Here’s a 5 tips to be more knowledgeable about the process of finding gear as well as how to avoid getting the wrong board.

3 Things to look at in buying a board

  • Weight.  Can you carry it to the water and car top if by yourself
  • Is it stable for your height and weight.  If you’re bigger like me and a beginner you may not be able to stand on most boards under 33″ wide.
  • Can you reach the carrying handle if under your arm. Most inflatable are 6″ thick and 33″ wide so if you’re 5′-1 you won’t be able to reach the carrying handle.

Try Before you Buy

If you can try the board on water before purchasing. Many buy the wrong board and end up returning it.

Don’t buy a board just because it comes with a free paddle

Many inflatable package paddles are really heavy and weird shaped and will be hard to paddle with, may break or sink and will slow you down.

Consider buying a better separate paddle than the packaged deal options.

Don’t Always Believe the Manufacture’s Specs

Manufacturing specs for boards are often incorrect.  Many boards say they will float up to a 400lb person.  I’ve taught 400lb students and they don’t do well on standard width boards.  Try before you buy or find similarly sized folks like yourself and ask about their experiences are with that board.

Inflatable vs Rigid / Hard Boards

Inflatable are super popular now. But if you don’t have storage issues in your car or home, then get a hard board.  Hard boards can be a light as inflatables and don’t require inflating and deflating, are faster and have more options for speed and surfing

Any questions give me a holler: 206.465.7167
Check out our SUP classes in Seattle – Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Certification.



Salmon Bay Paddle SUP Tips