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Planing Hull

Standard Characteristics: Considered the mountain bike of the water, planing hull boards have no limits on where they can go. These boards are most recognizable by their flat planing bottom, pointed nose and pin tail shapes. While the original shapes were derived from open ocean and downwind designs, these shapes have proved to be the most well rounded, sea-worthy, allaround shapes in SUP. Planing boards have less rocker than a surfboard which means they track and glide very well although not as well as a displacement hull. They are designed to excel in cross-chop, side-chop with a tail wind or wave scenarios and can be surfed in small to mid size waves. If you are looking for a board with unbridled access to any condition for unlimited fun, then there is no better design.

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Displacement Hull

Standard Characteristics: Considered the road bike of the water due to its quick acceleration, efficient glide and top end speed in smooth conditions. Displacement hull boards are easily identifiable by their rounded bottom shape and piercing nose style in the bow. The nose of the board generally is designed to pierce the water, aid in board tracking and cut through chop to reduce drag and promote glide, as well as top end speed. The rocker line is generally flat and the volumes are greater than surf style boards. The added volume allows the board to float higher in the water which reduces drag thereby promoting better glide ratios and unlocks top end speed. Increased volume and width typically provides more stability, especially for heavier paddlers. Conversely, narrower boards are faster but less stable, depending on the paddler’s weight and skill level.

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Surf Shape

Standard Characteristics: Have a broad range of use like that of a beach cruiser or a BMX bike. These boards are designed for fun cruising paddles to hard charging maneuverable surfboards. Easily identifiable by their iconic surfboard outlines, they are scaled up in volume and width to float you while you are cruising or waiting for your wave in the line-up. The rocker lines are appropriately adjusted to meet the performance needs of the paddler and intended use. This style of board is not designed to paddle great distances as they have a lower glide ratio when compared to a displacement or planing design. Longboard style shapes have a moderate rocker for more of a long board feel and recreational paddling. Shortboard style shapes have a more progressive rocker to promote carving the wave face. Fin setup can vary from a single main fin to thruster and quad setups.

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Inflatables

Standard Characteristics: The best way to get into paddling if you have limited storage space, have a small car, are on the run and never know when you will have time to hit the water or simply like the versatility and convenience. You can keep your board with you at all times and have a board for any condition. Inflatables are most recognizable by the fact that they come in a small backpack style bag, take up very little space and are equipped with a high volume/high pressure pump. Inflatables also offer fun for the whole family. You can take a knock to the head and it hurts just a little bit less. If you or your kids like to play rough or want to keep this board on the dock or deck of your boat, you cannot beat the durability. They come in as many shapes and sizes as you can imagine and cover the full range of disciplines. They are generally 6 inch drop stitch which is thicker than a standard composite board. Inflatables also have higher volume and more stability than composite boards of similar lengths and widths. You can drop it or run it onto the rocks and for the most part not worry about it. In the event of a puncture, all SIC inflatables come equipped with a repair kit that’s as easy as fixing a flat tire on your bike. They lack the full performance of a composite board but advancements in materials and construction have closed the gap considerably. You will not be disappointed.

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