Numbers to Know in Stand Up Paddleboarding

Everyone buying a stand up paddleboard; men, women, kids and even seniors have different expectations and needs. You see a board you like and imagine yourself riding on the water and all your friends looking on in awe.

It’s not as simple as that.

You also should make sure the board suits your needs. When determining your needs, consider three factors: size for your weight, size for the water conditions, and size for your convenience.

Size for Your Weight

Flotation is a combination of the length, width and thickness of the board. Study the dimensions of the boards you are considering and make sure you don’t choose a board that is too small.

The general rule is that, once you’re up to paddling speed, you don’t want the tail to drag.

Stepping slightly forward will smooth out the water release at the tail, but If the board is too small, your nose will dig in.

Watch other paddlers of weight similar to your own and note the tail turbulence and trim of their boards when underway. Ask for the dimensions of their boards, or at least the length of their boards, and size yourself accordingly.

Board makers generally agree on certain dimensions.

Rave Lake Cruiser SUP Paddleboard Teal 11ft 6in

from: The House Boardshop

For example, 11ft boards are around 29in wide and 4¼inthick, while 12ft boards are around 30inwide and 4½in thick.

If you can’t test a board, are inexperienced, or If your height or weight does not fall within the “average” for paddleboarders, listen to the advice and experience of others and consult the expert at your favorite paddleboard shop.

The division between lightweight and heavyweight in windsurfing is 170 pounds. This is a good reference weight for stand-up paddleboard flotation.

Heavyweights should have the biggest boards, around 12ft, paddlers who weigh right at 170 pounds do well on 11ft boards, and very-lightweights can go as short as 10ft.

Size for the water Conditions


Odyssey Surf SUP Paddleboard w/ Paddle 10Ft 6In

from: The House Boardshop

There are three basic water conditions: flatwater, rough water, and surf.

Flatwater is the ideal condition to check for tail turbulence and trim. You can see your wake and actually hear turbulence. You will even be able to trim a board that is too small, but don’t get cocky and think this will work for you in all conditions.

The size and weight recommendations, above, work well in flatwater.

Rough water is not as forgiving. The board seems much less stable, and the nose will dig into the chop. The board that seemed fine in flatwater will seem too small in rough water.

Get a board that is approximately six inches to one foot longer for rough water stand up paddleboarding. For paddle adventures on rivers, for example, longer boards are often better for stability, so you can avoid falling into cold water.

Surfing has contrasting demands. You want the speed and stability of a bigger board for paddling out and catching waves, yet when you are riding a wave, you want the maneuverability and high performance of a smaller board.

Beginners in the surf should stick to the long board they use in rough water. It will catch the waves more easily, reducing the number of falls.

Experienced surfers will prefer smaller boards. They’ve learned the knack and timing for paddling out and catching waves, so performance when riding the wave is primary.

Occasional surfers will prefer 11ft and 12ft boards, while high-performance surfers will use 9ft 6in to 10ft 6ins stand-up paddleboards.

Size for Your Convenience

Besides riding your board, you will carry it to the water, hoist it over your head to load it onto your vehicle, and store it. Keep This in mind when selecting a board to buy.

It is no good to set your heart on a certain 12ft beauty If you cannot physically handle it, especially when the wind blows.

While shopping for your board, try picking it up and carrying it. Hoist it over your head. If you have trouble, look for a board with a hand slot or buy our handle kit to attach a carrying handle.

Smaller boards, which are lighter in weight and have thinner rails, are easier to handle when out of the water, making them especially popular with women stand-up paddleboarders.


Surftech Blacktip SUP Paddleboard 8ft x 36in

from: The House Boardshop

It is worth sacrificing some paddle glide by choosing a smaller board If it means that you can carry and load it.

You also need to consider the place where you will store your board. If it needs to fit into the locking personal storage bin in your vacation condo, make sure it will fit before you purchase it.

Having a smaller board in the locker is better than Having a big board stolen from the carport rafters. Easy carrying, loading and storing is part of the love affair with your first board.

Stand up paddleboarding is a great activity, but it requires careful thought and preparation.

When selecting the right board to buy, you must consider not only the kind of stand up paddleboarding you plan to pursue  flatwater, rough water or surfing but also your own height and weight.

Listen to other surfers, but also consult the expert in your favorite paddleboard shop before you make your selection. And don’t forget to consider where you can safely store your board when it’s not in use.

various paddleboard fins

Do You Know Your Paddleboard Fins?

Fins are the most important part of the stand up paddleboard. If there are no fins, the paddle board will simply keep moving in circles.

Several makers of SUPs make sure that the fin matches comfortably with the board, however, a rider must also know and understand the working of paddleboard fins so that they are in a better position to decide which fins they should use with their boards.

What Do Fins Have to do with SUP?

paiwen paddleboard fin
Photo: Paiwen Fin

The number of fins as well as their size is dependent on the size of the board itself.

If the set up is single fin, the fin will be larger in size as compared to the fin in a three-fin set up or a two plus one set up. This is because the holding power is taken from a single fin instead of two or three.

Surface Area

The surface area is dependent on the size of the board as well as its make and size.

There are other factors that also affect the surface area. These include the state of the water in which you are paddling and your personal choices in this regard.

Paddleboard Fin Configurations


Amundson All Around SUP Fin 3/4in

The center paddleboard fin in a three-fin configuration is the same size that of the outer fins. In a two plus one setup, the center fin is larger than the outside ones. In many two plus one setups, the two outer fins can be removed in order to convert it into a single fin paddle board.

A single fin offers the necessary power for holding the board and preventing the tail form from sliding around. A multi-fin also carries out the same function besides others. They help the rider in increasing the speed of the board when water is forced through them.

Some people refer to the three-fin set up as thrusters since the water thrusts through them and increase the speed of the board. Multi-fin setups provide great interaction between the rider, the paddleboard and the water which results in a great surfing experience.

There is a down side to the multi-fin set up though, they increase the drag which is not good in flat water surfing. Other than the center fin, the rest of them are not pointing towards the direction of the travel. Rather they are facing the centerline of the board. The more this angle or cant, the easier it is for the board to turn. However, it also adds to the drag. The rider cannot feel the drag while surfing because there is energy coming from the waves as well. But in flat water, drag can be very problematic.

Flat Water Fins

Mostly, boards that are designed for flat water paddling contain a single fin.

There is a surge in the production of paddleboards that feature the flat water fin. Many people, however, prefer the all-around boards so that they can paddle away from the surf. These boards are usually available with fins that are designed for using in the surf. The boards can be amended to provide more thrust and fun.

A flat water paddleboard fin keeps the board straight. When you are paddling across a lake, this feature becomes extremely helpful.

There are three main types of flat water fins available in the market: racing, touring and down winders.

Touring Fins

Amundson All Around SUP Fin 3/4in

The main objective in the mind of the designer who creates fins for touring boards is to keep the board straight at all times. This is done by extending the board horizontally.

With a large base and more surface area, it is very difficult for the board to pivot.

Racing Fins

Amundson Tour/Race Fin 9in

Racing fins are very different. They are designed with the purpose of providing more speed as well as easy and swift maneuverability.

Shape wise, the fins used in the kind of board are similar to both the surfing fins and touring fins lying somewhere in between the two.

Most paddle board fins are made from carbon fiber. This allows them to be thinner while simultaneously providing the required stiffness. There are other materials like hexcore that are much lighter in weight and make great fins.

Downwinder Fins

The downwinder fins are the most unique. They are smaller than the surfing fins and do not allow the board to spin during a rough session. They are oriented vertically which allows greater maneuverability and speed adjustment.

Riders can also change fins depending on the conditions; racing the board with one, taking a cruise with the other, and surfing with the third.

Now that you know your paddleboard fins, you will be able to tailor your SUP to suit your own needs. Meaning, you’re going to have a lot more fun out there on the water!

paddleboard fishing

Newest SUP Craze: Paddleboard Fishing

There is nothing like waking up before the sun rises and spending time on the water. The thrill of getting out there and trying to catch the largest fish in the lake is a wonderful experience. While many of us are familiar with this classic hobby, a new way to enjoy fishing might just surprise you.

The normal method of fishing for most is either fishing from the bank or a pier and catching fish from a watercraft like a john boat or bass boat.

But a new craze in fishing has taken the angling world by storm. Sup fishing or stand-up paddleboard fishing is a new and exciting way to enjoy the art of fishing.

This wacky blend of fishing and surfing is a cost efficient way to fish. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on fishing boats, you only have to invest a few hundred dollars with these new generations of anglers.

Another great advantage to using a SUP to fish off is their ability to go into even the lowest water level situations without getting stuck on the bottom. This allows SUP fishermen to go into remote areas of lakes and rivers and catch some of the largest fish.

This sport which become really popular in Colorado has made its way down as far as the Florida coast. Now many outfitters and sporting good supply stores are starting to carry these specially designed paddleboards, along beside their traditional fishing boats.

There are four common types of paddle boards available on the market today to help you get started paddleboard fishing. So let’s take a look at each of them.

Hard Molded Paddle Board

This type of SUP is most common and similar to a traditional surf board. Although much wider than a surf board, the hard molded paddle board is very durable and is the most easy to navigate in fast waters.

Many anglers like this SUP option because they feel more confident in the water and the hard molding provides added protection against sharp rocks and other underwater obstacles.

Hard Epoxy Paddle Board

This is the second most common SUP out there and has many of the same features of its hard molded cousin, but can be bought at a fraction of the price.

The downside to the hard epoxy SUP is that it’s less sturdy and might be damaged more easily.

Soft Foam Paddle Board

This SUP is one of the most easiest to use and it is really light weight which makes storing it a breeze. These SUP’s can be purchase for a few hundred dollars less than other kinds of SUP’s.

The drawback to the soft foam models is that they often get damage in rough terrain and can easily break apart.

Inflatable Paddle Board

Just like the soft foam paddle board, the inflatable SUP is very light and can go just about anywhere. The inflatable SUP is great for those who enjoy both hiking and fishing because they are easy to carry.

Many people prefer the inflatable SUP over the foam and epoxy SUP’s because they are more durable and if damage they can be repaired much easier.

The only real draw back of the inflatable SUP is that it is harder to handle in the water because of its higher buoyancy rate.

Each of these boards should be able to give you a nice stable way to get out on the water and really enjoy a few days fishing.

stand up paddleboarding

Stand Up Paddleboarding: Greatest Exercise Ever?

Get Fit With Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddleboarding is one of the most popular sports in the world right now.

Not only are paddleboards popping up everywhere from luxury resorts to local lakes, a ton of people are using paddleboarding as a way to get an amazing full body work out.

Builds Core Muscles

Paddleboarding targets the muscle groups in the mid section of the body, the stomach and back. Since a board floats on the water, that added need for balance is really effective in building the stomach and back muscles.

As compared to traditional methods of working out like crunches, which involves training muscles in isolation, paddleboarding trains groups of muscles at once.

Total Body Workout

Stabilizing the paddleboard provides a full body work out because, as we’ve already seen, your core muscles are already at work keeping balance. While balancing, it is the abdominal and core muscles that are helping your body stay balanced on the board.

This kind of balance enhances the back, legs, arms, feet and even toes during the process of paddling, since all of those muscles are working together.

Paddleboarding is very effective for the whole body since it touches on the core muscles including the lower back, the arms and the upper thighs.

Just the act of paddling requires full movement the body including the core, arms and legs, ensuring that very few muscles are missed while on the paddleboard.

Low Impact

Unlike with jogging or a lot of other cardiovascular sports, paddleboarding doesn’t have a negative impact on your joints.

It is one of the very best low impact sports that still really gives the feeling of a total body workout. With the feet facing forward and the back straight, your hips and joints are not going to be stressed while paddling.

Stand up paddleboarding also helps in keeping the body joints in a neutral position. It does not expose you to ligament and tendon injuries because you are not making any heavy movements.

Improves Muscle Tone

Paddleboarding also enhances fat burning and muscle toning. When exercising on the board, the body muscles undergo rhythmic contraction which will enhance muscles strength and flexibility.

People who paddleboard on a regular basis tend to lose weight and can be able to maintain their body balance effectively without necessarily watching on their diet.

It’s easy to see why paddleboarding is becoming so popular as a fitness option. It allows for a low impact total body workout that improves core muscles and overall muscle tone.

What do you think, has stand up paddleboarding helped you get more fit?

tower inflatable paddleboard durable

Guide to Inflatable Paddleboards

Ok so you might think that there is no way an inflatable paddleboard could actually ever be a good purchase, they can’t possibly work, right?

Wrong, inflatables are actually a fantastic option for a lot of people. They have quite a few benefits that might change your mind on if these types of boards are right for you. My favorite, and most recommended inflatable board is by Tower Paddleboards, as you’ll see in the photos below.

The Benefits of Inflatable Paddleboards

Sure we all know those people who live just steps from the beach, and every morning they carry their paddleboard across the soft sand and into the water for a early morning workout.

And after we get over the seething jealousy, we know that the vast majority of us have to travel a bit with our paddleboards to get to the water. Sometimes it might only be a few miles, but for others, it could be a few hours.

tower inflatable paddleboard rolled up
Carrying inflatable paddleboards doesn’t get any easier than this!

Many people, especially those in the Midwest (where paddleboarding is really growing), have to rely on lakes and rivers for their paddleboarding experiences. So, because of that, some of these people actually might be able to benefit from having an inflatable board, and here’s why.

Ease of Transport

Inflatable boards are easy to carry. Unlike a standard paddleboard which can easily run ten feet long and over two feet wide, an inflatable SUP can easily be folded down into a roll or cube. This is perfect for people who have to travel long distances to get to the water. Simply throw your inflatable board right into a duffle bag and it will barely take up any space in the car.

Less Expensive

Inflatable boards are less expensive. A paddleboard is awesome, yet some can easily run a thousand dollars and more. For someone who paddles all the time, it’s a fantastic investment, and well worth it. But, if you are only going to use your board at the lake a handful of times a year, an inflatable board is a much more economical choice.

More Durable

Yes, inflatable boards are durable! When I think of inflatables, a pool float or raft pops into my head. But, when it comes to paddleboards, these inflatable boards are made of heavy duty durable materials. The board doesn’t bend or give in the middle, instead it stays really sturdy the entire time you are on it.

Easy to Store

Inflatable SUP boards are really easy to store. Just like with traveling, a lot of people don’t have the garage or storage space to proudly display their SUP board. So, the fact that an inflatable deflates is a huge bonus, it can be tossed in the closet, or even under the bed during the months that it is not going to be used.

Inflatable SUP Technology

Advancements in technology has been great for stand up paddleboarding as well. Since SUP is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, it only makes sense that a lot of traditional board manufacturers are starting to take a long hard look at how to make inflatable counterparts that are going to be stable and durable for those who are looking for an alternative to a regular paddleboard.

What makes today’s inflatable paddleboards so different and much more durable than some of its counterparts is the construction. The inflatable boards today are made with very heavy duty rubber or PVC, this makes them much less likely to be able to be punctured.

In addition to that, most of the higher quality inflatables are going to have multiple layers of rubber, PVC and polymer, this makes the board really durable. You are not going to stand on the board and find that your feet sink in, or the stability suddenly becomes different depending on where you are on the board.

Also, keep an eye out for boards that have a UV protection coating. Since you are going to be using your inflatable board out in the sun, you absolutely want to make sure it is protected. Since the sun can really bake plastic or rubber, this added layer is going to be able to add years of protection to your board.

tower inflatable paddleboard racing
This racing inflatable paddleboard is really maneuverable and fast.

Movement in the Water

One of the biggest knocks of inflatable paddleboards is that they aren’t as maneuverable in the water as a standard SUP board. Because they are made of plastic or rubber, they won’t have those sleek edges that a typical board has, meaning it won’t cut through the water as fast.

However, this statement isn’t quite as true as it might have been in the past. Yes, an inflatable board won’t be quite as maneuverable or as fast as a typical board, but it hardly means you are going to be riding a log in the water.

The technologies today have dramatically increased the speed and maneuverability of boards. Many inflatable boards now are designed to even have slight rockers in their design, and others come with fins as well. Both of these features mean that an inflatable SUP is going to be able to handle much better in the water.

As you can see, inflatable boards are legit now. So, if you are someone who has been debating on getting a traditional SUP board for a while, but haven’t pulled the trigger because it doesn’t meet your exact needs, consider an inflatable SUP. You might find this a perfect fit for you.

Photos: Tower Paddleboards

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