What is the difference between a SUP board and a kayak

difference between sup board and kayak

When it comes to choosing the right craft for your adventure on the water, there are countless options to choose from. SUP boards and kayaks are two popular choices, but what is the difference between the two?

In this article, we will discuss the main features of a SUP board and kayak, compare the pros and cons and give advice on which option best suits your needs.

What is a SUP board?

A stand-up paddleboard (SUP) board is a type of surfboard used for paddling on flat water, such as lakes, rivers and oceans.

The boards are usually between 2.8 and 3.6 metres long and have a width of 76 to 90 centimetres. The board can be made of different materials, such as foam, epoxy and plastic.

What is a kayak?

A kayak is a narrow and manoeuvrable craft propelled by a paddle. Kayaks can be used on flat water and whitewater and are mostly used for recreation and sports.

Most kayaks are between 2.4 and 4.2 metres long and 60 to 90 centimetres wide. They are made of different materials, such as plastic, fibreglass and wood.

Differences between a SUP board and a kayak

Although a SUP board and kayak are both suitable for use on the water, there are some key differences between the two.

Size and shape

When it comes to size and shape are SUP boards larger and wider than kayaks. As a result, a SUP board offers more stability on flat water, while you are faster and more manoeuvrable with a kayak. You can therefore sail on whitewater with kayaks.


For both supping and kayaking, you use a paddle, but there is a difference between the two. On a SUP board, you use a single blade paddle. In a kayak, you use a double-sided paddle with two blades on either side of the paddle. 


In terms of position, there is also a big difference between a SUP board and a kayak. Namely, you stand on a SUP board, while you sit in a kayak. In supping, you use the paddle to steer and in kayaking, you manoeuvre yourself by means of the body.

You can also sit on a SUP board, of course, but then it becomes difficult to gain speed. If you still find it difficult to stand on a SUP board, sit on your knees to get used to balance and stability.

Sailing style

Are you a true nature lover or do you prefer some adventurous boating? A SUP board is meant for relaxing and enjoying your surroundings as you paddle on flat water. With a kayak, however, you can have wilder adventures by taking trips on wild waters. Be sure to try the Buoy and Pivot turn from.

Comparison of SUP board and kayak

Besides the aforementioned differences based on how you operate a SUP board and kayak, there are also differences based on cost, maintenance and portability. Below, we have set out the comparison between these for you. 


SUP boards are generally cheaper than kayaks, with prices ranging from 300 to 1,000 euros. For a kayak, you quickly pay between €500 and €3000. However, you can make it as easy or crazy as you want and decide how much you want to spend.

Maintenance requirements

SUP boards require only minimal effort on your part to keep them clean and maintained, while kayaks require regular extra attention in the form of cleaning and storage to prevent damage.


Most SUP boards are inflatable making them the perfect solution for people who like to travel. This is because they are easy to store and transport. Unlike a kayak, which is usually much more difficult to store and transport, due to their size and the fact that they are not inflatable.

Conclusion: do you choose a SUP board or kayak?

When it comes to choosing between a SUP board and a kayak, the choice depends on your boating style and needs. If you are looking for stability and comfort on flat water, and want to learn to paddle as a beginner, a SUP board is the best choice.

For those looking for adventure boating on whitewater and more experienced in paddling, a kayak is the better choice because of the speed and manoeuvrability it offers.

However, if you are still unsure of your choice, consider trying out both activities before making a purchase. Many SUP board and kayak rental companies offer the opportunity to try out both activities before you make a final decision.

Last updated on 07/03/2023

Nicole Staartjens
Nicole Staartjens

Thank you for reading the article I wrote, I hope all your questions have been answered. Do you still have questions? Or did I miss something? Don't hesitate to contact customer service. We will be happy to help you on your way!

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Nicole Staartjens
Nicole Staartjens

Welcome to this page, we hope you found what you were looking for. Is your question still unanswered? Do not hesitate to contact our customer service.

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