What size paddle board is right for me? 2022 Update

what size paddle board

Last Updated on 26 January 2022 by Sarah Dunes

Whether it’s your first time paddle boarding or you’re replacing an old one, it’s always good to know whether you’re using a board that’s best suited for your body and your needs. Different types of paddle boarding conditions may require different sized boards. Choosing the right one can definitely help you to get the most out of the experience, especially in terms of the optimal volume and stability. 

Although this blog post is updated periodically, the principles of choosing paddle board sizes haven’t changed! The main thing to consider is finding a board that is stable and safe for your chosen location.

We don’t want to push our products on you, as we want you to make the right decision for you. But if you’re interested in finding out more about our paddle board range, please feel free to check out our products and drop us an email at hello@ezshopper.co.uk with any questions. 

Paddle board size for the ocean

Choosing the right paddle board for the ocean depends on the activity you plan on doing. Usually, touring boards are used for gliding over calm ocean water. These are long paddle boards going around 12 to 14 feet. They’re perfect for fast paddling and gliding on the water at a steady pace. The shape of a typical touring board is a bit narrower than most which means it allows you to paddle more efficiently, slicing through the water.

But for ocean surfing, paddle boards under 9 feet may be preferable. This kind of board may also be good to use for river surfing. A shorter length allows you to control the board more effectively. These boards also have wide and flat hulls, designed to ride rough water. 

paddle board size for ocean

Paddle board size for sup yoga

SUP yoga is an advanced activity, which requires a board that can provide as much stability as possible. The recommended specifications for an SUP yoga board would be around 34 inches wide and around 5 inches thick. Boards with these specifications can ride lower in the water and keep the centre of gravity down. 

A 5-inch board can also be easier to climb on compared to a thicker 6-inch one if you happen to fall in. In regards to length, it has little influence on stability for SUP yoga. The most important factor to consider with length is your body’s length, especially with carrying out yoga poses. A board under 10 feet may be too short to accomodate how far you can reach out when doing poses. For SUP yoga, you may want to consider one that is longer relative to your stature and build.

paddle board for sup yoga

Paddle board size for your height

When choosing a board, using your height and weight as a basis is the best idea. Specifications of the board can cater to various proportions of the user. Here are some points you can take note of when you’re shopping for a new board.

  • The type of paddle boarding activity it’ll be used for
  • Height and reach of the user
  • The experience level of the user
  • Water and wind conditions
  • Who else you’ll be sharing the board with
  • Whether you’ll be taking pets or cargo on board

These are the most important points but there are other details to look at when you’re shopping for a board. Read on for more information on guidelines based on the user’s weight.

Paddle board size for beginners

A good rule of thumb for beginners is to choose a board based on weight for optimal stability. The table below gives guidance for choosing an all round SUP.

Rider Weight Width Thickness Length
Under 60kg 31-32” 4.7 or 5” 9’
60-70kg 31-32” 4.7 or 5” 9′ or 10’6”
70-80kg 31-33” 4.7 or 5” 10’6”
80-90kg 32-34” 4.7 or 5” 10’6”
90-100kg 32-34” 5-6” 10’6”+
100kg+ 32-34” 6” 10’6”+


For thickness, 5 inches is generally considered the best all round thickness based on the strength of the board and the buoyancy provided from the internal volume of air. For heavier users, a 6” board could be the better option, and provides some additional strength against flexing. 

How to choose your first paddle board size

Going according to the chart above would be a great idea for beginners, but we do have additional pointers to help you choose your board:

  • SUP boards are usually around 10 to 11 feet for adults, around 32 to 34 inches wide. Stability is one of the most important factors, especially for beginners. If you feel like you want a more stable board, you should get one that is at least 32 inches wide. However, boards that are too wide can be difficult to paddle, especially if you have a shorter reach. Our EZ Board range has been carefully selected for beginners and the proportions should be just right for most users. 

  • A shorter board can help in terms of mobility and control. If you weigh less than 70kg, then you might be suited to a 9 ft board. It’s important to check on its proportions though to make sure it’s stable enough for your body weight and that it’s designed well. For 9’ boards, a board width of around 30” is usually just right.

  • Being able to accelerate and track a straight path may be preferred by racers. The ideal board specifications for racing may be longer and narrower than usual — around 12 feet in length and as narrow as 26 inches. These boards are made for speed but they are not suited to beginners and casual users.

  • Paddling through rapids requires wider boards — this is where 36-inch-wide boards come in handy. However, the wider boards are not too good for general use because they can be slow and difficult to paddle. Shorter boards of around 9 feet in length are usually preferred for ocean or river surfing.

  • The type of board can also influence its stability. Inflatable boards can be more stable since they have a consistent thickness throughout, compared to hardboards. Hardboards are usually designed to be lighter for racing and surfing. However, they can be less stable, which can make them more difficult to use for beginners.

  • Board thickness is also important. If you are on the bulkier side, you may want to opt for a thicker board. Users who are over 100kg will benefit more from a 6-inch thick board. 

Don’t forget to check out our EZ Board SUP range and for more details please drop us an email at hello@ezshopper.co.uk.

how to choose your first paddle board