Standup paddle board buyers guide 2017
Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is fast becoming one of the most popular watersports in the world, and with good reason too! It’s bucket loads of fun and anyone can learn it in a matter of hours, regardless of your size, weight or age. However, buying a board can be a daunting process.
When buying your first Stand up paddle board, there are a few main factors to consider. These are as follows:
- Your lifestyle
- What you plan to use the board for
- Your budget
If you are unsure of any of these factors, do not fear! We are here to guide you through all of them step by step, to help you to get the most out of your Stand up paddle board.
1.DIFFERENT KINDS OF PADDLEBOARDS
When looking for the perfect paddle board for yourself, it’s important to know the different kinds of boards that are on the market, their different attributes and what they can do for you.
Its important to remember that some types of boards can and will crossover into other disciplines (touring/racing and all-round/surf) However, below you will find the most common shapes and styles on the market.
- Perfect for the beginner or first-time rider.
- Will work in pretty much any conditions.
- Buoyant and easy to ride.
- Family friendly.
- The most commonly used shape worldwide.
- Perfect for the intermediate to advanced paddleboarder.
- For those people who want a little more response from their paddleboard.
- Less buoyant/stable (easier to fall off)
- Far more maneuverable in the surf.
- Shaped like an oversized surfboard.
- Ideal for the higher level paddleboarder, interested in travelling long distances or partaking in high intensity workouts.
- Perfect for flat water (lakes, rivers or bays)
- The more slipstreamed design helps the board to glide through the water with ease.
- Still wide enough for beginners to ride, but the lower amount of volume may affect the heavier rider.
- Designed specifically for races, downwind paddles and or open water competitions.
- Extra length and width provides the rider with faster sprint speed and better glide ability.
- Can be very challenging for beginners, but are perfect for high/elite level riders alike.
2. WHAT SIZE STAND UP PADDLE BOARD DO I NEED?
One of the frequently asked questions when people by paddleboards. The answer to this question is based mainly on your weight and your riding experience. You have to think of your perfect board in terms of volume. The longer, wider and thicker your board, the more volume it will have. The more volume your board has, the more stable it’s going to be on the water.
Beginners ideally want a board with more volume, simply because it is going to be easier to ride. As your skill set improves over time, you can begin to downsize your board to give yourself more manoeuvrability, speed, glide etc.
3.DO I BUY AN INFLATABLE OR HARD STAND UP PADDLEBOARD?
After figuring out what size of board you want, it’s time to decide whether you want an inflatable or hard paddleboard. There are lots of differences between the two, and it’s important to take all of the differences into account to ensure you make the right decision when buying your SUP.
- When considering performance, epoxy boards surpass inflatables simply due to their more solid build.
- For a beginner inflatables are ideal because firstly they are cheaper and secondly will work in any conditions.
- If you’re a serious SUP paddler looking for a board with increased manoeuvrability, glide and speed, then an epoxy board is probably best for you.
- Inflatable paddleboards are ideal for the type of paddler that has little storage space at home, as they pack down into a bag the size of a small suitcase.
- Hard paddleboards on the other hand can be a little harder to store, as they don’t pack down to a smaller size, therefore you will require the space to store a 9ft board.
- When it comes to transportation, inflatable SUP’s are ideal for the paddler who wants to drive to their local spots but doesn’t have the space in their vehicle. Also, you’ll be able to go wherever with your board, regardless of its size.
- Hard paddleboards are a lot harder to move around, and the owner will be required to have some form of straps or racks on their car to be able to move the boards around.
HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR SUP.
When you’re using your SUP on a regular basis, it’s important that you look after and maintain it, to ensure that you can keep riding and paddling your board long into the future. Here are a few simple tips to help you keep your board floating!
- If you decide to buy an epoxy paddleboard, its important to remember that you’re probably going to need a paddleboard bag. Board bags are a vital member in keeping your board safe during transportation and storage.
- Whether you buy an inflatable or epoxy SUP, it’s vital that you remember to store your board out of direct sunlight as this can damage the materials used in the construction of the board.
- After use in salt water, its imperative that you rinse your equipment with fresh water, as the salt water can erode some materials used on SUP’s.
- If you are to damage your board, ensure that you repair it professionally. One bodge job repair can mean no more SUP’ing for you pal.
SUP paddles come in many different shapes, sizes and materials. All of these different shapes and designs have different functions suited to different paddlers. The materials that make up the paddle also play a massive role in how it performs and feels for the paddler.
Aluminium paddles are ideal for the first-time SUP buyer. Their reliable build and cheaper price point often makes them a no-brainer for a beginner. A common feature on these paddles (as with most) is the adjustable handle, which allows the user to adjust the length of their paddle in accordance with the person using it. The adjustable handle feature makes these kinds of paddles ideal for families or groups.
Fiberglass paddles are perfect for the kind of paddler who is looking to push their paddling to the next level. The lightweight construction of these paddles makes them a real winner for the type of paddler looking to improve their paddle power and technique. Although the weight difference between an aluminium and fiberglass paddle may not feel like much when out of the water, over long distances the weight difference will massively affect your energy levels.
Carbon Fiber paddles are ideal for the performance driven paddler. The high-end materials used in these paddles make them featherlight without compromising any strength factors whatsoever. Although these paddles are a lot higher in price than other styles, if you’re a paddler that is looking to travel long distances, or compete in competitions then a carbon fiber paddle is the one for you.
2017 Jobe Carbon Fiber SUP Paddle
Whether you’re on the water for 30 minutes or 30 hours, there is a plethora of SUP based accessories that you can use to enhance your experience on the water.
Soft racks are essential if you have an epoxy SUP. Soft racks allow you to transport you SUP from spot to spot easily if you don’t have the space inside your vehicle. Soft racks relatively cheap to purchase and are pretty self explanatory to use.
A vital piece of equipment if you have an epoxy SUP. Board bags keep your board safe during transport and storage. Epoxy boards can be damaged easily if dropped or knocked on a solid surface, therefore keeping it safe is paramount to your enjoyment on the water. Remember: no board, no fun.
SUP shoes are a new craze that has hit the SUP scene. These water permeable shoes allow the user to have extra grip whilst paddling, and also offer extra protection when entering and exiting the water at rocky spots.
Having a leash on you SUP is essential no matter what your level, especially when paddling in open water or rough conditions. The leash keeps the board attached to your person whilst not compromising much on movement.
Whether you just want to take some snaps whilst cruising around the harbour, or if you’re the type of rider that likes to take themselves into the middle of the deep blue, it’s essential that you keep all of your tech or non waterproof items safe. Waterproof cases come in range of sizes for different items.
As you can see, there are many factors to take into consideration when buying an SUP. The more you research, the easier it will be for you to make your decision, and the likelihood of you ending up with something that you’re truly happy with will be far higher.
Have a look at our fantastic selection of stand up paddleboards at: http://www.s2as.com/sup
GET YOURSELF OUT THERE AND GET PADDLING!