Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt

A Shaper’s Take | Tips For Custom Ordering a SUP

Paddlers fall into two gear camps: Those that obsess over every item, seeking golden bits of information to gain any sliver of performance on the water or an extra year of longevity in the garage; and those that could care less and just want to paddle that board now, factory fins and all. Wherever you fall on the gear-geek spectrum, understanding the basics of optimizing and maintaining your hard-earned equipment will take you a long way. We reached out to our top contributors and athletes to gather some hacks, tips and tricks to maximize both the performance and the lifespan of your gear. 

This article is part of a series of tips and tricks for picking the right gear and maintaining it for the long haul, originally published in our 2018 Gear Guide, available in digital and print here!

Dave Daum, owner of Kings Paddle Sports, on ordering a custom SUP.

The world is governed by the laws of physics. The challenge of board designers is to combine all those features into a shape that someone is going to enjoy. That's not locked in stone; there are infinite combinations. People come to us as board builders and expect us to have the right tools in the toolbox and produce something that will overwhelm them. If we do that consistently, they are going to love it, the sport's going to grow and our brand will do very well.

People used to ask for the shortboard-style SUPs quite often. But we have found that most people can get just as high or even higher performance out of an all-around or noserider-style SUP with the right rocker, volume and shape outline and they don't have to fight so much.

As shapers, when someone orders a custom board we need to ask questions and let paddlers tell us what they want. Where do they paddle? What kind of waves do they surf? What is there true skill level? What do they want to do with their board? That tends to focus us in on the style of board they need.

Other Gear Hacks

How to transport a big board with a little car.

Finding the right fins.

Choosing the right leash.

The case for repairing your SUP gear.