When buying your board, you must consider several criteria to make the right choice. Starting with:
- The manoeuvrability of the SUP board: This depends on the overall shape of the board. The smaller the board the more manoeuvrable it will be. However, it will also be less stable and therefore not suitable for beginners. The same goes for circular-shaped boards—manoeuvrable, but not very stable. Thinner, longer boards are better suited to those who wish to prioritise speed, rather than catching waves.
- SUP stability: This also depends on the overall shape of the board. The greater the board's volume the greater its buoyancy, and therefore the more stable the SUP will be. The width of the board is also a factor to be taken into account in relation to the board's stability.
- SUP strength: This will depend on the components and the technology used in the board's make up.
- Dimensions: This also depends on the components and the technology of the board; the problem of transporting a stand-up paddleboard is a great obstacle to participation in this sport. Inflatable SUPs fit into a backpack, so transport is not a problem.
- Your ability and your involvement in the sport: An inflatable SUP is sufficient for recreational use and gentle stand up paddling. However, when you do it as a sport on a regular basis, an epoxy SUP will be more appropriate because it will be stronger and allow higher-quality sliding.
The table below will guide you in your choice and will give you a preview of each specific use:
|Epoxy board||Polyester board||Foam board
|Boards designed with solid resin, covered with Gel Coat varnish. This type of board is strong and does not dent easily, but small splinters and cracks can appear in the paintwork.||
Boards designed with softer resin. This type of board is susceptible to denting, but it is easy to repair, unlike epoxy boards. Wooden battens are used to reinforce the board.
|Boards designed with "drop stitch" technology giving increased strength. Inflatable boards are easy to carry and are shock-resistant. If you fall on the board, it will not be very painful.|
Choosing the right SUP paddle :
For beginners, an adjustable paddle is often more suitable because it enables you to vary its size as you gradually make progress.
For more experienced paddleboarders, a non-adjustable paddle that can be cut to the appropriate size is recommended for its strength and lightness.
How to determine "your" paddle size? Hold the paddle straight in front of you, with the paddle touching the ground. The handle should come up to your wrist when you have your arm stretched out vertically above your head. Try it and see!
Choosing the right SUP carrying and safety equipment
There are several solutions for carrying your SUP equipment:
- A case: This will help you to avoid damage during transport. It is recommended to transport your SUP on a car roof rack to avoid filling up your vehicle and reducing your visibility.
- Watertight bag: To carry your keys, your lunch or a small bottle of water, it is practical to use a watertight bag for your SUP outings.
Don't forget, for complete safety on your outings also take:
- A leash: This is a safety accessory that will allow you to recover your board easily if you fall into the water. The length of the leash for a SUP must be at least 3 metres to ensure maximum safety. It is essential to use a leash during your outings, even in calm water with no waves. However, for use in the waves, a specially adapted leash for use with a SUP is recommended.
- Wax: Having to wax your SUP is rare because a PAD (nonslip area) is generally pre-installed on all SUPs to increase adherence. However, if you do not have a pad or if the pad proves to be too short, you can always use wax to avoid slipping on the board.
- Anti-UV T-shirt: To protect you from hazardous sunrays, wearing an anti-uv T-shirt is highly recommended.
- A thermal protection top or a neoprene wetsuit: To give protection in cold waters and to be protected from the wind when you're wet, it is preferable to wear a thermal top. The risks of hydrocution must not be ignored—splashing yourself with water prevents hydrocution in the event of a fall after you have been paddling for a long period of time.
Finally, we will end with a reminder of the law: an SUP is considered to be a beach craft. It is therefore not suitable for venturing further than 300 metres from the water's edge. Use of a life jacket is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended for those who are not strong swimmers.