How Do I Choose a Stand Up Paddle Board?
The Sunshine State has miles of gorgeous coastline, not to mention countless lakes and ponds. There’s nothing better than enjoying a day on the water! Stand up paddle boarding has become a popular activity – and for good reason! It’s fun, relaxing, and, if you’re just starting out, a bit challenging. You can do it, but you’ll need the right equipment, including a paddle board dock, rack, and accessories. Here’s what you need to know:
Your Paddle Board
When choosing your stand up paddle board (SUP), start with the size and weight capacity:
- 9’: kids and riders up to 110
- 6’: regular paddlers up to 190 pounds and expert paddlers up to 220 pounds
- 11’ family board: paddlers up to 245
- 11’: regular paddles up to 225 pounds and expert paddlers up to 250
- 6’: regular paddlers 230 – 280 pounds.
- 6’ or 14’; these are racing or touring SUPs. They’re faster and better suited to long paddles.
You also want to look at the width. Wide boards, or those measuring 31” or wider, are great for larger people, beginners, and those who need more stability. Narrow boards, or those 29-30”, are ideal for paddlers up to 190 pounds. They’re lighter and more maneuverable, but you’ll give up some of that stability (good for the abs though!).
You can get plastic SUPs, which is a bit cheaper, but heavier. All in all, plastic is a good durable choice. Fiberglass is the most common option. Mid-range in price, they are tough and durable. Weight varies by manufacturer, so check on this if it is a concern.
Paddle Board Accessories
You’ll need a paddle, of course! You’ll want to look at length: the paddle should be about 8-12 inches longer than you are tall. So, if you are 5’0” (for easy math!), look for one that’s 5’8” – 6’0”. Plastic and aluminum are great choices; if weight is a concern, you can spend a little more for fiberglass or carbon. Also, if you are new to paddle boarding and/or bigger, choose a paddle with a wider blade.
Another great investment is a paddle board dock and rack. A paddle board dock provides a safe stable platform that is close to the water’s surface, making the launch and recovery of your paddle board less challenging – which is certainly a bonus if you’re new to your SUP! As for paddle board accessories, you’ll also need a paddle board dock rack to provide safe and convenient storage.
Who’s ready to hit the water? We know we are!
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