What Size Paddle Board Should a Woman Use?
To ask the question “What size of a paddle board should a woman use?” suggests that women’s paddle boards are a specific shape, design or size. A properly sized paddle board for a woman has to consider the same criteria as sizing a paddle board for a man; the paddler’s weight, skill level and planned activities.
Let’s dispense with the myth that there is a special paddle board size for women. Instead, lets learn how to properly size a paddle board so you’ll get years of use from it.
YOUR BODYWEIGHT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR
Your weight will be a primary factor for the size of paddle board you need.
The ratio of bodyweight to board volume largely determines a paddle board’s stability. As a rider’s body weight approaches the board’s maximum rider weight, the less stable the SUP will be. The less a person weighs, the smaller the volume required to maintain an equal level of stability.
To learn more about matching your bodyweight to the size of paddle board, please read our article What Size SUP Do I Need for my Weight?.
Your skill level also needs to be considered when choosing a SUP size. If you have several hours of experience paddling under your belt, you may feel very comfortable on a paddle board with less volume and less stability. As paddlers gain experience, their balance improves, and their need to maximize the volume/weight ratio is not as important.
Select a board’s volume with the idea that your skill set will rapidly improve. What offers prefect stability today, might feel like an overly cumbersome yacht in a year or two.
SIZE VARIES ON ACTIVITY
Manufacturers create different paddle board sizes to do more than match rider weights. Paddle boards have different sizes depending on the activity they are designed to do. Surf style boards are much shorter than touring and racing SUPs. The need to be short and agile, while a touring board is several feet longer, making it easier to travel in a straight line. A racing board will be even longer so it can easily slice through the water.
If you plan on doing any particular type of activity, get a board to match your goals. Once you choose a style category, you then just have to match a board’s volume to your weight and you will have a good fit.
HOW PADDLE BOARDS ARE SIZED
Paddle boards are sized by their dimensions and their volume.
PADDLE BOARD DIMENSIONS
Almost every company will advertise the dimensions of a paddle board. A SUP’s length, width and thickness are measured in inches or centimeters. An example is 10’6” (L) x 32” (W) x 4.5” (T).
PADDLE BOARD VOLUME
Volume is the best variable in determining SUP size. Volume is measured in liters. A board’s volume tells you how much water the board displaces when it’s placed in the water. The higher the volume, the more weight a board can support before it will submerge.
Women’s paddle board are more than some pretty graphics or a marketing campaign. Women’s paddle boards can be any paddle board in the marketplace as long as the size matches her bodyweight, skill level and planned activities. A woman who finds a board meeting that criteria will have found the right size for her.
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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