Exploring Paddle Boarding: A Guide for Plus Sized Riders

Posted on February 6, 2024 by Jimmy Blakeney

Exploring Paddle Boarding: A Guide for Plus Sized Riders

Paddle boarding, or SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding), is often perceived as a sport tailored for individuals with exceptional balance skills and smaller body frames. However, this notion is rooted in the early history of the sport when boards were narrower and more challenging to balance on, particularly for those with larger frames.

Fortunately, advancements in paddle board design have addressed this issue, making paddle boarding accessible to individuals of all sizes and skill levels. Traditional inflatables, in particular, have make the sport more accessible, offering portability, durability, and ease of storage.

However, many inflatables are ill-suited for plus size riders due to their lack of rigidity, resulting in instability and an unsatisfactory experience on the water. This misconception has deterred numerous plus size riders from enjoying the sport to its fullest potential.

At ISLE, we believe that paddle boarding should be inclusive and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of size or skill level. To help plus size riders make informed choices, here are some key considerations when selecting an inflatable paddle board:

  1. Rigidity is paramount: Opt for boards that maintain their shape and stability, preventing the dreaded "taco" effect in the center.
  2. Consider hybrid options: Hybrid paddleboard-kayaks, such as SUP-YAKs, offer versatility and stability for riders of all sizes. These boards allow users to paddle sitting down or standing up, providing a comfortable and customizable experience.
  3. Size matters: Select a board that can support the combined weight of the rider(s) and your gear to ensure a stable and enjoyable paddling experience for all.

Explore our diverse collection of paddle boards HERE, featuring boards designed with stability, rigidity, and capacity in mind to cater to every size and skill level. Below are our top recommendations for plus sized riders:

  • 12’ Megalodon: Not only perfect for multiple riders but also excels as a solo paddle board, offering unparalleled stability and a remarkable capacity. With an impressive 8” thickness and a weight capacity exceeding 600 pounds, it's ideal for those seeking assurance in their ability to stand on water. Once you're comfortable, feel free to bring along a friend, gear, pets, or kids for added adventure!
  • 11’6 Pioneer Pro: Boasts a patented material that sets it apart as the most rigid inflatable boards available. This exceptional rigidity, coupled with the size and design of the 11’6 Pioneer Pro, makes it an ideal choice for plus size riders. The enhanced rigidity ensures superior glide, preventing the board from flexing in the center and offering increased stability. Notably, the Pioneer Pro features a wide nose and tail, further enhancing stability and providing ample deck space for various activities such as lounging, gear storage, and yoga.
  • 14’ Explorer Pro: For those seeking speed and excitement, this board offers exceptional rigidity and performance.

We hope this guide helps you find the perfect paddle board for your needs. Share your paddle boarding adventures with us on Instagram @islepaddleboards and tag us with #islepaddleboards. Happy paddling!

Feel free to reach out to our customer service team HERE if you have any further questions about finding the perfect board.


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