Let’s talk about length first. A SUP board that’s 9 feet or shorter is a more surf-oriented board. Paddleboards that are between 9 feet to 11 feet are usually for recreational purposes. And SUP boards that are twelve feet or longer are for SUP races.
The reason why longer boards are more suited for SUP races is that they optimize the fluid dynamics better. And shorter boards are better at providing great maneuverability.
The width is also an important parameter to consider. Most standup paddlebords are between 28 inches to 36 inches. SUP boards that are 33 inches wide or above are usually very stable boards and very suitable for beginners and those paddlers who struggle to balance on the board. They also allow the possibility of having multiple paddlers on the same board. SUPs that are 30 inches or narrower are usually not as stable as wider boards but usually have more surf ability or faster speed. So narrower boards are more suited for SUP racing. In general, the main difference between wider boards and narrower boards is that wider boards have more surface area which creates more drag whereas narrower boards have less surface area which means less drag and more responsiveness.
Thickness is probably the least important dimension to consider because it could be a misleading number when trying to account for how floaty the board is. There are a lot of boards that are thicker in the middle and thinner on the nose and rail. And it makes it hard to try to account for the buoyancy of the board.
Volume is one of the most important dimensions to consider when picking your first SUP board. It’s measured in liters and it basically represents the water displacement of the board and tells you how floaty the board is. A SUP board with a high volume like 200 liters or above can be considered a big SUP board. If you are a big guy, this is the kind of board that you need if you want a more stable paddleboard for recreational activities.
For a top-notch choice of all-around inflatable SUP board for recreational SUP activities, consider the Goosehill Rainbow R inflatable stand up paddle board. It's a well made all-round SUP with great durability as well as stability. If you want a nice SUP to enjoy your time on the water, this is the board to get.