If you’ve been into Stand Up Paddleboarding for a while now — preferring the serene waters of the 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, while race boards are either 12’6 or 14 ft.
As we kick off the second half of the summer and head into those beautiful fall months ahead, here are 6 of our favorite race and touring boards to take your paddling to the next level.
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FROM LEFT: BARK CONTENDER LITE PRO ELITE 12’6. Joe Bark is one of the most respected paddleboard designers, and more races have been won on Bark boards than any other brand. The new Bark Contender Lite is a reflection of the shift in design towards lower-volume, narrower boards. It’s fast and responsive, and the ideal choice for the experienced paddler looking for the playfulness of a lower-volume 12’6″ board that can handle any variety of conditions.
STARBOARD ALL STAR CARBON 2017. The Starboard All Star has long dominated the racing scene. Available in 12’6 or 14′ and a variety of widths, it offers performance, comfort and stability with its recessed deck and tri-concave bottom. The All Star comes in a more expensive lightweight carbon sandwich construction that flexes with each stroke, or a hybrid carbon that’s slightly heavier, but more durable. Flat water, choppy, or in the surf, it’s a versatile favorite in any condition. Read More