WHATZSUP HOLIDAY GIFT & GEAR GUIDE

  
To celebrate Christmas and the New year, we’ve put together a holiday gift and gear guide just for you. Maybe you are a seasoned SUP paddler who wants to give yourself a treat this holiday? Or maybe you have someone in your life who happens to be a SUP enthusiast? Or even if you are just starting to know about the SUP sport and want to find out what gears are available on the market, this guide will be perfect for you. 
 
PADDLES 
Here we have put together a list of paddles that we think are worth checking out. However, choosing a paddle to suit your needs can sometimes be very difficult as there are many different types of paddle out there. This is why we have also categorized our recommendations based on the different attributes of the paddles.
 
 
Carbon fiber
If weight is a major consideration, then we recommend the following full carbon fiber paddles! Carbon fiber is the lightest and strongest material used in paddles. A lightweight paddle will also cause less arm fatigue, especially on longer trips. If you spend a large amount of time on the water, the weight savings of a carbon fiber paddle may well be worth the extra expense :   
 
 
Adjustable
Another crucial part of choosing a paddle is getting the right length. A paddle that is too long will tire your arms as you hold them up too high. A paddle that is too short will stress your back as you bend forward to reach the water.
 
Adjustable paddles have a shaft that can extend and lock in different lengths. If you are not sure about the length, or you know more than one person is going to use the paddle, then an adjustable shaft will suit you well. Adjustable paddles are perfect for families, lake houses, and demo fleets.
 
 
Racing
These paddles have special blades specifically for performance paddlers. They are not just light but also designed for optimal power, minimize turbulence and providing smooth entry as well as exit. These are some of the fastest paddles out there on the market:
 
 
All-rounders
These all-rounders are perfect for leisure activities as well as less intense racing/surfing. If you are on a budget and don’t know which paddles would be best for you, choosing one of the following paddles will not go wrong.
 
BOARDS – INFLATABLES
Inflatable SUP boards are unbeatable when it comes to ease of storage and transport. These boards are so lightweight that you will barely feel as if you are carrying a SUP board at all. These iSUP board can be easily deflated for the sake of storage, so you are not going to struggle when it comes to carving out a good place for your inflatable SUP boards.
Racing
Until a few years ago, inflatable boards are usually seen as not suitable for racing as their shapes are more flat due to their inflatable nature. However, with the improved technologies in the SUP board manufacturing and design, the new generations of iSUP boards are often being used in the less intense races as well as downwind paddling. They are especially useful if you don’t have the space to store a 14’ longboard.
 
 
Leisure / All rounders
Want to do a bit of SUP yoga? Or just want to relax and enjoy the ocean scenery with your dog? These boards feature wider width than their racing counterparts and tend to provide more stability and extra room for your pet or even a second rider.
 
 
BOARDS – COMPOSITE
The people who want to be able to pull off the most complicated SUP board moves or reach the podium in the most intense races are going to need composite SUP boards. These SUP boards can be used to pull off fast and skilled moves, and you might want that in order to feel as if you are truly getting the right SUP experience. People who are paddling across long distances are definitely going to need the solid SUP boards. 
Racing (Flat water / Open Water)
These boards are some of the fastest the industry has to offer. They are perfect for any paddler who likes to tour at speed, right through to the elite racer wanting to glide their way to victory.
 
 
Downwind board
These boards are designed specifically with downwind paddle-boarding in mind. In case you don’t know, downwind paddle-boarding is whenever you paddle with the wind at your back, riding the large swells in the water created by high wind, kind of like surfing except you are riding for a long distance.
 
 
All-rounders
These all-rounders are often seen as a more affordable alternative to their racing counterparts. While they are still designed with speed in mind, these boards are more versatile and also able to handle different conditions Mother Nature can throw your way.
 
 
Leisure
SUP should be shared, so go ahead, grab the dog and your third grader and hit the water. There’s plenty of room on these pleasure cruisers. These boards are usually wider thus tend to provide more stability. 
 
 
Surfing
These boards are designed specifically with surfing in mind, they offer a balanced blend of responsive turning, superb acceleration, stability and wave-catching ease. 
 
 
If you haven’t bought a SUP board before, you should note that composite SUP boards are usually much more expensive than their inflatable cousins and therefore it might be wise to first rent the board to try it out before actually making the purchase.
 
Here we have listed a few places in Hong Kong where you can rent a SUP board for a couple of hours or even days to try out if the board is really for you:
 
PROTECT YOUR BOARD
Once you have bought your board and paddle then took them out for a few practice runs, they are likely to get scratched over time. But guess what, there are ways to prevent that from happening. There are also the extra benefits of increasing the resell value of your gears. To do just that, we recommend the board rail protection and paddle edge protection produced by RSPRO:
 
 
SAFETY FIRST
Without saying, safety is important no matter what kind of sport you are participating. Although standup paddle-boarding is one of the safest watersports out there, there are still risks involved especially if you plan to do open water or long distance paddling.
 
Therefore, we have selected a variety of safety gears for you to use when you are out in the ocean with your board. These include personal floatation devices and special leashes designed to connect your ankle with your board. They could save your life if you become exhausted while out in suddenly windy or stormy conditions. 
 
STAY HYDRATED 
If you have an endurance race coming up or if you have planned to do some long distance paddling, hydration packs will definitely come in handy
 
Hydration packs are designed principally to transport water and make drinking convenient and efficient. In fact, with most hydration packs, you don’t even have to stop, or slow down, to take a sip of water, making it an extremely valuable tool when doing any kind of long distance paddling.
 
Here we recommend two types of Hydration pack, one of them is waist mount while another is a backpack:
 
 
STAY TUNED & ENTERTAINED
If you are the kind of person who afraid boredom or if you just want to add some music to the scene when you are going out to the water, then we definitely recommend you the Fusion Stereo Active speaker. 
 
This isn’t just a standard Bluetooth speaker thought, this is an IPx7 rated, water resistant portable watersport stereo that FLOATS! Featuring a unique FUSION PUCK mounting system that enables you to securely mount the stereo to any paddle board.
 
You can stream your music to the speaker via bluetooth or waterproof USB connection that comes with the device. You can even control the speaker using your smartphone or smartwatch!  
 
RECORD YOUR JOURNEY 
Getting out on the water on a SUP is one thing, but capturing that moment on camera is another. Not all of us are lucky enough to have someone on the shore with a big lens to get that wave of the day, that first family SUP shot or exciting wildlife encounter on the river.  But now with more and more waterproof action cameras available, you can get your very own, up close, and in the moment water footage. 
 
Here we recommend two of the most well-known action cameras for sport out there. While the GoPro is perfect if you intend to mount it on your sup board or other surfaces, the Drift Ghost-S is also good for helmet mount.
 
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
On Key

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