Choosing the Right SUP for You – Part 2
These SUPs are built for stability and to keep your body high off the water. Advanced fishing boards come with fish finders, rod holders, and scotty mounts pre-installed. So experienced boarders are ready to go with an advanced board. Whatever your level, if you plan to use your board mainly for fishing, then this would be a useful option for you. A touring SUP or an all-rounder, however, can be just as effective as many of the fishing boards available and will hold up better in various conditions.
Paddle yoga has come a long way in a short space of time. The latest addition to SUP boards is built for calm, flat water to offer great stability. Other SUP deck pads finish slightly beyond the midpoint. Yoga board deck loads are able to extend close to the board’s full length to provide room to stretch all the way. When it comes to stability, width is key with these SUPs, although it’s worth bearing in mind that an all-rounder can work well here, too.
Weight capacity and volume
Volume is measured in litres and suggests a board’s weight capacity and buoyancy. If the volume is high, it tells you that the board can support a large amount of weight. This is a key fact and one that shouldn’t be ignored when buying a surf SUP, in particular.
If you, combined with your gear, exceed the weight capacity, the SUP will ride low and won’t be able to paddle. While you should absolutely take volume into consideration, however, you also need to consider how that volume is distributed throughout the board (by thickness, width, or length) and your paddling needs.
Depending on their style, SUPs typically start at around 7” and go up to around 14”. An SUP’s length has a lot to say in terms of the board’s tracking ability, speed, and manoeuvrability. Volume added via additional length will help in terms of stability but tracking and speed benefit more. When deciding what length to choose, you should also think about how the board will be transported and where you will keep it. Width is another factor to consider when it comes to determining volume and how a SUP will handle. It’s worth thinking about the following when it comes to width.
The kind of paddling you intend on doing
Whether you’re planning on doing yoga surfing or long-distance touring, your purchasing choice will need to take your main activity into account. A board can be slowed by extra width, which wouldn’t help for long distance, although will provide stability if you’re planning on doing some SUP yoga.
Think about your body type
Smaller riders are more suited to narrower boards while larger riders are more suited to wider boards. If you’re starting out, however, it’s generally easier to balance yourself, although if you’re smaller, you may find it awkward reaching over the rails to complete a paddle stroke on a wider board.