For anyone who is interested in watersports, the range of gear can be diverse and overwhelming. Whether you want to participate in SUP or another form of paddling, choosing the right equipment can help to ensure you are comfortable and safe when you are out on the water. Here is what you need to know about choosing the right gear if stand up paddleboarding is something you want to try.
You may have seen people gliding across the water on something that looks very much like a large surfboard. A paddleboarder uses a single ended paddle that has a much longer shaft than a normal paddle. Using the same strokes that are used to propel a canoe, a paddleboarder is able to move through a variety of water conditions. Some individuals are able to move very quickly or travel long distances on their boards.
One of the most basic things that you need to purchase is the board itself. There are a few different models. Some are designed for touring and others are designed for racing. You may want to think about the kind of trips you will be taking on your board and choose a model that suits your paddling style.
You should also consider the paddle itself as well rather than just picking the first one that you see. If you are very tall or very short you may need one with a specific length. Smaller hands may benefit from a paddle that has a thinner handle or shaft. You may also want to consider special features or certain blade shapes that may be more suitable for various water conditions.
You need to make sure that you have a personal flotation device or life jacket with you when you paddle. You may want to consider one that is designed specifically for the sport. These often have a different design than one that is meant for other types of water sports. When trying one on, make sure that you can move your arms and body freely and that the device does not bind up or restrict your movement.
If you are thrown from your board you will want to make sure it does not float away on you. If you are purchasing a package of equipment, it may include a tether strap. Some boards don’t though. Look for one that is not going to get in the way while you are riding but which is secure enough that you won’t lose it off of your leg or arm if you do fall in.
If all you are doing is taking a brief paddle on smooth water you may not need much in the way of other gear. Some individuals will use their board to get from one place to another and may choose to camp or perform other activities using their board for transport. If you fall into this second category, consider clothing that will make being on the water more comfortable and bags that will keep any gear dry and securely strapped down.
While you may want to purchase everything all at once, this may not be the best way to go about gathering things together. Consider getting a few items at a time and trying to get the best quality that you can afford. You will want to make sure that thee items can last you an extended period of time without being damaged or wearing out.
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