When you’re shopping for a paddle board, you may have noticed that they come in different sizes, with other factors and features to consider. Size is an important matter when selecting a paddle board, and this may be a daunting task, especially for beginners.
So are you wondering, “what size paddle board should I buy?” Read on to learn more and purchase the right one for you.
What Size Paddle Board Should I Buy?
The first thing you have to consider when figuring out what size your paddle board should be is your weight. It should be able to carry your weight, of course!
Take note that a paddle board can carry around 1 pound per liter of volume, which is half a kilogram per litter. You should also consider your height. A paddleboard that’s 30-32 inches wide is ideal for the average person, but taller people may want a wider board.
But that is just a basic rule of thumb when sizing a paddle board! There are more to consider, along with special cases, if you have any. Some of these factors are more relevant for experienced users, though others would apply to beginners, too.
Here are the following things you need to know when sizing your paddle board:
1. Basic Sizing
The volume measurement is the crucial measurement of your paddle board. This would decide its buoyancy, how well it can float, along how much weight it carries.
So for example, you weigh 150 pounds, then your board should be at least 150 liters in volume. This is basic and accurate for beginners and novices. In fact, it’s better to have a higher volume to paddler weight ratio if you are a beginner, calculating with a. 1.4 ratio rather than 1.0, which will make the paddle board easier to handle.
While this isn’t necessary, this is good if you want something easier to handle or for those new to paddle boarding.
2. Your Level of Experience
With that in mind, the volume-to-weight ratio would differ depending on your experience and activity done with the paddle board.
- Beginners who want a margin should use a 1.1 to 1.4 volume-to-weight ratio. If you are 150 pounds, you should get a 165L-210L paddle board.
- Ideally, beginners should use a 1.0 volume-to-weight ratio. If you are 150 pounds, you should get a 150L paddle board.
- Intermediate paddlers should use a 0.8 to 1.0 volume-to-weight ratio. If you are 150 pounds, you should get a 120L-150L paddle board.
- Those using it for yoga should use a 1.1 to 1.2 volume-to-weight ratio. If you are 150 pounds, you should get a 150LL paddle board.
- Those using it for fishing should use a 1.1 to 1.5 volume-to-weight ratio. If you are 150 pounds, you should get a 150L-275L paddle board.
- Those using it for surfing should use a 0.5 to 0.8 volume-to-weight ratio. If you are 150 pounds, you should get a 75L-120L paddle board.
How about the width?
With the width of the board, this would be decided on your activity.
- For those who want to paddle long distances or race, then narrower boards are better.
- For those who want to use paddle boarding for fishing or yoga, it’s best to go for wider boards for their stability.
- If you are taller, you can get a wider board to help with balance. Though it’s better to get a bit more volume rather than a wider board.
Generally, a paddle board should be around 10-14 feet long, unless it is a surfing board. Surfing boards are longer, moving more smoothly through waters, and are straighter. Anything over 14 feet are touring and racing boards, while anything smaller is all-round and yoga paddle boards.
I’ll be getting into this in the next sections.
3. Your Activity
Here are the paddle boards meant for each activity:
- For fishing, they would usually have a 200L range and are up to 37 inches wide, which will help with their stability. They are also usually between 10-12 feet long, so you can stand up, sit down, or even walk around and move to make fishing easier.
- For yoga, they aren’t as different as all-around surfing boards. However, they have a bigger traction pad. I recommend getting boards that are 10-12 feet for balance and space to perform yoga.
- For surfing, it’s best to get something that is about 9-11 feet long and 32 inches wide for stability and less volume.
- For long distances, get a touring paddleboard that is about 12-14 feet.
4. Why Does Size Matter?
You’re probably wondering: Why does size matter in the first place? Both your paddle board and your size matters and it will affect your experience.
A wider board will be stable while narrower boards are easier to paddle. Wider boards would give you more leverage, so if ever you lose balance, your body can correct your posture easily. This is also why beginners will benefit better with wider boards at first.
With a narrower board, you have less leverage but more speed and less trouble paddling farther distances. This is why narrow boards are better for long paddling tours, races, or for higher speeds. You just need to make sure you can balance yourself correctly and master paddle boarding when getting something narrower.
Wrapping It Up
There are different factors to consider not only when purchasing a paddle board, but the size itself. The most important factor is your weight, and from there, you can narrow down your choices until you find the best one made for your individual preferences and needs.
I hope this guide answered your question, “what size paddle board should I buy?” Now that you’re equipped with more knowledge on what to get, delve deeper into what you need to consider when getting the suitable paddle board for you.