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Glossary of Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Glossary of Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddle boarding is no different from any other sport in that there are terms and phrases only other paddle boarders under stand. From talking about conditions, to equipment, to technique there is an entire dialect of SUP specific words and terminology.

By no means is this an exhaustive list! Just let us know if we missed something by emailing the word and definition to  info@cruisersup.com and we will be glad to add it on! 

A

Adjustable Paddle – a SUP paddle that can be adjusted to various heights to accommodate riders of different heights.
All Around Board – with a rounded nose and ample width, all around boards are designed for to perform well in call conditions.
All Terrain –  a series of all around board by Cruiser SUP that are designed for maximum performance in both surf and flat water.
All Wave – a series of surf specific SUP’s by Cruiser SUP.

Stand up paddle boarding on a lake

B

Blade – the flat section of a paddle that engages in the water to create forward motion.
Bliss – a series of women’s specific all around boards by Cruiser SUP designed for ease of use, comfort, stability and versatility.
Board Bag – a storage cover for a SUP Board.
Bottom – the underside of a SUP.
Bumps – another term for waves or swell that can be caught on your SUP board and used to propel you at a faster speed.
Bungee – a section of bungee cord that is attached to the nose or tail of your board to allow the transport of things such as dry bags, PFD’s, or other items+.

Stand up paddle boarding on the Cruiser SUP Bliss

C

Carry Handle – a integrated handle to allow the easy carrying and transport of your board.
Catch – the phase of the paddle stroke where the blade enters the water.
Crossover – a board that is designed to paddle in a variety of conditions.
Crossover Air – a series of all around inflatable SUP’s by Cruiser SUP.
Cruising – paddle in calmer waters, usually at a relaxed pace.

 Stand up paddle boarders cruising in calm water

D

Deck – the top of a stand up paddle board.
Deck Pad – the soft and textured EVA material that covers the deck of a stand up paddle board to provide grip, traction, and comfort. Deck pads can vary in length, texture, and thickness.
Displacement Hull – a more pointed nose shape designed to piece the water.=
Drop Stitch – the internal fibers or threads that connect the top and bottom layers of an inflatable SUP.

A displacement nose stand up paddle board

E

EVA – the soft and textured material that most deck pads are made of to provide grip, traction, and comfort while paddling.

F

Fin – located on the bottom side of the board, near the tail. Fins come in many different shapes and styles, and are designed to provide your board the ability to travel in a straight line.
Fin Box – Also referred to as fin slot, is where a fin attaches to the bottom side of the board.
Fin Screw – a small screw and nut that is used on many fins to attach to the fin to the board.
Fixed Length Paddle – a SUP paddle that is non-adjustable.
Flat Water – generally any water conditions that are not in the breaking surf zone.  Flat water does not have to be completely flat, can be rough and choppy  as well.
Foam – the material that the core of most non-inflatable board is shaped from.
Fusion -  a series of all around boards by Cruiser SUP.

A stand up paddle board fin

G

Glide – used in referring to how well a board moves through the water.
Goofy Foot – a surfing stance where the riders right foot is forward on the board.

a goofy footed stand up paddle boarder

H

Handle – also referred to as carry handle. An integrated handle to allow the easy carrying and transport of your board.  Can also be used to refer to the hand grip portion of a SUP paddle.

Stand up paddler boards carrying their boards with carry handle

I

Inflatable – a portable, durable, and easy to transport SUP that is air filled. Also referred to as an iSUP.

Stand up  paddle boarding on inflatable paddle boards

K

Kook – a paddler or surfer that is a hazard to others, either by reckless behaviors or the ignorance to etiquette. Kooks are to be avoided, and it is best to avoid being one.

A stand up paddle boarding wipeout

L

Laird – the first name of Laird Hamilton, believed to the be pioneer of modern SUP.
Leash – a cord that attaches the rider’s ankle to the back of the paddle board. Designed to not allow the rider to become separated for their board. A great safety device that should be used in all conditions.
Length – the tip to tail measurement of a board.  Also, the measurement from the bottom of the paddle blade to the top of the grip handle.
Life jacket – also referred to as a PFD. Designed to keep a paddler afloat in the event they fall off their board.

 stand up paddle board leash

N

Nose – the front of a stand up paddle board.

P

Pad – also referred to as deck pad. The soft EVA material that covers the deck of the board to provide grip and traction.
Paddle – the item that is held by hand and used to propel a paddle board in the water.
Pearl – the submerging of the nose of a SUP board into the water, or wave. For example, could be said “Dude, I total pearled the nose”.
PFD – an acronym for Personal Floatation Device. Also, referred to as a life jacket, and designed to keep a paddler afloat in the event they fall into the water.
Planing Hull – the most traditional SUP board shape. Identified by its round nose, like that of a long board surf board.
Power – the pulling portion of a paddle stroke.
Pressure Gauge – a pump mounted pressure gauge used to measure the air pressure of an inflatable SUP.
Pump – what is used to inflate an inflatable paddle board.

A SUP user paddling a planing hull paddle board

Q

Quad – a fin arrangement that has 4 fins.
Quiver – a collection of boards.

A quiver of stand up paddle boards

R

Rails – the sides of a paddle board that run from tip to tail.
Reach – the amount of forward stretch in a paddle stroke before the blade enters the water (referred to as catch).
Recovery – after the release phase of the paddle stroke where the paddle is brought forward to start a new stoke. The recovery phase is the final section of a paddle stroke.
Regular Foot – a SUP surfing stance where the riders left foot is forward on the board.
Release – after the power phase of a paddle stroke where the paddle glade comes out of the water.
Rigid – a construction of SUP board that is not inflatable.
Rocker – a measure of the curve of the bottom of a SUP board, from tip to tail.

Stand up paddle boarding on a lake

S

Shaft -the section of a paddle between the handle and blade.
Side Fin – smaller fins that are usually in front of the main fin, and toward the rails.
Skeg – also referred to as the fin. Located on the bottom side of the board, near the tail. Skegs come in many different shapes and styles, and are designed to provide your board the ability to travel in a straight line.
Soft Top – a style of SUP board where the top, and sides of the board are covered in deck pad.
Stroke – one complete stroke cycle of your paddle. Can be broken down in the reach, catch, power, release, and recovery phase.
Stroke Rate – the number of paddle strokes take over a period, usually measured per minute.
Strokes Per Side -the number of strokes taken per side before needing to change side. A board with a higher stroke per side figure is one that tracks in a straight line better than a board with a lower stroke per side rate.
SUP – acronym for Stand Up Paddle.
SUP Fishing – use a stand up paddle board to fish from.
SUP Surfing – surfing, or riding waves, on a stand up paddle board.
SUP Yoga – doing Yoga on a stand up paddle board.

SUP Fishing

T

Tail – the end of a stand up paddle board.
Tip – the front of a paddle board.
Touring board – a shape of SUP board designed to cover more distance at a faster rate of speed. Easily distinguishable by its displacement, or more pointed nose, and generally longer length.
Tracking – a measure of how well a paddle board travels a straight line. The higher level of tracking, the straighter a board goes.
Tri Fin – fin set up with 3 fins.

The tail of a stand up paddle board

U

UV – Ultra violet light, which is best to minimize the exposure of your board to when not in use.

paddle boarding on a sunny day

V

Valve – the point at which the pump hose connects to an inflatable SUP to inflate.
Valve Cap -the cover of in inflatable SUP valve to prevent grit or water from entering the valve.
V-Max – a series of touring boards by Cruiser SUP.
Volume – a measure of water displacement, that is usually used to determine the riders weights a SUP board can hold.

a high volume paddle board

W

White Water SUP – stand up paddle board in rapids, similar to white water rafting.
Width – the measurement of the rail to rail distance of SUP board, at the widest point.
WindSUP – a board that has a mast attachment to allow the use of a windsurfing sail.

 stand up paddle boarders on a lake