How to Buy a Stand Up Paddle Board

Опубликовал Admin
24-06-2018, 20:00
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Stand up paddleboarding is currently one of the fastest growing watersports out there. There are so many ways to do it, so finding the right stand up paddleboard (SUP) can seem like a complicated task. But it doesn’t have to be! Consider what type of boarding you like to do, your size, and additional SUP features when choosing your board.

Choosing a Type of Board

  1. Get an all-around, recreational, or touring board for multipurpose use. Multipurpose SUPs are the standard boards chosen by beginners, and they’re typically used for flat-water paddling on lakes, bays, and slow rivers. These boards are longer, wider, and have more volume than surfing or racing boards.
    • These boards are typically made of fiberglass, which makes them light and easy to carry. Occasionally you will find plastic ones that are less expensive, but are also much heavier.
  2. Choose a surfing board to ride waves. Surfing paddleboards are usually shorter, narrower, and lighter than the other types of boards and they have a narrow nose and tail. They are designed for doing quick turns and specifically meant for use in the surf zone.
    • Get this type of board only if you’re going to use it for surfing. They are less stable than longer boards and don’t work well on long-distance paddles.
  3. Buy a racing board if you’re an experienced paddleboarder. Race boards are longer and narrower than standard or surfing boards, and they’re meant for fast wave-riding competition. They can be pretty unstable unless they’re moving forward at a high speed, and should only be used by more advanced paddleboarders.
  4. Get a whitewater board for fast river use. Whitewater SUPs are typically short to make them more easily maneuverable. They contain a rocker, or curve in the board, to allow the boards to ride over waves. These boards often are inflatable, making them light and more buoyant on the water.
  5. Choose a yoga or fitness board to practice yoga on the water. Yoga and fitness boards are wider and longer than wave or multipurpose boards. They also typically have a softer top, and include places to clip on various exercise tools.
    • These boards often come with ways to anchor the boards so that you can stop drifting while exercising. Look into anchoring capabilities if you find a fitness board that doesn’t already come with an anchor.
  6. Look for an inflatable board if storage is an issue. If you live in an apartment, or have a small car that makes transporting a large board a problem, an inflatable board may be the right answer for you. Inflatable boards work well for both flatwater and river use.
    • These boards typically aren’t stable enough for wave riding, so avoid getting one if you plan to surf.
    • Inflatable boards generally have a shorter life-span of about 2 years than their non-inflatable counterparts.

Finding the Right Size

  1. Get a 10.5–11.5 feet (3.2–3.5 m) board if you weigh under 175 pounds (79 kg). In general, people buy certain SUP lengths dependent on how much weight the board will carry. The lighter you are, the safer a shorter board will be for you. If you will be sharing your SUP with anyone on the water, like your kids or other family members, go with a longer board to make sure it can hold the extra weight.
    • If you’re very light, or 50–125 pounds (23–57 kg), and will be riding alone, you can also opt for the shortest all-around boards, which are 9–10.5 feet (2.7–3.2 m).
  2. Use a 11.5–12.5 feet (3.5–3.8 m) board if you weigh 150–225 pounds (68–102 kg). The medium weight class will need a medium length board in most cases. Many all-around boards come in this size. This size is often the easiest to find for multipurpose use.
  3. Choose a board that’s longer than 12.5 feet (3.8 m) if you weigh 200–275 pounds (91–125 kg). These longest boards are often wider as well, making them safer to balance more weight. If your weight or your combined family weight is 200–275 pounds (91–125 kg), plan on going with the largest available board.
  4. Follow a volume recommendation if you plan to surf. The surfing SUP sizing often goes by volume recommendations instead of length, since they are all shorter boards. This system has you multiply your body weight by a certain decimal depending on your experience level, to get a volume recommendation number.
    • For example, beginners would multiply their body weight in pounds by 1 to 1.4.
    • Intermediates would multiply their body weight by 0.8 to 1.
    • Advanced surfers would multiply theirs by 0.6 to 0.8.
    • The resulting number gives you a board volume recommendation in liters.

Choosing Addition SUP Features

  1. Choose a board with a thick, high-traction deck pad for safety. The deck pad is one of the most important SUP features for new riders. Some boards come with full-length deck pads, but you don’t necessarily need this. What matters most is that it’s relatively thick and has a good traction pattern.
    • Spend some time comparing deck pad thicknesses between boards you’re looking at, and go with the thicker padding. Thicker padding is much more comfortable for longer paddles.
  2. Find a board with a built-in carry handle for convenience. Trying to carry your board without a built-in carry handle, located in the center and typically made of similar material as the deck pad, can be a major hassle. The centralized carry handle allows you to carry the board against your hip with its weight distributed evenly.
    • Most boards come with the centralized carry handle, but if you happen to buy one that doesn’t, you can wrap your arms around your board or try to carry it over your head.
  3. Get a leash depending for distance paddling or surfing. A board with a leash attachment allows you to clip a leash to a recessed crossbar located toward the tail of the board. Leashes are great for long-distance paddling or surfing, but they’re not recommended for whitewater SUPs unless there is a quick-release mechanism.
    • Some boards also come with tie-down attachments, which can be great for long-distance paddling if you’re bringing a dry pack or other gear.
  4. Get a board with more than 1 fin for surfing. SUPs come with anywhere from 1 to 5 fins. For boards used on flatwater like lakes and ponds, 1 fin works well. The more fins your board has, the more specialized and surf-oriented it is.
    • Some boards have a versatile tri-fin setup, which allows you to choose between 1 large center fin for calm water or 2 side fins for the surf.
  5. Get a fiberglass board for a practical option. The most common material for SUPs is fiberglass because it is strong for its weight and easy to shape. Most fiberglass boards are only 25–35 pounds (11–16 kg), making them manageable to carry.
    • The material of these boards can still crack, so avoid using a fiberglass board around rocks or dropping it on pavement.
    • Fiberglass boards cost more than plastic boards, but are worth the money if you’re pretty serious about paddleboarding as a regular hobby.
  6. Choose a plastic board to save money. If you’re a beginner and are just trying out stand-up paddleboarding, but aren’t yet sure if it’s the activity for you, you can save some cash by going with a plastic board. These boards are heavier at around 65 pounds (29 kg), making them more inconvenient to carry and slower on the water.
    • Another plus side to these boards, aside from the lower price, is that they’re virtually indestructible.
  7. Go with all carbon fiber if you’re a serious paddleboarder. If you’re an experienced surf or race paddleboarder, consider going with an all carbon fiber board. These are by far the lightest boards, and also the most expensive. However, the light weight will help increase your speed in races, so it can be worth it if you’re at the advanced competitor level.
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