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Your Guide to Inflatable SUP (iSUP) | Stand Up Paddle Boarding

inflatable-sup-guide

An intro to SUP

SUP or Stand Up Paddle came to California from Hawaii in the year 2000. Standing on a board with a paddle predates this by a long way and African and South American cultures among some used this as a form of getting around. Now the sport is very popular and becoming even more so. As with many sports there are leisurely modes and more competitive forms of SUPPING. This guide is mostly aimed at beginners however existing SUP boarders will find something of interest. 

Can I just start SUP? A resounding YES! 

You don't need a lot of experience of watersports to get started. Expect to fall in and take as little as possible on the board. The paddle should float if not you may lose it to Davy Jones. 

An inspirational SUP video showing what is possible! 

A Note On Safety 

It is entirely your own responsibility to be safe while SUPing. Evaluate your own situation and surroundings you will probably fall in so make sure you are dressed for the water temperature.

If you can't swim or lack strength in swimming then make sure you wear a lifejacket and don't SUP alone.

Do check local tidal conditions, wind and currents if you are taking your board into open water.

Tell people where and when you are going and when you should be back.

What is good about SUP | Benefits of Stand Up Paddle Board

Have you ever tried stand up paddle boarding? Well there are many benefits and you might argue that a kayak is a better design. Well that might be true in many respects and I also love kayaking myself. However I love stand up paddle boarding or SUP for the following reasons:
  1. Standing on the water makes you feel like Jesus, ok not really but the vantage point is unique to the SUP enthusiast. At a lower kayaking angle you see much less of what is in the water. I am a fish nut and love to scuba dive so anything where I can potentially spot fish is great. This is obviously only relevant if you are in clear water. But standing on water on a board is a nice feeling you are defying nature.

  2. It's healthy and you can tailor it to your level of fitness. It uses hard to otherwise train core muscles so Yoga and Pilates will help with SUP fitness. In fact a study by ACE was done in support of the many anecdotal reports - https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/prosource/august-2016/5997/ace-sponsored-research-can-stand-up-paddleboarding-stand-up-to-scrutinyIt is very good for the muscles of the abdomen and lower back, which form the basis for good general health. Also the whole of the body is worked in fact as you try to balance and stay on and move yourself with the paddle.

  3. It is available to a wide range of people of different ages and physical abilities.

  4. Water sports are good for the soul, mood and mentality. I have no evidence to support it but I know this to be true.

  5. Better digestion- generally being exposed to more levels of vitamin D natural microbes fresh air

  6. It improves your balance and coordination. It can be hard to stand on a board at times given conditions or the board type. Your balance will improve.

Inflatable vs Solid SUP Boards

The main benefits of an inflatable SUP are that it packs away smaller and is way easier to transport. It's a massive benefit and you might like to take it to perfect SUP destinations for your next vacay! Cost- inflatable SUP's are way cheaper. An inflatable SUP is much lighter to carry too.

Inflation is not as much as a pain as you might think with the right tools. SUP kits usually come with an inflator but you can also use an electrical inflation pump like this if you have access to a power source. Manual inflation is not going to take you more than 10 minutes if you are in a decent shape. 

Buyers Guide to Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard (iSUP)

New to the whole game of SUP? You came to the right buyers guide. Here we have boiled down what's really important to know and make some recommendations of boards to buy.

What kind of SUP you are going to do if you a beginner is general all round use. And if you are into racing then you will already know enough to make your own decisions. Also if you are going to surf a little the same applies. Lets cover these scenarios though:

General All Round FUN use!

Look at the height and weight of the main users of the board a larger heavier adult and smaller kids need a different board ideally but a good all round board can provide a lot of fun for all.

How long should my SUP board be?

  • Less than or equal to 140lbs (70kg) Look for a 9 and a half feet (9'6") board.
  • Greater than 140lbs (70kg) to 200lbs (100kg) 10 ½ to 11 ½ feet is good.
  • Greater than 200lbs then go for a 12ft plus board. 

Yoga

Inflatable boards with a lot of stability are what you are going to be looking for. Thicker inflatables with a decent length and width will give you a better platform for the ultimate selfie. You will need to mount a camera too if that is what you want- no problems there are plenty of kits to stick mounts to. Check how this might interfere with the rollup of your board.

Racing

A displacement profile board more looking like that of a kayak offers more speed and faster turns at the expense of stability. So these are not for you if you are a beginner.

Surfing

You will want a board with 3-5 fins for best performance so that you have some fin in the water at a given moment. Also a bigger wider board is harder to get out past white water so the better surfing boards are not the most stable. Narrower tail designs perform better in surf.

But Which Inflatable Standup Paddleboard? 4 of the best SUP available today.

You probably know enough now to make some informed decisions about buying a SUP for yourself or family. So let us give you some typical SUP's available on the market and you will start to see your ideal board.

The Orca by Cold West 

We recommend the ORCA for it's design quality and performance. It will handle bigger and smaller riders over many conditions. it's super stable and comes with a 3 year guarantee. Cold West know a lot about designing surf boards and bring a pedigree product to market. 

 Aqua Marina Monster

This is a great iSUP kit for larger people up to 160Kg.  

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Sunday, 19 May 2019

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