Choosing the right SUP board.
Stand Up Paddle boarding is a great activity for fitness, core strength and relaxation. But with so many paddle board options available, how do you know which is the right board for you. We are here to help you make that decision. When choosing your SUP you want to consider the following:
- How much do you weigh? – Bigger boards for heavier paddlers
- How tall are you? – Wider boards for heavier paddlers – narrower for lighter and smaller
- Where will you be doing most of your stand up paddling?
- Do you want to use it for long distance paddling or are you more interested in stand up surfing? The longer the board the more glide per stroke
- Do you want a really stable board or would you prefer more maneuverability? The smaller the board the more maneuverable.
The size of the board you choose is determined largely by your height/ weight, your skill level, and what type of riding you intend to do.
The volume of a board loosely determines a board’s flotation, and is one way to determine the right size for you. The greater the volume of a board = the easier and more comfortable it will be to stand on, as they sit higher on the surface of the water and are easier to paddle.
To help determine the volume of a flat water SUP board for a rider it is helpful to know the riders weight and skill level.
Beginners – your weight in (kg) x 2 (i.e. 90kg x 2 = 180 litres
Intermediates – your weight in (kg) x 1.7
Advanced – your weight in (kg) x 1.3
Board shape and length.
Short boards (under 9′): Great for surfing. Surfing paddleboards are usually narrower, shorter, lighter, and have a narrower nose and tail. They are designed for quick turns, high performance, and are used primarily in the surf zone.
Medium boards (9′ to 12′): Ideal for all-around use on calm lakes and in the surf.
Long boards (12.6′ or 14′): Great for racing or touring. Long boards are faster than short and medium boards and they tend to track straighter. Racing SUP boards made for flat and glassy conditions can be narrow making them very fast. This shape can be challenging for a beginner paddler as the narrowness makes them less stable and prone to tipping.
If competition racing or paddling as fast as you can from point to point is your idea of fun then a dedicated racing paddleboard is what you need. The majority of Racing SUP’s on the market today have some sort of displacement hull from the nose of the board, meaning that they slice through flat or choppy water like a boats hull and offer great glide to the user.
Our job is to help you pick a board that is the correct volume for you height, weight, and paddling style. So you can get out on the water and enjoy all that SUPing has to offer.
Need help working out the right board for you?