A friend asked…
Hi Troy! I recall a while back at this hike you and M held at Barton Springs you mentioned you had several paddle boards. I'm looking into getting one myself and was wondering if you have any suggestions on where I can get them and what to look for? Very new to this haha thanks! - T
I have one stand-up paddle board and one kayak. I’m not an expert, but I did some research on my own and tried out a few boards before I purchased my current sup.
I currently have an iRocker All Around 11ft SUP. It’s been a good SUP for me so far, but I don’t think that I’d recommend it. They had a huge recall on some other models last year and the long-term quality might be dubious.
For any sup, as a beginner, I’d say get an 11 ft or longer and 32 inches or wider. 4-5 inches or thicker. A sup this size or larger will be the most stable as you’re learning. Other things to consider are how many grab handles, bungees and attachment points a sup has. Grab handles make it easier to move around, but also make it easier to get back on the board after falling. Bungees and attachment points help to fasten down gear if you want to bring stuff along, fish or camp.
Many beginner sups come as a kit with a board, paddle, leash, pump and bag. Sometimes the paddle might not be the best quality, but it gets you out on the water and you can learn. You’ll also need to buy a paddling specific life jacket or personal floatation device as well.
If you’re just starting out, there is a really good deal at Costco for a Bodyglove Performer 11ft for $400. Sometimes it goes on sale for $300.
I bought one of these as my first board and after using it for a while, I was able to sell it for the same price that I bought it. The backpack is not the best for transporting it, but it is ok for storage. It’s a great deal bc it’s a quality sup, stable, comes as a kit. The kit includes an electric pump which makes life so much easier. I believe that it is only sold online and you have to be a Costco member to purchase it. However, if you’re not a Costco member, I am a member and could possibly help you purchase it.
If you want to buy one of the best quality sups around, check out a Red Paddle Co sup. They are pricey. It’s my dream sup.
The companies Bote and Isle also make good sups and I like their designs.
Right now, I don’t really lend out my iRocker sup bc it is somewhat new and it was somewhat expensive. But if you want to test it out sometime, we can meet up and you can try it out.
I do have a small kayak that I lend out to anyone bc it is pretty much indestructible. Unfortunately, I do not have a rack to transport it, but It is 8 ft long and typically fits inside most suvs. If you’d like to borrow it, just let me know.
Hopefully this answers some of your questions. If you have additional questions or need help purchasing the Bodyglove sup at Costco, let me know.