What’SUP? Paddleboarding FAQS Debunked
As a trusted retailer of an extensive range of SUP equipment, we are often asked a whole host of questions regarding the sport, from what basic queries to more complex technique questions and everything in between! Starting any sport for the first time can be intimidating, let alone when you have a ten-foot board and paddle to consider along the way. As such, we thought we’d put together a list of some of the most frequently asked questions so that our customers can be fully prepared for their first session of SUP.
Can I Do SUP?
Short answer? Yes. Most people can easily engage in the activity and love it. People of all shapes and sizes are successful on the board and there’s no set one-type-fits-all when it comes to SUP. That said, the sport is water-based, meaning those who aren’t comfortable swimming in water over their head will need to think carefully about participation, or at least, invest in a buoyancy aid and take other necessary safety precautions.
Will I Fall In?
Perhaps, but where’s the fun if there’s no risk involved? Some SUP first-timers will take to the water immediately, with a stable stance and long, effective paddles whilst others may wobble their way round with legs shaking and even the slightest of jolts causing an overturn. Again, there’s no telling which category you’ll fall into, so you’ll have to try out SUP for yourself to find out!
How Do I Begin?
First of all, you’re at the right place. Researching the sport on blog posts of trusted retailers and industry professionals will provide all the information you’ll need to know to best prepare you for your first session. YouTube is also a good source for information, as is social media groups and online forums where you can network with other SUP boarders. Next, find a local club that offers courses and lessons, and give them a call to discuss exactly what you’re looking for, be it a taster session or a week-long intensive course to determine whether or not you’d like to book with them.
Where Can I Paddle?
Seas, lakes, rivers, canals, creeks and ponds to name a few. Anywhere the water is deeper than your longest fin should do the trick, although do your research to check if there are any rules and regulations regarding large water craft before you head out. It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the rules of the water in certain places. For example, most beaches in the UK will not allow water craft bigger than a body board between the red and yellow flags for the safety of bathers. Knowing this can avoid an embarrassing announcement that the whole beach will be able to hear or a telling-off from the lifeguards.
What Should I Wear?
We recommend heading to your first paddle boarding session with the full intention of going in. Whether that means wearing a full-length wetsuit or just clothes you don’t mind getting wet is up to you. Dress for the weather, opting for something like shorts and a tee shirt in the summer and long pants and a jacket or a wetsuit in the winter. The best attire will allow flexible movement for the paddle and will not restrict your motion. (Include link to what to wear paddleboarding)
What Are the Benefits of SUP?
There is a plethora of benefits to getting involved with SUP, not least because it’s an all-age, all-ability activity that you can enjoy in the company of family and friends. It’s likely to be something new and different to your other hobbies and yet it’s also a fantastic workout for the entire body. SUP causes you to explore various outdoor bodies of water near where you live, giving you time to reconnect with nature and spend more time outdoors which is great for your mind, body and soul. Those interested in the latter should check out our recent blog post, The Ultimate Guide to SUP Yoga.
How Do I Find the Best Paddle Board for Me?
Head to a local shop or online retailer and ask all the questions you can think of about styles, quality, shapes and construction ahead of making your decision. Do some research online regarding hard boards versus inflatable boards and make a pros and cons list for each. Here at F-One, our team will be able to offer expert advice when it comes to choosing the right equipment and will take into account the various factors about you that could influence this decision, including physicality's such as your weight and height and your wants, needs and requirements from SUP.
How Important is Buying a Decent Paddle?
Very! The paddle is the one thing you’ll be holding onto at all times so making sure it’s the right fit for you is of utmost importance. Those with the aim of travelling a longer distance on your SUP board should check out lighter, carbon fibre paddles that are likely to minimise fatigue while still working your arms.
How Do I Look After My Board?
The beauty of paddleboards is that they are fairly low maintenance and when looked after properly, can last for years. Keep the board out of direct sunlight whilst it is not in use, particularly if you are paddling in a hot country or on one of those rare but oh-so beautiful hot days in the UK summer. Rinse your board after use with fresh water. Never stand or sit on the board when it is on land with the fin attached and treat your board like it is made from glass, keeping bumps, bangs and dings to a bare minimum. Those anticipating travelling with their board should invest in a board bag that will protect it from most of the above.
That concludes our guide to What’SUP: your paddle board FAQs debunked. We hope we have tackled some of the main issues facing both beginner and experienced boarders alike, but if you have any more questions at all, please don’t hesitate to let us know via the comments on our social media channels and we’ll be more than happy to respond. Here at F-One, we are a leading retailer of inflatable stand up paddle boards in the UK and have a breadth of knowledge from industry professionals that will help you find the board that’s right for you. Browse online or contact us today for more information.