SUP board design

Alright, so I have done some extensive searching and reading on here about this type of board, the glorious and huge SUP. Now Im considering working with a local shaper here in Jax, FL to produce one. He has never done one of these, I haven’t either, nor have I ever shaped! So here is the question, after reading about all the dimensions you guys have come up with, Im undecided on what I want. Im thinking about an 11 footer. Unsure is the thickness and the width. Im a big guy and want something that is gonna glide like no other, I think a board that side will do that on its own. A little about the waves around here, generally on the smaller side, waist high or so. Thats an above average size! Anywho, I saw an infinity SUP the other day and Im digging the pin tail thing, so Im thinking about going that route. Let me know what you guys think, Im open for any suggestions right now. Im trying to invision what I want. Peace, Anthony

In general, flat deck, use the Clark Foam 12’3" rockers, full boxy rails, flat to vee bottom, 23" N x 29 - 31" C x 18"T x 4-5" thick. This is a great entry level board. When you get good, haveCarveNalu to make you one of his high performance SUPs.



Aloha newbie bigkahuna,

It’s one of those ask ten people and get ten answers things. First off, it depends quite a bit on how much wave catching vs just cruising on the outside you plan to do. Once into a wave, some of the things you want out of a paddling cruiser become features that ruin the ride. I’m no expert, but here on Maui I do standup on flat days when there is no surf. When there’s surf I prefer a regular board, so standup is just my way of getting exercise and enjoying time in the water at day-break on those relatively flat calm days (I’m an old guy though). A good way to get a smirk from the guys in the lineup on a good wave day is to paddle up to the gang on a standup board - it’s kind of like dropping a turd in the punchbowl at a party.

Sooo, If you want it to ride waves, go for what your shaper is used to and just add dimension. If you want a board dedicated primarily for cruising and paddle enjoyment go 12’L x 28"(+/-)w x 4 1/4"+ thick. A good learner board around here is a 12’softop, but at only 26 1/2" the learning curve is slower than going wider, but you reeeely learn it.

I’ve paddled on one of Laird Hamilton’s new Oxbow boards that was super stable at 12’L x 31"W, with downrails and a slight concave through the belly. Laird surfs it in big waves, but it would not be the optimum surfing board in small waves by any stretch (in my opinion).

My current overall favorite SUP board is a “Jimmy Lewis” (Maui shaper) epoxy at 11’L x 30"W with boxy 70/30 rails and a super wide 10 1/2"tailblock. A big deep fin (13 1/2" deep), adds stability for paddling. I put a 3M large mat (sold locally in the surf shops for SUPs) on the deck so I never need wax.

Paddles: The most popular is the carbon fiber straight shaft paddles because of the weight at about 21 oz. but $300 + (most blades at about 11 degrees to shaft). Some of the locals and the “purists” prefer wood for more soul. A couple of local paddler friends like the double bent-shaft paddles with a blade up to 14 degrees to shaft. I am just finishing a new koa wood SUP paddle with the latter features (should get it’s first paddle late this week).

So there’s some food for thought. Enjoy the ride!


Thank you for the quick responses and the great answers thus far, Iam pretty stoked to be doing this. I will keep you all informed about what is going down. Anyone else have anything to throw on the table?



Hey Bigkahuna,

You could do worse than to emulate the Infinity Noserider SUP with the pintail. I’ve tried several of Ron House’s shapes and I thought they were good. They tend to be longer and narrower though while I found I like shorter but wider. I’ve tried the Surftech Laird model 12’1" x 31" wide that you mentioned with the 1/8" single concave and found it to be super stable but it doesn’t surf too well. Great board to learn on though. I tried the Infinity Noserider SUP and that was my favorite by far. Bought one. Kuku Hoe is what they call it. Turns smooth with the pintail and does noseride quite well. Looser than other big boards I’ve tried. Boehne knows how to do a thick rail that still turns apparently. Tried a bunch of fins and the 10" Farberow Flex was the one for me.

Mine is 11’ x 29" x 5". I weigh 225-230lbs. My friend who weighs 190lb has a similar 11’ x 28" x 4 7/8"ths.

I’m having so much fun on small but clean days when hardly anyone goes out with this set up. Good stuff.

Whatever you get or have shaped, I recommend putting a deck pad on it. that’s a lot of board to wax.

Hope you find a board you like.



I’m north of Jax in Amelia Island. A local shaper built a 10’ by 32" by 5" SUP for me out of EPS with epoxy resin. I’m a big guy… 6’4" and 225 pounds. I’m not a shaper, but I’m a solid surfer. After a half-dozen surfs, we’re both ready to go smaller…

It’s been great fun so far, with big off the lips, floaters, slo-mo roundhouses and my favorite – taking off early, standing up tall and stalling at the top for the barrel – then dropping in fast and tucking into the barrel immediately. I’m surprised at the size surf it works in, and that you can even standup paddle out through. Almost anything Florida dishes out, as long as it’s clean.

We’re totally new to this… but we want more performance. The 10’ length is fine. But we went a bit thick and a bit wide. We were being safe the first time around… better to be too stable than not stable enough. The width is nice for stability while standing waiting for waves, so we might only knock an inch or two off on the next one. We haven’t decided how much thickness to knock out, but we might go to 4 5/8.

So hey, I hadn’t thought of this… but if you’re looking for a used one in the Jax area… you might be able to buy this one. I’m ready for a slightly smaller one. Just let me know, and give my shaper a few weeks to build me a new one, and this one’s yours! It’s a great board to learn on (since the extra width and thickness give it great stability and flotation), and it may be all you need. You mentioned you wanted a big one… this one’s big and very stable!

It’s a tri-fin (futures side bites), clear, two stringers 12 inches apart, with the $140 deck pad from Also, you can buy a carbon SUP paddle at Surf Station. Tory has them in the back.

Anyway, well, that’s plenty to think about.

Big Steve

Howzit Anthony,

Just saw your e-mail in my site… Looking at these suggestions I’d say you should have enough info to build a stable entry level board… Have fun!!!