How To Choose The Best Paddle Board For Fishing [Video]

By: Luke Simonds on June 9, 2016
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best paddle board for fishing

It’s Stand Up Paddle Board Fishing Time!!!

Ever since we got our first family canoe when I was around 12 years old, I’ve had a deep passion for paddle fishing.

Not only is paddle fishing a very effective way to catch fish given how quiet one can approach a fish, but it also makes for a fantastic workout.

Plus, there’s the extra satisfaction knowing that you’re not having to rely on high-tech gadgetry to get from one spot to another…

There’s no need to worry about how much gas is in the tank, having to wonder if the trolling motor batteries are charged, or anxiety wondering if the motor start, etc… It’s also a heck of a lot easier to store, launch, and load…

And with stand up paddle boarding in particular, it’s just you, your paddle, and an endless amount of waterways to explore.

Plus, paddle boards are almost always much lighter and easier to travel with so they’re great for exploring hidden lakes as shown in this short video:

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Why I Love Paddle Board Fishing So Much

After fishing from canoes and kayaks for many years, I’ve now fallen in love with stand-up paddle board (SUP) fishing because it has everything a kayak has, PLUS two very important benefits:

  1. Increased ability to see into the water – see the fish before they see you due to increased elevation (standing vs. sitting)
  2. Less back ache – due to being in a natural athletic stance position when paddling compared to sitting down the whole time

Related Post: “3 Reasons All Kayak Anglers Should Consider Paddle Board Fishing” (see it here now)

But for anglers looking to transition over to paddle board fishing from kayaking, it can be very tough to determine which paddle board is the best because there is an endless amount of options for every particular need you could imagine.

The great news is that there are really only three major types of paddle boards for anglers out there. So once you can eliminate two of them and find the right one for you, half of the battle is done.

So this article and associated video below will be focused on explaining the pros and cons of the three core shapes of paddle boards for fishing.

Here are the 3 different types of paddle boards:

  1. Surf Style (round and lifted front end)
  2. V-hull (pointed front end with body that flairs out)
  3. Catamaran (twin v-hull with open center)

See below for the pros and cons of these 3 paddle board shapes.

Below the pros and cons for each paddleboard, you will see the video showing each one up close.

Surf Style Paddle Board

surf paddle board for fishing

The most popular overall shape of paddle boards out on the market now is what I call the “surf style” board.

Its distinguishing characteristic is a rounded front end that is slightly raised.

The reason why it’s surely the most popular SUP on the overall paddle board market is because it dominates the surfing market while also being effective for fishing and basic touring too.

Pros of Surf-Style Paddle Board for Fishing

  • Multi-purpose board (surfing, fishing, touring)
  • Typically the most inexpensive
  • Good stability for size (rounded front provides a nice spread of buoyancy)

Cons of Surf-Style Paddle Board for Fishing

  • Loud hull slap (noise from waves slapping front of board which spooks fish)
  • Rounded front creates more drag than v-hull designs so it’s not as good for long distances
  • Tough to paddle into the wind (wave hit rounded front head on which slows you down)

V-Hull Paddle Board for Fishing

v-hull paddle board for fishing

The distinguishing characteristic of v-hull paddle boards is the pointed front which displaces water similar to a v-hull boat.

Given the much better water displacement capabilities compared to the more popular surf-style board, the v-hull shapes dominate the paddle boards used in races while they’re also becoming quite popular for fishing.

Pros of V-Hull Paddle Board for Fishing

  • Good water displacement for going long distances
  • Typically have low hull slap noise compared to surf style board
  • Many options for sizes/shapes as more and more manufacturers enter this growing market

Cons of V-Hull Paddle Board for Fishing

  • Often less stable than surf-style boards since front section is tapered
  • Water drag increases as stability increases since stability is a result of its width
  • These can be expensive depending on brand and its ability to have fishing accessories

Catamaran Paddle Board for Fishing

catamaran paddle board for fishing

This catamaran style paddle board is very new to the industry, and it’s turning many heads given its smart design that offers unique benefits to anglers.

The distinguishing characteristic of this catamaran stand up paddle board is of course that it has two very defined points at the front and back so that water can flow through the middle which allows for minimal drag resistance on the water while maximizing stability.

Pros of Catamaran Paddle Board for Fishing

  • Low water drag which is great for paddling long distances
  • Very stable design given that its floatation is spread to the outer edges all the way up and down the board
  • Minimal hull slap noise compared to any other board I’ve tested

Cons of Catamaran Paddle Board for Fishing

  • This board is typically heavier than surf and v-hull styles (but it’s still lighter than most kayaks of equal size/stability)
  • More expensive than most other boards given advanced hull design
  • Tough to find/test since only one company makes them (LIVE Watersports)

How To Choose The Best Paddle Board [Video]

Just like most other products, there is rarely a one-size-fit-all solution that applies to everybody.

And selecting the best paddle board for your needs most certainly depends on how you plan to use it along with your fishing preferences.

Watch this video below to see the pros and cons of the three board types along with up close views of their unique characteristics:

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Paddle board fishing is an absolute blast while also being a great workout.

And compared to kayak fishing, a paddle board allows for you to have significantly better vision into the water for sight fishing because of the higher elevation while also decreasing back pain since you’re not bound to sitting all day.

So I highly recommend any and all kayak anglers to give paddle board fishing a shot.

If you’re like me, you’ll start seeing a thick layer of dust build up on your kayak because the paddle board is the go-to vessel of choice.

For tips on how to most effectively fish from a paddle board, click on the link below:

Related Post: How To Fish From A Paddle Board – Inshore Flats Edition

P.S. – If you think your angler friends or fishing networks would like to see this, please Tag them or Share this with them. You Rock! Pa-POW!


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2 years ago

So I’m going to be traveling to Pensacola and living out of a hotel for a few months at the end of the summer. What are your thoughts on inflatable paddle boards?

Phillip McCoy
2 years ago

I’m considering an inflatable the Aquaglide Blackfoot 11′ SUP. Any experience with or thoughts on the inflatables?

William Kulig
2 years ago

Hi Luke , I’m heading down Wednesday to get some time on the water. I’ll be staying at Rocky Point in Tampa. I need to look at getting a kayak or a catamaran. A couple questions, first which would you say is the hardest to paddle around in. Second, Is there a place or places you might recommend to check out and purchase one in the Tampa or Clearwater area. Yea, I would like to keep it under 1,000.00. Thanks

3 years ago

Good review Luke!