Nothing works as wondrous for a human body as a magnificent sport. A healthy sporting routine can relax your mind and muscles, makes you physically more strong and fit, is a boon to your heart, and keeps you young for longer. Love for a sport is the best thing a human can give to himself/herself. Especially in today’s world of dull and lazy life where everything is just a click of a button away and the only exercise we get is a walk from our rooms to elevators and vice versa. As much as it’s important to develop this habit, it can be equally challenging to pick a sport for you. Although the world is dominated by high profile sports such as cricket, or football, or tennis etc. Some people choose it differently. Instead of these cliché sport, they prefer something more calm and soothing and beautiful, but equally challenging. And that brings us to Stand Up Paddling. A little known, but a magical activity that may change your perspective about sports forever.
STAND UP PADDLING – An Introduction
So we all are aware of the traditional surfing in the waters, where you bend down a little from the knees and the back on a surfboard to make it through waves. Stand Up Paddling is similar, yet not the same. You don’t bend or sit. Instead you stay stood up (as the name suggests) and use a blade (like an oar) to make it through waves. The reason this one may be better is that it is usually done on light waves or rather lakes and is very calming to the mind. The activity originally began in Africa but got a sports status in Miami in the 1960s. As for now, it is an international sport with huge popularity and number of events to its name.
Ever since the sport’s popularity, the paddling boards has been in great demand leading to multiple manufacturers delivering the product in many varieties. But it is always important to know the right kind of board for you as it can be a challenge in today’s market. This article, further, will help you now to know the right kind of SUP board for you with all its details and everything else you need to know about it.
Stand Up Paddle Boards Buying Guide
TYPES OF STAND UP PADDLING
Before we look into what kind of board you need, it is important to figure out what do you need it for as the object varies for different purposes. Obviously, the main purpose remains SUP, but now, even that is not the same. SUP can be experienced in any way you want it to –
1. For Leisure – Stand Up Paddling is a sport which is more often done in quiet lakes and silent oceans, not as a sport, but simply as a meditation to the mind and the body. SUP Yoga had also been introduced in several parts of the world which include doing Yoga in the middle of the waters on the paddling board. Even the idea of doing such a thing calms the mind. The hull of a SUP board for this kind of paddling is called Planing Hull. Planing Hull is pretty much like a surfboard designed to remain on the surface. It is usually recommended to beginners as this type is more versatile and stable.
2. Racing or For Longer Period – Many SUP racing events and sporting activities have started to be organized all over the world such as America, Brazil, India, etc. This type of paddling is not relaxing and requires a very high speed and longer time on the board. Naturally, different kind of boards is recommended for this kind of paddling. These boards have what is called a Displacement Hull. These hulls are pointed, similar to a canoe which powerfully pushes the water backward effectively increasing the speed of the board. They are much longer and narrower than the planning hulls and are exclusively inserted in boards used for racing or touring.
ANATOMY OF A PADDLE
The function of a paddleboard for SUP is to drive the paddle through the waves in the desired direction. It consists of three major parts – a blade (which acts like an oar to push the water and to also maintain the balance), a shaft (for the good grip on the blade), and a handle (to carry the board around). Dimensions, widths, and varieties of these three along with the board can be different for each set. Each of them playing a particular role.
The width of the blade can usually range from 6 to 10 inches, while the shaft often varies 67 to 86 inches in length depending upon its purpose and quality. A blade has several shapes and features. Usually, it is banana shaped, but others also include diamond-shape, etc. Traditional surfboards are made of many laminated layers over foam cores. However, SUP boards are specifically designed with an inflatable system making them durable, easy to carry, and enabling you to travel for longer distances.
SUP boards can range from 400US$ to 4000US$. Traditionally they were made of carbon, fiberglass, or wood. But with the passing of the time, the construction of these boards takes place from glass-reinforced plastic using polyester which goes very well with polyurethane. New experiments are also being going on the Riverine SUP boards using new materials to make them tougher and more durable.
So now, you know all you need to know about the sport and its equipment. Whenever you make a purchase, keep in mind your body type, for example, your strength, height, and weight, as your body and the board needs to be compatible for you to experience a good and safe paddling. Never forget to check out the reviews before buying a product. A smart buyer needs to know nothing more. To help you further, we give you some of the best SUP boards available in the market, and what did their previous owners experience from them.
1. SEA EAGLE NEEDLENOSE – One of the best paddling boards there is in the market, Sea Eagle Needlenose is a unique inflatable board. Very rigid and sharp, it can be best experienced in lakes or while touring. It comes in three different sizes; thus, buy depending on your height and weight. Sea Eagle Needlenose is undoubtedly the best product there is for SUP in the best rate. The product has mostly positive reviews, with the customer being highly satisfied with its usage and durability. The product comes with a three-year warranty, 180 days free trial, and can be ordered online from Sea Eagle’s official website. I seriously doubt if it can get better than this.
2. STARBOARD ASTRO WHOPPER – These boards are a fantastic option if you’re looking for some free water paddling as they are of a short length and very light. But it can be used for any paddling. Coming in 2 sizes varying the thickness, Starboard Astro Whopper is stable and a solid choice for SUP yoga. A carry bag is complimentary with the board, and it can be ordered from various online stores such as Amazon or GreenWaterSports. Previous buyers loved it for its large deck pad, comfort, and a cute little fin attachment. The product comes with a one year warranty. Honestly, if you’re looking for a nice day in the water, this is what you need.
3. NAISH ONE – If you’re looking for speed, Naish ONE is all you need. Being one of the fastest paddling boards, Naish ONE boards come in eccentric colors and beautiful patterns. All that is sports. A large fin is attached at the bottom to maintain the speed. The product is made in the top quality hardly leaving anything to complain about. A perfect device for touring, this one can easily be set up and has great tracking. And top it all off, you get an extra layer of UV protection on it. Now, that’s some durability.
4. TOWER ADVENTURER – This one is an all rounder. With the length of 10’8’’, it is highly inflatable and too much for the pocket. Many SUP websites put this one as their number one choice for a SUP board as it is very user-friendly and loved by its users.
SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
As now you’re probably gonna buy yourself a classy SUP board, don’t forget that this kind of sport, or rather any sport, can be highly dangerous, thus, you can never be too cautious. Never go in the ocean alone if it is your first time. Even though the SUP boards are very easy to use, if you’re not fully aware of its functions, they can be harmful. It is advisable to learn Stand Up Paddling from a professional first, and keep in mind all the basics and structure of the board. Usually, the SUP boards are not very high maintenance, but even then you should know how to keep them so that they stay safe and last longer. With a little training and will-power, you can truly enjoy this magnificent sport.