Advice on SUPs

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Hey peeps,
So when I can I’m going to try Stand Up Paddling and get a lesson, rent equipment etc. So I’m sure they can answer all my questions.

But until then I thought I would see what boards are available and costs etc.
So I was hoping you guys could help me with sizing and types (if there are different types lol, no idea).

I’m 6"5. Weigh about 80kg. I snowboard all year round, skate and surf in between winter seasons (but my surfing is kinda beginner/novice level).


What size board should I look at?
Is there a certain type or shape I should consider?
Is there any deal with the paddles? Or are they much the same?

Cheers,
Andy

 
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Andy Aitken - 25 April 2014 05:07 PM

Hey peeps,
So when I can I’m going to try Stand Up Paddling and get a lesson, rent equipment etc. So I’m sure they can answer all my questions.

But until then I thought I would see what boards are available and costs etc.
So I was hoping you guys could help me with sizing and types (if there are different types lol, no idea).

I’m 6"5. Weigh about 80kg. I snowboard all year round, skate and surf in between winter seasons (but my surfing is kinda beginner/novice level).


What size board should I look at?
Is there a certain type or shape I should consider?
Is there any deal with the paddles? Or are they much the same?

Cheers,
Andy

Hey Andy,

I made a similar decision earlier in the year and made a purchase without ever having a lesson/hire as I figured it would be pretty safe I’d enjoy it. As it turns out flat water paddling is peaceful but a little bit dull for my liking but I do really enjoy getting it out in the surf when the conditions are too flat to bother with my surfboard. Paddling around in the surf is much harder than flat water though so make sure you get the basics down there first.

As for board size much like surfboards you need to take into account length/width/thickness and shape. These will be matched to your weight/ability and style of SUP you want (surf, flat water, downwind) Without knowing these details I’d give you a ballpark length in the 10’6-11’ range with the rounded nose shape?? What’s probably more important is overall volume of the board as this is what gives you the float.

Paddles definitely aren’t the same that decision is said to be more important than the board. Most would prefer a lower end board with a great paddle than the other way around. First off you can get adjustable or fixed length. Adjustable is good if you are sharing it with people of different heights or trying to dial in your correct length but other than that fixed paddles are superior. I have a full carbon fibre fixed paddle but as I make the change from flat to surf I’m constantly having at it with a hacksaw as I gradually shorten the length of it.

Make sure you shop around prices vary greatly and the big name boards (naish, starboard etc) get very expensive quickly and then you add the paddle on top!

Also have a think about storing and transporting the board as they are big and bulky. I ended up with roof racks/straps, padded bag and hooks in my garage.

Hope that helps mate, hit me up if you need more info.

 
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Andy what do you want to with it?  You can get an all round style of board, a racing board, an open ocean downwinder, a dedicated surfing board or a tourer, many of them will do a couple of things quite well but not all of them.  Compromises need to be made, I have a 12’6” racing board that I use predominantly for still water and enclosed waters downwinding, it would also do ocean downwinders just fine but mates of mine use 17’ boards for ocean downwinders with rudders.  I can take mine out in the surf but usually only when it’s very small as it’s really not designed for it and is not particularly maneuvreable. 

Height will play a big part in the stability as well as your centre of gravity will be much higher than most so you might want to look into a racing board or tourer of 30” or more wide on a 10’6-12’ board or wider again if you go a shorter more all round type of board under 10ft.

 
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Great info thanks for that guys. I actually had a change of plans and invested into a different expensive pursuit of mine.

But I will still be taking lessons so if i like it then I will be shopping for one some time in the near future.

Thanks again shaka

 
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Was your “different expensive pursuit of mine” skiing? LOL

 
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Wash your mouth out mad  haha.

Nah I have one pair of skis, they’re quite nice, but they will be used until the day they die. Skiing doesn’t get any more of my money.

The expensive persuit I was referring to was Mountain Biking. I just bought a sweet bike and took it over some sweet jumps wink
It’s cold, and I don’t have a wetsuit, so XC biking made way more sense, and I’ve been LOVING IT!
I think after this season I will look into SUP’s, when it’s warmer. And provided I have some spare cash (it’s a rare thing, as a fellow snow bum, I’m sure you feel me on that one).

 
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Hey, so another question…

How do you guys go transporting them around?
I have been using temporary roof racks that I just strap on to take my normal surfboard. But I’m not sure if that will work with a SUP.

 
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Andy Aitken - 03 June 2014 11:26 AM

Hey, so another question…

How do you guys go transporting them around?
I have been using temporary roof racks that I just strap on to take my normal surfboard. But I’m not sure if that will work with a SUP.

That was the other “hidden” expense for me.

I got it home from the warehouse on soft racks but decided I didn’t want to run the risk of scratching my paint and it took time to put them on and off all the time. I ended up coughing up for a nice set of permanent roof racks and some high quality lockable tie downs which made for a much more solid/quick process.

On top of that I then needed a padded bag to transport and store the board in (couldn’t leave it standing in the corner of my garage unprotected like my other boards as it’s too tall)

To be honest now that I enjoy taking the SUP out into the surf (vs flatwater when I started) I don’t put it on the racks too often (though with snow season on the way they’ll be used again) as I am in walking distance of the beach. I carry it in the board bag over my shoulder as it is pretty bloody heavy and bulky over that distance (I’m pretty buggered even after carrying it from the water up the sand, must be my short arms :D )

One side bonus is it made my main surfboard (7’6 fibreglass) feel like an absolute twig and I’ll never complain about transporting it around again.

 

 
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I’ve been using soft racks the 18months or so I’ve had my SUP, the only time I don’t is when I’m going away with the camper trailer and in that instance I tie it onto the trailer with ratchet tie downs.  I only use the soft racks for around home, I suspect over long distances at high speeds they might rub the paintwork which is a theory I’m unwilling to test out.  One thing I have noticed is that if you get an annoying vibration above about 40kmh from the soft racks all you need to do is twist them, that stops the vibrating.

I’m contemplating some permanent racks but haven’t pulled the trigger yet as honestly I don’t know if I will get my moneys worth out of them.