We have a boat on a local lake. This summer I’ve watched many out on SUP’s. They look like a lot of fun. I’m pondering the idea of getting one. What would be a good one for a beginner? What do I look for in length, shape and so-on?
Check out this thread
which was posted in the SUP section of this board (this section is kayaks and canoes).
Other sites for info …
Paddling.net is not the best site for info on SUP, lots of other places with good information.
You can get oriented quickly on youtube by searching for
"getting started on SUP" Blueplanet, Naish, Dave Kalama have a lot of info on Youtube on how to choose a SUP for beginners and how to get started.
The best thing to do would be to find a shop in your area that gives lessons, and lessons for advanced paddlers, that way you are not getting advice from a shop that just tries to sell what they have in stock.
For flatwater paddling you probably want to start with a longer wider all around shape, probably something like 10' or longer depending on your weight. Your weight will determine the size of the board you choose. If you want to get into aggressive flat water speed paddling, racing you will get a narrower board. Best to try some out on the water before you buy.
Once you know what kind of board you want, keep an eye on craigslist. Lots of people start SUP but quit, you can pick up a very decent used SUP in most areas at about 50- 75% the cost of new.
The Paddle: One thing to keep in mind is that just like kayaking, the paddle is probably more important than the board. Try several different kinds of paddles. Beginners usually start with heavy adjustable fiberglass or aluminum paddles. Choose a paddle that has stiff light blades and is light as possible. Carbon fiber paddles are the way to go eventually. You can find decent ones for about $200, and many are much more expensive.
Go Check Out All The Magazines Available
About SUPs. Like every week, a new one pops up on the stands, while magazines for canoes and kayaks have all disappeared. Same for canoe and kayak shops that have closed or in order to survive have joined the SUP trend. Paddle makers sell more SUP paddles than either canoe or kayak paddles too. Even innovations on stroke technique, paddles, boards and equipment are emerging everyday from SUP paddlers.
Bet most of the SUP paddlers you saw were kids and young adults under 30?
but there are two types of boards - touring (displacement) and more of a traditional surfing (planing). Size of the of the board is dependent on the size of the paddler. You really need to get out and try some.
Oversimplified but will work
Just to get you going with a quick, simplified answer to your question, For a stable beginner board, look for one that is between 30 and 33 inches wide, 10 to 12 feet long, and (pay attention here) ) 0.9 to 1.1 LITERS of volume for every POUND of body weight. So for example, if you weigh 200 pounds look for a 10-12 foot board that is around 32 inches wide and has 180 to 220 liters of volume. The smaller ends of those parameters are less stable than the higher ends but that is all in the beginner range. Good luck and have fun.