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The Best Stand Up Paddle Boards For Big Guys Of 2022 Tests & Reviews

best stand up paddle boards for big guys

Stand up paddleboards or SUP’s are great fun that can be enjoyed by anyone. You don’t have to be super fit or in shape to enjoy stand up paddleboarding. If you are a larger person like me, you need to find the right paddle board to make paddle boarding fun. If you weigh 300 lbs, there is no reason you can’t paddle board. If you have size 14 shoes, a size 10 shoe won’t fit. If you are 300 lbs you can’t use a paddle board meant for a 150 lb person. Let’s look at the best stand up paddle boards for big guys.

Below is a table of all my recommended pics and important specifications. Keep reading below for reviews and stand up paddleboard guide.

NIXY Monterey G4

Blackfin Model XL

Chasing Blue Infinite

ISLE Explorer 2.0

BOTE Aero HD 11'6"

iRocker Cruiser Ultra

THURSO SURF Max

iRocker Cruiser

Red Paddle Co 12'6" x 32" Voyager

Starboard 12' x 33" iGo Deluxe


Top Pick

Top Pick

Best Value

Rating

9.3/10

9.0/10

8.3/10

8.6/10

8.6/10

8.0/10

9.0/10

8.3/10

8.6/10

9.1/10

Price

Pros

  • Very stiff rigid lightweight construction

  • Big stable fast board that handles well on the water

  • Overall high quality feel to board and accessories

  • Extra stiff construction thanks to the carbon rails

  • Good glide and stability

  • Very high 485 lb weight capacity

  • Stable, easy to paddle, and works with paddlers up to it’s 320 lb weight limit

  • 22 D-Rings and lots of handles for versatility and easy transport

  • Quality accessories such as roller backpack

  • Carbon shaft paddle and nice backpack

  • Paddle holders built into the board

  • Longer medium width board has good speed and tracking but still stable enough for new paddlers

  • Very big stable board that is easy to paddle and can carry a lot of weight

  • Tough heavy duty construction

  • Many available accessories to customize the board for any purpose

  • Big stable board that can hold a lot of weight

  • Very compact package half the size of a normal SUP backpack

  • Electric pump included instead of a bulky big hand pump

  • Very large stable board that can still get up and go

  • Stiff, light and durable woven construction

  • High quality feel to board and accessories

  • Carbon paddle and triple action pump

  • Wide stable fun to paddle board

  • Lots of D-Rings for mounting accessories

  • Very stiff board with great on the water performance

  • V-Hull for faster glide and better tracking

  • Lots of D-Rings and flat bungees for storage

  • Stiff lightweight durable board

  • Welded seams and woven construction

  • Excellent on water performance. Very stable and tracks well

Cons

  • Board is difficult to get back in the bag with the pump

  • Not as fast as a narrower touring board

  • High price

  • 34″ width boards can require extra effort to paddle into waves and chop

  • Accessory and action camera mounts included but not installed on board

  • Like all wide high capacity boards, it needs a little more effort to paddle into chop and wind

  • The 2 small side fins are not removable

  • No built in action mounts

  • High cost

  • The big board can take some effort to paddle into waves and chop

  • Board is slower than 32″ wide boards.

  • Double fins need a couple more inches of water depth

  • Not as fast as narrower boards

  • It takes some effort to get the board and pump back into the bag

  • Board is slower than 32″ wide boards

  • The large pump makes it difficult to load the board and pump into the bag

  • Very high price

  • RSS Batten system gives great performance but makes inflation more complicated

  • Does not include a paddle

  • Very high cost

Summary

A big board that is perfect for larger paddlers and beginners. NIXY G4 boards have stiff woven construction and come with the best accessory package of any board maker. The Monterey is great for days you want to go exploring or take the dog out on the water.

A favorite board among larger paddlers.  The Blackfin XL has 3 layer carbon reinforced constrution and a massive 485 lb weight limit. It's a large stable versatile board with lots of accessory mounts. This makes it great for larger paddlers who like to fish or do any other activity with their SUP.

Chasing Blue Infinite is a great value board that we have used right up to it's 320 lb weight limit.  It uses 2 layer woven construction for stiffness. It is a wide stable board great for beginner paddlers. It comes with a great roller backpack.

The ISLE Explorer 2.0 is a medium 32" wide longer board. It is good for heavier paddlers and will have more speed than the wider 34" boards. It handles chop and waves better than wider alterantives. It's not as stable either. It comes with a nice carbon paddle to round out the package.

The BOTE Aero HD 11'6" is a big stable board that comes loaded with accessories for adventuring. It has all the style and technology you would expect from a BOTE board. It is customizable with even more available accessories.

The iRocker Cruiser Ultra is an updated version of the Cruiser. It fits in a bag half the size of the normal Cruiser and weighs less. It is a perfect travel board that is easy to paddle and won't take up much space. As a bonus it includes an electric pump instead of a bulky hand pump.

The Thurso Max is a big wide board that is stable with decent glide.  It's got everything you need for adventuring or taking the dog out with you. It's a very stable board with decent glide. It has lots of handles and action mounts making it a very versatile board for any activity.

The iRocker Cruiser is the most popular board from iRocker.  It is a large wide relaxed cruising board. It can hold a lot of weight thanks to it's width and wider tail. It is great for lazy day paddling. It is one of the best beginner paddleboards available.

The Red Paddle Co 12'6" x 32" Voyager is an advanced touring SUP. It is designed to carry a lot of load while moving easily across the water. It has a V-Hull that gives it better glide. It uses MSL construction with RSS battens for extra stiffness. It is one of the fastest boards available for large paddlers.

The Starboard 12' x 33" iGO Deluxe is a large all around shaped board perfect for big paddlers.  The 12 foot length gives it extra glide for more speed.  The 33" width makes it a very stable board suitable for beginners or larger paddlers. It uses advanced woven construction and welded seems for lightweight and durability.

Review

Warranty

2 years

3 years

2 years

2 year

2 years

3 years

2 year

3 years

5 years

2 year

Size

11'6" x 34" x 6"

11'6" x 34" x 6"

10'6" x 34" x 6"

11'6" x 32" x 6"

11'6" x 34" x 6"

10'6" x 33" x 6"

11'6" x 34" x 6"

10'6" x 33" x 6"

12'6" x 32" x 5.9"

12" x 33" x 6"

Weight

26 lbs

29 lbs

22.5 lbs

24 lbs

30 lbs

21 lbs

31 lbs

25 lbs

28 lbs

21.6 lbs

Capacity

400 lbs

485 lbs

320 lbs

300  lbs

300 lbs

300 lbs

300 lbs

400 lbs

330 lbs

265 lbs

Construction

2 Layer Woven w/Carbon Rails

3 Layer w/Carbon Rails

2 Layer Woven

2 Layer

2 Layer

2 Layer Woven

2 Layer Woven w/Carbon Rails

3 Layer

MSL with RSS Battens

2 Layer Woven

Ratings

NIXY Monterey G4

Blackfin Model XL

Chasing Blue Infinite

ISLE Explorer 2.0

BOTE Aero HD 11'6"

iRocker Cruiser Ultra

THURSO SURF Max

iRocker Cruiser

Red Paddle Co 12'6" x 32" Voyager

Starboard 12' x 33" iGo Deluxe

Stiffness

10/10

10/10

9/10

9/10

10/10

10/10

10/10

9/10

9/10

10/10

Stability

10/10

10/10

9/10

8/10

10/10

8/10

10/10

8/10

8/10

10/10

Speed

9/10

8/10

7/10

9/10

8/10

7/10

8/10

7/10

10/10

10/10

Tracking

8/10

9/10

8/10

9/10

9/10

8/10

9/10

8/10

10/10

10/10

Accessories

10/10

9/10

8/10

9/10

8/10

10/10

9/10

9/10

8/10

7/10

Setup

9/10

9/10

8/10

8/10

8/10

10/10

9/10

9/10

7/10

8/10

Portability

8/10

8/10

8/10

8/10

7/10

10/10

8/10

8/10

8/10

9/10

Overall Score

9.3/10

9.0/10

8.3/10

8.6/10

8.6/10

8.0/10

9.0/10

8.3/10

8.6/10

9.1/10

Nixy Banner

The Top 10 Best Stand Up Paddle Boards For Big Guys

We examined several of the most popular paddle boards for large paddlers available today.  Here are our reviews of the 10 best options available today.  We considered both price, options, and customer reviews in our selections of the best paddle boards for large paddlers.

1 – Nixy Monterey G4 Expedition

Paddling hard monterey

Specifications

  • Size – 10′6″ x 33″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 400 lbs
  • Board Weight – 26 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer woven with carbon reinforced rails
  • D-Rings – 20
  • Paddle – 3 piece carbon fiber
  • Pump – Triple action double barrel

Rating

9.3

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Very stiff rigid lightweight construction
  • Dual air chambers for more stiffness and safety
  • Big stable fast board that handles well on the water
  • Lots of load carrying capacity
  • Very good for larger size paddlers
  • Overall high quality feel to board and accessories
  • The best roller travel bag and carbon paddle in any package
What we didn’t like
  • Board is difficult to get back in the bag with the pump
  • Not as fast as a narrower touring board
  • It takes some effort to paddle it into wind and chop due to it’s size

Summary

The Nixy Monterey G4 Expedition is one of the best paddleboards available for larger paddlers. It has a published weight capacity of 400 lbs. It is a large board at 11’6″ x 34″. It’s made from 2 layer woven PVC construction with dual air chambers making it very stiff. The second air chamber adds an extra measure of safety when paddling away from shore.

On the water, the Monterey handles larger paddlers very well. It has decent speed thanks to its length and narrow nose and tail. Beginners love it because of its stability. It’s so easy to stand up on for any size paddler.

The board comes with high quality NIXY G4 accessories. The best combination we have seen from any inflatable SUP package. The carbon paddle looks and feels stiff and efficient. The double barrel pump is fast to inflate and can deflate too. The 3 wheeled backpack is sturdy and looks ready to take on an expedition.

Review

Read NIXY Monterey G4 Full Review

Nixy Monterey Product Image

2 – Blackfin Model XL

☆ Top Pick
blackfin XL overhead
image courtesy of iRocker

Specifications

  • Size – 11′6″ x 34″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 485 lbs
  • Board Weight – 29 lbs
  • Construction – 3 Layer with carbon reinforced rails
  • D-Rings – 23
  • Paddle – 3 piece carbon
  • Pump – triple action hand pump

Rating

9.0

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Extra stiff construction thanks to the carbon rails
  • Good glide and stability
  • Very high 485 lb weight capacity
  • Lots of action mounts and Scotty mounts for adding accessories
  • Includes a carbon paddle
What we didn’t like
  • High price
  • 34″ width boards can require extra effort to paddle into waves and chop

Summary

The Blackin Model XL is a large floaty premium inflatable board that has a weight capacity of an amazing 485 lbs. This is the highest paddle board weight limit I know of for a solo board. It uses triple layer PVC and carbon reinforced rails to produce stiff durable SUP board. It comes in a package with top notch accessories including a carbon fiber paddle, padded roller bag and triple action pump. The package doesn’t leave you wishing for anything better. On the water it is a very stable and easy to paddle stand up board. Heavy riders will love this board and how it feels.

Blackfin Model XL Product Image

Save up to 50% on iRocker boards and more during the Early Summer Sale at iRocker.com


3 – Chasing Blue Infinite All Around

☆ Best Value
bigger guy on outdoormaster infinite sup

Specifications

  • Size – 10′ 6″ x 34″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 320 lbs
  • Board Weight – 22.5 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer woven
  • D-Rings – 22
  • Paddle – 3 piece aluminum
  • Pump – Double action hand pump

Rating

8.1

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Stable, easy to paddle, and works with paddlers up to it’s 320 lb weight limit
  • Stiff woven 2 layer construction
  • 22 D-Rings and lots of handles for versatility and easy transport
  • Quality accessories such as roller backpack and 3 piece paddle
What we didn’t like
  • Like all wide high capacity boards, it needs a little more effort to paddle into chop and wind
  • Could use more pockets in the carry bag
  • Action mounts are included but not attached to the board from the factory

Summary

The Chasing Blue Infinite All Around is a great all purpose standup paddle board that can carry a big load. It is 10’6″ long by 34″ wide and can carry up to 330 lbs. It uses double layer PVC construction for stiffness and durability. It comes with decent accessories including a padded roller bag. On the water it does almost any activity well. It is big and stable and easy enough for any beginner to paddle. It’s a great choice for someone who is heavier and looking for a fun all around paddleboard.

Review

Read Chasing Blue Infinite SUP Full Review

Chasing Blue Infinite Product Image

Use the Coupon Code ERO2022 for 20% off at OutdoorMaster.com


4 – ISLE Explorer 2.0

ISLE Explorer 2 on water
image courtesy of ISLE Surf & SUP

Specifications

  • Size – 11′6″ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 300 lbs
  • Board Weight – 24 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer
  • D-Rings – 13
  • Paddle – 3 piece carbon
  • Pump – Double action hand pump

Rating

8.6

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Longer medium width board has good speed and tracking but is still stable enough for new paddlers
  • Paddle holders built into the board
  • Carbon shaft paddle and nice roller backpack
  • Plenty of deck pad space for yoga and other activities
What we didn’t like
  • The 2 small side fins are not removable
  • No built in action mounts

Summary

The ISLE Explorer 2.0 is a longer board with good speed and stability. ISLE is one of the most popular SUP brands. They make boards with excellent quality and durability. The Explorer 2.0 is a board for people who want a larger board that can carry weight but don’t want a slow wide board. The Explorer is more of a touring shape than a wide stable all around or fishing SUP. It has enough deck space to easily fit gear, a dog, or to do yoga, fishing or other activities.

Accessories

The board come with a carbon paddle, roller bag, ankle leash, repair kit, and double action hand pump. The package includes a double action hand pump. At this price, we would like to see a triple action pump. To make up for it they do include an electric pump. Everything else is high quality and looks like it belongs on this level of SUP package.

On the water performance

The Explorer 2.0 has very good tracking and glide thanks to its length. It is still stable enough for beginner paddlers. It doesn’t turn as easily as a shorter board which is the only downside. It moves through chop and small waves easily due to its smaller width.


5 – BOTE HD Aero 11′6″

BOTE HD Aero on water
image courtesy of BOTE

Specifications

  • Size – 11′6″ x 34″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 300 lbs
  • Board Weight – 30 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer
  • D-Rings – 16
  • Paddle – 3 piece composite
  • Pump – double action hand pump

Rating

8.6

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Very big stable board that is easy to paddle and can carry a lot of weight
  • Tough heavy duty construction
  • Many available accessories to customize the board for any purpose
  • Stylish woodgrain deck appearance
What we didn’t like
  • High cost
  • The big board can take some effort to paddle into waves and chop
  • No wheels on the travel bag

Summary

The BOTE HD Aero is a big versatile board. It can carry large amounts of weight and has one of the widest selections of available accessories. You can customize the board to make it perfect for almost any activity from fishing to river expeditions. The HD Aero is a larger wider board at 11′ x 34″ giving it good glide and stability on flat water and chop. It is a perfect beginner board for heavier paddlers. BOTE boards use 2 layer PVC construction and come with composite paddles. If you want to do so something special with your board, check out the full range of optional accessories.

BOTE HD Aero Product Image

Get 10% Off or more during BOTE SUMMER SALE at boteboard.com


6 – iRocker Cruiser Ultra Compact Inflatable SUP

iRocker Cruiser Ultra paddling

Specifications

  • Size – 10′6″ x 33″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 300 lbs
  • Board Weight – 21 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer Woven
  • D-Rings – 15
  • Paddle – 5 piece carbon
  • Pump – 2 stage electric pump

Rating

9.0

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Big stable board that can hold a lot of weight
  • Fun, stable, and relaxed paddling performance
  • Very compact package half the size of a normal SUP backpack
  • Electric pump included instead of a bulky big hand pump
  • High quality 5 piece carbon paddle
  • Fin tethers to prevent you from losing fins that unlock while paddling
What we didn’t like
  • Board is slower than 32″ wide boards.
  • Double fins need a couple more inches of water depth

Summary

The iRocker Cruiser Ultra is the new much more compact Cruiser with the same big stable performance. The Ultra series boards from iRocker fit into a bag that is half the size of their traditional boards. The boards weigh several less pounds thanks to advanced woven PVC construction and a smaller deck pad.

To make this happen they also ditched the big bulky hand pump. They include their fast iRocker electric pump instead along with a 5 piece carbon paddle.

The Cruiser Ultra keeps the performance we have come to love of the old Ultra. It is still a wide stable board that turns easily and can hold a lot of weight. The published weight number is not as high as before, the woven construction is very stiff. I think their weight number is very conservative for this board. I’m a bigger guy and have no trouble standing and balancing on it.

Review

Read iRocker Cruiser Ultra Full Review

iRocker Cruiser Ultra Product Image

7 – THURSO SURF Max

Thurso Max on water

Specifications

  • Size – 11′ 6″ x 34″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 300 lbs
  • Board Weight – 31 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer Woven with Carbon Rails
  • D-Rings – 17
  • Paddle – 3 piece carbon
  • Pump – Triple action, double chamber

Rating

9.0

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Very large stable board that can still get up and go
  • Stiff, light and durable woven construction
  • High quality feel to board and accessories
  • Extra handles in front and behind standing position
  • US Fin box for center fin making it easy to swap fins
  • Fishing ruler printed on the deck pad
What we didn’t like
  • Not as fast as narrower boards
  • It takes some effort to get the board and pump back into the bag

Summary

The THURSO SURF Max is the SUV of paddleboards. It’s big and can hold a lot of weight. It has a lot of features like handles, action mounts, and paddle holders. It has a ruler printed on the deck pad for fishing. It’s got a GoPro mount built into the nose to capture all your adventures. It’s built with 2 layer woven construction with carbon fiber reinforcements in the rails. This board is designed to handle any adventure you want to go on.

Accessories

Thurso packaged the Max with a triple action, double chamber hand pump, carbon paddle, leash, repair kit, and roller backpack. The paddle is one of the better carbon fiber SUP package paddles. It’s stiff and feels good on the water. The double barrel pump makes inflating it by hand easier. The roller backpack has enough handles and pockets to handle your accessory gear.

On the water

The Max is a long wider board. It is very stable. It would work well for larger beginner paddlers. It’s long enough to have good glide and tracking on flat water. It will handle waves and chop well thanks to its stability. It will take some effort to push through the chop.


8 – iRocker Cruiser Inflatable SUP

iRocker Cruiser on mountain lake
image courtesy of iRocker

Specifications

  • Size – 10′6″ x 33″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 400 lbs
  • Board Weight – 26 lbs
  • Construction – 3 Layer
  • D-Rings – 20
  • Paddle – 3 piece carbon
  • Pump – Triple action double barrel hand pump

Rating

8.3

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Carbon paddle and triple action pump
  • Long and stable paddle board
  • Lots of D-Rings for mounting accessories
  • Sturdy and stiff 3 layer PVC construction
  • Comfortable grooved deck pad
What we didn’t like
  • Board is slower than 32″ wide boards.
  • The large pump makes it difficult to load the board and pump into the bag.

Summary

The iRocker Cruiser is a great beginner stand up paddleboard that can handle higher weights. It has a weight capacity of 400 lbs making it one of the higher capacity boards available. It uses triple layer construction to make a stiff board. It is a great mid range package that includes a carbon paddle and padded roller bag. On the water, it is a fun easy to paddle SUP board with plenty of stability to float big paddlers. It is one of our favorite all around boards available today.

Review

The iRocker All Around 11 is a slightly stretched and slightly more narrow board than the iRocker Cruiser. Almost everything else is the same. It shares the same accessories and construction. The performance is slightly faster and slightly less stable. It is also an excellent board for larger paddlers.

Read iRocker All Around 11 Full Review

iRocker Cruiser product image

Save up to 50% on iRocker boards and more during the Early Summer Sale at iRocker.com


9 – Red Paddle Co 12’6″ x 32″ Voyager

Red Voyager 12
image courtesy of Red Paddle Co

Specifications

  • Size – 12′6″ x 32″ x 5.9″
  • Weight Capacity – 330 lbs
  • Board Weight – 29 lbs
  • Construction – MSL with RSS battens
  • D-Rings – 13
  • Paddle – not included
  • Pump – Double action, double chamber

Rating

8.6

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Very stiff board with great on the water performance
  • V-Hull for faster glide and better tracking
  • Lots of D-Rings and flat bungees for storage
  • The best travel bag available
  • Fast inflation with the Titan 2 hand pump
What we didn’t like
  • High price
  • RSL Batton system gives great performance but makes inflation more complicated
  • No paddle or leash included

Summary

The Red Paddle Co. 12’6″ x 32″ Voyager is for those who want the very best. It is designed to carry a lot of weight and move efficiently through the water. As with all touring boards, it is not as stable as an all around board. It has a 330 lb max weight capacity and can probably handle a lot more. It has a unique V-Hull that helps it glide and move through chop. It uses the Red Paddle Co RSS Batten system for extra stiffness. It uses Red’s MSL construction for a light stiff board. It comes with a great padded roller bag and Titan 2 Pump. It doesn’t come with a paddle or SUP leash.

Red Voyager Product Image

10 – Starboard Inflatable 12′ x 33″ iGO Deluxe

starboard iGo on water
image courtesy of Starboard

Specifications

  • Size – 12′ x 33″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 265 lbs
  • Board Weight – 21.6 lbs
  • Construction – 2 layer woven
  • D-Rings – 8
  • Paddle – Not included
  • Pump – Double action hand pump

Rating

9.1

Overall Rating

Stiffness

Stability

Speed

Tracking

Accessories

Setup

Portability

What we liked
  • Stiff woven construction
  • Very lightweight for a 12′ board
  • Welded seams and woven construction
  • Excellent on water performance. Very stable and tracks well
  • Great for large paddlers who want a faster board
What we didn’t like
  • Does not include a paddle
  • High cost

Summary

The Starboard 12′ x 33″ iGO DC Deluxe is one of the best all around paddleboards available today. It has Starboards deluxe construction combined with dual chambers to make it extra stiff and light. It gives you the lightest and stiffest inflatable stand up paddleboards available today. The 12′ x 33″ iGo is a larger size all around board that can do everything well. It has good glide and stability and will handle chop well thanks to its stiffness. The board comes with a great padded bag and deluxe Tiki pump. You will need to find your own paddle and leash as those aren’t included.

Starboard iGo Deluxe Product Image

group of big guys on paddle boards

How To Choose The Best Paddle Board For Big Guys – Buying Guide

There is plenty of paddle boards available today suitable for large paddlers. Paddle boards are not one size fits all. We are here to help you find the best paddle board for you.

When it comes to Stand Up Paddle Boards and paddler weight, the biggest factor to consider is volume. The larger the volume of the board, the bigger the paddler it can float. Ideally you want a volume of at least 1 liter per pound of paddler. Most inflatable SUPs don’t publish their volume so we are left to depend on their rated capacity.

There are a few factors to consider when looking at a stand up paddle board.

1 – Volume

When it comes to making a paddle board float more weight, there is no substitute for more volume. More volume equals more float. In an ideal world we would like at least 1 liter of volume for every pound of rider weight. More is better. Once you get used to standing on a stand up paddle board you can use a lot less volume.

Standing on a surf board or paddle board is not that easy. Even with the floatiest of boards, it can still be difficult to stand up. It takes practice. Even if you buy the biggest most floaty board you will still fall in the water a bunch of times. Don’t be discouraged by falling in the water. Everyone falls off their paddle board no matter how big or small they are.

2 – Width

The wider a board is, the most stable it will be. You can have a 300 liter board that is the same length as it is wide and it will be very stable. If you make a similar volume board that is 20 feet long but 2 inches wide it will be extremely unstable.

For a novice big guy paddle boarder, you want to find a good compromise between length and width. Look for boards that are over 30 inches in width. 32 or 33 inches wide would be even better.

3 – Length

The longer a board is, the better it will track. A longboard will be faster than a shortboard. A boat or boards gliding speed is proportional to its length. A 14 foot touring SUP board will coast much better than a 10 foot long board. The downside is a longer board will be less maneuverable. Longer equals harder to turn.

4 – Board Stiffness

After size, board stiffness is the next most important thing to consider for larger, heavier paddlers. A soft board will feel squishy and unstable when you are standing on it. You will feel it flex and bend over every little wave in the water. That is not an efficient way to get anywhere. A more rigid board will power it’s way through chop and you won’t feel like your standing on a half inflated air mattress.

We test board stiffness for every inflatable we review. We set the board on stands that are 8 feet apart. We set 120 lbs of weight on the board and measure how much it deflects downward. This does a pretty good job of pointing out the softer from the stiffer boards. You can see our results in the table below.

SUP Board

Construction

Deflection (inches)

Nice C -10'6" x 32" (15 psi)

1 Ply PVC

2.6

DAMA - 11' x 33" (15 psi)

1 Ply PVC

3.0

Coolwave - 10'6" x 32" (15 psi)

1 Ply PVC

3.3

iRocker Nautical - 10'6" x 32" (15 psi)

2 Ply PVC

2.8

Chasing Blue Orion -12'6" x 32" (14.5 psi)

2 Ply PVC

1.6

Chasing Blue Infinite - 10'6" x 34" (14.5 psi)

2 Ply PVC

1.4

Freein Overall 11 - 11'' x 33" (15 psi)

2 Ply PVC

1.4

iRocker All Around 11 - 11' x 32" (15 psi)

3 Ply PVC

1.3

iRocker Cruiser Ultra - 10'6" x 33" (15 psi)

2 Ply Woven PVC

1.1

Blackfin Ultra CX - 10'6" x 32.5" (15 psi)

2 Ply Woven PVC

1.0

Nixy Newport G4 - 10'6" x 33" (15 psi)

2 Ply Woven PVC

1.1

Nixy Monterey G4 - 11'6" x 34" (15 psi)

2 Ply Woven PVC

1.0

Red 12'6" Sport - 12'6" x 30" with RSS (20 psi)

MSL with Battens

1.2

deflection test setup annotated

5 – Inflatable vs Rigid

There are 2 main types of paddle board construction. rigid and inflatable. Rigid is the traditional SUP board that you see most of the time made of some form of plastic, wood or fiberglass. Inflatable stand up paddle boards are what they sound like. They are constructed of PVC drop stitch and roll up for storage.

Rigid Stand Up Paddle Board

A rigid board is made from plastic, wood or fiberglass. The advantages of a rigid paddle board are that it is ready to go when you want to use it. You don’t need to spend time inflating it. Drop it in the water and go. Rigid boards tend to track and glider better because they don’t flex in waves.

Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards

Inflatable boards solve the transportation problem. You can carry throw it in the trunk of your car and keep it at home in your closet, basement or garage. This makes them a lot more convenient than a traditional rigid paddle board.

Inflatable SUPs are an ideal solution for anyone living somewhere without a garage. They are great for anyone who doesn’t have access to a car or truck with a roof rackbut loves to go SUP boarding.

See our article about the advantages of inflatable paddle boards to learn more.

big guy on a paddle board

ALSO READ: See our Guide To The Best Inflatable Paddle Boards for other good options of all paddleboard types.

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selfie for info block

About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an outdoors enthusiast always looking forward to my next adventure. I spend as much time skiing, biking, and paddleboarding as I can. I decided to start Endless Rush Outdoors as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for all things outdoor adventures and to help other people have as much fun as me.

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