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Touring SUP v All Round SUP: What's The Difference?

Posted by Luke Green

Most paddleboarding enthusiasts will be aware that some of the most common boards may fall under different categories including paddle boards designed for touring SUP and ones for all-round activities to name a few. But if you’re just getting started with your SUP journey, you may be wondering exactly which type of board would be ideal for you. Not to worry: we’re here to help! In this blog, we’ll break down the key differences between touring SUP boards and all-round SUP boards to help you decide what type is for you.

The first thing to be aware of is that when it comes to choosing boards designed for touring SUP vs ones for all-around activities, there is no strict ‘correct answer’. It all comes down to a personal choice about how you plan to use your paddleboard. There are a few factors in particular that you should consider before making your choice:

  • What Activities You Plan to Do: Consider exactly what you’re trying to get out of your SUP board. Different boards are suited to different activities, so your choice of board should reflect what you plan to do with it.

  • Where You Will Be Paddleboarding: The conditions of the areas that you will be paddleboarding in will play a major role in helping you determine if you need a touring SUP board or an all-round one.

  • How Experienced You Are: Generally speaking, beginners are known to favour all-round boards over touring ones at first due to the additional stability they provide to a burgeoning SUP enthusiast. Meanwhile, touring boards are normally chosen by more experienced paddlers who are comfortable with their ability to remain stable without additional help from the board.

What are the Main Features of a Touring Paddleboard?

A touring SUP is generally recommended for experienced or advanced paddlers who want to take their adventure to the next level. Boards in this category are designed specifically with efficiency in mind - often sacrificing lightweightedness in favour of speed. The pointed nose found on boards designed for touring SUP allows you to part water far more efficiently than an all-round board would, making it far more suited for paddleboarding in choppy conditions.

What About All Round Boards?

Unlike a touring SUP, boards in the all-round category are suited to more ‘leisurely’ paddleboarding. They are designed around promoting balance, stability and manoeuvrability as opposed to out-and-out speed which makes them more versatile than a specialised touring paddleboard. The greater board width and rounded tip cause the board to ride the water rather than part it, allowing for ease of use in many activities. Often shorter in length all-round paddleboards are easier to turn and as a result perform better in the surf. 

Choosing Your Board

You will know best when it comes to your skill level and adventure plans, so take the time to reflect on why you are keen to invest in a new paddleboard and you should be able to quite confidently determine which type of SUP is right for you. 

Here at Red, we are always happy to give you advice if you’re not sure which type of paddleboard is for you. You are always welcome to get in contact with our team for advice straight from the experts and we recommend that you check out our guide to choosing a paddleboard if you’d like further details on any of our specialist boards.