Why Stand Up Paddleboard?
As a kayaker for over 20 years I was slow to warm to the idea of SUP. Knowing what I know about boat design it was obvious that these craft would be slower, and potentially less useful than a sea kayak, and on the river they might be fun for a day, but in the long run not as versatile as a whitewater kayak. A canoe is better for tripping and holding lots of camping gear.
Well now, after 5 years of SUP and buying a surf and race style of board I gotta tell ya... The SUP is the first "boat" I grab in the spring. Why? My honest opinion follows.
The first thing I think of as to why I paddle. Stand up paddling is challenging, and when mixed with the other benefits, this challenge is one aspect of "fun". You have to pay attention, and if you want to get anywhere when it's windy you need to improve your skills. Learning and improving is FUN.
Some people wouldn't say this is a benefit, but that long paddle requires you to use good technique, or not get vary far. This is different than say, a sea kayak which you can get away with poor technique and still make it to camp. Simply put, you need to use your core. Using your core strengthens the muscles supporting your back, and I have found that the SUP stroke makes my shoulder joints feel stronger. I'm assuming this is due to strengthening of the connective tissue required to apply core strength through the arms to the long paddle, and then to the water. Having dislocated my shoulder a few years back this is a major bonus for me.
You can see in the water pretty well from a SUP. The angle from which you are looking makes fish visible down deep, along with all the pretty rocks and seaweed.
My SUP's are 28-30 pounds. They are easy to throw on a car roof rack or on top of pool noodles, strap it down, and your off! Portability is one of the major aspects people look for in a kayak when purchasing which is why most manufacturers are selling more 12 to 15' kayaks than full sized sea kayaks these days. If it's a pain to get to the water, you're not going to go as often. SUP's are easy to get to where you want to.
To sum it up, everything has it's positive and negative attributes. A sea kayak will almost always be faster than a SUP. It also holds more stuff. If you're looking to go on a wilderness expedition, though it is possible to install all sorts of bungee cords on a SUP, a kayak is just easier, faster, and built for travel and speed. A surf style SUP is going to be slow, and so you won't be able to travel as far in a day, but if you agree with the old saying; "The point is not to get there, but to enjoy the ride" then maybe SUP is for you.
If you are interested in helping us find you a great board to fit your needs, at 10-30% off retail, we would be happy to help. Read more.