SUP Suggestions

I never thought we would be considering one of these, but at a paddlefest my son and I tried a few. My almost 20 yr old son said he would definately come to the lake more ! bonus for mom! I enjoyed it for just being out there on the lake and I could handle this myself.

We tried a few Hobies ie ATR not sure if 11.2 or 12 though which we liked the best over a poly dura-sup board and a couple of others which one was a displacement board. My favorite way was sitting down which was much easier and relaxing although I stood mostly.

We are in western PA and wondered if there were some others to try as i know there must be a large difference in them just like kayaks ie performance etc. Also - should we buy one adjustable carbon paddle? any suggestions on a decent one not terribly expensive (for comparison an aquabound stingray paddle is decent for kayaks and not expensive)

Prices vary but we are hoping under 1500 or less I am 150lbs ish and son is less.

Other SUP
Lots of choices. I’ve only been able to demo Boardworks and was very pleased. Light weight so easy for me to carry and very stable. I was in the market for a flatwater tour/race board my favorite was the Ohana, stable and fast, but I must say I was very impressed with the inflatables also. Not what you think they would be. Good luck in your search.

build one , clc kaholo 14’ is a very easy boat to build ,add some designs in cloth and you’ll have a excelent board that will draw crowds at the beach [thats code for he’ll meet lots of girls]


– Last Updated: May-29-12 3:59 PM EST –

Board weight may be a big factor in how much you use it. I'm a 160-lb male, and found a big difference in carrying a 25-pound board and a 35-40 pound board.

I'm a complete beginner -- just been to a demo day and one guided tour. Favorite board so far was the Bic Ocean -- light, nice balance of speed and maneuverability.

Read some nice things about the Tahoe boards for flatwater, but haven't paddled one yet.

The Isle Touring looks good on paper.

I think you've got the right idea for a paddle -- you don't need high-end carbon, but you do want something nicer than an aluminum shaft. Look for one that will adjust to fit both of you. Many of the adjustables I looked at had the wrong size range for my wife & I.

Still somewhat new myself, but…
I’m learning that boards are as diverse as kayaks and canoes, so like canoes and kayaks you need to decide what your primary use will be and demo as many boards as fit that use and buy it.

Now, it may be because of my newness, but I think paddleboards are a little more sensitive to paddler weight. What I mean is they seem to have a smaller weight range where they perform at optimum (stability, manueverability and speed).

we made a decision
based on availablity and price. We went with the beginner models of Bic 11.4 polys. We tried a 10.4 and the sides were slightly in the water for my son at 150lbs and me also and much less stable but the main thing was the sides in the water which doesn’t seem right or efficient. We are returning the shorter easier to turn board due to this.

We bought last years models so a price savings there also.

Just to tell you - we had a hoot! My son and girlfriend could sit together or stand on the longer board and it held them both well. My big husband was ok on it also (albeit a few bruises!) me too! (Bruises also!) we tested it to the max including falling off on purpose and how far we could step etc and climbing back on! We all enjoyed it but know if we really want to get someplace fast and far- we will take a kayak.

Re paddles - still undecided - we bought the Werner fijis in 2 length adjustable styles and I seem to prefer the longer one (over 10 in over my height) and a Kialo i believe which was more $$ a little heavier but smoother shaft.(not nice enough i don’t think for the extra $$) We ordered a bic carbon adjustable but dont have that one yet.

I am a little anal on paddles as i love my Beale GP for my kayak - it must be right or i wont like it…I think the basic adjustable Werner Figi’s are acceptable until we figure out our specific lengths.

I actually loved sitting on it/laying on it and paddling although you cannot put your hand on the tgrip paddling that way.

All in all - it a beginner board but it is loads of fun to swim/play/sit/(not kneel so much) and for what it is…low end…it works for us for now !!!

Of course…lighter ones may entice us at a later date as well as a nice carbon paddle!! but that’s for another day…


– Last Updated: Jun-05-12 8:44 AM EST –

I am as fussy as you :)

Originally ordered (and received) a Werner Carve adjustable 2 piece paddle which ranges from 74-78 inches. Fiberglass paddle, fiberglass shaft.

It arrived last Thursday. It's a really nice paddle.

But in the interim, so that I could take a class and then practice on my own, I got an all carbon Kialoa Pipes at REI (on sale) the night I picked up my board (Boardworks Raven 10'6"- which was also on sale) Had to have it that night cuz I was off to symposium the next day.

Now I'm really liking the Kialoa. All carbon is just really nice, light, and easy on the body. My go to paddle is a Werner Carbon (Cyprus) 205 so I'm used to the feel and performance of carbon.

Kialoa, Werner, QuickBlade, Surftech etc all make nice entry & mid level paddles w. fiberglass blades. The handles are all a little different tho, so how they feel to your hand is something best tried out in person.

We all liked the handle on
the inexpensive Werner Fiji adjustable paddles better than the adjustable Kialo as it was smoother. When I figure out a length which may be a while, it will be a carbon one of some make!

adjustable paddles

– Last Updated: Jun-05-12 10:08 AM EST –

I think for where you're at, sharing a paddle w. a teenage son who will only grow taller, you made a good pick.

My 5'11" guy is, for now at least, not interested at all in SUP, so no point me having an adjustable paddle.If that changes, he would need his own board and paddle anyway. We're just that different in height and weight.

An adjustable features is always going to add weight over a fixed one, and have one more fussy thing to get stuck. I been there :)

OTOH some ppl who travel are going for 3 piece paddles so that a SUP paddle can fit in luggage. Depends where you are and where you wanna go.

When you can go to your "fixee" you will enjoy the weight savings in more ways than one :)

Yes I am not fond of the adjustable
paddles but for now it works between 4 of us (going to keep 2 probably of slightly different length adjustments)The Bic boards are heavy but again i cannot spend alot when there are a few of us!! Its fun but I still love my kayaks for getting places.

these boards will be fun in the hot summertime! Have a new Bic on order (different thicker foam pad) to figure out if its worth the extra $$ for the better pad.

Moved my daughter into apt in Winston Salem, NC for Grad school and checked out a local store with SUPs. Nice ones but a little pricey for us.

deck pads
some deck pads of the boards I demo’d were hard on bare feet - the vertical grooved ones.

Not immediately, but after a couple hours, they seemed like I was walking on a grater lol. srsly, they hurt. And when I wore water booties (like I will in colder water later) they seemed to “trip and stick” on the ridges.

For me, the diamond patterned pads are lower profile and softer, and feel much nicer underfoot than the vertical ridged ones. Easier for me to slide my feet while providing some grip. That was another reason to like the Raven.

But afa I know, you can order a replacement pad of whatever you like and cut it down to fit your board, so everyone can get the pad they prefer. Some are large one piece pads and some are pieced out into sections.

Deck Pads are confusing
the thin no pattern ones on the last years versions of the BICs concern me as we already have some damage of welting from one usage - and i am very careful with my stuff. It looks inset so I am not sure if replacement will be easy as an odd design. BIC not helpful on questions unfortunately.

The thin foam is reasonably comfortable though but not rugged and hopefully will last on these boards.

Foam flavor?
Is the Bic foam standard mini cell or is it denser rubberized foam. The former isn’t that hard to source in peel and stick sheets. I don’t have any suggestions for recessed applications as the Tahoe’s I deal with are a flush surface, but Surftech had a nice video on deck pad replacement ala You Tube.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

If someone from BIC would return my call
i could tell you!! Numerous messages and nada! Great customer service…perhaps I should just return now instead of headaches down the road. My guess would be minicell foam as it isn’t very durable.

The Dealer?
Have you asked the Dealer you purchased them from to make the call. Their call might have better penetration through to the BIC personnel with the answers.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

I think from some info on BICS

– Last Updated: Jun-18-12 9:41 PM EST –

I am going to return them and start over - apparently the design I am concerned about has changed and for a reason. Leakage - and seams on the side I was told by another dealer not a good idea.

Sounds like if I did have issues, I would be in the place I am now - no return I think I will just take them back. I will pay more for other boards, but hopefully less aggravation.

Update- received call from Bic (1 year warranty - not good enough if these boards have issues - which they are not telling me about)

Sorry to hear the ongoing hassle on the BIC front.

Farthest my Tahoe’s and I go on an infrequent basis is out to Scranton, PA.

Let me know if you’re ever in the area and want to SUP the Hudson here in Hyde Park, NY

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

BIC polys
it’s always a little more chancey to go w the first version using a new material.

The BIC “thermoformed polyethylene” as they call it on their website, may prove out, or it may be that the first versions become the betas.

I’ve never tried a BIC board. I have demo’d Laird,C4Waterman, Boardworks (fiberglass Raven and the inflatable SHUBU) and Surftech Bark Dominator.

Marilyn, if u would like
I can find out who the rep is for Boardworks and C4Waterman is, also some other brands.

I know two men who are the midwestern reps each repping for a different line up of boards. They are friends, and not just on facebook lol.

Maybe they cover western PA, or at least know who does. Would you be able to tell me the nearest large town, or where you are at? PM if you like.

I see a Boardworks Raven 12.6
which my husband would also fit - they are the cost of BICs! I would rather have a board that will last than a cheaper one that doesn’t last (cheaper as 550 is still not cheap in my pocketbook!)

I live 20 min north of Pittsburgh but can travel if I find a good price. REI is local but I missed the sale as the board i ordered (a newer BIC was damaged so I didn’t take it)

What about a Naish Nalu ? Are they a good board? This is too confusing. What about a Hobie? I tried theirs and liked them but they are not local.