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Is There A Weight Limit For Surfing?

Surfing is a sport that encourages people to be creative, invent new moves, and get in touch with nature.

The sport is an excellent way to enjoy a beautiful day on the beach, but it can also help you take advantage of cloudy beach days or days with strong surfs.

However, surfing does require some specialized equipment, and it’s a physical sport, so before you jump in, you may want to check to see if there’s a weight limit or if being overweight will restrict your enjoyment of the sport.

Is There A Weight Limit For Surfing?

Is there a weight limit for surfing?

There is no weight limit for surfing. In fact, people who are overweight might sometimes find surfing easier than other people, as larger people are more buoyant and can float more easily.

Many of the world’s best surfers are overweight, which proves that this sport is a great option for bigger people.

Although there isn’t a weight limit for the sport itself, you’ll still need to choose a specific board and carefully consider wave sizes if you’re overweight and want to surf.

Surfing also requires some physical fitness, so you’ll want to make sure that you can handle the physical demands of surfing before you head out.

man surfing under a wave

Surfboard Sizing

Although the overall sport of surfboarding doesn’t have a weight limit, many surfboards do have weight limits.

Standard longboards often have a weight limit of only 200 pounds, which rules out not only overweight people but also people who are tall or muscular.

Most people who take surfboard lessons borrow a board from the shop offering the lessons. However, shops may not always carry boards large enough for heavier people.

vertical surfboard in the sand

Before you take a lesson, you can call ahead to make sure they can accommodate you. You may also find that it’s easier to simply purchase your own surfboard in a size that’s big enough for you.

When you’re choosing a surfboard, you’ll want to consider the length of the board and its volume.

When talking about surfboards, the board’s volume is the amount of water it displaces, which correlates to how much buoyancy a board offers.

Most surfboard companies measure their boards’ volume using liters.

To figure out how much volume you need your board to have, you’ll first need to convert your weight to kilograms. You can do this by dividing your weight in pounds by 2.2.

However many kilograms you weigh is about how many liters of volume you’ll need.

Most standard longboards have a volume between 60 and 100 liters, while most shortboards have a volume of about 30 liters.

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If 100 liters isn’t enough volume to match your weight, you can consider a custom board, built to hold more weight or a stand-up paddleboard.

These paddleboards usually have a volume of between 175 and 250 liters, making them a fantastic choice for heavier people.

Volume is a crucial consideration, as it determines how well your board will float when you stand or sit on it.

If the volume of the board is too low for your weight, the board can sink a bit, which will make your movements slower and less fluid.

A decrease in buoyancy can also cause balance issues, particularly when you stand.

If you’re looking at a custom board or a stand-up paddleboard, you’ll notice that boards with higher volumes are generally longer than a standard longboard.

Most people choose a longboard that matches their height. A longer board, however, helps to distribute your weight, which in turn increases the board’s volume and weight limit.

If you’re overweight or feel you need more stability, choose a board that is about 6 inches longer than you are tall.

men looking at surfboards in a shop

Choosing Waves

Bigger waves can seem like a scary prospect, especially if you’re new to surfing. However, the waves you ride will help to propel you through the water.

If you’re overweight, larger waves will propel you with more force, making surfing more fun. If you’re moving quickly, your momentum can also increase your balance.

For this reason, stick to areas or days that are predicted to have slightly larger waves.

man surfing under a large wave

Fitness Level

Although you don’t need to be incredibly physically fit to surf, some fitness does help.

For safety reasons, you should know how to swim, and you should be a strong enough swimmer that you can get yourself to shore in an emergency.

You’ll also need to be fit enough to paddle out with your surfboard to reach the waves.

After you paddle out, you’ll try to catch some waves. When you feel secure and balanced, you’ll need to push yourself up to standing.

This upward movement does require some upper body strength, and you’ll need to stand up without wobbling too much. This can be tricky for anyone, regardless of their weight.

If you feel that you don’t have enough upper body strength, you can hit the gym for a few weeks or months before your first surfing lesson to increase your arm, chest, and shoulder strength.

men going surfing at sunset

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