Stand up paddle board surfing has been around for a while now. Originally a Hawaiian pastime (some say stand up paddle boards first originated in Polynesia), it’s become a worldwide phenomenon – even athletes these days are choosing to cross train via stand up paddle boarding. What’s cool about it is that you don’t need waves to use a stand up paddle board – just a board, a paddle, and a fairly large bit of water. It’s pretty easy to learn, too – all you really need is a decent sense of balance, and the basic requirement of all surfers – a love of water.
Modern technology has completely changed the way we make things – and a stand up paddle board is no exception. C4 Waterman, for example, makes ultra modern stand up paddle boards; hollow, epoxy coated ones carved from lighter woods, such as balsa – although these days, the preferred material is usually expanded polystyrene foam for the core, with a glass reinforced plastic surface. Also, since stand up paddle boards are designed more for steering than surfboards, a stand up paddle board will usually have one to three fins glassed on as well. The C4 iSUP 10-9 XXL Window Inflatable, for example, is an inflatable board with a clear window to view marine life. Using C4 Waterman’s AirCore technology, these boards are perfect for beginners and intermediate surfers. Stand up paddle boards like this typically retail for about $1200 to $1400.
There’s a lot of kit out there for the serious surfer, beyond the basics, of course. Say you’re starting out, and want a rough budget – like most other things, it’ll depend largely on just how much you’re willing to shell out. A decent stand up paddle board can come for as little as $700, or as much as $1500; then there’s the paddle itself, figure another $100 or so; floatation device, about another $50, and then the bells and whistles – sunglasses (Gargoyles are brilliant), waterproof pouches (check out the kit by Seacure), paddle hats, and so on. Figure about $850 for an initial investment – and soon enough, a six pack, a suntan, and a healthy pastime to go with it.