“What Size Paddle Board Do I Need?”
When you go shopping for a paddle board, you will want one that is big enough to support your weight and easy to use, but also fast enough for fun and works for the activities you will do on it.
The size of the paddle board depends on how much weight it can hold. A paddle board that can hold more weight will be able to support more people and heavier items, but it may be harder to use because of its size. A smaller stand up paddle board may be easier to use, but it will also not hold as much weight as a larger one.
The Paddle Board Size For You Guide
There are many factors to consider when creating a guide that gives you the best option for your paddleboard needs. Some things you will want to consider before picking a size paddleboard based on your weight and height would be to consider what you are going to be using the paddleboard for and if you have certain needs.
For example, some weights are going to recommend a 12′ board but if you plan to go whitewater paddleboarding you will want a shorter board so you will be able to maneuver around obstacles.
Another example would be that some weights are going to recommend a 34 inch paddleboard, if you plan to do races you will want a thinner board. Most of these recommendations are based on the beginner looking for a board for them to learn on and covering the length, width, and thickness.
There is no perfect answer when picking out which size paddleboard is right for you, however there are some guidelines that can help get your started on making an informed decision. If this is your first time buying a paddleboard there are many different types available that offer different features and benefits depending on who they were designed for. The most important thing is getting out there and having fun with it!
The measurements we are going to be looking at to find your perfect paddle board will be:
- Paddle Board Volume
- Paddle Board Length
- Paddle Board Width
- Paddle Board Thickness
Quick Beginner Paddleboard Size
|Under 120 lbs (56kg)||30-33”||5”||8′-10’6″|
|120-155 lbs (56-68 kg)||31-33”||5”||9’6″-11′|
|155-180 lbs (68-79 kg)||31-34”||5”||10’0″-12’6″|
|180-200 lbs (79 – 90 kg)||32-34”||5”||10’0″-12’6″|
|200-225 lbs (90-102 kg)||32-36”||5-6”||10’0″-12’6″|
|225+ lbs (102 kgs +)||32-36”||6”||10’0″-12’6″|
Quick Intermediate to Advanced Paddleboard Size
|Under 120 lbs (56kg)||28-32”||4-5”||8′-10’6″|
|120-155 lbs (56-68 kg)||29-32”||5”||9’6″-11’0″|
|155-180 lbs (68-79 kg)||29-33”||6”||9’6″-12’6″|
|180-200 lbs (79 – 90 kg)||30-33”||6”||10’0″-12’6″|
|200-225 lbs (90-102 kg)||30-34”||6”||10’0″-12’6″|
|225+ lbs (102 kgs +)||32-34”||6-8”||10’0″-12’6″|
What Size SUP Should You Get For You Weight?
One of the most important factors to look at when purchasing a new board is the specific weight limit of the paddleboard. If you have a paddle board that is not the right volume for your weight, it will ride too slow in the water, feel super unstable, and have way too much drag in the water.
This is an important factor because you will want to ensure your paddleboard can carry your weight. You don’t want to be stuck with a board that can only carry half of your weight or less if you are heavier than average. The right volume will make sure that your board has enough room for all of your gear and accessories while still being able to handle larger riders.
Paddle Board Sizes For Beginners
For first-time paddle boarders, we recommend choosing a SUP that is easy to ride and durable, or what we like to call: a beginner paddle board. If you plan to go paddle boarding with your dog, kids or significant other, keep in mind their weight as well. These paddleboard will typically be wider to ensure it will be easier for you to balance on. Here are our recommendations for the best beginner paddle boards:
10’6″ – 11’6″ SUPs
This size SUP is great for people who are new to stand up paddling. It’s easy to get used too as it’s wide and stable. It’s also perfect for beginners because it’s not too long so it won’t take up much space when transporting it or storing it away after use. This size SUP is also great if you have a family member who doesn’t weigh much or even pets! A great beginner paddleboard would be the 10’6 or 12′ Bluefin Cruise Paddle Board.
You will also want to look into the volume of the paddleboard. We recommend looking for a 170 – 190L hard paddleboard or a 220 – 280L inflatable board for the beginner size paddleboard.
Paddle Boards Sizes for Experienced Paddleboarders
Advanced paddlers may want to buy a board that is faster and more maneuverable. However, there is no single equation for buying an inflatable paddle board because each board is designed for different skill levels & different types of paddling. There are specific sizes for paddleboard surfing, paddleboard racing, paddleboard camping, paddleboard fishing, and whitewater paddleboarding.
- Paddleboard Surfing Size: The truth is that you can surf on most paddle boards, but some will perform better than others. If surfing is your main SUP activity, you’ll want a board specialized for this activity. For a paddleboard that will be used in the surf and for general all-around use, a rider weighing less than 160 lbs should look for a 5′ thick board in the 9’6” to 10’8” length range. Paddleboarders under 180 lbs who benefit from more flotation should look for a 5-inch or 6-inch thick board of 10 feet or longer depending on the type of waves you want to ride. People who are over 200 pounds who need more flotation should consider a 5′ or 6′ thick board of 10′ or longer. Thicker boards help heavier riders have greater buoyancy on their paddleboard.
- Paddleboard Racing Size: If you want to race, you will want a board that glides through the water. If you want speed and comfort, choose a board with rounded rails and a pointed nose (some even have swallow tails) that is generally two sizes: 12’6″ or 14′. Longer boards will help you paddle faster in the water but you also sacrifice stability with skinnier boards & narrower boards. A 12’6″ Paddle board with a displacement hull is recommended for new racers because they glide on the water and slice through the water even when you stop paddling.
- Paddleboard Camping Size: When getting into multiday paddleboard trips you will want something that has a large weight limit so you can ensure the board can carry yourself and all of your gear. We recommend also getting a board that is at least 11′ to ensure it has plenty of room. These will all ensure that you will be able to cover long distances on your board.
- Paddleboard Fishing Size: I’ve used my paddleboard for fishing quite a bit and I have found that it’s an excellent platform for catching fish. When you’re out fishing on your SUP, you’ll need to have gear with you. A good board for fishing is about 10’6 to 12′ long and 32” wide to 36” wide. I also recommend that you get some bungees, d-rings, and Scotty mounts for your board. The board should also have a weight limit that is at least 50 pounds over what you and your gear weigh.
- Whitewater Paddleboarding Size: If you’re new to whitewater paddling and have decided to take the plunge into the sport, then choosing your first board should be a fun and exciting process. When choosing your first whitewater board, look for a board that is around 9 – 11 feet in length, 32 – 34 inches wide, and comes with a fin system that can be customized for whitewater use.
What to Do if the Manufacture Doesn’t Have the Max Weight Capacity
The volume of a paddle board indicates how much weight it can support. Use the following formula to find out whether a SUP board is suitable for you.
To determine your correct paddle weight, multiply your body weight with the number in this chart, beside your experience level and/or type of SUP boarding you intent to do. For instance, if you are a beginning paddle boarder, who weighs 160 lbs, you should look for a paddle board with a volume between 160 and 224 liters ( 160 x 1.4 = 224 Liters).
Choose a board that suits your needs, whether it be one for surfing or one for floating around the lake, and you’ll undoubtedly be happy with your decision. The right paddle board will help to enhance your experience and take it to new heights. It’s worth taking the time to find out what features you need in a board, and it’s even worth trying out a few different sizes and materials to see what works best for you.
With that said, there is no best size of paddle board; we believe that it is ultimately up to the individual to choose. There isn’t one specific brand either — there are many excellent brands in the surf market and each has their own unique qualities. Trying out different SUPs will give you a more realistic idea of what you like and what works best for you!