Can You Have Two People on a Paddle Board?
A regular question for shoppers of family paddle boards is if you can you have two people on a paddle board? While technically possible, paddle boards are not designed for two people.
VOLUME IS KEY
A person’s ability to stand above the water on a paddle board is due to its volume. A paddle board’s volume is measured in Liters and the more volume a board has. the greater the weight is can displace.
Displacement occurs when an object (paddle board) enters water, it pushes out water to make room for itself. The object pushes out a volume of water that is equal to its own volume. As a result, a paddle board with a large amount of volume can support more weight.
In order for two people to be on a paddle board, the board’s volume must be able to support the combined weight of the riders. For families, it is possible to paddle with an adult and a child, however, two adults may be to much weight for most boards.
BALANCE AND GLIDE
Event though, it’s technically possible to take two people on a paddle board as long as the board’s volume can support you, it doesn’t mean that you should.
Paddle boards are shaped to support a single rider. All quality paddle board have a “sweet spot” on the board that maximizes rider balance and the board’s flow through the water. Usually, this is close to or just behind the centre of the board. When weight is displaced outside of the sweet spot, the board becomes less stable and performance suffers.
Having a second person sitting behind the paddler may cause the back portion of the board to submerge. Once a board begins to submerge, it will become more difficult to paddle distance due to increase water drag and reduce glide. The drag will also affect the paddlers’ ability to maintain the desired course.
Children or dogs sitting at the nose of the board will also affect the boards performance on choppy water. Many paddle board styles have a rocked nose to help the board move over water chop. The added weight along the front of the board, prevents the board from naturally rising and lifting over the chop. Plowing through water chop degrades performance and reduces the boards glide.
For safety, paddlers need to be tethered to their paddle board with a leash. The leash is the connection between the paddler and the board. The board provides SAFETY. It is a solid surface that will keep the paddler from drowning. Leash attachments ae located on the rear of all paddle boards. Unleashed riders sitting at the front of the board risk the chance of falling off and quickly becoming separated from the board. Being separated from the board can increase the risk of drowning.
People looking for a family paddle board should steer clear of trying to find a paddle board that fits two people. Paddle boards are not designed like canoes or tandem bicycles. In reality, they are designed for individual paddlers. If you really have your heart set on going for a paddle with your children, then get a wide paddle board like the Wappa Olas. The extra width provides added volume for the extra weight without negatively affecting the boards glide or performance. Better yet, get your children their own board so they can be safely leashed, and have fun paddling together.
The Wappa Blog
Written by Wappa's founder Layne Pennell, the blog's aim is to educate and share his love of stand up paddle boarding with anyone interested in SUP.
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