Paddle boarding has grown in popularity over recent years, aside from your typical Stand Up Paddle Board (SUPs), there are now touring paddle boards, surf paddle boards and race paddle boards, amongst others.
People are now using paddle boards for more long distance trips and exploring further afield, these types of activities are far easier and more enjoyable with a specialised board, these are known as touring paddle boards.
What are the benefits of using a touring paddle board?
Although you can still use an all-round SUP for exploring further distances, there are a number of benefits to using a tour specific paddle board.
- Touring paddle boards gain momentum quicker than all-round boards meaning exerting less energy whilst being able to travel faster
- These boards are longer than others making extra space for passengers and equipment for excursions (or even canine companions!)
- Learning to turn touring paddle boards is almost as easy as regular SUPs so easy to get the hang of
- Touring paddle boards are exceptionally quick in straight lines allowing you to cover a greater distance in shorter time
Choosing a great touring paddle board
Inflatable Vs Hard Board
A key decision when picking a touring paddle board is choosing between an inflatable or hard board.
Inflatable touring boards tend to be the most user-friendly and best for beginners. Due to the characteristics of inflatable boards, they are very lightweight, this makes them easier to pick up, pack up and transport. Usability wise, inflatable boards usually offer more stability and support than hard paddle boards making them easier to use for novices. They also tend to be less expensive than hard paddle boards so they are great for individuals and families who are just starting out.
Hard paddle boards are better for those who are more performance focused rather than looking at paddle board touring for leisure purposes. The main difference is that hard touring paddle boards will give better tracking and speed allowing you to travel faster and therefore greater distances. Displacement hulls mean the board can handle wind and waves with greater ease again contributing to the ability to travel faster and further.
Touring paddle board characteristics
Touring paddle boards are built to travel long distances and therefore have some noticeable differences compared to all-round Stand Up Paddle Boards.
Length – Touring paddle boards are longer allowing them to travel faster in a straight line so further distances are travelled in minimal time
Width – These paddle boards have slightly thinner decks than other paddle boards reducing resistance from the water allowing the board to gain maximum speed
Pointed nose – A key difference between touring paddle boards and all-round SUPs, especially hard boards, is that they have a pointed displacement hull. This pointed nose enables the board to cut through waves so the board maintains speed and direction
Once you have your perfect touring paddle board, the difficult decision is deciding where to explore. The UK is home to some of the best places to paddleboard so enjoy finding your next adventure!