Land Paddling Gear Basics

The Equipment You'll Need to Street SUP

FullSizeRender--4.jpg
© George E. Sayour

Getting started in land paddling, also known as Street SUP, is easier than in most sports.    Of course there’s the whole learning curve as far as balancing on a skateboard.  But from an equipment side of things, in the end, all you’ll need is a skateboard and a land paddle.  Here is a brief guide on the land paddling gear you’ll need to get started.

Land Paddling Longboard Skateboard

If you already have a skateboard, you’re halfway there.

  Since landpaddlers are in it for distance and duration, you’ll want a longboard style skateboard with high performance bearings.  That is, with Abec 5 or greater bearings.  Any longboard will really do, but as in any sport there are specializations.  There are downhill longboards and cruising longboards and everything in between.  The basic components of any skateboard are the deck, grip tape, trucks, bushings, bearings, and wheels.  Beginners to the sport don’t have to worry too deeply about these areas as the components such as wheels and bearings are easily replaceable to suit the conditions your riding in.  To learn more about skateboard components, visit the About.com skateboard page.

Land Paddle or "Stick"

The paddle, or stick, is the object used to “paddle” the board down the street.  There are three basic parts to a paddle.  The are the grip or handle, the shaft, and the blade or tip.

  Land paddles are really so simple that you can even make your own.  The length of the land paddle should be between your jaw and your forehead when standing on your board.  A rule of thumb is it should be almost as long as you are tall when standing on the ground.

Buying Land Paddle Longboards and Paddles

While any longboard can be used to land paddle, here are a few of the companies who have made a name for themselves when it comes to land paddling gear:

Personal Protective Street SUP Gear

It is true that all that is needed from a land paddling gear perspective  is a skateboard and a paddle.  Skating safety gear is, however, recommended.  This is especially true of beginners and for experienced boarders who tend to ride in extreme conditions such as downhill or in traffic. Some such items are a skateboarding helmet, gloves, and knee and elbow pads.  Really, these items are up to you and you’ll frequently see people land paddling without them.  But, as the mantra goes, “its better to be safe than sorry.”