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What Size Paddle Board Should I Buy

Paddle Board Size For Beginners

Buying Inflatable Paddleboards – What’s the difference?

A good rule of thumb for beginners is to choose a board based on weight for optimal stability. The table below gives guidance for choosing an all round SUP.

Rider Weight

For thickness, 5 inches is generally considered the best all round thickness based on the strength of the board and the buoyancy provided from the internal volume of air. For heavier users, a 6 board could be the better option, and provides some additional strength against flexing.

What Volume Paddle Board Do I Need

Your ideal SUP volume depends not just on your weight but on your skill level, too. To work out what volume paddle board you need, youll need to multiply your body weight with the number that relates to your skill level.

Heres how that looks in practice:

  • Beginner Paddlers: Body Weight x 2
  • Intermediate-Level Paddlers: Body Weight x 1.75
  • Advanced Paddlers: Body Weight x 1.5

As you can see, more experienced paddlers will typically require a lower-volume SUP while for a beginner, higher volume is a must. Thats not to say that higher volume automatically means a higher degree of stability there are instances where it may even hinder the boards performance and handling.

It genuinely depends on your skills and paddle boarding style.

What Size Paddle Board Do I Need For My Weight?

To get an idea of what size SUP board you need based on your weight, check out the stand-up paddle board size chart below:

Skill Level

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.

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Is It True That Longer Paddle Boards Are More Stable

The length of a board has a significant impact on how well it handles. Longer boards are often quicker than shorter boards, although shorter boards are easier to control. Its useful to know how length relates to volume and weight capacity when picking a length. Longer boards provide greater volume and capacity, making them seem more sturdy and allowing you to carry more on them . Consider the length of your board in relation to your automobile, house storage situation, and length to the beach or coast .

What Size Sup Should You Get For You Weight

Best Inflatable Paddle Boards for Kids

One of the most important factors to look at when purchasing a new board is the specific weight limit of the paddleboard. If you have a paddle board that is not the right volume for your weight, it will ride too slow in the water, feel super unstable, and have way too much drag in the water.

This is an important factor because you will want to ensure your paddleboard can carry your weight. You dont want to be stuck with a board that can only carry half of your weight or less if you are heavier than average. The right volume will make sure that your board has enough room for all of your gear and accessories while still being able to handle larger riders.

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What Size Paddle Board Is Appropriate For Beginners

The width of a paddle board is also important to consider when choosing the proper size SUP for your requirements. The width of your paddle board should be between 30-35 inches. Most paddle boards are 32 to 34 inches wide.

Beginners should stick to the 32-34 range. You may go down to the 30 -32-inch range for skilled paddlers. However, since they are built for 4-7 riders, some businesses make multi-person paddle boards that are 45-56 inches long.

Key Factors To Paddle Board Sizing

To find the right size SUP, youll need to know four key dimensions:

  • Volume: The buoyancy of your SUP, measured in liters.
  • Length: Your SUPs measurement from top to bottom.
  • Width: Your SUPs measurement from side to side.
  • Thickness: The distance between the top of your SUP and the bottom of your SUP.

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Paddle Board Sizing By Activity

Already have a favorite SUP hobby in mind? Heres what size youll need.

All Around Paddling

For general recreational SUP, get an all-around board thats versatile while still being stable and maneuverable. The most common size range of SUP boards for general use are 10 to 11 long and 31 to 35 wide. All Around Paddle Boards make excellent beginner SUPs.

SUP Yoga

If you love SUP yoga , find a board that is wide enough for you to balance as you work on that warrior pose. Choose a width between 31 to 35 and a length of 10 to 116.

SUP Fishing

Youll need extra space for gear, so SUP fishing is best on a board that is between 106 to 12 long and 32 to 36 wide. Make sure your SUP is ready for the catch with extra bungees, d-rings, and Scotty mounts.

SUP Touring

If you mainly want to go touring on your SUP, seek out a longer board for easy gliding. A displacement hull and a width between 30 and 33 will help ensure a smooth journey. Touring SUPs also make great adventure SUPs.

Paddle Board Size Based On Height

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

The general rule of thumb is this: youll want a longer board if you’re taller. If youre shorter, youll want a shorter one.

The reasons are mostly pretty intuitive. Taller people have higher centers of gravity than shorter people. So, a taller person will find it more difficult to maintain balance on a shorter board. Alternatively, a shorter person will struggle to control a longer board.

Are you taller than 510? If so, youll probably want a board in the 116-14 range. Youll want something between 106 and 12 if you’re under that. When in doubt, go for the bigger board because longer and wider boards are more stable.

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Longer Paddle Boards Glide Faster And Travel Longer

Paddle boards are often broken down into the following lengths, representing standard sizes available in the market:

  • Short: 7 to 9
  • Medium: 96 to 12
  • Long: 126 to 14

Short SUPs are suitable for children. The length is easier for people of limited strength to muster and control. Children are likely not going to travel fast till they grow stronger and learn the ropes. While its not unusual to find 7 footers for adults, these are meant for skilled surfers these boards have little volume and operate well when the surfs up, but not as well in placid water.

Medium sized boards are suitable for beginners. As the skill level increases, the length may shrink if used for surfing, or go up for longer distance use.

Medium sized SUPs may also be used for those who are interested in holding a pose while on the board for example, yoga enthusiasts or for experienced paddlers who prefer a multipurpose SUP .

Longboards will glide faster and easier, and also ride for a longer period of time. If you are looking to race, maybe tour for distances of 2+ miles or going on SUP camping trips choose a longboard if you are confident you can handle it.

How To Choose A Paddle Board Size For You

If youre wondering what size paddle board to get, two things: 1) youre not alone, and 2) youve come to the right place. In fact, what size paddle board should I get? is one of the most common questions we receive. And for good reason. Its an important one. The last thing you want, after all, is to buy a board thats either too big to maneuver or too small to keep stable.

The key is to find that perfect Goldilocks paddle board sizeyou know, the board thats just right. The board that suits your height, your weight, and your individual needs to perfection.

The good news is that at BOTE, youve got a team of experienced water adventurers to help you find that board. With SUP lengths ranging from 8 to 14 and weight capacities ranging from 100lbs to 400+lbs, theres something for everybody .

So, without further ado, heres how to know what size SUP to get.

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Are Bote Paddle Boards Good

Bote is such a great company making amazing products. Great service too with fast responses. Very high quality and durable and looks beautiful. The only complaint i ever have on any of their stuff is that the boards and boats are hard to fit in the storage bags, but that is minor in the big picture.

What Size Paddle Board Should I Buy

BOTE Paddle Board

The first thing you have to consider when figuring out what size your paddle board should be is your weight. It should be able to carry your weight, of course!

Take note that a paddle board can carry around 1 pound per liter of volume, which is half a kilogram per litter. You should also consider your height. A paddleboard thats 30-32 inches wide is ideal for the average person, but taller people may want a wider board.

But that is just a basic rule of thumb when sizing a paddle board! There are more to consider, along with special cases, if you have any. Some of these factors are more relevant for experienced users, though others would apply to beginners, too.

Here are the following things you need to know when sizing your paddle board:

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What Size Sup Board Is Right For You

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:

Guidelines For A Beginner Paddler / All

Paddler Weight
6 10’0″-12’6″

IMPORTANT! The recommendation of 5 inch thickness for most of the weight ranges comes with a caveat: Just like with smartphones and laptops, making a thinner product with excellent strength and rigidity requires better materials and construction methods, which is likely to cost a bit more than a thicker product made from cheaper materials.

For more advanced paddlers, the recommended proportions can differ quite a bit depending on any specialized intended uses of the board, but here is a general guide for more experienced paddlers wanting a board for all around use including flat water cruising, light surfing and moderate distance touring:

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Are You An Intermediate/advanced Paddleboarder


If you are at an intermediate or advanced level for paddleboarding, my hat is off to you. It is an amazing activity that gives you a great full-body workout, am I right?

An advanced or intermediate paddleboarder might want a board thats a little more challenging. They might like the one thats a bit bigger and not as easy to get through the waters, or maybe theyd love a nice race and cant wait to speed through the seas. Truthfully the skys the limit here folks.

Whatever the case may be, the more advanced riders are going to be looking into paddle boards with 5-6 thickness. Anything less would crumble beneath their tremendous spirit! The actual length of the board truly does depend on their choice.

While looking for a good touring board, you will be checking out longer ones. For one that is expertly equipped for fishing, those paddleboarders would be more likely to look for stronger material and a greater PSI threshold.

What Size Surfboard Should I Ride

How To Choose The Right Board / Understanding SUP Shapes

When it comes to riding a surfboard, its ability to turn quickly and stay afloat are two important factors to consider. The same factors that determine how surfboards are constructed come into play . To learn more about the different types of surfboard materials, check out our article on Surfboard Construction Types.

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Surfboard Buying Tips For Beginners

When it comes to selecting the perfect surfboard for beginners, the most important thing to look out for is its ability to float and catch waves. Surfboards with more volume are easier to balance and carry speed over softer waves where beginners usually take their first lessons.

Surfboard volume is calculated by multiplying the surfboard’s length, width, and thickness. Therefore, a longer board does not necessarily have more volume compared to a shorter board. When it comes to surfboard size, just remember this: longer, wider, and thicker is better. When it comes to length, keep the board at least 1 foot taller than you.

The thickness of a board has a direct effect on its buoyancy or ability to float. One important thing to consider when checking the thickness of the board is your weight. A heavier person can affect the surfboards buoyancy. Keep within 2 to 3 inches of the recommended thickness for your weight.

Where And How You Use The Sup Has A Significant Effect

Dhe dimensions and volume considerations should be adjusted from normal based on your proficiency level and the principal use of the SUP. The table below provides a general guide.

Type of Use
Long and Narrow Narrower Nose and Tail

The guidelines above are not as important if you are a beginner, unusually tall or heavy or buying a SUP for a child among other things, you either have a good idea of what suits you or you simply wont pursue some of the activities listed above.

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Why Is Weight Capacity Important

Board volume is an important factor that affects how well the board moves through the water and how stable you feel.

A paddle board that sinks too far down in the water will not be stable. Plus a paddle board that sits too low will drag beneath the surface of the water. It will be hard to paddle, slow and inefficient.

The weight capacity of your board is directly related to volume. Maximum weight capacity is a good indicator as to whether a board is right for you. So check the weight limit or maximum weight capacity of the paddle board you are interested in.

But dont cut it close. Make sure the total weight you will carry on the board is comfortably below the maximum weight capacity. You want surplus to make sure you have plenty of float. Total weight is any gear or another passenger like a dog or kid who may ride on your board with you.

What Size Surfboard Do I Need

Best cheap paddle boards for 2021 (under $350)

Need is a relative thing. Since need is something personal, you should look inwards for answers. There are two primary considerations when considering what type of surfboard you need: your ability and surfing style.

Finding the perfect surfboard is searching for a balance between extremes. Its often a trade-off between sizes. Even expert surfers have their own preferences when it comes to surfboard size. So, the next time youre thinking of what size of surfboard do I need, the best way is to assess yourself, , or input your details into our patented Board Engine to find that perfect match.

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What Have We Learned Today

After all this talk about paddleboards, I dont know about you, but Im dying to get out there. But before I do, I just want to make sure weve covered all the basics of inflatable paddle board sizing.

Weve learned how to work out what size board would best fit us based on the physicality of its riders, and weve also learned that different specs can create a different experience. Varying degrees of skill open innumerable doors into what boards can best suit different needs.

For a ride thats more smooth, easy to handle, and one youll love over and over again, youre going to love that nice long, thin, 5 thick board. Why would you choose anything else?

If youre looking for more of a challenge, you can certainly increase the length and density of your board.

Paddle Board Size Guide

There are a lot of variables that were introduced above in terms of the right size and volume paddle board that you should choose.

In order to understand what makes sense for you, we have to distinguish between various categories of paddle boarders, in terms of their physical characteristics, skill levels and how they use the paddle board .

Some general guidelines follow depending on your physical characteristics and skill level:

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Guidelines For An Intermediate To Advanced Paddler / All

Paddler Weight
6 10’0″-12’6″

Keep in mind that advanced riders tend to choose boards based on specific performance characteristics more than size and weight factors, so consider this chart as a starting point for choosing a SUP board that will continue to be a good fit for you as an all-around board as your skills progress.

You may notice that length recommendations do not vary much between beginning and advanced paddlers. This is because, while length is a key element in the performance and intended use of a paddle board, it is less directly related to rider weight and is more affected by other factors such as those below:

  • Paddler height and relative reach
  • How you intend to use the board
  • The range of water and wind conditions you expect to encounter
  • Who else might be using your board
  • Your likelihood of having passengers on board

Knowing the range of length, width, and thickness you are looking for in an inflatable SUP is an important step in the buying process, but there is a lot more youll want to consider before deciding on a board to purchase.

Next Steps in Choosing A Paddle Board

Now that you have an idea of what size paddle board you should be looking for, a great place to start looking for your perfect SUP is on our best all-around inflatable paddle board page. These are the boards we have found to be most popular with paddlers who want to get out and have a great time on the water without being limited to one specific paddling activity.

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