paddle board on lakepaddle board on lake

The Difference Between Paddle Board Shapes

Posted on October 15, 2018 by Roxy Ng

Which is right for you?

When shopping for a stand-up paddle board, there are two shapes you should be aware of. The shape of the board you ride can really make or break your experience, especially if you are a beginner paddle boarder. So it’s important to know the difference between paddle board shapes and their pros and cons. The first paddle board shape is called the All Around (rounded nose) and the second shape is called the Touring (pointed nose). Depending on your lifestyle and needs, one shape will typically suit you better than the other. We’re going to go over the differences between these two very popular paddle board shapes and help you figure out which one is right for you. 

3 people carrying board

The All Around Shape

The All Around paddle board shape has a round nose, known as a planing hull, and is designed for cruising lakes, rivers and SUP Surfing. The All Around shape has a little rocker, meaning the paddle board’s nose is raised slightly out of the water. This will push water down, while lifting the nose up. This makes the All Around the perfect board to help you handle any waves or chop that come your way. This board shape is wider than the touring which makes it easier to balance and maneuver. This is one reason the All Around shape is a great option for beginner paddle boarders. However, because of the wider, bulkier hull at the front of the board and the overall size of All Around boards, they aren’t the best choice for speed or long distance paddling.

2 paddle boards on sand

The all around shape is great for:

You’ll want an all around shape if you…
  1. Simply want a SUP to leisurely paddle with. The All Around shape is the best choice paddle board for beginners and if you only plan to use your paddle board for recreational purposes. For example, a gentle-moderate paced paddle around the lake, bay or ocean with a few friends. Another plus is that with the wider planing hull you can bring your furry friends for a ride on the water with you!
  2. Want a beginner board you can grow into. All Around shapes are great beginner boards, but are also perfect boards to advance in skill level with.
  3. Plan on using it for yoga, fishing and SUP surfing. The best thing about the All Around shape is that it’s a great option for a variety of different SUP activities. Whether you decide to do flat water paddling or take it on some rougher water with waves and bumps. Use it to paddle your local spot one day, then take it out for a peaceful yoga flow the next.
Our favorite all around shapes:

man surfing on a SUP

The Touring Shape

The Touring paddle board shape has a pointed nose, like a kayak, and is designed for longer, more fast-paced flat-water paddles. The pointed nose, also known as a displacement hull, will provide you with a higher efficiency and performance. Meaning, this will allow you to track straighter and quicker with fewer strokes to achieve a smooth glide across the water. This makes Touring boards best for speed and SUP racing. However, this board shape is much more difficult to balance on which makes it less maneuverable for someone who isn’t a serious paddler. For this reason, the Touring shaped boards are not the most ideal paddle board for beginners. 

The touring shape is great for:

  • Long expeditions
  • Coastal cruises
  • Recreational paddling
You’ll want a touring shape if you…
  • Are an adventure seeker who plans to go on longer treks. The touring shape is the best choice for you if you want to take your paddle board on long distance paddles.
  • Want more performance out of your paddle board. If you’re a serious paddler that wants get from point A to point B more efficiently than the touring shape is right for you.
Our favorite touring shapes:

man on SUP in ocean

Of course there are a variety of other factors to consider when choosing a SUP board such as:

It’s important to know about the difference between these two shapes and what their pros and cons are so you can begin your journey to choosing the right SUP board for you!

The Difference Between Paddle Board Shapes


Sign up for our newsletter

Get exclusive insider access to products and promotions

Copyright © 2024 Paddle Boards and Surfboards By ISLE Surf & SUP. All Rights Reserved