Here’s a basic and necessary information for you to decide what’s the best board to get started, as well as the paddles and complementary accessories that will allow you to be fully equipped.
When trying Paddle Surf, we will quickly learn to enjoy it, as it is a comfortable and easy sport to practice and it can be enjoyed from the first moment we hop on the board. It is very likely that from that moment we’ll begin to consider the idea of getting a board, a paddle and some additional accessories within our budget.
When choosing our first SUP board we must decide among the many features that boards provide, such as shape, technology and measurements, to then choose the right paddle and additionally one or more accessories.
Beginner’s All-Round shaped SUP boards
The shape of the board will be closely related to the use you're going to give to it, be it short journeys, long ones, waves, racing, and so on. If we're just getting started or we’re beginners, it is usual to start by making short (less than 4 km) and medium (8 km) journeys to progressively pick up small waves with your board. In order to do so, the best shape is the polyvalent one, also known as All-Round.
These are boards that are wide in the central area and, without cutting off much of the shape towards the edges, their width gets reduced gradually to reach the ends and to provide a squash type tail, or a V shape with a rounded tip.
The All-Round SUP boards will have greater stability according to the volume they can offer, making them easier to use and allowing you to improve your technique of rowing over a board each day to master the turns, changes of direction, and ultimately, go deeper to catch small waves and enjoy the trip.
This type of polyvalent form usually has standard sizes ranging from 9 to 11 feet.
Beyond thinking about the ideal size of a SUP board, we should consider what will be the use that we’ll give to our board. Beginner boards have a low maneuverability, which is a normal characteristic since they put stability and sliding before the ease of moving it more radically without losing the ability to change the direction of the board.
When buying a board it is important to note that very soon we will improve our technique and our balance, and we will certainly want to take on some wavelets and make longer journeys. Due to the cost of the equipment for this sport, it is essential to think about the use of the board on the long term.
With inflatable SUP boards we can get even a little buoyancy due to the volume that they can reach when fully inflated. If you are interested in making a greater use of the board to catch waves and practice SUP, you should think of smaller boards, which in turn might be a little less comfortable. In these cases we can also consider a board that has a more surf-like shape. Remember that in the first few weeks you will feel a little more unstable, but that condition will help you practice your balance and the effort will be rewarded in the medium to long term.
If, instead, you’re interested in just enjoying paddling in calm waters and make short trips with friends, you should seek a higher than recommended volume with the idea of exceeding buoyancy in order to get the maximum enjoyment while you remain calm and firm atop your board.
For all other cases, we should seek measurements with volumes that are calculated according to the recommended values of comfort for buoyancy, always considering our weight and our accessories. These values may not coincide exactly with those of the board that we want to own. In that case the endpoint will be more personal, keeping in mind that the higher volume, the board will float more; and as the volume decreases, the board will tend to be a little unstable at first.
If you are looking for a board to start practicing SUP, do not hesitate go look at the different brands that are available on the market. Hopefully you and your friends and family will get to love this fun sport and enjoy it as much as I do. What are you waiting for?