If you go out to the ocean with your friends, you may be tempted to jump on their paddleboard or grab any that you find at the shop and go paddling. If you grab the wrong one for your weight then you will be a spectacle waiting to entertain other people on the water!
The trick to good paddling is to buy a paddleboard that suits your weight and experience. You don’t want to take a wide board on a race as chances are high that it will slow you down. You also don’t want to take any board for surfing.
When searching for an ideal paddleboard, you need to take into account the length, width, and board thickness. Generally speaking, stand-up paddleboards are 10-11 feet long and 32-32 inches wide.
When choosing a paddleboard according to weight, you don’t want to be too heavy or too light on the board. If you happen to weigh more than the board allows, it will drag in the water and you will find a hard time paddling. If you are too light on it, it may not move as you want it to.
When calculating the ideal weight for a given paddleboard, you need to take into consideration things such as how much you weigh and what you will be carrying on the paddle such as a pet, child, gear, or food. You also need to consider your experience level.
There are online Stand-up board size calculators to help you arrive at the right answer.
When choosing a paddleboard, you should consider a lot more than just your weight. You should consider your experience level and what kind of paddle boarding you are going to do. Are you going to do Yoga or exercise? Are you going to surf? Will you be fishing? Or do you need an all-round paddleboard?
Most manufactures do indicate the maximum weight capacity of their boards. Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on such information. For example, you may find a low-priced board indicating a 22lbs weight capacity and yet in actual sense, it is ideal for a 180 lbs weight.
To give you an idea of what to expect, let us look at different the different paddle boarding activities and the ideal measurements:
- If you want to do yoga or other fitness then your board should be wide (32-24”) and have a comfortable deck pad much like a yoga mat.
- If you wish to tour or race with your board then it should be slightly longer and narrower than the average. Such boards are usually 12.6-14”.
- If you want to surf then the board you are looking for should be shorter than the average 9-10”
- If you are a beginner then you should go for an all-round paddleboard. These generally measure between 10-12” in length and 29-32” in width. You should go for boards that provide stability over speed. Most beginners are comfortable going for an inflatable board as they look to up their skills and experience.