Which Stand Up Paddle Board is Right For Me?

Paddleboard Windsurfing Crossovers

Maybe you’ve rented a few times or borrowed a friend’s stand up paddle board. Or maybe you know you’ll love the sport and are ready to dive right in to new gear. Regardless, it’s always a wise idea to do a little research to pin point the board that’s best for you. With a properly sized board constructed for your ability, you will be more likely to enjoy the sport and to get outside to paddle more often. Our suggestions below will give you the confidence you need to select a board that’s right for you.

Before getting into the logistics of board lengths and widths, stew on these thoughts…

  1. Can you get the board to and from the water by yourself? If you haven’t noticed, stand up paddle boards are MASSIVE! You might be a five foot tall bundle of athletic energy, but if you are physically unable to carry the board to and from the water by yourself, you’re bound to get quite frustrated. If it’s too heavy for you to carry, it’s going to be even more difficult to lift a water-logged board out of the water after your session.
  2. Can you stand up on your board in a variety of conditions? Sitting on your board when you’re first learning is fun and somewhat thrilling. That’ll get old real quick, however! If you’ll mainly be paddling in open ocean water as opposed to smooth inland lake water, keep in mind that a wider and longer board will allow you to balance better.

Next, ask yourself these next few questions…

  • Where will you be doing most of you paddling (i.e. ocean, lake, river, etc.)?
  • How tall are you and how much do you weigh?
  • Have you ever paddle boarded before?
  • Do you tend to pick up sports and physical activities quickly?
  • Are you athletic?

Stand up paddle boards can be broken down into three simple categories. Like snowboards and bikes, different paddle boards will perform best in specific conditions. Check it out…



  • Surf Specific – These boards are shorter and have a narrower nose and tail. They are less stable than other boards, but great for surf performance. However, surf specific paddle boards sacrifice stability to gain that performance.
  • All-Round – Just like the name says, all-round boards are great for flat water as well as surfing. They are longer, wider, thicker and typically longer. They are perfect for just getting into sport because you can do everything with one board.
  • Touring Board – Designed for flat water, touring boards are longer than other boards because giving them more glide. You can get more distance and cover more distance with a touring board with less effort. Some touring boards are narrower and are considered race boards. They are much faster due to their skinny width, but they are less stable.

Above all, your size in relation to the board is one of the most important aspects to consider. Volume is a great way to think about board size. The volume is what floats you, so it’s important to have the correct amount of volume for stability.  Be sure to review the manufacture’s size recommendation before making a purchase.

Still confused? Chances are that you’ll be best matched up with a all-round board. You can’t go wrong with a board that will perform in all conditions and types of water. Whether it’s the beach or the lake house, you’ll be psyched with an all-round board. If you’re strictly looking to perfect your paddle surfing skills, then a surf specific board will keep you happy for years to come. And if racing and long distance paddling is your thing, go for a touring paddle board.

Shop The House for paddle boards.

For SUP beginners, more resources can be found in our Paddle Boarding for Beginners article.

Finding the rigth SUP Infographic


What Are Snowboards Made Of?

Trick question. Snowboards are made of a variety of materials featuring sandwich construction crafted together to make a performance board that gives you speed, flotation and response over the snow. So, if you guessed wood, you are correct. If you guessed foam, P-tex or metal, you are also correct. Specific construction and materials vary from model to model and brand to brand, but there are some elements that are quite common.

There are eight common materials in a snowboard…

  1. Wood or Foam Core – The center of the snowboard is the core. The core is arguably the most important component of the board since the remainder of the board is constructed around it.   Cores are composed of different materials on various snowboards, but the most common type of core is wood. Strips of woods such as poplar, obeche and birch are vertically and horizontally laminated and shaped to created varying flexes. Other core materials used in some snowboards are foam or aluminum honeycomb.
  2. Topsheet with Printed Graphic – The toplayer of a snowboard is called the Topsheet which ultimately protects the board and serves as a perfect canvas for bold graphics. Although the material used for the topsheet can vary, there are typically two types of topsheets – gloss and matte. Glossy topsheets usually come with sublimated graphics, while matte topsheets have screened-on graphics.
  3. Fiberglass – Glass is the standard composite fibre material used in snowboard construction. Fiberglass reinforced plastic provides stiffness and strength to the snowboard. It lies right on top of the core. It’s less expensive (compared to alternative materials), light and allows the snowboard to bend.
  4. Steel Inserts – Steel inserts on the top of the board enable the bindings to attach to the snowboard. Ride SnowboardsThere are varying hole patterns on snowboards by brand. Referred to as “mounting patterns,” there are 4 styles – 2 x 2, 4 x 4, 3D and The Channel.
  5. Plastic base (P-tex) – Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene , or P-tex, is a type of extremely durable thermoplastic that is used on the snowboard base. Not only is it easily repairable should you ding your base on a rock, but it openly openly accepts wax in order to improve its gliding efficiency in a variety of snow conditions. P-tex is a dense, abrasion resistant plastic with low friction properties that gives the board the slippery surface necessary to ride on snow. Wax maintenance should be applied to enable the board to run fast throughout the winter.
  6. Metal Edges – Metal runs along the edges of a snowboard allows the board to dig into the snow while turning. They are held in place by P-tex. Well, there are actually two kinds of Edges – partial steel edges that run only along the sides of the board, ending at the nose and tail, and steel edges that wrap all the way around both ends of the board. Complete metal edges are found in higher quality snowboards.
  7. Resin System (glue) – Glass laminates are bonded with an epoxy resin to create the key structural layer of a snowboard.
  8. Rubber Foil – Also referred as VDS, rubber foil is traditionally marketed as a vibration dampener. While rubber foil does dampen some vibration, it’s real purpose is to act as a bonding agent. By nature, steel is hard to bond to fiberglass, so the rubber is applied around the perimeter of the board on top of the edge to create a better stronger bond.

If all boards were made exactly the same, it’d be a pretty saturated market. Snowboard construction has certainly evolved over the years thanks to new technologies, research and development. Additionally, as rider skill level progresses, so do the boards. Below are some additional materials used in specific models to obtain a desired performance.  After all, a park board can’t be constructed the same way as a racing board!

  • Kevlar – Also found in bullet proof jackets, Kevlar is often found under bindings to protect fragile cores and help retain metal inserts. It’s particularly resistant to impact damage. More times than not, Kevlar is found in expensive freeride and all-mountain snowboards to reduce chatter at high speeds since it’s so effective at dampening vibrations.
  • Carbon – Carbon properties enable it to stretch one quarter as much as glass fibre composites. Carbon fiber stinger are sometimes run from tip to tail along the center of a park board to increase pop without increasing the torsional stiffness. It can also cross link effective edges to improve edge-to-edge response. While Burton was the first company to use this technology, many other companies have followed suite. The Burton Custom is a legendary snowboard that’s been in the line for well over a decade. It’s most famous for being one of the best all- mountain boards in part thanks to carbon fiber technology.

Now we can put it all together and have some fun. Here is an inside view on how a snowboard is made at the Burton Manufacturing Center…

The Ultra Cush Back Panel Technology

A comfortable backpack will make or break a walk to class, a trek to the summit or a pedal across town. Having the corner of a book dig into your back is just plain silly. And what to do when the thermometer his 80? Do you forgo bringing a backpack full of snacks, cold beverages, a beach towel and other summertime essentials so you’re back doesn’t get drenched with sweat? Burton incorporated the Ultra Cush Pack Panel Technology into their top selling backpacks. It’s more than just some cheap foam padding. Airflow cushioning zones are incorporated to allow air between the pack and your back. Instead of having a solid panel touching your back, there are raised areas strategically placed on the panel to give your back some room to breath. The result is a cool and comfortable backpack wearing experience!

A super soft cushion back panel alone doesn’t cut it for us. So we made the Ultra Cush Back Panel with airflow cushioning zones. Strategically placed airflow channels circulate cool air throughout the pack’s back panel to keep you comfortable and dry.

This has been a part of the Burton Technology articles.

Water Repellent vs. Waterproof

burt-ak-2l-stagger-jkt-acidclrblck-13-zoom marmot-erial-ski-jkt-olvnghtteamred-12-zoomBy definition, fabric that is water repellent has been treated with a coating making it very difficult for water to penetrate. Think several steps above a rain jacket ‘look alike’ from Wal-Mart. Waterproof, on the other hand, denotes a fabric that is impervious to water meaning water cannot penetrate the fabric. Think $250 Gore-Tex jacket. Yes, there is quite a price difference between the two fabrics, but a truly waterproof jacket, pant or shoe is well worth every penny if you plan to expose your gear to the elements.

For most people, a water repellent jacket will do the trick. It will keep you dry when you’re running errands around town on a rainy Saturday. It will also keep the snow at bay when you’re skiing or snowboarding…so long as it’s actually snowing and not raining.  For a half day hike in the woods, should it start to drizzle, you’ll stay dry for a few hours, but any longer might put that water repellent jacket past it’s limits. All of our technical shells, insulated jackets, softshell jackets, down jackets and 3-in-1 jackets are treated with a DWR coating, making them water repellent.

Waterproof outerwear is recommended for the serious outdoor enthusiast who will hike, ski, climb, bike or camp in almost any weather condition. With the right gear, the outdoors are always a blast! Many companies like Burton, Oakley, Volcom, Marmot, Outdoor Research, Patagonia and The North Face have partnered with Gore-Tex on select pieces to create completely waterproof fabrics. Skiing and snowboarding in the Pacific Northwest is often damp where Gore-Tex is always a good investment.

dc-woodland-dw-bt-tobacco-12-zoomDon’t forget about your hiking shoes, boots or trail running shoes. Some are water repellent, while others are super diesel and won’t let a drop of water inside. Spring time in many northern climates can be quite wet for months. It can pay off to pick up a pair of waterproof shoes. Sloppy parking lots can make for an uncomfortable trip to the mall if you’re boots aren’t waterproof. On the other hand, maybe you’re a careful walker and you avoid puddles or you know you’ll never hit the trail if it’s muddy or wet. If that’s the case, opt for some casual boots.

2012 Radar Waterskis Technology

At Radar lab they use computer aided design and top of the line CNC machinery and hours of product testing to make some of the best skis on the skis on the market.  Radars ideals are based on the evolution of slalom theory and design rooted in over 50 years of waterski experience.


Radar Waterski Technology

Edge Profile

Multiple sharp rail increase edge hold by creating a ski that flows freely through turns, reducing drag and amplified speed. The multiple sharps also gives the skier supreme confidence allowing control the ski with very little rider input.


Parallel Sidecut

By eliminating the the extreme pivot point and thus increasing the effective edge you get a waterski that gain an a great deal of tip to tail supports giving the rider the ability to to leverage the the tip of the ski allowing you to keep in a proper turning positions with less movement form the ski in the water.

Tunnel Shape

The depth of concave  fades into a flat surface at the tip, creating a ride that is unhindered from tip bite or erratic speed breaks. This shape also  allows for smooth waterflow entering the concave for a consistent ride.


3 Stage Rocker – (Flat spot with continuous rocker in the tip and tail.)

The flat spost allows you to run with speed while also creating a stable platform for turn Initiation. The continuous rocker in the tip and tail allow for smoother turns and transitions.


Paddle Boarding for Beginners

Beginning Paddle Boarding

Getting Started with Paddle Boarding

Stand Up Paddle Boarding. Paddle Boarding. SUP. Whatever you’d like to call it, paddling around on a giant surfboard while soaking in nature’s beauty is truly priceless. Paddle boarding has gained immense popularity the past couple of years for good reason. It offers a solid upper body and core workout, while being easy accessible. Nearly any body of water will work – ocean, lake, river, and even reservoirs.  Many people are attracted to paddle boarding because it’s a safe, non-impact and easy to learn sport that brings peace and serenity while spending time on water. Paddle boarding requires minimal equipment that can often be shared among family members and friends. A one time investment will bring years of fun on the water. Sold? Alright, let’s check out where to begin…

Paddle Boarding Gear
Fortunately, only a few pieces of equipment are essential for stand up paddleboarding.   Additional info on SUP Gear.

  • Paddle Board – The paddle board itself is the biggest investment, which is why it’s not a bad idea to borrow someone else’s board or rent before diving in on your own board. Sizes are based on the paddler’s weight and experience. More experienced and lighter paddlers can get away with a narrower board, which allows for quicker, smaller turns and also glides faster on the water.  Beginners and novice paddlers should go with a wider and flatter board as this will provide much more stability.
  • Paddle – The paddle quality is nearly as important as the board itself. If you’re paddle is sized incorrectly, a fun day on the water could turn into tired shoulders and frustration. The paddle should be an average of 8″ – 12″ taller than the paddler standing barefoot. Experienced paddlers will be happier with a light weight carbon fiber blade, while less a less expensive plastic blade will do the trick for beginners.
  • Clothing – For summer time flat water paddling, all you’ll need are trunks or a bikini. Woo too! Ocean paddling can be breezier, thus sometimes requiring a rash guard even in the summer. Year-round paddling, regardless of the body of water, will require a wet suit to stay comfortable.
  • Sun ProtectionSunglasses are strongly recommended since the sun’s rays reflected rays on the water will be intensified. Even overcast days will warrant eye protection. A hat is also a good idea to shield the sun from your face. And of course, don’t forget your sunblock!
  • Personal Floatation Device (PDF) – A life jacket is required by the US Coast Guard if you’ll be paddling beyond the surf zone in the ocean. Parks have various rules and regulations, so be sure to read up before hitting the water. You certainly don’t want to miss out on a day of paddling because you don’t have your PDF or have to pay a fine!

How Do I Stand Up On My Board?
Once you’re in shallow water, standing beside your board, place the paddle so it’s perpendicular to the board. With your hands on either rail (the sides of the board) and one hand grasping the paddle handle, climb onto the board. Beginners should first kneel on the board, just behind the center, in order to find balance. The nose shouldn’t pop up, nor should the tail dig into the water. Once you’ve found the sweet spot, stand up!

Where Do I Stand on My Stand Up Paddle Board?
Unlike surfing, a paddler’s body faces the nose of the board. Feet should be parallel, about hip width distance apart, just behind the center of the board. Knees should always be slightly bent and the head and shoulders should always be upright.

How Do I Paddle?SUP beginner
Practice, practice, practice! The angle of the paddle shaft should be vertical in order to go straight. If it’s at an angle, the board will go sideways. Shifting your weight to side that you’re paddling on will also make for straight and faster paddling. Push down on the paddle handle grip with each stroke. Switch paddling sides every four or five strokes and be sure to reverse your hands. It’s that easy!

How Do I Turn?
Turning quite simply involves paddling longer on one side until the nose of the board turns, also called the Sidestroke. Paddle on the right to turn left and vice versa to turn right. Another quick way to turn is to Backpaddle to to paddle backwards on either side of the board. You can also drag the paddle in the water for a quick turn. Lastly, you can make a Sea Stroke to change direction. Plant the paddle as close to the nose as possible and drag it back towards the tail in the water.  Check out all of our Paddle Board Turning Tips here.


SUP – Stand Up Paddle Boarding Gear

SUP Gear

Paddle Boarding Gear

Stand up paddle boarding or SUP has exploded in popularity the past couple of years. And for good reason! It’s a fun and easy way to enjoy beautiful scenery, soak in some vitamin D and experience that peaceful bliss of being on water. It offers a great full body workout and skiers and snowboarders enjoy cross training on paddle boards during the summer months. Choosing the best SUP gear for your needs and budget will depend on your level of experience and what you hope to get out of paddle boarding. Regardless of whether you’re an expert or just starting out, there are a few things everyone must have.


Paddle Board
First things first – the board! Stand-up paddle boards come in an array of shapes and styles, each best suited for a different style of paddling – surfing, cruising, or racing. Sizes are based on the paddler’s weight and experience. The general rule is that once you’re up to paddling speed you don’t want the tail to drag. The flotation is a combination of the length, width and thickness of the board. More experienced and lighter paddlers can choose narrower boards. They are tricky to navigate for beginners, so we don’t recommend narrow boards for beginners. Novice paddlers should choose wider, flatter boards, which offer more stability.




Next, you’ll want to choose a paddle. It should be between 8″ and 12″ longer than your height when standing barefoot. If you’re on the fence, remember that a slightly longer paddle is better for flat water where longer strokes are used, while a shorter paddle is better for more challenging water where shorter, high cadence strokes are necessary.

Paddles come in a few different materials which impact their weight and performance. The least expensive paddles have an aluminum shaft with a plastic blade and handle. They are most often considered a beginner’s paddle because of it’s relatively inexpensive cost and high durability. More experienced paddlers should steer toward higher end paddles with fiberglass shafts and carbon fiber paddles. Such paddles are much lighter weight than plastic and allow for more efficient strokes with less shoulder and arm fatigue. Distance paddlers will be far happier with a more expensive, performance paddle. Check out The House’s diverse selection of paddles for every budget and experience level.

Paddle Boarding Regulations
Depending on where you plan to paddle, you might need to invest in a few more pieces of gear. Stand up paddle boards are nowclassified as vessels by the US coast guard, which means that paddle boards must comply with the same rules as kayaks and canoes when outside the surf zone. So, a personal floatation device (life jacket) must be worn or attached to the boat. Since there really isn’t a great place to put your PDF on a paddle board, most people prefer to wear their life jacket at all times. Many life jackets are now constructed in a way that they can be worn without limiting your movement. When paddling in the ocean beyond the surf zone, the Coast Guard also requires a sound producing device (whistle) and a light (headlamp or flashlight) if you’re paddling before sunrise or after dusk.
Clothing Yup, you should probably wear clothing when paddle boarding. Depending on the temperature and time of day, a bikini for the gals and board shorts for guys is perfect. Many girls will wear board shorts over their suit. For chillier days, a rash guard will provide a little extra warmth. Even in warmer climates, it can be chilly on the ocean certain times of the year, so a wet suit will make for a more comfortable (and longer!) experience on the water. Sunglasses are a must, even on overcast days. The sun’s rays will be stronger on the water due to the reflection. A hat is also a good idea to shield the sun from your face. Sure, you might fall in the water or might want to take a dip mid paddle, so wear a strap with your sunglasses and leave your favorite baseball hat on shore if you’re worried about it getting wet!

While not absolutely essential for paddle boarding, a few accessories will make life a little easier, especially if you plan to hit the water on the regular or travel with your board. For choppy waters or peace of mind, a leash will keep your board from floating away should you fall or or take a dip. A board bag will protect your investment during the winter months when it’s stashed in your basement. It’s also nice for traveling if you have a packed SUV or truck. You don’t want that baby banging on the walls of a flat bed! Some people enjoy traction pads on their boards. Again, it’s not essential, but they’re helpful for more aggressive paddling and also serve as a sturdy place for your pooch to sit. Yup. Your dog can sit on your board while you paddle away! The House carries all of these accessories, so check them out!

Shop The House for paddle boards.


2013 Thirtytwo – 32 Sneak Peak


2013 Thirtytwo Sneak Peak

Can you believe you’re seeing a sneak peak of the 2013 Thirtytwo gear?  Below are our 2 favorite series/collaborations Thirtytwo is offering for the 2013 season; the Joe Sexton Signature Series and the Dirtytwo (Thirtytwo X DGK) Collection.  Both are on opposite ends of the style spectrum – they cater to Thirtytwo’s diverse range of riders.  If you’re hesh or thug Thirtytwo has something for you.  Think about combining the two.  Imagine a baggy Dirtytwo jacket and tight pants – it’s called EmoYo’.



2013 Thirtytwo Joe Sexton Signature Series

What’s every Midwest snowboard kid’s dream growing up?  To get sponsored and have a pro model.  Joe Sexton isn’t a kid any more, he’s a grown man sitting ontop of the snowboard industry.  Thirtytwo saw Joe’s potential marketability and gave him not only a pro model piece, but multiple pieces.   Here it is ladies and gentlemen the Joe Sexton Signature Series.



Thirtytwo DGK Collection

Bridging the gap between snowboarding and skateboarding isn’t done by wonder boy Shaun White, it’s done by Thirtytwo and it’s Thirtytwo DGK Collection.  For all the kids living in urban area with tons of rail, ledge, and drop options Thirtytwo desided to collaborate with skateboarding’s bad boys, Dirty Ghetto Kids.  If you like Aesop Rock, tagging bathroom mirrors, and Cab 270-Front Tail-Back Nose (Change Up)-Pretzel Out combos you’ll love everything Dirtytwo has to offer.


2013 Thirtytwo – 32 DGK Collection

2013 DGK x 32 Collection

How in the world did Thirtytwo and DGK come together for a collaboration?  Through the love of skating that’s how.  Everyone has a different style, or at least should have.  For the hesh dudes Thirtytwo offers the Joe Sexton Signature Series and for the thugs they offer the DGK Collection.  The DGK gear fits a lot bigger than the average pant and jacket combos, but when you’re a Dirty Ghetto Kid, that’s all that you need.  The DGK branding is top notch, the functionality is perfect, and the tech is right on the dial.

DGK Shiloh 2 Jackets

What is big, baggy, and full of features?  The Shiloh 2 Jacket.  The long length keeps your seat dry on crash landings and on long chair rides.  It’s the idea piece of the DGK Collection and screams for respect.



DGK Blahzay Pants

Shoe string isn’t a very wise supportive device, but make you look cool like the dudes at the local skatepark.  If the shoe string doesn’t keep your Blahzay Pants up, no worries, there is belt loops too.




DGK TM-Two Boots

Thirtytwo riders have a team boot favorite; it’s called the TM-Two.  One thing that could make the TM-Two better is a collaberation with DGK.  Not very many companies put as much detailed effort into their product, but Thirtytwo does.  DGK for live.


2013 Thirtytwo – 32 Joe Sexton Signature Series


2012 Thirtytwo Joe Sexton Signature Series

How in the world could a kid from Minnesota get as good as Joe Sexton?  With tons a dedication and the willingness to always have fun.  Joe got picked up a few years back by Thirtytwo and has gradually worked his way to the top of the snowboard industry.  His exposure meter is off the charts, he rides for some great companies, and Thirtytwo let him design his out kit.  That’s right, Joe has pro-model boots, jackets, and pants.

If the Joe Sexton Signature Series feels a little to hesh for you, check out the DGK Collection, it’s pretty big.

 Joe Sexton Unleaded Jackets

The Unleaded Jacket is pretty straight forward and simple.  This 50’s gas station employee inspired thick canvas jacket helps you do it all – shred, school, chill.  STI Repel keeps the water out and the quilted liner keep you warm.


Joe Sexton Kermit Pants

With a classic 5 pocket denim fit how can you go wrong with the Kermit Pant?  You can’t.  Medial leg cuffs slide easily over your boots and with gloves on the zipper fly opens with a blink of an eye.  Be warned, there is no insulation in these babies, think about adding a baselayer underneath.




Joe Sexton The Maven Boots

So you thought the 2012 86 FTs were skate inspired?  Wait until you ride the The Maven Boots!  The cuff is low and soft, the outsole is thin, and Thirtytwo laced them up.  The first person to Treflip with these gets an internet high five.