Stand Up Paddle Board Buying Guide

Stand Up Paddle Board Buying Guide

Your Wetsuit Thickness Matters: Here's Why Reading Stand Up Paddle Board Buying Guide 5 minutes

Are you just dipping your toes into the SUP scene or shredding the waves like a pro? Whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or an advanced wave-wrangler, the right board can make all the difference.

So grab your board shorts, wax up your vocabulary, and let's dive right in.

Experience Level

Mastered the waves yet or are you still feeling a little wobbly on your feet? Your skill level is a significant factor in choosing the right paddle board.

1. Beginners: Stability is crucial when you're starting out. You should look for a board that is wider and thicker, as this can add more stability and balance. A wider tail can also contribute to a more stable experience.

2. Intermediate: Honing your skills? At this level, you may want a slightly narrower board to allow for more manoeuvrability and to improve your paddling efficiency.

3. Advanced: Already a King or Queen of the ocean? The most experienced paddlers often opt for performance-oriented boards. These boards are often narrower and can be less stable, but they provide better speed and manoeuvrability, helping you slice through the water.

Solid vs. Inflatable Boards

1. Solid Boards: Hard-core. Solid boards generally provide better performance and are more responsive in the water. They are ideal for long-distance paddling, surfing, and racing. But that comes at a cost, as they are naturally less portable and need more storage space.

2. Inflatable Boards: The shape shifters. Inflatable SUPs are great for those who have limited storage space or need to travel with their board. While they might not offer the same level of performance as solid boards, they are more than good for recreational use and are highly durable. You can even pack them up and carry them on your back.

Paddler Height & Weight

Thanks to the laws of physics, your size has a direct impact on the type of board you need. The board's volume and weight capacity need to match your weight for it to stay balanced in the water. As a general rule, heavier and taller paddlers often need longer and wider boards.

Here are some common sizes and their corresponding recommended weights:
10'2": 10’2” x 32” x 6” 220ltr - Recommended rider weight up to 90Kg
10'6": 10’6” x 33” x 6” 250ltr - Recommended rider weight up to 110Kg
10'8": 10’8” x 34” x 6” 320ltr - Recommended rider weight up to 130Kg
Intended Use

There’s a wide variety of paddle boards because there’s a wide variety of uses for them. You can glide along in a world of your own, race competitively, or even carry a passenger (and a pet!).

1. General Recreation: For casual paddling and fitness, a wider all-around board would be the most suitable option. Some boards come as a complete set with a carrying bag, pump, safety leash, and paddle, making them great for those just getting started.

2. Surfing: If you plan to use your SUP for surfing, you should consider a shorter, more manoeuvrable board.

3. Racing/Long Distances: Long, narrow boards are best for racing or long-distance paddling as they are designed for speed.

4. Family Use: If you plan on carrying kids (or even a furry friend) along, consider a board with a larger deck pad. This will provide extra room and grip for passengers.

Extras & Accessories

Once you've discovered your paddle board match made in heaven, you should also consider extra equipment and accessories. Here’s some of the top picks for paddle boarders of all levels:

1. Adjustable Paddle: An adjustable paddle is a great option, as it can be sized perfectly for your height and the specific conditions.

2. Pump: If you choose an inflatable SUP, you'll need a reliable pump for inflation and deflation. Give your arms a workout with a hand pump, or get paddling sooner with an electric pump.

3. Safety Gear: Depending on where you plan to paddle, you should make use of a leash (to keep your board close if you fall off), a personal flotation device, and, potentially, a whistle.

4. Protective Clothing: Consider investing in a good quality wetsuit, depending on the time of year you’ll be paddling.

Remember, the perfect SUP board for you is the one that suits your specific needs and circumstances. Be sure to test out different options before making a decision, and don't hesitate to ask for advice from our team of experts.

Whether you’re seeking to blissfully glide along calm waters, or tear up waves like a pro, we’ll make sure you find the perfect board for you.

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