So, you’ve seen the locals out at your local beach riding around on relatively chunky surfboards. It looks easier than surfing, and as if you can do a lot more with it, but you really don’t have any idea how it works.
Well, the only way to figure it out is to get started. Unfortunately, you’ll need to buy some things before you can do that.
Don’t worry. Here’s a checklist to get you everything you need to get started safely and easily.
Obviously, you need a SUP to get started. This can be a difficult purchase if you don’t know what you’re doing, though.
For beginners, we recommend getting a basic general-use board. These no-frills boards might not pack the neatest features, but they are flexible, and you can definitely get the hang of several SUP disciplines without having to switch to a specialized board. In fact, you can do almost everything more specialized boards can; you just won’t do them as well as you would with a specialized board.
Don’t be too cheap when it comes to this, either. The board is the most important piece of your gear, and you want to make sure you get a good one.
2: Safety Vest
A lot of SUP riders don’t wear floatation devices, and that is their personal decision. However, we highly recommend that all beginners wear one at first. Even if you’re an adult who knows how to swim very well.
The reason we recommend it is that, not only can poor swimmers end up drowning pretty easily, but even experienced swimmers can get caught off guard. Falling off your SUP can be jarring. Especially if you hit a big wave or fall into some hazards such as mangrove roots.
At least until you’re very comfortable falling off your SUP, you need to have a floatation vest in case you become disoriented after a fall or anything else. They’re a good idea all the time, but they are crucial for beginners.
3: SUP Clothing
SUP clothing can be passed on if you’re just riding on warm days with calm water, and you’re not going far out into the ocean where the temp drops. However, it is a good idea to keep a set around. SUP clothing can keep you warm and dry if you take a plunge, and it can be crucial for warding off hypothermia.
Make sure you get the best SUP clothing, though. You don’t want to go the cheap route and end up with something that doesn’t work well. After all, this is an item that is designed to protect you in a worst-case scenario. You wouldn’t buy a fire extinguisher that came only a quarter full, would you?
Use Your Head (And the Right Gear) for a Great Time
If you get the items we listed here, you’ll be ready to hop on your SUP and start riding the waves in style. It will take a minute to learn, but you’ll quickly see just how many activities you can enjoy on your SUP.
However, even the best gear won’t help you if you don’t have your head in the game. So, practice basic safety measures, use a bit of common sense, and see if you can get a buddy to help you learn.