Stand up paddle boarding is rising in popularity around the world. Paddle boards are used for this sport. The sport is a blend of canoeing and surfing and can be done in almost all large water bodies. Beginners will find soft top paddle boards convenient and easy to use. But, what exactly are soft top paddle boards and what is the difference between these boards and regular ones?
Soft Top Paddle Boards
These are the cheapest paddle boards, but that does not mean they compromise on quality. The material used in construction and the design are what define soft top paddle boards. These boards are made of soft epoxy fiberglass material and are designed with foam cores. These are meant to reduce the weight of the board; and therefore, make it easier to transport. The softer materials used to make soft top paddle boards are more durable than those used in harder boards. Soft top boards never crack, and this increases longevity. In fact, they normally last for an entire lifetime.
They also feature wide surfaces, and this is part of what makes them popular among beginners. In case you lose balance, your landing will be easier. It is important to note that the boards are made in different sizes. These are optimized for people of different heights and weights. They are also designed with traction pads to increase stability for users.
The biggest advantage of soft top paddle boards is their ease of use. Many beginners find soft top paddle boards more stable, comfortable and easier to balance on. That is also part of the reason why these boards have become popular among people who practice yoga on water. Yoga involves a lot of complicated moves, and losing balance is quite easy, especially on water surfaces. Water increases the intensity of the workouts, and this increases the need for balance. Soft top paddle boards provide this balance. Also, the cushioned surface of soft top boards reduces the pressure on knees and feet.
In case you get shaky, these boards will offer you a smoother landing, therefore, preventing any serious harm. They can also be used in a wide variety of water encounters.
Because of the construction, soft top paddle boards are also a lot more durable. They can take a lifetime of abuse without requiring a lot of trips to the repair shop. That is actually the reason why rentals stock soft top paddle boards. They will last much longer than their harder alternatives. On top of this durability, these paddle boards are very cheaply priced.
Who should use Soft Top Paddle Boards?
Soft top paddle boards are mainly meant for people who just want to have fun. They don’t call for a lot of effort and are a lot more stable. Unless you want to make paddle boarding a serious sport, you should stick to soft top paddle boards. If you like to experiment with different riding styles or want to try them all, softer top paddle boards will be the best for you. They are a lot more versatile than regular and hard paddle boards. Also, beginners should opt for these boards as they are easier to use. Harder boards are meant for people with experience in the sport.
It is important to choose a soft top paddle board that suits your height and weight like in the chart below:
What are some Popular Soft Top Paddler Boards?
ISLE Cruiser Soft Top
This board is designed with double strong foam core, a fiber glass wrap, and an EVA deck pad. Because of its construction, this board is highly durable, rigid, and strong. You can expect softer landings when you lose balance in the water. If you intend to go on long paddling sessions, this would be a great product as it has a nice grip on the surface.
Stand on Liquid Sunset SUP
This board can hold people of up to 260 pounds in weight comfortably. It is 4.75 inches thick, and this allows you to move forward comfortably. The board is made of a closed cell EPS foam core and military grade HDPE material for the bottom surface. It is applauded as one of the most durable boards on the market today. It weighs only 29 pounds, and this makes it one of the lightest and most portable soft top paddle boards.
Jimmy Styks Orca SUP
The graphics of this board is probably its biggest selling point. It is made with blue, gray, and splashed white colors. Anyone less than 270 pounds can ride in this paddle board. The board comes with an adjustable aluminum paddle, fin, necessary hardware, and a SUP leash. It is 4.8 inches thick and 31 inches wide. This provides more than enough surface to gain stability.
These are just a few soft top paddle boards. Please keep in mind that these are just our suggestions and you should always use your own judgement when buying a paddle board for yourself.
You might also be interested in reading our blog on the top rated paddle boards for 2017.
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