A stand up paddle board is on my very short list of Simple Boating pleasures... but that doesn't mean that finding the board that's right for you is simple. Here are three tips to make sure you bring home the right one:

many surfboards lined up near beach hut

Surfboards (whether stand up or more traditional) come in an incredible variety of shapes and sizes.


1. Shop Around

There are more types and shapes of boards than you might think. Just because they all look the same at your local beach or shop doesn't mean that's all that's available. Do some research before you go to the local sale on the summer rental fleet. For a glossary of basic board types, read How To Choose the Right Stand Up Paddleboard.

2. Try Before You Buy

Any local shop should have demo models available, so you can get a feel for a board (or type of board) before you buy it. Make sure it's sized appropriately for your height, weight, and paddling style, but after that the choice is pretty personal.

3. Don't Buy Just on Price

Just like cheap underwear, if an inexpensive SUP doesn't fit you right you'll never use it—which means it will instead be a expensive lawn ornament. If the one that's a really good deal doesn't seem quite right, don't buy it—find one that fits your paddling style.

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And if you want to laugh at Lenny Rudow stand up paddling for the very first time... watch How To SUP and Stay Dry