“What do I need to know before buying a paddle board?” is the sort of question that a first-time buyer might ask. So, lets view the solutions from that perspective.
Before you seriously start shopping for your first board, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Then you’ll be better able to ask informed questions at the store to make the perfect choice.
WHAT ARE MY PLANS?
What do you want to do with your paddle board? Do you see yourself puttering around shore or would you eventually like to paddle a mile or two off shore? Will you have the opportunity to surf? Will your board be used a few times a summer, or do you have a passion?
These are the sorts of questions that you need to ask yourself. Someone puttering a hundred meters from shore will be happier with a less expensive and slower board then someone wanting to surf going for tours.
WHO ELSE WILL BE USING IT?
If others will be using the paddle board on a regular basis, then their weight should also be considered during board selection. When there are large weight differences between riders, a larger board may be needed. A big factor of board stability is matching the rider’s weight to the board. If a board is too small for a heavy rider, it may sink, or become less stable. A board to large for a rider will be very stable but become to much board to push through the water after a while. Eventually the lighter rider will become dissatisfied paddling the oversized board. You will need to find something for everyone if there will be multiple riders.
WHERE WILL YOU BE USING IT?
Your regular paddling environment should also influence what type of paddle board you should buy. Are there waves that will enable any surfing? Are you on a small lake? Will you be paddling on the ocean? There isn’t much point getting a surf style board if you will never have the opportunity to catch waves. No matter how good a Wave board looks, you would be better off with a an All Around or Touring style.
WHERE WILL I STORE IT?
Paddle boards need storage space. The average paddle board is 10’6” long. If you have the space to store something that long then you should get a rigid paddle board. Rigid boards can be carried down a flight of stairs easily and only take up about 6” of width.
Now, if your storage space is limited, then an inflatable board is your choice. While they don’t perform as well as a rigid board, they are much easier store. Most inflatables can fit into an oversized backpack and are easily stored in condo storage spaces or even a closet.
WILL I NEED TO TRANSPORT IT?
Planning to travel everywhere for unique paddle experiences means having to transport your board. Transporting rigid paddle boards is easy as long as you have a roof rack and two straps. In two minutes, your board can be ready to go!
Roof racks for paddle boards can be as simple and inexpensive as two foam blocks with straps, or cost a couple of hundred dollars for a top of a line rack that can carry just about anything.
Inflatable paddle boards are easier to transport then rigid boards, since they are stored in a back pack until needed. You can take one on a plane, bus or the back of a compact car. The downside side of this convenience is that you will need to unroll/inflate then deflate and repack your board after each use. The rigid board owner, straps his board onto his rack and is gone in five minutes.
WHAT IS MY BUDGET?
Your budget can be a large factor as to the type of board you ultimately select. Shoppers looking to spend around $500 will be getting an inflatable. The more you are prepared to spend, the more options become available. Better quality inflatables are available around $1000. Good quality rigid boards start above $1000 and carbon fiber boards can be more then $3000. Like all things, the better the quality the paddle board, the higher the price.
Answering these six questions will provide some guidance when you go shopping. You’ll already have an idea if an inflatable or rigid board is better for you. You’ll know if you have to take other’s weight into consideration when selecting board size. Understanding where you will be paddling will help you make a good selection for years of pleasure. No matter what you get, make sure you’re having a safe and great time on the water.
What is the Best Sup for Beginners?
Now that you’ve decided to purchase your first paddle board, it is time to do some serious shopping. Even the cheapest paddle boards cost several hundred dollars, and quality paddle boards easily cost more than a thousand. There are a lot of options in the paddle board market, and as a first-time buyer there are several decisions you have to make. Should you choose an inflatable or rigid SUP? What style is best? What size?
All of those questions can be summed up into one:
What is the best SUP for beginners?
The term “best beginner SUP” is subjective, so it’s important to explain how the conclusions are drawn. In my view, the best SUP for a beginner is any one that will give them early success while enabling them to not outgrow the board and still love it for years to come.
Best Board Style for Beginners
Let’s cut to the chase. When it comes to board style, a beginner should purchase an All-Around style of SUP. This style of paddle boards is designed to be able to do everything. From flat water to waves, these boards can do it all. As a new comer to the sport, An All-Around board will let you try everything paddle boarding has to offer. Maybe you will love going for long paddles out to the middle of the lake, or perhaps surfing becomes your passion. After you’ve been paddling your All Around for a couple of years, you’ll have a better idea as to what you want next. Perhaps it will be a touring board or wave board. The point is, an All-Around board will enable you to try it all.
All Around boards designs are shaped to provide very good stability for beginners. They are wider then touring boards, and longer than most surf style SUPs.
Should Beginners Get an Inflatable SUP?
Inflatable paddle boards are certainly less expensive than rigid paddle boards. As a beginner and first-time buyer, paying less money for your first board is appealing. Especially, if you’re not sure how much you will use it.
If paying less for your first paddle board seems like a great idea, then an inflatable may be the right choice for you. As a beginner, it is very important that you purchase a high quality inflatable SUP that provides excellent rigidity. You need rigidity. It helps provide balance, and a stiffer board is easier to paddle in the water. Don’t set yourself up for failure by purchasing an inexpensive inflatable. They won’t make your life easier as a beginner, and your long term needs won’t be met.
It is best to either purchase a high quality inflatable or a rigid paddle board. Just remember, all inflatables strive to be as stiff as a rigid board, and that a quality inflatable SUP is as expensive as a rigid one.
Proper SUP Size for Beginners
Determining the proper SUP size are articles in themselves and we have written about the topic previously. Suffice it to say that the larger the board, the more stable it is. Many beginners believe that getting a large board is great, because it is very stable from day one. Unfortunately, if the board is too large, as the new rider gains experience, the once stable board feels like they are pushing a tug boat through the water. Now that the rider has better balance, the extra stability the overly large board initially provided is no longer appreciated.
To sum it up, the best SUP for beginners is an All-Around style. The choice of Inflatable or rigid SUP is yours. Being a manufacturer of rigid bamboo paddle boards, I am biased towards rigid. Rigid boards are superior in almost all aspects, but ultimately, you have to decide what is best for your situation. Just make sure that no matter your choice, get a board that fits you properly. Your local surf shop can help you with finding the proper fit.
Have fun and welcome to the paddle boarding community!
Here’s Why Bamboo Paddle Boards Are Good
Are bamboo paddle boards good? As a manufacturer of bamboo paddle boards, the easy answer would be, yes, bamboo paddle boards are the best around. However, answers like that don’t help or educate the reader, so let’s be a little more critical.
WHY CHOOSE BAMBOO?
Bamboo is an amazing material. That’s why at Wappa, we only build bamboo paddle boards. Many companies will use bamboo paper on a portion of a board for cosmetic appearances, but manufacturers of bamboo SUPs use it for several reasons. Bamboo is a natural product. It is extremely strong and it is also very flexible.
SUPERIOR STRENGTH TO WEIGHT RATIO
Bamboo has the highest strength to weight ratio of any natural fiber. In structural engineering tests bamboo has been shown to have higher tensile strength than many steel alloys. It even has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than graphite which is the precursor of carbon fiber.
The only material stronger than bamboo in the paddle board industry is carbon fiber. However, a carbon fiber paddle board will cost more than double what a high-quality bamboo board would cost.
If you don’t want to spend the big, big money on carbon fiber, the best option is bamboo.
STRONGER THAN FIBERGLASS
Wappa uses a layer of bamboo instead of a layer of fiberglass when manufacturing our boards. Because it’s stronger, the added strength adds stiffness which translates into speed without adding any of the extra weight from the fiberglass and epoxy. According to a 1981 study of bamboo in the journal Fibre Science and Technology, when bamboo is used in a laminate process with fiberglass, bamboo laminates were found to have twice the strength as fiberglass only laminates of the same weight.
This means, that by using bamboo in a layer of paddle board manufacturing, a board will be stronger but also lighter than a fiberglass only board.
Bamboo is a natural product that can be grown in degraded soil. Compared to trees, it can be harvested in three years compared to hardwood trees which take 25 years before harvesting.
Bamboo is also renewable. When it’s cut, the plant sends out root shoots to grow even more bamboo. The plant roots even stay intact after harvesting to help prevent soil erosion.
Using bamboo as a replacement to fiberglass, reduces the amount of epoxy required for the layer, and replaces a layer of fiberglass with an eco-friendly material.
By using REAL bamboo in paddle boards, the environmental footprint of the board is a little smaller than any other paddle board.
COMPARING BAMBOO PADDLE BOARDS
Now that you understand why some companies choose to use bamboo as a building material in its paddle boards, let’s get some insight to help you shop for a quality bamboo SUP.
For some companies, bamboo is simply used for cosmetic appearance to make a product look more “natural” or “woody”. It helps the board look great at a distance, but in reality, it is nothing but pretty paper. Boards like this are simply rigid boards that do not have the strength to weight ratio of REAL bamboo paddle boards.
If the board you like only has a section of bamboo on the top of the board, this is what you will be getting – paper, not bamboo.
Keeping in mind that the point of using bamboo in paddle boards is to reduce weight while adding stiffness. To do this properly, both sides of the board should have bamboo. Boards that only have bamboo on the top don’t really get it. These boards are heavier than they could be and they also won’t be as strong.
Brands that use bamboo only on the top of the board are trying to fool the customer. The customer is led to believe that they are getting the full quality and advantages of a bamboo board, but they aren’t. While better then paper, these boards are less than they could be.
All bamboo isn’t the same. Make sure you know the thickness used in your bamboo. Some bamboo veneer is only .25 mm thick. Looks good, but offers little in performance capabilities. Wappa for example uses 1mm thick bamboo. Bamboo this thick offers real strength. Bamboo strength can also be determined by the bamboo used. Look for Moso bamboo. It is the hardest type.
A manufacturer of bamboo paddle boards should be able to provide this information. If they don’t are they really that into bamboo?
Should you consider a bamboo paddle board. Yes! However, make sure you know what you are getting. Online, it is hard to tell quality differences between companies. Ask questions about the manufacturing process, what type of bamboo is used? How thick is it? Is the bamboo used for cosmetic purposes or as part of the board’s integrity? Once you have answers to these questions, you’ll be able to find a top-quality bamboo SUP that will last you for years and years!
Purchasing a paddle board for a child is not much different then picking one for an adult. The same basic questions have to be asked. The only difference is accounting for the child’s age and how much more they are expected to grow over the next five years.
Let’s examine the questions every parent purchasing a paddle board for their child should be asking.
HOW MUCH DOES MY CHILD WEIGH?
This is the first question to ask. Once a person’s weight is known some board sizes can be easily selected.
Board sizes are measured in two ways. Physical dimensions and board volume. A paddle board’s volume or displacement is measured in Liters (L). An example of this would be 190L.
The greater the volume/displacement a paddle board has, the more weight it can carry without sinking. In regards to stability versus volume for beginner paddlers, a ratio of 1lb of rider weight / 1L Displacement (W/D) is a good guideline.
Using this ratio, a novice paddler considering a 190L paddle board can weigh as much as 190 lbs and still feel very stable on the board.
Children weigh much less than an adult, which means that a child will find almost any paddle board extremely stable.
WEIGHT/DISPLACEMENT RATIOS FOR CHILDREN
Board stability is great, but getting your child a paddle board to large for her size can be counterproductive.
With every paddle stroke, your child pulls the board through the water. Paddling a larger SUP means that your child will be pulling more weight and friction through the water than necessary. While this activity will help increase strength and endurance, the excitement level will be diminished.
Purchasing a paddle board with a W/D ratio of 1:1 will work, if your child is no longer growing like a weed. As she gains experience, she will not need the great stability the 1:1 ratio provides. As your child grows, her added weight will decrease board stability, but that’s OK, as she will have the experience to handle it.
Getting a larger paddle board for your child is fine, if you want her to grow into it. Just don’t exceed 1:1.5 ratio. A board that large will be more difficult to maneuver, slow and hard to carry.
INFLATABLE OR HARD BOARDS?
Should you get your child an inflatable or hard paddle board? If your child is serious about the sport, and you have the budget, then a hard board should be the choice.
Every inflatable paddle board strives to be as effective in the water as a hard board. Rigid paddle boards have superior glide through the water. Ultimately, a paddle board’s glide is a large part of the experience.
Most importantly, hard boards are more stable than inflatables. A hard paddle board is exactly that – hard (like a side walk). Inflatable paddle boards can only get as hard as the amount of air pumped into them. If not inflated properly, they will sag under weight decreasing stability.
A hard board is also easier to maintain. Simply clean it with fresh water and place it in its storage space. No unpacking, unrolling, inflating, drying, deflating, rolling and repacking that occurs with inflatables.
Inflatable paddle boards can also play a role. These types of boards are less expensive and store easier than hard boards. If you think your child might lose interest, then an inflatable may be a more cost-effective decision. If you live in an apartment or have limited store space, then an inflatable may also work better.
WHAT ARE MY CHILD’S GOALS/PLAN?
Paddle boards come in different sizes and shapes because they are designed to do different things. Part of picking the right size paddle board is knowing what you want to do with it.
You shouldn’t buy a 14’ long 300L racing board just because you’re 250 lbs and it fits your Displacement/Rider Weight ratio. Buy this board if you want to take up racing or going on long paddles.
For most people, an All-Around style paddle board is the ideal shape for your first paddle board. This style is good at just about everything, but it isn’t a specialist at any one function. I highly recommend this board style for your child’s first board.
Picking the correct paddle board shouldn’t be based on data from a chart or table. Your child will have this piece of equipment for years, so more consideration should be taken. Pay attention to the weight / displacement ratio, and where your child’s growth is in her physical development. Try to get a ratio of roughly 1:1 or no more than 1:1.5 if there is still a lot of growing to do. Match the paddle board’s style to meet your child’s goals and you will have a selection that everyone will be happy with for many years.
How Do I Choose a SUP? Answer Our 6 Questions
Shopping for a stand-up paddle board (SUP) can be a daunting experience for the first-time buyer. With dozens of brands, different technologies, materials, and large differences in price, choosing the right SUP can be difficult.
Prepare for a successful shopping experience by answering the following questions.
WHAT IS MY EXPERIENCE LEVEL?
Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’re considering purchasing your first paddle board. First time buyers range from the totally inexperienced, to people who’ve logged dozens of hours on a SUP at a resort or rental facilities. If you’re very new to the sport, you will want to choose a SUP that has more stability. This will help you maintain balance as you gain confidence and experience.
When evaluating your experience level, you should consider more than the number of hours you’ve spent on a SUP. Consider your general athletic ability as well. Do you generally have great balance? Does your body learn new skills quickly? If so, board size and stability become less of an issue.
While considering your experience level in choosing a SUP, remember not to get a SUP to large just for added stability. While it may seem like a great idea at first, you will quickly grow out of it. As you gain experience, the larger board will become a hindrance.
WHAT ARE MY PADDLE BOARDING GOALS?
There may be no more important question when choosing a SUP than determining your goals. What you visualize doing on a paddle board will lead you down the proper branch of the SUP tree.
Generally, stand up paddle boards can be divided into the following styles:
HOW WILL I TRANSPORT MY BOARD?
If you’re not leaving your SUP permanently at the cottage or cabin, then you will need to consider how it will be transported.
If you have a vehicle with a solid roof, then you’ll be able to get a roof rack and a rigid paddle board.
If you don’t own a vehicle or won’t spend the money for a rack, then you should be looking to choose an inflatable SUP. Inflatables are stored in a backpack, and can be taken on public transit.
WHERE WILL I STORE THE BOARD?
When choosing a SUP, you have to consider where it will be stored.
The average paddle board is at least 10’6” long. If you purchase a rigid paddle board, you will need a space long enough to store your board. Many people store their boards in a garage, basement, at the cabin, or hung on a wall.
Storage space isn’t an issue for inflatable boards. Rolled into its backpack, these boards can be stored in an apartment closet.
WHAT IS MY BUDGET?
Even the cheapest of paddle boards are several hundred dollars, and the most expensive ones cost several thousand dollars. Either way you cut it; paddle boards are not cheap.
Everyone wants to get the most bang for their buck, so knowing your budget will help you to choose a SUP which does that.
If you budget is less than $500 than you should only consider inflatable paddle boards. New rigid paddle boards at this price are poor quality. Simple as that.
Once your budget exceeds $1000, you should consider a rigid paddle board. Better quality boards are available at this price, and from a performance and durability perspective, rigid paddle boars are superior to inflatables. Top performing inflatable brands are also available in this price range.
WHO WILL RIDE THE SUP?
Who is going to be riding the new paddle board? When deciding to choose a SUP, you need to consider everyone involved.
Will this be a family board? If so, you’ll need to consider the size, experience level, etc… of the largest person in the house.
Choosing a SUP doesn’t have to be difficult. As a shopper, you simply need to determine both your current needs and long term goals. By answering the six questions, you will have a better understanding of your needs and which path to follow. Now answer those questions and start shopping!
Can You Be Too Heavy to Paddle Board?
Can a person be too heavy to paddle board? The short answer is no. The key for any paddle boarder is to get a board that can support the rider’s weight.
While its true that a person could submerge a paddle board if he is too heavy for the board’s design, that doesn’t mean that the rider is too heavy to paddle board. All it means is that he is too heavy for that paddle board. In other words, the paddle board he submerged simply didn’t have the volume to hold his size.
PADDLE BOARD VOLUME
To many people, stand up paddle boards look like overgrown surfboards. They have similar shapes, are watersports equipment, and both types of boards can be used for surfing. The biggest difference between paddle boards and surf boards is their size. Surfboards can be smaller than 6 feet in length, but most paddle boards are at least 10.5 feet long, and can be as long 16 feet.
Paddle boards are much larger than surf boards, which means they have greater volume or displacement. That’s why, people can stand on a SUP that isn’t moving, which is impossible to do on a surf board. A surfboard simply doesn’t have volume to support a rider’s full weight when it’s not moving.
WHAT IS VOLUME?
A stand up paddle board’s volume is measured in Liters and it signifies how much water is displaced by the board when it enters the water.
Paddle board manufacturers create boards of different volumes to enable a better match between rider weight and the board’s function. A perfect example of this is the Wappa Classic and Nova. Both boards have similar All-Around shapes, and are designed to do the same things. The biggest difference between them is their size. The Nova is 10 inches longer and has 25 more liters in volume (190L Classic, 215L Nova). This means, that a heavier person can ride the Nova and experience the same ride as a lighter person on the Classic.
THE PURPOSE OF VOLUME
A paddle board’s volume is determined by the size of the board. Generally, the longer and wider the board, the greater the volume.
Volume brings two things to a paddle board. Stability, and how much weight it can support before submerging. The greater the volume, the more stable the board and the greater the rider weight that can be supported.
However, as rider weight increases, a boards stability may decrease if the rider is close to the board’s maximum rider weight.
SIGNS THAT YOU’RE TOO HEAVY FOR THE SUP
If you’re reading this article, I am going to assume that you are a beginner to the sport and have limited experience on the board.
If you get on a board, and it’s extremely unstable for you, it might not be your balance, rather, the board is just too small for your experience level and weight. If lighter people can get on the board and find balance, but you can’t, then the board is volume than it should for someone your size. Ask about the volume of the board. If the volume is within 15 Liters of your weight, it will provide good beginner stability.
If you stand on the board, and it becomes submerged more than 50%, then the board is too small for a beginner.
A person can never be too heavy to paddle board. All heavier people need to do is find the proper size board. By determining the board’s volume and matching it to your weight and experience level, a great day on the water is guaranteed. Don’t be discouraged when you see slimmer people paddling. There are boards made for you too. Just get one the right size and have a great time!
What Size SUP Do I Need for My Weight?
“What size SUP do I need for my weight?” This is an excellent question that should be asked by every first time SUP shopper. An even better question would be “what size SUP do I need for my weight and experience level?”
A paddle board should never be sold based on a person’s height. Your height is irrelevant to paddle board performance. Your weight, experience level and paddling goals are what matters.
While paddle boards vary in shape, width, length and thickness, the most important measurement when purchasing your first SUP is volume. A paddle board’s volume which is measured in liters is the best variable in determining what size board is best for you. A board’s volume tells you how much water the board displaces when it’s placed in the water. The higher the volume, the more weight a board can handle before performance diminishes.
Below are some examples of different Wappa paddle boards, their volume, and maximum rider weight the boards can handle.
As a general rule, the larger a paddle board’s volume, the more stable it will be. The heavier the person, the greater a SUP’s volume has to be to maintain an equal level of stability.
A common mistake many first-time buyers make is purchasing a larger board than they need because they want something that’s very stable. While getting a larger board then you need will be very stable, you may quickly become frustrated with your new toy as you gain experience. After a few sessions, your balance will improve and by the end of your first summer paddling, you will feel very comfortable on your board
However, as you gain experience, the big, stable SUP you initially loved may start feeling like an aircraft carrier as you paddle longer distances, or try to take some waves.
The key to selecting the right SUP is getting one with the proper volume to give you the stability that is needed at the beginning without it being too big that your skills advance past it in a few months. A good measuring stick for a first-time buyer is to compare your weight to the board’s volume. If you weigh 25 lbs. less than the boards volume, you will not be getting a board that is too big for you. In fact, you will be pretty much in its sweet spot.
If your weight is close to the volume of the board, it will be nice and stable. If your weight is over the volume of the board, but below the maximum weight, it will still be a great board for the long term, but it will be a little less stable for you as a beginner.
As the above chart illustrates, longer SUPs have more volume and can carry more weight. That doesn’t mean that if you’re 250 lbs. you should be getting a Wappa Scout just because you “fit it”. That board is big and long because it’s deigned to easily cut through water. It’s also 2”- 4” narrower than the other Wappa boards. When shopping, you will need to pay attention to the board’s function as well.
As you shop for paddle boards, don’t use your height as a measuring stick. Instead, use your weight. Select a SUP that will put you in the “body weight/board volume” sweet spot. Once you do that, you’ll be on the right track to selecting the properly sized paddle board.
What do you need for paddle boarding? As a former instructor who has taught 200+ first time students, this is a question that I was regularly asked. To have a great experience, you will need a few things. However, I won’t simply list what you’ll need, I will also explain the reasoning why.
A GREAT ATTITUDE
A great attitude is important when learning any new skill. With proper instruction learning to paddle board is very easy. Without it, the learning curve can be quite difficult.
Every paddle boarder falls into the water. Beginners will fall more often as they learn balance and practice their skills. Often, people will stand up and immediately fall back into the water. This experience can be very frustrating. Keep a great attitude. Keep smiling and having fun. Soon you will be up and going!
You need to dressed properly for a great paddle boarding session. Dress for the weather and dress for the water.
If you’re in warm sunny destinations, make sure you wear a rash guard. It will keep the sun off your back to keep you cool and prevent sunburn.
If you’re in cold water, you may want to wear a wetsuit or booties.
When students would ask me what they should wear, I would always suggest they wear whatever they are comfortable wearing to the beach. You need to be comfortable in your skin as people on the beach will be watching you. Just don’t wear any heavy materials that soak up water, like sweatshirts or denim. They become very heavy and when you’re pulling yourself onto the board after a fall, they can hinder a beginner.
Normally, I recommend going barefoot while paddle boarding. The deck pad will have plenty of grip, and you don’t want to lose a shoe to the bottom of the ocean. Only wear footwear, if it is very rocky and shallow where you’ll be paddling. If you have to walk your board out 100 feet over rocks, some lightweight footwear would be nice.
PADDLE BOARD EQUIPMENT
As a first time paddle boarder, you’re probably renting or borrowing equipment, so you should have everything you need. However, you may have to figure it out on your own. In this case you will need the following items to paddle board effectively and safely:
It’s obvious why you need a board and paddle to perform this activity so I will only discuss the remaining three items. A center fin is required to keep your boarding travelling in the direction you want. A SUP will perform without the smaller thruster fins, but without the center fin, a paddler will have her work cut out for her.
A leash is more important than a life jacket for paddle board safety. It keeps you tethered to the board when you fall. Typically, when a person falls, the board is pushed in the opposite direction of the fall. Without being attached to the leash, you may have to chase your board for hundreds of feet. If it catches a current or wave, it could be gone leaving you stranded in the water without anything solid to climb upon. Staying connected to your board is VERY important. The board offers safety, stability and a place to rest.
Life jackets should be worn if you’re not a good swimmer and in some jurisdictions they are mandatory. However, I am not a fan of life jackets as I find them warm and bulky. It may also be the culture I grew up in as a paddle boarder. No one ever wore life jackets, but we also wore leashes.
At least 2 liters of water will be needed for a paddle boarding session. I suggest drinking a litre immediately before the session and then a litre after your done. Paddle boarding is hard work and you’re going to sweat. While living in Mexico, I would guzzle 1.5 litres of water before a session and I never became dehydrated.
If it’s going to be sunny, you will need sunblock. The water is highly reflective and you will become red as a cooked lobster if you’re not protected.
Don’t wear sunglasses unless they are strapped to your head, or you have them connected to a flotation device. The simple fact is, everyone falls into the water at some point. Unless you want your glasses to spend some time on the bottom of the lake, don’t do it.
What you might need for paddle boarding will depend on the person and the environment where you’re paddling. There may be more or less items on your list. Use this list as a guideline. I developed it from practical experience, and used it effectively to teach more then 200 SUP newbies.
Have a great paddle boarding experience. I hope you love it!
How Much Does a Good Paddle Board Cost? As a paddle board manufacturer, Wappa knows all about the costs that go into a paddle board, and why good paddle boards cost more.
To answer the question, the starting price for good paddle boards is about $1200 USD.
While the term “good” is subjective, let me explain what we at Wappa consider to be a good paddle board. This will enable you as a shopper to have greater insight to the qualities of a “good” SUP.
Good paddle boards cost more than cheap ones for several reasons.
The better the materials that go into a paddle board, the stronger and lighter the paddle board will be.
With rigid paddle boards, stringerless cores are stronger and superior to cores that use stringers. Unfortunately, you can’t tell if your board is stringerless by visual inspection.
Carbon fiber is more expensive and stronger than bamboo. Bamboo is more expensive and stronger than simple fiberglass. Stronger and lighter is more expensive. That’s why a carbon fiber paddle board will cost more than a bamboo board, and a real bamboo paddle board will cost more than a pressed composite board.
Quality of workmanship needs to be considered when purchasing a paddle board.
Some paddle board brands build their boards using inexperienced labor. Experience and talented people cost money. This means it costs more to manufacture a board with an experienced craftsperson, and there are also less quality control issues and happier customers. At Wappa, our average builder has 10.5 years experience building paddle boards. Experience costs more, but it’s worth it.
Some companies may also use machines more than people to build their boards. Machines increase manufacturing speed and decrease labor cost. Boards made by machines will cost less, but the brand is limited as to how their products can be manufactured.
Another major factor that determines a paddle boards cost is how it’s made.
One of the reasons why inflatable paddle boards are so cheap is due to how they are made. All inflatable boards are essentially sewn and glued together. An inflatable paddle board takes hours to build.
Rigid paddle boards can be made by a variety of techniques that can affect a paddle board’s cost and quality.
Rotomolded paddle boards have foam injected into a plastic shell. These rigid paddle boards are fairly inexpensive, but they are very heavy.
Foam boards are rigid and cheap, but they probably won’t last more than a couple of seasons.
Rotomolded and foam boards can be produced in an assembly line environment. Both of these boards are cheap paddle boards.
Layered paddle boards are much more expensive and much better quality. Brands like Wappa are made by the layering process. Starting with a foam core, layers of different materials such as bamboo or carbon fiber or fiberglass are applied to make the board stronger, stiffer, and lighter. Layered paddle boards take longer to build and are more labor intensive. For example, it takes 29 days to build a Wappa.
When purchasing a paddle board, it’s difficult to determine visually if a board is high quality and if you’re getting good value with your purchase. When looking at boards in the store or online, they all pretty much look the same. Graphics and color may make them look different, but ask yourself the following questions when making your purchase decision:
Once you have the answers to these questions, you will have a better idea if the sticker price on the board you’re thinking of buying is a good paddle board that’s worth the cost.
How to Stand Up Paddle Board - 5 Tips for Beginners
You’ve watched people on the beach do it, and maybe you’ve even watched a few YouTube videos about how to stand up paddle board. However, watching something and doing it are two different things. For those of you who would enjoy a little text to assist with your learning curve, here are five tips I’ve used to teach hundreds of beginning paddle boarding students over the years.
BE LIKE SUPERMAN
When you’re getting onto a paddle board in shallow water, create forward momentum for the paddle board by launching yourself onto it like you’re Superman.
Here’s how you do it
MOMENTUM EQUALS BALANCE
Never try to stand on the paddle board if it’s just floating in the water. The key to standing easily on a paddle board is forward momentum. As soon as your paddle board begins to move forward, it becomes more stable. That’s why I like the Superman launch so much. It gives your board enough speed, that you’re able to stand before the board slows down and becomes less stable.
When you fall in deep water, you won’t be able to use the Superman launch technique to create forward momentum. Instead, take several strokes while positioned upright on your knees to create the speed and balance you need.
Moving from laying prone on your paddle board in the Superman position to standing and paddling can often be the most challenging part of the sport for many beginners. However, with the proper technique, it becomes easy.
You’re up on the board and you’ve taken a few strokes. Your feet are getting sore because your toes are clenched trying to grab the SUP for balance. How do other people make it look so easy? Here’s How:
Even on your first day of paddle boarding, you will take dozens if not hundreds of strokes. As you become more proficient in the sport, you may take thousands of strokes in a day. As a result, it’s important to learn a few proper techniques in the beginning. These ideas will set you down the right path for your stroke development.
These five tips will certainly get you going and will provide some good fundamentals on how to stand up paddle board. However, there are several things left out in this article due to space. Topics such as water safety, turning, stopping have not been covered. If you’ve had success with the techniques in this article and want to do more, I suggest that you take a lesson with a qualified paddle board instructor.
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.
board performance explained
board care & maintenance
SUP for women
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