Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Stand Up Paddling is a sport that has become an absolute trend in recent years. Whether you’re at the seaside or the lake, everywhere you go you see people casually gliding across the water on their boards.

If you are interested in this sport and are thinking about getting a Stand Up Paddle Board, then you have come to the right place. In the following article we will inform you about everything you need to know about the sport and boards. Have fun reading!




The most important facts

  • Stand Up Paddle Boards are available as hard boards and inflatable boards. The inflatable boards are compact and can be taken anywhere.
  • To increase your safety while riding, you should always wear a board leash. This connects you to your board and ensures that you don’t drift alone in the water.
  • Use the paddle to propel your board. These are available in different materials and colours.

The Best Stand Up Paddle Board in the United Kingdom: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for Stand Up Paddle Boards

If you are thinking about buying a Stand Up Paddle Board, there are some factors you should consider. To make this process easier for you, we have summarised the most important buying and evaluation criteria.

The criteria you can use to compare stand up paddle boards include:

Weight

Weight is a not insignificant factor when choosing a stand up paddle board. As a rule, models range in weight from 8 to 16 kilograms.

Although the weight has no direct influence on the feeling when riding, a heavy board can quickly take the mood away from paddling. You have to consider that you have to carry your board every time from the car, bike or house to the water. A compact or lightweight board is ideal for this purpose.

Size

The size of a Stand Up Paddle Board is given in volume. Alternatively, manufacturers also give the dimensions, i.e. length times height times width.

The volume helps you to find the right board for you. It is calculated based on the length and width of the board. However, some Stand Up Paddle professionals prefer to use the width rather than the volume.

The heavier the stand up paddler, the wider the board should be.

Material

Most Stand Up Paddle boards are made of PE (polyethylene), AST/ASA (weather resistant plastic acrylonitrile styrene acrylic ester as outer layer), epoxy (resin) or carbon. These materials are very robust and weather-resistant and are therefore ideal for SUP boards.

Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards are made of PVC or polyurethane. In addition, these Stand Up Paddle Boards have other special features in their construction. These are described in more detail in the decision section.

Maximum load

The maximum load capacity indicates the maximum weight that the user of the Stand Up Paddle Board can carry without the board sinking. As a rule, the specifications here are between 120 and 180 kilograms.

It is therefore important that you weigh yourself before buying and find out more about the maximum load capacity. There are also some Stand Up Paddle boards that cannot support a weight of more than 80 to 100 kilograms.

Accessories

Stand Up Paddle Boards are often sold with accessories. Especially the inflatable boards need these accessories. Usually the paddle, a pump, a carrying bag and a carrying handle are included in the accessories. Sometimes manufacturers also include repair kits.

It is important to be well informed about the products included. Sometimes manufacturers sell pumps that look good in the photo, but when they are supposed to inflate the board on site, the performance is very poor and the trip is delayed.

Decision: What types of Stand Up Paddle Boards are there and which one is right for you?

Now that you have an overview of the buying and evaluation criteria, it is time to look at the different types of Stand Up Paddle Boards. These are the inflatable version and the fixed Stand Up Paddle Boards.

Aufblasbare Stand Up Paddle Boards

Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards

On the one hand, an inflatable version is offered on the market for Stand Up Paddle Boards. These models can be inflated and deflated again. This makes them very compact and easier to store.

Advantages
  • Ideal for travelling
  • Lightweight
  • Forgives touching
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for surfing and racing
  • Must be inflated
  • Must be assembled and disassembled

Generally, inflatable Stand Up Paddle boards are inflated with 12 to 15 psi pressure (maximum 1 bar). In addition, the boards are given stability through the droptisch process. This means that there are connecting fibres between the top and bottom of the board, which make the board almost as stiff as solid boards.

Depending on the manufacturer, the stiffness, the robustness and the corresponding weight vary. When rolled up, Stand Up Paddle boards can be stowed in a 60-litre backpack. They weigh between 12 and 15 kilograms and are relatively easy to repair.

Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards are mainly suitable for beginners, families and amateur athletes. It can be perfectly taken along on trips and holidays. In addition, the soft material forgives accidental touching and leaves no scratches.

Festes Stand Up Paddle Boards

Hard Stand Up Paddle Boards

Apart from the inflatable version, the market for Stand Up Paddle Boards also offers so-called hard boards. These Stand Up Paddle Boards are fixed and non-inflatable boards.

Advantages
  • Very stable
  • No assembly necessary
  • Ideal for professionals
Disadvantages
  • Harder to transport
  • More expensive

Hardboards are primarily suitable for ambitious hobby athletes and professionals. With hardboards it is possible to participate in races and surf waves. It also makes sense to invest in a hardboard if you live by a lake or the sea.

One of the biggest advantages of hardboards over inflatable stand up paddle boards is that you don’t have to inflate your board. This saves you having to set up, take down, inflate and deflate the board every time.

What you should pay attention to above all is the purchase price. Here the rule is: “If you buy cheap, you buy twice”! There are some boards that are relatively cheap, but lack quality. Some boards are simply built thinner, which provides less buoyancy when riding. Accordingly, you are slower than the other paddlers.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about Stand Up Paddle Board answered in detail

What is a Stand Up Paddle Board?

A Stand Up Paddle Board is a piece of equipment used for the sport of Stand Up Paddling. Stand Up Paddling is a water sport in which an athlete stands upright on a buoyant board and moves forward with the help of a paddle.

Stand Up Paddle Board-1

Surfing connects with nature and its forces.
(Image source: Pexels / Pixabay)

When it comes to board types, a distinction is made between inflatable SUPs, i.e. inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards, and hardboards, i.e. solid Stand Up Paddle Boards.

Who is a Stand Up Paddle Board suitable for?

Stand Up Paddling is a sport that covers a very wide range of athletes. Children, families, adults, professionals and amateurs can all enjoy the sport. The concept behind Stand Up Paddling is very simple and fun.

Stand Up Paddle boards are particularly suitable if you have a lake or sea near you. It also makes sense to buy a SUP board if you regularly go to the sea or lakes, as you can use your board best there.

What size Stand Up Paddle Board should I buy?

The size of a Stand Up Paddle Board can be determined by several factors. On the one hand there are the dimensions and on the other hand the volume. The dimensions consist of the length, the height and the width. The volume is calculated from the length times the width.

Stand Up Paddle Board-2

Stand Up Paddle Boards can be used in the sea as well as on lakes.
(Image source: Kiril Dobrev / Pixabay)

Although these two figures reflect the size of the board well, they are not decisive for the right board. Above all, you should pay attention to the width of your board when buying it. The width provides stability. If you are a little heavier, it is recommended to buy a wide board, as it offers more support when using it.

How much does a Stand Up Paddle Board cost?

Inexpensive Stand Up Paddle Boards can be purchased for just over 200€.

Hardboards are generally more expensive than inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards.

This may sound tempting, but you should be aware that the quality of these models is not very good. Expensive versions of SUP boards, on the other hand, cost up to over 2000€. That is 10 times more than the cheap boards. As you can see, the price range is very wide.

Models praised by customers usually cost between €250 and €700. Of course, there are also differences in quality and equipment.

What should I look for when buying a Stand Up Paddle Board?

When buying a Stand Up Paddle Board, there are several factors you should consider. One of them is the accessories. For example, you may buy an inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board and no pump is included. Then you stand on the beach and can’t use your board.

Always check the accessories to avoid unpleasant surprises.

In addition, factors such as your weight will influence the ideal board size for you. So check beforehand whether your weight and your board fit together. Also, don’t be tempted by cheap offers, as this can lead to expensive mistakes.

How can I increase my safety when Stand Up Paddling?

One way to increase your safety is to wear a life jacket. These are not very expensive and can even save lives. Especially for children it makes sense to think about this investment.

Apart from that, it is advisable to sail in shallow waters to increase your safety. The rougher the sea or the water you are sailing in, the higher the probability that you will fall or injure yourself.

Another way to increase safety is to wear a board leash. This connects you and your board and prevents you from losing your board on the high seas, for example.

The board leash connects you to your board.

What are the alternatives to a Stand Up Paddle Board?

Alternatives to Stand Up Paddling are windsurfing, surfing, kitesurfing or dinghy riding.

All these sports are water sports and work in cooperation of means of transport and people. All surfing variations come closest to the feeling of Stand Up Paddling, but require some training and are more difficult to learn.

The inflatable boat is inflated like the inflatable SUP boards. In addition, like all SUP boards, it is propelled with a paddle. The advantage here is that it is easy to understand even without training.

Further reading: Sources and interesting links

[1] https://eatsmarter.de/gesund-leben/fitness/stand-up-paddling

[2] https://www.vdws.de/fileadmin/Fileuploads/user_upload/PDF/SUP_Wasserrecht.pdf

[3] https://supscout.de/blog/sup-safety/safety-first-sicherheit-beim-sup/

Image source: maridav/ 123rf.com

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