Paddle boarding is a diverse sport by many standards. It has become so popular lately. Nothing beats catching waves. Better still, you can enjoy the sport on different water bodies including rivers, canals, and lakes. You can also enjoy surfing in varied conditions. Just like the sport itself is diverse, the paddleboards are probably even more diverse. In this article, we will derive what to look for when buying a stand-up paddleboard (SUP).
Solid versus inflatable
Whether to go for a solid or inflatable SUP board is largely determined by where you plan to use it, storage and how you will transport it. If you are looking for serious wave surfing, long distance or optimal performance, with regards to speed, a solid SUP is the better option. If you are looking to specialize in a particular type of paddle boarding, for instance, white water paddling, go for an inflatable. Inflatables are also easier to store and transport. You may want to paddleboard on canals, lakes, a slow stream or a flat ocean. An inflatable will come in handy.
As aforementioned, there are specialized sports that you could use SUPs for. You can choose your SUP based on the particular sport it is meant for, for instance, cruiser, race-cruiser, the wind, all round, and surf SUPs. Each of these boards has its characteristics. If you are paddle boarding on white water, The pointed nose will be best for touring and speed on calm and flat waters. Round noses help in maneuverability.
Width and length
A SUPs width and length are vital. The width will determine its stability. Wider SUPs are more stable. They, however, result in less agility and fewer glides. The length will greatly affect the paddle boards glide and agility. Longer SUPs are also more stable, despite being narrow. This is because they have higher levels of paddleboard volume fore and aft. The width will have a bigger impact on the paddleboard’s stability.
The materials from which the paddle is made matters. Aluminum paddles will not float and can easily corrode if you do not wash them properly after use in salt water. A carbon fiber paddle is lightweight, can float and will not need much cleaning after use in salt water. The latter is more expensive but is a better investment.
Most SUPs are made of a foam core, If there is a puncture or scratch, water will seep in and degrade the foam core. Go for a SUP, which tends to be watertight. Composite SUPs are very light, making them prone to damage. They comprise a foam core, wrapped in fiberglass layers, and wood layers for strength. In some models, the carbon fiber will replace the fiberglass. A soft board is also a good option.
All in all
While buying a SUP can be confusing, putting the above factors into consideration will help in choosing the best SUP to serve you.