Often wonder if you need to be size 0, wear a bikini and no PFD to classify as a typical stand up paddleboarder? The answer is NO. When one googles SUP images, that is often what comes up but lets refresh our perceptions of what true SUP'ers are!
We are a rad community of paddlers. Some of us are recreational paddlers, some of us are super talented long distance paddlers (not me but I aspire to be one day, lol) , some of us like taking out our fur babies, some of us have stressful jobs that require decompression time, and some of us are looking for ways to get moving and enjoy Mother Nature.
Whatever your reason to SUP - you are rad - just the way you are. You don't need to wear a bikini, you can gear up in long sleeves as much as you like. You can be a super senior (as my five year says) and you definitely don't need to be a super athlete. SUP can be for everyone, but the one thing we should all have in common is ......we should all wear a PFD. Sorry to sound preachy - but it can literally save your life!
As much as I advocate for investing in a good paddle, I also advocate for investing in a good PFD. There are many styles and sizes to choose from and once you find the one that fits you best for your activity of choice, it becomes like your favourite jacket - you just like wearing it. This website is a great resource for researching PFD's.
PFD's can be a bit pricey but once you find the "one" for you, it will last you years. I am going on 14 years with mine and it still has some life left in it. The trick is to care for it and it will pay for itself tenfold. Check out Wilderness Supply or MEC and try them on before you buy.
Happy & Safe Paddling!