Are you looking to purchase your first stand up paddle board, but are not sure what size you need?
The decision of what size stand up paddle board to buy involves many factors. Paddle boards have a variety of features and specifications you will need to research before making a purchase.
What size stand up paddle board should I get?
Use this guide to help know which style and type of board you want and require, and the chart/guide at the end will help to advise on the size and length of the board you need depending on your weight.
Types Of Paddle Boarding
The size of stand up paddle board you need will depend on the what you want to do. Beginners will use a board for fun and fitness. This will typically include fitness sessions and leisurely outings with friends. The main considerations when looking for a stand up paddle board are maneuverability and stability. Size plays a factor in both. Speed when on the water is another consideration if you want to get into racing.
Stand up paddle board will have two types of hulls or body style that will affect performance. You will need to decide between a planing hull and a displacement hull. A planing hull style is best for beginners, as it is stable on the water and ideal for surfing and paddling. The displacement hull style will have a sleek design with pointed front end like a kayak. This type of board is also thinner, but will be easier to tip.
Weight Capacity and Volume
One of the most important factors to consider when deciding what size stand up paddle board to buy is weight capacity and volume. Stand up paddle boards need to displace water based on your weight. If the weight capacity and volume of the board are wrong, the board may not float correctly.
A board that is thick and wide may have a high volume. The opposite is true for a board that is thin and narrow. Choosing the right size board means you need to match your weight to the volume of the board and how it will be used. The correct volume is crucial for water displacement.
The weight capacity of a paddle board is the total weight is can support when in the water. If you weigh more than the weight capacity of the board, paddling may be difficult as you will be lower in the water.
The length of paddle board you need depends on how it will be used. Paddling on calm water is not the same as riding ocean waves. Another factor to consider about the length of the board is where it will be stored and how it is carried.
You can find boards that are short, medium, and long. Short boards are under nine feet. Medium boards are between nine and 12 feet. Long boards are 12.6 to 14 feet. If you are looking for a board to have for all-purpose use, medium length will be ideal.
Board width will also be important when determining what size stand up paddle board to buy. Stability of the board in the water is determined by the width. You will need to choose from a selection of wide boards or narrow boards. Narrow boards are between 21 inches and 30 inches. Wide boards are considered to be 31 inches or longer. Keep in mind narrow boards may be less stable than wide boards.
Stand up Paddle Board Size Chart
This is a great chart and size guide by King of Water Sports for all round SUP boards and which size is suitable for different paddler weights.
About the author: Chris loves the outdoors and has developed a love of gadgets and inflatable toys, from kayaking and paddle boarding to relaxing in his hot tub at home. The founder of WhichInflatable and has been the editor for 7 years.