Our Tips for Choosing the Right Paddle Board Size

Our Tips for Choosing the Right Paddle Board Size

Whether this is your first paddle board or if you're a seasoned paddler, there are some important features you'll want to remember so you can find THE perfect model for your future getaways on the water. There is nothing more heartbreaking than having your paddling hindered because of a board that does not suit you. So, take the time to review these few points below before taking to the water. 

Paddle boards for beginners

Generally speaking, SUP enthusiasts who are new to the sport should opt for a longer board with a good width from the outset in order to enjoy maximum stability. This is all the more important if you are planning on being on the water with your kids or pets. Casual paddlers would also benefit from a larger paddle board compared to those used to hitting the waves several times a week. The main idea of getting started with a larger SUP is primarily to help paddlers progress while limiting unnecessary frustrations (and falls).

A paddle board adapted to every type of paddler

Most paddle boards are between 3 and 3.4 m (10 ft to 11 ft) in length with a width ranging from 81 to 86 cm (32 in to 34 in). The wider your board is, the less agile and easier it will be to handle on the water. You will gain a lot in terms of stability, but you will have to work a little harder to steer your board in the desired direction.

If your priority is to optimize your sailing speed and handling, opt for a 3.84 m (12 ft 6 in) board designed specifically for long-distance touring or racing. In terms of desired width, a 76.2 cm (30 in) model is a good in-between that will satisfy the need for agility without making too many concessions in terms of stability. 

In addition to length and weight, the thickness of your paddle board is an equally important factor to keep in mind. Generally speaking, a board that is 12.7 cm (5 in) thick will be suitable for most paddlers unless they weigh more than 225 lbs, in which case a 15.2 cm (6 in) thick board would be more appropriate.

Rapids or calm water navigation: the ideal paddle board for each activity

Obviously, what you do with your SUP will influence desired features. A board measuring 91 cm (36 in) in width, for example, might give you the necessary freedom to go down rapids, but that same board will be much less fun to handle on more leisurely outings. Paddle boards under 2.74 m (9 ft) are best suited for navigating oceans or rougher rivers. With this in mind, it seems logical that more experienced paddlers tend to base their purchases on how they will use their board rather than on the size and weight of the board. In any case, you can always refine your choice of board so that it corresponds as closely as possible to your evolution as a paddler.

Inflatable or rigid paddle board? 

The infamous question! Although a significant advantage of inflatable paddle boards is their ease of storage, that's not their only benefit. They also offer a higher level of stability than rigid models due to their uniform thickness from one end of the board to the other. Rigid paddle boards, on the other hand, will please more adventurous paddlers who want to surf the waves with ease. In addition to offering less stability, they are also less buoyant, which may not appeal to recreational paddlers.

Find the paddle board that will accompany you in your next nautical adventures!

The Best Inflatable Paddle Boards

Boracay 10’4


The Boracay 10'4 inflatable paddle board is ideal for beginners who want to discover the sport this summer. The material used ensures a very high degree of rigidity and stability. The Boracay 10'4 is the perfect solution for easy transport and storage. It comes with a carry bag, pump, leash and paddle, so you're ready to take to the water and make a few people jealous along the way!

Shop the Boracay 10'4

SHUBU Lūnr 10'4


From our sister company Boardworks, the SHUBU Lūnr is our newest entry-level recreational inflatable package, designed to get you on the water quickly and affordably. A lightweight, versatile board that loves to travel, the SHUBU Lūnr is equipped with our ultra-comfortable deck pad and neoprene carry handles for easy transport off the water. A single standard 9-inch SUP fin is installed with an easy-to-use thumbscrew — no tools needed.

Shop the SHUBU Lūnr 10'4