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Prepare to paddle

Stand up paddleboards (SUPs for short) have become popular fixtures on summer waters. From oceans to freshwater lakes, paddleboards are a great form of exercise and a fun way to explore coastlines.

Along with being a relaxed way to see the water, paddleboards can have room for dry bags, furry friends and more. If you’re thinking of dipping your toes into the stand up paddleboard lifestyle, there are a few things to consider first.

Types of paddleboards

There are two main types of paddleboards: inflatable and solid. MEC carries both from brands like Level Six and NRS.

With inflatable paddleboards, convenience is key. They’re great for casual paddlers or if you’ll be packing them along for trips (car camping or even expeditions where travel is involved). Many come with their own pack and pump. That said, you’ll have pump up and deflate your board every time you want to hit the water.

Solid paddleboards are great for avid paddleboarders or fitness paddlers. Since they’re long and heavy, transportation and storage can be tricky, so a vehicle with a secure roof rack is key. Touring boards are made to move efficiently through the water, and often have bungees to lash on extra gear.

Ready to dive in? We’ve got tons more tips about how to choose a paddleboard.