Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) glossary

Don’t know your nose from your tail? Our glossary of common stand up paddle board terms should help. Got something you’d like to add? Drop us a note via our contact page.

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Beam The width of the board at its widest point
Buoyancy The rating given to a board based on how it sits in the water
Bracing A maneuver used to stay upright on the board. More here


Carry Handle The built in handle which makes the board easier to carry


Deck The top of the board
Deck Pad The padded area of the board where the paddler stands


Fin Fins are located under the tail and are used to assist tracking
Fin box The area under the board's tail where the fins attach


Leash A cord used to keep the paddler attached to the board
Leash plug The fixture on the tail of the board to which the leash is attached
LOA Acronym for length over all – referring to the length of the board from nose to tip


Maneuverability How well the board changes direction in the water


Nose The front of the board


Paddle What the paddler uses to propel the board across the surface of the water


Rails The edges of the board
Rocker The curvature of the board


Skin The outer surface of the board
Stability A rating given to a board based on how easy it is for the paddler to balance on it. More here.
Soap dish A term often used to describe the carry handle
Softtop A board which is fully covered with a rubber traction pad
SUP Acronym for stand up paddle board / stand up paddle boarding / stand up paddle / stand up paddle surfing etc.


Tail The back end of the board
Tracking How straight the board travels through the water


Volume Relates to the buoyancy of a board and is typically calculated into liters


Types of stand up paddle boards

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All rounder SUPs Designed to handle all conditions – all rounder boards are typically mid-length and used mainly for general recreational purpose
Inflatable SUPs Inflatable boards are lightweight and comfortable to ride. The ability to deflate them makes them great for transportation and storage.
Racing and touring SUPs Longer and often narrower with a pointed nose – racing and touring boards are designed for efficiency and speed
Surf SUPs Designed for paddling in waves – these boards are typically short and have a more rocker than other types of board