SUP Buyers Guide
Stand up Paddling (SUP) is the latest craze in outdoor on water fun. The great part about them is they are generally lightweight, stack-able easy to board from the water and fast. At directboats.com we offer so many choices we had to put what we have learned about SUP's into this buyers guide. We will turn to a faq format from here on.
What about customer reviews?
Are SUP Board Ratings or Stand up paddle-board Reviews worth reading?We don't allow customers to review or rate SUP boards on our web site because it is usually full of "purchased reviews", so probably not. We get offered by many different companies to "purchase" positive reviews for both our company and or products. We absolutely decline this concept and trust that consumers are not so gullible as to put their faith in a five or four star made up rating system, or distrust someone or something because of some complaints. We have also found that most customers that have bad reviews of SUP Boards usually put it in the wrong situation and or did not fully understand what they were purchasing. No one board does everything in every situation. The good news is we at directboats.com want you to make an informed decision so you will fully enjoy the SUP you are planning to purchase, please read the rest of the buyers guide below.
What is an editors review?
If we have first hand knowledge of a particular board we will write a review from a critics point of view. Yes we at directboats.com have tried a lot of boards and sell every type and style, therefore we should be able to get the best all around helpful review for you.
What is the best Rental Board?
The number one thing most rental guys ask is will it hold up. It is easy to get a selection of sizes for different size people, but the right amount of durability and safety is the key to success in the endeavor. We would not recommend your basic resin / epoxy board for the rental masses. Most people who are learning to SUP are very rough on boards and themselves. Not to mention waxing is never fun and often overlooked by rental companies. We also don't recommend a blow molded board, simply because of the inconsistency in the process. We normally would not recommend thermoformed anything in rental, but in this case it is acceptable in a lake setting or for waves. This reason is because the bottom of the board does not come to a point like in a kayak and what we have seen has an acceptable amount of material on the bottom of these boards. What we do recommend the most for a lake setting is a rotomolded board. There are no seams, and corners are strongest. You can however make a case for a thermoformed board because of the weight savings, but rental customers aren't going to care over a few pounds. If you want more specific advise feel free to contact the wholesale sales department at DirectBoats.com with your questions.
What is a resin / epoxy SUP Board?
Well since SUP boarding originated from the surf boarding scene in Hawaii, coating a wood board with something to keep it from rotting has simply been how it's done. It used to be the wood created the structure the resin was for rot protection. Now it's resin / epoxy mixed with fiberglass coating styrofoam and the fiberglass (with maybe some wood stringers) is the structure. Resin boards are generally the most common, the most beautiful and some of the lightest. However, thin fiberglass resin is relatively brittle and given more aging time becomes even more brittle. So don't drop or crash your Resin SUP, you may just break it. The most popular because of all the pretty designs, colors and glossy looks. But if surfing with it, give it a good coat of wax.
What is a Soft / Foam Board?
Well if you have been body boarding you may have seen this type of board at the local beach t-shirt shop. In the case of a big SUP board it usually has a core with stringers without the resin and fiberglass. Usually a vinyl for the bottom and a foam top. Either way they are very comfortable and usually a good bit less money than resin boards. Sometimes a manufacturer puts a vinyl coat on the bottom and the top. Safest as a rental Surf SUP board because of the whole board is covered in a soft material.
What makes a board a racing SUP board
Well simply put the longer, narrower, lighter and pointier at both ends, the faster the board. So many boards claim to be a racing boards simply because they have a point on the front. Just remember our first point about a racing board and you will go as fast as you want to.
What about white water SUP boards?
Well put on your helmets, knee pads face pads etc... and pay up your life insurance, this could get crazy. We have seen this in class one two and three rapids, but beware four and five maybe bad for your health. Sometimes kneeling when it gets rough is an option but still hard to stay on. Make sure the rigid boards are tough, like rotomolded HDPE and the skegs are preferably molded in, or have a bunch of small ones. Inflatables are a decent choice in this category since they are softer than rocks and a hard board.
Surf SUP or long boards for surfing on waves?
Well we think SUP has more uses than just long boards. If it is a calm day, SUP... if the surf is up... Kowabonga dude. It is a matter of thickness that makes a board have the ability of SUP. A long board is generally thinner like say 3inches vs a SUP at 5 inches.
Can you fish off a SUP board?
Well yes, but would probably not have much fun off a regular SUP board. Try standing for hours with no seat. That is the main problem not to mention your hands are holding a SUP Paddle. There are a few boards that we call hybrid boards that have places for seats and all... but a better term would be a micro skiff. We are starting to offer this type of boat at directboats.com call in to ask.
Where would you recommend using an inflatable SUP Board?
When one needs portability mainly. But with light weight and stack ability of rigid boards, this becomes less of a factor. Lake settings and whitewater settings are probably the best locations for use of an inflatable SUP board. They are mostly built the same with high pressure being their mainstay for creating the rigidity when inflated.