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What Size Paddle Board Should I Get For My Height?

what size paddle board should I get for my height

Paddleboarding has evolved over the last couple of years and nowadays, it’s a popular activity for watersport enthusiasts all around the globe. But if you wish to enjoy this sport to the fullest, you’ll need to ask yourself what size paddle board you should get for your height.

If you pick up an unsuitable board for your height, you’ll have a hard time paddling it, or you may even end up injuring yourself. Trust me, it’ll ruin your weekend pretty quickly!

As a general rule, the perfect paddle board size for persons with a height between 5’ and 6’ is 10’ -11’ long and 30” – 34” wide. Taller paddlers should aim for a board with the same width but a length of 12’ – 14’, while paddle boarders with a height under 5’ need SUPs with 8’ -10’. 

Nevertheless, you’ll have to consider many other sizing factors like the thickness, overall shape of the SUP board, and what you’ll use it for when making your decision.

With that in mind, in this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at paddleboard sizes that are ideal for smaller, medium, and taller paddlers to help you find the one that meets your needs.

So without further ado, let’s dive in.

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What Size Paddle Board Should I Get For My Height?

What's the best Size paddle board for my height?

Typically, the average SUP boards are about 10-11 feet long and 30-34 inches wide. However, these standard boards are not suitable for paddlers of all heights.

For instance, a junior or a lightweight paddler under the 5 feet height range will find it challenging to paddle and maneuver such a watercraft properly.

The reason for that is that you have a shorter reach and will likely have a lesser muscle density. Thus, it’ll be tricky to paddle the board straight or make turns when necessary.

Read also: Do I need SUP Lessons? Paddle Boarding for Beginners

If you pick up a shorter board that is about 8-10 feet in length and 28-32 inches in width, you get to enjoy a smoother ride.

For paddlers with an average height the standard boards are a fantastic choice.

The standard US man is about 5 feet 9 inches tall, and the woman is about 5 feet 4 inches in height. As such, if you have this height, you’ll be able to paddle the 10-11 feet boards easily.

If you’re among the taller paddlers that boast a height of 6 feet or more, the standard SUP boards won’t be able to offer you the best performance.

Fortunately, there are high-performance SUP boards that are 12-14 feet long and 30-34 inches wide that’ll fit you perfectly. Unfortunately, though, most of these watercraft require a fair bit of skill to handle!

Paddler HeightPaddle Board Size
Junior/Lightweight Paddler (less than 5′)8’ -10’ long and 28” – 32” wide (Junior SUP boards)
Standard Paddler (5′ to 6’)10’ – 11’ long and 30” – 34” wide (Typical all-arounder SUP boards)
Taller Paddlers (more than 6′)12’ -14’ long and 30-34 wide

Aside from this, determining the size of your SUP board also depends on your skill level.

An expert paddler will have an easier time paddling narrower boards with longer lengths. In contrast, beginners will get rid of shaky legs and have a safer, more comfortable learning experience with broader decks and shorter-length crafts.

Best SUP Size By Activity

Not all SUP boards are equal, and some perform better than others when it comes to specific paddleboarding activities. Thus, it can be challenging to find the right SUP size that’ll suit your paddling activities.

Read also: Drysuit for Paddle Boarding  (Buyers Guide)

We’ll go over the best SUP sizes for several paddleboarding activities in this section to make the process easier for you.

Best SUP Size For Recreational Paddleboarding

Paddle Board Sizes for recreational Paddle Boarding

For Recreational Paddleboarding, you want to get a reliable watercraft that is easy to handle.

If you’re a lightweight paddler with a smaller height, you can pick up the shorter (8-10’) boards with an all-arounder or a hybrid nose shape. This allows you to paddle comfortably and save up stamina.

For an average paddler, the smaller boards may flex and become unstable. Therefore, you’ll want a standard-sized all-arounder board or a travel board that’s about 10-12’ long and more than 30 inches wide.

A taller, heavyweight paddler will have to get a giant all-arounder SUP board with 12-15’ length and 32” or more width to paddle effectively. Plus, these paddleboards usually have enough buoyancy and space to support multiple people. Alternatively, you could go stand up paddle boarding with your dog!

Best Paddle Board Size For SUP Yoga

Best Paddle Board Size for SUP Yoga

When it comes to practicing SUP yoga, a highly stable board is essential.

As such, you want to go out in the water with a wider board. For instance, the smaller height paddler can use a 32 inches wide board with an average length, while the standard height paddler needs a watercraft with 34 inches or broader deck.

Still, the taller paddlers will have difficulty doing advanced yoga poses on a SUP board unless the craft is massive, like the 15’ long Megalodon iSUP!

SUP Racing: What Size Paddle Board Should I get for my Height?

Whats paddle board size do I need for my height when racing

Typically, a racing SUP board is about 14 feet or longer. It also sports a narrower deck to reduce drag and a sharper nose to cut through the water faster.

However, it might be too troublesome for smaller paddlers to paddle such a longer SUP board effectively. Therefore, when racing, you may want to go with a 12 feet long and 28-30 inches wide board with a pointy nose and a cutaway tail for extra speed and stability.

The average height paddlers will perform better when riding the 12-14 feet long paddleboards. Taller paddlers can pick up the 15 feet long SUP boards that are more than 29-30 inches wide for the best speed.

Read also: How Far Can You Paddle Board In A Day? (SUP Speed)

Best SUP Size For Extended Expeditions

Buoyancy, stability, and tracking – make sure your board provides all of those when planning an extended or long-distance SUP expedition.

Typically, the lightweight, smaller paddlers can enjoy day-long trips on paddleboards that are about 12 feet long and more than 30 inches wide. The average height paddlers need a giant board with 14 inches or more length to support all the gear and supplies.

Read also: Can I Stand Up Paddle Board in Rain? 

Moreover, the taller paddlers will appreciate similar size travel SUP boards with more expansive decks, hybrid noses, and larger central fins for better tracking.

What’s the Best Paddle Board Size For SUP Fishing?

What size paddle board do I need for my height when SUP fishing

A fishing paddleboard must be versatile, stealthy, stable, and buoyant to perform well in different waters and weather.

Read also: When is it too windy to SUP? (Paddle Borading Wind Speeds)

The angler with a petite, smaller build will have an advantage here since most fishing SUP boards with 10-12 inches length and 30-34 inches width will work well for them.

The average and the taller paddlers on the other hand will have to pick up a board that’s 11-13 feet in length and boasts a wide deck for better stability and buoyancy.

A Few Tips & Tricks To Choosing The Best SUP Size For Your Height

What's the best size paddle board for my height Tips

Due to its incredible convenience and rising popularity, the world of SUP boards has developed rapidly. Thus, you’ll find a wide range of SUP board sizes in the market.

At first glance, it may seem pretty challenging to find a SUP size suitable for your height. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make the search easier:

  • Check out your reach with the paddle when looking for a specific type of SUP board. The craft will be easier for you to paddle if you can reach near the board’s nose with the paddle while standing in the middle of the deck.
  • If you’re a taller, heavyweight paddler, you’ll want a board with better rigidity and length. The quickest way to determine an inflatable SUP’s rigidity and durability is to look at its PSI level. Boards that support a 15-25 PSI range are usually very rigid on the water, and if it has a longer length, narrower width, it’ll cut through the water with less effort.
  • Keep in mind: You can always try out the SUP boards from a paddleboard rental before making your decision.
Read also: Should I Inflate my Paddle Board with a Compressor? (Expert Advice)

Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a beginner learning the ropes, a suitable SUP board is necessary if you wish to take your paddleboarding experience to the next level.

Plus, with a board that suits your height, you’ll have a safer time paddling even the unpredictable waters. Remember though, for your safety it’s important to wear a SUP safety leash and a US Coast Guard-approved PFD!

Once you have found the ideal paddleboard, you’ll be able to paddle like a pro in no time.

But don’t just take our word for it. Instead, pick up a suitable size SUP board for your height and enjoy your next paddleboarding adventure!

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