Looking to get started with paddle boarding? This article will cover the basic gear and techniques to get you up on your way!
I briefly discussed what you’ll need in my last post, you can find that here. If you want a really in-depth guide to paddle boarding gear check out paddlers retreat. If you read that article you’ll know you need the following
A Paddle Board
A Personal Floatation Device
I mostly want to talk about the paddle board and the paddle. The leash and the PFD is pretty straight forward. Of course the clothes can be a bit trickier but overall if it’s cold bring a wetsuit if it’s warm bring sunscreen and a nice hat to protect your face from the sun!
The board is the most important part of the experience. It’s also the most expensive piece of equipment you’ll need to buy, so getting it right is very important! You don’t want to end up with a board that is completely out of your element or is so cheap it can’t hold your weight!
Good beginner paddle boards
The best paddle board for beginners is the Tower Adventurer 9’10” Inflatable SUP. Tower has cut down on the cost of manufacturing the board by cutting out the middle man.
In the past paddle board manufacturers wouldn’t let companies sell their product for less than a certain amount. Despite the fact that the markup was huge!
They had worked out agreements with the big players in the market to make sure the prices were “set”. So Tower Paddle Board’s did what any sane person would do. Build your own plant.
The result? They produce and sell high quality inflatable boards for several hundred dollars cheaper than the competitors. Since then other players have emerged in the market place but in our opinion Tower’s Adventurer still remains the premium board under $800.
If you want to spend a little bit less you can look at the solstice which is a pretty good board in it’s own right. It’s not as firm when fully inflated at the Tower Board but in terms of bang for your buck the solstice is pretty darn hard to beat.
Other alternatives include Pelican and Isle. They both offer decent boards for under $1000.
What About The Paddle?
Don’t skimp on the paddle. Buy a tower paddle board to save a few bucks and then buy a carbon fibre paddle.
You can get an aluminum model, but it’s just not worth it! Buy a quality paddle, the aluminum ones are simply too heavy. Carbon fibre will cost you another $100 but it’s money well spent if you plan on spending any time paddling.
Also make sure you get a paddle that is 6-8″ bigger then you. If you buy a paddle that is too short you minus well be standing on a paddle board that doesn’t hold your weight!