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What Size Paddle Board Do I Need For My Weight?



Getting the right stand up paddle board for your weight is key to making sure SUP is fun and easy. However, things like length, width, thickness, and volume can really make buying a stand up paddle board confusing. 

Very often we will have a customer say “someone who is a very good stand up paddle boarder told me I need an 11ft board”.  What most that are new to buying a stand up paddle board may not realize is that the length of the board actually factors only slightly into paddle board sizing.  Body weight of the riders, and board volume are where we want to put most of our focus when selecting a new stand up paddle board.  Let us guide you through the process of selecting the right size paddle board for your weight.

 

Stand Up Paddle Boarders

 

What is your weight?

 Sounds simple enough, jump on the scale and see what it says.  However, factors to take into account are if you will be sharing the board with others who may be heavier, if you have kids or pets who will ride along with you as we need to factor their weight into your selection process.  Our best advice is to select board sizing based on the largest total weight that may use the board. For example, if you are 150lbs and your son is 80lbs, you really want to be sure to have a board that can accommodate at least 230lbs.

 

Pro Tip – We love hearing about customer getting fit and dropping a ton of weight thanks to the SUP workouts. However, when starting off with your first board, select it based on the weight you are now, not the weight you will become.  Getting a board that is too small will only make things harder than they need to be. 

 

Mother and Son Carrying a Stand Up Paddle Board

 

What is Board Volume?

The length, width, and thickness of a SUP, with the help of a little mathematics, can be used to calculate the volume of a paddle board.  The volume is a measure of the ability of the board to float with weight on it and generally the higher the volume, the more stable the board is.  Volume is really the measurement you want to look at most – as it factors in all the other dimensions of the board.  Looking at length may get you a board that is far to small as there are 11’ boards that are 38” wide and would have a very high volume, or boards that are only 24” wide that would have a very low volume.

Pro Tip – If you are buying your first stand up paddle board, don’t try to figure it all out on your own as for as many generalisations related to board sizing that exist, there are just as many exceptions!   All we do is SUP, so let us help you like we have helped thousands of other customer since 2007.

 

Stand Up Paddle Boarders of Different Weights

 

What Volume Stand Up Paddle Board Should I  Buy for My Weight?

Generally speaking, once you know the highest weight of rider (or rider and pet/kids), these guidelines will give you starting point.

For Novices and those who want to ensure SUP is as easy as possible, multiply your body weight (in pounds) by 1, and then 1.4 to give you a volume range to look for.

For Example:

I am 150lbs, my daughter is 70lbs and she will ride on the front of the board with me. Combined we are 220lbs.  With the formula above applied:

 

220lbs x 1 = 220L

220lbs x 1.4 = 308L

 

The range of volumes I should be looking at would be between 220 and 308L.    Our personal preference at Paddleboard Direct, for novices, is to aim for somewhere between body weight  x  1 to 1.2. This would suggest that something like the Dura-Maxx 11’4, or Fusion 11 or 11’6 would be ideal boards as they have volume right in this range!

 

If you aren’t a novice paddle boarder, pick the one below that applies best and use as your equation to find volume:

Intermediate – Body weight x .8 to 1.1

Touring – Body Weight x 1.0 to 1.1

Yoga – Body Weight x 1.0 to 1.2

SUP Fishing – Body Weight + All Gear x 1.0 to 1.4

Surf – anywhere from Body Weight x .5 to 1.0 (heavily based on conditions and skill level!

 

Pro Tip – if you are a novice, extra stability is always a good thing!

 

Stand Up Paddle Boarders

 

Get Shopping!

Now that you know the main factors that impact which stand up paddle board to buy, you can start to narrow down your selection.  Getting the right size paddle board for your weight is key to making sure SUP is fun and easy for yourself, friends, and family!

Still not sure which size paddle board to buy?  Contact glenn@paddleboarddirect.com and I will be more than happy to help!