Choosing your first paddle board can be confusing for someone new to the sport. There are so many sizes and shapes and words like "rocker" and "volume" it can be confusing to a first time SUP buyer. The following are a few pro tips so you can choose your first board with confidence and get out on the water sooner.
The first thing to consider is your weight. If you are larger paddler you want to get a SUP with more volume. Volume in paddle boards is measured in liters. For example if you weigh in at around 200lbs. then you want to look at boards with at least 170-225L. This will give you plenty of float and make the learning curve easier. Now on the other-hand if you're 115lbs. you can get away with a board that has under 160L no problem. As a rule of thumb when you're a beginner in stand up paddleboarding choose your first board with plenty of volume, you will be glad you did.
Along with volume, you want to take into consideration the length and width of your first paddle board. In general the longer and wider the board the more stable it will be on the water. For beginners you would want something in the range of 10'-11'5." Our 10' and 11' Cardiff SUPs make excellent entry level boards for example. Something over 30" in width will make the board nice and stable especially when learning. A sweet spot in our experience is a board around 31" in width.
Rocker is something you often hear in the paddle board world. Rocker is basically the rise of the nose and tail of the board. Sort of like a banana shape running the length of the board which helps with the glide of the board and in paddle surfing. The more rocker present in a board means the less surface area in contact with the water which could make the board a tad less stable for a beginner. Rocker also helps a paddle surfer enter waves easier without the nose digging into the water. So as a rule of thumb for a beginner look for a board that has about average to low rocker, since you will be doing most of your paddling on flat water as you get your feet wet.
Our 10'6" Adventure SUP also makes an excellent beginner board. So there are a few tips to help you get going! And as always feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about which board is right for you.