How to choose the right paddle board for your skill level

Choosing the right paddleboard for your skill level is essential to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on the water.

Here are some factors to consider when selecting a paddle board based on your skill level:


Board type: Go for a versatile, wide and more stable board or specific to beginners. These boards generally have a larger volume and offer better stability for beginners. They are called “All-Around” boards.

Length and width: Choose a board that is at least 10 to 11 feet long and 30 to 34 inches wide. The extra length and width allow for improved stability and ease of payment.

Thickness: A thicker board (around 4-6 inches) will provide more buoyancy, stability, and support for beginners.

Fin Setup: Look for boards with a larger center fin or a three fin setup. These setups allow for stability and tracking, making it easier for beginners to paddle.

Materials: Durable and affordable options like high-quality PVC inflatable boards are suitable for beginners.


Board Type: Consider an all-around board or a board designed for touring or surfing, depending on your preferred activity. These boards offer a balance between stability and performance.

Length and width: Opt for a board between 9 and 12 feet long and 29 to 32 inches wide. The dimensions should provide a good balance between stability and maneuverability.

Thickness: Similar to beginner boards, a thickness of 4-6 inches is suitable for intermediate paddlers.

Fin Configuration: Depending on your preference, you can choose a single fin or tri-fin configuration. These configurations provide different levels of stability and maneuverability.

Materials: High quality PVC inflatable boards provide good performance and super responsiveness for intermediate paddlers.


Board type: Choose a specialized board based on your favorite activity, such as running, surfing, or hiking. These commonly referred to as “Touring” boards are designed for performance and may sacrifice some stability.

Length and width: Select a board between 10 and 14 feet long and 25 to 34 inches wide. These dimensions provide increased speed and maneuverability.

Thickness: Advanced boards can have a thinner profile, ranging from 4 to 6 inches, to improve responsiveness and performance.

Fin Configuration: Depending on the specific activity, you can choose from a variety of fin configurations, including single fins, tri-fins, or race-specific designs.

Materials: Advanced paddlers often use inflatable boards with high performance materials, such as double layer PVC. These boards offer superior rigidity, lightness and responsiveness.

Remember to consider your weight and height when choosing a paddle board, as these factors also affect stability and performance.

It is advisable to seek expert advice before making a final decision to ensure the best match for your skill level and preferences.

Happy SUP season!

Nicole from Sun Vibes SUP