Choosing the Best Paddle Board for You (and Why It's a Glide SUP)

Buying a Stand Up Paddle Board is an excellent investment in your mental and physical well-being. So how do you choose the best paddle board? That will depend on your experience, lifestyle, and goals, but regardless, you want to choose the best paddle board for you from the right company. We're going to show you why your first (or next) SUP should be a Glide.

Buying a Stand Up Paddle Board is an excellent investment in your mental and physical well-being. So how do you choose the best paddle board? That will depend on your experience, lifestyle, and goals, but regardless, you want to choose the best paddle board for you from the right company. We're going to show you why your first (or next) SUP should be a Glide. 

Standup Paddle boarding (SUP) was already popular when the pandemic turned everything upside down. The shut-down and quarantine just made everyone hunger for outdoor activities that much more. As people began wondering what to do with their time off and looking for safe outlets for their leisure time, Stand Up Paddle boarding jumped out to be a great way to improve mental and physical health, and allows people to do an activity together while maintaining healthy distancing.

Sunlight is already one of the most potent anti-viral tools and being on the water basically guarantees easy social distancing. With that in mind, there are numerous paddle boards to choose from based on your level of skill and desired activities, so first let's look at what makes Glide the right board for you and then we'll examine which board will best meet your SUP adventure needs.

 Glide exotic

Excellent Value

Everyone wants the best board that they can afford. We have always valued durability first and foremost because you can't have fun if your SUP board is in the repair shop. That drove the development of our ultra-durable rigid epoxy boards and is why we will not dabble with the cheap, single-layer inflatable paddle boards that have flooded the market and are often only good for a single season or two.

We've been in business since 2010 and built our reputation for quality and durability one board at a time. We sell directly to consumers as well as through dealers. You may have rented a Glide paddle board- our rental SUPs were developed specifically to withstand the abuse that users put rental equipment through, and the feedback over the years has allowed us to make sure we're putting the most durable, yet economic product out there.


Customer Service

We are proud of our level of customer satisfaction and commitment to resolving any problems as quickly as possible. When someone contacts us with an issue, we strive to respond and resolve it as painlessly as possible for the customer.

Our quality assurance nips most problems in the bud, but when there is one, our experts will assist you to correct any problems and walk you through the solution.

The commitment for 100% satisfaction doesn’t end once your board is delivered. If you request assistance, advice or any information about our stand up paddle boards or paddle boarding in general, we will provide it as quickly as possible.


Five Star Reviews

Whether it's feedback from our customers, rental shops, or our dealers, we are proud of our track record over the years and the testimonies from people who love our boards and our commitment to customer satisfaction.

If you're wondering how to choose a paddle board, looking at the reviews for each type of SUP can also help narrow down which paddle board best fits your needs.


There's a Glide SUP for That

Whether it's a hardboard or an inflatable board, Glide has the bases covered for whatever type of SUP board adventuring fits your style. With years of hydrodynamic design experience in kayaking and SUP, our lead designer has crafted each type of paddle board to excel at its purpose: Surfing, Yoga, Touring, Fishing, etc.

 Glide Lineup

All Essentials Included

Our inflatable paddle boards come with everything you'll need to begin paddling from jump. We worked with our vendors to develop stylish, durable, and most importantly, functional accessories to go with our SUPs. All of our inflatable SUP boards come with an attractive rolling travel pack that holds the paddle, fin, leash, pump, and repair kit to get you on the water immediately.

 Glide delivery

Free Shipping

If you can't find a dealer near you, we ship inflatable paddle boards from Salt Lake City free to the lower 48. Usually in less than 5 business days. Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and Mexico cost a little more and take a little longer, but not much.


30 Day Guarantee and 2 Year Warranty

Thought you wanted a touring board, but an all-purpose paddle board is more your speed? Don't worry; shop confidently, knowing that if the paddle board isn't meeting your needs, you can exchange or return it within 30 days for a refund minus a modest restocking fee. Our 2 year limited manufacturer's warranty protects against any and all problems related to manufacturing defects.


shop inflatable paddle boards


Which Glide for You?

Hard or Inflatable SUP board?

Lets look at the pros and cons of each in order to help you find the right board. Both can do nearly anything the other type can, with some notable exceptions- surfing and whitewater.

Hard boards tend to excel at surfing due to the fact that they can have square-edged tails and rails that make them more adept at surfing. Inflatable boards tend to be completely rounded with no edge to help carve through waves. You can definitely surf an inflatable stand up paddle board, but it is more challenging. We are working on some solutions to give inflatable tails better hydrodynamic performance, but for now, hard boards have the edge.

Inflatable SUPs excel in whitewater for the simple reason that they usually bounce off rocks with minimal wear and tear, whereas even our ultra-durable hard boards are more prone to suffering cracks when hitting rocks on a river.

Inflatable SUP pros:

  • Ease of storage and transport- you can literally throw an inflatable board and all of its accessories in a closet or the trunk of your car
  • Durability- so much more forgiving than most hard boards. Dropping an inflatable on cement isn't going to hurt it
  • Cost- in general, iSUPs are less expensive than their rigid counterparts

Inflatable SUP cons:

  • Nobody likes blowing them up
  • Board "feel"- if you get the chance to paddle an inflatable and a hard board with similar shapes, and no other considerations, most people prefer the feel of the hard board but the differences are less every time the stiffness of iSUPs improves

Hard SUP pros:

  • Superior performance- the hard edges on rigid boards allow designers to fine-tune a shape for maximum performance
  • Less foot fatigue- your feet don't get as tired as they do on the spongy surface of an inflatable. (keep your iSUP at 12 psi or higher to reduce sag) Fiberglass over an EPS foam core gives a stiffness that iSUPs can't match

Hard SUP cons:

  • Transport- better have a truck bed or a roof-rack for your hard board, and don't even think about taking one on a plane.
  • Storage- No throwing it in the closet or the trunk of your car. Garage/basement/shed needed


2022 Glide selection 

Best All Around/Beginner Stand Up Paddle Board

Glide Retro

Glide Retro

The Glide Retro is a great all-purpose paddle board whether you're just beginning or you're a seasoned paddler. It's a versatile board that's great in surf or flatwater. As a rigid, it comes in 11'6” or 10'6” lengths and the O2 inflatable Retro is 10'6”. It's a wonderful paddle board to learn on and intermediate paddlers will love how it handles.


Best Intermediate/Advanced Stand Up Paddle Board

Glide Quest

Glide Quest

The Glide Quest comes in both flavors as well; rigid and inflatable. Its sleek touring shape allows you to cruise with ease and still has some room for gear. Touring boards are a narrower board, and the tapered shape elegantly slices through the water faster than most SUP boards. If you're into touring or exploring, this SUP is great for covering a lot of water quickly while enjoying a smooth ride.


SUP Yoga

Glide Lotus

Glide Lotus

The Glide Lotus paddle board is a beautiful original design with it's distinctive displacement hull. We developed it by working closely with yogis to create a shape that moves gracefully through the water and makes a sturdy workout space when anchored. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and our competition really felt the need to compliment our work- after its introduction in 2012, it was quickly copied across the industry. Whether you're an experienced yoga practitioner, a beginner, or need a stable platform for other types of workouts, this is the SUP for you.


SUP Fishing

Glide Angler

Glide Angler

The Glide Angler is a fishing dreadnaught. With two rod holders and 4 attachment plates for dozens of various Scotty Mount accessories, along with the capacity to float 450+ lbs, this board is perfect for fishing and all sorts of outdoor adventuring. If you want to do overnight trips on your SUP, you should give this one serious consideration. It's also great for ferrying kids and dogs around.


Whitewater SUP

Glide Lochsa

Glide Lochsa

The Lochsa is our whitewater-specific SUP and is only available as an inflatable stand up paddle board. It's designed to handle drops through rapids and float a paddler plus a decent amount of gear. It comes with a detachable center fin and has twin side-bite flexible rubber fins attached. An aggressive textured full-length deck pad helps you stay aboard through the chop. We recommend using detachable semi rigid fins for serious whitewater use; a regular hard fin can break too easily or damage your fin box if you hit a rock.


Get Your Glide On!

If you were on the fence before, you should know enough now to get a better idea of what type of paddling is best suited for you and which boards will fill that role. Don't hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We love to inform people about the sport and our boards.


Related Topics

Things to Consider When Buying a SUP

Improving Fitness on Paddle Board

Back to The Future With The O2 Retro

Hard VS Inflatable Paddle Board

Beginners' Guide to SUP Fishing