How to choose the right SUP?
The water is an amazing place to relax, enjoy and have fun, but having a good stand up paddle board with you will definitely take those things to a whole new level. Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is a great way to navigate the waters in an upright position that allows you to enjoy a different perspective of your surrounding while in the water and exercise your calves, midsection and arms while you’re paddling.
Although SUP has been practiced in one form or another since the origins of surfing in Hawaii, there have been many changes throughout the years that have resulted in several fun and different activities including Touring SUP, Surf SUP, Yoga SUP, Race SUP, and SUP for family recreation.
The great part about stand up paddling is that you need only a board and paddle to get started. However, it is really important to choose the right board depending on the category you’d like to venture into because the boards in each category usually have different width, lengths and thickness in order for every user to take as much advantage as possible. In addition, you also have to consider the type of water you want to paddle in.
Best Touring SUP
If what you want is to cruise on lakes and enjoy the beautiful view with some peace and quiet, you can choose long, wide stand up paddle board with some room for cargo, a pointed nose and great volume to give you stability. These paddle boards are great for beginners because you won’t have to worry about falling down.
Best SUPs for Touring: SeaEagle LongBoard 126, Ten Toes theJETSETTER, Vilano Journey ’10 iSUP
Best Race SUP
If you’re into competitions, or just want to rip out your core with some intense training, you could choose long, narrow SUP boards built for speed in any water conditions, but not for riding waves. These are built to cut through the waves really fast but they’re very advanced and unstable.
Best SUPs for Racing: Glide Mongo SUP, Tower iRace 12’6″ iSUP
Best Yoga SUP
Practicing yoga on a stand up paddle board is a great activity but people have to be very careful with it. These usually have to be wide, stable boards; often made with full deck, soft pads for better grip in various postures. The volume may vary according to your weight and height but new paddlers should first choose a SUP board with more volume until they get used to the sport.
Best SUPs for Yoga: SeaEagle LB11 Deluxe, ISLE Airtech 12’6″ iSUP
Best Surf SUP
Surfing is another popular category for more experienced athletes. These paddle boards are usually shorter, lighter and narrower boards that turn well. This makes it the board easy to control when riding a wave but more difficult to use over long distances.
Best SUPs for Surfing: Astro Stream Deluxe 9’6″ iSUP, ISLE Soft Top Package
Best SUP for Family Recreation
Paddle boarding is a great way to have fun with your family and friends, and enjoy a day on the lake or on calm waters. For these types of activities you’ll need wider durable boards which provide more stability; this can be really important when paddling with with your kids. Inflatable SUPs are great for these purposes as they are easy to carry and store, and lighter than most of the other boards.
Best SUPs for the Family: XTERRA 10′ iSUP, Solstice Bali SUP
Stand up paddle boarding (in any category) is a great way to get into shape, do something different, have fun and enjoy the peace and bliss that only water can give you. Whether you want to surf the waves, compete with your friends, cruise calm waters or find your zen and practice yoga, take all of these aspects into consideration and prepare yourself to have the time of your life.
Cover photo by Hawaii County