How to Choose Stand Up Paddle Board? (Find Your Perfect SUP)

Surfing is one of the most exhilarating sports out there, and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has taken the world by storm in recent years. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a novice looking to catch some waves, having the right equipment is crucial to your success on the water. But with so many different types of paddle boards available, how do you know which one to choose? Regardless of your paddleboarding style, if you want to make the most of the sport, it is vital to know how to choose stand up paddle board based on many factors.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to choose the perfect paddle board for your needs. From board size and shape to material and price, we’ll cover all the important factors you should consider before making a purchase. Whether you’re planning to use your SUP for leisurely paddles on calm waters or tackling challenging waves, our comprehensive guide will help you make an informed decision and get the most out of your surfing experience. So grab your wetsuit and let’s dive in!

Start by considering its use – how will it fit your body, and how do you want to handle it in the water? You will need to understand the right shape of the board, its volume, capacity, length, width, and thickness. You will also need to decide whether you need a solid or inflatable board. This selection will depend on how you plan to carry the paddle board and the amount of storage space available with you. After all these decisions, you will evaluate the board’s fins, and if you require any extras or accessories.

Read through this guide to understand what you need to keep in mind for choosing a stand up paddle board.

How to Choose Stand Up Paddle Board?

We did the research for you. There are a few things you might want to consider while making the choice for your stand up paddle board. Let us explain several ways to decide how to choose stand up paddle board for you.

Choose Stand Up Paddle Board Based on Board Types

To begin, you must understand the different types of paddle boards. There will always be a crossover since people use paddle boards in multiple ways – touring, racing, recreational, and surfing. There are six most common types of paddle boards you’ll find in the market.

All-Around SUPs

This type is the ideal choice for beginners and first-time paddlers. They are versatile and suitable for use in all conditions, be it choppy or flat water. All-around SUP is the most common shape for paddle boards and is family-friendly.

Surfing SUPs

If you are an intermediate or advanced paddler, the surfing SUP is just for you. It is less stable on the water, increasing the chances of paddlers falling off and enjoying more action paddle boarding. On the surfing SUP, you can easily maneuver on the waves and cut through to move forward. The surfboards are oversized with a paddle.

Touring SUPs

Paddlers interested in high-intensity workouts can select touring stand up paddle boards. These are made for long distances in flat water, such as lakes, bays, and the open ocean. Besides, they are designed for gliding with maximum efficiency. Beginners can also choose touring SUPs as they are wide and stable.

Racing SUPs

Racing SUPs are not suitable for beginners as handling the same in water becomes challenging. They are the right choice for recreational racers and the elite. They are constructed for open ocean competitions, down winders, and flatwater races. Their extra length and width help to achieve long glide efficiency and fast sprint speed.

Fishing SUPs

This type of stand up paddle board is for those who enjoy fishing but don’t have the budget to purchase a kayak or boat. The boards have the most volume, letting you and your gear remain high. This design ensures that the gear remains dry and does not get into the water.

In certain fishing SUPs, there are pre-installed mounts that allow you to personalize your fishing experience. You can add fish finders, rod holders, and all the other things you require for your expedition.

Yoga SUPs

The shape of the paddle board is suitable for flatwater paddling, yoga, or any other fitness activity. It is designed to remain stable in calm water with an expansive deck pad, giving you sufficient room to perform any form of exercise.

Choose Stand Up Paddle Board Based on Board Sizes

Choosing the best stand up paddle boards among many is a tough task unless you have proper guidance. The right size for a paddle board depends on the paddler’s weight and experience. Consider the size as per volume. A wide, long, and thick board indicates more volume and weight capacity. Moreover, a board with a high volume will remain more stable in the water.

We suggest beginners use a paddle board with more thickness and volume. As you learn the sport and develop the skills to balance, you can start using a smaller board with less volume.

Recommended Paddle Board Sizes

  • The most common size for SUP boards is 10 to 11 feet in length and 32 to 34 inches in width. If you are particularly looking for stability, you’ll need a board that is around 33 to 34 inches wide. Choosing a board that is wider than this size is not advisable since the board will become sluggish and less fun to paddle.
  • The right size of the SUP board for maneuverability and portability is 9 feet 6 inches. This size of the board allows for enhanced stability and adds a lot of fun to your experience. However, remember that this size is not suitable for paddlers weighing more than 150 lb. You must also ensure that the width is appropriate for the length, which means that the width should not exceed 32 inches. If it does, it will be slow to paddle.
  • Paddlers who prioritize straight tracking and speed should choose a touring or race board measuring 12 feet 6 inches in length and 32 inches in width. Race boards can be narrower, around 26 to 28 inches. A narrower width makes them very fast but less stable. The most appropriate width for a 12’6 board suitable for racing and touring is 30 inches.
  • For specific cases, SUP boards are available in specialized shapes. Boards that are 36 inches in width and are used for running rapids are included. Boards with a length of fewer than 9 feet typically suit ocean or river surfing.

Choose Stand Up Paddle Board Based on Board Material

We can distinguish paddle boards into inflatable and solid boards. We can further classify solid boards based on the materials they are made from, including Epoxy Fiberglass, Soft Top, and Thermoplastic.

Epoxy Fiberglass

This is the traditional paddle board with an EPS foam core and multiple layers of epoxy resin and fiberglass covering. It is stable, durable, highly rigid, and lightweight.

Epoxy Fiberglass boards are a suited match for paddlers who are passionate about paddling or recreational paddlers. Paddlers interested in racing, SUP surfing, long-distance journeys, and expeditions should choose this material.

Soft Top

These boards resemble epoxy fiberglass boards, but the only difference is that they have a spongy and soft material layered on top. This layer shows lesser scuffs or dings. Soft top boards are a perfect match for those who have sufficient storage space in the house and are on a tight budget.


These SUP boards have either a hollow core or a foam core with a hard thermoplastic molded shell around them. Although they are relatively heavier and less performance-oriented, they possess high durability. Thermoplastic boards are not easy to scratch or ding.


Manufacturers make Inflatable SUPs using heavy-duty commercial-grade PVC material. They use drop-stitch construction to create an air core. After you inflate the board, it remains as rigid as a basketball.

Choose Stand Up Paddle Board Based on Board Thickness

Choosing the right thickness for your stand-up paddleboard (SUP) is crucial for optimal performance and stability on the water. A thicker board provides more buoyancy and stability, making it easier for beginners to balance and maneuver. However, thinner boards are more suitable for experienced paddlers who prioritize speed and agility.

When choosing the thickness of your SUP, consider your skill level, body weight, the type of water you’ll be paddling on, and the board’s volume. Heavier paddlers require more buoyancy, so they’ll want to choose a thicker board to support their weight. Lighter paddlers can opt for a thinner board for better performance and speed. If you’re planning to paddle on calm waters, a thicker board may be suitable. However, if you’re planning to paddle on choppy waters, a thinner board may be more appropriate.

The suggested thickness for inflatable SUP boards is 5 inches. These boards are ideal for all-around paddling, particularly for beginners who are developing their skills. However, for heavier paddlers, those who weigh more than 225 lbs, a 6-inch thick board will be appropriate.

Lastly, consider the board’s volume, which is a measure of how much weight it can support. The thicker the board, the more volume it will have, and the more weight it can support. By choosing the right thickness for your SUP, you can enjoy a safe and fun paddleboarding experience while maximizing your performance and stability on the water.

Choose Stand Up Paddle Board Based on Board Hull

As you determine the size of the SUP suitable for you, it is vital to consider the design of the board’s hull. The hull or body plays an important role in affecting the performance of the board in the water. Paddlers commonly use two types of board hulls, which are given below:

Flat Hull

A flat hull is the most common type of SUP hull and is best for beginners or casual paddlers. It offers excellent stability and is easy to maneuver, making it perfect for calm and flat water conditions. However, it is not as efficient in choppy water or waves as other types of hulls.

Round Hull

A round hull is ideal for experienced paddlers who prioritize speed and efficiency. It has a curved bottom that cuts through the water with ease, allowing for faster and smoother paddling. However, it can be less stable than a flat hull, so it is better suited for paddlers who have developed their balance and skill.

V-Shaped Hull

A V-shaped hull is best for choppy water or waves, as it cuts through the water efficiently and provides excellent stability. It is also ideal for touring and long-distance paddling, as it is more efficient than a flat hull. However, it may not be as maneuverable as a flat or round hull.

Pontoon Hull

A pontoon hull features two flat surfaces on the bottom of the board, providing excellent stability and buoyancy. It is best for beginners or paddlers who require extra stability, such as those with a disability or injury. However, it may not be as efficient as other types of hulls.

Planing Hull

A board with planing hulls is wide and flat, like a surfboard. It is the right choice for surfing, leisure paddling, whitewater, and SUP yoga. Easily maneuverable, the board stably rides on top of the water.

Displacement Hull

The shape of a board with displacement hulls is pointed at the front, like a canoe or kayak. This design helps you to slice through the water, push the waves to the sides, and enjoy a fast, thrilling, and smooth ride. A displacement hull is suitable for SUP touring, racing, and fitness paddling.

When choosing a SUP based on the hull, consider your skill level, the type of water you’ll be paddling on, and your paddling goals. A flat hull is best for beginners or casual paddlers, while a round or V-shaped hull is ideal for experienced paddlers who prioritize speed and efficiency. A pontoon hull is best for those who require extra stability.

As you set out to purchase the right stand up paddle board, it is vital to know which brands are popular and the best. Here’s a list of the top 5 paddle board brands available in the market:

iRocker SUP

iRocker is a leading brand in the stand-up paddle board industry, offering high-quality SUPs with a range of features to suit all levels of paddlers. One of the key reasons why iRocker is recommended among top brands is their commitment to providing exceptional customer service. With free shipping on all SUPs, a 45-day return policy, and secure payment methods, iRocker makes it easy and convenient for customers to purchase their products with confidence. Additionally, iRocker offers up to a 3-year warranty on their SUPs, providing peace of mind for those looking for a long-term investment.

iRocker SUPs are also known for their durability and versatility. Their boards are made with high-quality materials, including military-grade PVC and drop-stitch construction, ensuring that they can withstand the rigors of paddling in various conditions. iRocker offers a variety of board sizes and shapes, including all-around, touring, and inflatable models, making it easy for paddlers to find the perfect board for their needs.

Overall, iRocker is a top brand in the SUP industry, offering exceptional customer service, durable and versatile boards, and a range of features to suit all levels of paddlers.

We’ve written a detailed iRocker review for you to explore more features, benefits, discounts, and surfboard products. Grab the latest iRocker discount codes and get amazing offers on your next purchase!!!

Cruiser SUP

Cruiser SUP is a top brand in the stand-up paddle board industry, offering a wide range of high-quality paddle boards suitable for all levels of paddlers. When choosing a stand-up paddle board, it is essential to consider the board’s size, weight, stability, and durability. Cruiser SUP offers a variety of beginner stand-up paddle boards that are lightweight, stable, and durable, making them ideal for new paddlers. Their expert sales staff is always ready to answer questions and help customers pick the best beginner stand-up paddle board.

Cruiser SUP’s paddle boards are known for their durability and lightweight, thanks to their Dura-Shield polycarbonate shell construction. These paddle boards are designed to last for many years of stand-up paddle boarding fun and fitness. Cruiser SUP also offers financing options through Bread®, allowing customers to pay for their purchase over time at competitive rates as low as 0% APR for 3-month financing.

Overall, Cruiser SUP is a top brand in the stand-up paddle board industry, offering high-quality paddle boards suitable for all levels of paddlers. Their expert staff, beginner-friendly paddle boards, and 2-year warranty make them a recommended brand to consider when choosing a stand-up paddle board. Use our cruiser sup discount codes and get amazing discounts.

Atoll Boards

Atoll Boards is a top brand in the world of stand up paddle boards (SUPs). They offer a wide variety of inflatable SUPs in different sizes and colors, making it easy for anyone to find the perfect board for their needs. Atoll Boards are known for their high-quality construction, durability, and affordability.

When choosing a stand up paddle board, it is important to consider factors such as size, weight, and intended use. Atoll Boards offers a range of sizes, from 9 feet to 11 feet, to accommodate different body types and skill levels. They also offer boards in different colors, allowing for personalization and style.

In addition to their quality and variety, Atoll Boards is also recommended among top brands because of their commitment to customer satisfaction. They offer a 60-day money-back guarantee and a 2-year warranty on all of their products. Use our atoll boards coupons and get exciting offers!

Overall, Atoll Boards is a top choice for anyone looking to purchase a stand up paddle board. Their variety, quality, and commitment to customer satisfaction make them a reliable and trustworthy brand in the SUP industry.

Stand on Liquid

Stand on Liquid is a popular stand-up paddleboard brand that offers a variety of high-quality boards for different skill levels and purposes. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, Stand on Liquid has a board that suits your needs. Their range of boards includes touring, racing, surfing, and all-around models. They also offer inflatable boards, which are convenient for storage and transportation.

Stand on Liquid boards are made with durable materials and advanced technology, ensuring maximum performance and stability on water. The company also offers a variety of accessories, such as paddles, leashes, and board bags, to enhance your paddling experience.

Stand on Liquid has gained a reputation as one of the top stand-up paddleboard brands, with positive reviews from customers and industry experts alike. Their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction has made them a popular choice among paddlers of all levels. If you’re looking for a reliable and high-performance stand-up paddleboard, Stand on Liquid is definitely worth considering.

Boardworks Surf

Boardworks Surf is a leading stand-up paddleboard brand that offers a diverse range of boards suitable for various skill levels and water conditions. They have an extensive selection of boards, including all-around, touring, racing, and surfing models, each designed to provide optimal performance and stability on the water.

Boardworks Surfboards are made with cutting-edge technology and durable materials, ensuring they are lightweight, strong, and highly maneuverable. They also offer inflatable boards, which are convenient for storage and transportation.

The company is known for its commitment to innovation, sustainability, and customer satisfaction, which has earned them a loyal following among paddlers of all levels. Their boards are highly reviewed, and the company has won several awards for its designs and quality.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, Boardworks Surf has a board that suits your needs. They also offer a range of paddles, leashes, and other accessories to complement your paddling experience. If you’re looking for a reliable and high-quality stand-up paddleboard, Boardworks Surf is an excellent choice.


Connelly is a well-known brand in the water sports industry that produces a range of products, including wakeboards, water skis, and stand up paddle boards (SUPs). With a focus on quality, performance, and innovation, Connelly has become a trusted name in the industry.

When it comes to choosing a SUP, there are several factors to consider, such as size, shape, materials, and intended use. Connelly offers a variety of options to suit different preferences and skill levels, from inflatable boards that are easy to transport and store to rigid boards that provide better stability and speed.

One of the standout features of Connelly SUPs is their use of high-quality materials, such as PVC and fiberglass, which make them durable and long-lasting. Their designs are also tailored to specific purposes, such as touring, surfing, or yoga, ensuring that there is a board for every need.

Overall, Connelly is a top brand to consider when choosing a stand-up paddleboard. With their commitment to quality and innovation, their products are sure to provide a great experience for beginners and experts alike.

Bay Sports

Bay Sports is an Australian-based company that specializes in designing and manufacturing high-quality water sports equipment. From stand-up paddleboards to kayaks and electric boats, Bay Sports has everything you need to enjoy the water.

Bay Sports offers a range of SUPs to suit different activities, skill levels, and budgets. Their boards are made using high-quality materials, such as bamboo, fiberglass, and carbon fiber, ensuring durability and longevity. The company also offers a variety of accessories, such as paddles, board bags, and fins, to complete your paddling experience.

What sets Bay Sports apart from other SUP companies is its commitment to customer satisfaction. They offer a 14-day money-back guarantee and a 2-year warranty on all their products, giving customers peace of mind when making a purchase. Additionally, their customer service is top-notch, with a dedicated team available to answer any questions or concerns.

Overall, Bay Sports is a reliable and trustworthy company for anyone in the market for a high-quality stand up paddle board or kayak. With a range of options and excellent customer service, they are definitely worth considering.


How do I know what stand up paddle board to buy?

To determine which stand up paddle board (SUP) to buy, consider your experience level, the type of water you’ll be paddling in, and your intended use for the board. If you’re a beginner, look for a wider, more stable board that’s easier to balance. Experienced riders may prefer a narrower, more streamlined board for better maneuverability. If you’re paddling in calm lakes or rivers, a recreational board may be best, while those paddling in the ocean or rougher waters may want a touring or surfing board. Additionally, consider the materials and construction of the board, as well as its weight and portability.

What size stand up paddle board should I choose?

The size of your SUP depends on your height, weight, and experience level. As a general rule, taller and heavier riders may require a larger board for stability, while shorter and lighter riders may need a smaller board for maneuverability. Beginners may want to opt for a wider, more stable board, while experienced riders may prefer a narrower board for better speed and maneuverability.

What size paddle board should I get for my height?

Your height is one factor to consider when choosing a paddle board size, but it’s not the only one. You should take your weight and experience level also into account. As a general rule, riders under 5’4″ may want a board around 9-10 feet long, while those between 5’4″ and 6’2″ may want a board between 10-11 feet long. Taller riders may want a board between 11-12 feet long. However, these are just general guidelines and you should also consider the board’s width and volume.

Should I get an inflatable or rigid stand up paddle board?

Both inflatable and rigid SUPs have their advantages and disadvantages. Inflatable SUPs are more portable and easier to store, making them a great choice for those with limited storage space. They’re also more durable and can be more affordable. Rigid SUPs, on the other hand, tend to be more responsive and have better performance in the water. They’re also typically more stable than inflatables. Ultimately, the choice between inflatable and rigid SUPs comes down to personal preference and intended use.

What is the weight limit for stand up paddle boards?

The weight limit for stand up paddle boards varies depending on the board’s size, shape, and construction. Generally, SUPs can support riders up to 250-300 pounds, but some models may be able to support even more weight. It’s important to check the manufacturer’s specifications before purchasing a board to ensure that it can support your weight.

What type of paddle board is best for beginners?

Beginners may want to opt for a wider, more stable board that’s easier to balance on. A recreational or all-around board may be a good choice, as these tend to be more forgiving and versatile. Additionally, inflatable boards may be a good option for beginners, as they’re typically more stable and affordable than rigid boards.


Finally, choosing the right stand up paddle board is crucial for a fun and rewarding experience on the water. With so many different types of paddle boards available, it’s important to consider your needs and preferences before making a purchase. Take the time to think about the type of paddling you will be doing, your skill level, body type, and budget. Consider the size, shape, material, and features of the paddle board before making your final decision.

iRocker, Cruiser SUP, Atoll Boards, Stand on Liquid, Boardworks Surf, and Connelly are all top brands that offer high-quality paddle boards to suit different needs and budgets. Each brand has its own unique strengths and features, so be sure to do your research and choose a paddle board that aligns with your specific needs.

Author Findings

  1. Consider your skill level, body weight, and paddling goals.
  2. Consider the type of water you’ll be paddling on and the board’s hull and volume.
  3. You may also want to consider the board’s weight, construction, and accessories such as fins, handles, and tie-downs.
  4. Beginners should opt for wider, thicker, and more stable boards, while experienced paddlers can choose narrower, thinner, and faster boards.
  5. Finally, read reviews and test out different boards before making a purchase.

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