Know the facts:
We receive a lot of phone calls from customers who are doing their homework and are comparing boards from across the internet and local box stores. Each retailer,
distributor, and manufacture claim they have or make the best boards
out there. Some offer no real explanation on how and why their boards
are better than the next. We hope to help you make the right choice for
you and your needs. Oh, please make sure your board has a handle for
carrying. It's no fun wrestling with a SUP on the way to the beach. With anything, you get what you pay for. Don't make the mistake and purchase a cheap board from a big box store, buy from knowledgeable dedicated shops that specialize in paddle boarding.
Q: What size board is best for me?
To determine the correct size board you need to look at a couple of
factors. Your height and weight are the most important things to look
at. You'll need a board that will float you and not one that you'll
sink. The boards volume is made up from it's length, width, and
thickness. Here's some general guidelines in picking the correct size
board based off of weight. This is just the first step. You'll next
look at what you intend on doing with the board. Will you primarily use
it in the Surf, rivers, or lakes?
Rider weight: 100lbs-140lbs should look for a board from 8'5" to 11'
Rider weight: 140lbs-200lbs- Board length: 11' to 12'
Rider weight: 200lbs-300lbs- Board length: 11'6"-12'
are guidelines. Each manufacture designs their boards differently so
we highly recommend that you demo a few boards before you decide to
buy. Please don't just go off of someones website suggestion.
Where will you use the board?
For paddling flat water lakes we recommend boards that are longer in
length. The reason we suggest this is because a longer board will have a
better glide and track straighter. A shorter board will steer side to
side as you paddle and is quite annoying for paddling flat water. Some
manufactures try to sell a shorter board to flat water paddlers by
putting tracking concave on the bottom saying this help track straight,
but believe us when we say nothing is like a longer board for an
efficient glide. The minimum length we recommend for flat water
paddling is 10'6"
Here's where a shorter board can shine. A shorter SUP will allow you
quicker tighter turning. A shorter board is going to be harder to
balance on and won't offer the stability of a longer more stable board
but once you become familiar with it, you'll have more fun surfing it.
SUP boards for surfing can be in the 8'5" length to 12'. Just make sure
you get one that floats you.
Rivers can be rough on equipment so choose your board wisely. If you
are running deeper slower rivers, you can get away with almost any SUP.
If you are using your board on shallow fast moving water, we recommend
Construction types explained.
are a few options out there, so being informed now will help you avoid
the wrong purchase. There are a few key points to think of when
deciding what type of board construction will be best for you. Will this
board be used by yourself and other responsible people? Will it be well
taken care of? Will it be used by the entire family, including kids?
You want a board that will last.
Surfboard type construction:
This method of board building has been around for a long time. It makes
for a lighter board but also a more fragile board. A lot of the
cheaper SUP's on the market are made from this method. They basically
take a shaped block of foam and add a wood stinger down the center for
support. They then lay a couple of sheets of fiberglass cloth across
the top and bottom. Next they pour either a polyester or epoxy resin to
seal it all together. These boards are fine for someone who is willing
to take care of it, because they will ding and dent, and chip easier
than other construction types. If denting happens the top deck could
start to come up and cause problems.
Epoxy Sandwich with veneer laminate reinforcements-
This type of construction is the most durable and recommended by us for
many reasons. Sure these boards cost more but for very good reason.
They are built to withstand daily use and abuse from the surf to the
lakes. This type of construction uses a high density waterproof EPS
foam core. This type of foam will not absorb water. There's multiple
fiberglass placed around the foam blank and the foam will then have
different forms of decking materials placed on top. Some companies use a
wood veneer or strong plastic sheet. These extra decking materials make
the boards deck very stiff and strong. This will not dent from your
feet like some of the surfboard type construction above. Next is
another layer of fiberglass and a tough ASA skin which adds more
These boards are great for beginners, families, and kids. They are
built with beginners and kids in mind. They are light and soft on top,
which helps for kids falling on them. They aren't built for performance
but FUN. These are constructed with a waterproof EPS foam core, layers
of fiberglass, and wrapped in a thick EVA Foam for padding.
Here's a very nice article on board construction. Check it out and ask questions when you are ready to purchase a board.