SUP With Confidence With These Answers From An Expert
Heather Fetter from No Snow SUP in Mesa, Arizona shared some of her expertise about stand up paddle boarding (SUP) to help us on our journey to adventure more on the water.
Thank you for chatting with us about all things SUP, this seems to be a
fast growing sport that we will be seeing more of in the future.
How would you suggest someone start looking for a board?
The first step is determining your budget... for a new reliable epoxy board; you need to be prepared to spend at least $1000. Anything less and you run the risk of an inferior board that will fast track to a delamination nightmare. Same goes for inflatables; there are cheap brands out there but they simulate standing on a mattress.
Next, would be application; where are you paddling? Rivers, rocky shallow sections we recommend inflatables, coastal cruising? flatwater lakes? lazy rivers, then glass or inflatables work.
Last, we size you to the appropriate board that will provide the most stability yet ease of transport, you want to be self-sufficient in transporting a board and if it weights 35lbs or more, you will be discouraged and end up not experiencing the enjoyment of exploring by water!
Once you have your board and are ready to pick your days out. What are the
different levels of difficulty - lake, river, ocean, etc...
Start conservative for best positive experience! Flat, calm, open water is ideal. Stay away from swimming pools as boards are bigger than expected and if you were to fall off you risk hitting the pool edges with your board causing damage to it, and even yourself! Always be prepared with the right accessories for the conditions, PFDs and leashes are a safety must at all times- no matter where you are!
Do you have some techniques for some of these different types of waters?
If in doubt, take a lesson from a qualified instructor familiar with the waters you will be paddling at. Currents, traffic, access, permits, etc vary for different waterways -so do your research before launching.
We all know not all boards are created equal and since you own a store and
carry different brands could you give us some reputable brands to keep in
mind when buying boards?Not all of our readers can make it to No Snow in
Mesa so this would be really helpful when they are out shopping.
We only carry quality boards from the most reputable manufacturers and we do deliver locally and ship nationwide; Riviera, Starboard, ROGUE, Pau Hana, Lakeshore, 404. We are confident these boards have been here and will be here in years to come, nothing fly by night or slapped together for a volume sell out. We really encourage you to come and spend some time learning about various types of boards in the shop with a fit expert on staff. Nothing is worse than an ill-fitting board!
Could you talk a little about the benefits of inflatables and maybe give a
Storage constraints and application are the 2 deciding factors for inflatables vs. glass boards. If you live someplace that storing 10-14' of board isn't feasible, or you like to travel or camp remotely.
What is the difference in the different fins for SUP's? Why do some SUP's
have one fin and others have three?
Flatwater touring, center fins only. Paddlesurfing, side fins (scaggs or sidebites) help you turn on a wave.
Now that we have decided on which type of board, where we are going, and
tips on paddling is there any maintenance needed for both inflatable and
fiberglass boards? We want those boards to last as long as possible so
what is the best way to do that?
Avoid storage in the direct hot Arizona sun and wipe boards dry every use to prevent water spot build up. Proper paddling techniques will also eliminate paddle dings along the rails. Remember, take care of your equipment and it will last you for years!
Thanks, Heather for stopping by WoA website and throwing down some knowledge!