Introduction to the Stand Up Paddleboarding – Part 2
In part one of our blog we found out why SUP is so popular and one very important fact that we overlooked was that stand up paddleboarding is great fun. But if you are on the brink of deciding to take up America’s fastest growing paddle sport, how to do you choose a board?
This rapidly growing pastime is in its infancy, so new types of SUP boards are constantly being designed which rather confuses beginners, as there are so many options are available. It is hardly surprising that novices are often overwhelmed by the vast choice they have. This blog will guide you through the options to ease matters a little.
A Lifestyle Choice
Firstly, you must decide what type of SUP fits your lifestyle the best and why you want to go paddleboarding? Is it just to get fit, or is it because all your friends are doing it? Do you want to spend more leisure time with your family and explore different places? Or is it to take up the popular pastime of SUP yoga?
Once you have answered these pertinent questions, you will have to decide where you intend to go paddleboarding. Is it in the local lake, perhaps faster rivers or even to surf white water? All of these different waters will reflect on what type of board you will choose.
You have to also consider the distances you wish to conquer with SUP, and does speed matter to you, or are you happy cruising around slowly looking at nature? Is the board just for you or are the whole family going to be using it? By understanding and answering these questions you can start to look for a SUP board that will suit you.
The Board Size
Now that you have decided what you want to do with your paddleboard, it also needs to be suitable for your weight and height. If the board cannot displace the water for your weight then your body will not be properly supported. On the flip side, if you select a board that is too large for your frame, then it will be too cumbersome and you will find it too difficult to control.
When you are looking to buy your first board the most important factors to look at are its weight bearing capacity, its length, width, volume, thickness and of course length. A SUP board is not a jet, it has a simple design with a nose, tail and a deck. With rails and fins that keep it stable on the water. Different boards will vary in their construction and it is these variations that make some boards more suitable for different types of water.
Don’t get too bogged down with the details as you will end up driving yourself mad. To assist you in your choice, it is recommended that you buy your first SUP board from a professional surfing store. That way the assistant can guide you through the various boards when you relate what you will be using it for and what type of SUP you will be doing. Then get out on the water and start enjoying yourself in one of the most popular water related pastimes in America today.