Buying your first SUP can seem like a minefield. Hundreds of shapes, thousands of brands and millions of opinions!
Lets try and break it down into 4 easy steps:
1. Pick the right type/shape
There are several disciplines of SUPing but the main three are; SUP surfing, Flatwater/touring or Racing. Each board type has advantages and disadvantages, for example a tourer is more stream lined than a surfer, it will glide through the water and pick up speed easier than a surfer but if you try to catch waves with a tourer it will be hard to control and clumsy and you won't be very popular at the beach after taking out, all the kids in the shore break.
A good option, if your unsure what shape to get is an all rounder style board, you won't be getting barrelled or be taking home the gold in a SUP race, but it will allow you to try all disciplines and progress until you are you sure you want to commit to a specific discipline which is 90% of SUPers out there. All rounders are a combination shape of a tourer and a surfer normally around 10-11 feet and 30-34” wide. Check the picture I’ve attached to see the different shapes in comparison to each other.
2. Choose the correct size or volume board.
This is vital, especially if this is your first SUP. A good rule of thumb for calculating the volume you will need as a beginner is:
2 x (your weight in kg) = the minimum volume in Litres
So if I'm 90kg, I will need at least a 180 Litre board. Give yourself a fighting chance, we all dream of surfing a 7ft tooth-pick SUP, doing 360s of the lip, but the ocean has different ideas. Start big and work your way down.
Saying all that, don't go too big either, especially if its an inflatable, remember more volume means more inflating/sweating. Just aim for what's comfortable.
3. Pick the right brand
This is the big one, nowadays there are hundreds of brands on the market, some good, some terrible and almost impossible to tell the difference, if you're a newbie.
Here's some tips:
If it seems too good to be true it probably is. If your new SUP cost the same as a blow up mattress, odds are you just bought a fancy lilo. Saying that, some SUPs out there cost more than my first car, you're paying for the brand here, just like Ted Baker, Calvin Klein, etc. You can find lots of high quality mid market brands if you know where to look, a good start is the SUP hub UK page to review all the national and international brands http://suphubuk.com/home/the-brands/
Aside from very cheap boards, avoid single layered construction, very low pressures (nothing below 16psi). Also be wary when buying second hand boards as you may pick up a bargain or you may get sold a highly advanced performance race board......which is great if your a highly advanced performance racer, not so great for a beginner.
Any brand willing to offer a warranty shows they are willing to stand behind their product's quality and some UK brands will "offer a try before you buy" like us 😎
4. Don't be cheap, buy a leash!
Watching your new £500 investment float out to sea because you saved £18, not buying a leash is not a feeling we recommend!!
If anyone wants some more detailed info check out the link below or drop us a message. Happy SUPing