Paddle Boarding as a Sport Includes Some Initial Decisions About Equipment

Carbon fiber paddle board paddle

The pictures are a reminder of the crazy weekend at the lake. Once the girls completed their battle over which stand up paddling (SUP) board they wanted, the negotiations no longer mattered. The arguments over who would be more successful on the inflatable vs rigid SUP boards the girls had managed to lose the only two paddles they had. So while they were both satisfied with their choices, they were unable to do anything more than lay flat and dog paddle with their hands. Turns out it would have been a better decision to make their board choices on shore.
Inflatable vs Rigid SUP choices
Getting into any new sport can be expensive. The equipment decisions, the clothing choices, and additional gear to help you keep track of your board and paddle, if used, are extensive. The price variations can range from close to a hundred dollars to well into the thousands. Losing a non-floating paddle to the bottom of a lake, however, can quickly reinforce, however, the value of equipment.
Depending on where you live, the mention of the debate between inflatable vs rigid SUP boards can be very different. On the coasts of California were boarding obviously refers to long, exhausting surfing days in the Pacific, any discussion of boards is focused on learning to ride waves without a paddle. In the midwest, however, when lakes are the most common bodies of water, inflatable vs rigid SUP decisions also include detailed decisions about paddles. In either location, or in many other places throughout the world, any kind of paddle board decision is a fun one to make.
Stand up paddle boarding in the midwest and other locations far from the ocean have paved the way for a variety of other surfing options. In fact, stand up paddle surfing has become a popular option on many oceans. While many surfers are still content to search and wait for their waves on a knee board, others find that stand up boards are better for surfers with knee problems or other physical limitations.
Be Prepared to allow Your Equipment to Grow With Your Skill Level
Like any sport, the entry level equipment will not always meet the advanced skills that you may acquire. Learning to balance on a large paddle board during a yoga on the lake class may be the reason you decided to take on paddle boarding, but the same boards are not exactly right for both activities. and while you may have learned to love paddle boarding across the lake the first time you tried it, that same board may not work for the fantastic gymnastics poses that are easier to balance on the wider board designed for yoga.
The key to any new sport is to talk to the experts and find out they recommend. You do have to realize, however, that many experts will have varying advice. The good news is though that a couple of different board types will likely always serve a purpose. Choppy lake water may dictate returning to an earlier board that might not have turned as fast, but was more stable. Additionally, making the decision to participate in any water sport is often more fun with friends and extra boards allow you to help get others interested in your new passion.
Paddle Boarding Continues to Grow in Popularity
The latest statistics indicate what is easily seen on many lakes throughout the country. While 1.2 million said they had tried SUP for the first time in 2011, the numbers have significantly increased since then. In fact, by 2014, 21.7 million Americans claimed to enjoy paddling. That more than 21 million number amounts to more than 7% of the population.
The increased number of participants claim several reasons for taking up the paddle and boarding on the closest body of water:

  • 73% of SUP users participate in the sport to get exercise.
  • 59% of SUP users participate in the sport to be with friends and family.
  • 39% of SUP users participate in the sport for the excitement and adventure.

No matter why you get interested in any sport, paddle boarding or anything else, equipment considerations and money investment become some of the first decisions that you will have to make.

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