How to Choose a Stand Up Paddle Board
Choosing a stand-up paddleboard can be overwhelming for beginners, but this article will help you navigate the process. We’ll cover topics like cost, size, materials and more to help you find the perfect paddle board for your needs.
There are many factors to consider when deciding which SUP board is suitable for you. What will you be using the board for? Which features do you need? Do you want an inflatable or hard-shell paddleboard? We’ve put together some tips to help get you started on choosing the suitable stand-up paddleboard for your needs.
We have compiled a list of tips to make your search easier.
What is a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)
Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) is a sport that has been rapidly growing in popularity since the early 2000s. The paddleboarder stands on the paddleboard and uses a long-handled paddle to propel themselves through water past waves, other paddlers, or shorelines.
A stand-up paddleboard can come in many different shapes but generally falls into two types of boards: inflatable SUP and hard shell SUP. They are typically made from either fibreglass or carbon fibre with epoxy resin which varies by price, weight, durability, stability and skill level required for use. Paddleboards range anywhere from little “toy” boards that might fit on your roof rack up to those monsters designed for big waves and extreme surfing!
Types of SUPs: Solid vs. Inflatable Paddle Boards
There are two main types of SUP boards: inflatable and solid. Each has advantages, disadvantages, and caveats to consider before purchasing one.
Solid paddleboards typically have more stability for beginners but require additional weight (upwards of 40 pounds) to use correctly in the water, so they can be a little harder to transport than an inflatable board with a similar performance level. They also tend not to pack as well for travel which might make them less desirable if you’re planning on taking it out of state or internationally very often. You can also do Yoga on these boards.
Inflatable paddleboards give up some initial stability but offer more accessible transportation due to their low weight combined with better portability when deflated by rolling instead of folding like most hard paddleboards. They also pack more efficiently for travel which might make them a better choice if you’re going to be taking it out of state or internationally frequently.
Keep in mind that paddleboard widths are measured right up against the rails, so an inflatable board with narrower rails may feel more comprehensive than expected when standing on top of it and vice versa for hardboards as they have no foam padding between your feet while paddling and can therefore offer less stability if not centred properly.
How to Choose the Right SUP for You
When deciding what size stand up paddleboard is best suited to meet your needs, keep in mind the two main types: tandem (two-person) or single (one person). We recommend purchasing a board around 12′ to 16′ long for beginners getting started solo.
When choosing a paddleboard, it’s best to consider how you intend to use the board most often: touring or leisure? Touring boards are designed for paddlers who will be spending extended periods on the water over various distances. In contrast, leisure boards are best suited for those looking for something more gentle and laid back – which is perfect if your intention is simply to stand up at a beach or boat dock with friends.
Typically speaking, longer paddleboards offer greater stability and speed across open waters than shorter ones do, but they’re heavier as well, so keep this in mind when considering where you’ll store yours during non-use (eg., garage vs balcony). Shorter SUPs make better choices
Tips and Advice for Beginners
Be sure to paddle with someone who has experience. They’ll be able to help you avoid potential hazards and make the most of your time in the water.
Secondly, a stand-up paddleboard is best suited for paddlers who will be spending extended periods of time on the water over various distances, so if that’s not what you plan to do, then a regular kayak would be better. If you intend to use it often, consider investing in SUP accessories like padding or a leash which can protect against wear and tear from prolonged exposure to saltwater (especially important for those boards made out of epoxy resin).
Finally, as noted above, shorter paddleboards are more stable than longer ones, but they’re heavier so keep.
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying a Stand Up Paddle Board
Can you surf with them SUP?
In general, stand up paddleboards are designed to be ridden in flat and shallow water. This means that you may find yourself waiting for waves if you’re trying to surf on your paddleboard. However, some of the best surfers use SUPs as a training tool by practising their balance and positioning before getting into their surfing stance.
Are there any risks involved in using a SUP?
There are some risks involved in using a SUP, including the possibility of injuries to your feet and hands. It’s also important not to paddle too close to shore if you’re turning around because there is a potential for waves breaking over an SUP and causing it to flip. Furthermore, always make sure that any equipment attached or strapped on the board (such as your paddle) doesn’t become entangled with other people on paddle surfs near you – this could result in injury.
Is stand up paddle boarding dangerous?
Stand up paddleboarding is a relatively safe sport. But, like any other water activity, it does have its risks.
If you’re new to stand-up paddling, we recommend that you find a trainer or instructor (or somebody with experience) who can teach you the basics of how to stay safe on your board and what to do if there’s an emergency situation – especially things like knowing which way to swim in ocean currents so as not to get stuck by them or where best to go for safety when encountering sharks etc.
Is stand up paddleboarding a good workout?
Stand up paddleboarding is great for your core and arms. It also strengthens muscles in your lower body like hips, thighs, and calves while improving balance and stability too.
And it’s not just about the physical benefits of stand-up paddling – there are mental health benefits to giving yourself time out on a paddleboard from our busy lives using mindfulness or meditation techniques that can help you feel more centred within yourself. And if that wasn’t enough, SUPing is one of the best ways to escape city noise pollution as well!
Why are stand up paddle boards so expensive?
Stand up paddle boards are expensive because they’re constructed of quality material, and come with all the features you may need for a variety of water conditions. They can be made from polyethene foam or epoxy resin, which adds to their cost.
That said, there are stand up paddleboards in every price range that suit your needs – so don’t think it’s too late!
The Bottom Line
Choosing the right paddleboard can be a daunting task for beginners. Thankfully, we’ve compiled some information to help you make an informed decision about which one is best suited for your needs. If you’re looking at this article from work or school and don’t have time to read the entire thing now, bookmark it so that when you get home later today, all of these resources will still be here waiting!
Whether you want a board made out of fibreglass or plastic; whether it’s inflatable or has rigid panels – there are many options available in terms of size, weight capacity and price point. We hope our guide helps narrow down your search process by helping answer any questions before they arise! Let us know if we missed anything