By Sierra McGivney
Melted sunset colors backlight people performing meditative stances on floating boards. Paddlers set sail on both rough and still waters that flow through the Adirondacks. Armed with dry bags, PFDs and a paddle these paddling warriors race, fish, workout and much more all while standing on a paddleboard.
Stand up paddle (SUP) boarding has been around for hundreds of years for different cultures. It is speculated that Hawaiians, Peruvians, Polynesians, Israelis and even the gondoliers of Venice all had traces of SUP boarding in their cultures. In the United States SUP addling blew up in the early 2000s. The Adirondacks are no exception to taking on this new form of paddling. Stand up paddlers can be seen anywhere from Chapel Pond to the Raquette River.
There is a paddle board for everyone, from families to weekend warriors. Picking out a paddleboard to buy or rent is just like any other paddle sport. The No. 1 factor you need to consider is what you will be using this paddleboard for. Jason Smith works at ADK Lake and Trails, a paddling outfitter.
“For some people it’s me, my wife and my children and we all want to be able to use it so they’re looking for something user-friendly for everyone and durable,” said Smith.
Other important factors to consider when buying a paddleboard are price point, size of boat and stability. The weight and size of the user plays a role in picking out a paddleboard. A 5’1, 110-pound woman is going to have a different size, height and weight than a 6-foot 200-pound man.
Stability goes along with the activity the board will be used for. Anne Fleck from Raquette River Outfitters says that boards for surfing can handle more chop so they are usually wider and more stable. While race boards are lightweight and narrow for efficiency.
Popular Types of paddle boards include:
Ready to dive in?
Here are some additional resources: