Stand Up Paddleboarding can be serious summer fun that yields serious cardiovascular, endurance and muscle toning benefits. But before you get your first stand-up paddleboard (aka SUP), you need to ask yourself some serious questions.
- Who are you? Physical details mater. Taller, heavier men with shoulder-high centres of gravity will need more tip-proof stability than shorter, lighter, hip-centered women. Personal characteristics also count. Your levels of expertise, athleticism, aptitude, enthusiasm and expendable time dictate how often you’ll want to challenge yourself and how soon you’ll want a more challenging board.
- What makes one paddleboard more challenging than another? Racers prefer longer, narrower boards like the POP Americana 12’ because they minimize drag and optimize distance covered. Wider, shorter boards like the Aqua Marina Vibrant youth SUPare more stable for flat-water recreational paddlers and SUP yoga enthusiasts. However, surf paddlers might also like shorter boards because the smaller stance-to-board-length ratio gives them added maneuverability over rough water.
- Are dimensions the only differences? Nope. Rounder, wider noses and tales offer more stability but decrease speed. Surf paddlers prefer narrower tails, which cut into the water for quicker maneuverability. The same goes for a sharper taper around the edge of a board. Meanwhile, the thickness and composition of a board has a bearing on its “floatiness.” And the “rocker line” measures how sharply the nose comes up in the front – allowing the board to skim over, not plow into, the water.
- What’s the difference between a hardboard and an inflatable? Hard boards are generally more expensive, but also more responsive. However, inflatable board enthusiasts report a better “feel” on the water. They also like a craft that deflates for easy storage and transportation. Flaman takes pride in selling quality hardboards that resist cracking and premium inflatables that offer superior leak resistance and the proper pumps, tool kits and storage options you just won’t get with cheaper models. They also pump up to a rigidity that gives hard boards a run for your money.
- So what’s the best value for you? For a more detailed analysis of your needs and to view a wide variety of options, consult one of our SUP experts at the Flaman Fitness location near you. It’s a great way to find the paddleboard of your dreams!