TOP TIPS TO CHOOSING A PADDLEBOARD
Check the brand is offering a 4.7/5 inch thick all-round board in their range, Check that the rider weight limit is at least 90kg and more like a 100+ and question the brand sales person if they are choosing to place you on a 6 inch thick all round board if you are under 13 stone.
Check the product can be inflated up to 20psi, If the brand is suggesting they can offer a stiff board at 15 psi and less, this is an exaggeration and the board will bend under a normal rider weight of 10 stone and above. The inflation of 15 psi and under also suggests the brand's confidence in their gluing technology is low.
Shape - This is just as important as inflation and dropstitch quality, If the widest point of the board is not next to the middle handle (where your feet will be positioned) and is in front (or behind) this means the board will lose stability, It also means the board will not go in a straight line as easily. At SUP inflatables we prefer the classic all-round boards NOT to have a point on the front as this takes the straight rail shape out of the board and often forces an odd design shape whereby the width is in front of the feet.
Rider height - Rider Height and width of the board are really important to allow riders to gain a straight down paddle stroke which in turn stops 'over reach', which in turn allows a board to go in a straight line and creates stability. This becomes more critical for shorter riders who also really struggle if a board is too wide as they just can't carry it as they don't have enough arm length and the board is shoved too far into their armpit.
We prefer to see riders on all-round and performance all round shapes..
under 5'5 on boards 31inch wide and less.
over 5'5 and up to 6ft+ on 32 wide boards
and riders over 6ft (and heavy riders) on 34 wide board.
If a rider is branching into touring shapes we prefer to see riders ...
under 5'5 on boards 30 inch wide and less.
over 5'5 and 6ft+ 30 or 32 wide boards (depending on cargo, kids and dogs)
Weight of a rider (and a little bit more detail about all-round shape) - It's super important that a rider under 13 stone is on a 4.7/5 inch thick board in the all-round range, once this rider moves up to a touring shape this does alter a bit but as most riders are entering into the sport with the desire for an easy to manoeuvre, all-round family board, let's stick to discussing this first...
Ideally, At SUP inflatables we would have most riders entering the sport on the classic 10'6 x 32 x 4.7 (5 inch) thick board. The reason? This is the optimum thickness, It allows the rider to have enough buoyancy in the board to be in the waterline but not so much thickness that the board bobs around like a cork, which causes instability when the wind picks up, this is especially important for riders under 12 stone. The 32 width is optimal for most riders to allow stability through the width of the whole board and not so wide that they can't get a straight down paddle stroke and the 10'6 length allows a straight rail without being too short or too long for too much or too little manoeuvrability. In short, the 10'6 x 32 x 4.7/5 inch thick board is perfect for most people and allows the consumer confidence in the brand as this shape consistently points to premium brands who are building high-quality boards.
Kayak seats - As much as a kayak seat seems like a good idea, at the moment, the only brands that seem to offer this add on, are brands that use lower grade dropstitch and gluing technology, the kayak seat then becomes useful because the board isn't really designed to be stood on as there is too much flex in the board to allow a rider to stand up confidently for a long period of time without falling in.
Quick Tip Paddleboard Size Guide Chart
SUP inflatables size guide chart, A rough guide that will help most people find the right size board... but if you're still not sure... Just come and ask the experts
|All Round Board Size||Recommended Height||Ideal Rider Weight||Max Rider Weight||Max Carrying Capacity|
|10'4 x 31 x 4.7||Up to 5'5||under 75kg||90kg||150Kg|
|10'6 x 32 x 4.7||Over 5'5||Up To 95kg||110kg||180kg|
|10'8 x 34 x 6||Over 5'8||Over 80kg||No Max||220kg|
|Touring Board Size|
|12'6 x 30 x 4.7||Up to 5'8||Under 75kg||95kg||180kg|
|12'6 x 30 x 6||All heights (skill based)||Over 75kg||No Max||220kg|
|12'6 x 32 x 6||Over 5'8||Over 75kg||No Max||220kg|
|12'6 x 34 x 6||Over 5'10||Over 75kg||No Max||230kg|