What Size of Standup Paddle Board Do I Need: Expert Tips on Buying an SUP

What Size of Standup Paddle Board Do I Need

Buying an iSUP is not an easy task because it is a customizable purchase. You need to buy a paddle board that accommodates your body weight, nature of  paddling, and your level of experience. You need to buy a paddle according to your height and style of cruising around (lake or surf?) as well.

Are you planning to purchase a standup paddle board? Are you wondering about, “What size of standup paddle board do I need?”  If yes, read this article and buy the best board to make your paddleboarding a safe and interesting recreation.

Size matters for paddle boards

All paddle boards look same but actually they are not. They vary in shape, size, and thickness. Of all these three factors, size is a matter of concern for the paddlers. For example, if you are a beginner in board paddling, you need to buy a big and wide board. For a beginner, stability and maintaining balance are the vital factors. Therefore, big paddle boards are best for them.

However, for seasoned paddlers, this rule can be mended. Ace paddlers are quite savvy in balancing their body on the dwindling board no matter how wavy the water surface is.

If the board is smaller in size, they can easily accommodate their board paddling on it. Furthermore, smaller boards are more conducive to fast pace and that is why they are extremely suitable for racing.

Venue of paddling should be considered

You can enjoy paddling in different ways. You can do it on flat water such as lakes, ponds, rivers, etc. You can also use the standup paddleboard in turbulent river stream, bay and ocean base against big waves and high volumes of water. Because it is close to surfing, you need to arrange a paddle board slightly shorter than regular boards to enjoy this water sport.

Ideally, these paddle boards should be 9-10 inches taller than your height. This size will be perfect to enjoy fantastic maneuverability while you are enjoying surfing. Typical board size for flat water is 10 – 12 feet in length, 30″-36″ in width, and 4″-6″ in thickness.

Racing on water surface with paddle boards is a popular water sport and only seasoned paddlers can handle speed racing. In these cases, ideal paddle board should be around 11-12 inches taller than the racer’s height. This can help in creating a power-packed performance on the water surface.

In both cases, size of the board matters a lot. It largely depends on the venue and the nature of the sport. Before buying an SUP, you need to be sure about it.

Width of the paddle board is a vital factor

All-round, cruising, and touring paddle boards are in the size range of 24 inches to 34 inches. Beginners may have trouble with this width range but experts consider that enjoying this sport is best with the board size of below 34 inches.

Boards bigger than that become hard to maneuver because of the general tendency of spinning. Bigger boards are difficult to control for paddlers which spoils the fun of the sport to a large extent.

To summarize, standup paddleboarding is a thrilling sport and right size of the paddle board is extremely important to make the sport exciting and stimulating.

Suitability of the board is very subjective and it largely depends on the level of expertise of the paddler, the venue of surfing, as well as the body height and weight of the paddler. Without considering these three factors, it will not be wise for you to buy or rent a paddle board.

What is the right size of paddle board for you?

Other than height and body weight, you need to consider the nature of your paddleboarding before you finalize a purchase. The venue decides the size and shape of the paddle board you will be using. Let’s take a quick look at the paddle board variants and their versatility and individual functionality.

Do you want to ride on waves? Do you love to surf on the water bed with speed and dynamics? If yes, SUP for surfing is the ideal paddle board for you. These paddle boards are shorter in size, narrower in width, have a sharp nose, and come with a stable tail. These boards are not for beginners and cannot be used on flat water surface.

Do you love touring in paddle boards? If yes, SUP for touring is the idea paddle board for you. These boards are long in length and slightly narrower in width. These boards are available in 12.6 feet to 14 feet of length. With their sharp and pointed nose, these paddle boards often work as hull for displacement.

To be more precise, these boards can split the water surface as they offer lower amount of drag than all-round boards. Because of these features, touring boards are highly recommended for paddling on flat water bed even if you want to travel a long distance by water paddling.

Board paddling is also being enjoyed as means of practicing yoga and following fitness regime on the water bed. Experts claim that this way, they can enjoy better connection with the nature and the body can practice balancing on the dwindling board in the water. Regular practice of yoga on board helps in toning muscles and thus improves core strength of the body.

These boards are called yoga and fitness boards. They are wider in size ranging between 32 inches and 36 inches. Because of their balanced weight, width, and thickness, these boards offer better scale of stability and balance to their users. If you are an athlete and looking to improve your physical flexibility, yoga and fitness boards are ideal for you.

If you are wondering about, “What size of standup paddle board do I need,” the abovementioned tips can help you a lot. If you follow these tips, you can successfully buy the best SUP.

I’m an Colorado native, who learned to surf in the Pacific Northwest, and SW Canada. I live inland near the mountains now, and love to get out on my SUP. It’s weird, but I love windy, choppy days as no-one is out and I like the challenge.


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