Calculate Your Ideal SUP Size

Stand up paddle boarding is rapidly becoming one of the most popular watersports in the world, the reasoning behind this immense popularity being the fact that it’s a friendlier sport to beginners, it is very exciting, and because it can be performed in more circumstances than other water sports. To be able to enjoy the SUP experience, what you need is a paddle board that perfectly complements your size and needs. Investing in the wrong board leads to instant disappointment as you probably won’t be able to maintain your balance on it, falling down instead of paddle boarding and having fun. We are glad to give you a complete guide to what you need to look for when calculating the ideal size for your SUP, thus helping you make the perfect choice from the first try.

Finding the Right SUP Length for Your Weight

The biggest factor in determining what is the perfect stand up paddle board for you is your weight as it’s the best indicator of how long the board should be. To make it easier for you to know what is the right board length for you to go with, check out the size chart below.

User Weight SUP Length
50 – 125 Lbs 9’ – 10’6”; 10’6” – 11’6”
125 – 150 Lbs 10’6” – 11’6”
150 – 175 Lbs 10’6” – 11’6”; 11’6” – 12’6”
175 – 200 Lbs 11’6” – 12’6”
200 – 225 Lbs 11’6” – 12’6”; >12’6”
225 – 250 Lbs >12’6”
250 – 275 Lbs >12’6”

Of course, knowing the approximate length of the board depending on your size isn’t enough as there are other factors that influence the perfect board size for every user.

Figuring Out What the Best Choice Is Based on SUP Volume

In case you’re interested in a certain board but it doesn’t say in the spec sheet what is its maximum weight capacity, the only info displayed being the board’s volume, you can figure out whether it’s a right choice for you or not based on a simple formula.

For beginner paddle boarders, the formula consists of multiplying the user’s weight in pounds with 1 and then with 1.4. For intermediate users, the weight in pounds must be multiplied with 0.8 and then with 1. If you’re an advanced user, multiply your weight in pounds with 0.6 and then with 0.8. In case you’re an expert user, multiply it with 0.5 and then with 0.6. The first result shows the minimum volume that the board should have, while the second result shows the maximum volume of the perfect board for you.

Does Your Height Count?

A question that you surely have is whether your height influences the decision making when choosing the SUP. The truth is that this element doesn’t have any type of impact on choosing the right board for you, the only real influencing factor being your weight. Of course, we can’t deny the fact that tall people have a higher gravity point than short people, meaning that a tall person will have a harder time maintaining balance on the same board as a shorter person does.

However, the fact that tall people tend to weigh more than short people outweighs the importance of the user’s height. Thus, there’s no need to take into account your height as it doesn’t impact this decision-making process.

What Type of Paddle Boarding You Want to Do?

Another factor that influences the choice of the perfect SUP is the type of paddle boarding that you intend to do. If you want to take up surf paddle boarding, you should go with a shorter board that has a narrow nose and tail section. If you want to slowly tour long distances, you need a board that is long and narrow so that it will maintain the course properly. In case you want to take up yoga paddle boarding, go with a wide board that can perfectly accommodate you.

Of course, your skill level plays an important role as well when it comes to the way you use the board. In case you’re a beginner, go for an all-around board that measures between 9’6” and 11’ in length and 30” to 32” in width. If you’re an intermediate, advanced, or expert user, you simply need to focus on the type of activity that you plan on doing.

What Is the Ideal SUP Size for You?

As you know by now after reading the rest of the article, there are quite a few factors that determine the ideal SUP size for each user. The first and foremost factor is your weight as you need a board that can carry you and that is long enough to comfortably suit your size. Also, the way you use the board influences the decision making as it shows what’s the appropriate width, length, and shape to go with. As a general rule of thumb, take the following indications into consideration when purchasing the SUP board:

  • All around SUP – If you want to paddle board in various conditions, purchase an all-around model. These boards generally measure from 10 to 12 feet in length and between 29 and 32 inches in width. Of course, check with the weight chart to see what the right SUP is for you. If you’re a beginner, it’s recommended that you go with this type of SUP.
  • SUP surfing – If you’re into the more extreme side of paddle boarding, invest in a surfing SUP. These boards have a maximum length of 10 feet, and their construction is narrower when compared to all-around models. Besides taking into consideration your skills, whether you can perform SUP surfing or not, check for the board to be ideal for your weight as well.
  • Yoga SUP – If you want to perform yoga routines on the water with the help of the board, go for a yoga SUP. These models are usually wider than other types of boards, measuring from 32 to 36 inches in width in order to grant the user increased balance and stability. To figure out the perfect length of the board, see where your weight places you in the board length table that we previously talked about.
  • Touring SUP – These boards generally measure between 12 feet and 6 inches and 14 feet in length, and their nose is pointy. This design ensures that they have less drag, thus being able to maintain the course better. They are the ideal choice for those who want to peacefully ride the SUP on flat water over long distances. Obviously, when making the choice take your weight into consideration as well as your skill set.

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