When choosing a stand up paddle board, you want to choose a size that has enough volume (buoyancy) based on your weight and experience level to keep you properly afloat. Use the below paddle board size chart broken down by SUP model, characteristics, suggested rider capacity and volumes for each board.
Paddle boards range from as short as 8 feet to over 14 feet, but most SUPs are between 10 and 12 feet long and 32 to 34 inches wide. Wider boards offer more stability but narrower boards are faster on the water. Shorter length boards are primarily used for surfing, or for kids, and are easily maneuverable. In addition to length and width, the board thickness is also a consideration. Thinner boards will have less volume, or buoyancy, and thus have lower weight capacities. Thicker boards, such as inflatable paddle boards, have high buoyancy and thus higher weight capacity. Thicker boards are great for general paddling, touring and racing, but thinner boards are usually preferred for SUP surfing.
The weight capacity of SUPs varies by type and model. It’s important to note that you cannot be too light for a stand up paddle board! As long as your weight is at or below the suggested weight limit, you should be fine. However, you don’t want to be too heavy for a board. When the paddler is heavier than the board’s weight capacity, the board will ride lower, dragging in the water and making in inefficient to paddle.
Beginner Paddle Board Calculation
If you are new to paddle boarding, you want to make sure the SUP you get can support your weight and is super easy to balance on while paddling. Please know that if you plan to go paddle boarding with your dog, kids, friends or significant other, please make sure to consider their weight into the simple equations below. Also consider any gear, food or water you’ll carry on board with you.
Advanced Paddle Board Calculation
If you are an intermediate to advanced paddle boarder and are considering on purchasing a step up to your last SUP, use the equation below. We did not include an equation for inflatable paddle boards because most inflatable SUPs are for all skill levels (beginner – advanced).
Inflatable Paddle Board Size Tips
Inflatable paddle boards are great for flat water paddling and are easy to take with you. ISLE paddle boards are 6” thick to provide plenty of buoyancy for the widest range of paddler weights.Thinner inflatable boards are good for children or very lightweight paddlers, but are not recommended for most adults because they will be unstable and tend to “taco”, or bend, when being paddled.
Also known as rigid boards are great for surfing and touring. With the right size epoxy paddle board, you can effortlessly glide through the water.
For general all-around use, most paddlers will benefit from a board that is between 10 and 12 feet in length.. Every ISLE board includes a maximum weight capacity recommendation for beginner riders. Choose a board that has a recommended maximum capacity that is above than the largest rider who will be using the board. Advanced riders can consider boards outside this capacity.
Paddlers looking for touring stand up paddle boards generally choose a board that is longer and narrower than general recreational models. Boards that are longer and narrower will be faster on the water, but keep in mind they will also be less stable than wider boards.Epoxy boards are lightweight, rigid, and glide through the water with ease, making them a great choice for touring and racing. The 11’6 Explorer inflatable is our dedicated touring inflatable model that is also great for recreational racing.
Ideal Touring & Racings SUP lengths: 11’6 – 14’
If you’re looking for a stable SUP that can be used for yoga or flat-water paddling , we recommend a wider board, such as our Scout or Pioneer models. For yoga paddle boards, look for boards with a comfortable deck pad similar to your yoga mat. The deck pad on all ISLE boards features a soft get grippy EVA foam, the same material used in yoga mats!
Ideal size Yoga SUP: 10’ – 12’6
The ideal size SUP for catching waves is typically shorter than average, about 9-10 feet. This provides added manuverability for both surfing the wave but also for quickly turning to catch waves.
Although most SUP surfing boards are hard boards, inflatable SUPs are a great option for easy transportation. Just keep in mind inflatables will offer less performance than epoxy hard boards because of their thicker rails.
Ideal size Surf SUP: 9’0 – 10’6
If you’re new to paddle boarding, stability and versatility are most likely the key factors to consider when choosing a board.. Most beginners opt for wider, thicker boards that provide added stability and buoyancy. Our Pioneer and Scout inflatable models are our most popular beginner boards, while the Outpost is our most popular beginner epoxy hard board. Use our SUP Beginner’s Guide to learn how to paddle board.
Standard shipping is free on all orders. Items are shipped same or next day.
We offer a 60 day trial period from the date of purchase.
Every ISLE product is covered by a 2-year warranty against defects in workmanship and materials.