Gear Guides: 5 Tips for Your First Stand Up Paddleboard

Paddleboarding is more popular than ever with many people keen to experience the joy of paddling confidently along the beach. Even first-time beginners can enjoy exploring the water on a paddleboard, and they are suitable for use on rivers, lakes, and even in the sea. Just be careful to paddle safely and follow our top tips to pick the best paddleboard.

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1. Inflatable Paddleboards are Perfect for Beginners

Stand Up Paddle Boards, also known as SUPs, can be rigid or inflatable. Inflatable boards are easy to use and can be packed away in a smaller space, so you can try out paddle boarding for the first time without committing to a full rigid board.

2. Good quality inflatable paddleboards are stable and durable

Inflatable SUPs might sound more fragile than rigid versions, but a good quality board is built with a durable construction. Boards can be built with double layer material or reinforcements to keep them going for longer. In case of damage from sharp rocks you can often use a puncture repair kit (included in most packages) for a quick fix.

3. Larger volume boards are more buoyant and stable

You’ll notice when you browse a range of paddleboards that there are multiple sizes and shapes. If you’re just getting started you can often check the volume as well as the length. Longer, higher volume boards should float better and will be easier to learn on. Remember, you don’t have to jump straight to your feet on the board: when you’re starting out or getting used to a new board you may find it more stable to kneel or sit on the paddleboard.

4. The best value SUPs include all the accessories

If you’re looking for a great deal on a stand up paddleboard package, make sure it comes with all the necessary activities. Most boards have a detachable fin for easier storage, but you will also need a paddle and a pump to inflate your board. You can easily carry an inflatable paddle board down to the water with the included backpack or bag so they are easy to transport.

5. You can get more specialised paddleboards for specific activities

If you’ve got a bit more experience paddling and you are keen to try something different, some models are designed specifically to perform for different types of paddleboarding. For example, surf paddleboards tend to be shorter and more manoeuvrable, while touring paddleboards are long and narrow to maintain speed over longer distances.

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