Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is quickly becoming one of the most celebrated watersports worldwide, with many individuals and groups taking to their local seafronts and lakes to begin exploring new landscapes. There are many reasons as to why the activity has grown in popularity, from its accessibility to the low-impact workout it offers, as well as, of course, the opportunity to leave the land behind and float peacefully in stunning environments.
If you’re considering starting your own SUP adventure, you’re likely to find yourself soon eager to spend each day out on the water, pushing yourself further each time. However, before you get started, there are a few things to consider. By taking the time to prepare yourself, you will ensure that not only will you remain safe but that paddleboarding will become one of your favourite reasons to get outdoors.
The Right Board
Before you get to the water, you will need a board. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all approach and you will need to find the right SUP board for you, one that suits your comfort and needs.
Fundamentally, there are two types of boards: solid and inflated. Solid boards retain their shape at all times, being championed by professionals who seek reliability and specification. Solid boards, however, must be carried and stored in their designed shape, making them too cumbersome for many.
Inflatable boards can be compacted easily, allowing them to be transported and stored without issue. There can be a slight variation in board density, depending on to what extent they are inflated but, for the intents and purposes of casual paddleboarders, they are ideal.
The other major consideration is board size and shape. Depending on whether you’re looking for a stable board that will allow you to paddle securely, and even practice yoga on the water, or want to push your speeds and travel greater distances, you’ll have to choose between wider and narrower boards. Many SUP locations will offer rentals, which is an ideal way to find the right board that works for you.
The Right Location
Heading out onto a lake is not the same as taking your board out to the beach. In fact, seawater can be quite challenging for beginners. The waves and tides require a greater exertion and, as a result, can tire paddleboarders out, or even overwhelm them, more quickly.
It is often recommended that first-time paddleboarders head to calm waters for their initial trips, allowing them to find their balance on the water. However, for those wanting to get straight out onto the sea, there are many groups and guides that can help to ensure safety.
Once you know your location, it’s important to find a safe place to climb onto your board and push yourself out. This should be a safe distance from others, such as swimmers, and also be in a calm spot where water, particularly waves, don’t crash too much.
Finding the right spot will help to ensure a feeling of safety and joy as you first find your feet on the water.