We are pretty lucky here in South Florida, where we get to enjoy year round paddle board weather. Here at N2 we pretty much paddle and or surf 365. There are so many amazing waterways and areas to explore on your SUP board around our headquarters here in Boynton Beach, FL. From the beautiful Florida Keys, to our endless inland and intercostal waterways, there are literally hundreds of areas to go.
A couple of tips to get you back into paddle mode this coming spring. It's always a good idea to give your traditional fiberglass paddle board a once over before you take it out on the water. Go around your board and make sure you don't have any dings or cracks in your board that could take on water into the core of your board. If you should find a ding or damage, make sure you properly repair the area so that it's water tight. Many local surf shops have excellent ding repair services that are fairly inexpensive. The benefits of fiberglass SUP boards is they are lightweight and normally offer higher paddle speeds and better performance on water. But they must be taken care of and handled with care, like you would look after and handle any performance sporting goods equipment. The N2 Adventure Series paddle boards are ultra durable with a layer of plastic coating covering the entire board which makes it the most durable boards in our lineup. These boards are perfect for rental companies and surf shops who rent boards as well. The 8'5" Roots soft top surfboards are also built like tanks and do not ding like traditional surfboards.
Make sure your paddle board paddle is water tight as well. Sometimes epoxy and or glue that is used to attached the SUP handle to the shaft deteriorates overtime, especially in salt water use. This can cause your handle to become loose allowing water to seep into the main shaft. Add additional glue to the handle when needed. When new to SUP, trying to find the right height of your first paddle board paddle can be confusing. We like to tell people new to the sport to start with the paddle around 10-14" above your head. Allowing your elbow to have a slight bend in it when you extend your hand to the top of the paddle is a good idea. Having to stretch to reach the top of the paddle and or a straight arm might prove to be a bit cumbersome while in the water and may cause extra strain on the upper shoulder area. Conversely a paddle to short will cause extra strain on the lower back as you have to bend over much further while paddling. We really like our new N2 carbon fiber spring pin paddle, super light weight and best of both worlds for being able to adjust the paddle on the fly with the feel of a high quality fixed carbon fiber paddle.
Finding the right size board to start with can also be confusing. There are many different shapes and sizes of SUP boards out there. For starters think more width which normally equals more stability! For pretty much anyone new to the sport, we recommend going with a larger more stable SUP board so the learning curve is faster and you're able to get the basics down quickly! Body weight comes into account when choosing your SUP board. 100 lbs. to 175 we would recommend something in the 10-11' range. 180 lbs. and up go with something 10'6" up to 12'. Having fun out on the water is what it's all about so don't stress too much when getting into the sport. Remember to always wear an ankle surf leash and have a PFD with you or on you per coast guard regulations to what ever body of water you're exploring. Safety first when you're out on the water, no matter how good you swim.
See you out on the water!