Paddleboarding is a fun sport, but racing take the SUP to a whole new level. Not only to you get to paddle with other people, but you can challenge yourself, learn new maneuvering skills and travel to different exotic locations.
This definitely keeps the sport from getting boring, and entering competition events helps people stay motivated and advance their skills faster.
Something to Note:
Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a pro to enter an SUP race. There are many fun events that welcome paddlers of all skill levels.
Of course, having gear that is fast, stable and easy to maneuver will help you compete in any race. Whether you want to win the event or simply go out and have fun, SUPs designed for racing will take a lot of the effort out of paddling and prevent you from getting frustrated.
and that’s what racing paddleboards can do.”
What About the Cost?
The downside to these advanced SUPs is that they typically cost more. You can be paying upwards of $1,500 – and that’s just for the board itself.
For some, this can be a worthwhile investment, especially if you paddleboard year-round and keep your board for many years. However, if you are just getting into competitions, you might not want to spend that much money.
Well, I found a deal. And it’s about $500.
Not only that, but it includes a paddle!
It’s called the Vilano SUP. If it sounds familiar, it’s because these boards are made by the same company that makes the entire line of popular Vilano Bikes.
Tell Me More About the Board…
The Vilano is often mistaken for a hard board because it is so rigid and fast. It’s is designed specifically for long distance paddling on flat water like lakes or bays. This means it won’t perform well on ocean surf or rough rivers.
Just like their bicycles, Vilano uses high-quality material to construct their stand up paddleboards. This includes high-grade PVC and special drop stitching.
In my opinion, most inflatable SUPs are tough and durable and last for years when you take good care of them. However, if you plan to enter races where you are surrounded by other paddlers and are transporting your gear more, it definitely helps to have an extra level of durability built-in to your equipment.
The front area of the board has 4 D-rings with a bungee cord, so you can attach gear that you want to transport with you. This can come in handy, even if it’s a basic water bottle or flip flops. There is also an additional 5th D-ring at the back end of the board, which can be ideal for attaching a surf leash or tying up to a dock or boat.
Compared to some other SUPs, the Vilano is 6″ thick (vs 4″). This translates to additional stability while standing and moving because the board sits higher out of the water. (A nice benefit when you’re trying to navigate around a buoy or other paddlers in a race).
Why Get Inflatable?
Racing SUPs are typically going to be longer in length, since the shape helps them glide faster through the water. If you were buying a hard board, you might be more concerned about transporting a 12′ foot SUP vs a 10′ model, but when you’ve got an inflatable model, you don’t have to worry about that.
The Vilano comes in 2 lengths: 12′ and 12’6″. However, when deflated and rolled up, the dimensions are only 3 feet x 1 foot diameter. This definitely makes it a lot easier to travel to races in far-away locations or islands where you need to get on a plane. With an inflatable, your options are limitless!
The Disadvantage to the Vilano:
One downside to this SUP package is that it does not come with a carrying bag. Instead it comes with a strap. Some people may not use a bag anyway or you can easily use a large duffel, but just keep in mind that you’ll need to spend some extra money if you want to go out and buy a carrier.
So what does the package include?
- Board (12′ x 31″ x 6″ when inflated) max weight load is 350 lbs
- Pump with Integrated pressure gauge
- 3-Piece adjustable paddle
- Removable fin
- Carry strap
- Repair kit
And if you think you might want to enter a race one day, this is great SUP to have (especially because it’s so cheap).
The 12′ board will work great for virtually anyone who wants a faster SUP for racing. The longer model is better for larger people who want more speed.
More Vilano Stand Up Paddleboards:
Vilano Navigator 10′
Vilano Voyager 11’6″