Stand Up Paddle Board Buying Tips
By: Gary Gresham
Looking for a way to stay active, venture outdoors, and get closer to nature? Paddle boarding is great way to achieve all three. There are so many choices available, which one is the right paddle board for you? Here are few tips to get you started. Please also check out Venture Terra’s YouTube video Stand Up Paddle Board Buying Tips.
First, how and where will you use the paddle board? Will it be used for ‘flat’ water exploration, such as a lake, mangroves, or slower moving water? Will you use it for rivers with rapids, beach or paddle surfing? Or you may prefer more relaxing activities, such as fishing or yoga?
If you plan to paddle on ‘flat’ water or at a more leisurely pace; yoga, surfing or white water rapids you’ll find a wider and flatter hulled board may fit your needs. These styles are good for stability, maneuverability and planing on the water surface. These board are versatile for many activities. Length will be a consideration as well. Boards under 10 feet are typically used to paddle surf, with larger boards used for the other activities. Of course, your preference and skill level will drive that decision.
You’ll also need to consider the materials from which the boards are made. Traditional epoxy/fiberglass boards are lighter and durable. The downside is they are larger, requiring transport racks and storage space. Inflatable boards are easier to store and transport for travel, even on planes. The downside is they are less stable on the water and a pump is required. An electric pump is highly recommend, inflates more quickly preserving your energy for the paddling.
If you plan to use the paddle board for a more rigorous workout such as ‘touring”, downwind or racing, you’ll enjoy a board over 12 feet with a displacement hull. These boards are not as wide as a flat water board and have a pointed bow. These factors help the paddle board cruise in a more efficient manner, much like a kayak or canoe.
These paddle boards are typically made of fiberglass or carbon fibers. Fiberglass boards are heavier and more durable while the carbon fiber boards are lighter but more susceptible to dings. Due to the length, they require storage areas and travel and transport racks.
Happy paddling. “Find your Venture”.