How to Choose the Right Size Inflatable SUP: Sizing Guides

If paddle boarding interests you, it’s a must to have a reliable SUP. You might be wondering, “what size inflatable SUP should I get?” Stand up paddle boarding has something for everyone. Wanting the best paddling experience on a calm lake or riding the ocean waves is achievable if you buy the best SUP for yourself.

Nothing beats the adrenaline to engage in a fast-paced paddle to get a workout. Whatever your goals are, having a reliable paddle board size guide at hand is essential to having a good time. To help you choose a board, we’ve put together a list of important considerations to consider with regard to the right size.

what size inflatable SUP should I get

Different Types of Boards and Sizing Guide

When selecting the right size inflatable SUP, there are a number of factors you should take into consideration first. These include:

  • Your own body weight, height, and experience level;
  • Where you intend to use your SUP;
  • Learning more about the different varieties of paddle boards (longer, wider, and more voluminous).

It’s not necessary to meet all of these standards at the same time, though. However, experts may match their physical qualities and the types of waterways they brave with the precise style of paddle board that is most suited to them and their specific purpose.

It’s likely that if you’re just starting out with paddle boarding, you’ll want to look for an all-around inflatable SUP that can do a lot of things well. And the one that lets you try out different places and types of paddle boarding.

The sport or performance board category might be for you if you have some experience with SUP or other board sports and want to go fast, so you might want to look there.

If you want to build your confidence and avoid falling as you learn to stand up on paddle boards, it’s best to look for a board that is very stable on water.

Should you want to go SUP surfing, you can choose a board that’s good for that, or you can choose a board that’s good for SUP yoga, or a racing board, for that matter.

Now, how do you know which size inflatable SUP is right for you? Making the right selection has a lot to do with how tall you are, how much you weigh, and whether you are a beginner or someone who is more experienced. 

As a general guideline, we thought it best to refer you to this paddle board size guide, which you can refer to for specific measurements for beginner and more experienced paddlers. 

SUP yoga

What size paddle board should I get for my height?

If you’re unsure of what size stand up paddle board to get, a good rule of thumb is to add about 9 to 10 inches (22.8 to 25.4cm) to your height.  In addition to the paddler’s height, other things to think about are your weight, level of experience, and where do you plan to paddle.

Generally, 10 to 11 foot boards with a width of 31 to 35 inches (78.7 to 88.9cm) are the most popular for all-around use. If you’re just starting out, a board that’s 33″ to 35″ (83.8 to 88.9cm) wide will provide you with additional stability while paddling. Consider a board between 31″ (78.7 cm) and 32″ (81.2) wide and 10 to 12 feet (3 to 3.65 meters) long if speed is also an important factor to you.

What size paddle board should I get for my experience?

Experience is a key factor in nearly any paddle board activity. While a novice rider would need a board that is at least 30 inches wide, an experienced one can get away with a board that is just 20 inches wide. A longer, higher-volume board is required for a beginning surfer. Shorter, less buoyant boards will be more appropriate for more experienced surfers.

To be classified as an experienced paddler, you must have spent a significant amount of time on the water perfecting your skills and knowing what types of watery environments you are comfortable in. When it comes to choosing the right size inflatable SUP, some people prioritize speed, glide, and maneuverability, while others simply want a model that is efficient. Experienced paddlers will use their boards as a cost-effective extension of their hobbies.

What size paddle board should I get for my weight?

It is possible for a paddler to exceed the SUP’s weight capacity. However, this can cause the board to sink and drag in the water. Remember, it’s not fun to paddle a heavy SUP. You’ll be alright as long as you and your gear don’t exceed the board’s recommended weight limit.

Include your weight, as well as, any excess weight you’ll be carrying when calculating the optimal weight capacity for you. To be on the safe side, you should consider adding an extra 10 to 15 pounds. Always choose a board based on your current weight, even if you intend to lose weight in the future.

Sizing Guidelines for Inflatable SUP Boards

You should also consider purchasing a paddle board that you can expand upon. You never know when you’ll want to bring along a kid, a dog, or a buddy, so pick a board that can handle additional weight.

The SUP market is seeing a rise in the popularity of hybrid, broad boards. In addition to being ideal for families, they may also be used for SUP fishing and yoga. SUPs that are 10’6 to 11’6″ (26.9 to 29.46cm) in length and 33″ to 35″ (83.8 to 88.9cm) wide are the typical dimensions of hybrid boards.

If you’re looking for an inflatable SUP, aim for one with at least a 6″ (15.24cm) layer of foam on the bottom. More than six inches thick is considered the ideal thickness for an inflatable SUP.

paddle board size guide

Final Thoughts: What Size Inflatable SUP Should I Get?

If you’re renting an inflatable SUP, tell the rental company what activities you intend to accomplish with your paddle board. You’ll be able to get a board that fits your skills and what you want to do if you give them specific information.

If you’re going to buy one, the same rules apply. To get the most out of your first board, you may wish to rent one and experiment with a variety of sizes. When it comes to board sports, you may benefit from a narrower board with a greater glide for those who are experienced and have a good sense of balance. Possibly, a wider one is best if you’re just starting off. 

If you’re still wondering, “what size inflatable SUP should I get?,” hopefully, this guide has helped you get adequate information to learn about the right paddle board size guide.