Comparing 12 vs 14 Prone Paddleboards: Which Is Right for You?

Prone paddleboarding, a popular water sport that combines intense upper body strength with a deep connection to the ocean, offers enthusiasts two distinct options when it comes to board length: 12 and 14 feet. These two variations cater to different paddling styles, skill levels, and ocean conditions, allowing individuals to tailor their experience based on personal preferences and specific needs. Understanding the differences between these two board lengths is crucial for aspiring paddlers looking to dive into the world of prone paddleboarding. Whether seeking speed, stability, or maneuverability, each option presents a unique set of advantages and challenges that can greatly influence the overall performance on the water.

What Is the Difference Between SUP and Prone Paddle Board?

The SUP boards, on the other hand, are shorter and more compact. They range from 8 to 12 feet in length, allowing for easier maneuverability and control. This is because standing up on a SUP board gives you better visibility and stability, while lying or kneeling on a prone board gives you a lower center of gravity for better balance.

Another difference between the two is the paddle. In SUP, you use a longer paddle that allows you to stand up and reach the water comfortably. This paddle is used to propel yourself forward and steer the board. In prone paddle boarding, however, you use your arms to paddle while lying or kneeling on the board. This requires more upper body strength and a different paddling technique.

Lastly, the intended use and experience of each sport may vary. Both activities offer their own unique benefits and can be enjoyed in different settings, such as calm lakes, rivers, or even in ocean waves for the more adventurous.

Whether you prefer standing up and gliding on a SUP board or lying down and paddling on a prone board, both activities provide an exciting way to explore the water and enjoy the outdoors.

How to Choose the Right SUP Board for Your Needs

  • Consider your skill level and experience in paddleboarding.
  • Determine the type of paddling you’ll be doing (e.g., flatwater, surfing, touring).
  • Take into account your body weight and size to find the appropriate board width and volume.
  • Think about the stability and maneuverability you require.
  • Consider the different construction materials available (e.g., inflatable, fiberglass, carbon fiber).
  • Decide on the board length based on the type of paddling and your body size.
  • Evaluate the weight and portability of the SUP board, especially if you plan on traveling with it.
  • Research and compare different brands, models, and customer reviews.
  • Test out the board whenever possible before making a final decision.
  • Set a budget and find a board that fits within your price range.
  • Consult with knowledgeable professionals or experienced paddlers for guidance.
  • Ensure the SUP board comes with essential accessories, such as a paddle and leash.
  • Consider any additional features or specifications that are important to you (e.g., storage options, traction pads, bungee cords).

In addition, the extra length of a longer paddle board can also provide more buoyancy, which can be beneficial for paddlers who’re looking to navigate choppy or rough water conditions. This increased stability and buoyancy can offer a greater sense of confidence and control while paddling, especially for beginners or those who prefer a more relaxed and leisurely paddling experience. However, it’s essential to consider that a longer board may be slightly more challenging to maneuver and turn compared to a shorter one, which is something to keep in mind depending on your paddling style and preferences. Ultimately, the decision between a longer or shorter paddle board should be based on your specific needs, body weight, skill level, and the type of water conditions you’ll be encountering.

Does a Longer Paddle Board Make a Difference?

In addition to increased stability, a longer paddle board may also provide better glide and tracking capabilities. The longer length allows for a smoother and more efficient paddling experience, as the board can easily cut through the water and maintain a straighter course. This is especially advantageous for longer distance paddling or when navigating through choppy waters.

Maneuverability may be slightly compromised due to the increased length, making it less responsive in turns or when performing quick directional changes. Additionally, longer boards can be more challenging to transport and store, requiring a larger vehicle or storage space.

The Influence of Paddle Board Length on Performance in Different Water Conditions (e.g. Calm vs. Rough Waters)

  • The importance of paddle board length in performance
  • Different water conditions: calm waters vs. rough waters
  • How paddle board length affects performance in calm waters
  • Advantages and disadvantages of shorter paddle boards in calm waters
  • How paddle board length affects performance in rough waters
  • Advantages and disadvantages of longer paddle boards in rough waters
  • Considerations for choosing the right paddle board length based on water conditions
  • Tips for maximizing performance based on paddle board length

Prone paddleboarding is an invigorating water sport that offers numerous health benefits. This engaging activity not only engages a variety of muscles, particularly in the core, but also provides a great cardiovascular workout. While it may be initially demanding, the gradual adaptation to the slower pace of prone paddling can turn this exercise into a fulfilling and rewarding adventure.

Is Prone Paddleboarding Good for You?

However, with practice and training, prone paddleboarding can improve your overall fitness and endurance.

As you paddle using your arms and legs, you engage your core muscles to stabilize your body on the board. This helps strengthen your abdominal muscles, obliques, and lower back. Additionally, the repetitive movement of paddling on the board targets your shoulders, triceps, biceps, and chest muscles.

This makes it an ideal activity for individuals who may have joint issues or are recovering from injuries. The buoyancy of the water helps support your body weight, reducing the strain on your knees, hips, and ankles.

As a beginner, it can be tiring and challenging, but as your strength and stamina increases, it becomes a highly rewarding exercise. Remember to start slowly, use proper technique, and gradually increase your intensity to avoid muscle strains or injuries.

In recent years, water sports enthusiasts have gravitated towards a different type of paddleboarding experience – the prone paddleboard. Often referred to as traditional paddleboards, these boards share a similar shape to stand-up paddleboards but differ significantly in the way they’re paddled. Unlike stand-ups, prone paddleboards require the paddler to lie face-down and utilize their arms instead of a paddle blade. This unique and challenging style of paddling has captured the attention of many thrill-seekers and fitness enthusiasts, offering a distinct way to explore the waters with a direct connection to the surrounding environment.

What Is a Prone Paddle Board?

Prone paddleboards are specifically designed for paddlers who prefer lying face-down and using their arms to propel themselves through the water, rather than standing up and using a paddle with a blade. These boards are often referred to as traditional paddleboards, as they’ve been in use for many years before the rise in popularity of stand-up paddleboarding.

They typically feature a long and narrow design, with a pointed nose and a wider tail for stability. The length of these boards can vary depending on the intended use, with longer boards providing better tracking and speed, while shorter boards offer more maneuverability.

Prone paddleboards are typically made from lightweight and durable materials, such as fiberglass or carbon fiber. This ensures that the boards are able to withstand the rigors of paddling through various conditions, including rough ocean surf or calm lakes.

Source: The pros and cons of prone paddling

Choosing the correct length for your SUP paddle is essential for optimal performance and comfort on the water. For recreational or flatwater paddling, it’s recommended to add 8-10 inches to your height. If you enjoy SUP surfing, adding 6-8 inches to your height is advised. And for the more competitive SUP racers out there, adding 10-12 inches to your height will help you achieve maximum speed. Finding the right paddle length will enhance your paddling experience and make it more enjoyable.

How Do I Choose a Sup Paddle Length?

When it comes to choosing the right stand-up paddle (SUP) paddle length, there are a few factors to consider. The length of your paddle ultimately depends on the type of activity you’ll be doing on the water. This will provide you with a comfortable and efficient paddle stroke.

If your main focus is SUP surfing, it’s generally advised to add 6-8 inches to your height when selecting a paddle length. This allows for a slightly shorter paddle, which can give you better maneuverability and control in the waves.

For those interested in SUP racing, adding around 10-12 inches to your height is suggested. In racing, efficiency and speed are of utmost importance, and a longer paddle can help you achieve that.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that individual preferences and body mechanics may vary. Some paddlers may prefer slightly longer or shorter paddles based on their personal style and technique. It’s always a good idea to test out different paddle lengths to find what works best for you.

So, take the time to consider these factors and make an informed decision that will enhance your paddling experience on the water.

Different Paddle Lengths for Different Types of Stand-Up Paddleboarding Activities (e.g. Touring, Yoga, Fishing)

Choosing the right paddle length for stand-up paddleboarding activities may vary depending on the specific activity. For touring, where efficiency and speed are important, a longer paddle is typically preferred to provide more power and reach. Yoga paddleboarding often requires a shorter paddle to maintain balance and allow for accommodating various poses. Fishing paddleboarding generally benefits from a longer paddle to navigate water and propel oneself effectively. Considering the specific activity when selecting a paddle length ensures an optimal experience on the water.


In conclusion, the comparison between 12 and 14 prone paddleboards highlights the diverse range of options available to suit different preferences and needs. While the 12-foot boards offer greater maneuverability and agility, the 14-foot boards excel in stability and speed. Factors such as skill level, body type, and intended usage should be considered when selecting the appropriate board. Whether one seeks a thrilling ride on waves or a tranquil journey on calmer waters, there’s a suitable prone paddleboard available.

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