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SUP Buying Tips

You have lots of questions - but, any retailer who is committed to seeing that you pick the best board(s) for your needs will likely have more questions for you than you have for them. These questions are key to helping you get the best board possible for your needs. At Paddleboard Direct, our experts will ask things such as: - Where do you live? - What is your weight? - What conditions do you paddle in? - Will you share the board with others? - What aspects of SUP appeal most to you (ie waves, touring, Yoga, cruising with friends and family)?
We are going to likely ask your name (call us weird - but we like to know our customers names!), what other sports you do, and likely a fair number of other questions. We will probably tell you a few things about ourselves as well! A skilled retailer will take the time to get to know you, and your needs before making any suggestions of boards or gear. At Paddleboard Direct our goal is to make sure all our customers get the best board(s) for their needs. A retailer that doesn't ask questions back is likely best avoided.
This could not be further from reality. Get the wrong board for you (ie too small and narrow) and it will feel tippy, unstable, have poor tracking, and will be an overall poor experience. With the correct consultation from one of our experts at Paddleboard Direct - we will make sure that your new board is exactly what you want, is easy to use, suits your budget, and allows to you to enjoy whichever element of SUP you want to take on! One thing you will never get from Paddleboard Direct is vague advice - such as "get an 11ft board". A retailer that doles out such advice isn't helping, and is actually setting you up to make a poor (and costly) decision. Boards have many intended uses - such as surf, yoga, or flat water cruising. While one 11ft board might be great for surf, another one might be terrible. Giving generic size advice doesn't take into account things like your local conditions or what you want to get out of your board. As well, there are 11ft boards that are 34" wide, and others that are 26" wide, so things like stability and ease of use will be wildly different between the two. At Paddleboard Direct - our suggestions are very specific based on the detailed conversation about your needs. When we suggest, for example, the Cruiser SUP Betty 10'6, we are doing so based on all of your needs and factors. We are not saying "get a 10'6", but instead we are saying "get the Cruiser SUP Betty 10'6 because you really need a board that is 33" wide as you want some extra stability, and as you are doing SUP Yoga, the full wrap deck pad is going to be great for traction" Picking a board without consultation, or a consultation from a retailer who doesn't ask the right questions makes a huge difference in your enjoyment of your board.
Trying to determine what board is best for you from only a website with brief descriptions and dimensions is a very good way to make sure you get the wrong board. We offer toll free phone service, email consultations with nearly instant replies, as well as Live Chat. However you choose to contact us, you will have a paddle boarder assisting you. No call centers, no scripts that an answering service is reading from, just you and an expert paddle boarder dedicated to helping you pick the best board possible. If you are looking at websites or other retailers that don't offer phone/email/Live Chat service - ask yourself, do they really want my business? If I can't reach them before I order - what happens if I need to reach them after I order? At Paddleboard Direct - we want to talk to you and we are here to help.
If you are talking to a retailer about buying a board and you ask "Do you paddle?" and the answer is anything other than "of course, I get out a few times a week" - you should likely end that conversation. The Paddleboard Direct difference is our people, and the fact that we all paddle. From the founder/president all the way through the shipping staff - everyone at Paddleboard Direct is a paddler. You would not ask your dentist for advice about your car - so don't ask a retailer that doesn't actually paddleboard about buying a paddleboard! At Paddleboard Direct we invest in our staff's knowledge of all things paddle boarding by making sure they have the ability to test paddle everything we sell, but also as much as possible the things we don't sell as well. This is done at trade shows, demo events, and any other time they can get their feet on board. Being able to compare what we sell to other items you might be looking at is a great asset to you in the decision making process.
There should be options when it comes to paddle style, material, fixed length or adjustable to name a few. A skilled retailer will be able to explain and help you select the best option for you. Once your board and paddle are selected, things like board bag options, leashes, and any other accessories can be discussed. Again - ask questions about even the smaller items. At Paddleboard Direct - we believe the only foolish questions are the ones that customers don't ask. If you have a question - trust us when we say we have the answers!
All we do is ship Paddleboards. All boards leave our warehouse in our custom designed "double boxes" for shipping safety. Any retailer that ships in only the "factory" box without any additional packing for safety isn't a veteran of board shipping like we are. You have trusted us with your purchase, so now you can trust us to get it there safely Boards are large, and have to ship by freight carrier as opposed to FEDEX and UPS. For the last ten years we have used the nation's best carrier,, exclusively. They will call you to set up a delivery appointment, we will send you very detailed instructions about how to receive/inspect the shipment, and then you can be on the water as soon as it arrives Always inquire about shipping methods. Ask the retailer who they ship with and if they double box. If they don't double box - please prepare for the worst when it comes to delivery. As well - if they do not use the same shipping company for all their shipments, best to avoid as they are only picking the shipping carrier to use based on the lower pricing they get to your zip code.