Stand Up Paddle Boarding or as it is most commonly referred, SUP, is something that has most recently taken the global water world by storm. In fact, virtually every form of water has quickly gone on to become a playground of sorts for Stand Up Paddlers across the globe. And for very good reason, this rapidly growing sport has gone about being able to create and implement a ton of various designs of paddle boards that open up doors to the sport for all walks of life, whether young or old, new to the sport or pro. Regardless of what you are looking to get out of paddle boarding, there is most certainly going to be the perfect option to fit your needs. If you are seeking to learn more about paddle boarding, here is the perfect guide to everything you should know about SUP.
If you are interested, you should also check out our upcoming article on surf camps in Sri Lanka
As SUP is fueled only by the paddler, you can be sure to be able to get in an awesome workout that is also the perfect way to relieve the stresses of everyday life. It is perfect way to safely be able to hit the water, while taking in incredible views. And best of all, it is super easy to learn how to do! SUP is also the perfect pastime for your entire family. While there is, of course, a pretty substantial initial investment in terms of all the year you will need, in the long-run it is all well worth it due to the amount of low-cost fun, and lasting enjoyment you will be receiving out of your purchases.
If you are a beginner, there really is no better time to get started. There are endless options for SUP boards that are aimed for virtually any type of activity that you want to get out of paddle boarding, and they all come in different options to fit pretty much any budget.
Side note: Surfing in Japan is catching on and is currently one of the best places to learn both surfing and SUP
On average your paddle board should be a width of about 30 inches or more. This is a pretty standard size if you are brand new to SUP. To get started, you may want to opt for a soft-top paddle board, as they are reasonably priced, durable, heavy and really easy to learn on. Whereas, the more expensive, carbon vacuum-bagged boards are responsive, lighter and also quite durable. While soft-top boards are usually heavy, durable, easy to learn on and inexpensive. As a general rule of thumb, you are going to want to choose a paddle board that is about 4-7 inches taller than yourself. And, though lighter paddles are crafted from more expensive materials, they are truly worth the added price as they significantly assist in helping to cut down on hand fatigue that can occur with more heavy paddle boards.
If you find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed as to your options of Paddle Boards, you may want to head over to your nearest SUP shop. They are familiar with the local area’s waters and also can help point you in the right direction for what you are looking to use your paddle board for. They can then go on helping you to best determine how long the paddles shaft should be, and can also saw off any of the excess length while also attaching your handle for you!
If you’re getting gear, do check out our list of the best surf watches available, they help keep you on time in the water.
In many places, a SUP is classified as a water vessel which requires you to have to wear a life jacket or a PFD (personal floatation device) if you are planning on paddling in navigable water. While many paddle boarders often seek to avoid the more bulky options of life jackets, one great option that is way more comfortable is that of a waist belt PFD. Waist Belt PFDs are classically designed especially for SUP paddlers and not only is it super durable and comfortable, but it also meets all of the highest standards. If you have any questions or concerns, you may want to check with your Coast Guard or local lifeguard to double check the requirements for the local waters of your area.
Easily one of the most essential pieces of SUP equipment is that of the leash. This is basically your lifeline between your and your paddle board and can actually, in may cases, mean the difference between life and death. If you find yourself far from shore and worn out, your leash will keep connected to your board in the event that you accidentally slip or fall in the water. Even in the most light winds, your board can easily slip out of your reach within a matter of seconds. Be sure to always wear your leash, even when you think you will not need it. Your leash can also protect those around you from accidentally getting hit by your board if it ends up slipping out of your grip.
Depending on where you live, you may end up needing a wetsuit. There are a ton of options for various wetsuits, and it may be a good idea to simply visit your local SUP shop again for the most accurate answers. Finding the best wetsuit for your needs can prove to be quite tricky, you will want one that fits well and is not too tight or itchy. Investing in the wrong type of wetsuit can end your SUP outing pretty quickly!
Once you have purchased all of your gear, you are going to have to figure out how to get it all into your vehicle. Especially if you have a smaller model! While there are some paddle boards that are compact enough to fit inside most models of cars, the vast majority are not, so you will have to really consider that when it comes to loading up all of your equipment. With keeping that thought in mind, you may require the need to invest in some pads, webbing straps and racks, pads to get the job done of getting all your SUP equipment from home to the water with ease and success. Loading and tying down your SUP board can prove to be a bit of a daunting task that can take a little bit of getting used to, but once you have done it a couple of times, you will eventually be able to complete it with ease. If you are unsure how to do it, be sure to check out some online tips and videos that can easily walk you through the process in simple steps. If you find yourself struggling to get your board on top of your vehicle in one single motion, you may want to try and lean your board against the side of your car on the tail of it, and then simply pivot is up onto the racks of your car. If your vehicle is too tall for you to view the top of the roof, then you more than likely will struggle putting you board on top. If this is the case, you will want to invest in a durable and lightweight 2-step folding ladder that can easily be used and then packed into your car as well.
Choosing to partake in SUP as a water activity is one that is fun and also gives your body one incredible work-out. And, it is something that you can enjoy for many years to come. As previously stated, the initial investment may prove to be a bit costly, with adequate research into all of the SUP equipment you will need will be well worth the time and effort that it takes!