This summer I had a student who was 6-5 290lbs.  I figured my Surftech Universal 12′ board (aka ‘the Island’ as we call it) would work. It’s nearly 6″ thick and 33″ wide and usually does the trick for larger paddlers. Unfortantly it wasn’t wide enough to allow him to stand up with confidence.  So I made it my mission to get him standing on a SUP!  A few weeks later, I met another guy who was in the same situation.  In his case he couldn’t find rental boards big enough for him, so assumed the sport isn’t for him. I’ve had similar issues being 6-5 x 230lbs. Most of the race boards on the market don’t work for me at 27.5″ wide or less.

I began to research larger boards.  Shops suggested wide fishing boards but most are pretty short at 10′ – 11′ which to me means it’ll be slow and hard to track straight especially if they’re 34″ or wider.  Tandem boards are another option as well.

And there are shaping tricks to make standard sizes more stable such as adding concave under foot to the hull, using a square tail (pintail is least stable), and using larger fins such as the Gladiator or Bat fins by Larry Allison.

These are the boards I found which would be suitable for these guys..

Hooked SUP by Alex Agura Design, 11.8″x36″x5.2″.

– Starboard Atlas 12′ x 36″,

– Starboard Astro Tandem (inflatable), 16’x33″,

– Starboard Astro Fisherman 11.2’x39″ (inflatable),

– Blair SUPs 11.3E 11’x36″x5.4″ Jim is also a custom shaper so a good source something personal.

– Imagine Surf Wizard (rotomolded),  11’x35″x8″,

– NRS Baron 6 (Inflatable), 11.4’x36″x6″,

Customs – Can’t find, have it made!  

– Perfect Wave Bamboocha, 14’x35″x6″.  Was designed for a Seahawk player.

– Echo Composites, Sean Thomas; 425.679.1212 Sean is the shaper for my 17′ Touring SUP project.  I credit half of the design to his help, brilliant ideas and craftsmanship.

– Jim Blair, listed above.

Boards for tall Thin folks, 200 to 230 ish lbs.  In this case, weight displacment isn’t as much of an issue but length and width still are.
– Amundson Source 11’x`10″x5″,
– Surftech Universal 12′.

A few thing to think about for researching boards..
– Thickness.  If a paddler is over 230lbs they’ll displace or push the board into the water thus need a thicker board so their feet won’t be in water.  Been there myself in trying 4″ and 4.25″ thick boards.

– Width. For the sizes mentioned above, go for at least 34″ wide or wider.  The issue of going too wide is hitting the rails with your paddle and carrying the board if there’s an indented handle.

– Weight.  Imagine the distance to the water, the height of your car, etc. Can you carry it solo? Inflatables are perfect for carrying.

– Length.  Longer is mostly faster and longer boards can add stability in some cases.  For example a 12’x33″ board like m Surftech Universal would be even more stable at 15’x33″. And the rider would get a straighter faster ride with less effort.

Salmon Bay Paddle SUP Tips