Stand-up paddleboards are the fastest growing segment in paddle-sports. Hobie Cat, Pelican and RAVE Sports are among a growing number of manufacturers offering popular SUPs, as they are called.
As with the other paddle-craft, SUPs can be constructed of a variety of materials, and polyethylene is popular among recreational SUP owners: it’s lightweight, durable and less expensive than watercraft built using other materials. The difference with SUPs is that they require more rigidity than kayaks, so they are constructed using a wide variety of skin materials and cores, from balsa to carbon fiber.
Why buy? “For a paddle-sport option that’s a little more challenging than kayaking, try SUPs” explains Ross, whose Canada-based company offers an extensive line of SUPs as well as kayaks. “You use your entire body when paddling a stand-up board, and it takes a little more skill to master the balance and handling required. But once you’ve stood up on the water, it’s tough to go back to a sit-down-type boat.”
A variety of styles are available depending on your needs. Inflatable SUPs are a good choice for owners of lakefront homes and/or who have a minimum of storage space, allowing the SUPs to be deflated and packed away when not in use. RAVE offers a helpful chart on its website (ravesports.com) to help select an SUP of any brand or type, based on its intended purpose.
“When selecting an SUP, the length of the board is important to consider in relation to the size of the paddler, as buoyancy is a function of the length of the board,” explains RAVE Sports’ Tanya Rausch. “For optimum performance, it is best to select a size that is suitable for the largest size paddler.”
Features to look for: A fin under the stern for tracking; bungee cord connection points for on-deck storage; a nonskid deck pad; multiple handle grips for transport and boarding; and an ankle leash option for tethering the board to the paddler when in the water.
Staying closer to the water is part of the fun of using any boat powered by a paddle!
By Dan Armitage, contributer for Cabin Livng Magazine. Dan is a cabin dweller, frequent contributor, freelance writer and syndicated radio show host (buckeyesportsman.com) who is based in Ohio. Original post “Fun on the Water: Kayaks, Canoes and SUP’s.
Re-posted by Scott Freerksen “The Lake Guy”