Best Inflatable SUPs For Smaller Paddlers

Find The Right Paddle Board For Shorter People

Bigger is not always better when it comes to finding the right paddle board. Particularly if you are a smaller paddler – either in height or weight.

In fact, if you are shorter than say 5’6″ or weigh less than 150 lbs between you and your gear, a smaller cruiser SUP may make your paddling adventure much more fun.

Our List Of Great Paddle Boards For Shorter And Lighter Paddlers


DAMA 9 Foot inflatable stand up paddle board with faux wood grain

DAMA 9’6″ iSUP

The first thing to catch your eye about the DAMA is the unique faux wood grain pattern, but this board is more than just a pretty face.

At 9 feet 6 inches long, 30 inches wide and only about 17 lbs, it’s a fantastic board designed for paddlers who weigh about 110 pounds. It can hold significantly more at max capacity – but it’s really designed for smaller paddlers.

Even if you are shorter or lighter than average you will find this board fits you well. At a price of about $300 it’s also a great value!

Read the Full DAMA 9’6″ Paddle Board Review

Overall Customer Rating: ★★★★☆ 4.4 Of 5.0 Rating

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Aqua Marina 9′ Breeze Paddle Board

The 9 foot long inflatable Breeze paddle board from Aqua Marina is a perfect board for a lighter person who is looking for a great deal.

With a maximum capacity of about 200 lbs, this board will paddle well if you are in the 100 lbs to 150 lbs range.

It’s priced at an incredible deal of only $299!

Overall Customer Rating: ★★★★★ 5.0 Of 5.0 Rating

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Hydro-Force Aqua Journey 9′ Paddle Board

The Hydro-Force Journey Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board makes our list because of it’s great size combination and it’s smooth stable ride.

The shape of this board plus a slight rocker nose make it a dream on a lake, river, reservoir or even calm bays.

Another great feature is the great coverage of the non-skid pad on the board. You’ll have plenty of room and that great cushioning under your feet for longer paddles.

Overall Customer Rating: ★★★★☆ 4.3 Of 5.0 Rating

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Streak Board 10′ Inflatable Board

At only $260, the Streak iSUP is a great value and going to be a great choice.

Also, at 10′ long it’s one of the longest boards on this list and is rated for up to about 230 lbs, but is likely ideal if you and your gear are about 150 pounds.

The width is perfect and a 6″ inch height will keep you out of the water.

If you are a little harder on your gear, the Streak is a great choice. It’s made with upgraded, extra durable material to handle all the scrapes and bumps you dish out.

Overall Customer Rating: ★★★★☆ 4.4 Of 5.0 Rating

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THURSO SURF Prodigy Junior

At only 7 feet and 6 inches long this is by far the smallest paddle board on the list here.

It also has a much lower profile of only 4 inches which gives the board a total of 150 L of volume. It’s important to note that this board has a capacity up to 80 lbs.

The price is also a little on the higher end of the range, but Thurso is a top quality board maker. So paying a little more for this board will pay off in the long run.

Overall Customer Rating: ★★★★☆ 4.5 Of 5.0 Rating

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Why Do Smaller People Need Smaller Paddle Boards?

The reason we recommend smaller paddle boards for shorter or lighter people comes down to a few key factors.

1. Ability To Paddle In A Comfortable Position

For a shorter paddler it’s important to consider the width of the board because in order to paddle you will need to reach your paddle stroke out beyond the edge of the board.

If you are shorter and on a wider board that reach will be further and create a wider angle. This is likely to mean your shoulders will get tired more quickly and you may have a harder time paddling in a straight line because your paddle blade sticks out instead of down. This creates a bit of an arc motion that wants to push the board sideways instead of forward.

2. Easy Of Carrying & Board Setup

One of the great benefits of a slightly smaller inflatable paddle board is that it is SMALLER! And lighter. You’d be surprised at how saving even a few pounds makes carrying your paddle board much easier. Particularly if you are a smaller person.

Carrying around a 20 pound paddle board and kit will take a much lower toll on your back and shoulders and the 30 lbs that many 11 foot long paddle boards tend to weigh.

3. Difficulty Controlling A Larger Board

It may not sound like much difference from other paddle boards in some dimensions – maybe only 8 inches longer or only 8 pounds heavier. But those numbers can add up pretty quickly on the water.

Pushing an extra 8 pounds around for a few hours paddling can mean some very tired arms. Particularly if that extra board size was just for extra flotation that you didn’t even need!

Additionally, longer boards have a longer “center line” which means that they will want to point straighter – and make it harder to turn. Every time a small paddler wants to turn, it will take more energy to get that extra board length around.

A great analogy that we find often helps is ski length. If you are a shorter skier, say only 5 feet tall, you wouldn’t want to hop on some longer 180cm skis that your 6 foot tall friend uses! Sure, you may be able to fly straight down the mountain fast – but when it comes to making a turn – those skis are going to turn you!