If you’ve been Stand Up Paddleboarding for a while now — preferring the serene waters of a bay or lake over ocean waves, but still riding a traditional surfboard shaped SUP — it might be time to graduate to a race or touring board. With a nose shaped more like a kayak, called a “displacement hull”, these sleek and streamlined boards are designed to go fast and straight, cutting though choppy waters and gliding with ease.
Touring boards are generally more stable and are wider than race boards, designed for recreational paddlers, while race boards tend to be narrower, designed for more advanced and competitive paddlers. Touring boards come in a variety of different lengths, depending on personal preference, while race boards are either 12’6 or 14 ft. As we kick off the second half of the summer, here are 6 of our favorite race and touring boards ready to take your paddling to the next level.
RACE SUPS: STAND UP PADDLEBOARDS BUILT FOR SPEED
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FROM LEFT: STARBOARD ALL STAR $3499. Combining stability with speed, the All Star is the most popular and versatile race board in the Starboard lineup. Ideal for both beginner and elite level riders, the concave bottom shape provides speed on flatwater, and though narrow at 23″, stability and control from the side planes and sharp rail edge. With a noticeable flex, energy is generated from the body moving up and down during paddle strokes. As with most race boards, it is available in a 12’6 and 14 ft. length.
SIC MAUI 12’6 TWC $1699. If you want a fast all around fitness/race board that has a bit more width for added stability, this is your board. Stability is the key to SIC boards winning pedigree and design philosophy that you are fastest when standing on your board as opposed to lying in the water next to it. The wave piercing bow and dual zone rocker offer low drag in calm waters with the stability needed in choppier conditions. Sharp rails at the tail shear water to maximize speed.
NAISH GLIDE 12’6” X30 GS $1999. The Glide 12’6″ X30 GS is the ideal choice for riders of any level who want increased stability for touring, enjoying downwind ocean runs, recreational racing, and fitness training. It features a penetrating V nose and a flat rocker for phenomenal gliding performance on flat water, with ample thickness and width for stability and planing in the ocean.
NSP DC ELEMENTS SURF RACE $1499. The NSP Surf Race family of boards, from Standard to Pro, have great flat water speed, with excellent stability and control in ocean conditions as well. Available in both a 27″ and 29″ widths, these are some of the most versatile race boards on the water — performance oriented for the experienced racer but forgiving for the recreational paddler.
BARK DOMINATOR AST 14′ $1899. Joe Bark is one of the most respected paddleboard designers, and more races have been won on Bark boards than any other brand. The 14 ft. Dominator is the ultimate distance and race board, and Bark’s most popular SUP. Now built with AST construction for increased durability, this long lean machine is a lightweight speed demon in flat water and tough enough to withstand the rigors of daily usage.
HOBIE 12’6 – 5.75 APEX 4R $1799. Lightweight and strong, the Apex 4R comes in both 12’6” and 14 ft, the latter in two widths to accommodate different sized paddlers. The nose design allows the board to punch through waves, and the bottom is flat from rail to rail for under foot for stability, with a slight V-bottom for added control. The step deck design lowers the paddler’s center of gravity for added stability. Versatile in all conditions, the Apex 4R is a stable, fast and a very responsive race board.