Last year I built a volume tank and have been doing a lot of board testing lately. Most SUP Boards range from 105 liters to 190 liters. I have found that most riders want their boards to be in a volume range between 140% and 170% compared to their body weight.
I figure that SUP beginners want over 2x their body weight in volume and experts can go down to 1.4 or 1.5 x. So for an 80 kilo guy (176#), beginners will want a board over 160 liters and an expert can ride a board around 120 liters.
In the metric system, 1 Liter will Float 1 Kilo.
Beginning SUP Rider 2 to 1 i.e. 165# rider=75K = 150 Liter SUP Board
Intermediate SUP Rider 1.7 to 1 i.e. 165# rider=75K = 128 Liter SUP Board
Advanced SUP Rider 1.4 to 1 i.e. 165# rider=75K = 105 Liter SUP Board
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I know it's well over due, but I'll be building a SUP design/feature section with articles on Supconnect touching on some of the basics for the folks interested in digging a bit deeper. This forum will be linked to it and I'll be posting articles like the one by Whitney Guild and the like. I expect you guys to get involved and shoot down anything that you think is completely off the mark ... hahahah! ... or simply adding some extra insights!
Hi Whitney, I agree with you and Angulo...after choosing the right volume the proper distribution of that is the performing key for a Sup Wave board . I'm sure I could never ride the board I got if the little volume I have under my feet is not distributed in the right places. ciao Fabio
SUPsonic, Thanks for contributing to our volume discussion. It looks like your latest GF Ratio is 1.26. Great for carving deep turns in the surf. My article below did revise the Expert's GF (Guild Factor) to 1.3 and I know some guys are riding down to a GF 1.15. Fabio is at 1.22.
As you mention, proper distribution of volume is very critical and buyers need to go to a reputable, experienced SUP shaper. Ed Angulo mentions volume on his webite, angulodesigns.com, Quote: "For example a ball of 100 liters certainly would not be as stable as a door of 100 liters."
I agree Volume plays a huge role in the comfort level of the SUP rider. The less skill the more volume required to float and balance. When windsurfers first started to speak to me about volume in SUP boards it was not a familiar term to me coming from a purely surfing background. I only knew size shape width and thickness. Now i understand the volume and how to spread it out to make the right board for the right person.
As your skill level rises your volume level decreases. I am a good example I am 175lbs with the volume chart i would be 175 x.45= 78.75 then 78.75 x 1.4= 110.25 for my volume this is just recommended volume i personally ride much less volume and I am comfortable with the board. my everyday board is 9'x28"x3.75" with a volume of 99.44 liters or 280.2 beers
the volume of my board has gotten smaller with each new board design and new each new skill level i have achieved
To avoid getting a board with to much or to little volume. Always buy a custom board made for you from a shaper who knows SUP design and understands the importance of volume in a good SUP board.
Fabio, I'm glad you have put the volume ratios to practical application. The more you advance, the lower the volume you can ride. You dropped your ratio (GF Guild Factor) from 1.8 down to 1.22 and I bet your wave performance went way up. Must be some good waves in Durban. Check my volume article here on SUP Connect. Aloha
The volume calculations are a critical factor in the overall design of an SUP board. Whitney has prepared some really great general parameters. I agree with these recommendations. I would add that we regularly place 165 lb riders on 120 liter boards. This gives the rider the up side benefit of growing into the higher perfomance of the lower volume board. Let's face it, no one wants to get stuck with an expensive barge after their skills improve.
The real trick is how the shaper/designer goes about making a board that exceeds the perfomance expectations of the rider yet hits the volume. My recommendation, get a custom board shaped for your specific needs. Do it from the start and you'll save lots of money by not wasting it on the wrong board.
Another perspective may be to view this by the length, width, and thickness of a board and which makes more sense for everyday folks looking to buy a board. And also you have to determine what you'll be doing with the board and the skill level of the paddler.
A beginner with no surfing experience might want to start out on a 11-12' x 30-33" wide board this approx 4.5-6" thick. a more experienced paddler can go shorter and/or more narrrow if they're surfing, longer for racing, etc.