What To Look For In An Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard

Inflatable paddleboards come in all shapes and sizes, and qualities ranging from from products that are little more an overgrown beach toy, through to super high quality machines being used at world championship level.

The inflatable paddleboard concept makes a whole lot of sense. It’s easily portable, easily stored, and the good ones are extremely robust (much more so than solid boards), and offer extremely good performance. They’re also easier on the rider, and there’s less ‘collateral damage’, when the board bumps into boats, cars (getting on and off roofracks etc), other water users etc.

So many brands are now offering inflatable paddleboards. Most leading ‘solid board’ SUP brands such as Naish, Mistral, C4, Starboard, RRD, Fanatic, Hobie etc have inflatables in their range, there are specialist brands such as Uli and Red Paddle Co that only make inflatables, and there are also now a whole lot of other ‘brands’ where someone has basically ordered a few stock shapes from one of the Chinese factories and stuck their own logo on it.

So if you are in the market for an the best inflatable paddleboard, it is important to understand that – whilst they are all similar in that they have some sort of PVC dropstitch material inside – this is where the similarities end. There are many different factories producing inflatable SUPs, using a wide variety of materials, fittings and manufacturing techniques. It is very easy to make a cheaper board, and while they may not look much different in the shop (or on trademe) the difference soon becomes apparent on the water (and the short lifespan becomes apparent not long after!). But without knowing what to look for, it’s not easy to know whether you are looking at a quality product or not. Hence this website.

There is also a wide variety of motivations for producing inflatable boards. Some brands do it because it looks like a quick and easy buck while inflatables are trendy. Some because they feel they have to have inflatable boards in their range, simply because everyone else does. However, they still really see it as a bit of a gimmick, almost a nuisance. Whereas some brands are genuinely motivated to see just how far they can go with the technology; looking to produce inflatables that are better than solid boards. (Although inevitably this is unlikely to be a motivation with the most successful solid-board brands, who are not going to want to undermine their existing solid-board market!). This motivation factor also results in major quality differences, between the brands looking to cut corners and keep prices low, and those committed to building the best possible product.

The differences may not be apparent in the shop, but are very noticeable when you’re on the water. Inferior quality boards can only be inflated to a relatively low internal pressure, are prone to puncturing and very easy to damage by chafing or any contact with rough rocks, beach etc. They are also extremely low in paddling performance as they sag in the middle, and generate a lot of drag, especially the narrower ones, which are also relatively unstable. In contrast, the best inflatable boards can be inflated to incredibly high pressures thanks to their sophisticated and accurate manufacturing, higher grades of dropstitch and multi-layer skins, which instantly gives them much greater performance. Add in the benefits of carefully calculated rocker lines, planshapes and high quality fittings, and you get a near-indestructible package that can deliver performance as good as solid boards, and will last for years.

In other words, it’s a very false economy to go cheap, when for only a slight increase in price you can get yourself a top grade inflatable board that will perform vastly better and last many times longer.

Here’s a quick introduction to inflatable paddleboard construction, and a check list of what to look for when buying:


Dropstitch is at the heart of all inflatable boards. It’s basically a manufacturing process that creates two layers of cloth ‘tied together’ by a multitude of very thin threads. So thin that when the board is deflated, the two layers can collapse together almost completely flat, allowing the board to be rolled up and put away. Most dropstitch is made in Korea and it is a very slow manufacturing process – dropstitch machines churn it out at just a few centimetres per minute. Hence it’s quite an expensive material to use. Check out the video below…

Dropstitch material is now produced in a range of different thickness (i.e. the distance between the top and bottom sheet, determined by the length of the threads), stitch densities (i.e. how many threads there are per square centimetre), and patterns (whether the stitches run in parallel lines; “linear dropstitch”, or whether they are in diagonal orientation.) Obviously, a greater density of threads using a non-linear pattern will create a much stronger construction. Linear dropstitch is much cheaper to manufacture, but it’s easy to tear and creates natural ‘fault lines’ running along the board.

The most common thicknesses of dropstitch are 100mm, 120mm and 150mm. The thicker grades give more rigidity, if the board can be pumped up to sufficient pressure.

The dropstitch material is not air-tight, so an outer layer of PVC must then be glued or laminated onto the top and bottom of the dropstitch material, to create the board itself.

The most basic inflatable boards consist of little more than a narrow rectangular section of cheap dropstitch, with a PVC top and bottom, side panels and a crudely shaped nose and tail. These boards are recognisable by very straight parallel sides, and an abrupt, angular change in the board’s “rocker line” at the nose and tail.

The more sophisticated boards involve extra layers of PVC laminated on, and the tension between these layers pulls ‘rocker’ into the profile, which needs to be done extremely accurately. The rails (the sides) are carefully overlapped and layered, with further material and taping is applied to the rails to give extra strength.

The difference between a board made this way and the cheap simple ones described in the previous paragraph is just massive, both in terms of performance and longevity.

UNDERSTANDING STIFFNESS (in inflatable SUP construction)
The stiffer the paddleboard, the better the performance. There are three ways to create stiffness in an inflatable paddleboard:

  1. Air pressure: The more air inside, the more rigid the board will be. In practise the gains becoming increasingly small once you get much above 25psi. But the difference between a board at 10psi and one at 20psi is dramatic.
  2. Thickness: A 120mm thick board is almost 40% stiffer than a 100mm board of the same shape. However, a thicker board needs more air to fill it (ie more pumping!), and sits higher on the water and is less ideal for surfing or indeed any sort of manouevring.
  3. Stiffness Aids: Add-on stiffening systems. For information on these read the Stiffening Systems section on the myths page.

It’s important to understand this, when deciding what sort of board to buy. The fundamental truth about inflatable paddleboards is that a stiff one is always better. (Apologies for the obvious innuendos etc!) However, there are other factors that will also play a part in determining the ideal board for your requirements,


By this we don’t mean the brand names, but the actual factories where the boards are made.

There are half a dozen main factories in China and South Korea making inflatable paddleboards, for all the big name brands plus all the ‘one board wonder’ ranges (where someone has basically just ordered a bunch of standard off-the-shelf boards, with their own logo on). Each factory tends to follow its own standard construction technique, so basically all the boards coming out of that factory look pretty similar. However, the quality variation between the various factories is huge, and the leading plants are technically way ahead of the competition, operating to much higher standards and lower tolerances, resulting in boards that can be taken to much higher pressures and have much better plan shapes and rocker lines.

Inflatable board construction is actually often extremely low-tech – panels are cut out by hand, and glued by hand, on the factory floor or basic workbenches. So there ends up being a lot of variation in shape, weight, etc, and because when done this way it is very far from being a sterile process, there are plenty of opportunity for grit or dust to get into the seams, generating leak spots. This is why cheaper inflatables are rarely a wise investment.

20 Reasons Why All Whitewater Kayakers Should Try Inflatable SUP

Whitewater Kayaker

Why all whitewater kayakers should try inflatable SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) on whitewater:

  • Improves your balance
  • Improves your paddle strokes
  • Easier to travel with than a kayak
  • Fits in your car boot
  • Different point of view of the rapids
  • Easier to see where you are going and pick the correct lines
  • Makes your local grade 2 / 3 river run fun again
  • Easy to hike with
  • Closer to surfing
  • Easy to get on and off
  • Quick to get on a rock for when you are doing safety with a throw bag
  • Quick to get back on from a rock
  • No spraydeck to fumble with
  • No sore feet and back
  • Great exercise
  • It looks cool
  • You already have a lot of the kit needed
  • You already know river safety
  • You can already read rapids
  • It is a related, but new skill set you will develop
  • It pushes your skill level even on easy whitewater
  • You can take your dog along
  • It is a fast growing sport

Ok, so if you counted there is 23 reasons, but 20 sounded better for the heading. Enjoy.

Whitewater SUP Helmets: Don’t Lose Your Head

You better be wearing a good whitewater helmet when doing whitewater inflatable stand up paddle boarding (SUP). Kayakers have been wearing purpose designed helmets for years on whitewater. Personally when I look at the scratches on my own helmet I would not even think about paddling without one.

Buying the right helmet for whitewater SUP is critical. All safety critical equipment needs to be up to the hard job of keeping you safe on the river.

After many years of kayaking and looking at all the scratches on my helmets through the years I have come to realize the following:

  • You need a good helmet as you will hit your head paddling whitewater.
  • Money spent on a helmet is money well spent – hospitals are expensive.
  • Buy the right size. If you can push it back on your head to exposive your forehead it does not fit correctly.
  • A moulded in peak helps protect your face.

Your options include:

Open Face Kayak Helmet

For easy whitewater especially if you are a competent paddler a normal kayak helmet should be fine for infatable whitewater SUP. Something like this WRSI on Amazon will work nicely. Make sure to size and adjust it correctly. A helmet that moves or comes off is no use.

Whitewater Helmet With Ear Protection

The second option for harder whitewater that offers better protection with ear and lower back of head coverage, my personal favorite the Sweet Protection Rocker also available from Amazon. This is probably the safest open face whitewater helmet ever made.

Full Face Helmet

When rafting or kayaking only the best kayakers running steep creeks, rocky grade IV or V and waterfalls use full face helmets. Because you will be standing on a SUP and falling forward on the board or rocks will happen often even on grade III whitewater a full face helmet is a good idea. Even very good kayakers who wear open faced helmets kayaking grade IV will wear full faced helmets on grade III when on a SUP. Shred Ready has a nice full face helmet available on Amazon.

Remember rather safe than sorry. Get a good helmet now.

Inflatable SUP vs Hard SUP For Whitewater

I get asked often by new whitewater SUP paddlers whether they should buy an inflatable SUP or hard SUP for whitewater paddling on rivers.

So the question I get is:

“What should I buy? Solid or Inflatable SUP for whitewater paddling?”

One thing to realise is wether going for solid or infalatable SUP’s the quality and performance differs. Generally in both categories you need to go for a respectable brand and don’t try to skimp. Get a decent board that will last a long time.

Construction of the high end solid boards are generally from either Carbon, Aramid (Kevlar) or Glass fibre woven fabric with an Epoxy resin. This outer shell is constructed over a foam core with some support running the length of the board. The foam could be polyurethane or polystyrene foam. A combination of these materials can also be used. Generally carbon or aramid is seen to be stronger, but it does depend on the manufacturing technique used. Lately some rotationally moulded plastic whitewater SUP’s have also come on the market. The idea is to make the strongest yet lightest possible board.

High end inflatable SUP’s are as the name says inflatable boards. Usually made from a PVC or similar material. Stitched, glued or welded construction is possible. Again the quality depends on the manufacturer and their manufacturing techniques used.

Benefits of inflatable SUP’s:

  • Easy to transport
  • Very strong when hitting rocks in whitewater rivers
  • Softer when you fall and you hit the board

Benefits of hard SUP’s:

  • More varied shapes and performance
  • More rigid that helps with performance
  • No hassles with pumps and valves

Disadvantages of inflatable SUP’s:

  • Takes a bit of time to pump up to the high pressures required
  • Not as rigid
  • Shapes are more limited

Disadvantages of hard SUP’s:

  • Susceptible to scratches and cracks
  • Usually a bit heavier than an inflatable SUP
  • Harder to transport

In the end it is a good idea to do some research on the exact boards you are looking at and also check the manufacturers reputation.

I hope this helps.

What do you think? Do you prefer inflatable or rigid?

Additional Health Benefits to Paddle Boarding

nicole_pigeon_350Many people are surprised to find that big wave surfers like Laird Hamilton actually spend a lot of time paddle boarding, getting on those inflatable paddle boards and training physically to surf the big waves. There’s a reason many suffers use paddle boarding as a method of training. Not only is it a lot of fun and a great way to get out there in the water, but paddle boarding can provide some excellent health benefits as well. If you’re looking for an exciting, fun exercise that will give you a great workout and improve your overall health, paddle boarding is for you. Here is a look at just a few of the great health benefits you can expect when you hit the waves and have fun with inflatable paddle boards.

Benefit #1 – Builds Your Core and Works Other Major Muscle Groups

One of the great health benefits of paddle boarding is the sport’s ability to build your core and work other major muscle groups. To keep your body stable on inflatable paddle boards, your core has to be engaged at all time. You’ll build those core muscle groups (the lower back and stomach) when you head out paddle boarding. In fact, this sport offers one of the best ways to build your core, since you’re in an unstable environment that keeps you constantly balancing your body weight and engaging your core.

Of course, you won’t just build your core muscle groups when you hit the waves. You’ll also enjoy the benefit of working out several other major muscle groups as well. Paddling will have you working you deltoids, biceps and triceps. Your chest muscles will all be engaged and you’ll be giving your legs a good workout when using the traditional surfer stance on the board.

Benefit #2 – Low Impact Exercise Doesn’t Stress Tendons, Ligaments and Joints

Paddle boarding on inflatable paddleboards is a low impact form of exercise. It won’t put a lot of stress on your tendons, ligaments and joints while you’re out there on the water. Many other forms of exercise that help build your core and other muscle groups end up stressing joints, causing pain and damage. You won’t have to worry about any impact when paddle surfing, which is a huge benefit if you want to be kind to your joints.

Benefit #3 – Have Fun While Building Cardio Fitness

We all know how important it is to build cardio fitness. Regular cardio exercise can help to reduce your risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. Paddle boarding is an excellent form of cardio exercise. It may look easy, but you’ll be working your heart and building your cardio fitness. The great thing is that while you’re out there on inflatable paddle boards, you’ll be having a great time so you’re more likely to stick with your new cardio exercise routine.

Benefit #4 – Burn Fat and Tone Up

Another health benefit of paddle boarding is the ability to burn fat and tone up. Since paddle boarding works so many muscle groups at the same time, you’ll be burning a lot of calories and fat. Burning fat and toning up can help you control your weight and avoid obesity related diseases. As you tone up those muscles, blast fat and lose a few pounds, you’ll also start appreciating the way you look.

Benefit #5 – Relax and Reduce Stress

Last, paddle boarding on inflatable paddle boards also provides the health benefit of relaxation and stress reduction. Many individuals today actually deal with illnesses that are brought on by too much stress and not enough relaxation. Taking some time out to have fun and relax can help reduce your stress level, which can boost your immune system and give you better peace of mind.

What to Know When Deciding to Buy Stand Up Paddle Boards

2011-12-29_17-27-48_142Paddle boarding is a popular new trend that is literally making waves. For many avid surfers it is an extreme adrenaline rush being able to virtually walk on water. Though the sport can be mastered in no time, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when deciding to buy stand up paddle boards. It is important to become familiar with paddle board equipment before catching the waves.

There are two basic parts of a paddle board: the paddle board and the paddle. When an individual is about to buy stand up paddle boards online he will notice there are various board sizes and lengths available. Factors such as an individual’s body weight and level of experience can help form a decision to buy stand up paddle boards. Narrower-sized boards are ideal for lighter individuals with experience paddle boarding. Wider and flatter boards are recommended for beginners and larger paddle boards provide novices with a more stable platform.
When shopping to buy stand up paddle boards an individual will also need to purchase a paddle. The angle, or elbows, in a paddle’s shaft can offer the user maximum efficiency to navigate through the water. Ideally, a paddle should be six to eight inches taller in height than the user. It is not uncommon to see paddlers with a paddle that is eight to ten inches taller per a manufacturer’s recommendation.

Sun protection is also necessary when a person decides to buy stand up paddle boards. An individual should choose a sunscreen with a SPF that is appropriate for his skin type. In addition, a paddler should wear sunglasses to protect his eyes.
Finally, once a person decides to buy stand up paddle board online, it is essential that one wear comfortable clothing according to elements he’ll be in. Do not forget that hypothermia is a serious concern in cold water. Wear a dry suit or wetsuit for protection. Warmer water is ideal for swim shorts and bathing suits.

Why Buy Stand Up Paddle Boards

sup-rentalsFor avid surfers and paddle board enthusiasts, a day spent catching waves on the open water is the ultimate dream. Many opt to buy stand up paddle boards online to enhance their surfing experience. Paddle boards are similar to traditional surf boards. The difference in the sport is that surfers remain standing and navigate using a long paddle to propel through bodies of water.

If an individual is new to the sport, he will soon discover there are numerous advantages of stand up paddle boarding when compared to traditional surfing. Novices and beginners realize that once they buy stand up paddle boards it is fairly easy to learn. It only takes an hour or two of paddle board experience to immediately become comfortable and feel at home on the board.

Another advantage of the sport is that it is designed for both women and men. Paddle boarding is quickly emerging as a popular sport among women. In fact, due to women’s physically lower center of gravity, they often possess more paddle boarding skills than men. An increasing number of women are making the decision to buy stand up paddle boards.

Athletes also take advantage of the benefits included with paddle boarding. The sport provides a robust and vigorous core workout. Cross-over athletes buy stand up paddle boards to use during training.

If an individual is a seasoned surfer, then he will be sure to appreciate the versatility of options when he chooses to buy stand up paddle boards. Surfers are able to catch more waves from a standing position. The optimal view allows the user to visually locate incoming wave sets. Surfing instructors use the same vantage point when teaching students the basics of surfing.

Before making the decision to buy stand up paddle boards online, there are a couple of factors to keep in mind. The price of a paddle board depends greatly on its materials and design. A newly customized paddle board costs on average $600 to $1500. The price also depends on the material used to manufacture the paddle board. The better quality material used in construction, the more expensive the paddle board.

When deciding to buy stand up paddle boards online, read the product construction details carefully. The most popular paddle boards are constructed with glass-reinforced plastic with an epoxy resin and the core constructed of expanded polystyrene foam.

It is also common in some models during manufacturing that a hollow-wood construction is used instead of the epoxy resin. In the past couple of years inflatable boards have also became popular.

How To Paddle Board?

The popularity of paddle boarding has skyrocket in recent years, with more and more folks taking up the sport. Paddle boarding is fabulous exercise, and a great way to unwind and relax. The sport is surprisingly easy, and just about anyone can pick it up after just a few tries.

If you’re ready to give paddle boarding a shot for the first time, here are our sure-fire tips for getting up – and staying up for a great ride:

Wade on in:

Inflatable paddle boards make this step easy, as you can carry yours down to the water’s edge without much fuss. Simply tuck your board under one arm and carry your paddle in the other hand.

Climb aboard:

You’ll want to wade out into the water until it’s about knee-deep so that the fins don’t hit bottom. Lay your paddle lengthwise along the front of the board, with the blade facing you. Grab hold of either side of the board just above the center point, then climb aboard in a kneeling position. Position your knees near the center of the board, and balance your weight evenly.

Don’t try to stand up right away. Give yourself a little time to get the feel and balance of the board. Grab your paddle and try a few strokes, keeping your body balanced and centered on your paddle board. Most paddle boarders suggest that newbies practice for a while on their knees before moving to a standing position.

Start paddling:

Now that you’re on your inflatable paddleboard, you’re ready to start moving. Paddle board blades are made with a slight bend just above the blade. Hold your paddle with the curve facing the back of the board, with one hand grasping the “T” grip, and the other positioned on the upper-middle portion of the shaft.

Get a comfortable grip, then slowly dip the blade into the water near the front of your board. Push forward on the handle, keeping your other hand balanced as a fulcrum. Keep your strokes right alongside the board to travel in a straight line, and make sure to switch hands when you paddle on the opposite side of the board.

Stand up:

Now that you’ve got a feel for the board, it’s time to stand up! Lean forward with the paddle in both hands and position your fists firmly near the edges of the board. Your fists should rest about 12 inches in front of your knees.

Move slowly into a squatting position, using your fists to maintain your balance. Gradually stand up, using the paddle to help you balance if needed. Keep your knees slightly bent, as this will help you to balance as you paddle.

Now keep your eyes on the horizon, and start paddling! It may take a few tries to get up and stay up, but soon enough, you’ll be paddling with the pros.

Best Standup Paddle Boards For Women – What To Consider

Paddle boarding is becoming very popular, especially for women. This sport allows you to enjoy the outdoors in an active and fun way. Learn about the best standup paddle boards for women so you can make an informed choice on the right board for you. There are some things to consider when looking into this activity. Finding the right board does not need to be difficult if you know what to look for.

A Water Workout For Women

This is a total body workout that also utilizes balance. You will be using your arms, core, back, and legs when you paddle. Even lifting and carrying the board can provide a bit of a workout. Standing on the board and adjusting to the waves, wind, and other elements requires balancing and core muscle work. Women who enjoy Yoga often also find paddle boarding to be a fun experience that uses many of the same principals. In fact, warming up with some Yoga poses before you go onto the water can be very helpful. There is also a very adventurous element to it that women will find interesting and exciting.

How To Start With Standup Paddle Boarding

All you need to start this unique new outdoor hobby is a paddle and a board. You may also want a leash, depending on your swimming ability and distance from the shore. If you are new to this activity, you should consider using a wider board for now. Also consider things like if you are going to be using it in surf zones or calm water, if you want to store gear on the board, and if the board is going to be inflatable or traditional. For the most part, inflatables offer more convenience with plenty of versatility.

Inflatable Options

Do not get the wrong idea about inflatable boards. These are not like pool toys or cheap blow-up novelty items. An inflatable board is durable and can hold up to 12 PSI of pressure. You can use these anywhere, even if you are planning on using it for surf or family recreation. Inflatable boards also have the added benefit of saving space. You can easily pack it into a small car, or store it conveniently at your house or apartment.

Quality Standup Boards

There are two high quality inflatable paddle boards that women will appreciate. These are the Sevylor Samoa Standup Paddleboard Set with 80″ Paddle and the Advanced Elements Hula 11 Inflatable. Both are available through Amazon, which is a secure and trusted site.

The Sevylor Samoa provides a stable workout on the water. It also comes with three removable fins. This provides you with the versatility of using the board in calm water or for surf. A pump and air pressure gauge is included, making it easy to inflate and be ready for the water. The paddle is included, the carbon fiber is lightweight and durable. Finally, you also get a dry backpack to make transport simple and convenient.

Another option is the Advanced Elements Hula 11. It is stiff enough to be used for kayaking, surfing, or paddle boarding. This is ideal for women who are new to the paddle board experience and may not be completely sure about it yet. If the hobby does not work out, you can always use the board for kayaking or surfing. It is durable and stable, and even includes options for a kayak seat and gear tie-down. Included with the board is a pump, valve adaptor, repair kit, and three removable fins.   Find out more about this SUP by clicking here.

Where to Use Your Board

You should also think about where you can venture off to with your paddle board. Generally speaking, you can use a standup board wherever you can kayak or canoe. Think about lakes, streams, ponds, rivers, and bays. The great thing about inflatable boards is that they are easy to carry with you if you plan on hiking to your destination. Surf zones are also perfect spots for it.

This is a great outdoor hobby for women. It provides an excellent full body workout while being fun and exciting. Many people prefer inflatable boards, since they are convenient and easy to transport and store. Pick the best standup paddle boards for women to experience the outdoors and discover a unique new activity today!

The Ultimate Guide To Stand Up Paddleboard Reviews

stand up paddleboard

Before we get to the part where we look at actual stand up paddleboard reviews I think it will be a good idea to give you some handy information and history about stand up paddleboards.

What Are Stand Up Paddleboards

Paddleboarding is a sport that has consistently been gaining momentum and popularity. Similar to surfing, it involves using a board to surf the ocean waves. Originally, it was only done using the prone or kneeling position. However, there has been a recent revival of the ancient form of surfing, now known as Stand Up Paddleboarding.

Known in the Hawaiian language as Hoe he’e nalu, it’s now seen as a way for surfers to paddle much longer distances. Now recognized as the fastest-growing water activity, it allows people of all athletic builds to participate in a challenging activity that relies on skill and agility to tame the biggest and baddest waves.

Led by such famous paddleboarders as Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama, Rick Thomas and Kai Lenny, the sport has been adopted by many former surfers due to its versatility and ability to let them catch more waves within a set while offering better views of those incoming waves.

Stand up paddleboards are made up of a blade, shaft and handle and generally cost from $600-$1,500. Most are now classified as vessels by the Coast Guard and require riders to wear personal flotation devices when boarding in certain spots.

Introducing Inflatable Paddle Boards and The Top Stand Up Boards

A major development in the design of sup’s has been the creation of inflatable stand up boards. This has allowed both the board and pump to be carried in something as small as a backpack. Durable yet lightweight, some boards can be inflated to as much as 30 pounds per square inch.

When someone is trying to find the best stand up paddleboard, they usually look for product reviews. We will look at many Stand up paddleboard reviews from  a number of different models. A few of the best ones we will review are the Tower Adventurer Inflatable SUP, Ocean Kayak Nalu Hybrid Paddleboard, Solstice Stand Up Paddleboard and Naish Paddle Boards.

When a person is deciding which is best for him, stand up paddleboard reviews can be of great help. I will be doing some in depth reviews on these particular boards inside this site.

BIC Sport ACS with Adjustable Paddle

bic sport aceSo while surf’s up, let’s climb on board and check out the BIC Sport ACS with Adjustable Paddle. The BIC Sport is widely recognized as a great board for beginners as well as a great second board for more skilled boarders.

The greatest feature of this board is its volume of 175-205 liters. While some other boards on the market have less volume, the BIC Sport ACS offers more volume  that guarantees  to eliminate sagging in the middle. While that extra volume may not sound like much, what it offers its rider is increased rigidity and buoyancy on the water, resulting in less drag and a more comfortable ride.

The width of this board is another big draw to riders. It’s 32 inches wide, which is two inches wider than most other boards on the market. The wider platform allows riders to have greater stability on the board while also having increased maneuverability and speed.

This wider platform is especially helpful when boarding in lateral currents. This board is also one of the easiest ones to transport.

The BIC Sport ACS is an extremely durable board for less money than you’d expect. Thermoformed in steel molds to ensure consistent and accurate reproduction of the original shape. Proven and long-lasting with great performance. Priced from $899.95, it’s a bargain for anyone who wants one of the best SUP’s available.

The Ocean Kayak Nalu

Next up is the Ocean Kayak Nalu Hybrid Paddleboard. This one is considered to be a great all-purpose board that’s known for its durability. Whether a person wants to paddle on a calm lake, ride the ocean waves or sail through whitewater rapids this board is up to the challenge. Constructed of polyethylene, it’s as tough as they come while delivering a smooth ride.

The best feature of this board is it can be used as both a stand up or sit down model. It’s a great board to take with you if going to places where weather may be uncertain. Likewise, if going to a calm lake or river it’s just as much at home there as well. And if you find yourself somewhere with the wind gusting, you can simply decide to sit down and use it this way.

Whatever the weather throws its way, the Nalu Hybrid can meet it head on and come out on top. Its shallow design and long keel make it easy to maneuver in choppy waters while being faster than you’d think. Despite looking bottom-heavy it can really go at a fast clip.

Considered a great starter board, it’s so easy to use that many people in their 50′s, 60′s or older who are new to paddleboarding make this their board of choice. Weighing 40 pounds, it may not be best for kids because of its weight but adults will have no problem handling it. Priced around $650, it’s a great board to buy if speed, stability and ease of use are at the top of your list.

Solstice Stand Up Paddleboard

Next up is the Solstice Stand Up Paddleboard. This board is another favorite of the SUP community. Weighing only 22 pounds, it’s almost 11 feet long and extremely rigid and strong. Considered sleek, lightweight and very fast the Solstice is a board that meets and exceeds the expectations of everyone who rides it. It’s list price is close to $1,000 but it can usually be found for about $600-$700, which is a steal for a model that delivers this kind of performance.

And Finally The Naish Paddle Board Line

Speaking of performance, Naish Paddleboards give that and then some. Considered the industry leader in paddleboarding by many, Naish boards get great reviews. The types of boards they make are almost endless, and they have something for all ages and skill levels.

The company’s Air series of inflatable stand up boards come in lengths of 10 feet and are 33 inches wide, providing excellent stability. Supporting riders weighing up to 240 pounds, they are ideal for almost anyone wanting to get out on the waves. Priced slightly higher at about $1,000 they are well worth the price for the hours of pleasure and fun they will give their owner.

Paddleboarding Is Just Plain Fun And Healthy

Paddleboarding continues to grow in popularity not only with everyday people, but athletes and celebrities as well. Professional paddleboardathletes like Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett loves paddleboarding, as does one of Hollywood’s favorite leading ladies, “Pretty Woman” star Julia Roberts.

One reason so many athletes and actors and actresses love paddleboarding is its ability to provide a full-body workout while having fun on the water. Athletes such as skiers and snowboarders use SUP’s as one of their cross-training activities to stay in shape, and kayakers also use it as an alternative exercise when training for competitions.

Before hitting the water for a day of paddleboarding, a person should keep some things in mind to make the experience more pleasurable. Besides having the board, paddle and PFD, wearing the proper clothing can not only keep one more comfortable but also help a person stay safe depending upon the weather conditions.

If someone is going to be boarding where hypothermia may be a concern, wearing a wetsuit or a dry suit can guard against this. In warmer areas a bathing suit or shorts and a t-shirt will work just fine, and allow the rider to be able to freely move around while getting wet. To guard against the sun, applying sunscreen and wearing some good sunglasses will protect against sunburn and the glare off the water.

The Paddleboarding Basics

Now that you have the right equipment and clothing for paddleboarding, it’s time to get the right techniques to help make the most of the experience. It’s best to start out on calm waters, and it’s a good idea to take a friend with you when first learning. When learning the proper stance, it’s good to have a friend stabilize the board as you stand on it.

The key to a good stance is all in the hips. Feet should be parallel and hip-width apart, and balancing is done with the hips. Stare off at the horizon instead of down at your feet, and remember paddleboarding is a lot like cycling in that when forward momentum increases, so does stability.

To turn a paddleboard one can use a sidestroke, sea-stroke or back-paddle. To sidestroke, just paddle on one side until the board turns in the direction you wish to go. To go left paddle on the right and vice versa. A sea-stroke, also called a sweeping stroke, is used when the paddle is put near the front of the board and a long sweeping stroke is used from front to back. Back-paddling is used to turn or reverse course, and is done by either dragging the paddle or paddling backwards on either side of the board.

Unfortunately, falling off a board is inevitable. While it’s important to learn how to stand on a board, it’s also good to know the proper way to fall off of one. When a rider feels a fall coming, aim for the side so that you fall into the water rather than on the board. Falling on a board can sometimes cause serious injury, while falling in water will only get you wetter. If you get separated from the board and paddle, find the board first and then use it to paddle to and retrieve your paddle.

When first starting out, many beginners make some common mistakes on their paddleboards. Two of the most common ones are standing hunched over and keeping their knees straight. Instead of being hunched over, it’s best to keep the shoulders level and back straight. Also, bent knees help with stability and one’s ability to maneuver the board.

Stand Up Paddleboarding Is A Way Of Life

SUPFor those who paddleboard they describe it as a passion and way of life for them. They are usually very eager to talk about and share their love of the sport with others. To hear them talk, life starts and stops with paddleboarding. They live it and breathe it, and many have turned it into their life’s work.

There are many companies throughout the United States and the world that offer paddleboarding instruction and parties. Those people looking for something different can choose a SUP party for someone’s birthday or anniversary as a way to remember special times in life.

Paddleboard adventure trips down whitewater rapids are also popular, as are business meetings conducted via paddleboarding. Many companies now send employees to corporate “board” meetings, where business is conducted while paddleboarding. These are great ways for employees to bond with one another, and if they’re lucky they may get to see their boss fall off his board a few times during the day!

And To Sum It All Up

So if you are looking for something new and exciting to help with relaxation while providing a great workout, consider taking up paddleboarding. Whether you live in Hawaii and wish to ride some waves, or want to paddle on a calm, serene lake paddleboarding can provide you with hours and hours of fun. For those looking to really enhance their workout, consider taking a Stand Up Paddleboarding exercise class.

Some places even offer yoga performed on paddleboards! With today’s stressful workplaces and hectic personal lives, paddleboarding offers people a chance to unwind and get away from the hassles of home and work. Standing on a board in the middle of a calm body of water can be a fantastic holistic experience, and may lead to another convert to the exciting sport of Stand Up Paddleboarding.