Choosing the right stand up paddle board size

stand up paddle boards laying on shore

There are several things to consider when looking for the right stand up paddle board size. The right sized board for you will depend on your ability (beginner, intermediate, or advanced paddler), your weight, your height, and how and where you intend to use your board. Rough averages for stand up paddle board sizes are between 10-11 feet long, 32-34 inches wide, and have a thickness of 5-7 inches. We have created some paddle board sizing considerations to help you choose the best paddle board size for you.

The goal of choosing the right sized paddle board is so you have the right about of buoyancy on the board and so the board performs the way you would like it depending on the water conditions you will be riding. A board without enough buoyancy will ride too low in the water and will be harder to balance and control.

stand up paddle board sizes

Quick SUP Board Sizing Considerations

Average Stand Up Paddle Board Sizes

As mentioned above, most paddle boards are sized between 10-11 feet long and 32-34 inches wide. Longer and wider paddle boards can provide more stability and balance but can also be a little slower at turning and gliding across the water due to higher drag. Smaller boards are faster and can turn easier but are also harder to balance on. The average thickness for stand up paddle boards is 4.5 inches to 6 inches. Depending on what type of material the board is made out of or if it is an inflatable paddle board.


Your Weight

Your weight is the biggest consideration you need to take when deciding what size board to get. The volume of a paddle board is measured in liters, for example, 345L. If you weight under 200 pounds, you will be fine with any standard stand up paddle board thickness. Focus more on how you want the board to perform on the water and look at length and width. 

If you are between 200lbs and 230lbs, you will want to find a paddle board with at least 175L of volume. For +230lbs, you’ll want to look for a board with more volume.

When looking at stand up paddle boards, look for the manufactures maximum weight recommendations. Keep in mind that these recommendations can sometimes run a little high. Also, consider the weight of any kids, pets, or other items you might carry with you on your paddle board.


Water Conditions

Where are you going to be paddling the most often? Flat water conditions like lakes or slow-moving rivers will be easier to balance on compared to the currents and waves of ocean water. A wider board might be a better fit if you need to balance more in rougher water conditions or using your board for yoga. However, if you are wanting to curse or tour across long areas of water, a longer, narrower board will be faster and have less drag on the water. If you are going to be using your board in a variety of different settings and water conditions, look for an all-around board.


Intermediate and Advanced Stand Up Paddle Board Size Considerations

More advanced paddlers prefer to look at the performance features over the length, width, and thickness dimensions.


Touring Stand Up Paddle Board Size Considerations

Touring stand up paddle boards are usually longer and narrower. This allows them to glide through the water faster and also keep in a nice straight line. However, this also reduces the stability of the board. Beginner paddlers might find the narrowness of the board harder to balance. More advanced paddlers will enjoy the faster glide across the water. The average touring paddle board sizes are around 12.5 ft. to 14 ft long.


Yoga Stand Up Paddle Board Size Considerations

Yoga stand up paddle boards are a little shorter and wider for added stability. The average yoga stand up paddle board sizes are around 10 ft. to 12.5 ft. long. In addition to stability, you want to make sure the deck pad is comfortable.


Racing Stand Up Paddle Board Size Considerations

Racing stand up paddle boards sizes are very similar to the touring paddle boards. You are obviously looking for speed on the water and therefore want something that is longer and narrower. Average racing paddle board sizes are around 12.5 ft. to 14 ft long.


Surfing Stand Up Paddle Board Size Considerations

Surfing stand up paddle boards are the shortest of all the paddle boards. Usually sized around 9 ft. to 10.5 ft. With a shorter board, the easier it is to turn and control the board in waves or rough water.


Fishing Stand Up Paddle Board Size Considerations

Yes, you may not have though of this, but you can fish from a SUP. More anglers are starting to try fishing from a stand up paddle board. Using a paddle board can get you right over the fish. A good fishing SUP size will be anything over 10.5 ft. You’ll want a wider board for stability and this will also give you some nice deck space.

Topics You May Be Interested In