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Standup Paddleboard recommendation

I am interested in purchasing a Standup Paddleboard.  I have never owned one.  I've had limited experience with paddleboards.  I have researched on the internet so I have some knowledge about paddleboards.

I live on a lake and will use the board there.  Since transportation and storage are not options, I want a solid board rather than inflatable.

I will use the board to tour the lake and get exercise. 

About me:  I am a very active 66 year old.  I am 5'11" tall and weigh 185 pounds.

Based on this, do you recommend one or several boards that will work for me?

Jim Reckinger



3 Replies

Hi @jimreck

We appreciate you reaching out to the community!  Exciting to hear that you are looking to purchase a paddle board!

I‘ll start by confirming something you may have read while researching the products. Similar to other watercraft, a lot of the stability comes from the construction of the board. I would suggest a board that is slightly wider and longer. Although I’m only 5’4”, I always felt most comfortable on a board that was no shorter than 11’.

This board is similar to the one I got my start on!  What’s great about it is the versatility.  While it will perform no problem on flat water, it can also handle light ocean touring. 

I’m sure my colleague @REI-JohnJ would love to add his voice to this topic as well! This is an activity he enjoys quite a bit!



At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@jimreck Thanks for reaching out!

As @REI-AlyS indicated, paddle boarding is one of my favorite on the water activities!  I've paddled lakes and rivers from Massachusetts to Alaska and it is such a fun way to get out on the water. Personally, I own 12' paddle board. I am a bigger guy at 6', 285 lbs, and typically have a dog or a kiddo on the board with me. 

There are a couple of considerations for a paddle board that you'll want to think about. As a beginner, stability is really the most critical component to getting out on the water and having fun. In that regard, the wider the board the better (typically longer equals wider, but not always). A wider board will give you more stability, more buoyancy, and will allow multiple users of varying skill levels to enjoy the board as well. The drawback of a wider, recreational style board, is that you have to work a little harder to turn quickly and they don't move as fast as a 'planing' style paddle board. 

If you are planning on having other people enjoy your paddle board as well, you'll want to purchase an adjustable paddle to fit a variety of users. The Kialoa Makai FG Adjustable Stand Up Paddle or the Boardworks Aluminum Adjustable Stand Up Paddle are both good options.

For what you are describing here a three options I think would work great for you:

  1. BIC Sport Cross Tough-Tec Stand Up Paddle Board - 11'
  2. Starboard GO Starlite Stand Up Paddle Board  - 10'8"
  3. Adventure Paddleboarding All Rounder MX Stand Up Paddle Board - 10'6"

Hopefully this helps narrow down your choices. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have more questions. Thanks!



At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hey @jimreck! I love that you live on a lake and want to start paddle boarding. You are basically living my dream... @REI-AlyS and @REI-JohnJ gave you some amazing info. In fact, one of the boards @REI-JohnJ mentioned is one of the ones in my family's "quiver" of boards (the Adventure All Rounder).

I'll just add two quick pieces of info. First, I also like the Pau Hana Malibu as a beginner/intermediate option. It floats well, and it comes with a paddle!

Second, I always get asked what you should upgrade or spend a little more money on once you get bit by the SUP bug. To me, when you are ready to invest a little more money and take the next step, consider a paddle upgrade. I paddle the same boards that I have for years, but upgrading to a really nice paddle like this or this can really add joy to your paddle.

Have fun out there!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.