HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT STAND UP PADDLE BOARD?
Choosing a Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) Board is a delicate process that depends on a number of factors. Weight, experience, location, skill level and other factors greatly influence the type of board that you should go for. Other than these factors, the budget can also play a major role in the process.
Are you thinking about how to pick the right Stand Up Paddle Board?
You've come to the right place. In this article, we are going to cover the various factors that you need to keep in mind while choosing your perfect paddleboard.
How to Choose?
So you're wondering how to pick the right Stand Up Paddle Board. Let's begin with your selected locations where you'll be using your board and then move on to your experience and other factors.
1. Location of Your Paddle Boarding Adventures
Let us begin paddle boarding with Flat water (ponds, lakes or marshes) locations. Paddling in these locations can be a beautiful experience. These locations are often used by beginners as well due to the easy water flow that provides a stable learning ground. The typical models which complement these locations perfectly are the All Around Stand Up Paddle Boards. These models are designed in a traditional surfboard design with a planning hull. They are typically 10-12 feet long and 30-33 inch in width. These boards have a lot of stable designing that makes it perfect for beginners as well as surfers who would like to fish from their boards. These All Around models can be used in most conditions due to their stability and ease of use.
Next, we move on to the slightly turbulent waters of the large lakes or oceans where you may need to go farther from the shore and cover long distances using your board. Typically, you need to have intermediate or expert level skills before venturing into these waters with your board. You also need a more efficiently designed board to cover these long distances. For these requirements, the Touring models are perfectly suited to perform well. These models are specifically designed with a longer or pointed front end. Paired with this is the rounded hull which maybe 12 to 14 feet long. The efficiency of the design lies in the pointed front end which cuts through water easily and helps you to cover longer distances. The only downside is the narrow width of the board which may be a discomfort for certain body shapes and sizes. So, you need to make sure that you're comfortable with the Touring' or racing models before you take it on your adventures.
Our next location is the adventurous waves that most surfers are attracted to. Are you looking forward to paddling in the waves? We have the perfect SUP designs to fulfill your adventurous wishes. Before we go on to the perfect kind of board for this location, there is an important topic that needs to be discussed and that is your skill level. Beginner level surfers are probably not suited to this location as it may turn hazardous. However, if you have intermediate to expert level skills then you're good to go. Surfing Stand Up Paddle Boards are the perfect companions for this location. These boards are specially designed with a planning hull. This feature specifically helps you to ride the waves and maneuver or control your motion perfectly. This also allows you to execute sharp turns and bank when you need to.
Most of the designs discussed here are fairly easy to handle if you have some experience with paddle boards. To further understand how to pick the right Stand Up Paddle Board you can go through the next sections which discuss factors such as experience, board size and fin setups.
2. What Is Your Experience with Paddling?
Paddling is like any other sport and with time and experience, you will slowly get better with it. Hence you need to be honest with yourself and determine how much skilled are you at paddle boarding, whether you are a beginner or an expert at it. We will discuss both of the skill levels in details further.
Since you are a beginner, your main aim should be to have fun and slowly get better at paddling. You need to first explore what the paddling board can offer to you. You will learn the best on calm waters like ponds, lakes or marshes. When it comes to the right paddle and how to pick the right stand up Paddle Board, you need to choose one which is wide enough and a very stable Paddle Board. For beginners, you can use an inflatable and all-around stand-up Paddle Board model as they are the most popular ones with the beginners and the feedback from surfers have been great.
An Experienced paddler is one who has spent ages on developing and improving his skills. Very few people are born genius and hence almost everyone archives success through hard work and dedication. Slowly they develop their favorite locations and some even focus on efficiency. Maneuverability speed and glide are just some of the many factors which they consider while choosing a Paddle Board.
Other Expert paddlers use the Paddle Board as a part of their hobby and even do Yoga and fishing with Stand up paddles specially designed for their purpose. Whether you are in calm or choppy water, an expert paddler will be comfortable in all situations with the right paddle by their side. Expert paddlers who prefer performance often go with the Touring, Surfing and Racing Stand up paddles. Apart from this they also use their fishing and yoga stand up paddles in calm water to fulfill their hobby and improve their hold over the Paddle Board.
3. How to Select the Perfect Sized Board?
When choosing a Paddle Board for your adventures, you have to keep in mind that size matters. In all your adventures your board needs to keep you buoyancy above the waters. This means that you need to also look at your weight and body shape while choosing your Paddle Board. In other words, if you're too heavy for your board then you'll lose buoyancy and drag over the waters inefficiently. This means that you'll lose speed and maneuverability.
On the other hand, you also need to be conscious of the additional gear weight from all the accessories you carry with you on your adventures. For example, if you're planning on going for fishing adventures then you'll need to add in the weight of your fishing gear as well.
The length, width and thickness of the Paddle Board are just as important as the design of the stand-up Paddle Board. You can use online stand up Paddle Board size and weight comparison tools to find out options which will support your weight and keep you buoyant while you enjoy your adventures.
Various Types of Paddle Boards
You need to know about fin set up and you need to have proper knowledge about your requirement and how you intend to use your Paddle Board. Accordingly, you can either shop online or walk into a store for a Paddle Board. We have discussed some Paddle Boards and their fin setup in details below.
Single Fin Paddle Boards
The most common Paddle Board is the one with a large fin directly in the centre backwards position of the Paddle Board close to the tail. The fin can have a size of either 8 inches or 10 inches and it helps to track the board on the flat water and also face a wave while surfing.
2 Plus 1 Fin Paddle Boards
This is also a very common type of Paddle Board which includes the single fin of about 8 to 10 inches in the centre and 2 smaller side fins which are about 3 to 4 inches in size on both the left and right sides of the board. The side and smaller fins help the boat to navigate better and take better turns while surfing on the waves. The tail fin helps to hold the wave face.
Quad Fin Paddle Board
As the name suggests, quad fin means there are 4 fins in total. Here the fins are situated along the rail of both sides of the tail part of the board. Quad fin is used where there is a lack of drag from the centre fin and it also helps the board get a better grip. It can easily track on hollow waves since the fins are along the rails of the board and not in the centre.
Now I hope you know which Paddle Board is the best one for you. It is time for you to get on the water and surf your way to glory. It does not matter whether you are doing it professionally or just for fun. Everyone was a beginner at one point of time and like any other sport, with time, patience and the appropriate Paddle Board, you can gain proper experience and slowly become a pro in this field.
Also of Interest:
- What to Wear for Paddle Boarding? Is Wetsuit a Must?
- Learn How to Install Your Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board