How Much Weight Can a Paddle Board Hold?

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Paddle boarding is considered one of the fastest growing watersports in the country. These versatile boards can allow you to enjoy both a calm lake and choppy rivers, the ocean waters, and large streams. But choosing a new paddle board isn’t exactly easy considering the dozens of top-selling models on the market, each of which offers unique specs that can determine whether or not a particular board will be a good fit for you. If you’re looking for a board you can take out with the family dog or one that allows you to bring along all of your fishing gear, snacks, and more, than the board’s max weight capacity will be an important spec to pay attention to. So, how much weight can a paddle board hold, on average?

This will vary from model to model. Some have a lower than average max weight capacity that will make it impossible to bring along any supplies and gear, while others will feature a high max weight capacity, one that will work with your weight and how much gear you often bring with you on your paddling and fishing adventures.

The Perfect Size

Choosing the right paddle board size should be based on your weight and how much gear you bring along. If you don’t plan on bringing gear, then you’ll simply look for a model that has a slightly higher max weight capacity than what you weigh. As an example, if you weigh one hundred and fifty pounds, then you’ll look for a model that has a one hundred and sixty pound weight limit or higher.

Most manufacturers will conveniently list a board’s max weight capacity right on the spec sheet, in addition to other information, including the board’s length, and the type of water conditions it’s designed to handle.

If you choose a board that’s not able to handle your weight, the board will sit lower in the water, will have more drag, and will feel unstable. It can also make it difficult to guide the board, make tight turns, or handle the board in challenging water conditions. Basically, the max weight capacity will be one of the best indicators regarding whether or not a board is a good fit for you. Using a board that has a higher weight capacity will provide a better user experience and will also allow you to bring along supplies, another person, or paddle board with your dog.

Weight Capacity Options

The weight capacity or weight limit will not be the same for every board. Each board has a different amount of float or volume. It’s crucial that you use a model that as enough float for your body, in addition to the type and amount of cargo you want to bring along. This type of extra cargo can include fishing gear, or even a cooler loaded with drinks and snacks, or it can include your dog or a family member.

You’ll want to avoid coming too close to the max weight capacity. As I mentioned earlier, if you go over or come too close to a board’s max weight, then the board will sit too deep in the water, which will create drag, making it difficult to paddle and steer the board. The minute you stop paddling the board will also slow down quickly, instead of gliding along on the water like it would if it had a surplus weight capacity. If a board has a surplus weight capacity, you’ll be able to quickly get the board moving using just a few strokes. Boards such as the Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer offers a decent max weight of two hundred pounds, but it’s totally possible to find a larger, higher-priced board that offers a max weight of three hundred and fifty pounds, which will give you more than enough surplus weight to bring along another person or extra cargo.

Board Volume

If a manufacturer doesn’t list a board’s max weight capacity, then you can determine this based on the board’s volume. The thickness, width, and length of a board can be used to calculate the max weight capacity. Volume refers to the measure of the board’s ability to float with added weight. Basically, a board with a higher volume will be more stable. Volume will be the measurement that you’ll want to pay close attention to since it will factor in the board’s other dimensions. Paying attention to the board’s length can result in buying a board that’s too small since some long boards have a very low volume.

As long as you know how much you weigh, then you can use your weight as a basic guideline to find a board that can handle the type of cargo you want to carry.

You’ll multiply your weight by one, then 1.4 to determine the volume range you want to look for.

Average Max Weight

On average, most paddle boards will support a max weight of two hundred and twenty pounds, while others may only be able to carry around one hundred and fifty pounds and some will have a max weight of over three hundred. Unfortunately, some manufacturers will overshoot how much weight a board is rated to carry. So instead of solely paying attention to this spec and taking the manufacturer’s word for it, I recommend calculating the board’s true weight capacity by using the volume spec.

Length Matters

Taller people will have a higher point of gravity compared to short people, which is why it’s more difficult to control and maintain their balance on a paddle board. Additionally, a taller person may weigh more than a shorter person so they’ll not only need to choose a model that’s the right length but one that can handle both a longer frame and higher weight.

Final Thoughts

There are dozens of models to choose from on the market, and even the best inflatable paddle boards may not have the type of volume you need in order to glide across the water while carrying all your cargo. So, how much weight can a paddle board hold on average? Two hundred and twenty pounds. But there are many boards that may only be able to carry a total weight of one hundred and fifty pounds, while others will have a higher than average weight capacity of three hundred to three hundred and fifty pounds.