What Should You Know About Weight Limits on Stand Up Paddle Boards?

Stand up paddle boarding, often abbreviated as SUP, is a sport that has taken off quickly. It’s accessible, relatively affordable, and promotes balance and core strengthening. When looking for a stand up paddle board, it’s important to consider the weight limit of the board. Below, we’ll look into what makes the weight limit of a board and investigate a few popular boards available at different weight limits.

So What Makes a Weight Limit?

Though there are plenty of intricacies that set different stand up paddle boards apart, one that is most relevant to weight limit is the width of the board. In general, a longer board can cruise more easily, but a wider board affords more stability. Thus, while there are exceptions to the rule, many boards with higher weight limits tend to be wider.

While boards with higher weight limits tend to be wider, they also tend to be larger on the whole. Thus, a larger person will typically require a board that is not only wider, but also longer. Size charts can be helpful for SUP shoppers hoping to narrow the field to a few possible selections.

a picture of a sup weight limit chart

While you may tempted to give a certain board a shot even though you exceed the weight limit, this is not a good idea. While exceeding the weight limit may not mean that to board will capsize, it will ride lower in the water. This makes it difficult to paddle and to steer.

You may find that you want to buy a board with a weight capacity that is much higher than your weight. This is ok, as you can’t generally be too light for a given board. The board may ride somewhat high in the water, but this makes it easy to manipulate.

Below, we’ll look at a few different stand up paddle boards at various weight limits.

Lighter Weight Limits

a picture of a hydroforce wave edge paddle boardStand up paddle boards come in a variety of weight limits. For those who are on the lighter side, some of these boards may be a good choice. The ISLE Diamond Tail surf paddle board is equipped with multiple fins for easy navigating, even in relatively rough waters. This board comes in two different lengths, each with a different weight capacity. The shorter version is 9’8″ long, with a user weight capacity of 210 pounds. The longer version is 10’2″ and has a weight capacity of 225 pounds. As is the case with most higher-capacity SUPs, the board with the higher weight limit is slightly wider.

The ISLE Diamond Tail may be a bit pricey for newer stand up paddle boarders. A more affordable option that also has a lower weight limit is the HydroForce WaveEdge (Pictured above). This board is 10’2″ long and comes with a 220 pound weight capacity maximum.

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Medium Weight Limits

For those who exceed the weight limits on the above paddle boards, there are several boards with a middle weight capacity. These SUPs aren’t for the very heavy stand up paddle boarder, but they are well suited to people in the middle.

For example, the sleek, all-white Greco Surf paddle board looks a lot like a surfboard. It comes with multiple fins for easy navigation. As is to be expected, it is slightly longer than most of the lighter-limit boards at 11′. This board has a weight limit of 300 pounds.

The Red Paddle Company’s Explorer (pictured to the right) offers a slightly higher weight limit. This board is rated to hold 330 pounds. It is significantly longer than many boards at 12’6″, and at 32″ wide, it can stabilize even larger users in the water.

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High Weight Limits

a picture of a tower xplorer inflatable supIf you’re a very heavy person, you know firsthand that size can often be a barrier to getting into sports or other outdoor activities. Thankfully, if you exceed the weight limits on many boards, there are still stand up paddle boards that can accommodate even someone who is significantly heavier than average.

Perhaps one of the highest weight limits on the market belongs to the Tower Xplorer (pictured to the right). This board has an impressive 700 pound capacity, which is enough to accommodate the vast majority of people. In order to stabilize a potentially very heavy weight, this board is 14′ long and 32″ wide.

Another high weight capacity board is the ISLE Airtech Megalodon. This large board is designed to carry multiple riders, but it also could support a single very heavy person. It has a weight limit of 1200 pounds and is 15′ long. It is 50″ wide for maximum stability and safety.

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Final Thoughts

Whether you’re small, large, or looking for a board to support multiple riders, paying attention to the weight limits on the stand up paddle boards you’re looking to buy can help you make the best choice for you. Ensuring you choose the right weight capacity means you will have a manageable board that floats you high enough above the water that you can navigate properly. Putting in the time to research boards now means you’re more likely to end up with a stand up paddle board that can bring you miles of safe enjoyment.