Stand Up Paddle Boarding or SUP is a growing sport that offers a fusion of canoeing and surfing. The object of the sport is very simple. Participants use a large, buoyant board similar to a surfboard which allows the user to stand up on the board without it sinking. From this upright position, you then propel yourself forward using a paddle similar to a canoe paddle but longer in length. SUP is a great way not only to have fun but is ideal for keeping fit too as the action works all of the upper body. Here’s our guide to the essentials of the sport.
SUP is one of the most accessible watersports, as it can be done on virtually any type of water, from a canal or lake to the open seas. If you are looking to try the sport for the first time, there are many coaching sessions available at watersports centres across the country to allow you to try the sport before committing to buying your own equipment. Once you do decide to buy, all you need is a board, a board leash, a paddle, a buoyancy aid and clothing suitable not only for watersports but also the weather too, as you will be exposed to the elements for your entire session.
The two major purchases items in order to start SUP are the board and the paddle.
In terms of the boards, you will find different board sizes available (at Decathlon our SUP boards range from 9’5″ to 11’6″). Smaller boards are less buoyant but are perfect for riding waves, whilst the larger boards are easier for getting started and cruising around your local river, lake or canal. Boards are also available in different materials. The most common material is epoxy, which is also commonly used for regular surfboards. Boards are also made of foam, and these boards will typically be cheaper and therefore make the sport more accessible. Finally we have inflatable boards, which offer the benefits of increased portability. The Bic SUP Air is a 10′ board fully inflated (and 6″ thick), yet when deflated it can be carried in a bag, perfect for putting in the boot of your car if you need to drive to your chosen stretch of water.
It terms of SUP paddles, the paddles are available in fixed and adjustable length varieties. Fixed length paddles are stronger than adjustables, so if you are buying a paddle purely for your own use are worth considering. However, with adjustable paddles you have the option to change the length dependent on the user, meaning that the whole family can enjoy fun whilst only needing to buy the one paddle. The ideal length of the paddle is roughly 5-7″ taller than the rider’s height.
If you’re interested in SUP, why not give the sport a try? To discover the Tribord watersports range exclusively available at Decathlon, please visit our website.