What is Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)?

SUP or Stand Up Paddleboarding continues to be one of the fastest growing water sports. An SUP combines the stability of a kayak with the similar feel of being on a surfboard. But, an SUP board is longer, wider and more buoyant than a traditional surfboard. SUP is fun at all levels, easy to learn and a great workout. For many, once you get on an SUP, it is easy to fall in love. You’ll soon want to buy your own.

There are many options to consider, so, we have created the perfect guide to help you find the perfect SUP that fits your lifestyle and will get you out on the water.

Types of boards:

There are 5 basic types of boards. When choosing a board, consider what type of paddle boarding you enjoy most and pick a board according to your desired use.

perfect sup

“Unless you already surf, you’re probably better off not buying a small surf style sup board as your only board.” – Tip from Island Water Sports Team Rider Mark Athanacio

What size board do I need?

Board use, volume and length are key factors when selecting the right size stand up paddle board. It all comes down to math and use. So head to the shop or use this formula to get an idea of what you are looking for:

SUP Volume

Calculating the SUP Volume is all about math. Here is an easy formula to figure it out!


Your weight in (kg) x 2


Your weight in (kg) x 1.7


Your weight in (kg) x 1.3

Easy lbs to kg converter

SUP Length

What paddle do I need?

To maximize performance and your enjoyment when on the water, you need to have the correct stand up paddle length and height for the type of paddling you decide to do.
You should also consider the size of the paddle blade. The size and shape of a blade can have a big impact on the performance of a paddle for the type of SUPing you choose to do.

Surf SUP Paddles:

Height should be 6-8 inches above the paddlers height due to lower stance taken in surfing.

Flat-water SUP Paddles:

Height should be 8-10 inches above the paddlers height for improved reach and power in each paddle stroke.

Racing SUP Paddles:

Height should be 10-12 inches above the paddlers height for maximum reach and power in each paddle stroke for speed.


If you want to stand up paddle board in both the surf and when it is flat as a lake, you can either buy two paddles or buy an adjustable.

“Buy from a local store. That way you always have somewhere to go for help and information.” – Tip from Island Water Sports Team Rider Mark Athanacio

A lot that goes into purchasing a standup paddle board. Island Water Sports is here to help you the perfect board. Our expert staff will answer any questions and help you find that perfect sup. Looking to buy a board online. Shop online now! Our staff are always just a phone call away (954)427-4929.


Join us each Saturday for SUP LESSONS. Our expert instructors offer the best group surf, skim and SUP lessons in South Florida. And, best of all, THEY ARE FREE! Sign up today!



Enjoy a paddle with friends as he sunsets and the full moon rises over the beautiful South Florida waterways. Full Moon tours happen every month throughout the year but fill up quickly. Sign up for our next Full Moon Paddle and enjoy an forgettable experience.