What Board Size is Right For You?
Our SUP Inflatables paddle board size guide covers the paddleboard key questions ‘Which paddle board size is right for me?’ ‘Touring Board VS All-Round?’ ‘Why a 12’6 touring SUP board over an all round paddle board?’ Each of these types of board have their own characteristics and some will suit you more than others, so read on to narrow down which inflatable SUP is right for you.
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- Types of SUP -
All round Paddle Boards are the choice for the majority of paddlers as their length and width make them super stable and easy to turn. The all round paddle board shape is great for people new to paddle boarding and wanting a family SUP board that will do everything from having family fun at the beach, to catching a small wave, to enjoying a longer distance paddle. Brands like Red Paddle Co have done an amazing job of designing the perfect 10’6 x 4.75” thick x 32” wide all-round SUP board and with many brands choosing to agree with this shape and thickness there is plenty of awesome all round boards to choose from at different budgets and graphic choices..
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More details can be found below on the 'Which board is right for you' section
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Touring paddle boards offer amazing versatility and with some brands offering touring boards at a similar price to the all-round option, making touring boards accessible to family fun and the budget conscious as well as touring and adventure paddle boarding enthusiasts . A touring SUP board is longer to allow for the board to go in a straight line more easily, this mean’s less paddle strokes so less fatigue when paddling longer distance’s. If you and your family love lake, river and sea paddle boarding and like paddling more than a mile, then you may prefer to be unconventional and go for a 12’6 touring board instead of a 10’6 all-round paddle board. The touring board shape has some key qualities for family and adventure paddle boarding fun, Its longer, so much more room for kids to sit and chill out on the front of the board, there is a bungee on the back (as well as the front) of most touring boards and this is great for adventure paddling as well as paddle boarding with kids as the weight of your picnic, water and spare cloths pushes down fin and allows for great tracking.
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Kids paddle boards have become more accessible this year with more brands designing kids specific SUP boards within a budget that doesn’t break the bank. When choosing a Kids board think about what they will be using it for? Chilling at the beach? Touring along side you? Or catching a wave? How old are the kids and will you sell the board on when they get older? or does it need to last them until teenage years?? If your child is partial to a bit of SUP surf or hanging at the beach with friends, look at board shapes around 8-10ft long (depending on their age) and about 30”-31” wide. Its pretty key to make sure the board is between 4” & 4’75 thick in high density drop stitch and definitely NOT 6” thick as the volume of a 6” thick board is too high and pushes the board out of the water and skit’s around on the surface of the water creating instability in anything other than perfect flat water weather. If your kid is ready for his or her own board to go touring with you, look at boards about 11ft long and depending on their age about 30” wide, again choose a board no thicker than 4,75” thick, in high density drop stitch, which will give them a sleek stable SUP board.
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- Quick Guide to which paddleboard is right for you? -
Once you've narrowed down what type of paddle board you're after, you will find that there are other options that can affect your paddle board choice. Your height, weight and wether your paddling with kid’s or dogs and where your paddling? sea, river or lake or all of them…This quick paddle board guide will get you up to speed on which board is right for you…
The all round paddle board is for everyone who wants a great fun stable paddle board, Size’s ranging from 9’8 for the shorter rider too 10’8 for the heavier rider. The most popular size been 10’6 x 32 x 4'75 thick for most families. If your looking for an all-round board and everyone is under 100kg its pretty key to look for a board that is 4,75” thick with high density paddle board drop stitch, This will allow everyone to have fun even in windier weather. (Try keep away from 6” thick boards) If your under 5’6 you may be tempted with a 9’8-10’ft boards thats 31” wide x 4,75” thick, these boards give the shorter rider a lighter board that’s easier to carry and a board that is more reactive to a lighter, shorter rider paddle stroke. These boards are also great for taller riders wanting to catch a wave. If your over 100kg, look out for 10’6 x 10’8 boards that are 6” thick in high density drop stitch, these boards are between 32 x 34 wide. If your over 100kg with good stability and balance go for a 32” wide board but if you prefer a higher degree of stability go for 34” wide board. When searching out a great 6” board look for a board that has high density drop stitch and stay away from brands that claim ‘Military Grade’.. its completely made up and only used by brands that are bending the truth of there capabilities and your board will bend with it! :)
The all-round performance SUP board is for people wanting every thing the all-round board gives, stability and manoeuverability but with a bit of Oomph! A perfect performance all-round should mirror the width and length of the brands all-round board but with an added point on the nose which gives more glide and speed. For example, A 10'6 x 32" x 4.75" all round shape in most brands is between 11’2 too 11’4 long, with a width of 32” and thickness of 4.75”.
For heavier riders, or riders looking for extra stability the 10’8 all round board becomes 11’6 x 34”. Performance All round Paddle Boards are a new breed allround SUP's, the Standard all round board shape has been around since the birth of long board surfing era, this shape made its way into the paddle board market as a larger version, but the fundamentals remained the same, wide enough to balance on, long enough to go in a straight line but most importantly the rails were kept fairly parallel which helps keep the board heading in the right direction.
There have been a few attempts to improve on this allround shape by placing a point within the length of a 10’6 all-round but unfortunately it doesn’t work, the secret to the round nose and tail on a 10'6 all-round board is that it gives a parallel rail that is needed for keeping the board going in a straight line, if the nose of a 10'6 is designed to be pointed and the length isn’t increased, then the curve in the rail of the board is increased, which makes the board zig zag left to right, rather than an efficient forward motion.
The longer and thinner a board is, the faster it is, hence a racing SUP shape and the shorter a board is the better it is for surf, as its more manoeuverable. The All-round performance board gives a little more speed but keeps the manoeverability and stability of the all-round width allowing this board to be great on flat water, still able to catch a wave but is a little faster to paddle and has more glide from the pointed nose.
Kid's specific paddle boards have the characteristics that make them perfect for children who love to paddle. They tend to be shorter than you may choose as an adult, and usually use lightweight construction to make them easy for kids to handle. Kids SUPs can come in allround and race shapes.
If your kid’s want an all-round SUP board, choose a 8-10ft length that is no more than 4,75” thick and no more than 31 wide, This will give them a great shaped board that is very stable and lots of fun. Try not to buy anything 6” thick, The 6” thick SUP board tends too be too high volume even for most adults and for children wanting to paddle on flat water or catch a wave will be too unstable. Kids Touring Paddle Board If your kids have got the adventure bug and love paddling next to you on longer paddling adventures, a 11ft touring board is a great option, Keep the width too about 30 wide and again make sure the board is no thicker than 4’75 thick to give them stability whilst enjoying there paddling adventure.
Most of us are very happy to catch a wave on an all-round SUP board, SUP Boards between 10’ and 10’6 x 4’75 thick love catching a small wave, especially for newbies that are having lots of fun at the beach, for anyone taking SUP surf seriously and want a SUP specific board, Red Paddle Co, Fanatic and Gladiator do great specific SUP Surf boards or look at Red Paddle Co’s 9’8 or Fanatic’s 9’0 for great slightly larger options that are still smaller than the all-round shapes.
Touring boards are great for the adventure seekers as well as families looking for a little extra room on the front of the board for kids and dogs. If your a shorter, lighter rider, look at boards about 11ft x 30 x 4’75 thick and for everyone else a 12’6 x 31”/32” is a great touring board shape. If your planning to go full adventure paddle boarding look at paddle boards over 13’2”, This longer shape is a must for holding camping equipment and picnics and been out on the water for days on end. Again drop stitch is pinnacle on these longer boards and if your budget doesn’t stretch too a Red Paddle Co, Naish, Starboard Double Chamber or Fanatic Premium, Look for boards that have high density drop stitch and are premium quality. Gladiator is a good brand too look at as well as Anomy and Naish One Race Design in the 12’6 touring boards.
If you ever get too wanting to race on a paddle board you will either want be part of the N1SCO events, so will need a Naish One Race board or you may want to be part of the Red Paddle Co Dragon Races or you will want to race in the 14’ or 12’6 SUP races. Board length and width are key in these events and you will want too balance your need for stability with your want to win too find the ultimate and perfect race board of yourself.
One more thing to consider when choosing your Inflatable SUP is the thickness of the board. There is a lot of rubbish about thickness out there on the internet from POP up brands buying the cheapest materials they can. Each thickness option has it's advantages which we have outlined here, but for full details on board thickness click the link below - Allround review - where the 1st paragraph goes into detail about thickness.
+ Less expensive
+ RED paddle co can use it with RSS Batterns
- It's bendy for anyone over 57kg
- Normally used by budget SUPs as a cheap
+ Excels in all round conditions
+ Suits all riders up to 100kg to 120kg
+ The material your all round SUP should be
+ Best suits Touring boards
+ Used in some allround boards
+ Suits heavier riders in 10'8 all round sizes