I am a kayak and canoe man, but I haven’t been bitten by the paddle board trend as of yet however, I am one with an open mind. I must say that within my research, paddle boarding has turned out to be very interesting. One bit of equipment which I may need time to understand is the inflatable kayak. Being a white water kayaker, I am always cautious of unseen rocks and submerged trees. I can just see myself puncturing my craft and sinking in the middle of a river. But I have read in the 2016 annual issue of the Paddling Buy’s Guide that the inflatables are pretty durable.
Most suffers and racers use hard boards. They seem to be able to guide better. The Paddling Guide also explains how a bowling ball has been used to test the strength of the hard board.
The paddles are a lot different than those of a canoe. A paddle should be between eight and ten inches taller than the paddler. The surfers tend to use a wide blade for power strokes. The downside to a wide blade is the fact that you will work harder. Surfers also use a shorter paddle as well. It may be good practice to purchase an adjustable paddle, at least when first starting out.
Also, some boards are wider than others, some are thinner, and there are long and short boards as well. A gentleman by the name of David Feliciano (2016 Paddling Guide p.48 ) came up with the 80-Percent rule: Knowing what type of paddling you will be doing 80% of the time will determine what type of board shape will be suitable for you.
I’ve placed a few links in a section below called “Paddle Board Information” to aid in your research.
Paddle Board Suppliers
PADDLE BOARD ACCESSORIES AND SUPPLY
EASTERN MOUNTAIN SPORTS