The process of choosing the right SUP board f starts with determining the type of paddle boarding you plan to do. There are a few basic types of boards--including inflatable, racing, surf, and all-around--that are all best suited for different activities. If you plan to paddle for long distances or at high speeds, a racing or touring board is best. Meanwhile, an all-around SUP board is better-suited for leisure and fitness.
Once you determine the type, you can consider the different SUP hull types. There are two basic board hulls: planing and displacement. The former is designed for being on top of the water and works well for general paddle boarding. Displacement hulls are designed more for racing and long distances.
You will also need to get a SUP board that is the right length and volume. Volume is determined by your size and weight. If you have a board that is not the right volume, you will have trouble staying above the water. Heavier weights require a board that has more volume. In terms of board length, keep in mind your volume requirements and storage and paddle boarding expectations. Short boards are more maneuverable, but will have less volume unless they are thick and wide. Long boards are best for racing because they are faster, and medium boards are ideal for all-around paddle boarding. The core material may also affect how a board floats, so keep that in mind as you shop, as well.