The stand-up paddle is a great, inclusive alternative to extreme water sports. If you’ve already discovered your passion for this port, it’s worth investing in your own paddle and paddleboard to stay independent from rentals. What to pay attention to when choosing your SUP board?
Contrary to windsurfing and kitesurfing, paddleboarding is an activity for everyone, regardless of age or physical condition. In terms of weather conditions and locations, SUP is not problematic either. You can paddle in the ocean, lake, or river if only the waters are relatively calm. Of course – the weather conditions can bring your plans down. But you’re not as dependent on them as in the case of surfing.
Thus, unless you don’t swim well, you can jump on the SUP board right away and try yourself out! Of course, you will need to equip yourself first. It’s worth investing in your own paddle and SUP board to not depend on the rental availability. After all, this Havaian sport is not that popular as other water sports yet – particularly in Europe. In some cases, it may be hard to find a rental unit in your closest area.
Which SUP board to choose – tough or inflatable?
The tough SUP boards have a very similar composition to surfboards. Their core is usually made of styrofoam and covered with few layers of carbon or fiberglass. Although their stiffness may make it easier for beginners to navigate the board and stay on its surface, the inflatable boards have more advantages overall. They’re easy to travel with and extremely light. Contrary to a common belief, they also stand out with their resistance to mechanical damage.
The modern inflatable SUP boards are stiff due to two-layer drop-stitch technology. Their internal PVC layer is responsible for isolating the pumped elements from water.
What to pay attention to when choosing your SUP board?
Aside from the construction, it’s also worth verifying the board’s length and width. The preferred parameters depend mainly on the usage of the paddleboard. The all-round SUP boards suitable for various activities are usually 300-335 cm long, and their width ranks between 75 and 85 cm. On JP Australia, you’ll find resistant all-round paddleboards in different shapes and colors.
The touring SUP boards, used for long distances, are usually narrower and longer than the others, measuring over 335 cm. Such construction facilitates moving fast, but makes it more challenging for beginners to maintain balance. If you’re a beginner, we would recommend getting a wider and shorter board.
Don’t forget about the displacement of the SUP board. The more you weigh, the higher this parameter should be to keep you safe on the surface.