For most people, with whatever they do, path of least resistance is usually preferred. When talking physical activity ‘feeling’ like you’ve ‘done something’ is certainly desired. After all, if there’s no benefit, and you don’t actually ache a little post-exercise then what’s the point? And of course, the health benefits of moving and doing are well known. That all said any hobby that’s too physical (for those not into beasting themselves) mightn’t have that much longevity and appeal. We all want to feel good about ourselves and stand up paddle boarding certainly delivers that. But there are ways to make it more fun because that’s ultimately the bottom line. Health benefits aside ‘fun’ is what we all want and why new SUPers get involved.
The humble 10’6 has been touted as the best choice of SUP for anybody entering the sport. Even those with experience can progress and learn atop a board like this, Stable, pretty manoeuvrable with versatility across different SUP scenarios the 10’6 has been a ‘go to’ design since stand up paddling‘s renaissance in the early noughties. And that’s not likely to change.
Whilst McConks will promote the benefits of a 10’6 (or 10’8, which is similar) we’re under no illusion the drawbacks of being on a shorter board. If you’re after wave performance, or perhaps river running/surfing agility, then a SUP with manoeuvrability (born of shorter length, among other things) is definitely choice. Most paddlers these days aren’t looking for specialisms though. At least not during the learning and progression stages. What every SUPer does want is to cover a little ground. And do so in as efficient a manner a possible.
Simply put short SUPs (under 9′ in length) don’t glide as well or have the efficient tracking of a lengthier board. And 10’6/10’8 stand up paddle boards fall into this category as well, even though they do have a bit more elongation. As soon as you increase this to 11′, however, the performance increases are tangible. And if we’re talking 11′ then going even further is really no more an issue. Ramping your choice of board up to 12′ and beyond deliver benefits of glide and tracking significantly. To the point where going the whole hog and plumping for a 14′ SUP will give you the most return on investment in terms of fun.
There’s an argument that longer stand up paddle boards aren’t great for storage and transport. But this is McConks, and therefore we’re talking (mainly inflatable) and our Go Race V 14′ packs down into a similar size back to that of a smaller iSUP. So there’s really no issue.
All in the benefits of longer stand up paddle boards are numerous. if you’re ‘into’ SUP and looking for your next purchase then it’s definitely worth considering a longer board to access all those good things mentioned above.