based on availablity and price. We went with the beginner models of Bic 11.4 polys. We tried a 10.4 and the sides were slightly in the water for my son at 150lbs and me also and much less stable but the main thing was the sides in the water which doesn't seem right or efficient. We are returning the shorter easier to turn board due to this.
We bought last years models so a price savings there also.
Just to tell you - we had a hoot! My son and girlfriend could sit together or stand on the longer board and it held them both well. My big husband was ok on it also (albeit a few bruises!) me too! (Bruises also!) we tested it to the max including falling off on purpose and how far we could step etc and climbing back on! We all enjoyed it but know if we really want to get someplace fast and far- we will take a kayak.
Re paddles - still undecided - we bought the Werner fijis in 2 length adjustable styles and I seem to prefer the longer one (over 10 in over my height) and a Kialo i believe which was more $$ a little heavier but smoother shaft.(not nice enough i don't think for the extra $$) We ordered a bic carbon adjustable but dont have that one yet.
I am a little anal on paddles as i love my Beale GP for my kayak - it must be right or i wont like it....I think the basic adjustable Werner Figi's are acceptable until we figure out our specific lengths.
I actually loved sitting on it/laying on it and paddling although you cannot put your hand on the tgrip paddling that way.
All in all - it a beginner board but it is loads of fun to swim/play/sit/(not kneel so much) and for what it is....low end....it works for us for now !!!
Of course.....lighter ones may entice us at a later date as well as a nice carbon paddle!! but that's for another day....
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