Over recent years, Paddleboarding has continued to build upon its already huge popularity. I wanted to discover its lure, and I was thrilled when Bluefin SUP invited me to try their Aura Fit paddleboard out. With the summer months now with us, I headed out on the water to test my balance, coordination and bicep power.
You may think paddleboarding is a modern leisure activity, and the last five years has undoubtedly seen an explosion in people using them here in the UK. But far from being a leisure activity, its origins lie three thousand years ago when Polynesians stood on planks of wood to travel between islands.
In 1940 paddleboarding took on a modern look when older surfers in Hawaii looked to their ancestors and started to stand on their surfboards, using a paddle to propel them and steer. Bluefin SUP has brought paddleboarding to the height of modern technology, and I am testing one of their latest models, the Aura Fit.
Using the Aura Fit model Stand Up Paddleboard for the first time, I had the song of my childhood ringing in my ears. When the weather is fine, it is surely a sign of messing around on the river. Before I continue, I will say Don’t Try This At Home, meaning, please don’t take me literally and mess around near any water. Please have fun but stay safe and wear the correct kit for the conditions.
I couldn’t wait to pump the Aura Fit SUP up and get out on the sea, as the weather has indeed been fine, with a lack of wind. Ideal sea conditions for a novice like me to start paddling. The Aura Fit came as a complete kit from BluefinSup, containing the deflated board, specialist pump, guidance fins to secure the board and the foot leash.
The leash attaches the paddleboard to your leg, so if or should I say when you fall in the water, your paddleboard remains close to you and doesn’t float off. The added safety here is that you have the paddleboard to hand to lie across and rest before you climb back on. This action can be difficult when at sea.
The Aura Fit is 10″ 8′ in length and, as Bluefin suggest, ideal for beginners and those wanting to do yoga. Yes, there is now a trend to perform yoga while floating on a paddleboard as it increases the need for great posture and core muscle strength. However, I want to stand up on it, let alone perform a downward dog or growing tree.
I took all the equipment in the carry bag that comes with the beginners kit down to the beach. I made sure I had the instructions in the bag because, like most men, I will launch straight into setting something up then realise I have done something wrong. You won’t want that to happen when you have children desperate to use the board. Or, in my case, two teenage nephews.
About the Aura Fit
Bluefin classifies the Aura Fit as their most stable and versatile SUP, ideal for novice paddleboarders. Bluefin uses 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC & Pro Weave Drop Stitch to construct the Aura Fit. These materials make the boards rugged, and they can take up to 28 PSI.
The Aura Fit performs perfectly as a standalone multi-use paddleboard, especially if you’re new to the sport & are seeking a SUP with added balance. The extra-wide 91cm overall shape is designed especially with yoga, pilates & aqua-based fitness in mind.
What you get in the kit
When you buy a board from Bluefin SUP, you get a complete set of equipment to use it. My Aura Fit came with a substantial light blue backpack with loads of extra padding and broad straps. The bag is to carry the SUP and all accessories, including the paddles.
The two-piece paddle has an ergonomic fibreglass shaft weighing almost 45% less than standard SUP paddles. No flutter polyurethane composite blade is impossible to chip or damage. Both float, so if you drop them, you can retrieve them from the water.
To assist SUPs to glide along and be easier to steer, they have fins fitted to the underside. The fins are removable to make life easier folding the board away and storing it in the backpack. When the board is taken out and inflated, clip them into the slots.
The Aura Fit comes with an 8″ centre fin and two smaller outer ones, and a large double-action lightweight pump that inflates the board rapidly on both strokes.
The instructions provided with the kit are excellent and take you through every step of preparing and inflating the board. Once the board is rigid, the fins click in place, and you are ready to go. The tricky bit for me came when I first attempted to stand on the board when floating on the ever-moving sea.
The Aura Fit proved an excellent platform, and I was soon upright and stable. Once that was accomplished, paddling was easy and so enjoyable. Moving along under your own steam is rewarding and fun. I soon understood what the attraction of SUP use is, and I will be back messing about on the river whenever I can.
Bluefin SUP – Where and How?
Bluefin SUP manufactures several Stand Up Paddleboards with kits starting at £450; these include the pump, paddle, carry bag, fins and the board. For more information, visit https://bluefinsupboards.com.
Read more articles about Paddleboarding and other healthy pastimes here.