WHAT’s SUP? SUP = Stand Up Paddle Boards iSUP = inflatable stand up paddle boards
Buying a SUP
For river activity the 11 feet 6 and 12,6 are the most popular and suitable inflatable SUP board, giving the width for stability and the glide suitable for going a distance with minimal drag. If you are intending to race then you may want a racer SUP board ( as opposed to a Tourer) and the best place to try those is at Bray Lake where you can join a team of competitive paddlers and enrol in some races.
Blue Chip Store is one of the biggest supplier of SUP boards and paddles in the UK, they are based in Cheam. I buy my STX’s boards directly with them, over inflating and bursting the seams is not included in the warranty.You can go directly to the shop or go online if you want to see and feel a bigger range of boards. £50 Discount: if you have done £50 of lessons with me.
The STX’s are the cheaper of the double skinned boards price is around £550- £650. They include a basic adjustable aluminium paddle and a leash as well as a basic pump. It is best to start with the given paddles and then upgrade when you understand what sort of paddling you will be doing. You get £25 voucher when you buy a board with them to upgrade your paddle without 6 months. Want to know more about the world of paddles or boards or buy accessory or need a repair then check out this Blue Chip Store website. Or pop down to Bray Lake and book a session there on one of their boards and they have some for sale too.
This link contains lots of videos on how to get started and how to ‘treat’ your board http://www.windsurfer.co.uk/SUP_TheKnowledgeZone.htm
Quoroc do a super package including a travel carbon paddle, triple skinned SUP, triple action pump and a super travel bag, their boards are 12,6 and 10,6. £750 boards if you don’t mind spending the money but the package is worth £1000.
I have both STx’s and Quoroc paddles and boards and you will get a chance to paddle with different paddles; aluminium , carbon and polycarbon. If you really don’t want to spend £500 to £750 on your boards, quite a few people have been happy with there AquaFusion boards for around £300, single skinned and they do sit differently on the water as they are lighter and a little more spongy with less filaments but they love them.
Other items you may need to consider when purchasing a board
Paddles: aluminium , carbon or polycarbon, they are of different weights and blade sizes. Stick with the one that comes with your board first and you can always upgrade, if you find yourself going out on longer paddles. I have several different types you can try out.
The triple action pump ( £80) is always handy if you are inflating them each time, we tend to keep our inflated and just deflate for travel or longer journeys. You just need to top them up with some extra and keep them out of the sun if you are going to store them inflated outside. Or you may consider purchasing an electric one but don’t over inflate, it will burst the seams!
Roof rack pads £13 for a pair and lockable strong straps are a good investment too.
Night light hydrostar light £32 for paddling in the dark but cheaper ones will do but you need them to be water tight. Silver reflective bike jackets are great for night paddling. http://www.windsurfer.co.uk/SUP_Hydrostar_Light.htm
Footwear neoprene booties of various thickness are necessary for the cooler months and gloves too ( slightly curved ones are better for paddling). Not necessary for super but if you are portaging ( getting in and out at locks) it is important to wear some sort of water shoes/flip flops or crocs and you can tuck them onto the front of the boards. Decathalon does a whole variety of foot wear ( would not recommend there boards though) and other neoprene clothes for the winter. A wet suit is not necessary as can get too hot unless you are paddling in the cold and a buoyancy aid is necessary for some people and a must for kids. Wetsuit or dry suit necessary for SUPolo in the winter.
If ordering from Blue Chip or Quoroc please mention Tara from Maidenhead.