There are so many dimensions on a Stand Up Paddle board to talk about, length, width, thickness, and lets not even get into rocker, tail and nose shapes. The one I really want to chat about is #VOLUME. Width is very important also but volume seems to be even more key in my mind (wider is more stable). For the weekend warrior or first time stand up paddler, volume is going to make you paddle experience either allot of fun or very challenging. According Wikipedia, Volume is the quantity of three-dimensional space enclosed by some closed boundary. In regular speak that means that the larger the volume the more stable the board is. When learning to stand up paddle, a high volume board is the key to learning easily. Volume will also be your best friend if you are on the heavier side.
On the flip side large volume boards are more heavy, hence slower to paddle and turn. They also don’t go as straight as low volume boards. If you are looking to purchase a Stand Up Paddle Board I would recommend learning on a high volume board first. Check out http://www.standuppaddletobago.com/learn-to-sup.html for lessons on high volume boards.
Once you have mastered the beginner board, then look at purchasing a more intermediate board with a mid range volume profile. That way the board you purchase will be more versatile and you will be able to use it for longer.
There are a number of websites that actually offer formulas for working out what volume of board you should have. These are based on your weight, conditions where you plan to use the board and experience on a Stand Up Paddle Board. Here is a good example
Beginners – your weight in pounds (lbs) x .91 (ie 150lbs x .91 = 135 liters)
Intermediates – your weight in (lbs) x .78
Advanced – your weight in (lbs) x .59
Here in the Caribbean (at least down here in Tobago) we have many different conditions to use our board in, from flat water to open ocean. Because we need a versatile board I would recommend someone getting a board that can handle choppy seas. So that means adding more volume. That means we should add 20 to 40 litres of volume to the above formula. Unless you are an advanced rider just go with the higher number. It will make your next stand up paddle board purchase a more fun investment.
Over the next few months we will be bringing in some mid range Stand Up Paddle Boards to Trinidad and Tobago for purchase. If you are interested please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org