Paddle boarding is gaining popularity all over the world as a water sport at a very fast speed. It allows people to paddle in rivers, waves, and lakes. If you want to participate in paddle boarding events then you can find a wide variety of paddleboards that can be used by everyone regardless of their experience in this field. Paddleboards can be used for various types of activities including surfing, racing, fishing, and yoga. In this write-up, we are going to discuss different types of paddle boards so that you can choose the most suitable one for you.
Types of paddle boards can be divided based on their activity and construction.
You can choose a paddle board according to the way you are going to use it. Types of paddle boards by activity include all-around, fishing, touring, racing, yoga, whitewater, and surfing. All these options are briefly described here under for your consideration.
All-around paddle boards: This type of paddle board is very versatile and popular as it can be used by anyone, beginners as well as seasoned paddlers. Occasionally they can be used for fishing, surfing as well as yoga on small waves. Normally these boards are 32" wide and 10-11 feet long with a rounded nose and can be made of inflatable materials, foam, or composite hard boards. Though these boards can be used for different purposes still you cannot rely on them for a particular activity. So you should buy a paddle boat designed for that activity if you want to perform a specific activity while using a paddle board.
Fishing paddle board: For fishing, you must have a stable paddle board and for this reason for fishing they are designed with special care. Paddle boards for fishing are made a bit wider as they have to be stable in the water. But due to their width and stability, these boards are normally slow. In order to allow you to keep your fishing gear on the paddle board its deck is made a bit larger so that it can have attachment points and tracks to keep accessories and gear on it. Normally these paddle boards are 34-36" wide and 11-12 feet long. They are generally made of inflatable materials or composite hard boards.
Touring paddle boards: These paddle boards are normally used for paddling for a long distance. These boards include the combination of the features of a racing board and an all-around board as they are made stable like a racing board and faster like an all-around board. The width of these boards is around 30-32" and length nearly 12-13 feet. These boards can also be used by beginners to learn paddle boarding but it may take a longer time to be a perfect paddle boarder than an all-around board. These boards can glide more easily through the water due to their longer structure. You can use them for camping events on paddle boards. The large deck of these boards made of composite hardboard or inflatable materials also allows you to have lots of camping gear with you while paddling. These paddle boards can be the perfect choice for heavy paddlers due to their ease of gliding on water and extra volume.
Surfing paddle boards: The size of these boards is shorter than other types of paddle boards. They have a pointed nose and a planning hull. They are normally made from composite hard boards. Earlier they were also made from inflatable materials but now they have become obsolete due to their poor performance. A surfing paddle board made from the hardboard can be the best option for serious surfers who focus more on performance but an inflatable surfing board can allow you to surf on smaller waves only.
Yoga paddle boards: For yoga activity, any kind of stable paddle board can be used. Some of the companies specifically design paddle boards for yoga practitioners by making them stable and additionally wider. Usually, their deck is made soft and large to provide enough space to practice yoga. These paddle boards can be used by anyone in the family for carrying kids, pets as well as for fishing and cruising, etc. because of their slower speed and wider deck. These paddle boards are made from composite hard boards, foam, or inflatable materials to make them good for practicing yoga. Normally they are 34" wide and 10' 6" long and have a tail and a rounded nose.
Whitewater paddle boards for rivers: This type of paddle boards are made compact and shorter in size. Normally they are made of durable inflatable materials with extra flexibility so that you can use them for paddling in rivers. As compared to a yoga paddle board these boards can be double in size. They have to be exceptionally stable and flexible on the river's whitewater as they have to avoid logs and rocks also. As they have to face rocks and shallow water so their fins should be unbreakable and short. Usually, their width is 36" and length 9' 6" to make them stable on river whitewater.
Racing paddle boards: The paddle boards used for racing are just like the boards used for touring. They are very narrow as compared to other paddle boards. Though they glide exceptionally well through the water than any other board but they are not stable enough due to their narrow width. They are normally 24-27" wide and 12' 6" to 14" long.
Different types of materials and construction methods are used to make different types of paddle boards. Inflatable materials can be the best choice for you if you are looking for an easily portable, storable, and durable paddle board. But the paddle boards made from hard boards can improve your performance to an optimum level. Different types of paddle boards based on their construction may include:
Inflatable paddle boards: These are one of the popular types of paddle boards due to their compact design and ease of storage and transportation. They are a bit pricier than other types of paddle boards because they include multiple layers of military-grade thick PVC. Thousands of drop stitches are used to connect the bottom and top layers from inside. These stitches also help in restraining the inflatables to expand like a balloon. When inflated the board becomes additionally stiff because these stitches are woven together. When a good inflatable paddle board is inflated then it becomes 5-6" thick to give it the best buoyancy and rigidity. So far as their performance is concerned they are inferior to the paddle boards made from the hardboard due to their slower speed even if their size and shape are similar. They can be used for yoga, fishing, and cruising as well as for carrying pets and kids with you.
Composite or epoxy paddle boards: For exceptional performance paddle boards made from epoxy can be the best as they glide more easily at a faster speed. But a paddle board made from hardboard can allow you to perform better while racing, touring, or surfing. People usually think of a composite or epoxy paddle board while searching for a good paddle board. Normally two methods are used to make the paddle boards of this type.
Commonly epoxy, foam, and fiberglass are used to make a paddle board that looks like a surfboard. A paddle board is produced from a blank of foam and then the cloth of fiberglass is laid on it and then the resin of epoxy is poured over it to make a paddle board. In some cases, the cloth of carbon fiber or a combination of fiberglass and carbon cloth can also be used instead of fiberglass cloth for this purpose. The final layer of this paddle board is made by using a wood veneer. They are made stiffer and stronger by using stringers made of plastic, PVC, or wood.
Pop-Out method of making epoxy/fiberglass paddle boards includes a mold with foam injected in it. Around the core layers of epoxy and fiberglass are added to make a lightweight but durable paddle board. But these boards are rarely used due to their higher cost.
Plastic paddle boards: This is the cheapest type of paddle boards. Though these boards are durable and the price is affordable but their performance depends upon the quality of the board you buy. They glide slowly due to their heavier weight and while turning they behave awkwardly. So, they are not good for beginner paddlers.
Foam paddle boards: The paddle boards of this type are good for kids and beginners due to their low cost. They are made by injecting EPS foam into a mold. To make them stronger wood stringers are put indie their foam. The core is sealed from all sides by laminating it with hot high-density foam. They are durable and lightweight and offer a soft deck to fall on or stand like paddle boards made of inflatable materials. They are good not only for beginners but also for carrying dogs and kids as well as cruising and yoga etc.
Thus, the information provided in this write-up can help you to choose the most suitable types of paddle boards for you.
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