Based in the Florida Keys, professional chef Edwin Hammond Meredith regularly participates in several water sports. In recent years, Edwin Hammond Meredith has developed a particular enjoyment of stand up paddle boarding and has completed several long-distance races throughout Florida.
Stand up paddle boarding is a fun and challenging water sport that tests balance and coordination. As with most sports, there are some key pieces of gear one will need in order to get started.
As the name of the sport suggests, the first thing you will need is an actual stand up paddle board. These boards are available in a number of styles, measuring 8-12 feet long and 28-32 inches across. While they may resemble surfboards, stand up paddle boards are fabricated with a thicker construction, often composed of a foam core coated with epoxy and fiberglass. Beginners should stick with boards that have the most surface area, meaning the longest, thickest, and widest boards.
Paddles can be fashioned from a number of materials such as wood, plastic, carbon fiber, and aluminum. When paddling on flat water, it’s best to use a long paddle. Choppier, more active water calls for a shorter paddle.
A leash is a strap that wraps around the lower part of the leg (calf or ankle) that connects the paddler to his or her board. A good rule of thumb is to select a leash that is the same length as your board. A leash helps you stay with your board in the event you get tossed from it by wind or waves.