Bring it Home, Baby
The next few posts are going to get a bit heavy on all the crap you need when you have a paddle board. Rather than overwhelm and bore you, I’m going to break it up by sharing a paddle spot as well. I’m just nice like that. So, now that you’ve decided to buy that awesome, beautiful board you most importantly have to figure out how to get it home (oh. yeah.).
If you have a pick-up truck, you’re in luck, all you need are some straps to tie it down (and maybe some old towels or such to keep your beauty from getting scratched). Maybe you have a Jeep (cuz you’re just too cool) and in the warmer weather with the top off, you can get creative and strap the board to the roll bars. For the rest of us minions, you need a roof rack. If your vehicle already has cross bars, again, you just need straps. If your top is naked, you’ll have to shell out More $.
I agree. This is painful after paying for your beauty.
There are many options so do your homework. You can have the car dealership install the one your car company makes or you can choose from several brands the most popular being Thule and Yakima. I went with Thule for non-practical reasons such as my sister-in-law is Swedish and I like Swedes and they make really cool shit (you’ve been to IKEA, right?). REI and Eastern Mountain Sports both offer 20% off sales typically in the spring and fall AND they will install it for FREE (well, EMS did mine. Can’t vouch for REI and I don’t see anything on their website but make sure you ask!). These stores usually have a rack/cargo guru that will help you maneuver the intricacies of getting all the proper parts that are sized for your car. If you’re feeling super brave and smart, you can probably find stuff cheaper in some online warehouse but don’t come crying to me to help you put it on and figure it out. I will just shrug and play stupid.
Next is straps or if you want to spend some MORE money, you can get the special SUP rack attachment.
Thule’s Express Surf Strap is pictured above and goes for $40. The basic Load Straps are on the right and go for $30. When I bought my rack they didn’t make the express strap yet so I have plenty of experience with both. BUY THE EXPRESS STRAPS. Done.
My previously referred to cousin and Paddler in Crime and going forward referred to as PIC, has the rack attachment. Major pros: loading is easy and quick and you can LOCK it. Cons: MORE money, if you have an already tall vehicle, this adds to the height you have to lift board over your head to load.
I was going to talk about some more gear but I think that’s quite enough decisions to be thinking about and we should move on to my next SUPspot which is Hope Dam. This is my favorite of the most convenient places for me to paddle.
The picture at the top of the post is located in that big, fat area next to the “Hope Pond Recreation Area”. This is a great spot to sit and watch the birds and catch the sunset. The launch is at the bottom of Hope Furnace Rd pretty much where that red marker is. There is a dirt road and a good sized parking lot right beside the dam.
Once you launch, take a left (away from the dam ;). This is a nice, wide, deep section that leads to the rec area. The rec area has a sandy beach and a couple of docks where you can stop if the mood strikes. The river then takes a couple of twists and turns and gets a bit narrower the further you go. There are several house along the banks and you will undoubtedly pass by several kayakers and fishermen, this is a well used area but not in a crowded sense. Depending on the time of year (water levels and vegetation), you can paddle almost to the “real” dam that holds the Scituate Reservoir in. Always be on the lookout for rocks, stumps, shallow water as there are lots of obstacles. I would also suggest your bug spray and water shoes/sandals are a must.
You can go out and back in approximately an hour. I promise to get more pictures so I can bring it to life for you! Until next post…