An inflatable stand up paddle board offers a novice rider a different exercise option

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An inflatable stand up paddleboard offers a novice rider a different exercise option

Inflatable stand up paddle boards (SUPs) offer exercise enthusiasts an option on the water to maintain a good source of fitness. A SUP board can be purchased in the traditional fiberglass form or inflatable which are recommended for those beginning the exercise. An inflatable SUP board has a bit more cushion due to the air pressure so prolonged standing is easier to bare. Turns are less responsive on an inflatable SUP board and the overall speed is slower which is advantageous when initially learning to ride a paddle board.

SUP Inflatable boards are durable, easy to transport, store, and repairs can be addressed with ease. The drop stitch technology provides for a stable board as small fibers are woven into the inside of the inflated SUP board. Most boards hold 14 to 18 PSI and are made out of durable hard rubber material. While traveling, one simply packs up the board into their luggage which adds around 30 to 40 pounds. Although many airlines will charge for the extra baggage, one will save the cost of renting a board when their destination is met, or driving around with an expensive board on the top of your transportation. Inflatable SUP boards can be stored easily by letting the air out, rolling it up, and placing it into a bag. Ensure the board is completing dry to keep out the water smells which is can be unpleasant if rolled into the board. Repairs are rare with an inflatable board but a repair kit will come with it. If one has a hole in the seam of the board refer it to the manufacturer as the warranty will cover it.

Recommended SUP boards to purchase include the Isle Touring 12 6, Isle Explorer 11, and Jobe Aero 12 6. The Isle Touring is reasonably priced with a square tail, rocker nose, inflatable valve on the tail, cargo system, and it is just the right size for a novice rider. The Isle Explorer is a sturdy and tough board with two cargo systems, two strap handles on the nose and tail, and come with a paddle and a pump. The Jobe Aero has a narrow nose good for maneuvering in choppy water. It comes with a pump, backpack and paddle and is the highest price of the three recommended. Stability is the key for a beginning boarder so look for a big board that is greater than six inches thick.

Accessories one will want to purchase, namely as a beginning boarder, is a paddle, backpack, life jacket, leash, and electric pump. An adjustable aluminum paddle works well when it collapses down to the width of the board to make transporting and storage easy. A backpack comes in handy if one is hiking to their destination versus driving directly to the water. Life jackets must be worn per the Coast Guard and can be purchased for less than 20 dollars. A leash is most beneficial when riding down a river. A coil version assists the rider in that the board will not drag to the bottom of the river and get stuck. The electric pump allows one to get into the water that much quicker versus by hand. There are many 12 volt electric pumps on the market that are sufficient for the task.

Those new to SUP boarding must adhere to Coast Guard regulations passed down in 2008. These include wearing a life jacket and carrying a signaling device such as a whistle. SUP boarders must always cross behind motorized boat traffic and use a white light such as flashlight at dawn and dusk. As a new SUP boarder, one will benefit by the many health benefits it provides including improved balance, reduced stress, strength increase, more endurance, and better cardiovascular health. Ultimately, the SUP board is a versatile watercraft option that can be used on lakes, oceans, rivers, and even to surf. By storing it in your vehicle’s trunk, one will have an exercise tool readily at their disposal.