As the days yawn longer and air gets warmer, my snowboard powder dreams recede and give way to the echo of hypnotic rhythmic waves of a good lake paddle. Several friends asked me about my SUP (stand up paddle board) equipment, all in this last week, so I thought it was finally time I jot something down for you.
Q: Which paddle board do you have? Thinking of making an investment.
A: Woohoo, SUP! I have this one from Isle Surf & SUP:
This set includes the hand pump and storage bag, both are very handy. I love my SUP board, it has brought me so much joy and tranquility.
That said, here is a size chart you can compare to your height so you get the right fit: SUP 101: Paddle Board Weight & Size Chart (Isle Surf & SUP)
A: Yes, very happy! I’ve brought it with me all over the Pacific Northwest since Fall 2016, a feat which would’ve been hard and much less likely with a rigid board since I have a Honda Civic so it would’ve been hard to carry and store. Once inflated to proper PSI, it’s quite rigid and stable. I suspect that a different rigid one would be extra maneuverable, but not nearly so grippy for those nice yoga stretches. To me, inflatable is worth the trade-off for portability. How portable? Well, I even took it on my back on an e-bike to get it from my AirBnB in Bend to paddle the Deschutes River the weekend of the eclipse. Yup.
A: Yes, I recommend these two, which I alternate between, depending on size I need for the trip. I have an earlier generation of the yellow and blue ones (5L and 10L), and regularly use the yellow one to carry the paddle and fin as I carry the board down to my neighborhood lake too.
A: For separation anxiety from your board, you can get a leash. For separation anxiety from your corporal body, get a life vest. K was worried and got me this blue one, and we picked a decent one up from a garage sale for him for his more occasional water forays.
Sevylor 12V 15-PSI SUP and Water Sport PumpIn case you don’t feel like building more character with the hand pump, it is pretty rad. Update: this pump still works, but the gauge for PSI appears a little off. I end up knocking on the board as it inflates until it reaches the right tone to match the recommended PSI level (can check with the hand pump). Meh.
Q: But how do I take selfies on the water without dropping my phone in?
A: Phone case: I have this waterproof phone case, but have also been known to go cheap and easy with a quart size freezer ziplock too. If you don’t feel committed yet, this is a decent way to go.