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Choosing a Stand Up Paddle Board for Beginners

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) offers something for everyone. You can go out for a drink in a quiet lake or catch waves in the ocean. Or maybe you would like to do SUP yoga or go for a fast-paced palette to get a workout. Whatever your ambitions, having the right board is the key to your enjoyment.

To find the correct SUP, here is what you should keep in mind:

  • Helmet type: Its two main options are a planning helmet and a displacement helmet; The type you choose will be based on the type of rowing you plan to do.
  • Solid or inflatable: Do you want a solid board or an inflatable board? Your answer will be based on things like plate performance, portability and your storage options.
  • Volume and weight capacity: you want to choose a table with the volume and weight capacity suitable for your height and weight to ensure good stability and rowing performance.
  • Length, width and thickness: the dimensions of a SUP play an important role in determining how it is handled in water.

Types of SUP Hull

The hull, or body, of a paddle board plays an important role in determining how the board performs in the water. Most SUPs have a planning helmet or a displacement helmet. There is a handful with a hybrid design that combines the best attributes of each design.

Either the shape of the hull can be enjoyed by beginner paddlers, but there are differences that make them better for some activities than others. Because of this, it is advisable to choose the type of helmet depending on how you plan to use your board.

SUP volume and the weight capacity

A SUP plate must work for its size. If the table does not displace the correct amount of water for its weight, it will not have the support and the table may feel unstable. The volume of the board and the weight capacity are two factors that affect the stability of the board and the course of the board through the water.

The volume and weight capacity are determined by the length, width and thickness of the board. SUP manufacturers combine these three dimensions in different ways to achieve different performance characteristics (see the SUP Length, SUP Width and SUP thickness sections in this article for more information).

Volume: the volume of a paddle board, expressed in liters, gives an indication of the capacity of the board to float with weight on it. The higher the volume, the more weight the plate can support. You can find the volume of a SUP listed in the specifications.

Weight capacity: each paddle board has a cyclist's weight capacity, which is listed in pounds in the specifications. Knowing the capacity of weight is important because if you are too heavy for a board, it will move lower in the water and will be inefficient to paddle. When thinking about weight capacity, consider the total amount of weight you will put on the board, including the body weight and weight of any equipment, food and drinking water that you will carry with you.

Volume and weight capacity in relation to the type of hull: most of the glide hull boards are very forgiving, so as long as it is below the weight capacity, the plate will work well for you. However, with displacement helmet SUP, volume and weight capacity are more important.SUP manufacturers spend a lot of time determining the most efficient position so that the displacement tables are in the water. If you are overweight in a displacement table and you sink too much, you will crawl and feel slow. If you are too light for a board, you will not sink it enough and the board will feel heavy and difficult to control.

After buying a SUP, you need only some more key pieces to enjoy stand up paddle board. These include:

  • Paddle: A SUP paddle looks a bit like a paddle stretched with a teardrop blade that leans forward for maximum paddling efficiency. The correct length paddle will reach up to your wrist when you place the paddle in front of you and raise your arm above your head.
  • PFD (personal flotation device): the US Coast Guard UU Classify stand-up paddle boards as boats (when used outside the narrow limits of swimming or surf areas), so a PFD is required. Keep in mind that regulations also require that you always carry a safety whistle and have a light available if you are paddling after sunset.
  • Suitable clothing: for cold conditions where hypothermia is a concern, wear a wet suit or dry suit. In softer conditions, wear shorts and a T-shirt or swimsuit, something that moves with you and can get wet and dry quickly.
  • Strap: Usually sold separately, a strap ties your SUP to you, keeping it close if it falls. Your SUP is a large flotation device, so being connected to it can be important for your safety. There are straps designed specifically for surfing, flatwater and rivers; Make sure you buy the right one for your intended use.
  • Luggage carrier: unless you have an inflatable SUP, you need a way to transport your board in your vehicle. There are specific SUP racks designed to be placed on the crossbars of your luggage rack, or you can use padding, such as foam blocks and general-purpose belts to secure the dashboard to the roof of your vehicle.
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