Let me guess – you’re interested in purchasing a paddle board but aren’t sure which one is right for you. That’s completely normal. Lucky for you, I’m going to give you all the information you’ll need to make the right paddle board decision right here, right now.
3 key things to look for in a paddle board
- Stability – Your board must have enough volume, width and length.
- SUP Construction – Do you want an inflatable or a hard paddle board?
- Versatility – You want a paddle board that can be used in a variety of conditions.
The most important thing to look for in your first paddle board is if it is stable enough for you to comfortably stand on. The stability of your board is dependent on a paddle board’s dimensions aka a board’s length, width and volume. The longer, wider and more volume a SUP has, the easier it will be to balance on it.
Length: How tall your paddle board is
Width: How wide your paddle board is
Volume: How many liters your paddle board is
Ideal dimensions of a beginner paddle board
Length: 10 to 12 feet
Volume: Inflatables | 225-240 L Hard Paddle Boards | 175 L
Width: 31-33 inches
Even though these are great dimensions to base your first paddle board on, please keep in mind that there are a few other factors you need to consider that might alter these ideal dimensions slightly.
These factors are:
- Your weight and height
- If you plan on paddling boarding with your dog a lot, you should keep your dog’s weight in mind’
- If you plan on paddling with a lot of gear on your board
The more weight you have on a paddle board, the more volume your board will need for the most stability. In addition, the more volume a paddle board has, the smoother your board will glide across the water.
2. SUP Construction
There are 3 types of paddle board constructions.
- Soft top
Believe it or not, all three constructions are great for beginners. However, your lifestyle and needs will determine which construction is right for you.
An inflatable paddle board is right for you if…
- You don’t have enough storage at home. Inflatables deflate to the size of a medium sized backpack and can be stored in small spaces like a closet.
- You like traveling and want to take your board with you. Inflatables are easy to transport because of their size when deflated. Throw it in your car’s trunk with the rest of your stuff or check it as a bag at your favorite airline.
- You’d prefer a durable paddle board. Inflatables are the most durable type of paddle board. It will not be damaged if you drop it.
An epoxy paddle board is right for you if…
- You want a paddle board that provides you with exceptional performance. Hard paddle boards are the most agile type of SUP. You will have the most control and glide on a hard paddle board.
- You have enough storage space at your house. Hard paddle boards are big and will need a designated spot for storage. If you have room in your garage or any other place in your house, you should be good to go.
A soft top paddle board is right for you if…
- You live close to a lake, beach or bay. Soft top SUPs are great to use as a designated family board at a beach or lake house. Keep in mind that you will need a good amount of storage space for a Soft SUP.
- You’re on a tight budget. Soft SUPs are the cheapest construction of paddle board.
Your first paddle board should be versatile. Meaning, you should be able to use it for a variety of paddle board activities. When looking for a paddle board online, search for these key words: “All Around Paddle Board” and “Recreational Paddle Board”. Both of these keywords will help narrow your search down for a solid versatile paddle board.
Paddle boarding with Nocqua lights
It’s ok to be in disbelief – paddling boarding LED lights aren’t something you see every day or even every year, but they are real. Let the vibrant colors stimulate your brain and take you to a far off neon SUP galaxy. A big thanks to our friends at Nocqua for hooking us up with lights to help us traverse across the crystal clear waters of Catalina Island at night.