Stand Up Paddling – Tips for your first board


IBS Publishing Team

Stand Up Paddling

You have already gained some experience in Stand Up Paddling and now you want to buy your first own board. But which one? How big and how long does it have to be? And what should you pay attention to? We are answering these questions!

Inflatable or Hardboard?

There is a huge selection of SUP boards both online and in shops. But which one is suitable for beginners? The first basic question is: Hardboard or Inflatable (iSUP)? It’s relatively easy to decide. The inflatable allrounder boards are suitable for those who like to enjoy nature on lakes and rivers and want to paddle a bit in their free time. They are easy to transport and can be quickly stored in the basement or storage room. Thanks to special polyester threads between deck and underside, inflatables are almost as stable as hardboards.

Hardboards are a bit better when it comes to stability and strength. The transport and storage of the hardboard is therefore a bit more difficult. With a length of at least three meters you should think about where you can storage the board. Advantage: you save the inflation!

Stand Up Paddling Boards

Stand Up Paddling Boards. Source: YouTube / SUP TV

What are the sizes of a SUP?

Once you have decided on a board type, the question arises how thick, wide and long it should be. That depends on the intended use. The dimensions of the boards are usually given in inches and feet. 1 foot is about 30.48 cm and 1 inch is 2.54 cm.

Which width is suitable for me?

For those who are still a bit insecure on the board, a wider board (about 31 to 33 inches) is recommended, as the boards are more stable against tilting than narrower ones. Also ideal as a family board. For the more sporty paddlers, who may have planned longer distances, they can buy a touring board with a width of about 27 – 29 inches. Boards for races are usually a lot narrower, but also a lot more tippy and unstable! Not very suitable for beginners.

Length and thickness of the board

It gets a little more complicated with the length. Usually the measurements are between 10’2″ and 12’6″. Only race boards have a length of 14’0″ and longer.  The longer, the faster and straighter you can paddle. The shorter, the more agile the board. We can recommend a length between 10’2″ and 11’2″.

Inflatable boards are mostly 4 inches or 6 inches thick. Thinner boards (4 inches) are more suitable for children and lightweights.

Stand Up Paddling Boards. Source: YouTube / SUP TV



Stand Up Paddling is a lot of fun for young and old, free-time or professional paddlers – and for everyone there’s the right SUP. So get on your new board and paddle!

Stand Up Paddling Boards. Source: YouTube / SUP TV