How to Buy the Right Equipment for Paddle Boarding

carbon fiber paddle board paddleWhat is stand up paddle boarding?
Paddle boarding is a water sport that requires players to stand on surfboard like boards and use rowing instruments called paddles to push themselves along in order to catch waves.

Why should someone participate in stand up paddle boarding?
  1. The sport is a full body workout, providing great cross training.
  3. Standing at your full height on the water can facilitate great views under and above the water.
  5. About 73% of paddlers said they paddle board for the exercise; 59% said it's a great bonding experience with friends and family; and 39% stated they are in it for the excitement and adventure.

What equipment is needed to paddle board?
A paddle board

While earlier it was said that the board is "surfboard like," A paddle board is not a surfboard. Length and width of the board are most important things to look for when choosing a paddle board.
  1. Length
    The length of the paddle board depends on where you're going to be paddling. If you are going to regularly be in the unpredictable ocean, you require a different style of board then someone paddling on a lake.

    Boards under nine-feet are the kind you want for surfing. Boards between nine- and 12-feet are good for all around use if you will be paddling in many different types of waters. Boards over 12-feet are best for racing.
  3. Width
    A board that is 29- or 30-inches is known as a narrow board and is better for racing, because it is faster. However, it is not recommended you start on a narrow board, because it is not very stable.

    A board that is 31 inches or longer is a wide board and is easier to stand on.
What you choose is very important. How well you will progress in your paddle boarding really does depend on whether you get a carbon fiber paddle board paddle or one made of fiberglass or some other type of material. Fiberglass and carbon fiber paddle board paddles are the most common paddles.

Fiberglass and carbon fiber paddle board paddles
Fiberglass paddles are a lot more flexible and a little heavier than carbon fiber paddles, although they're not as strong. However, both are fairly stiff, which is good, because you want as little flexibility as possible when paddling. Both of these materials are fairly lightweight, but carbon fiber is the lightest. This is beneficial if you're paddling long distances or you're paddling for a long periods of time.

If possible skip the low performance plastic and aluminum pedals and go straight to fiberglass or carbon fiber. Also, the paddle needs to be about 10 inches longer than you are.

Of course there are other things that you may need, like a wet suit or a pump, but these are good to start with. As with any sport, do not expect to be amazing at the very beginning. Learning the proper stances and methods and techniques can be frustrating. Even initially standing up can be difficult, but keep trying, and you will get the hang of it. Keep an open mind and listen to experts, who will help you out. Paddle boarding is a whole community of people, who look out for one another when they're out on the water. Of course, the quickest way to learn anything like this is to get an instructor. To make it even easier on yourself when starting out, begin learning on a lake. Ocean paddle boarding is an entirely different way of paddling, but lake paddle boarding can be just as exhilarating.