When it comes to paddleboarding, the most important part of the sport is the board. As long as you have the right board for you, you don’t have to worry about being stable or being run over by your own board. Yes, even beginners will find it a lot easier to paddle-board when they are using the board that’s perfect for their size.
So the question now is, what is the right paddle board size for you? Read on to know the answer.
What’s the Basis of Paddleboard Sizes?
In general, there are two things that are considered when choosing the right paddle board – your weight and skill. Why?
First, your weight will directly affect your stability on the water. Your paddle board should be able to carry your weight so that it can ride at the right speed over water.
Second, your skill. There are many kinds and sizes of paddle boards for any skill level. Beginner paddle boards tend to be easier to ride so they’re often shorter. On the other hand, an advanced paddler will be able to handle a longer paddle board.
Moreover, your skill is also based on the style of your paddleboarding. To give you an idea, there are four paddle board styles – touring, yoga, fishing, surfing. If you’re an advanced paddler on a paddle board, you probably have one dominant style among the four.
Needless to say, your first step in determining the right paddle board size for you is knowing your weight and your skill level.
Paddleboard Sizes for Beginners Paddlers (Based on Weight)
To make it easier for you, the paddle board sizes here are divided by skill level and weight. Later on, you’ll see that there are other factors such as your style and preference to take into account. For now, here’s a list of what your paddle board size should be based on your weight.
Start off with those that are under 125 lbs (56 kg). These players are either short, young, or just slim or small in nature. If this is the case, then your paddle board should have a width of 31-32 inches, a thickness of 5 inches, and a length of 9’6”-10’9”.
For those that weigh from 125-150 lbs (56-68 kg), your paddle board dimensions should be 31-32 inches in width, 5 inches in thickness, and 9’6”-10’9”. You’ll notice that this isn’t any different from those that weigh less than 125 lbs.
For those that weigh 150-175 lbs (68-79 kg), you should get a paddle board that ranges from 31-33 inches in width, 5 inches in thickness, and 10’-12’6” in length.
As for those with a weight of 175-200 lbs (79-90 kg), you have the same board dimensions above, except that your paddle board’s width should be from 32-34 inches.
Lastly, if you weigh at least 200 lbs (90 kg), then you should have a board that has 32-34 inches in width, 5-6 inches in thickness, and 10’-12’6” in length. For those that weigh above 225 lbs (more than 102 kg), then it’s highly recommended that your board has a thickness of 6 inches and not any less.
Paddleboard Sizes for Advanced Paddlers (Based on Weight)
What if you’re no longer a beginner paddler? Do advanced paddlers have different-sized paddle boards? Usually, yes. This is mainly because they are able to maneuver shorter paddle boards better. You also have to take into account that they have different styles.
However, don’t think about styles just yet since later on you’ll be seeing some adjustments to these paddle board sizes depending on the SUP style.
First, for those who weigh less than 125 lbs (56 kg), the ideal paddle board size is 29-32 inches in width, 5 inches in thickness, and 9’6”-10’9” in length.
For those who weigh from 125-150 lbs (56-68 kg), you need to have a board that has 30-32 inches in width, 5 inches in thickness, and 9’6”-11’ in length. Save for the length, you’ll need the same dimensions if you weigh from 150-175 lbs (68-79 kg). For the length of your board, it should be from 9’6”-12’6”.
If you weigh anywhere between 175-225 lbs (79-102 kg), the board should have a width of 30-34 inches, a thickness of 5-6 inches, and a length of 10”-12’6”.
And for those that weigh above 225 kg (102 kg or more), the board’s dimensions should be 32-34 inches in width, 6 inches in thickness, and 10’-12’6” in length.
Other Paddleboard Lengths to Consider
You’ve read above that there are other paddle board lengths to consider depending on style and preference. Here, you’ll learn about other board lengths that might be perfect for you.
Paddleboards Below 10 Feet
Just because you’re used to seeing paddlers paddling on relatively still water doesn’t mean that they can’t surf with their board. In fact, there are paddle boards that can be used for surfing. Perfect for those who want to ride some waves!
For paddlers that love both paddling and surfing, a surfing board offers the best of both worlds. The SUP surfboard has a length of at most 10 feet. You’ll notice that when you compare these boards to the lengths stated above, it’s a lot shorter. It’s even shorter than the shortest generic paddle board.
This makes sense because when you surf, you have to be able to command your board a lot easier. A shorter board will be easier to move especially when you have to do turns.
Of course, a paddling board that is shorter than 10 feet can be used by children. It doesn’t matter if this is used for SUP surfing. What matters is that your kid will be able to maneuver their board a lot easier.
Paddleboards Below 11 Feet
This paddle board length is probably the middle ground for both beginners and advanced paddlers. No wonder it’s the most popular. If you’re ever going to a paddle board school, you’ll often see boards of this length.
Other than being just the right length for a lot of different weights, an 11-foot board is also perfect for general use. This means that no matter what your SUP style is, this board length can be a great all-around companion. But if you’re going to have a board for specific styles, this board is best for yoga and fishing.
SUP yoga is literally what the name says. You do yoga on a paddle board. It seems easy since the board will be wide and long but in reality, it’s going to take a lot of balance and core strength. As for SUP fishing, you won’t be sitting on the board (although you can) when you fish. Rather, you’ll be standing up while you do all sorts of preparation for fishing. If you get tired standing up, you can always sit down while waiting for fish to catch your bait.
Paddleboards 12 Feet and Above
The longest paddle boards are at least 12 feet. Most advanced players will use a longer board. This length is definitely not ideal for beginners as they will have a hard time controlling the board even when they’re just going to use it on shallow or still waters.
This board length is best used for races and long-distance paddleboarding. Because it has a longer length, it’s a lot faster and has more resistance to currents making it ideal for helping you stay in a straight direction.
Unless you’re an advanced player, you won’t usually need to buy a large paddle board. Aside from the fact that it’s slightly more expensive, it’s also very difficult to carry around. As a beginner, just stick to boards less than 11 feet. That way, you won’t find it hard to adjust to having a board with you.
A Few Notes
When choosing the right paddle board size for you, it’s better to always consult a professional where you’ll be buying your board. This isn’t to say that what’s written above isn’t accurate, but consulting with a professional in person will help you get a feel of what size is your preference.
In the end, you’ll go back to these questions when trying to figure things out – what is your weight? What is your skill? And what is your paddleboarding style? If you’re a beginner, don’t worry, it’s best to stick to an all-around board so that you can try all sorts of styles. Eventually, you’ll know which style suits you.
For advanced paddlers, by now, you already have a fair idea of what board to buy. It’s only a matter of brand, durability, and preference.
One more thing, are you planning to have another person on board? What about your dog? If you plan on having your dog, kids, or friend on the same board as you, make sure that you account for their weight. Small dogs don’t have a significant effect on the overall weight on the board, so you’re most likely to have the same board.
On the other hand, if you’re going with your kids or your friend, then a longer, wider, and thicker paddle board is highly recommended. You don’t want to sink or topple over because your board can’t both your weights.