What size paddle board should I get? 10’6 to 11′ long and 31 to 35″ broad are the most popular SUP sizes for all-around paddling.
Paddleboarding has grown in popularity over the past few years and is now a popular watersport activity all over the world. However, if you want to get the most out of this activity, you’ll need to figure out what size paddle board you need based on your height. If you choose a board that is too short for your height, you may have difficulty paddling it and may possibly injure yourself. Trust me, it’ll soon spoil your weekend!
Get an all-around board that’s flexible while still being sturdy and maneuverable for typical recreational SUP. SUP boards in the 10′ to 11′ long and 31″ to 35″ broad size range are the most popular for general usage. Beginner SUPs may benefit from all-around paddle boards.
The ideal paddle board size for those who are between the heights of 5′ and 6′ is 10′-11′ long and 30″–34″ broad. SUPs with a length of 12′ – 14′ are best for taller paddlers, while SUPs with a length of 8′ – 10′ are best for paddle boarders under 5′.
However, many other sizing criteria, such as the thickness, general form of the SUP board, and what you’ll use it for, must be considered while making your pick. With that in mind, we’ll look at paddleboard sizes that are suitable for smaller, medium, and taller paddlers in this piece to help you find the right one for you.
What Size Paddle Board Should I Get?
SUP boards with a length of 10-11 feet and a width of 32 to 34 inches are the most popular for general usage. If you value stability above all else, go for a board that is 33-34 inches broad. You can go wider, but you’ll likely wind up with a sluggish board that’s less enjoyable to paddle.
If portability and maneuverability are important to you, or if you weigh less than 150 pounds, a board in the 9’6″ length range is a good choice. 9’6″ boards are a lot of fun and, with the appropriate design, can be very stable. Simply make that the width is sufficient for the length, which should be about 30-32 inches. Paddle speed will be sluggish on a 9’6″ board that is broader than 32 inches.
Consider a 12’6″ touring or racing board if speed and straight tracking are important. For a sturdy touring board, 32 inches is a suitable width. Race boards may be as small as 28″ or even 26″, making them very fast but less stable. For a 12’6″ board that can be utilized for both touring and racing, a compromise width of 30″ is popular. Given the popularity of SUP touring, a length of 12’6″ should be quite popular, but some purchasers are hesitant to go this long owing to storage difficulties. However, if you choose an inflatable model, the additional length won’t be a problem for storage, and you’ll get outstanding performance from a good inflatable touring SUP.
Specialized forms are also available for certain applications. 36-inch wide boards are popular for rapids, but they’re too broad for normal paddling since they’re sluggish and need more reaching to maintain your stroke upright. Boards under 9 feet in length are often constructed for ocean or river surfing, although the lack of volume makes general paddling more difficult.
You should also be mindful of the inflatable boards’ stability advantage over hardboards. Inflatables have a consistent thickness from side to side and nose to tail, making them far more stable than hardboards of the same size. Hardboards are designed to save weight and improve racing and surfing performance, but they provide less stability and buoyancy for leisure paddlers.
The thickness of the board is equally as crucial as the length, width, and form of the outline. Inflatable SUP boards for all-around paddling should be 5 inches thick, particularly for riders who are still learning to paddle. Heavier paddlers (225 lbs and higher) may benefit from the greater volume provided by a 6-inch thick board, making the extra mass and other drawbacks of a 6-inch board a worthwhile tradeoff.
Choosing a board size is just the first step in your board purchase investigation. Don’t buy a board without first learning about the various inflatable SUP board designs, structures, and fin systems that are available. Spending time studying a broad and technically proficient inflatable SUP product range is the best approach to get this insight.
Further reading: What are paddle boards made of? – SUP construction
The longest paddle board length range is 10′ to 11′, which is an excellent option for an all-around SUP. It’s not necessarily about your SUP skill level or weight when it comes to length suggestions; instead, it’s about what you want to accomplish with your SUP. While your weight may have a role in how long your board is, the SUP sports you like are much more essential.
A shorter board (10′ or less) is your best bet if you plan to SUP surf or have a smaller body type. In turbulent conditions, shorter boards are more nimble and travel faster. They’re also a fantastic choice for children. If you primarily want to paddle long distances or go SUP touring, go for a longer board (11′ or longer) that will allow you to paddle smoothly and efficiently.
Consider where you’ll keep your board and how far you’ll be hauling it when deciding on length. Storage is less of an issue with inflatable paddle boards than with hard boards, and a shorter SUP is often simpler to store. Another thing to consider is that longer boards are more difficult to carry, particularly in windy conditions. If you have to go a long distance to get to the water, you’ll soon tire of hauling a longer board.
The length of your paddle board has an influence on more than simply the pleasure of your ride. Back on land, it may make or break your SUP storage situation. When buying a hard board, keep in mind that you will need to move it to and from the water as well as store it indoors in a cool, dry location.
Inflatable Paddle Boards Size
Inflatable paddle boards are wonderful for paddling on flat water and are simple to transport. ISLE paddle boards are 6″ thick to give enough of buoyancy for paddlers of all sizes and weights. Children and extremely light paddlers should utilize thinner inflatable boards, but most adults should avoid them since they are unstable and tend to “taco,” or bend, when paddled.
Further reading: Are inflatable paddle boards worth it?
Paddle boards with a length of less than 10′
Paddle boards under 10′ are great for sup surfing because they have great maneuverability for catching waves and performing bottom turns. They’re also great for kids 13 and younger because they have planing hulls. They’re also good for intermediate and advanced paddlers and sup surfers because they have planing hulls.
Paddle boards with a length of 10′ to 11’6
In most cases, paddle boards width is between 31 and 35 inches. Great for paddlers of all ability levels, from beginner to intermediate to experienced. SUP fishing, SUP yoga, and leisure paddling are all possibilities. Our top fishing SUPs (preferably 32 or more in width) are all planning hulls.
Paddle boards with a length of at least 12 feet
Long-distance paddling, racing, and touring are all good options for a paddle board. The majority of them have displacement hulls that go quickly and efficiently through the water. Choose a board that is less than 31 broad for SUP racing. A 32″ board is at least 32″ broad or wider for SUP fishing.
Paddle Board Width
Paddleboard width, measured from side to side, should be between 29″ and 35″. On the water, a larger board will be more stable, while a smaller board will travel quicker. Consider your skill level and the types of SUP activities you’re interested in when picking your SUP width. A broader board (32″ or more) makes it simpler for a novice to find his balance, while expert paddlers can get by with almost any paddle board width.
Choose a board that is at least 31″ wide if you want to use it for SUP yoga, SUP fishing, or general recreational paddling. Grab a smaller board: 29″ to 31″ wide if you’ll be SUP surfing or conducting a speed-focused activity like racing.
When choosing a width, keep your body type in mind. A wider width is simpler to balance on if you’re taller or heavier. A narrower board is more enjoyable to manage if you have a tiny physique and some paddling skill. The thickness of a paddle board is measured in millimeters.
The thickness of a paddle board is the distance between the top and bottom of the board. Paddle boards that are inflatable should be at least 6 inches thick. (This is true of all GILI boards.) Inflatable boards with a thinner thickness will not provide the stability and performance you want.
On the market, there are a lot of iSUPs that aren’t thick enough to operate correctly. Run as fast as you can if you notice an iSUP with a width of 4″-5″. For a short period, a 5″ board may seem to be workable, but it will ultimately give way beneath the weight. And 4″ boards are so ineffective that they’re quickly becoming outdated. When you’re out on the water, the last thing you want is for your board to fail to support you. It just isn’t worth it!
Paddle boards with a hard surface are generally 4″ to 4.5″ thick. When choosing a hard SUP, keep in mind that thinner boards are typically quicker than thicker boards. Thickness is more application-specific for a hard/epoxy SUP, and you’ll need to pay more attention to volume than thickness. When riding an iSUP, you’ll note that the thickness of the board is consistent throughout, whereas hard boards have a little bend beneath them (rocker) to minimize weight. As a result, iSUPs are more stable.
Paddle board sizing according to the weight capacity
Obviously, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to determining which paddle boards are ideal for you. If you’re a beginner paddle boarder, though, we can offer you some pointers. These are the sizes that could be the most suitable for you. For new paddle boarders, the most important thing is to understand the paddle board weight limit. Based on the user’s body weight, this chart will display the length, width, and thickness.
> 125 lbs to 150 lbs Paddle boarders should go for a board that is 30″ to 32″ wide. The length of the board ranges from 9’6″ to 10’9″. A thickness of 5″ is excellent. This is intended for extremely little people, toddlers, and teenagers. 150 to 175 lbs Those who paddle board: You may comfortably increase your board up to 33″ wide at this weight. You may also test out a board with a minimum length of 10′. If you’re wanting to race, you may go as high as 12’6″. Weighing between 175 and 200 pounds Paddle Board: Try increasing the width a little bit. Up to 33″ would suffice. Your board’s thickness and length will stay the same.
Approximately 200 lbs. Paddle Boarders: You’ll need one of the bigger paddle boards available at this body size. A paddle board that is the correct size will be at least 32″ to 34″ broad. The length should be between 10′ and 12’6″. It should also be 6″ thick at this size. When both length and thickness are increased, increasing width is critical. It will provide extra support and buoyancy. If you’re new to paddling boarding, this is extremely vital. Larger is preferable until you have a feel for boarding.
Paddle Board Volume
As previously said, the volume of your SUP influences its buoyancy (measured in liters). The length, width, and thickness of the board are multiplied to arrive at this figure. The greater the volume of your SUP, the greater the weight capacity. Increased board volume also means increased overall stability.
If you’re under 200 lbs, any conventional paddle board should be able to keep you afloat. If you weigh more than 235 lbs, you’ll need a board with at least 175 liters of volume for better stability. Grab a board with a volume of above 240 L if you’re over 275 lbs. If you’re above 300 lbs, a board with at least 270 L of volume will provide you with the necessary stability and control.
Board size based on the kind of activity
Most paddlers will benefit from a board that is between 10 and 12 feet in length for broad all-around usage. For new riders, each board contains a maximum weight capacity suggestion. Choose a board with a suggested maximum capacity that is more than the board’s biggest rider. Advanced riders may choose to investigate boards with more capacity.
SUP Board Yoga
When it comes to SUP yoga, a board that is very sturdy is crucial. As a result, you’ll want to take a bigger board out on the lake. For example, a smaller paddler may utilize a 32-inch wide board with an average length, but a paddler of normal height requires a watercraft with a 34-inch or wider deck.
SUP Board Fishing
Anglers with a tiny, smaller build will have an edge here, as most fishing SUP boards with a length of 10-12 inches and a width of 30-34 inches can fit them well. Do you want to know more about SUP fishing setup? On the other side, average and taller paddlers will need a board that is 11-13 feet long and has a broad deck for increased stability and buoyancy.
SUP Board Touring
If you want to use your SUP mostly for touring, aim for a longer board (11′ to 12’6) to allow for easier gliding. A displacement hull with a width of 30″ to 33″ will aid in a comfortable travel. Adventure SUPs may also be used as touring SUPs.
SUP Board Surfing
Choose a board that is 10 feet or less in length for SUP surfing. To paddle effortlessly through the waves, use a thin board (29″ to 32″ broad). This is best suited to more experienced paddlers!
Recreational SUP Board
The smaller boards may bend and become unstable for an average paddler. As a result, you’ll need a travel board or an all-arounder board that’s around 10-12′ long and more than 30 inches broad. To paddle efficiently, a taller, heavier paddler will need a large all-arounder SUP board with 12-15′ length and 32″ or more width. Furthermore, these paddleboards are generally buoyant and spacious enough to accommodate many persons. You could even try stand-up paddle boarding with your dog!
A racing SUP board is often 14 feet long or longer. It also has a thinner deck and a sharper nose to cut through the water more quickly. Smaller paddlers, on the other hand, can find it difficult to efficiently paddle a longer SUP board.
As a result, for added speed and stability, you may wish to race with a 12 foot long and 28-30 inch broad board with a pointed nose and a cutaway tail. When riding the 12-14 foot long paddleboards, paddlers of medium height will perform better. For the optimum speed, taller paddlers should use 15-foot SUP boards with a width of more than 29-30 inches.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size paddle board is appropriate for beginners?
The width of a paddle board is also important to consider when choosing the proper size SUP for your requirements. The width of your paddle board should be between 30-35 inches. Most paddle boards (both inflatable SUPs and rigid paddle boards) are 32 to 34 inches wide.
Beginners should stick to the 32-34 range. You may go down to the 30 -32-inch range for skilled paddlers. However, since they are built for 4-7 riders, some businesses make multi-person paddle boards that are 45-56 inches long.
Is it preferable to have a longer or shorter paddle board?
The weight and volume capacity of a stand-up paddle board are directly proportional to its length. A longer paddle board may carry more weight and volume than a shorter paddle board. As a consequence, since the weight is spread front and behind the rider, a longer paddle board may seem more stable than a shorter paddle board.
However, the length of the paddle board is simply one factor to consider. The width and thickness of a stand-up paddle board influence how stable it is from a physical standpoint. These characteristics, like length, have a direct impact on how much volume and capacity a paddle board can carry. The width and thickness of a paddle board have an impact on how effectively it can support the rider’s weight.
Is it true that longer paddle boards are more stable?
The length of a board has a significant impact on how well it handles. Longer boards are often quicker than shorter boards, although shorter boards are easier to control. It’s useful to know how length relates to volume and weight capacity when picking a length. Longer boards provide greater volume and capacity, making them seem more sturdy and allowing you to carry more on them (width and thickness are also factors in volume and capacity; see the SUP Width and SUP Thickness sections of this article). Consider the length of your board in relation to your automobile, house storage situation, and length to the beach or coast (longer boards are more difficult to carry, especially in windy places).
Is it true that a slimmer paddle board is better?
5 inches of thickness is chosen by the majority of paddlers over 6 inches of thickness because it provides better stability for a given board width and outline form. For riders weighing more than 225 pounds, the increased volume may assist them stay afloat, therefore a 6-inch thick board is usually required, which is a trade-off that is occasionally essential.
However, for riders who don’t need the additional volume, the extra inch of thickness of a 6-inch board might be unwelcome, as it adds mass, elevates the rider’s center of gravity, takes longer to inflate, makes it more difficult to get back on the board after falling off, and is more difficult to transport.
How long paddle boards should be?
The general rule is to multiply the rider’s height by 9-10 inches to get the correct paddle size. If you’re 5’11”, get a paddle that’s 80-81 inches long, or 6 feet 8 or 9 inches long. For the average user, this is the recommendation. Make sure you’re measuring the whole length of the paddle from the tip to the grip/extreme handle’s outside edge. This is an ideal, not a need. If you ride often, you can get by with almost any paddle, so it’s not a huge concern if you split a paddle with a few of family members.
What is the maximum weight capacity of the paddle board?
When purchasing a paddle board, the most vital factor to consider is whether or not it can support your weight. Many paddle board manufacturers generously state the maximum weight capacity of their paddle boards to assist you with this. Unfortunately, we’ve found that several manufacturers are too enthusiastic about the weight their paddle boards can handle, particularly with the lower-priced boards.
Further reading: Why are paddle boards so expensive?
If a paddle board can’t support your weight (or your weight plus that of your spouse, kids, or dog), it will ride too low in the water, feel unstable, and generate additional drag. It may even sink under you in severe situations. As a result, the maximum weight capacity is often a good predictor of whether or not a board is suited for you. However, leave some room for error. Surplus capacity will normally improve your user experience, and it may also enable you to invite a friend along and enjoy the pleasure on occasion.
What size paddle board should I get? When it comes to picking the perfect size paddle board for your lifestyle and requirements, there are several factors to consider. To find the appropriate SUP volume, take into account your weight. To determine the length you need, think about the sort of paddle boarding you want to undertake.
Finally, while selecting the width and thickness of your SUP, think about how stable you want to be. To conclude, make certain that the paddle board you choose can support your weight. The length, width, and general form of the board will be determined by the sort of paddle boarding you want to undertake.
SUP surfing: purchase a SUP surfing board if you wish to ride the waves in the surf zone. SUP surfing paddle boards are typically shorter (maximum of 10 feet), slimmer, and have a pointier nose and tail than all-around variants.
SUPs for all conditions: SUPs for all conditions are great in all kinds of conditions. They’re normally between 10 and 12 feet long and 29 to 32 inches wide. For new paddle boarders, all-around paddle boards are typically a smart option.
SUPs for touring: SUPs for touring are longer and slimmer than all-around boards (typically 12’6″ or even 14′ in length). They feature a pointed nose and are often built as displacement hulls. This implies that instead of ‘planing’ on the water, they’split’ it. Touring boards have less drag and are better at staying on course than all-around boards. This makes touring boards ideal for paddling in flatwater, particularly over longer distances.
Fitness and yoga SUP Yoga or Fitness Routines: Many individuals like combining SUP yoga or fitness routines with paddle boarding. You’re strengthening your muscles and core strength while balancing on your board. SUP yoga and fitness boards are typically broad (32′′ to 36′′) in order to provide additional stability and balance.
Further reading: The Common Sense Rules Of Stand-up Paddleboarding