Last summer, I looked in the mirror didn’t like what I saw. I guess my metabolism took a nose dive and I gained thirty pounds through the fall and winter. I was desperate for an activity that would help me lose weight and stay active but I didn’t want to waste away the beautiful summer in a gym. I decided to try paddle boarding and quickly knew this was the right sport for me.
I rented several different boards but never felt like they were secure or versatile enough for my needs. After months of boarding nearly every day, I decided it was time to invest in my own board. I knew that if I was going to commit to the sport and really lose the weight I wanted to, I needed my own quality equipment. After doing my research, I concluded that the Voyager by Riviera was the best paddle board for my needs.
Things To Consider When Buying A Paddleboard
I stumbled into paddle boarding, but some people are total pros and compete in boarding competitions. The type of boarding that you plan to do will affect what you’ll need in a board. If you’re concerned with touring or racing, you need to be considering the hull shape, the size, weight and width of the board, and the construction and fin style. If you’re like me, and you’re more interested in fun and fitness then stability and maneuverability are the main concerns.
When buying a standup board (SUB), it’s important to consider:
- Versatility (different types of water)
Riviera has always made solid boards. The Voyager is their widest and sturdiest board yet. You can choose between 11’6’’ or 12’6’’ but both boards at plenty wide, at 32’’. This paddle board would be perfect for you if you’re looking to navigate comfortably without threat of being tossed overboard. The board has a thick and study center construction which honestly feels as stable as any dock you might stand on. There are convenient cable ties at the nose and the tail of the board where you can easily store snacks, water or whatever else you might need out on the water.
- Bulky storage
- Slightly slower turns
Stability and Comfort
It was important to me to find a board that I would feel comfortable and confident on. I wanted to spend hours out on the water, soaking up the sun and getting a good work out in. I didn’t want my board to add undo stress that would just become a barrier between me and my health. The Voyager is a stable as they come. The width and hardness of the board make this a calm and low stress ride, but the E.P.S. foam core is as light as a study board can be.
Versatile and Durable
The Voyager was built like a tame racing board, so you can gain some notable speed without sacrificing the stability that a non-pro needs. It’s perfect for flat water or relatively calm ocean tides. You can get a good full body work out while easily slicing through the water. You might have to struggle a bit more on the turns than you would with a racing board, but that’s a sacrifice that comes with the heft of security.
The fiberglass surrounding the ultralight E.P.S. foam core makes this board very resistant to dings and scratches. This is particularly useful, if you’re a newbie like I was! I definitely crashed my board into a few docks, trees, other boards…and I lived to tell the tale! With the Voyager, so will you.
Convenient and User-Friendly
It’s not just the stability of this board that makes it a comfortable ride. Not all boards are designed with such generous leash plugs on the nose and tail of the board. Being able to easily bring your gear out onto the water might be the difference between a comfortable four hours on the water, and a thirsty, hungry and sunburnt two hours on the water. Riviera had boarders like me in mind when they added these tie-downs, because I know having my gear along helps me make the most out of my boarding experience every time I use it.
|Peak Inflatable Standup Paddleboard||Inflatable||$$$|
|Isle Versa Epoxy Standup Paddleboard||Solid||$$$$|
|Solstice Bali Standup Paddleboard||Inflatable||$$$|
If you’re looking for a board that is just as comfortable, but maybe a little cheaper and light, then the Peak Inflatable board is a good choice for you. Inflatable boards by nature are lighter but generally less durable. Peak’s SUB is made with military grade PVC, so for an inflatable board it’s pretty durable. This board claims to hold up to 300 lbs, and is sturdy and stable. Plus, it comes with an adjustable paddle, a travel backpack, a pump and a coil leash!
This board was specifically designed for beginners. It’s wide, with a rubber grippy pad on the top and very steady on easy going waves. You won’t get the speed that the Voyager is capable of, but you will feel comfortable and secure on this board. The Isle Versa comes with an adjustable paddle and the board is designed with an easy grip handle for convenient carrying.
A slightly shorter board, the Solstice Bali SUB might be best for shorter riders. It is an inflatable board that promises to be extra-light and yet extremely rigid and firm. You can reach higher speeds with this board, but might not feel as stable as you would with any of the other choices. This board has four stainless steel tie-downs for securing your gear and the board comes with a pump, gauge and carrying bag. If you’re looking for a board that is easy to store and travel with, then the Solstice Bali is perfect.
When choosing your board, the most important thing to remember is that you’re investing in yourself. When I found myself falling out of shape, I knew I needed to make a change. Investing in my own quality equipment encouraged me to take myself seriously and took my paddle boarding to the next level. The Riviera Voyager is a quality board that offers the stability, comfort, and convenience you need to get out of the house and on the water as much as possible. Check out the Voyager here, and happy boarding!