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correct paddle board for flat water paddling

Choosing the Correct Board for Flatwater Paddling

Whether you are planning to build a new board for the surf zone, flatwater, rough open water or for downwind runs, the correct board for your size is important to getting the most out of your new equipment. 

3 Things to Consider Selecting a Board

  • Body size
  • Paddling venue (lake, river or ocean)
  • Paddler experience

Flatwater Defined

 What does the term “flatwater” mean? Flatwater would typically be paddling conditions where wind waves are no more than knee high. 

correct paddle board for flat water paddling

Sizing a Flatwater Board for Increased Weight

Sizing a board for flatwater conditions comes down to paddler comfort level. Stability for new paddlers is usually an important feature in a board. but keep in mind that the learning curve for sup paddling is quick and as you gain experience and confidence you may outgrow a board that is too big and stable. To get the most out of your first board you should also ask yourself about your objectives with the sport of paddling sup’s. Fitness, only? Cruising with the pooch? Paddling with friends on “social ” paddles? Racing sup’s? Each type of paddling is best done on a specific type of board so consider and choose carefully.

2 Key Components when Increasing the Load on a Board

  • Increased width and/length increases carrying capacity
  • Increase rocker profile to get tail up and closer to surface of water

The most common values for sizing a board is length, width, thickness and total volume in liters. But in addition to these measurements, paddler experience should always be a consideration in the mix when choosing a board. 

Test Paddle a Range of Boards if Possible

Whether you are buying a production board or building a hollow wood board, it is important to test paddle a few boards if possible. It’s not always easy to find a dealer or rental venue to sample the various designs and options available, but it could save you from buying or building a board that is the wrong size for your weight or the wrong shape for the conditions you typically paddle.

If you are building a board you will be spending a great deal of time creating your new board and you want to make sure that at the end of the process you have created a board that will be fun to paddle for many years.