Should You Get an All Around or Touring Paddle Board?
The question if you should get an All Around or Touring paddle board is a common among first time paddle board buyers. In the spirit of helping people make the best decision, let’s get the answer.
As a company that has sold hundreds of paddle boards, some of the first questions we ask is this will be the buyers first board, and what activities would they like to do?
Most people purchasing their first paddle board have decided to make the purchase after performing the activity on vacation, using a friend’s board at the cottage or after a couple of rentals. They like the activity enough to buy a board, but in reality, they have limited experience.
If this describes you, I would suggest purchasing an All-Around paddle board. All Around paddle boards are perfect for people just getting into the sport. They are well balanced, and you can do any type of SUP activity with one. Want to paddle 10 miles across the lake? An All Around can do that. Want to try paddle surfing and catch some waves the next day? An All Around can do that too.
An All-Around style is a great first board, because it performs well for all types of paddle boarding activities.
GENERAL PURPOSE VS SPECIALIZED
All Around paddle boards can be considered general purpose paddle boards. They can do virtually every type of paddling activity well, but it doesn’t shine at any single activity.
If you’re looking for a SUP that excels at one thing in particular, then you want to get a specialized board. Paddle boards styles vary for the activity. In addition to the general-purpose All-Around style, there are specialized categories known as Race, Touring, Surf/Wave and even Yoga.
Touring paddle boards are built to cut through the water and travel easily in a straight line. They will outperform an All-Around style in the 10-mile paddle across the lake, but it would be very hard to catch even the smallest wave with a Touring board.
Specialized style paddle boards are excellent, and are highly recommended as a second board. When you want to have a good cardio session, break out the Touring paddle board. When you want to play around closer to shore, the All Around will be more fun.
BENEFITS OF BOTH STYLES
There are benefits to both boards, and this is where the second question we ask customers comes into play; what activities would you like to do?
As previously explained, an All-Around paddle board enables paddlers to experience all the forms that paddle boarding has to offer. You can do it all with an All-Around paddle board!
In addition, All Around paddle boards are less expensive than their specialized counterparts, and they are also having better balance.
Touring paddle boards are far superior to All Arounds when it comes to traveling through the water with speed. Because of their shape, paddlers are capable are traveling further faster and with less effort than an All-Around style.
For paddlers wishing to travel long distances in a straight line, Touring paddle boards are the answer.
CONS OF BOTH STYLES
From the perspective of a first-time buyer, there is no downside to getting an All-Around style. Newer paddlers to the sport get to hone their skills on a stable platform that enables them to experience everything that paddle boarding has to offer.
A Touring paddle board will not be as user friendly for a newer paddler, Not only are paddlers limited from experiencing the variety of activities paddle boarding has to offer, Touring boards much narrower are often less stable than their All-Around cousins.
If you’re purchasing your first paddle board, the better decision is to go with an All-Around style. Experience everything that paddle boarding has to offer. After you’ve logged a couple of years with your All Around, get the speciality boards to meet your needs. Don’t start with one.
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The Wappa Blog
Written by Wappa's founder Layne Pennell, the blog's aim is to educate and share his love of stand up paddle boarding with anyone interested in SUP.
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