• Janna

All About Paddleboards

Updated: Jul 6

Once you’re hooked on Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) you’ll probably want to get your own board. Let the experts at SUPGirlz talk you through the basics, and don’t forget to sign up for a lesson or two to learn more --- we have Toronto’s largest variety of boards to try out!

Three Things to Consider When Buying a Paddleboard

1. Local Conditions

The right board will suit your environment, whether you're SUPing on a river, a Great Lake with changing wind and waves, cold-weather adventuring, or surfing on an ocean.

2. Style of Board

Are you a SUP Yoga devotee? Plan to SUP with your dog, learn to SUP Surf, or go on long SUP adventures? Different boards are shaped for specific areas of the sport.

3. Transportation & Storage

Not everyone who SUPs lives by the beach. A board is a big investment, in size as well as commitment. How you need to store and transport your board may determine which type you purchase.

Let’s take a deeper look at a few different board types (all of which are available to try at SUPGirlz Toronto):

Inflatable Boards: The portability of an inflatable board makes it easy to store and transport. It’s also a great choice for beginners, as these boards tend to be thicker and wider for added stability, easier to not damage, and lighter to carry.

All-Around: You’re likely looking for a versatile all-around hard (solid) board suitable for all bodies of water, and most types of SUP activity including yoga, leisurely paddles, and beginner SUP surfing. This board will work well in calm waters, and is great for everyone. You'll notice they have a more rounded nose and a wider body than a touring board. Most SUPers start with a 10’6 length, but board lengths vary, so it’s good to try out a few different sizes and styles before you buy.

Touring Boards: A touring board shape will have a pointed nose, and is designed for longer, more fast-paced flat-water paddles. These boards are great for speed, SUP racing and covering long distances. Touring (and race) boards can be a little more challenging to balance on, and so are not generally recommended for your first time on a SUP. The average size is 12'6 ft but they can vary from 11ft to 14ft (and longer) but all have a pointed nose so they are easy to spot.

SUP's for Surfing: There are a series of smaller boards designed specifically for SUP surfing that are typically lighter than others, and shaped to be exceptionally agile to accommodate the more aggressive turns and radical maneuvers in the surf. Due to their light but solid construction, these boards can also suit younger users SUPing in calm water.

Different SUP Boards & Uses: Photos from SUPGirlz Toronto.


Bonus: Ask your community for recommendations! Join a local discussion board or Social SUP class to learn from others.

And Don’t Forget to Pick your Paddle with Care: No matter which board you choose, you’ll need to invest in a good paddle -- your paddle is your engine. We recommend looking for something adjustable that is light, so it feels like a feather when you're paddling. Having a nice paddle makes a huge difference in how paddling feels to you. Treat yourself to a nice one, like these great ones from Taiga.

Give our boards a try today! The SUPGirlz team is ready to meet you. Hop on over here to sign up for a class or rental.

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