Paddle boarding is a popular activity among Floridians and visitors alike. Of the many ways to explore our beautiful waterways, paddle boarding allows for a much closer connection with nature, as the only thing between you and the water is your board. Loved among nature enthusiasts and water-based athletes alike, this form of water exploration is equal parts challenging and rewarding. For new paddleboarders, knowing where or how to start can be confusing. From choosing the right board and paddleboard accessories to learning how to ride and choosing your style, here’s what you need to know.
Tips for Choosing Paddleboard and Paddleboard Accessories
Having the right paddleboard is important. If it is too large, it’s difficult to maneuver, and if it’s too small, you risk sinking. So how do you determine what size paddleboard you need? What paddleboard accessories do you need for the best paddle boarding experience? The most important factors to consider when choosing a paddleboard are:
- Volume: the buoyancy of the paddleboard, measured by liters
- Length and width: the surface area, important for stability and even distribution of weight (the length and width of your board largely depends on how you intend to utilize it)
- Thickness: the distance between the top and bottom of the board, which assists with buoyancy
- Paddleboard style: both hard boards and inflatable options have their pros and cons
When choosing a board, consider both your height and weight. This information helps you to determine your ideal volume range. As a general rule of thumb, the ideal, hard paddleboard’s volume range for beginners is between 170 and 190 liters. For inflatable paddleboards, the ideal volume range is higher, at 220 to 280 liters.
Picking a Paddleboarding Style
Paddleboards can be used for a variety of riding styles. These styles include:
- Touring: the typical image of paddleboarding for most people, this is the most low-impact form of the sport and primarily focuses on stability and speed. Longer boards with a more pointed tip allow you to cut through choppier waters, but are not designed for tight, precise turns and maneuvering
- Yoga: this version of paddle boarding is also reliant on a stable surface. Yoga paddle boarding requires a wider surface area so you can maintain balance while moving into different poses
- Surfing: shorter board options allow one to maneuver with the easy and precision necessary for surfing
- Fishing: a combination of Touring & Yoga board gives you the stability for casting a rod and catch a fish, while cutting through choppy waters and ease of paddling long distance.
Paddleboard Maintenance and Storage
Proper care and maintenance can help to extend the life of your paddleboard. Always rinse your board with fresh water following each outing and inspect it before entering the water. Avoid collisions with rocks, tree roots, or other vessels as much as possible. Gently wash your board every so often with dish detergent and a soft brush to remove any build up. Keep your board properly stored, not on the floor where it can be stepped on.
Manta Racks paddleboard racks can be used for storage in your home wall, or on the go in your boat. Check out our rack options as well as paddle boarding accessories to enhance your paddleboarding experience!