You may have already tried it for yourself, or see your children have a good go, and the craze for stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is only going to get bigger. Now seems like a great time to invest in either your child’s or your family’s paddleboard.
There are plenty of different types of SUP boards available to you, however, they come in two main types: racing/touring and all-rounders. The great thing about these boards is that they are suitable for most types of paddling. There are other types of paddleboards available for you to choose from, however, these are more niche and style specific.
This guide will help you how to choose a standup paddleboard for you and your family.
The different styles of SUP boards are:
Race, touring, and downwind SUPs: These SUP boards have a pointed front end (nose or bow) and a very rounded displacement hull (much like a kayak). They come in a variety of sizes, but the most common are 12’6” or 14’ long. The pointed front end ensures that there is less effort needed to paddle longer distances.
All-rounders: These types of SUP boards are ideal for beginners in your family, and are traditionally shaped a little like a surfboard. These all-rounder SUPs are typically 10’ to 12’ long and approx. 29” to 36” wide. These make the perfect starter SUP boards and are best used on calm lakes and close to shore.
Hybrid SUPs: These are a little like having your own boat, and even offer storage compartments if you like to drift off to do some fishing. They can be used as a sit-on-top kayak or you can stand on them.
Surfing SUPs: This SUP is the next one up from all-rounders. If you have conquered the all-rounder it may be time for you, your older children, or other family members to join the more proficient surfer crowd. These SUP boards are narrower than the all-rounders, but this shouldn’t be a problem especially if you have mastered the basic all-rounder SUP already.
Kids’ SUPs: As the title suggests, these specialized kid SUPs are great for younger, energetic children in your family. Depending on how you plan to use the SUP, there are a number of different board types for your child to use. The short, all-rounder, the board is a lot easier to learn on and handle, they are also a lot easier to carry and maneuver than a SUP board made for adults. For those children who are not too sure about the whole paddleboard experience, there are a number of inflatable models for them to use. These are even easier to carry and have a padded cushion to absorb any falls on deck.
Boards for Mums: Most SUP boards are quite heavy and difficult to carry, so if lifting a heavy SUP board from the car isn’t your thing don’t worry. There are a number of ultra-light boards that may be right up your street. Some models even have a specialized narrow mid-section to help you reach both deck handles when you’re carrying the SUP board.
Further, if you’d rather have a more stable board to stand on, then an inflatable SUP board may be the right choice for you. Inflatable boards are also much easier to store away at home when not in use.
Finally, if your kids are keen paddlers and would like their own dedicated board then there are plenty of designs for children too. Most of these boards are well-built and durable, with some featuring handles on the deck that allow little ones to hold on tight when they’re out on the water. Additionally, many boards come complete with extra features such as foam pads for kids to grip onto and an integrated bungee system for carrying their kit. Some even have a special high-pressure valve that helps to keep the board lightweight and easy to carry.
So, when it comes to selecting a SUP board for your family, take the time to consider what type of riding you’ll be doing, how much storage space you have available and the age of your kids before making a purchase. That way, you can ensure you choose the right board for your needs and enjoy the ride!
Happy paddling! 🙂
Once you’ve decided on a family SUP board, don’t forget to kit out your little ones with all the necessary safety gear. A good-quality life vest that fits them properly is essential, along with protective clothing like rash guards or wetsuits if you’ll be paddling in cold water. A helmet may also be a good idea, as well as some kind of flotation device for your children if they are still learning the ropes. Finally, always remember to check local regulations about safety gear before heading out on the water.
Have fun and stay safe! 🙂