Choosing your first paddle board

Paddle boards are innovative pieces of leisure equipment that allow you to explore both rivers, lakes and the oceans in a fun manner, and they are becoming incredibly popular. If you are interested in buying one, you might be wondering how you are supposed to choose your first paddleboard?

What you should be look for in your first Paddleboard

As a general rule, when searching for a paddleboard, you are looking for a board that allows you to float with ease and as well as cutting through the water at a reasonable speed. For this reason, you are looking for the right balance of length and width. 

Paddleboards come in a wide variety of sizes, but most major providers have a number of recognisable classes within certain size ranges. Some manufacturers provide paddle boards in classes, making it easy to pick out which paddle board will fit the aquatic adventures you have in store. 

Multipurpose paddleboards 

The most widely used paddle boards are sized around 10-11 feet long and about 32 inches wide. These are good all round boards, and allow both beginners and intermediates to take to the water. So as a general suggestion, your first paddleboard should be one in this style. 

Boards designed for better movement

If you have been paddleboarding before at a water sports centre or at your local river or lake; when you are looking to buy a paddleboard for yourself you might want a board that is less focussed on basic stability and instead designed to manoeuvre more smoothly on the water. If this is the case a shorter board would be more optimal. These shorter boards are typically between the 9-10 feet range, but are normally a similar price to a typical board. 

Racing and Touring boards

If you want to take paddleboarding very seriously, and dive into the sport at the deep end; you can buy boards that prioritise speed. These boards have a longer and thinner profile, geared towards racing or fast touring. These are for more advanced users, and wouldn’t be typical as a first paddleboard. 

These boards might be slightly less stable than their wider counterparts; but they are still pretty stable due to the advantages that inflatable boards have. Inflatable boards are the same thickness across the whole board, which makes them much more stable than your average hard paddleboard. 

Other factors you should take into consideration

Whilst the length and shape of the paddleboard is the main distinguishing feature of different paddleboards, there are other things that determine which paddle boards are right for you. There are features such as the board’s fin system on more advanced boards. Not all boards are created equal. The right board for you depends on your height and reach, how you want to use the board, how far you will be paddling, the conditions you will be facing in the water and whether you will have passengers or extra luggage in a dry bag on the board. You should take all these factors into consideration when you are choosing your first paddleboard. 

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