The only equipment required to enjoy SUP is a board and paddle. Depending on weather and water temperature a wetsuit maybe required, but as experience is gained, bathers, boardies and a rashie may be the only clothing needed.
Basically SUP can be divided into a couple of disciplines, recreational, surf and race.
Recreational boards should be stable and give the user control in light conditions. I would recommend a standup paddle board no shorter than 10 ft depending on rider size. These are great beginner and recreation boards, and are ideal for sharing the experience of paddling with a small child or pet. There are several different Stand Up Paddle Board manufacturers out there, we use FANATIC standup paddle boards.
Surf standup paddle boards are become shorter and more maneuverable as riders experience and abilities advance. Often they have less volume in their construction so don’t float the riders as well as a recreational board. To look at they resemble a typical surf style surfboard.
Race stand up paddle boards are great for fitness seekers as they allow longer distances to be covered efficiently and with less effort. They usually have a pointed bow for piercing through waves and small chop. These boards usually range in size from 12’6 thru to over 17 ‘ ft. A popular length is the 14 ‘ class as it easy to transport and store and is fantastic in downwind and flat water conditions. Stability is usually quite good as racers require the board to be easy to remain upright as they begin to tire during an long race event.
Inflatable SUPs have really taken hold in the market place. They are incredibly functional, the can be inflated to near solid state with incredible PSI allowing them to support heavier riders with very little flex. One of the most common mistakes with the inflatable SUPs is that they are under inflated which can affect performance. Inflatable SUPs can be stored easily in a travel bag, transported easily from place to place. You can travel easily with them and they are absolutely amazing as a learning board.
Stand up paddle board paddles vary in construction and price, base models can be made from aluminum shafts with durable plastic blades with elite race paddles made from light weight rigid carbon fibre. A lighter paddle is less fatiguing on the paddler thus resulting in a easier less tiring more enjoyable paddling experience.