Here are some important factors on how to choose a board.
WHO IS GOING TO USE THE BOARD?
Are you the only person who’s going to use the board, or will your family and friends want to hop on too? Do you have experience with other paddle sports and great balance that lets you paddle a more advanced board? Will you have to load/unload and carry a board by yourself? When shopping for a board, be sure to take all of these things into consideration so you can choose a great board possible for your needs.
HEIGHT & WEIGHT
Height is important in paddling dynamics. For example: if you’re short, a too-wide board will force you to reach farther to the side to get your paddle into the water, which will be awkward and unnecessarily tiring. Each stand up paddleboard is also designed for a specific range of paddler weights. If you’re new to paddling, you’ll want to be on the lighter end of the recommended weight range.
Perhaps the most important dimension of a board is its width. A wide board is more stable, while a narrow board is faster. Don’t underestimate stability—a few extra inches of width can make a board fun to paddle for everyone, while a narrow, less stable board might frighten some folks off the water. An extra inch will make no noticeable change in your forward speed, and the extra stability may help you paddle more efficiently.
Length affects how fast a board can cruise and how easily it turns. Generally, a longer board travels faster and straighter—like a sea kayak. A shorter board turns faster, which is ideal if you want to catch waves.
THICKNESS & VOLUME
The volume of a board is determined by its length, width, thickness, and shape. The higher the volume, the more weight the board can support, but the less enjoyable it will be for surfing. If surfing will only be a small part of what you intend to do with your board then erring on the side of higher volume is a smart choice.
So now that you are armed with information, head over to our Red Paddle Board Chooser.
Have thoughts or questions about what board would be a good fit for you? We’d like to help! Feel free to contact us for advice customized to you.