If your looking for an allround or performance all-round SUP board and everyone is under 100kg, its pretty key to look for a SUP that is 4.7” thick, with high density paddleboard dropstitch.
The reasons for this.
6” thick boards hold too much volume in them for anyone under 100kg. If the board is 6” thick ALL the board sits on top of the water with nothing other than the fin underneath the water, this means, that in anything other than perfectly flat water, the board is pushed by wind. If there are small waves the high wall of a 6” thick board can cause the rider to lose there balance and fall off. What we find is paddlers on a 6” thick board ‘love SUP but are still learning to stand up’.
What to paddle if your under 5’6
If your under 5’6 you may be tempted with a 9’8-10’4 and up too 11ft in a performance allround SUP. Keep the board to 31” wide and this will allow you to keep your paddle straight down, preventing over reach and keeping you stable. If your shorter, don’t be tempered to go for a wider board, the width in a board can actually cause instability in anything other than flat water as you have a lot more board to control and your paddle will be at an angle which is extremely tiring as your paddle stroke will cause the board to weave and zig zag.
What to paddle if your over a 100kg
If your heavier SUP Lover, you may want to go for a 6” thick board but a good quality 4.7” will still hold your weight if your under 120kg. You will be lower in the water though and this is why you may want a 6” thick SUP, if the board is just for you and wont be used by lighter riders.
A 6” thick board can also be great if your consistently paddling with kids sat on the board, as their bums don’t get wet, as the board is higher up off the water, this is balanced with your own paddling comfort though as it maybe harder to paddle when there not sat on the board, if the weather is less than perfect.
How to find a good quality 6″ thick board
When searching out a great 6” board look for a board that has 4.7” thick 10’6 SUP in the brand, This tends to keep you away from the cheep and nasty. Also, stay away from brands that claim ‘Military Grade’.. its completely made up and only used by brands that are bending the truth on there capabilities and your board will bend with it! 🙂
Why there are so many 6″ boards around.
Inflatable SUP was invented 10 years ago by a guy called John Hubbard, he called the brand Red paddle Co and so, the Inflatable SUP was born.
When the Inflatable SUP was invented, there was only dropstitch available from Chinese manufactures, that had used dropstitch for anything from military needs (hence why some brands call there dropstitch military grade) to Gymnastic mats, non of this dropstitch had ever been designed to be stood on and after a few different fails, the original inflatable SUP became 6″ thick. This allowed, what we now think of as, cheep dropstich, the capabilities of been stood on without bending.
Red Paddle Co soon moved to a 4.7″ thick dropstitch,’ Which was designed purely for the use of been stood on for paddleboarding. The very key reason why Red moved from 6″ thick dropstitch, as it was stiff, is 6″ dropstitch is too high volume and causes the board to lose stability from wind and waves for a rider under 120kg.
When other brands came in the the inflatable market, Fanatic and Starboard , to name a few, they did the same as Red and used 4.7″ dropstich, as its the completely right technology to use. What happened shortly after, is thanks to the awesomeness of paddleboarding, a lot of people wanted a SUP and from there, Chinese manufacture who would normally make gymnastic mats out of 6″ thick dropstitch started cutting out a paddleboard shape’s and calling it a paddleboard and selling these boards to anyone who wanted to re-brand them. This is how the market has got confused and this is why there are so many 6″ boards on the market.