When it comes to sizing a stand up paddle board, one of the key pieces of information that we focus on is the weight of the rider. This will help ensure that your stand up paddle boarding experience is easy and fun. A board that is too small for your weight will make learning to SUP a lot harder than it needs to be!
To get the right size SUP board for your weight, there are two main factors that we look at. First thing we look rider weight, and then we look at the volume of paddle board that will not only suit your weight but also your skill level and conditions.
How Much Do You Weigh?
Should be easy enough. Stand on a scale and read the number. However, you will want to take a few other things into consideration. Will you share the board with anyone that might be heavier than you? A lot of families will share a board, and when selecting the best size to get, consider the weight of the heaviest paddler as the board sizing benchmark. A lighter person can always use a heavier riders board, but a heavier person will struggle on a board sized for a lighter rider.
Do you have kids, or a dog that will ride on the front of the board with you? If you weigh 150lbs, but your 6 year old daughter weighs 60 pounds, you will want to consider your combined weight of 210lbs when selecting the most stable board.
Pro Tip - Do not look at only one dimension such as length when picking your board. There are boards that are 11' and very wide which offer a higher weight capacity than an 11' board that is very narrow. Board volume is the key to selecting your board!
What Is Volume?
With some a bit of math, and the dimensions of a SUP board including length, width, and thickness, board volume can be calculated . Lucky for you, we take care of the math portion and present all our boards volumes in our product specification charts. Volume is a measure of a boards ability to float with weight on it, and generally the more volume a board has, the more weight it can support. A board that has a higher volume will generally be more stable for novice paddle boarders. Just because a board is longer, doesn't mean that it is more stable. A 12' board that is only 4" thick vs. a board that is 6" thick will have dramatically different volumes, and have dramatically different stability levels.
Pro Tip: Don't forget, we are here to help. There is a lot of information on our products, and at any point if you need help understanding, just call, email or Live Chat with us!
What Volume Stand Up Paddle Board Should I Buy?
Once you know the weight range you want the board to work for, we just have to pull out our calculators and do a little math.
The easiest way to consider volume is to first convert your body weight from pounds to Kilograms. To do this, just divide your body weight in pounds by 2.2.
For example, Thomas from Maine is looking for a new SUP board for anyone in his family up to 230lbs to be able to use. To convert this to Kilogram simply divide 230 by 2.2 and we get 104 Kilograms.
If we take 104kg and multiple it by 2.2, we get 228, which would be the volume, in liters, that would give Thomas and his family optimal stability for their weights. A couple of ideal boards for Thomas would be the Escape 11'4", the Fusion 11', or the Dura-Maxx 10'6.
For most novices that are of average athletic abilities, boards that have a volume of anywhere between 1.8 and 2.2 times their weight in Kilograms would offer nice stability. If you really want to maximize/super size the stability, you can use a multiplier of 2.5!
More advanced riders, SUP surfers, or SUP racers have different volume multipliers due to the specialized nature of their boards and skill levels. However, for all around paddling, a simple recap is:
- Divide your body weight by 2.2
- Multiply it by 1.8, and 2.2, and that will give you a range of volumes to consider.
In the case of Thomas, this would be boards between 187L and 230L.
Pro Tip - For all around paddling, use 2.2 as your multiplier when looking at board volume. Using 1.8 will give you a smaller volume, and may make things tougher for people that are on the heavier side of the user weight range!
What Are the Weight Capacities of Our Best Sellers?
Most of our models come in a few different volumes. Each product on our site carriers a very detailed specification chart with every measurement and dimension you could ever want.
- The Dura-Maxx 10'6 is ideal for riders up to 250lbs, and the 11'4 up to 325lbs!
- The Fusion 10' is ideal for riders up to 180lbs, the 10'6 for riders up to 210, the 11' for riders up to 230lbs, and the 11'6 for riders up to 280lbs!
- The womens specific Bliss series comes in a 10', which is ideal for riders up to 180lbs, a 10'6 for riders up to 210, a 11' for riders up to 230lbs.
- The Escape has 7 sizes for a range of riders all the way up to 250lbs depending on the board size selected
- The ultra portable Crossover Air 9'8 will handle riders up to 180, the 10'2 up to 200lbs, the 10'8 up to 230lbs, and the 11'6 all the way up to 290lbs!
Pro Tip: If you have a number of different rider weights, and you don't want to share boards, we have great 2 board package deals!
Get On The Water
Now that you understand board volume and how it relates to your body weight, the only thing left to do is buy your new Cruiser SUP and start paddling. Of course, if you still have questions, just get in touch with us and we will be glad to help.