With the long summer days finally coming in thick and fast it’s the perfect time to invest in your first SUP and hit the water! But, once you’ve bought it, and prior to buying your new SUP, it can feel a tad overwhelming knowing what to do. It might look like you just grab your new SUP off the shelf and run straight into the big vast ocean, but we all know nothing is as simple as that.
Don’t panic, paddleboarding is still one of the most straightforward water sports we know but, it will just make your life that much easier down the line, and prevent any injuries if you follow these steps before taking it out on the water.
Once you have ensured you have ticked off everything on our list, also read Top 10 tips to paddleboard as a beginner for the ultimate tips to getting out on the water.
Get to know your board like it’s your new partner
Sounds simple but take a tour of your board once you get it home after you buy a SUP like really get to know it. Which areas are going to be the spots you’ll really have to get stuck into and clean thoroughly after beach use as sand is likely to get stuck in? (Hint: around D-rings and handles) Where do you attach your leash? (Hint: probably a D-ring at the back of the board) Which end is the back? Where should you stand? How do you pack and unpack it? All just general things but things you will be glad you knew once you have taken it out on the water for the first time.
If it’s an inflatable SUP – what’s the max PSI it will take? Actually, what even is PSI?
PSI stands for pound per square inch or, more accurately, pound-force per square inch. It is a unit of pressure. It is the pressure resulting from a force of one pound-force applied to an area of one square inch
In simpler terms and to us paddleboarders, the PSI is the recommended amount of air pressure we put into the board to make it stable and stiff enough to stand on and ultimately make it easier for us to paddle.
PSI for inflatable SUPs generally varies from 10 – 20 PSI. Basically the higher the PSI number, the harder the board is going to be. Making sure your SUP is inflated to the proper air pressure will ensure that it performs well and that you don’t feel like you’re standing on a bowl full of jelly. Also, ensure you don’t overinflate your SUP as this will result in your damaging it and even the SUP popping.
Check out all of the SUP APPs you can download
There’s a SUP app for just about everything you can think of and all of these are put into place to make your life that little bit easier, whilst you’re out on the water. They can be especially helpful for checking the weather or tide before you head out on your SUP. There’s nothing worse than getting it all ready for your first trip, only to discover that the tides are out, the winds blowing a gale and it looks like it’s about to rain. Take a moment to get to know your wind and tide forecasting apps and what they mean for you as a paddler. You can read all about which apps we recommend here.
Choose the best spot to start your paddle boarding journey
There are so many incredible paddle locations out there to explore. In fact, once you get more used to your paddleboard it will enable you to discover so many incredible spots along the coastline that you never even knew existed before!
When trying out a new board, especially if you’re new to paddling, it’s best to play it safe with your first location. Stick to sheltered waterways or local bays where there will be others present in case you fall off your board or need help.
Once you get more acquainted with your board and start to feel a bit more adventurous you can head to some more unknown spots. If you’re looking for some inspiration then can read this blog post here.
Invest in a roof rack
Whether you’ve opted for an inflatable SUP or a hard paddle board a roof rack can still save you a lot of time and energy each time you want to go out on your SUP. Even if you’ve opted for an inflatable board, if you plan on using it regularly it can sometimes be easier to leave it inflated and pop it on your roof rack each time rather than inflating and deflating it. You can buy yours here.
Grab a group of friends and go test out your board!
As much as we love solo paddleboarding for your first trip we recommend going with someone else in case you need help. Don’t worry about falling off or embarrassing yourself in front of your friends, it’s all part of the experience and everyone has to start somewhere. A trick to SUP balance and paddling a SUP with confidence is being relaxed. If you’re tense, you’re far more likely to fall off whenever a little bit of movement hits the board. Relax and remember falling off is all part of the experience! Plus, don’t forget to have fun!
Rinse it down after you’ve been out on it
Treat your new SUP with the love and attention it deserves. You’ve just invested in a piece of equipment which should last you years, as long as it’s taken care of properly. Get into the habit of washing all of your SUP equipment after each use.
If you have opted for an inflatable board, once it’s washed make sure you dry it before you deflate and roll it up into the bag to prevent it from growing mould on it. To roll the paddle board, deflate via the valve, push the air out and then roll up (starting from the nose of the board) just like you would a sleeping bag. Brand new boards are often harder to roll, but don’t stress – they will soften after a few uses.
If you have opted for a hard board then store it somewhere dry and off the ground to allow it to dry naturally and not leave any damp spots.