Buying a paddleboard can be quite a hefty investment, and while it is worth every penny, it is important to make sure that you are getting the right one for you.
You want a board that is fit for purpose and that is going to last, not one that makes paddleboarding harder for you. There is a lot to consider in the researching stages but here are five mistakes to avoid when you buy a stand-up paddleboard.
Buying the Wrong Type of Board
There are four main different types of SUP boards, and depending on your skill level and what you want to do with it, will determine which board is best for you.
- Surf: surf paddleboards are shorter in length, and have a narrow top and tail of the board. Generally, you will use this board if you plan to spend the majority of your time in the surf, as the ergonomic design of this board makes it easier to stay upright when hitting the waves.
- Allround: the allround boards tend to be the go-to for beginners as they are versatile, and they are wide enough to keep you stable. The versatility of this style of the board makes it a great first board option as you aren’t committing to being a racer or surfer and so you can dabble and enjoy its different uses.
- Flatwater: as you can probably guess, flatwater boards are used in flat, open waters. The top of the board is pointed to increase speed when gliding through the water. Additionally, these boards are popular among beginners because they are wide enough to keep you feeling stable and sturdy.
- Race: The race board is within the same family as the flatwater board, however, it has a more pointed nose and a narrow width to make it glide through the water faster.
Buying The Wrong Size
One size does not fit all, and the size of the board you need to get will vary from design to design, brand to brand, and generally just board to board. If you consider the only length when shopping for paddleboards you are likely going to get something that is not right for you. You need to consider the length, width, and thickness of the board. The reason behind this is that each of those measurements combines to measure the volume of the board. You can have two boards that are exactly the same length, but if one is narrower then it will have a smaller volume, meaning it will have a smaller weight capacity. If you are unsure, consider using online resources and SUP paddleboard size calculators to point you in the right direction, as opposed to shopping blind.
Buying Something Because It Looks Cool
When investing in something like a paddleboard of course you are going to want it to look cool and stand out. However, it should not be the sole reason for buying a board. You might find an awesome-looking board, but if it is not the right size for you, you can’t make it fit. One of the biggest mistakes people make is buying a board simply because of the graphics and then getting home and working out that it doesn’t take their weight or it doesn’t race well because it's a surf SUP. By all means, buy something that looks cool, just make sure it fits in with the rest of the requirements you have.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that a warranty is not an important factor in the decision process. A warranty is there for a reason, and it is designed to protect you should anything go wrong with your board post-purchase. An instant reg flag is when companies offer short warranties such as 30 or 60-day warranty, as this means it is probably not as well manufactured as other brands that are offering longer warranties. Be mindful of this, as having a good warranty can save you a lot of money and hassle down the line if anything goes wrong with the board.
Not Taking Enough Time to Research
Another common mistake people can make is not taking the time to do sufficient research. As humans, we can be impulsive and get carried away by our excitement. However, do yourself a favor and make sure you invest time into doing your homework, checking out all those reviews and different styles and brands available out there. While it might take some time to work through, it will ensure that you get the best value for your money.