What kind of stand up paddle board should I consider?

If you are new to paddleboarding, you may ask yourself the question, "Which board is right for me?" This depends on what you want your paddleboarding experience to be. Are you an avid outdoorsman/woman? Do you intend to shred waves or compete in the burgeoning SUP race circuit? Maybe you want to simply relax with some friends on an evening sunset paddle...whatever your lifestyle, there is a great paddleboard out there waiting for you. We recommend to be serious with yourself, examine your current lifestyle...we all think we'll be out there on the water paddling every day, be realistic.  Look in your garage at all the other "toys" you have sitting there collecting dust.  If you love to run, you probably have some really nice running shoes.  Investing in your SUP equipment should reflect how avid you think you'll actually use it.  No sense spending thousands of dollars, go out one time and then sell it on craigslist for a huge loss...again, be realistic with yourself. Now, if you're are like most newbies to stand up paddle boarding you are excited about your new mode of transportation, you will be out there every chance you get...so don't run out an buy an overgrown boogie board from Sam's Club and expect to be the next Laird Hamilton. Now that you're feet on back on the ground, let's talk paddleboards...

Fun Shape

This is your most common stand up paddle board shape.  It looks kind of like a big, overgrown surfboard...in many respects, that is exactly what it is.  These are the best all-water paddleboards.  If you live on the coast and have the option of both flat water and surfing waves, this is the most versatile shape for both conditions.

Displacement Hull

A displacement hull looks like a boat or kayak on the nose of the board, allowing the water to pass on either side of the board. This provides superior tracking and speed when flat water paddling.  A displacement hull shape is found on all race boards and most touring boards.  Some are narrow (race boards) so be sure you demo a few different shapes and sizes before settling on one.  They can be very 'tippy' and difficult to manage in choppy conditions for less experienced paddlers.

Surf SUPs

Only a few years ago did we start seeing SUPs in the line up, sitting outside picking off set waves before anyone even knew a wave was coming.  Back then surf SUPs we large, mostly longboard shapes...now, we're seeing lengths in the 7 foot range, high performance, cut rails and channels throughout the bottom, some really impressive advances have been made to this side of paddleboard shapes.

Prone Paddleboards

When you see someone on their knees paddling with their arms, this is prone paddling.  Also using displacement hull design, prone paddleboards are generally not used for stand up paddleboarding.  That said, a SUP can be used for prone paddling.  Paddle fitness has become increasingly more popular and many workouts will incorporate prone paddling into their fitness routine as a way to strengthen your shoulders, arms and back.

Yoga & Fitness

SUPs are fantastic platforms for yoga and other fitness routines.  Most yoga/fitness boards will be in the traditional 'fun shape', some have blunted noses and tails, are a bit wider than a surf or touring board and may have a full deck pad. If you are an avid yogi or gym junkie, stand up paddleboarding is a must! Not only will you challenge your rarely used stabilizer muscles, but there is something so fulfilling being on the water and getting an amazing workout. 

Fishing

Are you tired of fishing from the dock? Don't want the expense of a boat? Get a paddleboard! You can fish from any paddleboard, but you may want one that is extra wide for stability when fighting a BIG one. Recessed decks serve a dual purpose of spooling fly line at your feet and keeping your gear from getting sloshed into the water. Also, added tie-downs and other accessories for your cooler, tackle box, rods and anything else you'll need.

Who knows where stand up paddle boards will be in the next 10 years.  JB Boards will be there every step or paddle of the way. Give us a call to talk more about your next paddleboard.

Aloha from Hilton Head, South Carolina...

JB