Paddle boarding is becoming one of the most popular water activities in the world. More and more people are finding out that spending your day on the ocean stand up paddling is very relaxing and fun. You can do it on your own, you can invite friends or bring your family members with you.
Whatever you decide, one thing is certain – cruising the smooth ocean surface on the board is anything but dull. However, if you’re eager to try paddle boarding, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind.
Choosing The Right Gear
Just like any other activity, to do this properly, you need to have all the key equipment pieces. And that’s more than buying a paddle board. If you want to enjoy this sport to the fullest, you will have to suit up.
The Types of Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)
Unsurprisingly, boards come in all shapes and sizes. The traditional epoxy aka hard paddle board is fiberglass wrapped around an EPS foam core with one or more fins. However, in 2014, a new type appeared – inflatable. They have become very popular due to the multiple benefits they have over the epoxy board. However, both have their pros and cons and which one you choose will depend on your needs and lifestyle.
As a beginner, the best option for you would probably be an all-around SUP as they are designed to be used in different weather conditions and in all sorts of water activities. The inflatable ones are the most practical as they can be easily rolled up and packed. Once you evolve as a paddler and you are ready to go on long-distance paddling adventures, you might want to look at touring boards.
Don’t Forget the Leash
Getting wet is almost a requirement when you’re a paddler. There is no way you will not fall into the water once you start doing this activity. However, when you emerge from the water, you don’t want to wonder where your board is. That’s why having a leash is so important.
The leash will keep your SUP attached to you in all situations. You can choose the size and you can strap it to your ankle or calf. One of the general rules when it comes to this part of the gear is to use a leash that is the same size or slightly smaller than your board. This way, even if you lose your balance and find yourself in the water, waves and wind will not be able to take SUP far away from you.
Paddle Board Bags
We already mentioned inflatable paddle boards and that one of the biggest benefits of having one is that they are easily transported. So, having a paddle bag is essential and you can read more about the qualities every good bag needs to have. There are numerous models and brands on the market that’s why it’s important to do proper research.
Given the fact that this is not an easy load to carry, some of them have high-density wheels. Thanks to this feature, you will not have to strain your back by carrying the board non-stop. Make sure they have padded straps and handles so you don’t get sore shoulders. Also, side pockets are important as they are great for keeping water bottles, snacks, or anything else you might need.
PFD (Personal Floatation Device)
No matter what water sport you’re practicing, having protective gear is of great importance. The same goes for paddle boarding. This part of the equipment will ensure your safety and is necessary for many situations given the fact that certain locations are seen as risky.
You can choose a life vest but in the case it feels a bit uncomfortable or bulky, there is the inflatable belt pack. Worn around your waist, it has a CO2 cartridge that inflates when you pull a cod in an emergency situation.
Depending on the weather and water temperature, you will need different types of clothes. During the warm summer months, all you need is a bathing suit or board shorts. However, when that season ends and the water gets cold, you will need extra layers. At your disposal are wetsuits and drysuits. These will keep your body warm even when the water is not.
If you’re thinking about starting paddle boarding, these are some of the most important things you need to think about before you enter the water. You will need to buy appropriate gear and equipment and never forget to stay safe.