Best Paddleboards for Heavy Paddlers (Big Guys and Gals) | 2022

Inflatable Boarder is reader-supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Best Paddleboards for Heavy Persons 2022
  • Save

I’m a big guy at 230lb (give or take a burrito) and 5’9”. I’ve always been active outdoors since I was a (big) kid and I know it can sometimes be a struggle to find equipment that really works well for me. It can be a challenge finding a sleeping bag that doesn’t feel like an iron maiden, a mountain bike that I don’t need to worry about blowing spokes on the trail, or the right size paddleboard.

Not all all-around inflatable paddleboards are the same, and not all all-around iSUPs work well for all paddlers. For heavier or larger paddlers, getting on the right board can be the difference between a miserable time mostly in the water and (in my best “Borat”) Great Success! When I first started paddleboarding my iSUP was definitely too small for a beginner my size (10’6” x 30” x 6”). I stuck with it a bit and made it work, but once I was on a board that was actually big enough for me, I thrived.

Below is a collection of my favorite inflatable paddleboards that work well for heavier paddlers. Not only do these boards offer wider platforms and shapes for more stability and higher weight capacity, but they also continue to perform as well with a heavier rider as they do with a lighter one.

Best Paddleboard for Heavy Persons Comparison Chart

section-hd

Top-Rated Paddleboards for Heavy Persons

BOARDDIMENSIONSCAPACITYWARRANTYPRICE
Sea Gods Diatom Ten6

Sea Gods Diatom Ten6

Sea Gods Diatom Ten6
  • Save
10'6" x 33" x 6"
24 pounds
340 lbsLifetime,
30-day money back
Read ReviewCheck Price
Gili Meno 10’6”

Gili Meno 10’6”

Gili Meno 10’6
  • Save
10’ 6” x 35" x 6"
23 pounds
450 lbs2-years,
60-day money back

Read ReviewCheck Price
Thurso Max Multi-Purpose

Thurso Max Multi-Purpose

Thurso Max Multi-Purpose
  • Save
11'6" x 34" x 6"
31 pounds
370 lbs2-years,
30-day money back

Read ReviewCheck Price
Hydrus Joyride XL

Hydrus Joyride XL

Hydrus Joyride XL
  • Save
11’6” x 34" x 6"
34 pounds
400 lbsLifetime,
30-day money back

Review Coming SoonCheck Price
Isle Pioneer 2.0

Isle Pioneer 2.0

Isle Pioneer 2.0
  • Save
10’ 6” x 34" x 6"
24 pounds
285 lbs2-years,
60-day money back


Read ReviewCheck Best Price
Bote HD Aero

Bote HD Aero

Bote HD Aero
  • Save
11’ 6” x 34" x 6"
30 pounds
315 lbs2-years,
30-day money back

Read ReviewCheck Price
Red Paddle Co. 10’8” Ride

Red Paddle Co. 10’8” Ride

Red Paddle Co. 10’8” Ride
  • Save
10’8" x 34" x 4.7"
23 pounds
265 lbs5 years,
30-day money back

Review Coming SoonCheck Best Price
(Out of Stock) Isle Switch 2-in-1 iSUP/Kayak

(Out of Stock) Isle Switch 2-in-1 iSUP/Kayak

 Isle Switch 2-in-1 iSUP/Kayak<br />
11’ 6” x 35.5" x 6"
19 pounds
425 lbs2 years,
60-day money back



Read ReviewCheck Best Price
(Out of Stock) Blackfin Model X

(Out of Stock) Blackfin Model X

Blackfin Model X
  • Save
10'6" x 35" x 6"
27 pounds
450 lbs2 years,
90-day money back


Read ReviewCheck Best Price

Sea Gods Diatom Ten6

10’6” x 34” x 6”
Availability: US, Canada
Read Full Review Here

There may be faster or more feature-laden iSUPs on the market, but there is no paddleboard as absolutely gorgeous as the Sea Gods Diatom Ten6 – and it’s a fantastic performer that’s perfectly sized for heavier riders.

Sea Gods Diatom Ten6
  • Save

I became smitten with the Diatom Ten6 the moment I saw it. I’m also a big fan of tie-dye (I’m wearing some as I write this) and mandalas, so it’s easy to see why. But what really sealed the deal for me was how it performed on the water.

At 34” wide, the Diatom offers excellent stability for larger paddlers, beginners worried about their balance, and even doing some yoga. The Diatom inflates to a rock-solid 20 PSI to keep the board stiff and stable.

The rounded shape keeps the Diatom nimble and the US fin box lets you customize your ride.

Bottom Line:The Sea God’s Diatom Ten6’s performance matches its level of aesthetics while offering a stiff, stable platform for heavier paddlers.


Gili Sports 10’6” Meno

10’6” x 35” x 6”
Availability: US, International Shipping Available
Read Full Review Here

The Gili Sports 10’6” Meno iSUP combines carbon fiber rails, a wide shape and tail, and great accessory kit to create a versatile and stable paddleboard great for larger paddlers.

Gili Sports 10’6 Meno
  • Save

The 10’6” Meno clocks in at 35” wide with a list-topping carrying capacity of 450 lbs. This is thanks to the 10’6” Meno’s wide outline – including at the nose and tail – and carbon fiber reinforced rails. These carbon fiber rails keep the edges of the board from flexing when loaded, which in turn keeps the board from flexing. Stiffness increases an inflatable SUP’s stability as well as performance. Instead of feeling like you are walking on a trampoline, a stiff board gives you a stable surface to stand on.

The 10’6” Meno also includes a great set of accessories including a high-quality triple-action pump to make inflating easier, a carbon fiber/nylon paddle, and multiple different fins for everything from touring to shallow rivers.

The Meno also comes in an 11’6” version if you want even more carrying capacity or if you are over 6’ tall.

Bottom Line:The Gili Sports 10’6” Meno Is a super-stiff, stable and versatile iSUP great for larger riders.


Thurso Surf Max Multi-Purpose iSUP

11’6” x 34” x 6”
Availability: US, Canada, UK, EU
Read Full Review Here

The Thurso Surf Max Multi-Purpose paddleboard blends advanced construction and a stable design while loading in more features than you can shake a paddle at.

Gili Air 10’6
  • Save

Right away, the Thurso Max’s 11’6” x 34” frame keeps much of its width along the length of the board rather than severely tapering in at the nose and tail. This wider outline means the level of stability remains relatively constant as you move along the board to make the most use of its full-length deck pad. Whether you are reaching into a cooler behind you, moving forward to land a fish (and check it with the built-in measuring tape) or have a dog or kid moving up and down the board, you won’t find yourself suddenly on an extra-narrow section of paddleboard.

Like the Meno, the Thurso Max uses carbon fiber reinforced rails, but also goes an extra step with woven drop stitch fabric to keep the board stiffer and reduce weight (though the extra deck pad and features do add it back on – and then some). The Max also includes a great set of accessories and universal US and FCS fin boxes.

Bottom Line: The Thurso Surf Max Multi-Purpose paddleboard is a super-stable and super-versatile iSUP for heavier paddlers looking for a board with all the bells and whistles.


Hydrus Joyride XL

11’6” x 34” x 6”
Availability: US, Canada
Full Review Coming Soon

The Hydrus Joyride offers function-first designs, unique construction, extreme durability, and a lifetime warranty in a paddleboard built for larger riders and higher capacities.

Nixy Venice G4
  • Save

The Joyride XL iSUP is made with versatility and durability in mind. The wide, parallel outline maximizes stability and glide, while the large front cargo bungees, grab handles and cooler tie downs let you set your board up however you need for your next adventure.

One of the key components of all of Hydrus’s inflatables is their unique composite construction that utilizes a layer of aramid fiber (the same material as Kevlar) built into the PVC shell material itself. Aramid is known for its cut and abrasion resistance, and Hydrus is known for their extremely durable boards built to handle the toughest conditions.

Bottom Line: The Hydrus Joyride XL is a great option for bigger riders looking for a super-durable board that can handle some Class II whitewater as well as it can flat water.


Isle Pioneer 2.0

10’6” x 34” x 6”
Availability: US
Read Full Review Here

The Isle Pioneer 2.0 builds on the original Pioneer without losing any of the features and performance that makes it a great choice for heavier paddlers.

Isle Pioneer 2.0
  • Save

The Pioneer 2.0 is a wide, stable iSUP that’s also lightweight at just 24 pounds. The wide shape and wide tail keep the Pioneer very stable on the water, and the soft brushed EVA pad is great for the newer paddler that may spend more time sitting or kneeling as you build up your sea legs.

The large cargo areas make packing for the day super easy, and the integrated paddle holder keeps your paddle out of the way, but within easy reach while fishing, relaxing, or stretching out on the board.

Bottom Line: The Isle Pioneer 2.0 offers a good mix of versatility, performance and price with a wide and stable shape for larger paddlers.


Bote HD Aero

11’6” x 34” x 6”
Availability: US
Read Full Review Here

The Bote HD Aero is a purpose built fishing iSUP that’s equally as good for heavier paddlers thanks to its great stability.

Bote HD Aero
  • Save

Bote is known world-wide for their fishing paddleboards (both hard and inflatable). The HD Aero combines inflatable portability and ease of use, with excellent stability and lots of fishing-specific features.

The HD Aero includes fishing rack mounts and a paddle sheath to keep your fishing and paddling gear organized and within easy reach. The wide outline and wide, square tail keep the HD very stable.

Bottom Line: The Bote HD Aero is a great option for larger paddlers who are also looking for fishing-specific features.


Red Paddle Co. 10’8” Ride

10’8” x 34” x 4.7”
Availability: Worldwide
Full Review Coming Soon

Red Paddle Co. is known for their absolute superb build quality and excellent feel on the water. The 10’8” Ride brings the performance of a thinner iSUP to larger paddlers.

Red Paddle Co. 10’8 Ride
  • Save

Board thickness greatly impacts the performance of an inflatable paddleboard. A thinner board, like the Red Paddle Co. 10’8” Ride, at just 4.7” thick versus a standard 6” thick board will be lighter, have less wind resistance – especially in a cross wind, and lower the rider’s center of gravity to increase stability. Thinner boards do tend to flex more than thicker boards, though. Red has been able to control the board flex through a variety of unique construction techniques to deliver excellent paddling quality in a wider board for paddlers of all sizes.

Bottom Line:The Red Paddle Co. 10’8” Ride iSUP is a performance-oriented all-around paddleboard for larger paddlers.


Isle Switch 2-in-1 iSUP

11’6” x 35.5” x 6”
Availability: US
Read Full Review Here

The Isle Switch 2-in-1 iSUP is the widest, lightest, and most versatile board out of the box on our list.

Isle Switch 2-in-1 iSUP
  • Save

Brand new for the summer of 2022, the Isle Switch combines stability and lightweight construction to create a paddleboard that not only handles well for heavier riders, but includes everything you need for a comfortable and efficient kayak conversion as well.

The Switch’s wide standing area and extra wide tail make it incredibly stable for larger paddlers, while the lightweight build helps it glide smoothly across the water.

Included with the Switch is an inflatable kayak seat and foot brace that attach to the Isle Link loops that line the board (for a perfect fit for you), and also includes a second paddle blade to convert the SUP paddle to a kayak paddle.

Bottom Line:The Isle Switch 2-in-1 iSUP is a great choice for larger paddlers who also want the convenience of an included high-quality kayak conversion kit.


Blackfin Model X

10”6” x 35” x 6”
Availability: US, Canada, UK, EU
Read Full Review Here

The Blackfin Model X is a maneuverable and stable paddleboard that has more on-board features than I can count (well, almost).

Blackfin Model X
  • Save
The Isle Switch is the newest board in Isle’s lineup. It’s also incredibly versatile, lightweight, and stable making it an easy choice for beginners.

Though currently out of stock for 2022, the Blackfin Model X has long been one of our top recommendations for larger paddlers. The 35” width, triple layer composite construction and carbon fiber reinforced rails make the Blackfin Model X extremely stiff.

Whether you are fishing, cruising the bays, paddling with a passenger, or setting it up with a kayak seat, the Model X has you covered with well over a dozen d-rings, 8 threaded action mounts, two Scotty mounts, and two large cargo areas. If that’s not enough for you, there is also the Blackfin Model XL, which adds a foot of length (though does drop the width back to 34”).

We’re excited to see what the 2023 models will bring to the water.

Bottom Line:The Blackfin Model X is a super stiff, highly stable iSUP great for larger paddlers looking for an easily maneuverable iSUP.


Paddleboards for Heavy Persons FAQs

What Makes a Paddleboard Good for a Heavy Person?

The main components that set these paddleboards apart are their width and stiffness. Wider boards are much easier to balance on and typically have a higher weight capacity as well. Stiffer boards reduce flex in the standing area to maintain optimal performance. While it’s easy to compare widths while looking for a paddleboard, stiffness is not standardized nor advertised with most boards. Our in-depth testing includes both static bend testing for quantitative comparisons and on-water testing for comparing how they truly feel while on the water.

What Width Paddleboard is Best for Me?

Wider boards offer more stability than narrower boards. For larger and taller paddlers, having a wider board can make a huge difference in stability and comfort. While we regularly recommend boards around 32” wide for most paddlers, heavier paddlers may be more comfortable on boards between 34-35” to start. As you get more experience on your board and become more comfortable, many paddlers like to reduce their board size for better paddling efficiency. With a bit of practice and good technique, heavier paddlers can easily begin to handle narrower and narrower boards. At 230 lbs I regularly use paddleboards anywhere from 36” wide to 25” wide depending on what I’m doing and other factors in the board design.

What Length Paddleboard is Best for Me?

Most all-around paddleboards are between 10’ and 11’6” long. Generally, the shorter the board, the easier it is to turn (and the longer the board, the better it tracks). Shorter boards will typically have less volume and lower weight capacities than longer boards. Most paddlers under 6’ tall are perfectly fine with boards closer to 10’6” long, while taller paddlers often feel more comfortable on boards closer to 11’6” long.

Recommended Gear for Heavier Paddlers

While all-around SUP kits will include everything the paddleboard needs to get you out on the water, there are a few accessories that will give you a better and safer experience on your new SUP.

  • PFD – A PFD (Personal Flotation Device), sometimes called a life jacket or buoyancy aid, is a critical piece of safety equipment while on your SUP and may be required by local law. Most PFDs will have chest measurement sizes and many XXL options have quite a bit of adjustability. Fishing-specific PFDs are also commonly found in larger sizes. A quality, well-fit PFD is not noticeable when being worn. See our Best SUP PFD reviews here.
  • Dry Bag – Not everything we bring with us on our SUPs should get wet. Soggy sandwiches and waterlogged phones can ruin a good day out on the water. Dry bags come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes to fit your needs. See our Best SUP Dry Bag reviews here.
  • Coolers – whether you are keeping your drinks cold or your catch fresh, a great cooler can make the difference after hours out in the sun. Plus hard coolers make a great seat to take a break from standing! See our Best SUP Cooler reviews here.
  • Electric Pumps – Using the hand pump that comes with your board is a great way to warm up for your day paddling. But every now and then it’s nice to relax while getting ready, too. Electric SUP pumps are easy to use and let you focus on other things while inflating your board. See our Best Electric SUP Pump reviews here.

Final Thoughts – Best Paddleboards for Heavier Persons

Matching the paddleboard size to the paddler is one of the key components for any new paddler, and it’s often not talked about enough or in enough detail. While smaller iSUPs may have weight capacities listed that seem like they would be enough for larger paddlers, often these weight capacities are determined theoretically or with the idea that the weight will be distributed evenly across the board, rather than just in the standing area. This list of Paddleboards for Heavier Persons has been specifically curated on actual experience, not on specifications alone.

Ask A Question or Give Feedback

iROCKER SPRING SALE!

Save Up to 25% on Select SUPs

irocker 2021 sup sales
0 Shares
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap