The beauty of stand up paddle boarding is that there’s no weight limit–anyone can do it. But SUP boards do have weight limits and choosing the right board if you’re a big guy can be a little daunting. After all, you don’t want to end up with a wobbly SUP, or worse – sinking!
If you’re starting to get confused by all the paddle board options, don’t worry. I’m here to help. I’m 6’3 and could certainly stand to lose some weight, but I’m also naturally a big guy. So I understand what you need in a paddle board if you’re a bit above average.
I will show you the best SUP boards for bigger and taller guys and explain how to choose the right inflatable SUP for you.
After testing a wide range of inflatable paddle boards, I found the Atoll 11’ to be the best paddle board for big guys. I’ll tell you all about it below as well as the other awesome boards for heavier paddlers.
Inflatable Paddle Boards for Big Guys Compared
Best Stand Up Paddle Boards for Big Guys
If you’re taller, larger, or even both, here are the best stand up paddle boards for you.
1. Atoll 11′ Inflatable Paddle Board – Best Overall
The Atoll 11’ is one of the very best inflatable stand up paddle boards for heavy guys available. This SUP is a superb choice whether you are a beginner or an experienced paddler.
This paddle board’s maximum rider weight recommendation is 315 lbs, which is already more than most people need. However, Atoll has tested the paddle board with 550 lbs weight capacity without compromising it in the water. Indeed, when I tried the Atoll 11’ with more than one person and plenty of gear, I didn’t feel that the maneuvering or stability was being affected.
Speaking of stability, this paddle board is one of the most stable that you’ll find. If you are new to the hobby, then this solid board will help inspire a feeling of security as you learn.
Six d-rings secure a highly functional bungee cord storage area at the nose of the board. There are a further four D-rings down each side, which you can use for tying down items like coolers or a kayak seat.
The Atoll 11’ is a very well-built inflatable paddle board. The dual-layer military-grade PVC gives this paddle board extreme strength and durability. It utilizes Korean-made drop stitch technology to maintain the board’s shape and keep it feeling extra rigid.
However, despite its toughness, this paddle board weighs just 21 lbs. This is the lightest board I’ve tested and is the best choice if you will be carrying it at reasonable distances to and from the water.
On the water, I found that the Atoll 11’ is a dream to paddle. The large deck pad is exceptionally comfortable, and there is plenty of space for you to move around and practice your advanced tail turns.
The Atoll 11’ has a tri-fin set up with a removable eight-inch composite center fin and two fixed side fins. These give the board excellent straight-line tracking. The center fin is a standard US fin box design, so it’s easy to swap it for different sizes to match the conditions perfectly.
The Atoll board comes with an excellent accessories package, giving you almost everything you need to get started. First off, there is a light carbon fiberglass paddle with a nylon blade. It’s adjustable to match your height, and I found it pleasant to use.
For transport and storage, there is a heavy-duty backpack travel bag. This has excellent padded waist and shoulder straps, and it is really comfortable. There’s also a 10’ ankle leash and a high-pressure, dual-action pump.
Although I didn’t have any problems, Atoll has an excellent customer service reputation. The inflatable SUP comes with a two-year warranty and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
There’s even a choice of four colors, so you’ll be able to find one to match your tastes.
Read our full review of the Atoll 11′ SUP
2. Blackfin Model XL – Best for SUP Fishing
The Blackfin Model XL is one of the most popular larger paddle boards available for paddlers of all experience levels.
The Model XL is 11’6 x 34”. These dimensions help make the Blackfin highly stable in all but the most challenging conditions. iRocker has used triple-layer military-grade PVC for the skin, and the Model XL is one of the toughest paddle boards around.
In addition, there are carbon fiber reinforcements in the board rails of the Blackfin Model XL. These make this vulnerable area even more durable and add extra stiffness to make it feel extra rigid.
The Model XL has the highest weight capacity of all the boards I tested at 485 lbs. The Blackfin paddle board can carry extra passengers and all your gear with ease.
There’s loads of room to move, and the large deck-pad is comfortable. The Model XL can carry your gear safely with both nose and tail bungee cord storage.
If you’re interested in SUP fishing, then the Model XL is a terrific choice to build your dream fishing SUP.
There are eight action mounts and 20 D-Rings, so you can cover this board in rod holders and bait buckets. iRocker even has a fishing rack built specifically for the Model XL.
You can also use the Model XL with a sand spear to maneuver in shallow water or with the optional attachment to anchor the board while you fish sandbanks.
Despite its solid construction, the Model XL itself weighs a total of just 29 lbs. To help move the board, iRocker has included nose and tail carry handles and the standard one in the center.
I found the Model XL easy to paddle. The board has three fins, and all are removable, so you can set the board up exactly how you like it.
The Model XL is very maneuverable, and it’s a fast board too. You can use this inflatable SUP for touring distances, and it would be ideal for overnight camping trips.
The Blackfin Model XL includes an excellent accessory kit. The carbon shaft paddle breaks down into three pieces, and it has a tough nylon blade. In use, this floating carbon paddle is powerful yet light and should stand up well to everyday use.
iRocker has provided a dual-chamber, triple-action high-pressure pump. While not as convenient as an electric pump, this design will fill the board in half the time of a regular pump.
There’s also an excellent backpack travel carry bag that has wheels. Finally, there’s a 10’ coil leash and a repair kit.
You can pick from six colors for your Model XL paddle board. iRocker gives a two-year warranty and a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.
Check Price of the Blackfin XL
3. iRocker All-Around 11′
The All-Around 11’ from iRocker is an inflatable stand up paddle board that is versatile and fun. This is an excellent choice for beginners. It will perform well in flatwater and more challenging waters, including ocean bays with small waves.
For taller and heavier riders, the 11’ length combined with 32” width gives excellent stability. You have the deck space to spread cargo out, allowing you to keep the board balanced better than on shorter paddle boards.
The All-Around 11’ design is suitable for almost any application. While it may not be as focused as some boards, you can choose it and know that you’ve selected a paddle board you can use for pretty much anything.
The All-Around has a weight capacity of 435 lbs which is excellent. Luckily iRocker hasn’t sacrificed the board’s SUP characteristics for the carrying capacity. The All-Around 11’ remains agile and fast. In practice, I found that the solid board tracks and glides very well.
The drop-stitch core on the All-Around 11’ is covered in triple-layer military-grade PVC, so it should stand up to regular knocks.
For carrying gear, there are bungee cord areas at both the nose and tail. Six D-Rings secure each. There are six further D-rings along the sides of the paddle board, which you could use to fix a SUP cooler or a kayak seat.
There are even four action mount points that you could use for a camera, BlueTooth speakers, or cupholders. You could even fix rod holders to them and use this SUP for fishing.
The included accessory package includes everything you’d expect and is of high quality. The three-piece carbon shaft paddle is adjustable and has a strong nylon blade. It’s one of the lightest I’ve tested and weighs just 28.8 oz.
There’s also a well-made wheeled backpack bag, coil leash, and repair kit. Notably, iRocker includes their excellent 24” dual-chamber triple-action hand pump. This helps make the All-Around 11’ as easy to inflate manually as possible.
You can order your All-Around 11’ paddle board from a selection of six color options. I personally really like the grey, but there’s something for everyone.
Finally, iRocker offers a two-year warranty and 60-day satisfaction guarantee, which allows you to return the board if you’re not happy.
Check Price of the iRocker All Around 11
4. Bote Rackham Aero 12′4
Bote has gone all out with the Rackham Aero 12’4 to build an inflatable paddle board for the larger guy packed with the most up-to-date features.
Unlike most inflatables, the Rackham Aero 12’4 has two separate inflation chambers. This does mean that it will take longer to inflate the board. However, the individual chambers give incredible stability and rigidity. This is also arguably a safer system. If one compartment loses air, the other will keep you afloat.
The center deck is recessed to give a rigid boards lower center of gravity and shed water better. There is a considerable amount of usable space, and the full-length BVA textured deck pad offers excellent grip and comfort.
If you’d like to go SUP fishing, the Rackham Aero is also a great choice. Bote has many options that enable you to fit out this SUP for your next big catch. There are fittings to attach both the tackle rack and bucket rack accessories. You’ll also find several action mounts suitable for rod holders.
One unique feature is the inclusion of the Magnepod in the deck of the SUP. This is a magnetic pad designed for steel drink cups to sit securely on without interrupting the flat deck.
For storage, the Rackham Aero paddle board has a bungee cord area at both the nose and tail. There is even an included paddle holder fitting and sand spear fixings.
The Rackham Aero is the largest inflatable stand up paddle board I’ve tested at 12’4 long, and so it needs a bit more space to maneuver. However, this is an acceptable compromise if you want a board with loads of room to use.
Bote offers an excellent range of designs for the Rackham Aero paddle board. I especially like the wood effect of the Classic Teak. There’s also the funky Bug Slinger, the modern Full Trax Citron, or the Verge Camo for serious fishing.
Bote has one of the largest accessory eco-systems of any board manufacturer. You’ll be able to find almost anything you need to match your SUP perfectly.
The package that comes with the Rackham Aero is comprehensive. It includes an excellent 3-piece adjustable paddle and a dual-action pump. You’ll also find a repair kit and a perfect rolling travel carry bag.
The Rackham Aero has a maximum weight capacity of 400 lbs, and I found that you can get to this without compromising the board’s stability or ride. This is the heaviest board that I tested, coming in at 45 lbs. However, it is the largest board physically, and it has solid dual-layer PVC and separate air chambers.
Bote offers a two-year warranty and a 30-day return policy. While the Rackham Aero might be the most expensive board I tested, it really is an incredible piece of kit, particularly for fishing.
Check Price of the Bote Rackham Aero 12’4
5. iRocker Cruiser 10’6 – Best if You’re on a Budget
If you’re looking to start off in paddle boarding, you won’t go wrong with the iRocker Cruiser 10’6. It might be budget-continuous, but iRocker has still built the Cruiser to stand tall amongst high weight limit SUPs. The board uses strong triple-layer military-grade materials and a high-density drop stitch core.
The Cruiser 10’6 is rated for a maximum of 400 lbs weight capacity, and iRocker suggests that it’s for riders up to 5’10” tall. The paddle board is 33” wide, which gives it excellent stability. Even if you are a bit taller, I think you will be fine, particularly on flat waters.
I’ve heard that many people use this paddle board for SUP yoga. The EVA deck-pad should be comfortable to work out on and has plenty of space.
Even though the Cruiser 10’6 is competitively priced, iRocker has managed to squeeze in many features. There are nose and tail bungee cargo areas and three D-rings down each side to secure gear. You can also use them with a kayak seat, which is popular with new paddlers.
There are four action mounts which you could use for a camera to film your adventures. They also accept rod holders making the Cruiser 10’6 an option for a budget fishing platform.
Out on the water, the Cruiser 10’6 performs very well. It is a very maneuverable board, and I found it perfect for playing in sheltered areas with my children. To keep the tracking straight, the Cruiser has three removable fins.
The Cruiser 10’6 comes in no fewer than seven color options. You can choose from Blue, Pink, Teal, Aqua, White, Orange, and Gray.
In terms of included accessories, the Cruiser 10’6 punches above its price point. You get iRockers excellent wheeled travel carry bag for storage and transport. Most notably, there is also the dual-chamber triple-action hand pump, more commonly found on larger boards.
The adjustable paddle that comes with the Cruiser 10’6 is the sleek iRocker full-carbon matte model with a nylon blade.
This paddle is a pleasure to use. It is nice and light if you’re going to be on the water all day. It will even float with the foam inserts installed.
Finally, there’s also the vital safety leash, so you stay connected with your new board if you happen to fall in.
The Cruiser 10’6 comes with iRockers two-year warranty and a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. If you are interested in giving paddle boarding a try but don’t want to break the bank, then this SUP is a fantastic choice.
Check Price of the iRocker Cruiser 10’6
6. Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′
My final selection is the 12’ long Bluefin Cruise Carbon. Straightaway, I need to mention that Bluefin offers a five-year warranty. This is considerably longer than you get with other boards. They also give a 60-day satisfaction guarantee, so this is undoubtedly a board you can consider with confidence.
The Cruise Carbon 12’ weighs 33 lbs, so it is one of the heavier boards that I’ve tested. However, Bluefin uses 1,000 denier exo-surface laminate PVC and a pro-weave drop stitch core. So, while the Cruise Carbon 12’ might weigh a bit more than other boards, it may be because it is so well built.
To enhance the rigidity of the Cruise Carbon 12’, Bluefin has used heat-welded FRS carbon composite rails. These also reinforce the sides of the board for increased durability.
The Cruise Carbon 12’ is a great paddle board that feels highly rigid and stable on the water. It stays solid even when you approach the maximum rider weight limit capacity of 385 lbs. My confidence is enhanced by knowing that this board uses Bluefins Air Duo system of two separate air chambers.
Not only do the separate chambers make the board even more rigid, but they also add safety. If you should manage to puncture one accidentally, then the other will keep you floating.
The Cruise Carbon 12’ is one of the most maneuverable that I tested. The large croco-diamond deck pad is non-slip and very comfortable underfoot. It’s easy to move around on, and there is even a kick pad at the tail of the board so you can make sharp turns easily.
The deck uses Bluefin’s unique ultra-tough UV proofing technology, so the traction pad should retain its color and surface for longer.
There is a nose-mounted fitting to secure your action camera and film your journeys. There are also nose and tail bungee cord areas and three D-rings down each side to secure your cargo.
Bluefin recommends the Cruise Carbon 12’ for anyone over 6’ tall or above 180 lbs in weight. It is an excellent board for going longer distances. This SUP will make a great choice if you feel you might be interested in overnight trips or all-day adventures.
The Cruise Carbon 12 tracks really well in a straight line, in part thanks to the fully removable tri-fin setup. It’s good to see that Bluefin uses a standard US box fin for the center, meaning you can swap it for readily available replacements.
In terms of accessories, Bluefin has a formidable package. You’ll find an excellent 2-piece carbon adjustable paddle with a polyurethane blade. This weighs 45% less than a standard adjustable aluminum paddle.
Bluefin has also included a complete kayak conversion kit, including a seat and double kayak blade. This means that you have everything you need to be able to paddle sitting down.
The provided backpack bag looks like it will be hardwearing and has wheels to make it easier to travel with. The Cruise Carbon 12’ also has an excellent double-chamber high-pressure pump with an integrated pressure gauge. This helps to make manually inflating the board as easy as it gets.
Finally, there’s an ankle leash and even a water-resistant phone case.
Check Price of the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12
How to Choose the Best Stand Up Paddle Board for Big Guys
When you’re deciding which inflatable stand up paddle board to choose, there are a large number of things you need to consider. I’m going to take you through the steps so that you make the right choice.
What Do You Want To Use the Board For?
Try and think about how you want to use your stand up paddle board. If your answer is “a bit of everything,” then look for an all-around type design that will be able to do everything pretty well.
If you want to go paddling long distances or have friends to race with, you’ll probably want to look for a more touring-orientated board shape.
If you’re a keen fisher, make sure that you consider how the paddle board is suited for fixing fishing equipment. You’ll also want one that has sufficient space to cast from and is extra stable.
Important Board Specifications You’ll Want to Check
Check these characteristics when choosing your board. These will ensure that you are comparing fairly and picking from the right high weight limit capacity SUPs.
Is the Weight Limit Suitable for You and What You Want To Carry?
Every manufacturer gives their board a weight limit. Sometimes this will be shown as a maximum overall weight capacity or a maximum rider weight limit. Make sure that you know which one you’re comparing.
Most manufacturers suggest that the rider doesn’t exceed 75% of the total carrying weight limit. While the board might have a bigger weight capacity, you need to spread it out across the whole deck. Too much weight in one place can make the board bend and alter how it moves in the water.
Add up your weight and any gear and passengers you might want to carry to check that your SUP weight capacity will be suitable.
How Much Does the Board Itself Weigh?
An inflatable stand up paddle board used to have to be made from heavy military-grade materials. Cheaper boards were lighter but wouldn’t be as tough or have as high a weight capacity.
This is not always the case now. Manufacturers have made advances allowing them to make strong boards with reduced overall SUP weight.
The high weight capacity paddle boards I’ve reviewed here range quite a bit in their weight, especially as they get larger and add features.
Consider the extra weight of the board, and its accessories, so you know how much you’re going to have to carry when traveling.
Luckily, when you have inflated them, most of the boards here have multiple carry handles, so it’s easy for someone to help get them in and out of the water.
Is the Build Quality Suitably High?
You’ll find that with the well-known manufacturers that you pretty much get what you pay for when comparing boards at different price points. To a point, the more you pay, the higher the quality of the board.
Check the number of layers of PVC that the board is made from and consider the value of things like carbon-reinforced rails.
As a heavier or larger paddler, it’s not worth risking cheaper boards from unknown names. They may quote high weight limits but usually have compromised on build quality.
Does the SUP Need To Be Inflated to a High Maximum Pressure (PSI)?
So it is suitably rigid, you need to inflate your stand up paddle board to relatively high pressure. The higher the pressure, the harder you’ll have to work, so check if your SUP needs an unusually high one.
Paddle boards with dual air chambers need them inflating separately. However, often these boards are filled to a lower overall pressure which counters the extra work.
What Kind of Pump Does the Board Come With?
Larger boards with higher weight capacities need a lot of air to fill them. Dual-chamber hand pumps will be less work than single chamber ones.
I recommend that you invest in an electric pump to make life easier. It’s better to save your energy for your paddling.
What Other Accessories Are Included?
Check out exactly what comes with your board. Some will include the basics, while others will have extras like kayak seats to attach to side D-rings.
None of the boards I’ve reviewed include a personal floatation device (PFD). These are mandatory to use in some areas and are a good idea everywhere, particularly if you’re not a strong swimmer.
Big Stand Up Paddle Board Characteristics to Check Out
Different inflatable SUP boards will perform differently on the water. Here are the vital characteristics to look for.
Does the Board Have Good Stability?
After the weight capacity, stability is the number one feature to look for in a stand up paddle board. It is vital if you are taller, larger, or a beginner. A board that is 32” or wider is a good starting point for maximum stability.
How Maneuverable is the SUP?
Paddle boards for big guys will be larger and this often affects how maneuverable they are. Usually the larger the SUP is, the harder it is to turn. Expert SUP designers are managing to overcome this and produce paddle boards for heavy people that are still pretty maneuverable.
The boards that I have reviewed here, are all excellent for their size thanks to their designs. You don’t want to be struggling and sweating too much when trying to move your board around on the water. I think it’s best to stick with a well-known board rather than save on a SUP from a cheaper manufacturer that might be harder for a bigger guy to maneuver.
How Does the Board Track?
Tracking is how well the stand up paddle board keeps in a straight line. The poorer the tracking, the more often you’ll have to change the side you’re paddling from to correct your path.
As a bigger guy, particularly if you are a beginner, you’ll appreciate a board with good tracking. Constantly switching sides as you paddle can quickly become tiring. A board that holds a straight line well allows you to choose when you switch rather than being forced to.
What is the Boards Speed Like?
If a stand up paddle board can make good speed, it is also likely to require less effort to paddle.
So while you’re not necessarily looking to race, a speedy board can be easier on the water.
Make Sure You Research the Manufacturers Reputation, Customer Support, and Warranty
Finally, it would be best to choose a manufacturer with a good reputation for customer support. Luckily all the paddle boards I’ve covered are from respected brands.
All the paddle boards for big people I’ve reviewed have at least a two-year warranty, indicating that their manufacturers expect them to last longer than a basic SUP.
The manufacturers all also give some kind of satisfaction guarantee. Ensure that you check the terms of this as there might be a restocking charge or shipping costs to consider.
Best Stand Up Paddle Boards for Big Guys FAQs
Do Stand Up Paddle Boards Have a Weight Limit?
Every SUP board has a weight limit that you shouldn’t exceed. Ensure that you check the maximum rider weight and the total weight limit, as these may be different.
What Happens if You Exceed the Weight Limit on a Paddle Board?
Worst-case scenario of exceeding the weight limit capacity is that you’ll sink or capsize the board. But before that, you will impair the handling as the inflatable paddle board bends from the weight.
Is There a Weight Limit for Stand Up Paddle Boarding?
No, there is no personal paddle board weight limit, so long as you have a suitable board for your weight.
Can Heavy Guys Paddle Board?
Yes, heavy guys can absolutely paddle board! There isn’t a paddle board weight limit. Start slowly and learn the basics, and paddle boarding is fun for everyone. It can even work as exercise and help you to lose a few pounds.
What Size Paddle Board Do I Need for My Weight?
You need to check with specific manufacturers as to their boards weight limit.
However, as a general guide, anyone over 175 lbs should be looking at a SUP board that is a minimum of 10’ long.
What Size Paddle Board Should I Get for My Height?
Weight is more important than height. However, shorter people may find longer boards hard to maneuver. Usually, if you are taller than 5’ 8”, you’ll be happy with a longer board over 10’ long. Follow the weight recommendations first.
Can a Paddle Board Be Too Big?
Yes, a paddle board can be too big.
If a paddle board is too big, you might find it hard to paddle, particularly if you are a beginner. If it is too wide for you, it can be difficult to switch sides without moving.
Are There Even Larger Paddle Boards With Higher Weight Limits?
Yes, large multi-person boards such as the Bluefin Mammoth have weight limits of over 1,800 lbs.
Can I Lose Weight Paddle Boarding?
Recreational paddle boarding can be as strenuous as you want it to be, so you can use it to lose weight. If you push yourself, you can quickly shed pounds.
Is Stand Up Paddle Boarding a Good Workout?
Stand up paddle boarding is definitely a good workout. SUP boards give you a full-body workout. Your arms, legs, and core are all tested, so if you put some effort on the water, you will tone up and build muscle.
Alternatively, you can use your paddle board for SUP yoga and get a more gentle but equally effective workout.
Which is Better for Heavy Guys, an Inflatable or a Rigid Board?
An inflatable board is better than a rigid one for heavier guys as they can be significantly lighter to carry. Boards that are suitable for carrying taller or heavier people are larger (longer and wider) than the average. This makes the lightweight benefits of an inflatable especially important if you are moving it yourself.
Being longer, a rigid board for a heavy guy is even more difficult to transport than a more ordinarily sized one. Being able to deflate an inflatable SUP and transport it in a neat carry bag becomes particularly clear when dealing with larger sizes.
An inflatable board will also be more forgiving to any knocks and scrapes and is softer if you fall onto it than a rigid board. You might appreciate this if you tend to be a little on the clumsy side.
Do I Need To Wear A Lifejacket/PFD While Using a SUP board?
Wearing a SUP PFD is always a good idea, particularly if you are not a strong swimmer.
You should be aware that in many areas, the law mandates their use. Either way, I recommend that all paddle boarders have one to be safe.
My choice as the best overall paddle board for bigger guys is the superb Atoll 11’.
This is a really well-built inflatable paddle board with a 400 lb rider weight limit. The Atoll 11’ is exceptionally stable on the water and excellent for both beginners and experienced paddlers.
Advanced manufacturing techniques have allowed Atoll to make their SUP board the lightest I reviewed at just 21 lbs. The Atoll 11’ also comes with a great package of quality accessories.
If you’re on a budget, then take a look at the competitively priced iRocker Cruiser 10’6. If you want to get into SUP board fishing seriously, then the Blackfin Model XL might be the right paddle board to start with.
All the paddle boards that I’ve tested here offer higher weight limits for bigger guys. I suggest you start your search by checking out the Atoll 11’ for yourself.