What size of paddle board do I need?
We know paddle boarding is becoming more and more popular in recent years around the world. But there is a problem, do you know what size of paddle board is better for you?
To find the right paddle board, you need know the kind of paddle boarding you intend to do and your experience or skill level. Besides, you need take your body weight and height into consideration.
What Size of Paddle Board Do I Need for My Weight?
While there are variable factors that influence the ideal length, width, and thickness you are looking for in a paddle board. The following chart will guide you in an appropriate range if you are a beginner paddler looking for all-around board.
Guideline For a Beginner Paddler/All-Around SUP
Here is a general guide for beginner paddlers wanting a board for all-around.
|paddler weight||SUP Width||SUP thickness||SUP length|
|Under 125lbs (56kg)||31-32''||5''||9'6''-10'9''|
Guideline for An Intermediate to Advanced Paddler/All-Around SUP
Keep in mind that the advanced riders tend to choose the boards based on the certain performance characteristics more than size and weight factors. So consider this chart as a starting point for choosing a SUP board.
|paddler weight||SUP width||SUP thickness||SUP length|
|under 125lbs (56kg)||29-32''||5''||9'6''-10'9''|
We just talked about the weight factor when we choose a right size paddle board, now we will talk about the types of paddle boarding factors.
The Types of Paddle Boarding Decide the Size of Paddle Board
The size of paddle boards depend on what you want to do on the water. Choosing the right board will make your paddling experience more enjoyable and fun.
Touring paddle boards offer amazing versatility. The touring boards are also applied to family fun. If your family love touring on paddle board on the lake, river or sea, then you can choose a 12'6'' touring board or even longer in 14' length, between 30'' and 32'' in width.
It is longer and narrower than all-around boards, allowing for the boards to go in straight line more easily. It also has much room for kids to sit and chill out. They have a pointy nose, and often designed as a displacement hull. The longer and narrower a board is, the more efficiently it slice through the water. But it will sacrifice the stability.
If you love sports and have good balance, the inflatable sups will be excellent fast racing boards. This paddle board is a choice for distance paddling. The narrower racing SUPs at around 26’’ to 28’’ width and 12’6 to 14’ length are incredibly fast, but are really best for those with more experience or the best balance!
Fitness paddle boards are new introduction to the SUP market. However for paddle board yoga or fitness, stability and balance are usually primary concern, so you should go for a wider paddle board (31’’ to 36’’) and a length of 10’ to 11’6’’. It will give you more space and stability for practicing yoga and doing poses.
Inflatable surf sups can offer performance on a wave. They are shorter with a narrower nose (10’ or less) and tail section and hence very fast turning. Choose a shorter board of 10’ or less and a narrow (29’’ to 32’’ wide) so you can seamlessly paddle among the waves. Short boards are more easily operative than longer boards, making them great for surfing waves. The low volume means that overall stability is not as great as longer boards. This is best for more advanced paddlers.
All round paddle boards are the choices for the majority of paddlers as their length and width make them super stable and easy to turn. These stand up paddle boards are usually about between 9’6’’ and 11’ in length, 4’’ to 6’’ thickness, and approximately 31’’ or 35’’ width. The nose and tail of the board will usually be quite wide as this also helps with stability and balance. It is great for beginning paddler and a family for fun at the beach. It is designed to get you on the water and enjoy being afloat.
Below we will give more further information about how to choose the the right paddle board for yourself
The paddle board volume decides its weight capacity
We know the most important factor in SUP size is your weight. Along with your weight, your skill level will also determine what volume your SUP should be. Volume is the liter-based measure that determines your SUP’s buoyancy based on length, width, and thickness. The higher the volume a board has, the more weight it can support.
Inflatable Paddle Board volume
- People under 200lbs: You will be fine on any standard paddle board
- People 200-235lbs: At least 175L of volume
- People 235-300lbs: At least 242L of volume
- People over 300lbs: At least 272L of volume
Is There a Weight Limit on Paddle Board?
The important thing is ensuring that whatever board you choose has a weight capacity to sopport yourself.
To help you with this, many paddle board manufacturers helpfully indicate the maximum weight capacity of their paddle boards. Unfortunately, some of the lower priced boards- some manufactures are a little too optimistic in what weight their SUP can bear. For instance, its recommended maximum weight capacity is 220lbs, but based on user reviews, we wouldn’t recommend it for anyone over about 180lbs.
Now that you understand the volume and maximum weight that your paddle board need to be. The next dimension you should figure out is what length your SUP should be. The length of a paddle board plays a major role in determining how the board handles. Longer boards are faster than shorter boards, but shorter boards are more maneuverable. The ideal length SUP will be based on the type of your paddle boarding you plan to do on the water.
Paddle board under 10’
The best choice for SUP surfing. Since shorter sup are more maneuverable, this makes them great for doing bottom turns, and turning around to catch the wave of the day. It always has a planning hull. Boards designed specifically for kids 13 or younger. It is also good for intermediate or advanced paddlers and SUP surfers.
Paddle boards over 10’ to 11’6’’
This is the most popular SUP size in the market. It is ideal for all paddlers from beginner to intermediate and advanced skill levels. They are usually 31’’ to 35’’ wide. They are great for recreational paddling, SUP fishing, and SUP yoga. Commonly they have planing hulls, but some do have displacement hulls.
Paddle board of 12’ or more
They are best for intermediate to advanced paddlers. They are good for long-distance paddling, racing, and touring. Generally, most long paddler boards will have a displacement hull. These SUPs are faster and have better tracking (stay straight for longer distance). For SUP racing, choose one less than 31’’ wide. For SUP touring, choose one that is 32’’ wide. For SUP fishing, choose a board at least 32’’ or wider.
What width should your paddle board be
Paddle board width, or its side to side measurement, should be between 29’’ to 35’’. A wider board will be more stable on the water, while a narrower board will move faster. If you are planning on using your board for SUP yoga, SUP fishing, or general recreational paddling, choose a board that is at least 31’’ wide. If you will be SUP surfing, racing, grab a narrower board: 29’’ to 31’’ wide. Some companies make multi-person paddle boards that are 45-56 inches because they are designed for 4-7 riders.
Besides, try to match the width of SUP to your body type. Generally, if you are a small person, go with a narrower board and if you are a big person, go with a wider board.
What thickness should your paddle board be
Board thickness also matters when choosing the right size. Generally, all inflatable paddle boards are 6 inches thick. They have a consistent thickness from the nose to the tail, which gives you the feeling of sitting high up on the water and makes you feel more stable.
In today’s market, there are a lot of inflatables that are poorly made which means that they are low quality. Beware of any inflatables that are less than 6 inches thick. A 5 inches inflatable paddle boards can be rigid enough until you put too much weight on them. And 4’’ boards are so dysfunctional that they are becoming straight-up obsolete.