What Size Paddle Board Do I Need?

What Size Paddle Board Do I Need?

One if the most important questions to consider when beginning to or considering buying a paddle board, is what size paddle board do I need? This can be overwhelming because there are many dimensions to consider including the volume, the length, the width and the thickness. It is also important to consider your weight and your level of understanding in paddle boarding. Let’s answer your question of “What size paddle board do I need?” below.

Consider Your Weight

Your weight has to do with the volume you need for your paddle board. This will increase your stability when engaging in the sport. There are many volumes offered depending on the weight you are.

  • Less than 200 Pounds – Standard
  • 200-235 Pounds – 175L Volume
  • 275-300 Pounds – 242L Volume
  • Over 300 Pounds – 272L Volume

There are many negative effects that can occur if your paddle board is not the right volume for your weight. It will probably go too slow and drag behind. It will also be very unstable, leading to an uncomfortable ride.

Consider Your Level

It is important to consider your level of understanding and comfort with the sport as well when considering the paddle board you should buy.


If you are a beginner, you should choose a board that is stable and durable. Having a paddle board that proves to be a difficult ride, will make the sport more difficult when first beginning. If you get a hard paddle board, use a volume of up to 190L, and if you get an inflatable paddle board, use a volume of up to 280L.

Intermediate or Advanced

Those who have been paddle boarding for at least a little bit of time know that there are many styles of paddle boards that are all shaped differently and different sizes including fishing and surfing types of boards. If you are more advanced, get a paddle board with less volume. Make sure to pay attention to the weight capacity, however, to determine if it is the correct size for you and your needs. There are both hard and inflatable paddle boards for intermediate and advanced riders as well.

So, as you can see, even your level of riding goes into the size of paddle board to choose, especially when considering the volume.

Considering Length

A length of a stand up paddle board has to do with how tall it is. A longer paddle board will be much faster. Different lengths are utilized for different sporting with the paddle board, however.

  • A paddle board that is under ten foot is great for surfing as you can turn to catch waves, and it is great for children.
  • A paddle board that is under eleven feet is great for beginners and for most uses.
  • A long paddle board, that is twelve feet or more, is best for advanced individuals who enjoy touring or racing.

Considering Width

Width is very important to consider, but you should ensure that it is at least between 30-35 inches. Most are between 32-34 inches. A beginner will have an easier time in this range. Advanced paddlers can utilize boards that are 30-32 inches. If you are paddling with multiple people, there are some boards that are 45-56 inches. This is all dependent on you and your specific needs.

Considering Thickness

The last thing to consider when answering the question of “What size paddle board do I need?” is what thickness you need. Inflatable paddle boards and hard paddle boards have different degrees of thickness, as inflatable boards are around 6 inches and hard are around 4 inches. The thicker a paddle board is, the more stable it is. Therefore, for a beginner, it may be best to stick with an inflatable paddle board as they will be much more stable. A paddle board that is less than 6 inches and inflatable should not be considered.

Final Considerations

There are many determining factors that go in to selecting a paddle board. First and foremost, you need to ensure you are choosing one that meets your needs, style of paddling and weight. After this, consider the dimensions of length, volume, thickness and width. The numbers of each of these four dimensions are dependent upon your weight and level of paddle boarding. When answering what size paddle board do I need, be sure to consider this article for reference.

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