Welcome to MACkite's Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Information Page
We are thrilled you are seeking information on the world's hottest new water sport: Stand Up Paddle board – also known as SUP. Since you are most likely new to the sport, we hope to give you some direction and ideas on how to pursue this great activity. MACkite paddles in the Great Lakes region on Lake Michigan and all the local rivers and inland lakes. Our knowledge will be based on these areas and will help address your needs and some of the differences between fresh water paddle boarding and salt water paddling.
For tips on buying the right SUP board, visit: SUP BUYING TIPS
Who can paddle? If you had a small board, almost any age could start paddling, probably as young as 4 years old. But for practical purposes and the reality of most board sizes, the ages start around 8-10 years old depending on your child. Many families will paddle with younger children sitting on the front of their boards. On the older side of things, most people can paddle quite easily into their 60's, and if balance has not become a major problem, well into their 70's and 80's.
Where can I ride my paddle board? Most anywhere where there is water, people are putting their paddle boards into the water. The major things to be aware of are your fin's length (dragging or getting stuck on the bottom), your skill set, and water obstacles. Of course, everyone thinks of paddling in the ocean or the Great Lakes, but really paddling is for everywhere. Most inland lakes are superb for a good paddle – just avoid the weedy patches or buy a weed fin. Rivers have become the big rage with extreme paddlers- check out this video:
Of course, most of you will just paddle your more mellow local river. Our major recommendation is to practice your leash cuff release prior to riding. We have seen a good dunking or two from fallen tree branches and underwater snags.
How do I determine length and cut my carbon SUP paddle? The basic rule of thumb is: 3-6" above your head for surfing and 8-10" above your head for flat water.
We recommend you demo an adjustable aluminum paddle, find the correct length that you like, and then cut to that length.
Here is a great youtube video demonstrating the cutting process:
I weigh 200 lbs and my wife is 110- can we both ride the same board? The short answer is Yes; the long answer is that you would need to get a board that is suitable for the 200 lb rider. The downside will be that the board with the 110 lb rider will sit much higher in the water and will be pushed around by the wind, making it a little more difficult to track in a straight line. You would also want to invest in an adjustable paddle since the length needed will likely be drastically different.