In recent years, paddle boarding has become an incredibly popular watersport. Most people are able to do this as it is more laid back and calmer than most other watersports. If you are interested in paddle boarding, you may want to know more about the activity and what you need to partake. Keep reading for more information on what paddle boarding is and the different types and accessories that are offered!
WHAT IS A PADDLE BOARD?
Paddle boards, also known as SUPs (or stand-up paddleboards) have a similar structure to a surfboard. It is a long and narrow board that floats on the water in order to allow you to use it for watersports. You can get a variety of sizes, colors, and designs. Paddle boards range from 9-14 feet long and 30-35 inches wide. The wider your board is, the easier it is to balance. However, a wider board is more challenging to paddle than a more narrow board.
You use a paddle to navigate around the water, and paddleboards can be used for many things from just adventuring and relaxing to yoga and fishing to racing. Balancing in water is different than balancing on land, and it will take some practice - don’t give up! The best way to learn is to practice in knee-deep water so that it is easier to get back on the board. Learning how to paddle board is not super difficult, but can lead to a variety of adventures!
WHAT TYPES OF PADDLE BOARDS EXIST?
There are quite a few types of paddle boards to choose from including all around/flatwater, surf/performance, and touring/racing paddle boards. Each type is used for different activities ranging from relaxing to racing. Keep reading for more information on each type of paddle board.
ALL AROUND/FLATWATER PADDLE BOARDS
These seem to be some of the most popular paddle boards. They are generally used for recreational paddle boarding, yoga, fishing, tandem paddle boarding with a pet or friends, and learning how to paddle board. They are usually 10.5-ft. or longer and have a wide deck with a rounded nose. There are inflatable and epoxy options, but inflatable is the most popular because they break down to be small and compact making them easy to transport and store.
SURF/PERFORMANCE PADDLE BOARDS
Performance paddle boards are designed with maneuverability and speed in mind. They are narrow with a pointed nose and range from 7-10 feet long. They also are available in inflatable and epoxy options, but for performance epoxy is usually preferred due to better performance and handling wind and choppy waters better. These are designed to stay moving, and are not very stable when they are stationary. Performance paddle boards are typically used by people with at least intermediate paddle boarding experience, and are not recommended for those just starting out.
TOURING/RACING PADDLE BOARDS
Touring paddle boards are used by people planning on doing long-distance or racing. They are 10-13 feet long with a narrow deck and pointed nose. They are designed to produce speed and be as lightweight as possible. Oftentimes they are made out of special fiberglass and carbon fiber to help keep the board lightweight. They are difficult to handle at first, but once you get the weight placement down you won’t want to stop adventuring!
PADDLE BOARDING ACCESSORIES
There are quite a few paddle board accessories you can get to enhance your adventure depending on what you want to use your paddle board for. For relaxing, you may like the option of a speaker while for adventuring you may want to have a cooler and waterproof camera. Below is a list of accessories that you can choose from to create the perfect paddle board adventure for yourself.
- Waterproof bluetooth speaker
- Portable electric pump battery pack
- Carry straps
- Fishing rod holder
- Personal flotation device
- Waterproof camera such as a gopro
- Bungee cords
- Paddle board leash (to connect you to the board)
- Spare fins
- Dry bag
- Waterproof phone case
- Floating sunglasses
- Carbon fiber paddle
Whether you are just starting out and wanting to relax on the water or you are getting the hang of things and want to get into racing, there is a paddle board for you! Adding on the right accessories can make your trips less stressful, more fun, and safer. To learn more about paddle boarding, be sure to check out our full Beginner’s Guide to Paddleboarding.