Choosing a perfect stand-up paddleboard (SUP), especially for new inexperienced paddlers, requires critical consideration of some things depending on aspects such as the duration with which the board would be used, level of experience of the paddler, size of the board, the shape of the board and even the board’s volume and weight capacity.
Safety of the rider, stability and efficient cruising with a lot of comforts define some of the considerations one must make in picking a SUP. Besides, some of these things depend on the efficient functioning of the board concerning things like traction, stability, rigidity, and maneuverability. Storage and transportation of the board are also some key considerations. This article gives the top five things one should consider when picking a SUP and why such considerations are essential.
Stand Up Paddleboard Traction
When cruising along the water using a stand-up paddleboard, it is usually important to ensure the paddler has a firm grip on the board. Paddleboard traction helps in creating a better experience as the traction pad provides the paddler with a firm grip while standing on the board. Traction helps in preventing the paddler from sliding around the surface of the board during cruising and helps the paddle to maneuver the board with a lot of ease as well as stay on the board firm without falling off.
Most SUP with good traction pads uses specifically designed materials to increase the rider’s grip while standing on the board. When looking for good traction in the SUP paddleboard, it is always advisable to go for the premium EVA due to its superior anti-slip traction and comfort. The premium EVA also has an additional grip that prevents the user or the rider from slipping and sliding on the surface while riding, making the overall experience even better. Good traction guarantees that the rider can go for long trips without sliding, promoting comfort during the ride.
The stability of a paddleboard is one of the most important factors to consider, especially for less experienced riders. The stability will affect how faster one can gain experience as a SUPer. Stability also comes with a sense of confidence. The more confident a rider is, the more stable they become as riders.
However, the stability of a paddleboard can be determined using several things that the rider must check to ascertain that they have a stable paddleboard. For ultimate stability, things like recommended weight capacity, width, tail shape, length, board weight, board construction, rail construction, whether the board is inflatable or rigid, the presence of fins, and the thickness of the board must all be ascertained to ensure that they are in good condition and based on recommendations available. A SUPer need to confirm all these stability factors and achieve the recommended conditions before setting off for the riding.
The maneuverability of a SUP paddleboard is affected mainly by the hull type or the type of materials used in making the body. Most boards have a displacement or the planning hull, while some have a combination of the two, which affects the rider’s ability to maneuver through the water when riding. Usually, a flat planning hull provides a broad base for easy floating on water, which increases the rider's ability to maneuver. Such boards with wider flat hulls are used by riders having leisure, yoga, or doing some surfing for enjoyment.
Boards with displacement hulls usually have pointed nose-like kayaks that make them cut through the water with increased efficiency. These paddleboards can move across the water at high speeds and hence cannot maneuver well. This feature makes the displacement hull more idea for those who are very aggressive such as those in fitness paddling, racing, or are engaged in some touring. The purpose or goal of paddling can decide what type of hull you want to have the desired maneuverability.
The rigidity of a paddleboard is most affected by the thickness, length, and height of the rail used in making the board. In most cases, the thickness of the inflatable paddle board affects its performance depending on the materials used to make it. For maximum stability, the rider should always check to ensure that the boards they pick have a thickness of at least 5 inches, and this increases the rider’s safety in terms of making them more stable and safer while on top of the water. The material used in constructing the board should also be correctly inflated based on the recommendations of the manufacturer with at least a 15 PSI to ensure it is stable and remains rigid throughout the ride.
Paddleboard Weight and Capacity
There is an important relationship between the volume, weight capacity, and hull type, which affects the paddler’s success on the water. The design of the SUP paddleboard should therefore take critical consideration of these factors to ensure the SUPer is not only stable when on top of the water but also able to navigate the water with more confidence. Choosing the suitable weight capacity can be difficult but can be done with the guidance of an expert, depending on the level of the rider.
When calculating the recommended weight of the paddleboard, it is essential to factor in elements like the weight of the equipment used, the gear, and any other thing that will be on the board, such as the pets, as these will affect the stability of the board on the water. When it comes to the board’s volume, factors such as the length, width, and thickness of the materials used should be checked critically as these will affect the ability of the board to float and remain stable while the riding takes place.
In most cases, the displacement hull paddle boards are designed more carefully, taking into consideration the aspects of weight and volume of the rider and the contents, making them more stable and safer for use when the rider is a beginner or intermediate. The people who are not heavy also prefer using these types of paddleboards.