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Stand Up Paddle Board Size Guide

What Sizes / Dimensions Matter For Picking A Sup

Learn to SUP in 5 minutes- How to Stand Up Paddleboard
  • Length: This refers to the longest dimension of the board from the tip of the front to the very back of the tail.
  • Normal measurements usually range from about 8 feet to 14 feet
  • Width: This is the measurement perpendicular to the width of the board and is measured at the widest point.
  • Standard paddle board widths range from about 25 inches to 36 inches
  • Height or Thickness: This refers to how tall the board is from the bottom to the top of the deck.
  • Most boards range from about 5 to 8 inches high. This gives a good amount of clearance above the water for a properly loaded board.
  • Top 4 Of Best Inflatable Paddle Boards For Racing In 2022

    14 x 28 x 6.3 Max. weight 353 lbs. / 160 kg. Incl. paddle, leash, pump

    14 x 28 x 6 Max. weight 455 lbs. / 206 kg. Incl. paddle, leash, pump, backpack

    14 x 32 x 8 Max. weight 700 lbs. / 318 kg. Incl. paddle, pump

    14 x 27 x 6 Max. weight 353 lbs. / 160 kg. Incl. pump

    Standing On A Board Takes Practice

    Before you get in the water, size your paddle and board appropriately. Mr. Devoir recommended paddleboards that are about 32 inches wide for most novices and perhaps 10 to 12 and a half feet, which will be easy to maneuver but still stable.

    For the paddle, stretch your arm straight above your shoulder and let your hand flop. Adjust the handle so that the grip rests at your wrist. Tilt the angled paddle blade forward in the water the opposite of how most beginners intuitively position it.

    Next, to stand on the paddleboard, Mr. Devoir said place your feet on either side of the handle, which is the boards center. The wider your stance on the board with your feet, the more stable youre going to be, Mr. Devoir added. Pro tip: Dont look down. Eyes up, stay up, he said. As soon as youre standing, start paddling, which helps to stabilize the board.

    Plant the paddle into the water, pulling it back to get it back to about where your feet are, Mr. Devoir said. Keep the paddle vertical in the water and parallel to your board, which will help you move in a straight line. Swap sides when your arms tire. Experiment with other strokes that allow you to reverse, turn, or move sideways. An instructor can help.

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    How Much Buoyancy Do You Want

    When deciding on the length of your paddle board, it is crucial to ensure the paddle board can carry your weight, any added gear and the weight of any other passengers. You can have the perfect length paddle board but if it cant support you, its worthless.

    • Expert Secret Tip: Paddle board manufacturers are notoriously optimistic when ascribing a maximum weight capacity to their boards. If you purchase a board that cant handle the weight you put on it, the board will sit lower in the water and be more unstable. The increased drag will make it slower and less responsive to your paddling. Worst case is it will sink beneath you. Make sure you find the maximum weight capacity of any board before you purchase it. Its a good idea to allow some surplus capacity. This will ensure a better paddle boarding experience on the water and will allow for any unplanned weight increases.

    Paddle Board Size And Weight

    Bluefin SUP Cruise Stand Up Inflatable Paddle Board with Kayak ...

    The size of the board is of course reflected in its weight. The paddle board own weight, however, also depends on the structure of the outer shell and the material strength used. Nevertheless, it can generally be said that a larger board also weighs more than a smaller one.

    The amount of material used for large boards is usually higher and this drives up not only the weight of the board but also the costs, so that smaller boards are usually somewhat cheaper for comparable quality.

    The size of your board not only affects the weight, but must also fit your body weight. The buoyancy force is decisive for this, which primarily depends on the volume of the paddle board. The thickness of the model plays a very decisive role, especially if the remaining dimensions are the same.

    Meanwhile, an average thickness of 15 cm has been established and proven for many specimens. This value is an optimal condition for solid stiffness and good buoyancy values.

    I would like to explain the effects of the board size on the paddle weight, the price and the recommended maximum load in more detail using the Bluefin Cruise as an example. This board is number 1 on our best list and is available in a variety of sizes!

    If we look at the two most popular sizes, 108 and 12 , it becomes clear that the weight, maximum load capacity and price increase with increasing size:

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    But What If The Manufacturer Doesnt Give A Maximum Weight Capacity

    In these cases look at the indicated volume of the paddle board. With a simple formula you can calculate whether the SUP board is suitable for you.

    Now, not to worry, this is no rocket science. Simply multiply your body weight with the number in this chart, beside your experience level and/or type of SUP boarding you intent to do.

    For instance, if you are a beginning paddle boarder, who weighs 160 lbs, you should look for a paddle board with a volume between 160 and 224 liters .

    What Kind Of Paddle Boarding Do You Intend To Do

    For paddle boarding the surf zone you generally want a shorter paddle board with a narrower nose and tail section. Where for paddle board yoga or fitness stability is usually a primary concern, so youd go for a wider paddle board . For SUP touring longer distances, youd want a paddle board that is longer and narrower, so that it has less drag and maintains its course better.

    If youre a beginner, you are generally best of with an all-around paddle board. These stand up paddle boards usually are somewhere between 96 and 11 in length, and approximately 30or 32 wide. These boards also usually have a rounder nose and tail section.

    But there is something else you have to keep in mind.

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    Use The Paddle Height Chart

    Use a calibrated paddle. This is the easiest way to set your paddle at the right height. Its also only available for adjustable paddles The height is marked on the shaft.

    This method is also ideal for making proper adjustments. All you have to do is go through the different heights and pick out what feels most natural for you.

    Average Sized Adults Intermediate

    How to choose a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) for beginners

    Adults who are not absolute beginners but far from advanced need to pay more attention to the type of SUP they get. Some weight related guidance is provided under the Additional Tips section below.

    In terms of length and width, there are competing considerations:

    In general, intermediate paddle boarders will prefer longer and narrower but this can be adjusted depending on the factors above.

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    The Volume Of A Paddle Board Indicates The Weight It Is Able To Bear

    The volume of a paddle board is a function of its dimensions . Given the different materials that the paddle board can be made out of, and the fact that the board itself has concave and convex areas, it may be difficult to find a uniform measure that captures the volume of an SUP.

    There is a different way to think about the volume. Specifically, the volume is measured by the displacement of water when the paddle board is dropped into the water this in turn indicates how much weight the SUP can support.

    Lightweight boards bob up and support less weight, whereas boards with more float will carry greater weight placed on top of it. Boards with more float do not ride low that is to say, they do not get partially submerged in the water due to the excess weight riding on top of them therefore they have less drag and can move faster.

    As a general rule of thumb, if your paddle board has to carry more weight, it needs to occupy more volume. Logically, smaller boards may be easier to carry and transport, but they will have less volume. Similarly, inflatable boards will have less volume than a similar sized hard SUP.

    Look for the Maximum Weight Capacity of any paddle board you are reviewing. However, there could be some challenges, which are discussed under the Additional Tips section below.

    Why Are Longer Boards Faster

    Technically this really matters for displacement hull type boards and not planing boards but odds are you will very often be displacing when you are paddling. As you paddle, your board creates a wave at the bow and then the water dips behind and eventually creates another wave either partially down your board, or if you are at maximum speed the very tail end of the board.

    Paddle board speed is the speed where the bow and tail waves are at the ends of the waterline length of your SUP. On longer SUPs, the bow and tail waves are farther apart. Waves that are farther apart travel faster than waves that are closer together, so a longer boat with its longer wave separation has a higher hull speed.

    If you really want to start getting into the details of this equation, go for it. But dont stress about it.

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    The Shape Of Things To Come

    As the sport matured and more people across the globe took to the water on their SUPs they naturally wanted to go further and faster, and also use their inflatable SUP for an increasing number of activities. People started using their boards in all types of water conditions from waves and white water rapids to tranquil lakes, and for everything from surfing to Yoga. Inevitably this meant the range of boards, and more specifically the shapes of boards, needed to develop too.

    Generally speaking, the longer and narrower a board is, the faster it will be. This type of shape therefore lends itself to touring paddleboards or racing, with inflatable race boards often being 12 ft or longer. Meanwhile, the rounder, wider shapes make perfect all-round paddleboards for a wide range of locations and conditions which is why they are often seen as also being perfect for first time paddlers. The smaller end of the scale is for SUP surfing as their shorter length and narrow tails means they feel agile and responsive in waves.

    Short On Its Construction

    10.5 ft Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Surfboard with Aluminum Paddle ...

    The Rainbow R has SCE layer reinforcement technology.

    This is one of the latest iSUP boards in 2019, and this means that it has some pretty advanced technology that sets it above other inflatable SUPs.

    The Super Construction Enhancement Technology they use laminates and blends the traditional single layer board with an enhanced layer on each side to create a new layer which, compared with a double layer board, is just as stiff and durable but thinner and lighter.

    So, its as durable as a rigid board, but far more lightweight, and incredibly easy to transport. Theres a dense drop-stitch construction at the core of the board which holds the two layers firmly together, meaning it can withstand high pressure.

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    Your First Stand Up Paddle Board

    Youve decided to try paddle boarding? Fantastic! Its a decision youll never regret.

    When buying your first stand up paddle board, many factors influence your decision on which paddle board to buy. By knowing general information about paddle boards and combining this information with your paddle boarding goals – youll find a perfect match.

    And were here to help! After reviewing the basic paddle board options and then determining the paddle board specifics that fit your needs, youll be on the water in no time!

    Standing Up Isnt Required Falling Should Be Expected

    Just because stand up is in the name doesnt mean youre standing the whole time or that you have to stand at all. Christopher J. Read is the program director at the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, Colo., which takes people with disabilities out on the water. Participants in their program may stand or sit on the board or a seat connected to the board.

    A combination of sitting and standing is common for abled people, too. Beginners and pros sit or kneel while they get used to the board, when they get tired or if the water gets rough. But no matter how skilled you are, youll still probably go ker-splash at some point. A good dunking can be part of the learning curve, Mr. Read said.

    Getting back on can be tricky. The easiest method is from the side of the board, pulling yourself up with one hand on the handle and the other on the opposite edge until your upper body is on the board , then swinging your lower body on. If you know your body wont allow for this, like if you have an injury or upper body weakness, make a plan beforehand for how to get out of the water. A safety stirrup, which creates a step out of a leash, may be helpful. Otherwise, stay close to shore or paddle with people who can help you.

    Folks for whom it would be dangerous to fall in the water, such as those who may struggle to float in the face up position, should consider an extra-wide board or attaching an outrigger, Mr. Read said.

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    What Size Paddle Board Do I Need For My Weight

    The most important factor in SUP size is your weight. Along with your weight, your skill level will also help you determine which the volume your SUP should be.

    To find out a SUPs weight capacity, youll need to know your boards volume. Volume is the liter-based measure that determines your SUPs buoyancy based on length, width, and thickness. This might sound like a lot of facts and figures, but its easier than it sounds!

    You cannot be underweight for a SUP, but if you exceed your SUPs weight capacity the board will drag, be unstable, and you’ll have a bad experience!

    The higher the volume a board has, the more weight it can support. If you go for a board thats too low in weight capacity, youll be in for a long, unstable ride that feels more like a drag than a breezy paddle.

    What Size Sup Board Is Right For You

    How to Choose Stand Up Paddleboards || REI

    While shopping for a paddle board, you will want a board that provides enough flotation and stability for your skill and body weight, but paddles fast enough for a satisfying experience and suits the type of paddling you will be doing.

    While there are various factors that influence the ideal length, width, and thickness you should be looking for in a paddle board, the table below should get you in an appropriate range if you are a beginning paddler looking for a board for all-around use:

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    Sup Racing: What Size Paddle Board Should I Get For My Height

    Typically, a racing SUP board is about 14 feet or longer. It also sports a narrower deck to reduce drag and a sharper nose to cut through the water faster.

    However, it might be too troublesome for smaller paddlers to paddle such a longer SUP board effectively. Therefore, when racing, you may want to go with a 12 feet long and 28-30 inches wide board with a pointy nose and a cutaway tail for extra speed and stability.

    The average height paddlers will perform better when riding the 12-14 feet long paddleboards. Taller paddlers can pick up the 15 feet long SUP boards that are more than 29-30 inches wide for the best speed.

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    Sup Paddle Size Chart

    Stand-up paddles have evolved a lot throughout the 21st century.

    Today, you’ll find paddles made from combination materials – aluminum, fiberglass, wood, and carbon fiber – with different lengths, weights, shafts, and blade shapes.

    The market offers straight and elbowed shafts and adjustable and fixed-length models.

    Picking the right paddle can be confusing. A specific paddle could be perfect for a SUP surfing addict and a disastrous choice for a SUP racer.

    Generally speaking, a carbon fiber paddle will be the best pick because it is light and durable. But you should master the paddling technique beforehand.

    A sizing rule for SUP paddles is they should be six-to-ten inches taller than the paddleboarder.

    All you need to do is stand with your arm straight up. Your arm should just reach the top of the handle and curl over the grip.

    SUP surfers prefer paddles with smaller blades long-distance cruisers and racers will opt for paddles with wide blades, as they provide maximum power and distance per stroke.

    Use the following stand-up paddle size guide as a general reference.

    Rider’s Height

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    Paddle Board Sizing: Centimeters/meters Vs Inches/feet

    If youve ever clicked through the offerings of various manufacturers, youve probably noticed that there are differences in the units of measurement used.

    While some companies give the dimensions of their boards in centimeters or meters , manufacturers from the English-speaking world always give the dimensions of their boards in inches and feet . In our board reviews, we of course always convert the measurements into both units for you.

    But if you want to be able to convert the measurements from inches/feet to centimeters/meters yourself, Ill tell you the appropriate formulas here.

    One inch is equal to 2.54 cm. One foot is equal to 30.48 cm. The length of paddle boards is often given by a combination of inches and feet, while the width and thickness are quantified in inches.

    Here is an example of calculation for an all-round board with standard dimensions:

    Many all-rounders have dimensions of 106 x 32 x 6 so you need to do the following to convert:

    • Length: 10 x 30.48 cm + 6 x 2.54 so the total length is 320.04 cm!
    • width: 32 x 2,54 cm = 81,28 cm
    • Thickness: 6 x 2,54 cm = 15,24 cm

    Of course, in practice, these crooked values are rounded to whole numbers. Thus, the Allround board has the dimensions of: 320 x 81 x 15 cm.

    Of course, nowadays very few people do the math themselves, preferring to leave this task to Google. Under the search term convert foot inches to cm you will find numerous pages that will do the conversion for you in seconds!

    Typical SUP Sizes

    > 390 cm

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