We SUP…do you SUP?

| May 31, 2012 | 8 Comments

They took the nation by storm and they’re here to stay.

I realize that most of our readers are paddlers of the kayak kind, but before you skim this over and move on to the next article, take a moment to consider trying a stand up paddleboard — if even just to break your curiosity. And for those who do SUP, well, this one’s for you too!

My curiosity of stand up paddleboards came about when a customer chatted me up about using a kayak paddle on a surfboard almost 10 years ago. He proceeded to say this was a big thing over on the west coast. Without hesitation I asked what the point was and he simply said “umm, it’s fun”. What I didn’t realize at the time was how quickly this new-to-most sport was to become one of the next big things in paddlesports.

At ACK, we were quick to acknowledge this growing trend, did our homework and settled on two brands, which were Hobie SUPs and SurfTech. This wasn’t simply by chance but by sheer determination on our part to find the best brands in the business. While dozens, if not more, SUP manufacturers exist, we knew we made the right move with these two brands. Both companies had been in the board making business for eons, but more importantly have proven themselves manufactures of quality products.

Diablo Paddlesports “kayak/SUP hybrid”

As “SUPing” became more popular, other manufactures took note and decided to try their hands at it but with a twist. Within a time span of just a few years, companies like Ocean Kayak (Nalu) and Native Watercraft (Versa Board) came up with their own renditions of SUPs, which I personally refer to as kayak/SUP hybrids. These SUPs offer best of both worlds meaning you can paddle them while standing but also have the option to sit. Furthermore, they offer a variety of outfitting options for both fishing and recreational use. One brand in particular, Diablo Paddlesports, edges more towards the kayak side of things but as pictured, the design clearly focuses on the ability to stand up.

So now this begs the question, what’s the big deal…why do I want to stand while I am paddling? Sure, it’s fun but depending on your personal recreational interests why one would SUP can vary. Standing can feel somewhat liberating and provides a new visual perspective of your surroundings. For the angler, specifically those that enjoy fly-fishing can take full advantage of being able to cast while standing but can also utilize a higher viewpoint for sight fishing. And of course, for the more courageous, you can hit the waves and even whitewater for the ultimate experience of it all.

If you already SUP, I applaud you, not because I personally enjoy it and think it’s a fun sport but rather because you simply gave it a shot. Sure, it may not be for everyone but I can tell you that almost every single person that I have professionally and personally introduced to SUPing enjoyed it. I challenge all of our readers to at least give it a shot. I can assure you that even if you don’t decide to add a SUP to your fleet, you’ll have to agree, you had fun trying it.

To view our complete line up of SUP boards and accessories, click here. We also have some great starter packages so check those out too!

Roland @ACK

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Category: SUPs

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  1. SUP + Kayak = SUPYak? « The ACK Blog! | June 18, 2012
  1. Bob Neuman says:

    Purchased the Ocean kayak Nalu 11 from ACK and love it. It works quite well as a SUP & sit-on-top. It is great because I have the option of kayaking or standing up. I have kayaked for about 10 yrs. and SUPing is fun and very different.

  2. Roland says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the Nalu Bob, I agree…fun and different for sure!

  3. Dave Hetrick says:

    Recently upgraded to a Hobie ATRII 12.2 from a Southpoint Kalama 11.6. Original board ACK sent was damaged but they replaced it no questions asked. Awesome customer service. Since I’m a big guy (6’6″ 290) I was looking for a more stable board. The Kalama seems to be more designed for the surf so I still have it waiting for my experience level to meet the challenge. I’m stoked over the new Hobie. It’s super stable (even for larger riders) and very smooth on the flatwater. I’d highly recommend Hobie/ACK for your SUPing needs. BTW Roland you left out an important piece of information about SUP, it give you a great workout. I also have a Perception Prodigy 12 kayak and the SUP gives me a much better workout. Give SUP a try!!!

  4. Robert lantz says:

    I am working on a new paddle board for use on the large lakes in my area, I’m a kayaker but I think a big board would be fun to play around on, fish and swim off of. You can see my work at heirloomkayak.com

  5. Roland says:

    Dave, I have to apologize but I guess a late reply is better than no reply…you have a great point! SUPs are a great workout indeed!

  6. Henna B says:

    Do the inflatable paddle boards like those at http://www.paddleboardstop.com work the same?

    • Dayvee Renee says:

      Hey Henna,
      Choosing between an inflatable and hard board really comes down to a few main questions:
      1. What sort of paddler are you and what do you want to use your SUP for?
      2. How will you transport your SUP?
      3. How will you store your SUP?
      4. What is your budget?
      5. How rough are you on your equipment?

      If you plan on racing or competing in SUP events a hard board may be more suitable while general paddling and leisure paddling allow for either type of board. It’s all about preference! I recommend getting out and trying out both inflatable and hard surface boards to find out which suits you best. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to call our customer service team at 888-828-3828 or email them at customer@austinkayak.com. Hope this helps!

      -Dayvee @ ACK

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