What Equipment Do You Need to Paddle Board?

Paddle Boards are becoming the new trend in water sports. They resemble a surf board and in the beginning that is what was used to go paddle boarding. You would lie down on a surf board and paddle with your hands and feet out into the waves so you would be in position to pop up onto the board and ride the wave in. As paddle boards came into their own, races began to only include the paddling and not be concerned with the surfing. Then stand up paddle boards became more and more popular. On these boards you stand up straight and face the horizon. An extended paddle with an elbow like bend in the middle is used to propel the board. The elbow bend in the paddle allows you to generate much more force than a straight paddle. As you paddle, you keep your eyes up instead of looking at your feet or the water. This lets you see much more of your surrounding and many people find it a perfect way to do some outdoor sight seeing.

The first and most vital piece of equipment is the paddle boards themselves. Paddle manufactures and paddle board retailers have a big selection of design types to choose from. Boards of fiberglass and epoxy are the most common type and they range from 12 to 19 feet in length. A new technology that is gaining traction in the market is an epoxy surf board that is lighter and stronger than the fiberglass variant. A custom made paddle board can cost from 1,500 dollars to 3,000 dollars. On the newer models, a traction pad is attached to the top of the board to provide inflatable paddle board traction. If a traction pad did not come with your Paddle Board then you will have to wax the board as you would a standard surfboard. Many surf shops will rent boards for beginners and that is a great way to find out which one is the right one for you. The length and width of the board is entirely dependent on the weight and height of the rider as well as the water conditions that you will ride in.

The paddle for a stand up Paddleboarding is different than the paddles used for canoeing or kayaking. It has an angle in the shaft to allow for maximum stroke efficiency. The right paddle for you will be from 6 to 8 inches taller than you are but some amount of personal preference will enter into the length as well.

The only other required equipment is a personal flotation device. Since the US Coast Guard classifies the stand up Paddle Boards as vessels, they require you to have a PFD on you at all times. There is some optional equipment to have with you. If you are planning to go paddle boarding in cold climates you will want to wear a wet suit to prevent hypothermia. Also, the glare off the water can start to hurt your eyes, so a comfortable pair of sunglasses is also recommended.

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