The sport of stand up paddle board is a great way to get on the water. Stand Up Paddle Boards or SUPs come in different shapes and sizes, depending upon what the destination water body is and the experience of the boarder.
April 1, 2014 /MM-prReach/ —
The sport of stand up paddle board is a great way to get on the water and has grown in popularity from when it was introduced in Hawaii in the 1990s. Laird Hamilton, a Maui surf legend, is said to have invented the sport when he was looking for a way to cross train for big waves. Using a canoe paddle and his longboard surfboard, he found paddling while standing to be a great workout.
When summer is here it is a whole new way to experience the great outdoors, even if the user has little skill or experience on a board. Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) can be done on practically any body of water including the ocean, on lakes, rivers and bays. People of all ages, skill levels, and experience can be up and paddling easily. Some even come equipped to store fishing gear while other have been specially fitted for wheelchairs.
It is a great workout, and can be just as intense as other paddling water sports including canoeing, kayaking and surfing. It is an intense workout burning up to 800-1000 calories per hour is possible. SUPing uses the entire body, particularly the core abdominal muscles and upper body.
Standup Paddle Board Equipment. Below is the equipment necessary to start the fun:
Stand Up Paddle Board – SUPs come in different shapes and sizes, depending upon the destination body of water.
Surf SUP: To catch a wave a SUP for surfing should be purchased or rented. These paddle boards are shorter and are more maneuverable to be able to navigate and catch the wave. The novice versus the expert surf SUP are designed differently. Those new to surfing should begin with a novice board that is generally wide and more stable. Proficient surfers and SUPer will find the expert surf SUP that is narrower to be a lot more dynamic but harder to maneuver.
All Around SUP: The all Around Stand Up Paddleboards are good for flat water as well as small surf. These SUPs are thicker, wider (and thus more stable) and longer than the surf or racing SUP. It’s great for the novice or the experienced paddleboard that enjoys it on flat water such as a local lake. These boards are also popular for yoga classes.
Race SUP: The sport of SUP board racing is growing in popularity, and boards are designed to be competitive and glide over the water, not so unlike a racing canoe. The race SUPs have a pointed nose and a rounded, kayak-like hull. The pointed nose requires less effort to paddle longer distances. The racing boards are narrow and long to make it easy to paddle fast , but their narrow design sacrifices stability for speed.
SUP hybrid: These are similar in shape to the all around SUP, but thicker, longer, wider, and more stable. They can be used as a sit-on-top kayak or normal stand on board. Some come with dagger boards and a deck hatch for gear storage of fish gear and perhaps a beverage or two. These are also popular with yoga enthusiasts.
Kids SUP: The kids SUPs are smaller and designed specifically to be lighter, more stable and easy to maneuver so kids have a great and positive experience.
Inflatable SUP: A traditional SUP is made of foam and fiberglass and can be heavy and hard to transport. An inflatable SUP is a great alternative and can be stored and transported much easier. Many come with a durable carrying case so it can be checked in as luggage to bring it along on the vacation. Others are designed with a backpack carrying case for easy access those remote lakes and ponds.
Paddle – Stand Up Paddles are longer than a canoe paddle and unlike kayak paddles have only one blade. They are designed to be used in a very similar manner as a kayak paddle. The shaft comes in a variety of constructions types and the use will depend upon the quality and price that is comfortable. The paddle shafts can be plastic, aluminum, wood, and carbon fiber. Carbon fiber shafts are the strongest and lightest but the most expensive. Handle, blade and shaft shapes also vary. The shafts come in fixed widths or adjustable widths. As a general rule the paddle should be 6 – 10? above the height of the paddler. Shorter paddles should be used for surf and longer paddles used for flat water since there is less dynamic movement.
Leash – Particularly when surfing the waves a leash will keep the paddle board from floating away or getting caught in the current when not riding it. Similar to a surf board the Velcro strap around the ankle is attached to the paddleboard. The leases come in different lengths and should be about the same length or slightly shorter than the SUP.
Traction Pad – Most SUP on the deck of the board come with a pre-installed grooved traction pad to provide grip. The traction pad is a soft layer of EVA foam that provides a a soft cushion for the feet.
Life Jacket or PFD (personal floatation device) – Theoretically a life jacket is required if out beyond the limits of a swimming , surfing or bathing area. It’s a great idea to have one as well for visibility to be seen by boats while out in open water and to provide a safety net in case the unexpected happens.
Options for Transporting the Paddleboard
Paddleboards are large, heavy, and hard to transport. Here are some tips to help make it easier to get to the destination of choice.
Roof Racks – Specialty car racks designed to fit on the car roof or truck bed have been designed for SUPs. The SUP rack has specialty holders to allow the board to be cradled without damaging the fin. Most surfboard soft racks will fit a paddle board. If the vehicle already has an existing rack system, use durable straps with a racketing system to tie down the boards to the existing hard rack. Some racks even having locking devices to secure the boards from theft.
Wheels – If there is a distance from the parking area to the destination then consider purchasing a wheel cart to make it easier to transport. For the bicycle a specialty wheel trailer can be purchased and pulled along behind the bike as with surfboards.
Handle Carry-. A carrying handle is a small handle installed at the center point of the board allowing the user to carry it to and from the water easily. Shoulder Carry -A shoulder carry bag allows the paddle to be lifted and balanced on the shoulder.
Air Travel – As with skis, travel bags are available to allow for air travel. The bags are padded and designed to protect the fin. As an alternative to using the rigid board, consider purchasing an inflatable SUP for ease of travel. Oversized charges may not apply on the inflatable boards thus saving money for other fun purchases while on vacation.
SUPs come in various shapes and sizes and can be purchased at SkiandSportShack.com.
Organization: Ski and Sport Shack
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