5 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Paddle Board
Over the past several years stand up paddling quickly took root among recreational enthusiasts and outdoorsman and woman as a way to get some exercise while having a bit of fun. It seems that everywhere I look and surf, especially here in San Diego, there are more and more individuals taking to the paddle board (SUP) lifestyle, which is great! I’m always stoked to see new faces in the water getting bit by that surfing bug, just as long as I don’t get snaked in the process!
As newfound as this interest may seem, its roots date back almost 3,000 years
to the ancient cultures of Africa and South America. Records suggest these individuals used boards, canoes, and other self-propelled watercraft to fish, travel, make war, and yes…even ride waves. Given its history, stand up paddling is here to stay. So if you’re interested in taking to the surf or bay yourself, and purchasing your own paddle board, then read on.
Choosing the right stand up paddle board greatly depends on the intended use. There are different types of SUP boards suited for various activities such as racing, touring, and surfing.
The Paddle Board for SUP-Surfing
This type of stand up paddling requires the most amount of skill and expertise, as well as endurance. The power of the ocean shouldn’t be taken lightly, and SUP surfing certainly places you in that powerful element. Because these boards are made for wave riding
, they feature much more rocker, an essential contour in the shape for carving, top turns and to prevent the dreaded nose dive when dropping in on a wave. These are also the shorter cousins of the standard paddle board, with a maximum length of around 10ft. Look for a standard three fin (thruster) setup and, depending on your standard break, you can choose from a swallow, pin or squash tail for each board.
Casually Explore On Your Own Paddle Board
SUP Touring boards are an excellent option if you’re more of the laid-back type looking to cruise an open bay, lake or tranquil river. These boards have a much higher volume than racing and SUP-surfing boards. And rightly so, since they are meant for cruising. They’re the recreational vehicle of SUP boards. Their size may make them a bit more difficult to reach optimal speed, but you’ll have much more momentum which makes maintaining speed on these boards an easier task. So bring your fishing gear, lunch or a 6-pack and get exploring!
A bit more of a speed demon? Interested in challenging your friends or engaging in more competitive SUP style paddle boarding? Check out the growing sport of SUP board racing. These boards are the sleek, aerodynamic siblings of the SUP surfboards. Most are long and narrow to slice through the water and feature a subtle rocker to eliminate any drag. They’re particularly quick but less stable since they’re built for speed.
SUPs for the Wild White Water
Here’s where the ancient traditions of the sport merge with contemporary interest. Stand up paddle boarding in a whitewater river requires a significant amount of skill and precision as you’ll be dodging rocks, surfing over rapids, and cruising over shallow water. The white water paddle board is a bit different than typical boards. They use a polyurethane core as opposed to standard Epoxy
, and they are hollow with plenty of volume. These traits allow them to float while remaining stable and their hollow bodies also provide you with storage space for a sleeping bag or food and drink for longer tours.
SUPs for Yoga and Fitness
What’s better than taking the yoga studio on the open water? I’m hard-pressed to find a better way get in touch with my mind and body in a one-of-a-kind outdoor setting. SUP yoga boards take the standard paddle board and widen it to just about or a little over 30’ to provide users with a bit more surface area that the typical mat. Stability is the motivation behind the shape, and you’ll be surprised how relaxing an SUP Yoga session can be.
Interested in trying it out for yourself but don’t own a board yet? Not to worry! We offer SUP Yoga classes
on beautiful Mission Bay all season long. We’ll provide you with all the essentials to experience the Zen for yourself. Click here to reserve your spot today!