So, you’ve fallen in love with stand up paddle boarding (SUP). You’ve decided it’s time to get your own board. Good for you! But what next?
What you’ve probably realised by now is that there is a vast range of stand up paddle boards on the market. You need to choose your board carefully to make sure you buy one that will suit you and the paddling you plan to do.
We’ve put together a list of the top things to consider when choosing your stand up paddle board…
Think about where you’ll go on your stand up paddle board and what kind of paddling you’ll be doing. Do you want a SUP that the whole family can use for some fun in the water? Would you like to go on long SUP tours? Do you want to get into SUP-surfing? Or are you keen to try your hand at SUP racing?
These are some of the main options in paddle boarding. Picking one of these broad categories can help you narrow down your search.
If it’s SUP-surfing you’re interest in, you really need a hard board to carve up the waves and a board shorter in length. And finally there’s SUP racing. Race boards are designed for maximum speed. They tend to be long, narrow and pointy. Again, hard stand up paddle boards are the best option in this category.
Stand up paddle boards come in many shapes and sizes. As a general rule of thumb, the heavier you are or the less experience you have, the larger the board you’ll need. This comes down to simple physics. Any SUP you use needs to be able to displace the right amount of water to keep you afloat and give you stability.
You want to look at the length, width and volume of a board when you’re making your choice. Generally speaking, a wider stand up paddle board will provide more stability, which makes it a great choice when you’re getting started or if you struggle with your balance.
When it comes to the length of a board, make sure you look at this in conjunction with the width. A longer board doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be more stable. As we mentioned before, race boards are really long, but also really narrow. They’re not high volume and can therefore be challenging to balance on, for example.
Your SUP experience plays a part too though. As you get more experience, you can downsize your board to a lower volume because you’ll be more balanced and confident. What you want to use your stand up paddle board for is also important when you’re thinking of changing your board.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement when you start looking for a SUP, but don’t let practical considerations to go out of the window. You really do need to think about how and where you’ll be storing your SUP when you’re not using it.
SUPs aren’t small, and that means it can be a challenge to store them. If you’re short on space, opt for an inflatable board. These pack down into a backpack and stashing them in a cupboard is easy when you’re not using them. They’re ideal if you live somewhere with limited storage space.
Another advantage to having a SUP that can fit in a backpack is that it also makes them easy to travel with. They fit in the boot of a car and if you decide you want to go for a paddle somewhere remote, they’re easier to carry than a hard board.
With a hard board, you won’t have the luxury of packing it into backpack to store it. If you have a garage, or space in your home, where you can comfortably keep your 10’6 SUP, brilliant. When you’re travelling with them, you’ll need a roof rack (unless you have a van).
Whatever kind of SUP you decide to buy, good quality paddle boards can be a big investment. We understand that you want to be sure you’re getting the right board before you hand over your hard-earned cash.
At Triocean Surf we have a range of different models of SUP that you can try before you buy. We offer SUP hire and demos too. Come and have a chat if you’re interested in any of our range and we can get you on the water to give it a go before you commit.
The only way you can really know how well a board will suit you is to paddle on it. This will allow you to find out how stable you feel, how maneuverable it is and how quickly you can get it moving.
Talk to us about what kind of SUP you’re looking for. We’ve got lots of experience and are happy to share our knowledge to point you in the right direction.
Call us on 01548 854676, email us or pop into our shop to find out more.