The most common paddleboard sizes are:
- Kids’ Paddleboards: 9′ to 10′
- All-rounders 10′ to 11′
- Touring Paddleboards: over 12’6”
- Racing Paddleboards: 12’6 or 14′
One of the first decisions you have to make when purchasing a paddle board is deciding what size fits your needs best. The length of a board has some impacts on different aspects.
Over the time, the paddleboard brands developed some different types of boards, each with their own sizes. All these different shapes have their benefits, but it also gets hard to decide what is the best board for your destination or style of paddling.
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How to measure paddleboard sizes?
Most commonly, feet and inch are used to measure the length, width and thickness of a paddleboard. Sometimes, you will also see someone using centimetres. The conversion rate is 1 inch= 2.54 cm) and 1 foot = 30.5 cm.
Most brand label their board with its total dimensions in length x width x thickness. Length is measured in feet and inch. Width and thickness are just noted in inch.
Instead of writing feet and inch, they use this shorter way to describe it:
- 10′ = 10 feet
- 5” = 5 inches
E.g. a paddleboard with the size of 10’6” x 31.5” x 6” is 10 feet and 6 inches long, 31.5 inches wide and 6 inches thick. In the metric systems that board measures 3.2 m in length, 80 cm in width and is 15 cm thick.
Typical paddleboard sizes
There are some different board sizes most popular.
The following table shows some of the more common sizes. The size is measured in feet and inches.
|Type||Length ft / in||Length m / cm|
|Kids||9′ to 10||274 cm to 320 cm|
|All-rounders||10′ to 11′||305 cm to 335 cm|
|Touring||over 12’6”||over 381 cm|
|Racing||12’6′ or 14′||381 cm or 427 cm|
What impact does the paddleboard size have?
The length of a paddle board has an impact on different aspects.
Let us have a look.
The length of a board got an impact on its weight. Shorter board are obviously lighter than longer boards, simply because it takes less material to be used for manufacturing the foam core.
A light paddleboard is easier to carry around and even to put on your car rack or rooftop carrier.
Stability vs Speed
Wider paddleboards are more stable than narrow boards. This is just logical: if you want to carry a heavy load, such as your own weight and especially the weight of gear.
One disadvantage of wide paddleboards is that they are slower.
Tracking vs Turning
A paddleboard with a longer length is slower in making tight turns.
On the other side, they are better when it comes to tracking. With a long board, you can build up more speed, which helps you for longer paddle tours.
Longer boards have a larger volume and as a result take longer time to inflate up to similar pressure levels. You can check out the volume numbers for different posts.
A board with a 50% larger volume also takes roughly 50% longer time to inflate and is more physically demanding.
Best Paddleboard Size for Kids
Depending on the child’s age and weight, you need to get a board which is <320 cm in length.
Kids’ paddleboard are not only shorter, but less thick (4 to 5 inches are common) compared to an adult paddleboard.
Kids paddleboards don’t need to offer the same level of buoyancy, stiffness and stability like an adult board, so kids’ paddleboards can be way lighter.
Check out our post about the best paddleboards for kids
Best Size for Beginners
Beginners can use any size board. It is important that they are a bit wider and thick enough to provide enough stability and are easily manageable on the water.
Most common are paddleboards between 10’6” and 12′ (320 cm to 365 cm) which are about 31.5 inches in width and are 6 inches thick.
Lightweight beginners can also pick up a shorter paddleboard to start with.
Check out our post about the best paddleboards for beginners.
Best Size for Touring, Intermediates and Racing
Touring paddleboard are generally longer than 11’6” (350 cm) and a bit more narrow. If you’re a intermediate and developed a great balance, you can easily handle a longer and narrower board for touring.
You will want to check out the volume of a board before taking it on a longer paddle tour. If you need to carry gear and/or you are over 200 lbs (90 kg) consider getting a board which has more volume than average.
Check out our post about the best paddleboards for touring
For building up the most speed, racing boards are the way to go. There are two typical sizes for racing boards: 12’6” and 14′.
Check out our post about the best paddleboards for racing