bond with them. There are only a few factors you need to take into consideration. One, will the board properly support you and your dog? Again, manufacturers will not leave you in the dark in terms of weight capacity. Combine both you and your dog’s weight to conclude if you will be under the capacity limit. If not, and this is something that sounds appealing to you, then look towards a model with a greater capacity.

Secondly, you will need to properly train your dog in the art of paddle boarding. No, they do not need to stand up and navigate the board themselves but they should be comfortable riding on it. To achieve this, set up your SUP board in your home and let your dog become accustomed to it. If need be, place a treat on top of it and get them to acclimate to the surface. When the moment arrives where they are comfortable, begin standing up with them on it. Once they feel there is no threat, you could go for a test run. If possible, practice in a small body of water before you head out to the lake or ocean.

q: Will A SUP Board Work for Yoga?
a:

Crazily enough, people have been practicing yoga on their SUP boards for years now. So, yes it will work perfectly for yoga; even in the middle of the sea. Most of the boards are big enough to allow for easy maneuverability on top of them; while they are rigid enough to withstand any movement. It is also a perfect match because many see swimming, or spending time in a body of water, as a relaxing experience. As for yoga, the entire purpose is to relax your body from the stresses of your life. Could you really ask for a more laid back afternoon than participating in yoga while surrounded by water?

q: Do stand up paddle boards float?
a:

No, this is not a stupid question. In fact, there are no stupid questions; just rhetorical ones. Generally speaking, paddles are going to float if you accidentally drop them in the water. However, if the paddle is not sealed completely and water manages to seep through then it could end up sinking. But, most of them are constructed with quality in mind and will float. There is only one sure way to be 100 percent positive, though, and that is to drop one in shallow water to see if it will sink. This way, if it sinks you can easily pick it up from the bottom of the water.

If there ever comes a time where you are paranoid that you will lose one of them, you could also strap one to your wrist. Though, this could complicate things when you want to switch hands. Honestly, this is not an issue you will have to deal with frequently so just be sure that they float.

q: What kind of work out can you have on a SUP?
a:

Imagine a sport that combines surfing, kayaking, and rowing all in one. That’s stand up paddle boarding in a nutshell. When you SUP, you are using your core at it’s finest. This means that your abdominals are in high demand throughout the workout. Along with this, you paddle with your upper body, which means that your chest, arms, and even neck are getting utilized to keep your momentum moving forward. It truly is a full body work out, so along with your core and upper body, you are most definitely working your gluteus and legs, as they help you to stay balanced and firm upon the board. Paddle boarding is no easy feat, so if you find that you are feeling tired throughout the workout, you are not along. Be sure to stay hydrated and near enough to shore, just in case you need a break from holding strong on that board.