New SUP boards are on the way

We have been getting our summer stock of SUP boards made overseas now for the past 6 years. We have used several different factories over that time, but for about the last 4 years I knew of one particular factory that I wanted to use, but because of our low volumes we weren't able to meet their minimum order quantity. So this year we placed our order with this factory, and I must say it has been an absolute pleasure working with them. For you, the customer, this means that you will be getting a superior quality product at a real value-for-money price. Mid-winter we received our prototypes and with just a little bit of fine-tuning, the finished products are now on the water and will be in the shop late October.

What's different about this years stand up paddle board? Most of the boards come in two levels of construction - FULL STRENGTH and LITE. The LITE boards are around 10% lighter, and an industry standard 2 * 6oz fibreglass layup with reinforcing patches in key areas. The FULL STRENGTH boards feature a deck that is first laminated with carbon fibre cloth, then genuine bamboo laminate (not just a print that some cheap boards have) with 6oz fibreglass over that. This deck is rock solid and will last quite a bit longer than the cheap boards on the market.

The FULL STRENGTH boards also feature the LIFTSUP handle. You can see from the pictures here that the handle pops up and you can get a decent grip on the board. This is much better to control the board with when you are out of the water, especially if it's a bit windy. When you are in the water, the handle just pushes back down in to the recess. It's a pretty neat design!

We also have a lot more boards to choose from this year and we will be continually adding to our range, in order to provide you with the most comprehensive range of boards available from an Australian based manufacturer. Being based in Torquay, we are really fortunate to have good surf for at least 9 months of the year and lots of different breaks so we can test ride our new designs for you. It's a tough job but someone has to do it!

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Looking after your SUP board

Now that you have invested in one of the best SUP boards on the market, you want to look after it, right? 
1. Do not leave the boards in the sun or store them where they will get hot. This includes your car on a hot day and even on the roof of your car for a long time in the sun. This is more of an issue in Queensland  than in Tasmania, but even in Tassy it could be an issue. We had a customer bring in a board (not one of ours - another brand that was made in QLD) to us today that he had used in QLD and half the deck has de-laminated - repairable but costly.
2. Give the boards a hose down with fresh water  after use every now and then, especially if they are being stored for a long time in between uses. A weekly rinse would be good over summer for example. This is mainly to prolong the life of the deck grip, which won't last forever, but if you rinse the salt off regularly it may last a bit longer.
3. SUP boards are like any surfboard - fragile! If you knock them or drop them or collide with another paddler or surfer, always check for damage. If the fibreglass is cracked or damaged to the point that water will get in, it needs to be fixed. If the damage occurs in the water, get out of the water and get the board fixed before you use it again. Please make sure that the repairer uses epoxy resin and not polyester resin as polyester resin will cause more damage. We will soon be listing little repair kits on our store which are worth having to do small repairs yourself. 5 minute Araldyte will do the job too, in an emergency.
4. Always make sure you are in water deep enough that your fin is not dragging on sand or (even worse) rocks. See the board in the *picture? The customer who owns this board was sure he had not done anything to damage it. Looking at the tip of the fin, I could tell it had been ridden in to very shallow water and at some stage enough pressure had been applied to the fin to half rip the fin box out of the board.He said "they should be strong enough to withstand being ridden in to the sand"! Well, the fin is designed to work in water, not sand! He thought he had a warranty claim. I asked, "If he bought a car and later drove in to a pole would you be claiming that the car should handle hitting a pole without being damaged?" This repair will cost him at least $120.00 to have done. We repair surfboards and SUP boards all the time - it's a bit of a fact of life that if you own a board you WILL damage it at some time. Accidents happen - but don't be careless - use your noggin' a bit!
*bit hard to see what's going on here. The center fin box is being replaced. The yellow stuff above the masking tape is expanding polyurethane foam that we have to use to fill in the whole where the old fin box came out. They grey thing behind the foam is a lead weight to push the fibreglass back down that was lifted by the fin box getting ripped out. A bit more work to go to restore it to it's former glory!
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Selecting a SUP board

The chances are if you are buying a stand up paddle board for the first time, you don't really know what you need to buy! Right?

How long should it be?

How wide does it need to be?

How thick?

How much should I pay?

Is it risky buying the cheapies?

Well, if you find yourself asking yourself these questions, this is when you need to talk to the experts at Stonker! We will ask you a whole range of questions to work out exactly what is the right type of board for you. Where will you be paddling? How often? What are your goals etc, etc, etc!

Don't just buy this board or any other board online. If you are in the Melbourne, Geelong or Surf Coast, take the time to come to visit us and talk to us in person and get the right advice so you buy the right board at the right price! We have been making and riding SUP boards for over 10 years - we know what we are doing. And if we can't help you with the right type of board, we will refer you on to someone who can help you.

Don't buy a board on line that you have not even seen, from an "invisible" salesperson that you have not even talked to, just to save a few hundred dollars! OK - I know we have our boards listed in our online store, but they are really there to show you what we have, not for you to buy online. It really is worth coming in to the store for a chat, just to make sure you are buying the right board.
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