To get your start in paddleboarding you will only need a few key pieces of equipment and of course, this will depend on the season and/or conditions you are going to be paddling in. Stand-up paddleboarding can be enjoyed on all types of waterways from ocean waves to lakes and even rivers. For beginner paddlers, it is recommended to start out on as smooth a water surface as possible. Always wear your PFD (personal flotation device) no matter how good a swimmer you are and always stay close to the shoreline.
A paddleboard is obviously going to be your largest and most significant investment, so finding the right board should be your biggest concern. There are many different sizes of paddleboards on the market today, some boards can be used for both surfing and cruising, while others are designed for just cruising. So, if you are going to primarily do one or the other, you should purchase a board designed for doing that. When purchasing a new board, your board size should be determined based on your weight and experience level. A novice or heavier paddler should be fitted with a wider/flatter board that will provide more stability. While an experienced lighter paddler can use a narrower board. After you have found your board, you will need a good stand-up paddle. Although, some of the boards sold will come with a paddle as a package deal and most will be adjustable to your desired length. A good gauge for paddle length is for it to be 6″-8″ longer than your height.
Not Necessary, But Highly Recommended Items Needed
Board Leash – If, or better put, when you fall off your paddleboard, your board will travel faster on the currents than you will and in some cases faster than you can swim. So, wearing a leash will save you a lot of swimming and could even save your life. This is also why we recommend that you use a PFD.
Wet Suit or Dry Suit – Obviously when paddling in cold weather conditions, unless you are crazy or belong to one of those polar bear clubs, you will want to wear the proper clothing. Hypothermia can set in very abruptly catching you off guard and is not much of a good physical condition to handle any emergency situation that arises. So, always plan ahead and wear the proper gear for the particular weather conditions you are planning to Paddleboard in.