Can You Race with a Touring SUP?

Is There a Difference Between Racing Paddle Boards and SUP Boards for Touring?

If you have reached a stage in your stand up paddle board experience where you are considering taking it to the next level, the right SUP can make all the difference in the world. Once a board is designed for racing, a SUP like the KiTSON MT30 Full Carbon 12’6” Racing SUP, can it be used for touring as well? Or is a stand up paddle board like the Stand On Liquid Revere 12’6” Touring SUP also good for racing? The short answer to both questions is yes. So why are they marketed differently when the similarities between race SUPs and touring stand up paddle boards are so close?

KiTSON MT30 12'6" Carbon Fiber Race Paddleboard

KiTSON MT30 12’6″ Carbon Fiber Race Paddleboard is engineered for racing but can it be a touring board as well?

At the onset, these are two extremely good boards, close to being the best in their respective class. Back in February of 2014, I discussed what it means to be a touring board. In a post referencing the slightly longer SOL Revere SUP, I wrote: “First off, let’s define what touring means. While not generic by any means, when it comes to paddle boards, touring indicates versatility, the ability to adapt and perform well under a wide variety of conditions. About the only thing this board can’t do is whitewater. Most flatwater experiences, ocean waves and even some racing situations all fall well within the capabilities of this board.”

And the same applies to it’s slightly shorter sister, the Revere 12’6” Touring Board. This board is built for distance and to a lesser degree, the racing circuit. Because it is so adaptable to so many different types of water conditions, the displacement hull coupled with an aggressive nose gives this board added speed. The concave deck adds to your ability to cut strong and swift. It is wide enough (30”), light enough (28 lbs.), and well constructed to endure a distance race without making the paddler feel as though they were the only one working.

In April of 2014, I wrote this about racing boards: “You are basically looking for four things in a good stand up racing paddle board. When looking at these paddle boards, you’ll need to consider the design of the bow, the rocker, the deck and the tail.” Does the MT30 meet those criteria? It does and more.

The KiTSON MT30 Full Carbon 12’6” Race Paddle Board also has a recessed deck, the same length, and is just slightly lighter (25 lbs.). Both boards have strong rails that don’t create paddle abrasion. Both are good to look at (the Revere comes with two choices of bamboo inlay while the MT30 seeks to replicate the jet wings it is designed after) and both SUP boards are highly reactive once in the water. Both have dynamic bows, elegant rockers, and tails built to give you the most traction.

One significant difference is the full carbon design employed by the MT30. The manufacturer suggests that this board is made by real engineers (not sure how to confirm whether the Revere is made by fake ones) and will “outlast the pyramids” if treated right.

In either board, the stability makes it easy to access for almost every level of SUP experience. Both boards are quick and responsive and hella cool to look at and ride. Both can be be used for touring or racing. And while they may seem interchangeable, the vast majority of us will opt for the touring version for good reason: It is the type of SUPing we are most likely to do but when a race comes along, you’ll be ready.

Speak Your Mind