Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Stand Up Paddles help you to comfortably explore the coast and they are particularly robust. Unlike a conventional surfboard, Stand Up Paddle Boards are not suitable for adrenaline-fuelled surfing, but for relaxed yoga on the board. Stand Up Paddle Boards are a bit more expensive than a conventional surfboard, but they are less dangerous.

With our big Stand Up Paddle Test 2021 we want to help you find the best Stand Up Paddle for you. We have compared inflatable stand up paddles, wooden stand up paddles and carbon stand up paddles and listed the advantages and disadvantages of each. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




Summary

  • Stand Up Paddles allow you to explore the coast in a particularly relaxed and effortless way. The wider board gives you greater stability in the water.
  • There are inflatable Stand Up Paddles, wooden Stand Up Paddles and carbon Stand Up Paddles, all available in different sizes and shapes.
  • All-round and touring stand up paddle boards are particularly suitable for beginners because of their wide surface. You can even do your yoga exercises on a touring board.

The Best Stand Up Paddle: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for Stand Up Paddles

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible Stand Up Paddles. The criteria you can use to compare the different Stand Up Paddles with each other include:

In the following paragraphs, we will explain to you what is important in each criterion.

Material

Stand Up Paddles are available in different materials. The most popular version is the inflatable Stand Up Paddle. You can pump air into the Stand Up Paddle with the help of a pump. The pressure should not exceed 1 bar. The ideal pressure is 0.8-0.9 bar.

Inflatable Stand Up Paddles are ideal for beginners.

Like classic surfboards, stand-up paddles are also available in wood. The big advantage is that they do not need to be inflated for a long time, they are very handy and light in weight. The big disadvantage is that they can break more quickly. By far the most stable version is made of carbon.

It can still be used even when slightly scratched. The big disadvantage of this version is that they are rather expensive.

Size

There are four categories of Stand Up Paddles. The first is the Allround board. It has no pointed ends, unlike the other board types. They are ideal for beginners because their width makes them tip-resistant.

They are also easy to steer and perfect for learning tricks like walking and turning. Touring boards are a little less wide, but are longer and have pointed ends. They are ideal for beginners because they have a much better glide in the water than all-round boards. They are also more ideal for sports exercises, such as yoga.

Race boards are very narrow and long. Their shape and pointed ends make them easy to cut through the waves. They are ideal for experienced paddlers. They are usually used exclusively for competitions and are therefore completely unsuitable for beginners.

The last board category is the wave board. They are the widest and also the shortest type of board. It is pointed at the front end. It is ideal for experienced paddlers who want to throw themselves into the waves like surfers.

They are designed exactly like a surfboard because of their shape. However, they are a bit wider, but this gives you the perfect balance while riding the waves.

Body weight

Your own body weight is crucial when choosing a Stand Up Paddle. Here is a small table:

Body weight Board volume Board length
Up to 60 kilograms 170 litres 310-340 centimetres
Up to 70 kilograms 180 litres 310-340 centimetres
Up to 80 kilograms 220 litres 340-370 centimetres
Over 85 kilograms 230 litres 340-370 centimetres

If you are lighter in weight, we recommend a small board. For heavier paddlers we recommend a larger board with more volume.

Number of fins

The fins are very important for the riding characteristics. There are a few characteristics that are important:

  • Fin length: The longer a fin is, the more stable and straight you can ride. However, you will lose more speed with a longer fin than with a shorter one.
  • Fin surface area: The larger the surface area of the fin, the greater the grip and stability. Heavier riders usually choose a larger fin area than lighter riders.
  • Finthickness: Thinner fins cut through the water better, but thicker ones are more robust.
  • Fin material: Carbon, fibreglass and hard plastic are the best materials for Stand Up Paddles. There are also fins made of beautifully decorated wood, but these are less robust and stability is also compromised.

Depending on the type of fin, the number of fins is no longer very important. With thicker and larger fins made of carbon, for example, one can be enough. However, most stand up paddle riders use at least two to increase stability. You should not mount more than three fins, because the speed is much lower and you have too much effort.

Accessories

There are many accessories for Stand Up Paddles. The most important accessories are the paddles. They are usually made of light carbon and are therefore very handy. They are available in different lengths.

Another valuable accessory is the so-called dry bag.

This backpack is waterproof and you can easily carry your valuables and electronic devices in it during the trip. Cut-resistant socks are an important accessory to protect you against cuts on your feet in waters with jagged rocks.

They are also perfect for the easily brittle wooden boards. Last but not least, for absolute comfort, there is the Stand Up Paddle seat. With this seat, you don't have to be standing on the board the whole time on longer trips.

Decision: What types of Stand Up Paddle are there and which is the right one for me?

If you want to buy a Stand Up Paddle, there are three types to choose from:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Stand Up Paddle inflatable Cheap, light, soft surface, available everywhere Long and tedious to inflate, break quickly
Stand Up Paddle made of wood Quite sturdy, ready to use You can get wood splinters, not available everywhere, expensive
Stand Up Paddle made of carbon Sturdy, break-proof, quite scratch-proof, ready to use Expensive, not available everywhere

If you want to know more about the different types of Stand Up Paddles, you can read more in the following paragraphs.

Inflatable Stand Up Paddle

The big advantage of an inflatable Stand Up Paddle is that they are very light. They are also ideal for a yoga session in the middle of the water because of their soft surface. They are also very light in weight and easy to stow away. In addition, inflatable stand up paddles are available almost everywhere and they are ideal for beginners because of the low price.

Advantages
  • Cheap
  • Lightweight
  • Soft surface
  • Available everywhere
Disadvantages
  • Long, tedious inflation
  • Breaks quickly

The big disadvantage is that you have to inflate them long and laboriously every time. Although electric air pumps are a great help when inflating, you still lose a lot of time. In addition, they can break if you apply too much pressure. For this reason, you should only have a maximum air pressure of one bar in your Stand Up Paddle.

Stand Up Paddle made of wood

The big advantage of wooden stand up paddles is that they are quite robust. You don't have to inflate them for a long time, which saves you time. They can be used immediately and are better for experienced paddlers in small waves because of their stiffness.

Advantages
  • Quite robust
  • Ready to use immediately
Disadvantages
  • Possibility of wood splinters
  • Not available everywhere
  • Very expensive

The big disadvantage of wooden stand up paddles is that you can easily get a splinter in your foot. This is not only painful, but also dangerous. Especially if the board breaks, it is dangerous for you. Wood splinters can cause dangerous infections. [/su_spoiler]

Carbon Stand Up Paddle

The big advantage of carbon stand up paddles is that they are very robust. They are break-resistant and cannot be scratched so quickly.

Advantages
  • Robust
  • Break-proof
  • Quite scratch-proof
  • Ready for use immediately
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Not available everywhere

The big downside is that carbon Stand Up Paddles are the most expensive version of Stand Up Paddles. The average price for Stand Up Paddles made of carbon is around 300 euros. Due to the robustness and the high price, we can only recommend this version to experienced Stand Up Paddle riders. [/su_spoiler] [/su_accordion]

Guide: Frequently asked questions about Stand Up Paddle answered in detail

In the following paragraphs we want to answer the most important questions about Stand Up Paddle. We have selected the questions for you and will answer them shortly. After reading our guide, you will know all the important background information about Stand Up Paddles.

What is a Stand Up Paddle?

A Stand Up Paddle is a surfboard that is slightly wider, thicker and longer. The name Stand Up Paddle literally means "stand up paddle".

Stand Up Paddle-1

There is also room for our four-legged friends on a Stand Up Paddle board.
(Image sources: adege / pixabay)

As the name suggests, you stand upright on the board and use a paddle to move forward.

Who is a Stand Up Paddle suitable for?

Stand Up Paddles are suitable for anyone who wants to explore the coast at their leisure. They are also suitable for people who want to do yoga in the water. You can do your yoga exercises on your board in the middle of the water and improve your balance.

Where can you go Stand Up Paddling?

You can actually go Stand Up Paddling on all lakes, rivers and seas, as long as there is no strong wind.

Stand Up Paddle-2

With a Stand Up Paddle you can go paddling all over the world.
(Image source: Francisco Deane / unsplash)

In Germany, we recommend the quarry ponds and natural lakes because they are less windy than the North Sea and Baltic Sea.

What size Stand Up Paddle should I buy?

There are four categories of Stand Up Paddle boards. The first is the Allround Board. Unlike the other board types, it has no pointed ends. They are ideal for beginners to explore the coast. A set with accessories costs about 300 euros on average.

Touring and Allround boards are most suitable for beginners.

Touring boards are a little less wide, but are longer and have pointed ends. They are ideal for beginners to explore the coast. A set with accessories costs about 400 euros on average. Race boards are very narrow and long.

Their shape and pointed ends make it easy to cut through the waves. They are ideal for advanced surfers and for people who want to get from one place to another quickly. A set with accessories costs an average of 600 euros.

The last board category is the wave boards. They are the widest and also the shortest type of board. It is pointed at the front end. It is ideal for people who want to try surfing. A set with accessories costs about 450 euros on average.

How much does a Stand Up Paddle cost?

Stand Up Paddles are available at different prices.

Price range Recommended for Accessories
100-300 euros Beginners Paddle
300-500 euros Beginners and advanced Paddle, pump and backpack
Over 500 euros Advanced and professional Paddle, backpack, fin, pump, spare parts for repair

For beginners, the cheap inflatable models are more suitable. For advanced paddlers, we recommend the solid Stand Up Paddles made of wood or carbon.

What are the alternatives to a Stand Up Paddle?

There are two alternatives to Stand Up Paddles. In the following paragraphs, we will show you the advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives. The first alternative is the classic surfboard. It is absolutely fantastic for water sports.

With them you can ride the waves without any effort and much better than with a Wave Stand Up Paddle Board. The big disadvantage with them is that they are not suitable for leisurely exploration of the coast, but only for adrenaline-fuelled sport.

The kayak is another alternative to the Stand Up Paddle. With them, you can explore the coast even more comfortably.

Unlike the Stand Up Paddle, you do everything sitting down. The big disadvantage of kayaks is that getting in and out requires a lot of practice. They are also very prone to tipping over, which can be fatal for beginners. For these reasons, we recommend a surfboard for adrenaline-pumping surfing and a Stand Up Paddle Board when exploring the coast or a river.

How can I stand on a Stand Up Paddle?

To be able to stand on a Stand Up Paddle Board, you need to have the handle of the paddle centrally between your feet. Your feet should be parallel and about shoulder width apart.

Stand Up Paddle-3

With the right stance, you can ride your board towards the sunset.
(Image source: Michael Henry / unsplash)

Your gaze should be forward over the bow to allow your body to straighten properly. Good pelvic tension is also essential.

How many bars of pressure does an inflatable Stand Up Paddle need?

The pressure of a Stand Up Paddle should ideally be 0.8-0.9 bar. It should never be above one bar, because otherwise it will lead to overpressure, which will cause the Stand Up Paddle to burst. For this reason, we recommend a pressure of 0.9 bar so that you can always be on the safe side.

Can I do yoga on a Stand Up Paddle?

Yes you can. There are even courses in many places. You can do your favourite yoga exercises on the Stand Up Paddle at your leisure, focusing on your balance. Furthermore, the water has a calming effect on our psyche, so yoga pays off twice.

Image source: Kachmar/ 123rf.com

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