Primarily designed for surf racing, the majority of 12’6” boards glide well, are really fun and straight forward to turn [compared to a 14], handle windy, choppy waters and love being ridden on a wave. Word of warning, the majority of these boards are constructed to be light, stiff and responsive.
the 6 inch rule above your head is great but next time you get bored and want to mix up your style, try something different and shorten your overall paddle length. (Generally, depending on your paddle and the way it was assembled you can take a heat gun and soften the 2 part epoxy that binds the handle to the paddle shaft.
They have more of a pointy look to the when compared to regular, all-around SUP’s. The board sizes range from 12’6” to 14’ to unlimited. You will typically see men racing the 14’ and women on the 12’6”. The unlimited racers are mainly used for open-ocean racing.