How To Choose A Paddle Board

Many people don’t know how to choose a paddle board. To go out for a relaxing paddle, and to make your paddling experience more enjoyable, you must have a right SUP (stand up paddle) board.

In hot summer, if you are making a plan to go out for the most popular water-sports and searching for tricks to select a stand up paddle board, then welcome! We are here to provide information on the basic things you should think about before selecting a paddle board.

To get the most suitable Stand Up Paddle Board you have to consider some important things. Now we are going to provide you with these things below:

SUP Board Shape Types

SUP shape/ hull or body gets you to perform better in the water. There are mainly two types of SUP hull mostly seen, one is planing hull other is displacement hull.

Planing Shape: If you are deciding to go for leisure paddling, SUP yoga, surfing, or whitewater surfing, a planing-shaped board is the best. The body of a planing-shaped board is flat and wide and designed to ride on the top of the water and can be maneuverable.

Displacement Shape: Displacement shape has a pointed nose or bow in the front side likely to that of kayak or canoe. It requires less effort than a Planing Shaped board. It is less maneuverable than a planning shape board. If you want to go longer distances with faster speed for fitness paddling, SUP touring or racing, it can be the best choice.

How To Choose A Paddle Board

Should I Buy A Solid Or Inflatable SUP Board?

Solid SUP Board: Most solid SUP boards are made of fiberglass and epoxy resin layers over hollow wood or foam cores. Some inexpensive SUPs are made of all foam construction. So high-end paddle boards are made of carbon fiber over foam cores. Solid SUP boards are used for fast traveling with less effort than an inflatable SUP board. If you are planning to go to local beaches, lakes, bays or want to catch waves for SUP surfing, it is the best option. As it provides more stability, it is also suitable for faster and long-distance paddling.

It is heavy to lift and needs a lot of space to keep. If you have a garage or large room and have a vehicle to transport, then you can easily store this. Most important thing is, if you are more of a load-and-go type of person, a solid paddle board will be the best. It is more costly than inflatable SUP boards.

Inflatable SUP boards: Inflatable SUP boards are made of a strong PVC plastic outer layer over a drop-stitched core inflatable core. For the ease of portability, durability, little storage space, less cost and going out anywhere for water sporting inflatable SUP boards are the best choice to make. When you are not using it, you can roll it up and keep it in your backpack. It is a little bit softer than a solid board.

A beginner can use it for learning paddling on a lake, calm water, as there is the possibility of falling repeatedly. For the experienced paddler, who wants to enjoy with their children or dog, it provides an easier surface than a solid board. (For sitting or dog –claw gripping).

Read Our Related Post: Paddle Boarding Equipment List

What Size Of SUP Board Is Suitable For Me?

Here, we are discussing the suitable size of SUP board by their weight capacity, volume or length and width that affects the SUP performance.

Weight Capacity: Depending on the experience of paddling, here are some formulas to estimate the weight capacity of your SUP board should be,

  • Beginner : Your weights (kg) ×2
  • Intermediate : Your weight (kg) ×1.7
  • Advanced : Your weight (kg) ×1

Select a suitable board that supports your weight. Overweight of board will go under the water and sink into or create drag – making it much harder to paddle. So when calculating your weight capacity for SUP board, make sure you include your dog, children or anything else you want to bring in.

SUP Board Size

SUP Board Size: This is an approximate estimated size based on your weight and experience to choose a SUP board.  Now we are disclosing the SUP board mostly well known by their length.

Short boards (Under 10 feet) are considered ideal paddle boards for kids and SUP Surfing. It can be used by experienced paddlers and smaller users.

Medium size boards (10fit – 12 feet) are perfect for all-around use such as yoga, fishing, cruising the lake. For a shared family paddling this board is a great choice. For a low storage capacity and easy transportation also easier for children to paddle than longer SUP boards.

Long (12 fits. 6 inch – 14 fit) boards are the best for fast, long-distance paddling and touring and lead to better buoyancy. Beginners can use it to balance on a SUP.

What Types Of Fin Is Better?

Fins are made of fiberglass or nylon designed to tack well and add stability. Though there are different types of fin used in the paddle, one-fin and three fins are the most common fins among all.

Single-fin used in the middle of the board which is topnotch for single tracking and for flat water.

Three-fin is well known for its maneuverability while maintaining a stable paddling platform. For surfing on whitewater, it is feasible.

What Types Of Fin Is Better

In rocky, shallow water, fiberglass fins can be damaged. So, fins can be removed. Some inflatable boards feature durable rubber fins that are irremovable.

What Features Should I Think For Selecting A Paddle?

When selecting a paddle board there are lots of factors to think about what type of paddle boards you should need. The key factors are-

Blade Material: For a recreational paddler or family shared paddling plastic blades are durable. Performance-oriented paddles material like carbon fiber and fiberglass which have lower swing weights and stiffer blades. It provides great efficiency. Blades made of carbon fiber are more costly, and obviously it has a concession to spend a quality time.

Blade Shape & Size: Based on various purposes, blade shape and size may vary. For fishing and touring, long and narrow blades are considered ideal as they provide high speed over a long-distance. Broad-faced-blades are ideal for waves and whitewater that often call for urgent power strokes. Paddlers whose main aim is fitness usually use wider blades.

Smaller blades are used for surfing, whitewater and other forms of paddling because reducing muscle and joint strain also allow a faster paddling. On the other hand, larger blades are used for greater water displacement and deliberate strokes. For racing and flatwater touring, larger blades are also good.

Paddle Height: The first and foremost condition to choose a paddle which is 4-12 inch taller than the user. According to different types of surfers, paddles choice also differs. Surfers and whitewater paddlers prefer shorter paddles while racer and flatwater paddlers prefer longer ones. There are several types of paddles usually seen.

One-piece paddles are most efficient while using for an outing on the water.

Two-piece paddles are good for car travel and three-piece paddles are used for air travel. For a shared or family paddle, multi-piece paddles are used. If you are thinking of sharing paddles with others of varying heights, please be assured that the adjustability range is wide enough to suit everyone.


There are thousands of paddlers who don’t know how to pick a paddle board and that’s why they cannot make their paddling experience better. Just buying the best paddle board is not enough for a better paddle board experience. You also have to know paddle boarding tips, too.

Leave a Comment