What Do You Need To Know When Choosing SUP Boards?
SUP boards, although they’ve been around in various forms since ancient times, have recently celebrated a rebirth in popularity as water sport enthusiasts enjoy their versatility. You might see someone on an SUP, also known as a stand up paddle board, in the Warrior I yoga pose. Someone else might be on a paddle board with a fishing rod in hand. You can go for a calming paddle on a lake, or you can venture out into the ocean for an SUP aquatic adventure. SUP boards might be the vehicle for a fast-paced workout or a leisurely tour. All this goes to show that, if you’re looking for a water sport that offers different options for your different interests, there’s nothing better than stand up paddleboarding.
Knowing what you want to do on your paddle board will help you figure out what size SUP to purchase. Some things that need to be considered are:
- The proper dimensions of the board
- Choosing an inflatable or a solid board
- What is the right volume and capacity of the SUP?
- What accessories do you need?
Best Offers SUP Boards
Hull Types Of The Paddle Boards SUP
Your SUP’s hull has a significant part to play in how the paddle board will perform when it’s in the water. While some SUPs are designed with a hybrid hull, most models have either a planing hull or a displacement hull. Which hull is best for you will depend on what activities you’re going to be engaging in with your SUP boards.
The planing hull, flat and wide, resembles a surfboard and is designed to travel on top of the water, and is easy to maneuver. If your intention is to use your SUP board for surfing, SUP yoga, whitewater, or leisure paddling, a paddle board with a planning hull is a good choice.
A paddle board with a displacement hull looks similar to a canoe or kayak with a pointed nose or bow. The displacement hull cuts through the water, improving the efficiency of its movement by pushing the water from the SUP’s nose to its sides. The result is a ride that’s smooth and swift.
Because it doesn’t need as much effort when paddling, the displacement hull allows for traveling longer distances at faster speeds. The downside is that they are not as easy to maneuver as the planning hull. Water sports enthusiasts who prefer the displacement hulls are usually enjoying fitness paddling, racing, or SUP touring/camping on their paddle boards SUP.
Accessories For The Best SUP Boards
As we’ve already noted, the best SUP boards are remarkable for the versatility of ways that they can be used. Different features follow along with this trait and enhance the purposes for which the paddle board is used.
The paddle for your SUP resembles a canoe paddle that’s stretched out. It has a blade shaped like a teardrop which angles forward to maximize the efficiency of your paddling.
A personal flotation device or PDF will be needed if you’ll be navigating your paddle board in U.S. waters outside swimming or surfing areas. This is a requirement of the U.S. Coast Guard, which also requires paddle boarders to carry a safety whistle for safety and have a light if you’re paddling past sunset.
There are SUP board wardrobe guidelines depending on when you’re out on the water. If the weather is cooler and hypothermia is a concern, it’s wise to wear a wetsuit or a dry suit. When the weather is milder, you’re fine in just shorts and a tee-shirt or a bathing suit.
A leash, which is usually sold separately, ties you to your SUP so that, if you fall off, the board doesn’t drift away. Leashes are designed for rivers, flatwater, and surf, so this is another area where knowing where you’ll be using your SUP board is important before making your choice.
Bungee or tie-down straps come in handy if you’re bringing coolers, clothing, and dry bags on board.
Attachment points or mounts, typically sold separately, are useful if your paddle board will be carrying seats, fishing-rod holders, cameras, and other items.
SUP Boards Inflatable
SUP boards inflatable have gained in popularity in recent years. Inflatable SUPS are ideal if you have limited storage space, or if you live in an apartment or condo. They can be stored in a closet, or even in the trunk of your car. If you’re paddling whitewater, the inflatable SUP board is better at handling the bumps along the way than a solid board. SUP yoga fans like the softness of the inflatable model because it’s more comfortable for the poses. An inflatable SUP, which is designed to inflate to 12-15 pounds per square inch, should feel very rigid when fully inflated.
SUP Boards: Hard Paddle Board
A typical hard paddle board, with its foam core wrapped in epoxy and fiberglass, is durable, affordable, and fairly lightweight. A carbon fiber hard board is lighter and stiffer, but costs more. A plastic hard board, although more affordable, is heavy and offers less performance.
Performance is the hallmark of the hard board because hard boards travel smoother and faster and require less effort to maneuver than an inflatable SUP. Hard paddle boards also come in a greater range of sizes and shapes than inflatable SUPS do, which allows for a more perfect fit. Because they’re more rigid than the inflatable version and tend to ride lower in the water, hard boards feel more stable.
Transporting a hard board isn’t as simple as it is with an inflatable SUP. You’ll need an SUP car rack, designed for the crossbars of your roof rack, when traveling with a hard board. You can also use foam block padding and utility straps to fasten the board to your car roof.
SUP Boards are redefining the versatility of water sports. Give paddleboarding a try and you’ll see what we mean!