Maybe you’ve seen someone in the surf standing on a gigantic paddleboard, and you think to yourself: “That looks like fun, but I bet getting that big board from the car into the water is not fun! It must weigh a ton.” Well, I thought so at first, too, until I did a bunch of research when buying my first stand-up paddleboard. What I found out was:
Stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) come in a wide range of weights, depending on their construction and size. They can weigh as little as 15 pounds or over 50 pounds. An average 10’6″ rigid board will weigh about 26 pounds, and an average 10’6″ inflatable SUP will weigh about 21 pounds.
Some boards weigh less, but many weigh more. Let’s take a few examples to see why a particular SUP weighs what it does.
Stand up Paddle Boards Weight Chart
|Bic 102409||23.0 lbs||10’6″||33″||4.75″||Inflatable|
|ISLE Pioneer||21.0 lbs||10’6″||31″||6″||Inflatable|
|FunWater 10’6×33″×6||17.6 lbs||10’6″||33″||6″||Inflatable|
|BIC Sport Wing||23.0 lbs||11′||32″||6″||Inflatable|
|Atoll Inflatable||21.0 lbs||11′||32″||6″||Inflatable|
|FunWater 11’×33″×6″||17.6 lbs||11′||33″||6″||Inflatable|
|ISLE Outpost||29.0 lbs||10’6″||32″||4.8″||Rigid|
|CBC Hydra||25.0 lbs||10’6″||30″||5″||Rigid|
|Peak Expedition||23.5 lbs||10’6″||32″||4.5″||Rigid|
|Lifetime Horizon||44 lbs||10′||34″||7.8″||Rigid|
|Bote Traveler||42 lbs||14′||29.5″||7″||Rigid|
|L.L. Bean Bayside||36 lbs||11″||34″||5.5″||Rigid|
The lightest of stand-up paddleboards will generally be the inflatables as opposed to Rigid SUPs. Wider, longer and thicker boards will weigh more than their narrower, shorter, and thinner counterparts. As an example, take a look at this chart.
As you can see from the chart, Inflatable paddle boards are, on average lighter than the Rigid SUPs I listed. Although, to my surprise, not as much I would have expected.
I own the 11′ LL Bean board that weighs 36 pounds. I chose that board, not because of its weight, but because I was ordering online and trusted the name. The board has turned out to be fantastic, but it does get to be a hassle if I have to carry it more than a couple of dozen yards.
So, on my next purchase, I put light-weight and price as my two top priorities. I ended up buying an 11′ Funwater inflatable. I now use this one when I am accessing the water that is a long distance from my car. I will also be packing this one to take with me on my next trip to the Florida Keys.
I have done a full review of the Funwater 11 Foot Inflatable, be sure to check it out here.
How Does the Construction of a SUP Affect Weight?
Most inflatable SUPs are constructed by making a form of a SUP by “drop-stitching.” Drop-stitching gives the board it’s rigidity when inflated. This process connects strong filaments to the top and bottom of the board. At this stage, the board has its basic shape, but it isn’t waterproof.
To waterproof the durable drop-stitched interior, most inflatable SUPs are covered in either one, two, or three layers of a PVC coating. This is where the weight difference comes in. Each layer of PVC adds weight and strength. Most inflatable SUPS now have at least two layers of PVC.
Single-layer boards are very light, but can not hold as much pressurized air. Whereas two layers boards can be inflated to around 15 psi, and three-layer boards can sometimes be inflated to over 20 psi. So, the advantage of extra layers of PVC is a firmer board, but they cost more and are heavier.
Rigid boards are made from a variety of materials that can drastically affect their weight. Take a look at the Lifetime Stand-up paddleboard.
This paddleboard is the shortest on the list at 10 feet but is also the heaviest at 44 pounds. That is because it is made of plastic, not the foam core like the other rigid boards.
One other board, I would like to point out is the Megalodon by Isle. This inflatable board is 12 feet but is also a whopping 45 inches across. The specs that you can see here. But this board is rated to carry 450 pounds. The 15-foot version can carry over 1000 pounds!
How Does Weight Affect the Performance of a SUP?
Having paddled on both an inflatable and a rigid board that weighs 18.5 pounds more, I have found that the lighter board accelerates quicker, but the heavier board tracks better and glides farther on each stroke.
But, I didn’t know if the difference was weight or whether it was inflatable versus rigid, so I changed the experiment. This time, I paddled across the bay (about 200 yards) on my 36-pound rigid board. Then I loaded the board with a case of 20-ounce bottles of water bungeed to the back. The results were similar. It took more time to get up to speed with the water on the back, but with the board sitting lower, it seemed to glide farther with each stroke.
Effects of Board Weight and Transporting it
I think the most significant factor in the weight of the board, aside from the quality, is the ease in which you can transport it from your car to the water. My 17 pounder is a breeze compared to my 36 pounder. However, I have found a nice strap that helps with my heavy rigid board. It helps distribute the weight onto my shoulder and gives my arm a break on the occasions when I need to carry it a long way.
Here is an example of one of those carry straps. It really does come in handy, especially when I have to carry both boards.
So, just to recap. A standard 10’6″ inflatable board will weigh in in the low 20’s while the same sized rigid board will come in about 5 pounds heavier. On the water, there is minimal difference in performance, except for a quicker start for the lighter boards, and a longer glide for the heavier ones.