Now that you’ve been convinced of how wonderful stand up paddle boarding is, it’s time to learn how to buy your first board! As with many sports, good gear is essential for a good, safe time. Plus, it’s fun to personalize! I have a friend who recently painted her own skateboard with her favorite fruits and it looks rad — think about how happy looking at your very own paddle board will make you!
Before we get too into things, though, we’ll have to pick the best paddle board for the adventures you want to have. The biggest choice is probably to get a solid board or an inflatable board.
As the name suggests, solid boards are basically made of foam and fiberglass, just like surfboards. Sometimes they’re also made of plastic, and this helps because it makes them more durable, stable, and storage-friendly with little grooves in the surface. Because they’re stable and ride low in the water, solid SUP’s are actually the ones that racers use! Having good SUP gear is pretty important, then. The main problem with solid boards is that they’re obviously heavy, and if they chip then they’re out of function 😦
On the other hand, inflatable boards are easy to bring anywhere, since it’s just a little bundle that you pump up when you need it. Surprisingly, inflatable stand up paddleboards are usually more durable than solid ones. This is because they’re made of tough PVC vinyl and also a little more flexible than the solid SUP. It’s super fun to have an inflatable SUP if you’re a traveler because you can bring your board with you to any river in the world! This type of SUP equipment is also great if you like white water rafting and other stuff where your SUP might hit some rocks.
Other distinctions you want to think about when buying your stand up paddleboard include the length of the board. For example, a longer board is easier to ride because there’s more space to balance. But, too long of a board can be a little annoying if you’re trying to do SUP Yoga for instance, which would need a medium length board (9-12 feet). To be super agile, a shorter board would be best, but these boards are also the most challenging to move around. There’s also other stuff that might be useful to have on your stand up paddleboard, like bungee cords that let you store stuff or traction pads for non slip trips. Paddleboards also vary in their carrying handles, matching paddles, and shape. Basically there are a lot of choices in SUP gear, so choose wisely!
After picking up your first board, take it out for a ride in one of LA’s best SUP spots! ‘Sup, LA! 😉