The other day, a friend asked me about shopping for a paddleboard.
“Which one should I get?”
The bottom line is that for beginners, many SUPs are very similar. As long as you get a durable all-around board, and you plan on paddling lakes or bays, you’ll be fine. Most boards don’t vary much in length, width, shape, structure, fins, etc..
Of course, for advanced riders, it’s another story. But that’s a topic for another day.
That said, Surftech makes what I like to call a “Fat” SUP that is 36″ inches wide. It’s called the Surftech Gull. It’s actually not much wider than other boards, which generally are around the 29-32″ mark. However, The Gull is shorter – by about 2-3 feet (depending on which model you’re comparing it to).
UPDATE 5/16/2018: The Surftech Gull is no longer available. We recommend the NIXY Inflatable SUP Instead.
So, What Does This Mean?
1. More Stability
Fatter means more stable. You’re not looking for speed here, just more ease in standing up and maneuvering the board without falling down.
2. Easier to Carry and Store
At 8′ long, this also means that this inflatable SUP is easier to carry around, transport in your SUV or van and store without deflating. As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, I keep my inflatable SUP inflated year round because I have the space to store it – and I can avoid the inconvenience of re-inflating each time I use it. I even strap it on my roof rack fully inflated and drive with it to the lake nearby. No problem.
However, I understand many people don’t have these luxuries – either a shortage of storage space, no roof rack or they don’t live close to a body of water. In this case, an 8′ SUP can come in really handy.
3. Great for Kids and Pets
And finally, wide SUPs are ideal for paddling with kids, pets or extra cargo. If you’re planning a camping trip with your family or your dog Fido likes water, they might prefer this style over others. Just saying.
Other very interesting notes…
The Surftech Gull comes with all of the regulars: a high-pressure pump, patch kit and travel bag. There is no paddle included, so get your own.