You have a paddle board, or perhaps have rented too many times, and have fallen in love with this rapidly growing sport. You want to take it out for some longer trips or maybe even try your hand at racing these boards through the open water.

When looking to get into racing, either competitively or for sport, we recommend you go for the best racing paddle boards. These are boards that help you to reach maximum speed and maintain it throughout the race. Racing boards move so quickly because they have little drag in the water.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast who is looking to paddle boarding, long distance travel will be more your speed. These boards can help you get to hard to reach places that larger boats can’t go, or just push your fitness routine to the limit. The best touring sup will have many of the same characteristics as a racing one, but with lots of storage.

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How To Choose A Paddle Boards For Racing / Touring – Buying Guide

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You love paddle boarding but want to be able to take it on some longer paddles. Pack an overnight bag and incorporate this fun sport into your transportation for a multi day camping trip. Much easier to portage than your average canoe, paddleboards are a great option to use for touring purposes.

Things to consider

When looking to buy a touring stand up paddle board for your next long distance paddle, makes sure you consider these few key features.

Storage

When touring with your paddle board, buying one with enough storage space is key. You want to be able to roll your paddleboard into a compact bundle. There is no need for racks to store your board, just put it in your garage or closet to store. Being able to roll it will also allow you to throw it into the trunk of your car for transportation as well.

Shape

SUP touring boards, like racing boards, carry a pointed nose displacement hull design. This helps them cut the water and glide with the least resistance creating an aerodynamic look that cuts through the water with ease. These are much thinner and longer than regular paddle boards which make them not a good option for beginners.

Thickness

Your boards thickness is a largely unthought about but incredibly important feature when buying your inflatable touring sup. It is said that a 6-inch thick board is a perfect height to ride without getting wet. It also ensures that the board rides rigid and doesn’t flex when in choppy water. When packing your board, we always recommend you use dry bags as there is a high chance your stuff will get some water splashed onto it. Having a thicker board that the weight capacity isn’t maxed out will help you to keep your stuff dry.

Paddle

A paddle has to be comfortable for the rider. This means one paddle does not fit all. Most packages come with a three piece foldable paddle that is easy to store and transport. We suggest trying a few out to see which type works best for you.

Racing Paddle Boards

Whether you race competitively or do it more for sport, the design of your paddleboard will drastically change from your average sup. The best sup race boards will have a sleek, lightweight design, and minimal fin resistance.

Board Shape

These boards are going to be longer and thinner than a regular paddle board. This allows them to cut through the water with minimal drag. Their pointed nose, a displacement hull design, slices the water better than the blunt nose found on regular boards that carry a planing hull design.

Fins

Even though a tri fin system is usually found on regular boards, a single fin system works best for racing. Having only one fin creates less drag (which will slow you down) and is key to increase and maintain your speed.

Race sup boards are quickly becoming all the rage so we have done the research for you and listed our top three boards here.

Things to consider

When buying a board for racing, you want a board that is able to soar through the water at top speeds. There are key features that you should look for to ensure your board can do just that.

Shape

When using your paddle board for racing, the shape of your board is one of the most important features. SUP racing requires a narrow and pointed shape to help you glide through the water with the least resistance.  This is most commonly seen in the displacement hull design. The pointed nose design makes the board more aerodynamic allowing it to cut the water and push it to the sides leaving you soaring through the water at top speeds.

Fins

Fins on your board cause resistance in the water, but they also provide direction. These come in a single or tri fin system but the single fin system is most commonly seen in racing boards. These provide the least resistance while still keep you pointed in the right direction getting you through the water both quickly and efficiently.

Paddle

The type of paddle you use will greatly affect your speed. This is the main factor to determine how you cut the water and how much force you can get behind you. Having a lower quality plastic design won’t allow you to achieve the top speeds that a lighter and stronger design will. Higher end boards do not come with a paddle. We suggest you choose one that works best for your style of paddling.

FAQs

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Q: What Is Paddleboard Racing?

A: Stand up paddleboard racing has only been around for a short while, but the popularity is growing fast. It was not long ago that paddleboards were nothing but slightly elongated surfboards, but now you can spend thousands of dollars on a custom-made paddleboard for racing. Paddleboard racing is an interesting sport for two reasons. Firstly, anyone can race. You can learn the sport and five minutes later be part of a race. You can be racing alongside seasoned pros within an hour of picking up a paddle (of course, you won’t win, but what other sport can you do this with?). The second great thing is that paddleboard racing is inclusive of all ages. At the moment, there are no distinct age groups, so everyone races together. This forges a sense of togetherness.

There are two main types of paddleboard race. One is in a straight line, and the other is around obstacles. The race in a straight line is exactly what you would expect. The competitors in the race start at a certain point and have to race to a certain point. The aim is to get from A to B as quickly as possible. The first person to reach the finish line is the winner. The second variety of race is around obstacles. When we talk about navigating obstacles, we are talking about buoys or floats in the water. These courses take turns and follow a specific course, and the aim is the same as in the first race. You need to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Some races also include a sprint at the end. You get your board to the beach and then sprint up the beach to the finish line.

There are now three distinct classes of paddleboard racing, based on the length of the board. The first class is the 12’6” class. This class allows any board under 12’6” to enter. Most paddleboards are over this length, so the race is more for all-round paddleboards. This is the least competitive of all the paddleboard races.

The second class of paddleboard race is for boards up to 14’ in length. This is the main racing class of paddleboarding. The people who are racing in this class are more serious racers and will not have all round paddleboards. The racers in this class are more likely to practice racing in their apse time than recreational paddleboarding.

The unlimited class is for boards over 14’ in length. These boards are designed for speed. The great thing about these boards is that they can move faster than you would ever believe, but the downside is that the money on your wallet will also move faster than you can believe. If you are serious about paddleboard racing, then these are the types of boards which you will have to pay for.

One benefit to taking up paddleboard racing is that you can organize your own races. It really is as simple as getting from A to B. You could have a race from one side of a lake to another. If you live by a river, then you can race up or down the river. Is there an island close to you? You could race to the island and back, or you could race around it. One thing we love doing is combining multiple bodies of water. Imagine starting in a lake, transferring to a river, paddling down that river and coming out into the ocean. That would be an amazing race.

Q: What Is Paddleboard Touring?

A: Paddleboard touring is for the adventurer who wants to go the extra mile and tour. Paddleboarding is a relaxing activity for anyone. You need a board and a paddle, and you can hit the water wherever you are. By paddling through the water with the paddle, you can move through the water on your board. Paddleboard touring takes it a step further. Instead of a relaxing jaunt in the water, you take a long relaxing jaunt in the water. Touring with a paddleboard is exactly the same as touring with a kayak or canoe. The aim is to take in the world around you as you move through the water.

When you are touring, you are out on the water for a long time, so you want to find a board which is steady enough to keep you on your feet for long periods of time, and big enough to carry your extra gear. Paddleboard touring is a relaxing adventure. It is a great way to get back to nature and see your surroundings in a different way. While paddleboard racing is all about getting from A to B as quickly as possible, paddleboard touring is all about getting from A to B at your own pace, and without even knowing where B is.

Globo Surf Overview

Whether you are going on long distance paddles or race competitively it is important that you get the best paddle board. These, while often expensive, will carry features that will last you a long time. While many may think that touring and racing boards have the same characteristics, there are different priorities that should be placed based on how you intend to use your board. Both carry a displacement hull design to help you soar through the water quickly with fewer strokes but the features will vary. Lightweight design and fins are important in racing while storage and paddle board thickness is a priority for touring.

More Paddle Reviews:

Sources

  1. Touring boards, Cruising World
  2. Racing boards, Hover Craft

Do you race on your paddle board? How about going on long distance trips with your board? Let us know what you like on a board in the comment section below.

Globo Surf Racing Paddle Boards Review

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Looking for a new racing paddle board. Cam across your website. Awesome options!

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!