We can tell the summer months have finally reached the northern hemisphere – everyone is inquiring about standup paddle boards. With all the models, sizes, thicknesses and activity types, how does one choose the best board?
After speaking with John Hibbard of Red Paddle Company, and Andrew Meakin of Coastal Sports, we’ve updated our previous post on Choosing your Red Air Paddle Board – now for the 2014 models. The table (below) will hopefully take away some of the guesswork and confusing options when looking at the Red Air ISUPs.
For 2014, Red Paddle Company offers 13 models ranging in size from 9 ft 2 inches to 14 ft. 0 inches. This includes the introduction of 4 new models, the installation of two prototype models, and a revamped look on the current seven models.
Well-known for their ruggedness throughout Europe, Australia and New Zealand, each of the Red Air boards utilize high pressure drop-stitch technology – allowing them to be inflated from 15-25PSI – and feature quadruple rail construction, double layering, thick traction pads and fins. Each board comes with the Red Air EZee or EZee HP pump, allowing one to inflate a paddle board to 20 PSI and higher in less than 10 minutes.
All 2014 Red Air ISUPs now come with an extensively updated backpack featuring integrated wheels, making it easier to thread through airport lobbies, while still comfortable enough to pack into the remote country. An optional backpack can be fitted to the front of the pack or used separately for laptop, work or a day at the beach.
How do you use this table? First, ascertain your size from the list:
Big & Tall – 210+ lbs and 6’1″ plus inches in height
Average – 140-200 lbs, 5’7″ to 6’0″ inches in height
Small – Under 140 lbs, Under 5’7″ inches in height
Child – Under 100 lbs, under 5’0 inches in height
Then decide the type of paddling you want to do (paddling situations):
Touring – Ocean, waves, long paddles, camping
Recreational – Lakes, sloughs, slower rivers, coastal, calm
Whitewater – Downriver whitewater activities
Determine what attributes are important (or not!) to you – do you want versatility or storage capacity? Stability or speed?
Rank your experience level, realizing that the more you get out on the water, the better you will get. More experienced paddlers can get away with smaller boards. Last of all, will this be used by various members of the family? Do you want the ability to bring along a child, dog or gear? Might two people be on this together?
Multi Paddlers/Family: Two small adults, Adult and child or dog.
Follow the color key to decide what board is good for varying sizes and activities:
Blue – The board is great!
Green – The board is good.