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Boat Season II: Stand Up Paddle Boards

by / Thursday, 09 July 2015 / Published in Blog, Home Special

Stand up paddle boards, or SUPs, have become one of the most popular watersports for spending time with friends and family. Anyone can stand up paddle board, no matter their age, fitness level, or experience with watersports. If you and your family want to try stand up paddle boarding, we can help you find the gear that you need.

Stand Up Paddle Board: Your board’s width, length, volume, hull type, fins, and core materials impact your board’s efficiency, speed, stability, and maneuverability.
Paddle board
Photo Credit: http://appalachianoutfitters.locally.com/

 

The body or hull of your board will change how your board moves through the water. Planing hulls are ideal for paddlers of any skill level who want one board for all kinds of water. These hulls are wide and flat and sit on top of the water, offering versatility and stability. Displacement hulls are designed for long distances or racing. The nose (or bow) of the boards are pointed so they efficiently slice through the water. These boards are long and narrow, which increases their speed but also their instability.

The board’s volume is determined by your size; if your board is too small, it won’t support you and will be difficult to paddle. Manufacturers measure the volume in liters to show how much weight it can bear and stay afloat. The greater the volume, the more weight it can hold. Don’t trust a board’s appearance – if a short board is wide and thick, it has a high volume, and if a long board is narrow and thin, it has a low volume. Someone weighing 200 lbs. needs a short board with higher volume.

The kind of water (surf versus flatwater) you paddle determines your board’s length. Short boards measure under 9’, are designed for surfing, and are easily maneuvered. Medium boards are 9’ to 12’ long and are designed for all both flatwater and surf. Long boards, 12.6’ to 4’ long, are faster for touring or racing.

A board’s width affects its stability. Wide boards measure 31” or more, making them more stable than narrow boards but also slower. Narrow boards are 29” or 30” and are faster than wide boards but also less stable.

Check your board’s core materials before purchasing it. Boards made with EPS foam are coated with epoxy and fiberglass, plastic, or carbon fiber; these are the most common. Mid-range plastic, hollow core boards are hollow to lower weight and raise performance. Polyurethane foam boards, typically for beginners, are heavier than EPS foam. Inflatable boards have drop-stitch designs for an air core coated with PVC, making them sturdy, easy to store, and lightweight.

Your board’s fin changes stability and tracking. Large single fins fit into a finbox, a channel allowing movement, with a nut and screw. 3-fin setup, called a thruster, keeps your board straight on flatwater and surf. Race fins are stiff, straight fins for downwind runs. Inflatable boards have either detachable semi-rigid fins or flexible rubber fins.

Paddle: Unlike other paddles, stand up paddles have elbows, which are angle in the paddle’s shaft. These angles improve the paddle’s efficiency, making it easier for you to paddle. Your ideal paddle should be 6” to 10” taller than you.
Paddle
Photo Credit: http://appalachianoutfitters.locally.com/
Proper Clothing: In cool weather, wear a dry suit or a wetsuit to prevent hypothermia. In a warmer climate, we recommend bathing suits, t-shirts, shorts, and similar clothing.

Leash: A leash keeps you tied to your board if you fall off. Leashes are designed differently for flatwater, rivers, and surf.

Stand Up Paddle Boards And Gear At Appalachian Outfitters

Visit us at Appalachian Outfitters to find your perfect stand up paddle board and related gear. We have a wide variety of options, including Surftech gear. Our expert staff can help you with any questions you may have. We will see you soon!

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