When (if) should I upgrade my stand up paddleboard
If you’ve just purchased your first stand up paddle board then this might not be for you. Or perhaps maybe you’ve already discovered an arm of SUP that really takes your fancy. Either way, at some point, there’s going to be the question surrounding equipment upgrade.
When we talk about upgrading it’s mostly to do with increasing the performance of your board or paddle and therefore overall efficiency and enjoyment. Recreational paddling, which most people do (at least when they start), is all about getting to grips with SUP‘s fundamentals and generally floating about, having fun, mostly in good weather. For some, this progresses to other avenues of the activity and seeing what you can do with your new board. It could be adventure paddleboarding, SUP surfing, paddleboard racing, whitewater paddling or any one of the other avenues that stand up paddling offer. Whilst your bargain all round paddleboard might be perfectly adaptable to these specific disciplines, there are other bits of equipment designed to make things more efficient and a lot more fun (we use this word a lot but it’s very applicable).
For instance: if you’re bitten by the adventure SUP bug, and fancy heading off on exploratory expeditions – either short or long paddle journeys – a longer board, that has improved glide and accommodates the storage of on deck essentials – will be a better bet than a shorter more all round board. You’ll find that even when fully laden with gear ground will be covered easier and the whole experience more fulfilling. It’s the same with any other avenue of SUP: the right tool for the job and all that.
Now don’t get us wrong, we’re not suggesting chop in your original stand up paddle board. In fact, as you get more into SUP having a quiver of equipment is a good thing. This maximises your time on the water and, again, allows you to choose the right tool for the job in hand. You don’t need to go mad, although some keen beans do own multiple sleds.
It doesn’t just stop at boards either. If you’re a SUPer who knows their onions as far as paddles go then you may want different types for different jobs – especially if you opt for fixed shaft models.
The last scenario, where you may feel an upgrade is necessary, comes down to the quality of the original stand up paddle board you opt for. We appreciate that cheaper SUPs may be the best choice at the time for many as they take those first tentative steps. Pretty quick, however, (depending on how well made your board in question is) a better manufactured SUP could be desired to deliver more fun on the water. It comes down to the efficiency element again. Any SUP designed and produced with better materials will be more efficient on the water – whatever type of paddling you choose. And more efficiency = more fulfilment and fun.
For anyone looking to upgrade their existing stand up paddle boarding equipment give us a shout to discuss your requirements. We can then point you in the right direction.