Are you looking for your next paddleboard, or perhaps you’re new to the sport? When you decide to purchase a paddleboard, you are also choosing to change your lifestyle while increasing your physical health. The most popular types of stand-up paddling consist of SUP yoga, SUP surfing, SUP racing, and river rapid SUP, all of which provide an exciting on-water experience.
Paddleboard models are made from fiberglass, ceramic, and foam-tops. The key to buying your first paddleboard is knowing how and where you will spend most of your time stand-up paddleboarding. Here’s what to look for when you buy your first paddleboard:
The Size of Your Paddleboard
One of the most important factors when it comes to shopping for a paddleboard is the size of the board compared to your height and weight. If you have a smaller stature and is under 125lbs (56kgs), it’s best to purchase a smaller paddleboard. In this way, you can find anything under 9ft (2.7m) more comfortable to control and maneuver. For riders weighing 150lbs (68kgs) or more, looking for an all-around paddleboard that ranges from 10 to 12 feet (3 to 3.8m) is ideal for a smooth and comfortable ride.
Most paddleboard shapes have a cross-width that ranges from 30-inches (76 cm) to 34-inches (86 cm), and a base width that is typically between 4-6 inches (10-15 cm). The wider and thicker the board, the more stability you have on the water. The all-around paddleboard shape is excellent for yoga enthusiasts who are looking to jump into the sport of SUP, and weekend warriors who like to strap a cooler to the board and hit their favorite beach or lake hangout. Thickness is always a factor to look out for if you want a reliable and stable ride.
The Type of Paddleboard
SUP Touring Boards
These are best for athletic paddleboarders who want to get into SUP racing. If you’re looking to build endurance, give your core a strenuous workout, and you love to compete against other workout fanatics, you’ll love the touring option. It is the ideal model for SUP racing competitions or making the long haul down the coast or across the lake. They range in size from 12 to 14 ft (3.6-4.5 m), and there are multiple variations of materials that offer different buoyancy and factors for durability.
SUP Surfing Boards
Whether you’re an experienced surfer or you’re just starting, a fiberglass or foam-top paddleboard between 9 to 1q2 ft (2.7-3.6 m) is perfect for small to medium size waves. This range of size makes it simple to learn to ride on and offers plenty of fun for beginners to intermediate paddle boarding surfers. A round-nose or pointed-nose shape with either a pintail or square tail is ideal for stability and provides a smooth ride.
The all-around paddleboard shape is ideal for beginner riders and is an excellent choice if you are a casual paddler. Its versatile form is available in a variety of sizes and widths and is stable enough for all rider sizes. It is recommended to choose an all-around stand-up paddleboard if you are entering the SUP world and plan on sharing your board with friends. Once you get a feel for your style and area of preference, then upgrading to a touring model, a specialized yoga shape, or an inflatable stand-up paddleboard design for the river or lake becomes an easy option.
Check the Paddleboard
Whether you buy new or used, make sure to check your future paddleboard for pressure dings and spider web cracks on the surface and bottom. You want to make sure the grip pad is secured tightly to the board and isn’t being peeled or lifted on the corners. If you are buying a used model, make sure that there isn’t severe sun damage, as this can cause delamination. Also, check for any significant cuts or dings on the rails that could cause waterlogging on the interior, which makes for a heavy and sluggish board.
No matter which genre of paddleboarding you end up choosing, finding the right board is easy when you take your height and weight into consideration. Choose a board that you feel comfortable with, and that fits your style and abilities. Keep these tips in mind when buying your first paddleboard, and you’ll enjoy a pleasurable time spent on the water with an investment that changes your life for the better!