How to choose the right SUP that works well for you and your body.
The summer season opens up plenty of doors for fun, adventurous activities outside. With no shortage of bright summer sunlight or afternoons spent on the water, you can enjoy seasonal favorite sports and activities
such as hiking through the mountains, kayaking along the rivers, jogging through your local parks or catching waves across one of the countries many gorgeous beaches.
While each of these exhilarating activities are a great excuse to get outdoors and soak up the summer sun, there is a new, fast-growing sport that is popping up on lakes, rivers and oceans all across the county this season, stand up paddle boarding.
While this relaxing, simple sport has been around since well before the days of the Beach Boys, in the last few years it has slowly been making a comeback, and it's easy to understand why. Many people have dubbed stand up paddle boards the "bicycles of the water"
because of their versatile ability to take you across lakes, oceans and rivers alike.
With minimal equipment, these boards will allow you to float across that beautiful backyard lake up north, explore the coastline of a local island off in the ocean, paddle down a river, following the twists and turns of the glassy water. Because of this, it's easy to see why paddle boarding is so intrinsically enjoyable and a favorite activity of many.
And the best part about stand up paddle boarding? It's fairly simple to begin, even for those who have never surfed before. If you are interested in trying out paddle boarding, one of the first things you are going to need to get is a board. Here are our tips for choosing a board that works well for both you and your body
Short vs. Long Board
Just as "short board or long board" has been a defining question among surfers for decades, it is also the main differentiator between stand up paddle boards. While everyone will have their own theory or opinion about what makes the perfect board, the truth is, it all comes down to your body and what exactly you are expecting from the board.
If you are looking for a board that will be great at handling waves, turns sharp and fast, and will adjust quickly to your each and every movement, you are going to want to choose the shortest board that you are able to handle
. Typically, anyone who is looking to primarily ride waves should consider a high performance board that falls around 10 ft. and under.
If you are more interested in serious, flat water paddling, faster movement through the surf, and a board that doesn't require you to have perfect balance, you are better off choosing a wide board that falls between 10'-12' long. These boards are also typically the best choice for beginners or for people who are looking to start having fun right away without having to adjust to the feel and the movement of a short board.
Paddle Boarding Equipment
Once you have the right board picked out, there are several other pieces of equipment that are necessary before you can hop in the water:
· A Personal Floatation Device (PFD): The U.S. Coast Guard considers a stand up paddle boat a vessel, therefore, you must always be wearing a coast guard approved PFD when you are in the water.
· Proper Clothing: If you are going to be riding through cold conditions or late in the summer season, you may want to consider wearing a wetsuit or a dry suit to take precaution against hypothermia.
· A Protective Helmet: Depending on where you take your paddle board, it may be wise to wear a helmet when you are riding, especially if there are going to be rocks in the water.