What paddle board should I buy and what is the difference?
Stand up paddle boarding or SUP questions when buying.
Paddle boarding along the south east coast of Kent has become very popular in the last couple of years, but we get asked all the time the same type of questions, so I thought I would answer a few that are asked here at Boardworx.
What is the difference between a expensive and cheap paddle board?
Cheap paddle boards are usually a single skin construction, please think back to when you were a kid surfing your lilo. They are very bendy and so this makes them really unstable to stand on and very slow. The more expensive boards have twin skins glued together and this acts as a sandwich construction and stiffens the board right up, so they are a lot more stable to stand on, also they are a lot faster. From this point on you move to a twin skinned fused construction paddle board where the manufacture will not glue the two skins together they will fuse the two materials together. This type of construction used by the like of Sandbanks and Red Paddle boards usually also get you a 5 year guarantee, as the construction will last a very long time.
The cheaper boards are only made to be pumped up to maybe 10 psi before they explode the better boards are 15-25psi. This is due to the better stronger construction of the twin skinned paddle boards.
Take a good look at the three piece paddle and see how wobblily it is when clipped together, as most of them are three piece SUP paddles, check to see how flexible the paddle head is. Some paddles are extremely heavy and your be wanting to upgrade to a better one really quickly. Getting a light weight strong stiff paddle is what you are looking for.
We are often surprised how many customers come in asking for a leash and a pump, these should be part of the package. The pump is a super important part of your setup and a cheap pump will last a few sessions before it is leaking as the seals just will not last. Looking at the Red paddle titan pump you then see what can be achieved with an amazing pump. Look for a leash that is about the length of your board, having a coilded sup leash is nice as it will not get caught under your feet.
The better boards often come with a wheeled stand up paddle board bag not just a rucksack type of bag. The average inflatable paddle board with pump leash etc will weight about 20kg’s so having a wheeled board bag is really nice and will save you damaging your back carrying your board etc to the beach.
What size paddle board should I buy?
The size of the paddle board you should buy comes down to how heavy the riders will be.
We find that kids under 50kg are fine on a 8’5” board 4’ thick 30” wide
Riders 50 to 90kg will be fine on a 10’6”board 5-6” thick and about 32” wide, this is the size of the average paddle board.
Bigger riders and where an adult and a child might be on at the same time 10’8 plus 34’wide
and 6” thick is the way forward.
What length paddle board should I buy?
The longer the paddle board you buy, 11-14 feet are more touring maybe race, the longer your paddle board the more it wants to go in a straight line but it will not want to turn. If you buy a board less than 9 feet you will find all it wants to do is keep turning around and your will be having a hard time making it go in a straight line for the average adult paddle boarder. This is where the 10'6 10"8" is a very populer size as it is a good compromise between a board that glides in a straight line but will turn when required.
How thick should my paddle be?
4" thick is great for a super light weight, maybe just for children under 50 kg, 5-6" thick boards are the average for adult paddle boarders.
How wide should my paddle board be?
We find riders who are larger in stature or will be riding with a child on board as well, or if you are doing Yoga then best to stay up around 34 inches wide.
32’ inches wide is a the most common width for all round paddle boarding, great for the average rider on the sea or the lake.
30’ inches wide is often used by the more experienced rider for touring a bit of racing.
28’ inches wide and smaller is for the racer, pretty unstable but very quick.
Should I buy an inflatable or hard paddle board?
If you wanting to use your paddle board for riding the waves, or you’re a keen racer then the hard board is for you, if you want recreational fun on the lake, sea river then a good inflatable is the what you want, easier to transport, stronger and cheaper.
I hope you find this brief explanation of what paddle board you should buy informative, and we would love to talk to you in person at the boardworx shop or by telephone 01227276566 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to talk in more details your needs for paddle boarding.
We stock a large range of paddle boards and price ranges
Spinera Inexpensive twin skinned complete paddle board packages
Sandbanks style paddle boards, A great UK company supplying great quality 5 year warrantied top end construction boards at a great price.
Red paddle boards, what can I say these are the rolls Royce of paddle boards, expensive but the best boards on the market.