What length of paddleboard should I choose?

What length of paddleboard should I choose?

We're sure you've done some research and browsing already on different paddleboards. And you've probably noticed that there's a wide range of board lengths available. What's the best length for you? Why so many different options?

Inflatable paddleboards can range in length for 8'6" to 12'6". They also come in different shapes, designs and widths which can make things even more confusing.

At it's most basic level, a longer board will be able to carry a heavier rider.

Boards under 9' long are not recommended, even for kids as they will quickly grow out of them and with an inflatable board, you're not saving space by going to a smaller board.

Boards between 9-10' are suitable for kids, teens and smaller adults. We would recommend up to 150lbs rider weight in this length. A heavier rider can certainly use this size of board, but they may find it less stable or may be more likely to get splashed on their feet due to a lower freeboard (the distance between the waterline and main deck). Our Georgian Bay model falls in to this range and while it can, and has, been used by riders up to 200lbs, it is best suited for 160lbs and under.

Boards between 10-11' are suitable for everyone. Almost all our boards ring in at 11', which is an ideal length for everyone. They are stable, comfortable, easy to navigate, and feature enough space for a dog, backpacks, or a cooler. They can easily accommodate a child and an adult if the kid wants to go for a ride. Depending on the width and shape of the board, rider weights for this length of board range from 210-260lbs. The following PADL boards fall in this range:

  • Okanagan

  • Peyto

  • Juan de Fuca

  • Tofino

  • Boards between 11-12'6" are suitable for heavier riders and those looking for a faster board. Our Northumberland board is 11'6" and has a comfort weight rating of 270lb. Boards in this range are also well suited for longer trips including overnight camping trips.