ADDICTED TO RIDE SINCE 81
– IN THE LOOP SINCE TODAY
with Girls On SUPs
SUP Board Types - What To Buy?
The Girls on SUPs are out on the water whenever they can. Since 2017, they have been taking their Instagram followers on their SUP tours. Whether it's to the lakes for flatwater or to the oceans around the globe for SUPsurfing. To match their different tours, they of course have different boards. That's why they are asked again and again by their nearly 35,000 followers: Which SUP is the right one for me??? Here is the perfect guide for everyone!
The question about the right SUP is actually one of the most frequently asked questions we receive via girls_on_sups. Understandably so. Because there are also some board types among which you can decide. And there we want to give you a here assistance. In this article we deal today with the inflatable SUPs (inflatable). For space reasons alone, they are preferred by most. However, there is of course also a hardboard variant for each board type described below, which adds another notch to the performance, but requires significantly more space for storage. First of all, no matter if inflatable or hardboard: the most important thing is to find out how and where you want to use your SUP. What are your needs? Do you want to go out on the lake for a bit and have a leisurely snack on board? Or would you rather go on long tours and explore all the nooks and crannies of a lake or coast? Or would you prefer more action in the waves? Or all together?
The following article will break down which board fits your needs.
Allround: An Allround SUP is, as the name suggests, a small all-rounder. This board is quite wide (32"/33") and therefore very stable. Which makes it very interesting for beginners as well. It is also relatively short (9'8 - 10'8") and therefore maneuverable. This means that you can turn faster and have to change sides more often when paddling. For longer tours, where you mainly want to make distance, it is therefore not ideally suited. Here we would rather advise the touring board. (More on this in a moment) However, if you want to go into the waves with the SUP, it is worth its weight in gold. Because so you can have, especially when traveling, everything. A board that is stable and you can also ride nice tours (even if not quite relaxed long distances) and a SUP surfboard that is fun in the wave.
Julia is riding the Diamond Air Pocket. It is especially practical, because it is very light (6.6kg / length: 10'4", width: 33") due to the Pocket Air construction and comes to half the pack size than the classic boards. So perfect for traveling, or to transport it sometimes on the back by bike to the lake. For large, heavy men, however, the SUP is rather not suitable, because the maximum weight here is 85kg.
Here are the links to our Inflatable Allround models for more info:
The Touring shape is actually our favorite. These boards are designed to be able to go on longer tours. You can spend the whole day on the lake and explore every corner on your own. This is best done with a touring SUP because it has the perfect glide characteristics and is super stable. It goes very straight without having to change paddle sides excessively often. Which makes a long tour very pleasant. Due to the volume you can carry drybags for provisions or even a gas stove, a tent or a hammock. With this board, all this is not a problem. You can choose between different sizes. 11'6" x 31" /12'6" x 32" /13'6 " x 35". And the more sportive Ray Enduro model in 11'0" x 29" and 13'0" x 30". Here it depends on what you plan to do and also how much you weigh. We both ride the Ray Air Premium in the smallest size. For lighter people, this is optimal and sufficient. Here is an overview for which weight, which board size is suitable:
11'6" x 31" & 11'0" x 29" body weight up to 110kg
12'6" x 32" & 13'0" x 30" body weight up to 120kg
13'6" x 35" body weight up to 130kg
So here is something for everyone. But if you want to surf with it, you will have a hard time with bigger waves. Small fun waves (everything between 0.5 - 1.0 meters) work well with those boards though.
Race: A race board sounds at first as if only professionals can use it and it is only intended for racing. Of course you can with the race model Falcon Air, but you can do much more with it. We love our race SUPs for touring as well. They are classically a bit longer and narrower than touring boards. As a result, they are naturally more wobbly. Which makes them rather less suitable for beginners. However, if you already have a bit of experience and want to go a bit faster, you will be very happy with a race board. With a length of 12'6" x 26.5" /12'6 " x 29" / 14" x 26.5" / 14'" x 29" there is something for everyone. We ride the model Falcon Air 12'6"x 29". For us, the perfect dimensions because it´s not super narrow and a bit more relaxed to paddle. The 26.5" width for sure is more challenging and rather made for racing.
So if you have a good sense of balance and experience, like to ride longer distances and like to pick up some speed, the Falcon Air is perfect for you.
The name already says for whom a yoga SUP makes sense. So if you like to practice yoga and want to pursue this passion on the water out in the nature and in the fresh air, the Fly Air Fit is definitely very well served. And the best thing is, you can not only do yoga with it - even small tours are no problem at all (this board is again very maneuverable due to length and width). The Fly Air Fit is also suitable for SUP beginners. Due to a width of 34" and a length of 10'6" it is very tip-proof. The maximum weight here should not exceed 110kg. BTW - due to the big soft deck, it´s also perfect to take your dog on board!
For a Wave SUP you definitely need to be very experienced. Who wants to go into the wave or on a river, should first be very secure on the board paddling on flat water. Whoever masters this and also wants to travel with small and quite light luggage (8.95kg), the inflatable model Stubby is the right choice. Due to its shape it holds really good in the wave and thanks to the three fins (2 small, 1 big) it is super maneuverable and ready for fast maneuvers. It is with 8'6" length and 29'5" width the most compact inflatable SUP and the own weight should therefore not exceed 90kg.
Just like surfing, you should be very safe and experienced if you want to hit a river with the SUP. This is not for beginners. Here you should also necessarily have done a course with professionals before and also wear the right protection gear. Because especially in the river it can also quickly become dangerous. Only if you have the wrong leash. But if you have the right skills, the Rapid Air is perfect and promises a lot of fun. It is 9'6" long and 36" wide. Due to the small fixed fins it is maximal maneuverable and passes in every maneuver. Even over 100kg weight is no problem with this SUP.
All kids definitely should have their own board - the dimensions are smaller and match the strength and size of the next generation perfectly. Light, strong and with easy handling, the ultimate fun package that they can carry to the water themselves on their bike or skateboard, and set up easily!
The bottom line is that there is a SUP for everyone. You just have to know what exactly you want and what needs and requirements you have for your own board. And the best thing about having your own SUP is still that you can just take it anywhere at any time. No matter to a lake around the corner, or with the plane on vacation to the sea. A little fun fact: an inflatable SUP can be checked in its bag as normal luggage. It does not count as bulky luggage. And the Pocket Air SUP models are so light and compact that you can even take them with your bike or hike with them!
Enjoy The Ride!
Text: Julia Kaffak/Girls on SUPs
Pics: Julia Kaffka & Anja Mörk/Girls on SUPs, Oliver Farys, Franck Debaecker, John Carter