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What Size Paddle Board Do I Need?

I hear it all the time “What size paddle board should I get?”. Before you can hit the water, you need to choose the right paddle board! Boards come in a variety of sizes, and selecting the right one can be a bit overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you choose the right one.

Red Paddleboard board selector - What paddleboard do I need

Red Paddle Co

Try out this Paddleboard Selector created by
The Red Paddle Co.

They will ask a few questions about who is going to use the board, their size, skill level etc. and recommend the best paddleboard for you! I’ve found it really easy to use.

Bluefin - What paddleboard do I need

Bluefin SUP

Try out this Paddleboard Selector created by
Bluefin SUP.

I really like this SUP selector tool, it asks simple questions to help pair you with your perfect board, based on what activity you want to use it for, your size, and skill level.

Your weight and skill level?

The size of the paddle board you need will depend on your weight and skill level. If you are a beginner or a smaller person, a smaller paddle board will be easier to handle and more stable. A larger board, on the other hand, will be more stable for a heavier person or a more advanced paddler.

You will need to consider the volume of the board, and match it to your weight in kilograms. The greater the board volume, the higher weight it will support. An easy way to calculate the volume of the board you will need as a beginner is to multiply your weight in kgs by 2.5. For example, if you weigh 70 kgs you will multiply that by 2.5 which gives you a minimum board volume of 175 litres.

70 kgs x 2.5 = 175 litres

This calculation will give you a guide to the volume you should go for as a beginner. As you become more experienced and want to try a more manoeuvrable board you might decide to reduce the volume of your board. Check out this video for more examples of volume calculations.

SUP Volume Calculator

Here’s a calculator to help you get a general idea of the sort of volume of Paddle Board that you should be looking at for different activities. Please remember that this is just an estimate, you should do your own research and take advice from the supplier of your selected board.

What conditions you’ll be paddling in?

The size of the paddle board you need will also depend on the conditions you’ll be paddling in. If you’ll be paddling in choppy water or larger waves, a larger board will be more stable. If you’ll be paddling on calm water or small waves, a smaller board will be more manoeuvrable.

What type of paddling you’ll be doing?

The size of the paddle board you need will also depend on the type of paddling you’ll be doing. If you’ll be doing long distance paddling or touring, a longer and narrower board will be more efficient. If you’ll be doing yoga or fitness paddling, a wider and more stable board will be better.

What are your storage and transportation needs?

The size of the paddle board you need will also depend on your storage and transportation needs. If you have limited space to store your paddle board or you’ll be transporting it frequently, a smaller board will be more convenient.

What is your budget?

Consider your budget when choosing a paddle board. Larger paddle boards tend to be more expensive, so if you’re on a tight budget, a smaller board may be a more practical choice.

Types of Paddle Board

Now that you know the factors to consider when choosing a paddle board, let’s take a look at the different sizes available:

What size paddle board do I need?

Surf Paddle Boards

Surf SUPs are designed for agility and quick turning on waves. Their shorter length and low volume make them highly manoeuvrable, but also less stable than longer SUP boards.

Composite construction is preferred for surfing, although inflatable designs have improved and are becoming increasingly popular in recent years due to advances in design and construction.

All-Round Paddle Boards

All-Round SUPs are suitable for paddlers of all skill levels. They typically ranging from 9’8″ to 11’2″ in length and 31″ to 35″ in width. The wide range of sizes allows paddlers to find a board with the right amount of volume for their needs, and enables them to paddle in a variety of disciplines.

All-Round SUPs are known for their smooth glide, good stability, and responsive handling. They can be used on the sea and inland for cruising, and surfing, making them very versatile boards.

Touring Paddle Boards

The majority of stand-up paddle boarding takes place on flat water, meaning that touring boards are a good choice. These boards have a longer waterline length and are wider for stability and are designed for exploring rivers, lakes, and coastlines.

The added length of these boards improves tracking, requiring fewer paddle strokes and course corrections. Be prepared to practice your step back turns if you go for this option!

Race-Touring Paddle Boards

The Race Touring SUP is a middle ground between full-blown race boards and cruising boards designed for covering long distances with ease. These boards offer good stability and a fast waterline length for efficient paddling, making them suitable for flat water paddlers who want a bit more speed and performance than an average touring SUP.

If you have good balance and plan to spend most of your time paddling in flat water, a race-inspired touring SUP may be the right choice for you. Here’s a great video from SUPBoarder to help you choose your board:

What size Paddle Board Do I Need? Here’s a great video from SUPBoarder to help you choose your board.

If you’re looking for a SUP to use for fishing then check out this advice Best Inflatable SUP For Fishing.

Choosing the right size paddle board is important for your safety and enjoyment on the water. Consider your weight and skill level, the conditions you’ll be paddling in, the type of paddling you’ll be doing, your storage and transportation needs, and your budget when selecting a paddle board. Hopefully this will help you to answer the question “What size paddle board do I need?”.

FAQs – What size Paddle Board Do I Need?

Why is it important to have the correct size of paddle board?

If you have the correct size of Paddle Board for your size, ability and the type/location of SUPing that you are doing you will have a much more enjoyable time on the water. This guide to “What size Paddle Board Do I Need?” will help advise you on how to select the correct Paddle Board.