Our Tips for Choosing the Right Paddle Board Size

Whether this is your first board or if you're a seasoned paddler, there are some important guidelines you'll want to remember...


Whether this is your first board or if you're a seasoned paddler, there are some important guidelines you'll want to remember so you can find the perfect model for your getaways on 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 in order to enjoy maximum stability. This is crucial if you are planning on being on the water with your kids or pets. Casual paddlers would also benefit from a larger paddleboard 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 compromising 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.

Brown Boardworks Versa 10'6 All-Around Paddle Board

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

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 a more leisurely paddle. Paddle boards under 2.74 m (9 ft) are best suited for navigating oceans or rougher rivers. With this in mind, 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. This said, 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 most frequently asked 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, are more appealing to 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.

The Best Inflatable Paddle Boards

Boracay NXT 10’4

The Boracay NXT 10’4 inflatable paddleboard is a great beginner board. The Drop Stitch construction ensures great rigidity, durability and stability. The removable 9 in fin helps provide better tracking and enhance performance of the board on the water. Pelican’s Boracay NXT 10 '4 comes complete with a carry bag, pump, leash, a phone dry pouch and a paddle so that you're ready to hit the water.

Blue Pelican Boracay NXT 10.4 Inflatable Recreational Paddle Board

Boracay 10’4

The Boracay 10'4 inflatable paddle board is ideal for beginners who want to discover the sport. 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!

Blue Pelican Boracay Inflatable Recreational Paddle Board

SHUBU Lūnr 10'4

The SHUBU Lūnr is an entry-level recreational inflatable designed to get you on the water quickly and affordably. This lightweight, versatile board is equipped with an 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.

Blue Boardworks SHUBU Lūnr Inflatable Recreational Paddle Board