Paddle Board Buying Guide


This paddle board buying guide is designed to give you some simple, honest advice on choosing the right paddle board for you. Choosing your first paddle board can be a daunting task! There are so many different types of SUP boards available, and so many different brands.

Here at Oxford SUP Club we try to make this process easier for you, by stocking a wide variety of the best paddle boards on the market.

We only work with brand partners that we believe in, and only stock boards that we are happy to use ourselves. All of the paddleboards we sell you’ll see us using for our SUP lessons and SUP Club sessions.

How to Choose the Best SUP Shape for You: Comparing Surf, All-Around, Touring, and Race Paddle Board Designs


Surf SUP boards are short, they have less volume, and they are fast to turn and manouvre. Their length and volume means they are less stable than bigger boards, and they are definitely harder to paddle in a straight line. Choose a Surf shaped board if you are going to be spending all of your time paddling in the ocean and surfing. Most people who learn to SUP surf will use a larger All-Round board to start with and progress to a Surf specific board.


These SUP boards are the most popular boards in the World and the sort of board most people are familiar seeing.  All-Round boards come in various lengths and widths, and this is to suit different size and weight paddlers. The longer and wider boards tend to be better suited to heavier riders, with shorter & narrower boards being better suited to smaller riders and children. They are easy to paddle, stable and easy for beginners. You can use an All-Round board anywhere, and for any type of paddling. We use them for teaching, touring and in the surf.


Most people getting into paddle boarding as a sport are normally paddling on flat water. Touring boards are becoming a really popular choice for new paddlers and they are a versatile and easy to use board.  Being longer than most All-Round boards they provide extra glide and speed, but still being wide they are  super stable.  Touring boards are designed for exploring canals, rivers, lakes and coastal waters. You can even use them in the surf!


SUP racing boards are the fastest type of paddle boards. Longer, narrower, lighter and less stable than other boards they glide through the water with much less resistance and are easier to paddle in a straight line. Most race boards are either 12’6″ or 14′ in length as these are the two most common race categories in SUP Racing around the World. They vary in width from 27″ down to 19.5″. The width really affects the stability, and so you’ll see more accomplished SUP racers using the narrowest boards.