Are Longer Paddle Boards More Stable?


Paddle boards are an inexpensive, fun way to explore the lake. They look like surfboards, but more relaxing and potentially easier to get the hang of.

However, if you’re not exactly the most coordinated or balanced person, you may realize it’s not as easy as it looks. Some of us spend our first few sessions kneeling on the stand-up paddle board because it feels too unstable to stand up. There’s no shame in kneeling for a while, we were all paddle board beginners at one point, and everyone has to start somewhere.

This may cause you to ask, are some paddle boards more stable than others? Does the length of the paddle board play a role in its stability? Are longer paddle boards more stable? The answer is a little complicated because length is only one factor. Follow along as we explore what makes a stable paddle board.

The Physics Behind Paddle Board Stability

The length of the stand-up paddle board is directly related to the weight and volume capacity that it can hold. A longer board will be able to hold more weight capacity and volume than a shorter paddle board. As a result, a longer paddle board may feel more stable than a shorter paddle board because the weight will be distributed forward and behind the rider.

However, the paddle board’s length is only one dimension to consider. Physically speaking, the width and thickness of a stand-up paddle board will also determine how stable it is. Like length, these dimensions directly affect how much volume and capacity a paddle board can carry. Width and thickness also affect how well a paddle board will handle the weight of the rider.

Choosing the Right Paddle Board Width

Choosing the right paddle board for you involves many different factors to consider. Stand-up paddle boards are usually between 25 and 36 inches wide. Wider paddle boards distribute the weight well. As a result, a wider board will be able to handle slight position changes better than a slender board.

A good rule of thumb is to match the width of the stand-up paddle board to your size as a person. If you’re a smaller, petite person, a more slender paddle board will fit your body type. If you’re a little larger, then a wider paddle board will suit you. Wider paddle boards offer more stable and secure if you’re new to paddle boarding.

You should note that wider boards are slower than slender paddle boards. Seasoned riders may not enjoy a wider board as much as a slender board.

Paddle Board Thickness

Thickness affects a paddle board very similarly to width and length. The thicker the board, the more volume and capacity it can support. As such, thicker paddle boards are more stable.

Proper Size Depends on Activity

Paddle boards have become a fun recreational activity beyond exploring the lake. Some athletes have paddle board racing competitions. Some individuals do yoga on their boards. Some people bring their dogs aboard. Some adventurers like to use their boards for transportation to spots on the lake you can’t reach by car. As you might guess, different lengths of paddle boards will be ideal for these specific activities.

Stand-up paddle boards are usually between 9 and 13 feet long. To keep this easy, let’s think of paddle boards as short, medium-length, or long.

Short Paddle Boards

Short stand-up paddle boards are ideal for children and for slightly surfing. These are not surfboards, but if the water has a lot of waves that you would like to ride, shorter paddle boards are ideal.

Medium Paddle Boards

Medium length paddle boards fit just right for a variety of activities. If you want to try out yoga on your paddle board or explore the coastline, a medium length paddle board may be perfect for you. Medium length paddle boards are great for all-around use.

Long Paddle Boards

Long paddle boards are ideal for lengthy adventures and traveling with speed. If you’re carrying a backpack or other items on board, a longer paddle board will do the trick.

Paddle Board Rental

Do you need to rent some paddle boards? If so, come and see us at Boardwalk Marina! Conveniently located on the Coeur d’Alene Resort, we offer watercraft rentals from boats to paddle boards. We can get you and the entire family set up for an incredible day on the water.