I tried out a friend's paddle board at the beach, and now I want my own. I have no idea what board to get and have been checking different places for advice. I'm planning on using it on some lakes nearby, but I'll also be using it at the beach again whenever I can get over there. It's easier for me than surfing since I'm a girl and don't have a ton of upper body strength. Any advice?
Check if there are any SUP
meet-up groups near you. If so, perhaps you could get some help there (this section of Pnet is kayak/canoe oriented).
Or, find an ACA certified SUP instructor so you can get off to a good start:
You didn’t fill out a profile so no one has any idea of where you’re located, otherwise some suggestions may have been made about local groups.
Not enough info …
You don’t really say where you will be paddling “at the beach” if it’s a quiet bay or open coast.
I’d try to find a good shop in your area that specializes in SUP and gives lessons and demos. Take a lesson and ask to try out different boards. Don’t buy from Costco or box store that have cheap sup boards. Don’t get stuck on a really wide “beginner board.”
Thanks! Don’t really need info about local groups since I can look that up myself. Just thought it would be fun to see what other people thought, if they had favorite boards for both surfing at beach and paddling at lake, etc. (By “at the beach”, I meant surfing.)But I see this isn’t the right forum for that. Sorry! Thanks for taking the time to respond.
You can look for all arounders …
Lot’s of entry level boards label themselves as allrounders meaning you can use them for surf and for flat water paddling. NSP makes some that look pretty decent, but no board that works really well for surfing is very good for paddling long distance on flat water or downwind. I have an expensive custom glassed version of the Laird Pearson Arrow boards the 10’ board works OK for surfing and I paddle it along the open coast for exercise. If you have small unpredictable surf it’s a good choice, it’s too much volume in big surf for me. It has pretty good glide but you can probably do better on an allrounder if you ask local paddlers what works in your area.
Standupzone.com is pretty good.
Lots to consider
There are so many factors to consider when purchasing your first paddle board, you almost can’t cover them all in a simple forum format.
That’s why I wrote this article that you can refer to when making your decision. It also includes some information about women’s SUPs that might be more suitable for someone your size.