Are Your Too Fat to Paddle Board?
Let’s make things clear right from the get go. You are not too fat to paddle board!
The key for success is to get a board that can support your weight.
That’s why paddle boards come in various sizes. People also come in various sizes. A paddle board that works well for a 150 lb person won’t perform as well for a 250 lbs person.
To the heavier paddler, the smaller board will feel much less stable and will sit lower in the water creating more drag. When the lighter person is on a paddle board designed for heavier people, the board will be extremely stable, but it will take more strength to paddle and it will be harder to maneuver.
A person could submerge a paddle board if she is too heavy for the board’s design. This doesn’t mean the paddler is too fat to paddle board. All it means is that she is too heavy for THAT paddle board. In other words, the submerged paddle board simply didn’t have the volume to hold the paddler’s size.
WHAT IS VOLUME?
A paddle board’s volume is measured in Liters and it signifies how much water is displaced by the board when it enters the water.
Paddle board manufacturers create boards of different volumes to enable a better match between rider weight and the board’s function. A perfect example of this is the Wappa CLASSIC and NOVA. Both boards have similar All-Around shapes, and are designed to do the same things. The biggest difference between them is their size. The Nova is 10 inches longer and has 25 more liters in volume (190L CLASSIC, 215L NOVA). This means, that a heavier person can ride the Nova and experience the same ride as a lighter person on the Classic.
THE PURPOSE OF VOLUME
A paddle board’s volume is determined by the size of the board. Generally, the longer and wider the board, the greater the volume.
Volume brings two things to a paddle board. Stability, and how much weight it can support before submerging. The greater the volume, the more stable the board and the greater the rider weight that can be supported.
However, as rider weight increases, a boards stability may decrease if the rider is close to the board’s maximum rider weight.
SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS
As stated at the beginning, the key to paddle boarding success is to get a board that matches your weight. Generally, a smaller person will find a board with less than 200 liters in volume to be quite stable. For a heavier person to feel the same level of stability, they will need to purchase a board over 200 liters.
When shopping for a paddle board, be honest with yourself and your weight. Once you match your weight and experience level with a board of proportional size, you will have found a winner.
Avoid paddle boards that are advertised as “paddle boards for women”. This is nothing but a marketing ploy.
Success in paddle boarding is based upon matching a properly sized board to your weight and experience level. It doesn’t matter how big of a fatso you think you are. You are not too fat to paddle board! You just need a board to match your weight. Now find that board and have some fun!!
The Wappa Blog
Written by Wappa's founder Layne Pennell, the blog's aim is to educate and share his love of stand up paddle boarding with anyone interested in SUP.
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