Stand up paddling FAQ's for beginners plus SUP Videos

They say knowledge is power so we would like to bring you the answers that we get at alleydesigns every single day. We will try to answer the questions to the right as best as we can, however sometimes there is more than one way to skin a cat as there can be many answers to the one question.

Please do not hesitate to give us a call to find out more information, we will be happy to oblige.  With our own extensive experiences on Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUP) we can offer you this knowledge.

Some instructional SUP videos

Alleydesigns Paddle Bags from Alleydesigns on Vimeo.


Alleydesigns Board Bag review by Andrew - Owner and Operator of Alleydesigns from Alleydesigns on Vimeo.


Alleydesigns Tiedowns Review from Alleydesigns on Vimeo.




Stand Up Paddle Boarding FAQ

What Size Board is Right For Me?

There is a number of questions that you need to consider here:

Is the board just for you? Or will the family or dog be using it too? Have you had much experience on the water? surf/canoe/kayak Will you be the one putting it on your roof racks and carrying the board? Being armed with this information will help you when it comes time to purchase your SUP. There is three dimensions that you will be faced with when purchasing (and unfortunately these are in feet and inches) length, width & thickness – these three dimensions work together to create a board volume.

So what volume will you need? As a rule of thumb try this formula Weight (kg) x Experience Factor = Volume (L) where Experience Factor – Beginner=2, Intermediate=1.7 & Advanced=1.3

So a beginner weighing 90kg should need a board with a volume of: 90kg x 2 = 180L

This is why generally a 9 foot board is for children or advanced surfer while a 12 foot board is for a large adult – generally.

The length of the board will determine manoeuvrability in the water while the width (even by an inch or 2) will make affect the board stability – but careful that you will not be reaching too far outside of your centre of gravity to paddle.

If in doubt we will be happy to work with you to determine what will work best for your needs.

Will I need to buy a paddle or cover?

With the essence of the sport being stand up paddle boarding then if you do not have a paddle already and you don’t want to lay on your stomach or knees all the time to paddle by hand – then yes you will need a paddle.

We have entry level plastic paddles as well as carbon fibre paddles and the first thing that you will notice (apart from the carbon fibre being more expensive – the nature of the beast) is the weight – the plastic / alloy shaft is heavier and can sink. In saying that the plastic is a whole lot tougher which will suit a beginner child/novice who may push the paddle into rocks. In saying this though, you will enjoy paddling with a carbon fibre paddle much more.

As for a bag – protecting your board from scratches and the whether when not being used should be your number one priority. We advocate the use of bags but it is your choice to purchase a bag for your board.

We do package deals with board, bag and paddle – this is an option that you can choose when purchasing your new board (our online shop has these buttons on the right hand side and these will adjust the price accordingly).

Will flat water or surf use make a difference?

Definitely – nose and tail design as well as fin configuration will help in your surf use of your board.

Ensure that you use a leg rope when in the surf, a board can get away from you and be either a long swim to retrieve it or hurt someone when it becomes a projectile.

The beginner though should start on flat water to get accustomed to the feel of standing on the water. As you become an advanced rider changing your stance to stand along the board rather than across it will become easy and allow you to manouvere the board with the swell.

What fins will I need installed?

We advise that the single centre fin be installed initially for flat water use. The smaller outer fins will be needed when you hit the surf. You will get all of these fins when you purchase your new board and they are very easy to change.

Fin Configuration – Thruster with a 10 inch centre fin & 2 x FCS G5 side fins (FCS tool also supplied). OR Quad set up for the surf paddle boards. There is various fin set ups for the surf SUP”s.

Should I buy a fixed or adjustable shaft paddle?

If the paddle is only going to be for you and no-one else ever then we advise that you may want to go to a fixed shaft paddle. Because the length of the shaft (to the top of the handle) should be to your wrist in height when standing on flat ground and your arm raised up vertically – if anyone else not your height needs to use your paddle then they will need to adjust it, therefore in these circumstances we will advise you to purchase and adjustable paddle.

Nothing stopping you buying a fancy fixed one for you and a plastic adjustable one for the family :).

Where is the best place to go SUPing?

Anywhere flat, sheltered and out of the wind is where you will want to start. Some nice clean water that you will not have a problem falling into is also handy. We are right on Currumbin Creek – which is a beautiful spot to paddle.

A helpful website it Seabreeze – you will learn very quickly which wind direction will be painful to paddle in so that you do not turn into a human sail (paddle on your knees (holding the paddle lower down the shaft) in a headwind will help). Quick note – Currumbin Creek faces North North East so you will paddle into a headwind if heading towards the ocean.

Paddle the headwind first until you are worn out, then the tailwind will bring you home :).

Do you have package deals with your boards?

We sure do – check our online shop and you will see some radio buttons on the right where you can add a bag and a paddle for a fraction of the cost of buying them separate to your board.

What are your boards made out of?

Our board construction is EPS (expanded polystrene) core with a timber stringer for stiffness and strength finished with 3 layers of an epoxy/fiberglass shell on the deck and 2 layers on the base of boards. This style of construction delivers an extremly strong yet lightweight board.

With a recessed ledge deck handle allows for easy transport to and from the beach. They also feature the latest “Gore” air vent and a leg rope tie down point.

Can I take a board for a test paddle?

If you really need to get on a board – we will be happy to take you out on the water in Currumbin Creek. Andrew will take you down to give it a go and give you the feel of your new board.

You also can hire a paddle board for the day $40 per board all day, $60 two days or $80 for three days rental.

Can I come and see the board before I purchase it?

Most definitely – we are open at our warehouse limited hours so please give us a call to make sure we are here and you will be welcome to come and have a look.

How do I stand on a paddle board?

On flat water you will stand across your board (standing with the centre of your body over the handle of the board) with your feet shoulder width apart and parallel with the sides of the board. Shuffle your feet slightly forward or back to look for that sweet spot in the board (for your size) where the nose and the tail of the board sit flat in the water (at the same time of course).

Will paddle boarding increase my core strength?
It sure will – ensure that when you paddle that you keep your arms straight which makes you press down into the water with your top arm and pull back with your bottom arm ensuring that you do this makes your core provide the power to the stroke. A good paddle will strengthen your core muscles, give it a go.
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