We know that choosing your first paddleboard can be a daunting process - these days there are so many options! Size, brand, construction, colour, packages, paddles and more... it can all get a bit confusing. That's why we've made this handy guide. Also remember that we are also only at the end of the phone, just call 01202700503 for friendly advice on all things SUP.

Probably one of the biggest decisions is whether you want an inflatable board or a 'hard' (composite) board. Here are some things to consider:


‘Hard' Boards:

Extremely durable -  ideal for family use, will handle the kids and their mates jumping on it or your dog on the front.

Easy storage

Great as a flat water or allround board (don’t have the variety of bottom or rails shapes for High performance sup surfing)

More prone to bumps and scratches

Stiffer and more responsive (High performance) so better in wave (swell) or off the beach shore break

Huge variety of rocker line, rail shape, bottom profile, fin setup and volume size


Both composite and inflatable boards have construction options and different brands might even have different names for the same construction. We will be writing a helpful brand blog to help you choose the perfect brand and construction for you. In the mean time give us a call on 01202 700502 or email info@pooleharbour.co.uk if you have any questions.

Top tip: Always check the rider weight this will help you choose the right board

This depends on what you want to be using your board for. If you are buying your first board, chances are you want an all-round shape and length.

Board length:

Shorter boards are better for surfing and longer boards are better for longer distances/ flat water.

Board width:

The wider more stability but also slightly slower in a straight line and can affect your paddle technique. A narrower board will be more 'tippy' but faster in a straight line. 

Top tip: Since inflatable boards are naturally more floaty, you can get away with a narrower board. For example, a 30 inch wide inflatable may be similar in stability to a 32 inch composite board. 

These are versatile, multi-purpose boards to allow you to explore all aspects of the sport with only one board. The perfect allround board is very stable, has decent glide & tracks well (goes easily in a straight line) for flat water but also has a good shape for good surf performance.

Top tip:We recommend boards 30 to 32 inches wide for first time buyers.




Boards that are designed for flatwater, open water, and ‘downwinders’ (going from point A to B with the wind at your back). They are longer than allround boards (11’2”+)  and boards often have a pointed nose area that helps the board slice through the water smoothly, increase glide and help the board go straight.

Most flatwater boards are wide enough to be stable for beginners, however race boards, which are in the same family, are narrower to increase the boards speed.

Top tip: Race boards are not recommended for beginner paddlers due to them being very narrow the and therefore challenging to balance.  



Surf specific stand-up paddle boards are typically shorter, have a narrower nose and tail and more rocker (curve in hard sups) than allround, and flatwater/race boards. They much more maneuverable on a wave, but you will find that is that they are slower and don’t track in a straight line on flatwater and are also often less stable.

Top tip: Focus on volume when selecting the size of your surf SUP rather than the size of the board. Don’t go too big!





Available on lots of allround boards. A mast foot fitting is included on the deck of the board so that a windsurf sailing rig can be mounted, making these boards exceptionally versatile

Top tip: Some windSUP are designed more for windsurfing so have extras such as centre fin, foot straps and a more windsurf style shape so if you are looking to learn to windsurf then this is the sort of windSUP you are after.



We only stock brands which we believe make quality products, with the latest constructions and therefore any brand from our range is guaranteed to give you a quality board.  Give us a call on 01202 700503 for more info on all things SUP.


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