Inflatable SUP - what is a Touring board?


Eager to embark on a new aquatic adventure? Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) is becoming increasingly popular among Canadians. There are a few different types of boards that you will hear bandied about - Touring, All Around and Racing are some. We’re going to dive into Touring and touch upon what the others are. Touring boards are designed for longer-distance paddling and exploration. Touring paddle boards are typically longer, narrower, and have a pointed nose (often V-shaped) compared to All Around or recreational paddle boards. These features make them more efficient in cutting through the water, allowing for increased speed and glide with less effort. 



Let’s use an analogy, imagine a carbon fiber bicycle with low handles vs a fatbike with wide tires. They both have their strengths. In our case, the Touring board is the one that is designed to go faster and further, whereas the All Around board, much like a fatbike, is designed to give balance and fun. Each type has it’s pros and cons and depending on what you want to get out of your board, should determine which you pick.

Let’s take a look at the different types of board noses so you can get a better idea what each does and how to spot them online and out on the water.



Types of inflatable SUP boards:


  1. Round nose: Resembling traditional SUPs, these boards usually measure between 9’6 and 11’6 feet in length and 30-36 inches in width. The most popular are between 10’ and 11’. They are suitable for paddling in calm, flat waters such as lakes and rivers, making them an excellent choice for beginners or those who enjoy peaceful environments or fishing.
  2. V-shaped nose (racing SUP, touring SUP): These boards feature a V-shaped nose and a narrow width, reducing drag and allowing for faster, more effortless movement. The V-shaped nose enables the board to cut through the water quickly, making it suitable for faster speeds. 

Five reasons why people choose inflatable paddle boards:


  1. Easily transported
  2. Convenient and easy to store
  3. Ideal for children and beginners
  4. Durable despite less rigidity
  5. Versatile and flexible design


Kohala SUP board


How to choose the right inflatable paddle board:


  1. For beginners, a rounded board with a large surface area is recommended. Experienced paddlers typically prefer V-shaped nose paddle boards for quicker movement on the water.
  2. For children, select a smaller, lighter board with added cushioning to soften potential falls. When falling on a paddleboard, the best way is out into the water like a starfish (depending on the conditions), but children don’t always do what we tell them. 
  3. Consider the board's width. A wider board (31-35 inches) provides more stability on the water and is suitable for those with a larger body, people with tremors, or individuals with leg or hip injuries. A narrower board (under 30 inches) is appropriate for lighter individuals (under 5'7" or under 176 lbs).
  4. The board's length affects its performance but not its transportation or storage when inflatable. Longer boards move faster on the water, while shorter boards are easier to carry and better suited for calm waves and tight spaces.


Wave SUP


SUP fins

Fins are a crucial part of your SUP, allowing you to move forward in a relatively straight line and maintain stability on the water. There are various fin options, such as a single large fin, a 3-fin setup, race fins. The type of fin you choose depends on whether you plan to race, surf, or fish. Most inflatables will come with either 1 detachable fin or 3. 


Costs and where to buy

Prices for SUPs range from $200-$5,000 USD/CAD (boards for children can be less expensive). We have a number of great value boards in stock, whether you’re looking to start or even upgrade your first board. 

We suggest you allocate some additional funds for essential SUP accessories like a life jacket and a whistle - This is a requirement in Canada, unless you go down the route of getting a throw bag. More info can be found on transport Canada’s website.


The following boards are well liked and popular with our staff and customers alike: 


KOHALA SUP 11' Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

KOI SUP 11'5 Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

MONKEY SUP 11' Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

MICROPHONE Inflatable SUP 11'5 Stand Up Paddle Board

In conclusion, when picking a board, it should be straightforward - Ask yourself what you would like to do, if it’s distance and speed - Go touring. If you want more recreation - Go All Around.


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