Choosing the right SUP (Stand-up-paddle):
You will have to assess the following aspects when considering a board:
- Handling: determined by the dimensions and shape,. The smaller the board, the more manoeuvrable it is. Conversely it will not be as stable and therefore not so well suited to the novice SUP surfer. Similarly, a round-shaped board will be more manoeuvrable but less stable. As for the slimmer and longer SUP boards, these are better suited for SUP surfers looking for speed rather than waves.
- Stability: determined by the general shape of the board. The bigger the board, the better it will float, the more stable the SUP will be. Another factor to consider is the width of the board as this will affect the board's stability.
- Strength: will depend on the components and technology used in the board.
|Epoxy board||Polyester board||Foam board
|Board made with a hard resin covered in a varnish called Gel Coat. This type of board withstands knocks but the paintwork may chip.||
Board designed with a softer resin. This type of board can get dented but is easy to repair, unlike epoxy boards. Wooden battens are also used to strengthen the boards.
|Board made in polystyrene foam. Polystyrene is good at absorbing shocks and withstanding knocks. Wooden battens are also used to strengthen the boards.|
- Your ability as well as your level of use: a foam SUP will be perfectly suitable for recreational use to explore the coastline. However, as soon as you want to SUP on a regular basis for sports use, an epoxy SUP will be more suitable because it is stronger and surfs better.
Choosing your SUP paddle :
Choosing your paddle: for the beginner, an adjustable paddle is preferable as its size can be re-adjusted as the SUP surfer improves. For more experienced SUP surfers, a fixed paddle that you cut to size is recommended because it is stronger and lighter.
Transporting your SUP:
- Cover: it will prevent knocks damaging your equipment during transportation. It is advisable to transport your SUP on a roof rack to avoid using up the space in your vehicle and impairing your view of the road.
- Watertight bags: in order to transport your keys, a snack or a small bottle of water, a watertight bag is useful during your outings on the water.
To ensure your safety, don't forget the following:
- Leash: this is a safety accessory that allows you to recover your board easily if you should fall. The leash of a SUP must be at least 3 metres long to ensure maximum safety. A leash must be used every time you go out, even if the water is calm and there are no waves. However, when in the waves, it is important to use a leash that is specifically designed for SUPing.
Wax: A SUP rarely needs waxing because most SUPs already have a PAD or non-slip zone to give added grip. However, if there is no pad or the pad is too short, you can always use wax to prevent slipping during use.
- The rashguard: A rashguard is strongly recommended to protect you from the sun's harmful rays.
SUPs are deemed to be beach craft and are consequently not allowed to go any further than 300m from the shore. The wearing of a life jacket is not compulsory but recommended for people who are not accustomed to swimming.
Thermal insulation: It is preferable to wear a thermal top or wetsuit for SUPing in cold waters and protecting you from the wind when wet. Finally, it is advisable to splash water over the body to prevent any danger of cold-water immersion should you fall in after paddling for long periods.