Kayaks and Stand-Up Paddle Boards (SUPs) are flying off the shelves during this COVID isolation. With malls, theaters, and sporting events not a great option, folks are looking to get outdoors for nature therapy. No better place on the planet for that than in Florida with all the beautiful waters to choose from! But wait – are you heading to the clear cool springs to paddle & snorkel? Are you thinking of going upriver to the local rope swing hangout? Do you plan on paddling across the bay to camp on a a barrier island beach? Depending on what type of paddling recreation you have in mind, that will determine if you should purchase a kayak or a SUP.Reasons to purchase a SUP

  • since you’re paddling while standing you get a better leg and core workout
  • they are lighter than a kayak and easier to store & transport
  • SUPs are easier to get on and off for swimming & snorkeling
  • paddling standing up gives you better views down into the water
  • more versatile than a kayak – can even do yoga and pushups on them
  • others can swim over and jump on for a ride
  • you can strap down a cooler and use it as a seat
  • inflatable SUPs make storing and transporting a breeze
  • keeping inflatable SUPs in your vehicle allow for spontaneous paddles
  • you can look cooler walking down to the water with one on your shoulder

Limitations of a SUP

  • slower than a kayak due to the paddling technique of having to alternate sides for each stroke
  • standing up while paddling makes wind more of an issue on open waters – further slowing you down
  • due to the factors above it makes paddling them against a strong current more difficult than a kayak
  • you can gain some speed and maneuverability with the harder, lower profile, fiberglass boards vs the blow up SUPs
  • overall SUPs are more prone to damage in shallow rocky or oyster bottom waters

We recommend checking out one of our paddling adventure guides to test out different models of SUPs and kayaks before purchasing.

Reasons to purchase a kayak

  • kayaks are a more efficient vessels for covering longer distances
  • kayaks are better for crossing large open bodies of water and paddling against a strong current
  • sit-on-top kayaks are better than sit-ins when it comes to the ability to get on and off when exploring
  • kayaks can take more of a beating when transporting and paddling compared to SUPs
  • tons of accessories for camping and fishing make its use not just for sight seeing
  • kayaks are best for furry friends and small kids to stay secured inside compared to a SUP
  • skegs, rudders, and foot pedals on some models give even more tools for fighting winds and fish
  • even though hanging a SUP from your shoulder is pretty cool there are a ton of cool Kayak Social Clubs
  • tandem kayaks are available and once you synchronize your paddle strokes you can cover some miles

Limitations of a kayak

  • kayaks are more difficult to store and transport (models that can be taken apart are now available)
  • kayaks are slightly less versatile when it comes to sliding on and off the vessels for water fun
  • inflatable kayaks can simplify storage and transporting but they do sit higher in the water catching the wind

So there you have it – if you’re looking for loads of fun without paddling for crazy long distances, want to do a lot of snorkeling, or you just don’t have storage options, purchase a Stand-Up Paddle Board. If transporting and storing are less of a concern, and you want to have the option to often head upstream, camp, or cross large bodies of water, a kayak purchase is in your future. If you want a hybrid vessel to have more adventure options we recommend you purchase a sit-on-top kayak. But luck would have it, you’re in the right state to buy both a SUP and a YAK!

See you on the water,

Team PHF

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