If you are interested in water sports, you may have tried stand up paddle boarding before and enjoyed yourself. Paddleboards can allow you to explore rivers, lakes and the oceans in a unique manner, and they are becoming incredibly popular with good reason. But if you have more than a passing interest in it, you might be wondering how you can take your casual fun to the next level.
Buying a paddle board
If you have casually used a paddleboard, most likely you rented it at the beach or on a canal. The first thing you should do if you want to do it more regularly, is to get a paddleboard of your own. Buying a paddle board can seem like a rather daunting task, but there are some basic things you need to know which can help guide your decision. You want a paddleboard that allows you to float comfortably and ride the water with stability as a relative newcomer to the sport, but still allows you to cut through the water. You want a board that has the right balance of length and width to provide you with these properties. Most boards come in a range between 10 and 11 feet and about 32 inches wide. Boards this size can act as good all-round boards, and allow both beginners and intermediates to take to the water.
More advanced paddleboards
If you already have an all-round paddle board, and your idea of progressing your interest in the sport is more advanced; maybe you should look at some more specialised boards that are out there.
Shorter boards for better movement
If you are looking for a paddleboarding experience where you are able to stretch your ability on the water and manoeuvre more smoothly, you might be more interested in buying a shorter board. These shorter boards are typically between the 9-10 feet range, and are nippier on the water with slightly less stability.
Longer boards for racing and touring
If you are beyond the early stages of paddleboarding, and are no longer worried about balancing on the SUP, you can look towards designs that prioritise speed and are more suitable for advanced users.
These boards include ones that are geared towards racing, such as 14ft boards on the market, and others focus on fast touring, such as 12’6 ft boards.
Paddle Boarding Competitions
If you have built up your skills, and then want to test yourself against other paddleboarders; there are plenty of competitions all over the planet. There are various associations that organise the events, ranging from ones that attract the top athletes in the world to competitions for amateurs. These competitions are a variety of short and longer distance races, as well as different classifications of paddleboard.
Some organisations include the WPA, which organises a paddleboarding series with races across the US, similar to the F1 season; and the ISA also holds Paddleboarding World Championships every year.
Even if you aren’t looking to compete at this level, these competitions are brilliant to watch and you can learn ways to take your paddle boarding to the next level by watching these pros.