How Do You Know When You're Ready for a Touring Paddle Board?

Think you're ready for a touring paddle board? Read this first.


Paddle boarding is a versatile water activity that has taken the world by storm, offering a perfect blend of adventure, fitness, and fun. With various types of paddle boards available, choosing the right one for your needs can be a bit challenging. One specialized type of board that catches the eyes of many enthusiastic paddlers is the touring paddle board. But how do you know you're ready for one?

inflatable paddle board on a lake

Understanding the Touring Paddle Board

A touring stand up paddle board is designed primarily for long distances and is ideal for those who love to embark on long distance expeditions on lakes or coastal waters. They are typically longer, narrower, and have a pointed nose or bow. This design allows for faster paddling speeds, better tracking in a straight line, and increased stability, especially in choppy waters.

Features of a Touring Board

  • Non-slip deck: For safe and comfortable stand-up paddleboarding, ensuring that you have a good grip is crucial. A non-slip deck aids in providing the necessary traction.

  • Storage space: Given that touring often involves longer trips, these boards often come with bungee cords, storage bags, or even a storage backpack to carry essentials.

  • Weight capacity: Touring boards generally have a higher weight capacity, allowing paddlers to carry additional gear for their adventure.

  • Removable fins: These aid in maneuverability and tracking, crucial for long-distance paddling.

  • Stability and speed: With their design, touring boards offer a balance between stability and speed, catering to paddlers who might face varying water conditions during their journey.

Signs You're Ready to Transition to a Touring Board

inflatable paddle board on calm water

You Seek Longer Adventures

If your typical paddle boarding sessions have transformed from short rides to day-long expeditions, it might be time to consider a touring paddle board. These boards are specifically designed for long distances, making your journeys more efficient and enjoyable.

Your Skills Have Advanced

Touring boards are suitable for all skill levels, but they are especially beneficial for those with intermediate to advanced paddle board skills. Their design demands a bit more balance and paddling technique compared to all-round boards.

You Desire Speed and Efficiency

If you've been into paddle boards for a while, you'll understand the need for speed, especially on long journeys. The shape and design of touring boards allow for faster speeds and less drag, making your paddling sessions more efficient.

You Need More Storage

Planning to practice yoga, go fishing, or even just carry some snacks and a waterproof bag for your camera? Touring boards come equipped with ample storage options, allowing you to carry all your essentials safely.

Things to Consider Before Making the Purchase

Accessories and Add-Ons

When venturing into long-distance paddle boarding, ensure your board comes with essential sup accessories. Items like an adjustable paddle, hand pump (or even better, a manual pump for convenience), repair kit, and possibly a kayak seat can make your expeditions more enjoyable.

Board Construction

Choose between an inflatable paddle board and a solid board based on your needs. Inflatable boards, like the inflatable SUPs, offer the advantage of easy transport and storage, while solid boards might provide more stability and speed.

Price and Brand

It's always good to do some research on various brands and their offerings in the touring board range. Look at reviews, compare prices, and perhaps even test a few if possible. This will ensure you get value for your money and a board that suits your requirements.

Your Paddling Locations

Consider where you'll be paddle boarding most frequently. Touring boards are versatile, but they excel in flat waters like lakes and slow moving rivers. If you're planning to use the board in rougher ocean conditions, ensure the board's stability and design can handle it.


inflatable stand up paddleboard on a snowy lake

Whether you're looking to push your limits in paddleboarding, explore the great outdoors, or simply enjoy long, serene rides on the water, a touring paddle board might be the perfect fit for you. As with any sport or hobby, it's all about progression. When you feel the itch to explore further, cover more distance, and perhaps even challenge yourself in varying water conditions, that's a clear sign you're ready for a touring paddle board. Embrace the adventure and enjoy every paddle stroke!