touring stand up paddle board guide

Introduction to Touring Stand-up Paddle Boards

Characterized by its sharp nose, square tail, and above-average dimensions – the touring paddle board is the Second-Most-Popular Board Type produced by 40+ best SUP brands. Belonging to the top three boards types with an all-rounder and a yoga board, the touring SUP has more technical constructions and an advanced design.

Talking of paddleboarding in general – there’s an increasing following to the sport & recreation after the introduction to good-quality inflatable paddle boards. It was just about 10 years ago when stand-up paddleboarding started to boom, and today we are introduced to a w e s o m e selection of types, sizes, constructions, and designs.

Inflatable touring sups are without doubt the most versatile boards out there.

 

Touring / Adventure / Exploration / Heavy-duty all-around / Expedition / Travel

Overnight camping / Weekend Adventures

 

Best suited for those who’d like to go for long trips and haul extra gear while having the capability to paddle in some choppy waters – the touring stand-up paddleboard is a technical piece of equipment for some heavy-duty use.

Available in both inflatable and rigid construction – there’s an interesting choice of features, sizes, and innovations that we are going to describe down below.

Have a look:

touring stand up paddle board guide

Touring paddleboards don’t need too much introduction – they are simply designed for adventure. Touring is a demanding discipline combined with performance and endurance mixed into one.

 

Average touring paddle board length:

  • 11’6″ – Average
  • 12’0″ – Average
  • 12’6″ – Average
  • 14′ – Pointy nose & narrow width

Average touring paddle board width:

  • 28″ – Long epoxy boards
  • 29.5” – Long epoxy boards
  • 30″ – Found on longer & narrow touring boards
  • 32″ – Average at 11’6″
  • 34″ – Average at 11’6″

Average touring SUP thickness:

  • Inflatable – 4.5″ / 6″ / 6.5″ / 8″
  • Rigid – 7″

sup touring board illustration

 

sup size chart
Click on image to read moreInflatable paddle board size guide

 

 

Main features


Pointy outline

Unlike all-around, fishing and yoga boards – a touring paddle board has a bullet-shaped outline for endurance riding. Choppy waters, long distances, extra weight (gear) on the extended nose, and flat tail – touring SUPs are designed to carry higher loads.

 

Extra D-rings

A double set of bungee cords (front & rear) to haul extra gear on board. Stash your bags under the cords – simply grab & go while you’ve reached your destination. As most boards have bungee cords only in the front – the touring board can be told apart by the double set of stash spots.

 

Nose & tail grab handles

While most stand-up paddle boards have the carry handle in the middle – touring boards are often equipped with reinforced grab handles on the front and back as well. Multiple grab handles are some of the most overlooked features of the touring SUP.

*Extra grab handles are convenient when moving to approach the shore and need to pull the board on land, and simply transport by two persons on land.

 

Paddle holder

Another great feature found among touring and some other board types as well. A paddle holder is one of the first and basic accessories found on paddle boards which make the experience much more convenient. Some paddles float – others don’t.

 

Paddle sheath

Placed on the front, above bungee cords – the paddle stealth is another convenient feature that you start to appreciate when you don’t have one. Especially when you didn’t even know it even existed.

Simply place the paddle blade in the designated area and grab the fishing rod, or hop off the board, hands-free. Yes, you can place to paddle into the side rail slot if there’s one, but if you constantly have to crouch and clip the paddle in the slot, it becomes a nuisance. The paddle sheath is there to maximize the convenience of the touring experience.

 

 

The PROs


Portable / Durable / Functional 

The touring paddle board is essentially a mixture of a race & fishing board. The shape and long-distance endurance borrowed from a race/fitness board, and stability & gear storage borrowed from a fishing paddle board.

That being said – the touring stand-up paddle board is one of the most functional boards for the widest variety of activities.

  • Stable & fast outline – For open waters.
  • Increased weight capacity – to haul camping gear.
  • Extra bungee – on the tail extra gear.
  • Extra grab handles – for convenient transportation.
  • Rack compatibility – to make the board more of a tool.
  • Added paddle holders – found on some boards.
  • Kaya seat compatible – some boards have that feature.

 

 

The CONs


There are no distinct downsides to adventure paddleboards if you are going to use them properly. Since the board excels best at its purposed field of use, it should also be used accordingly – which means it can be overkill for an average user who is not going to use the features’ full capacity.

  • Rigid paddle boards are large items that can be inconvenient to load and transport by a car.
  • Innovative features don’t come on most brands.
  • Let us & others know more about the cons to a touring board.

 

 

FAQ


Why do touring paddle boards have a long and pointy nose?

Touring means going on an adventure with extra gear which often includes passages on choppy waters. Adding the extra gear on the nose area gives the touring SUP extra stability and the best weight-to-length optimization.

If touring boards would have a round shape – they wouldn’t be as stable on moving and choppy water. Round shapes are best for flat waters like lakes and clear days at the ocean.

Touring vs fishing paddle board

Fishing paddleboards are often categorized as expedition & adventure boards, but compared to the original touring board, a fishing SUP board is much wider (up to 36″ and 38″). Touring SUPs rarely go over the 34″ on width.

What these two boards share in common is that they are designed to haul extra gear on the board.

  • Touring paddle boards are designed for endurance & long-distance paddling.
  • Fishing paddle boards are designed for stability and with the availability to add rod holders and a cooler on top of the board.

kinds of paddle boards

 

What are the best touring stand-up paddleboard companies?

We have listed 45 best SUP brands in order by the total amount of sizes & types available, and here’s the top selection:

Touring-specific paddleboard brands:

  • NRS
  • Badfish
  • Bote
  • Pau Hana
  • Body Glove
  • Hala
  • Boardworks
  • SOL
  • Naish
  • ISLE
  • Tahe
  • Glide
  • iRocker
  • Gili
  • Tahoe
  • AquaGlide
  • Vesl

 

How much is an average touring paddle board?

  • Average inflatable touring SUP bundle costs around $999 to $1,599 for a premium product and known brand.
  • Average non-inflatable touring paddle board costs around $1,500 – $2,000

The touring board price mainly depends on the brand, level of accessories, finishes, materials, and size.

*Best touring paddle board on the market can cost up to $2,500 by premium brands. Those boards are equipped with the latest of materials and technologies.

 

Rigid vs Inflatable SUP

There are equal pros and cons to both – but have a closer look at the 30 considerations:

non inflatable sup pros cons
Read moreRigid vs Inflatable SUP comparison

Related


 

Pau Hana Solo Review

An ultra-compact touring board for digital nomads

pau hana solo sup 10 10
Click to read

 

Fishing Paddle Board Guide

101 introduction to fishing SUPs

 

 

fishing paddle boards
Click to read

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About the author

Ermo Joeleht

I created Nulltuul to share my experience, knowledge, and analysis with other surf enthusiasts out there. If I'm not surfing on my travels, I like to photograph waves, surfers, and the surf lifestyle in general.

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