Before we left Florida, John got a couple inflatable Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP)* at Sirocco Marine in Ft Lauderdale. He found a great deal for these while talking to a Leopard 45 owner at the dock, who had just bought a tender from Sirocco Marine and a couple SUPs as well. As word got around, in the next three days the remaining 10 SUPs in the store were sold. They are a rugged, high quality design in a backpack that includes everything you need, plus Sirocco’s claim that they come from the factory that produces the same SUPs for well-known brands at more than twice the price.
We’ve been wanting to try out the SUPs for the past couple weeks but the weather just hasn’t cooperated, until yesterday. A beautiful sunny day with light winds, perfect conditions for newbies to fall-off paddleboards.
The boards come with a paddle, ankle tether, hand air pump, and repair kit, all combined in a large, rugged knapsack. The board fins are well-protected with inflated “donuts” and the telescoping paddle comes apart into 3 sections for easy storage.
John set up the air pump, and then handed it over to me. It filled quite quickly and only started to get tough around 7 psi, when I handed the pump back to John. He stopped at 12 psi rather than filling to the recommended max 15 psi, which worked fine for our weight.
I strapped on the ankle tether and practiced standing on the board until I felt steady, but from the pictures I didn’t look very steady. John suggested I lengthen the paddle which helped quite a bit.
I wish my nephew Caleb was here to show me some of his paddling techniques! I did a cautious circuit around our boat and then John took his turn. After a couple initial wobbles, he seemed to look at ease quite quickly.
I took another try and this time felt comfortable enough to go further from the boat, making my way over to the shoreline. Having been in a canoe in the past, I remembered it’s important to head upwind first, so the wind helps on your return to the starting point. So far a big thumbs up for our new toy!