Understanding the Dimensions of a Paddleboard

Understanding the dimensions of a paddleboard


Looking to buy a paddleboard? Before you do, understanding the dimensions of a paddleboard is a must. Here are the key dimensions you need to know before making your purchase. Paddleboarding can be a fun and exciting sport or recreation if you have the correct paddleboard. There are a lot of different boards available at a wide range of prices, but not all boards are created equal. To make sure you buy the correct SUP, you need to understand the differences in paddleboard sizes and dimensions.

What are the dimensions of a SUP and why do they matter? The dimensions of a paddleboard influence how much weight a SUP can support, its maneuverability, and its stability as a platform to ride. Because they define the capacity of a SUP, length, width, and thickness measurements are crucial when selecting one.

Just knowing SUP dimensions isn't enough on its own, though. So, let's look at SUP dimensions in further detail, as well as how they relate to board size and capacity.

The Dimensions of a Paddleboard?

The important dimensions are:

  • Length
  • Width
  • Thickness

The ratio of length, width, and thickness—when calculated accurately—tells you how much weight an iSUP (inflatable stand up paddleboard) can support and how well it will perform for various bodies of water.


When choosing the appropriate paddleboard length, consider where you'll use it the most. Certain paddleboard lengths work better on ocean waves than on calm lakes, for example. When storing a paddleboard in the off-season, the length is also crucial.

We'll go through the many paddleboard sizes available and why you should pick each one in this post - How Long is a Paddle Board? (SUP Length Sizing)

The following are the most common SUP length categories:

Short Paddleboards

Paddleboards are measured from tip to tail. Short iSUPs are generally less than 9 feet long. Short paddleboards are ideal for kids and novices since they allow for greater mobility. Short SUPs are more adaptable and easier to carry, transport, and store than longer paddleboards.

Medium Paddleboards

When it comes to paddleboards, most of us will begin with medium-sized boards. Medium paddleboards are between 9 and 12 feet long and are highly adaptable to a wide range of paddling styles. In fact, the most popular length paddleboard is a 10-11 foot SUP board.

Long Paddle Boards

Paddleboards that are 12 to 14 feet long and provide the quickest ride are commonly known as long paddleboards. This is due to the fact that, when compared to both short and medium boards, longboards track straighter and more true. They're able to reach higher speeds with less effort thanks to this.

Long paddleboards are ideal for lengthy water excursions in a placid bay or on a lake.


The stability of a paddleboard is determined by the width dimension. The following are some typical SUP widths:

Narrow Paddle Boards
Narrow SUPs have a width of 29 to 30 inches and travel at a high rate of speed, in comparison to other boards. Racers will love them, but they aren't as steady as wide boards.

Narrow SUPs are best suited to experienced or professional riders because they need a higher level of skill to balance on them and maneuver the board.

Wide Paddleboards
SUP yoga is a great way to get some exercise while being peaceful and meditative.

Wide paddleboards, which have a width of 31 inches or more, are the best choice for beginning SUP riders. They provide the additional stability needed for novices to stay on top of the board as they learn to balance on the water.

Wider SUP boards aren't as fast as narrow ones, but they make for a smoother and more stable stand-up paddling experience, particularly for beginners.

Paddleboard Thickness
The thickness of a paddleboard is the third dimension. Many new paddleboarders overlook this fact because they believe that all boards are the same thickness. Varying thickness measurements, on the other hand, allow bigger or smaller paddlers to use the same length and breadth of paddleboards.

What is the thickness of paddleboards? The typical thickness of most paddleboards is about 5 to 6 inches. The heavier the board, the thicker it is. Thinner boards are more maneuverable, but they aren't suitable for riders weighing more than 200 pounds.

(That's something I know a thing or two about.)


The volume of a SUP is determined by its buoyancy. It's calculated as LENGTH x WIDTH x THICKNESS x and it's measured in Cubic Liters (L).

Volume = Width X Length X Thickness x Thickness

For the sake of simplicity, we'll assume that our paddleboard is perfectly rectangular. (However, this isn't always the case with paddleboards because they aren't exactly rectangular. But don't worry about calculating volume as a weight limit for your paddleboard since most manufacturers calculate it for you.)

As the weight of a paddleboard rises, so does the volume required to support it—the heavier you are, the larger the board's volume should be in order to properly support your weight.

Other Factors that Affect Paddleboard Dimensions

Other “dimensions,” including but not limited to, height, width, and thickness, have an impact on paddleboard performance.

Board Weight
The actual weight of the board is referred to as its weight. During the off-season, lighter is easier to transport and store. They're also swifter in the water when compared to heavier SUPs. For most beginning paddleboarders, a SUP that weighs less than 30 pounds is preferable.

Rider Weight
The maximum weight specifications for paddleboards are always included in the owner's handbook. When picking out the appropriate SUP for yourself, pay close attention to the manufacturer's weight restrictions. It's preferable to choose a board with a greater maximum weight limit than your actual weight. This way, any extra gear you bring will have no effect on performance.

Our advice is to get a board with a capacity of 50 lbs greater than the rider's weight.

When I first started paddleboarding, I attempted to use my daughter's boards. However, because I was too hefty for them and the tip sank into the water when I paddled, I felt extremely insecure on them.

Paddleboard Weight by Pounds

SUPs weigh roughly 30 pounds on average, depending on the size and construction materials. Shortboards are the lightest at around 15 pounds. Longboards are the heaviest, weighing around 40 pounds. Medium boards fall in between, weighing anywhere from 20 to 30 pounds.

Related Article: How Much Do Paddle Boards Weigh?

Paddleboard Weight Limit by Volume

To figure out how much weight is on your paddleboard in terms of volume, take your weight in pounds and multiply it by 1 and 1.4. This will provide you with a range of volumes to choose from based on your needs. If you weigh 150 pounds, for example, the ideal SUP volume range is between 150 liters and 210 liters.

It is important to keep in mind that your ideal paddleboard volume can (and likely will) change as your weight, age, discipline (the type of boarding you do), and skill level change. Getting the correct SUP volume is key to making your experiences on the water both easy and fun.

Paddleboard Weight Capacity in Pounds

The maximum weight that a SUP board can support is determined by the size and style of the board as well as the weight of the rider. Board weights can range from 15 pounds to 40 pounds. Each manufacturer will recommend a maximum weight capacity for its boards.

Choose a SUP that can accommodate your weight or even more, unless you want to ride low in the water and have less stability. You will ride lower in the water, with less stability, and experience greater "drag" if you don't select one that can support your weight or perhaps a little more. The worst-case scenario is for it to sink beneath you, making it impossible to tour, race, or surf.

For additional information on paddleboard size by volume and weight, see the following related article: How Much Weight Can a Paddle Board Carry?

How Do You Pick a Paddleboard?

In selecting the best SUP, you should think about the board's dimensions, the height, and weight of the rider, as well as where and how it will be used (discipline). We've previously covered how to calculate the ideal length, width, and volume of a paddleboard. We've also talked about how to compute a SUP's total mass or capacity.

Paddleboard Dimensions Recap

Paddleboard dimensions are crucial for paddlers to understand and recognize. They influence how much weight a SUP can bear, the board's responsiveness and mobility, and the platform's stability in which you may paddle. You must also think about length, width, and thickness in terms of volume as well as a board's capacity when deciding on which one is appropriate for you.