Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Standup Paddle Board Construction

Hi Randall, I have a couple of questions. The Ron House and Lopez has a fiberglass coating. Should I be worried about the gunnels (rails) getting beat up from the paddle? Why are sandwich boards shunned by surfers?

There is validity to both construction methods. Even if a new technology is better, it doesn't always mean that people will adopt something new if the old way works "well enough". Surfers are often depicted as wild renegades but actually they are quite conservative and resist change when it comes to their boards.

With traditional surfboard construction the board feels solid under your feet and you feel the water texture as you ride along. Sandwich construction feels hollow and less connected with the water.

Other than the traditional "feel" there are many advantages to the sandwich construction and many top surfers have embraced them. These boards are more resistanst to dings and are duplicated very exactly from board to board. If a pro surfer loses a board on the airlines they can get another at a local shop and it's the same board.

Because traditional surfers are used to traditional fiberglass boards, they have developed the habit of treating their boards carefully so that they don't get too many dings in the fiberglass. I put Paddle Guard edge-guard on the paddle blade edges to avoid paddle dings. If you do get dings, surfers also know how to patch them. It's a high-maintenance thing if you're not a surfer.

Most people new to standup paddling, with no experience in surfboard ownership, should get a sandwich construction board such as our Surftech-Lairds, Takayamas, and Infinitys. Also, Pacificos and Amundson Aquaglides.

Check out the Stand Up Paddle gear that's right for you at http://standuppaddlebend.com/Standuppaddlebend/Standup_Gear/

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