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Standup Paddleboards VS Kayaks in Lake George

Standup paddleboards VS kayaks: everything to know, particularly for Lake George watersports? If you're wondering, are kayaks faster than paddleboards, yes, they are, but there's much more to take into consideration.

scene in water with people kayaking and paddleboarding

All About Paddleboarding

With a stand up paddleboard, you stand on the board and use a long, single-bladed paddle to move. Usually you're connected to your board with a "SUP leash" so you don't need to worry about the board drifting away should you fall into the water.

split image with a young woman standup paddleboarding on the left and a woman doing sup yoga on the right

Perks of paddleboarding include:

  • Better full-body workout than kayaking
  • Not as heavy to carry as a kayak
  • Easy to get on and off
  • Easy to bring kids or pets as passengers
  • Good in tight spaces
  • Easy access to the water for swimming
  • Can couple with another activity like yoga
  • "Looks cooler"

What to Know About Kayaking

Kayaking is similar to canoeing, except it utilizes double-bladed paddles instead of single-bladed, and you're not on an elevated seat like in a canoe.

a couple kayaking

Here are pros of kayaking:

  • Great workout for the upper body
  • Typically faster than paddleboarding
  • Better comfort for going long distances
  • More storage space for stuff like fishing gear
  • Better in cold or windy conditions or choppy water*
  • Less likely to fall in the water than with paddleboarding

*Note, you can wear a wetsuit when paddleboarding. But you can stay completely dry and warm in a kayak.

It's also worth mentioning that if you have specific needs for your water adventure, the model of the paddleboard or kayak should also be taken into consideration. For instance, while it's true that kayaks are usually better for a long distance paddle, there are models of paddleboards that are better designed for longer trips than others.

Hear It From Those in the Business!

tip of a paddleboard in the water

From Mike Caruso at Kayak Lake George

On how the weather plays a role: The range of popularity changes largely upon the weather and the clients' ability. For example, if it's a beautiful, warm sunny day, people will venture out on a paddleboard, not only for the experience, but also the ability to enjoy the lake and swimming.

On who tends to pick what: Kayaks offer a longer range of sightseeing for those who want to explore the lake, and more flexibility. Less adventurous people feel more secure in a kayak. Stand up paddleboards offer sightseeing as well as a little more of a challenging workout. Both options offer an inexpensive way to enjoy the beauty of Lake George.

On how folks can try out each at Kayak Lake George: We offer a variety of items from sit-on-top kayaks, sit-in kayaks, single and tandems, as well as paddleboards.

Learn more about Kayak Lake George »

River ridin' stand

From Chandler Atkins at River Ridin'

On who tends to pick what: What I have observed is that most of the people prefer to start out on a kayak, with families loving the two-man kayaks to put a young child in the front seat. I then see the families migrate to the aqua trikes and pedal boats and seldom to SUP boards.

On SUP appealing to young folksSUP boards appeal first to young kids and young adults who want to try the experience. Young kids around 8 to 12 are the best on the SUP boards - they have great balance, agility, and confidence. They stand up right away. The market is definitely for a younger audience, athletic swimmers, and the adventurous. Older customers tend to be more comfortable with kayaks.

On how folks can try each out at River Ridin': We let customers decide for themselves what they'd like to do for watersports. We offer them rowboats, kayaks (one- and two-man), SUP boards, and aqua trikes all for the same price of $21 per hour. They can mix and match, try one and then the other for their ticketed time.

River Ridin' offers a wide variety of watercraft rentals, including kayaks and SUP boards, but they also have pedal boats, an aqua trike, tubes, jet skis, and more. (A training is included with a jet ski rental). 

Check out River Ridin' »

Now You Know What You Want! Here's Where to Go

paddleboards in a shop

Both paddleboarding and kayaking are easy to learn and allow you to get in solid exercise while sightseeing and enjoying the water. So whichever you choose, stay confident that you you'll get your lake legs in no time!

Find more places that offer paddleboard and kayak rentals »

Ready to step it up a notch? Try whitewater rafting »


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