If you’ve seen a big paddleboard, you know these supersized SUPs stand out from the crowd! They are much wider and longer than your average board and can carry multiple passengers or paddlers. But don’t overlook these large paddleboards as novelty items. Oversized SUPs have lots of great uses and surprisingly practical applications.

Birds-eye view of the Thurso Surf Max Multi-Purpose Board and paddle

The Thurso Surf Max Multi-Purpose is big board fun!

Big Paddleboards Come in Different Sizes

Oversized SUPs are not one-size-fits all. They come in a variety of widths and lengths, depending on your needs. The one universal feature is that they are designed for more than one passenger. Depending on the board, this can be anywhere from two to as many as six. Some boards are longer, so riders can paddle in a line, while others are super-wide, allowing passengers to stand or sit next to each other. 

To choose which size is best for you, you’ll need to figure out what you want to do with it. And there are so many great ways to use them! Here are five ways you can use a big paddle board.

Our Top 5 Uses for a Big Paddleboard

1. Family Outing

Big SUP boards are big fun for the whole family! Depending on the size of your muti-person SUP and weight of your passengers, you can fit anywhere from two to six people on one board. Paddle together to see how fast you can move the board, bring your furry friend on board, or let the little kiddos sit up front and enjoy the ride. There’s plenty of space for deck bags to hold your snacks and drinks, water toys for the kids, and whatever else you’d like to bring on board. It’s the minivan of paddleboards! Multiple handles on these boards mean that the whole family can pitch in to carry the board to and from the water. 

For families, bigger is usually better, so go for one that can fit the whole gang.

Woman approaching a dog near the shoreline while carrying a big paddleboard

SUP with your pup on a big paddleboard

2. Workout Platform

Big paddleboards offer the ultimate in stability. What they lack in speed, they make up for in steadiness with their generous width. This makes them perfect for your next workout on the water! Use it for a yoga session or challenge yourself with some low-impact/high intensity moves. This board will give you all the room you need to enjoy your sweat session on the lake or at the beach. Consider adding a small, portable anchor so you don’t drift away while working on your squats or downward dog. As a sweet bonus, you can dive into the water for a refreshing cool down after your workout. 

We recommend a two person board, as it’ll give you the space you need while still being maneuverable.

Man transporting a big paddleboard with a shoulder strap

Carrying your oversized SUP to the water is a cinch with the Thurso Surf SUP Carrier

3. Special Events

Are you planning an event near the water, like a picnic with friends, an outdoor birthday celebration, or a company gathering? Add a big paddle board to the mix to ramp up the fun! It’s the perfect thing to get everyone on the water, whether they want to try paddling or go for a ride. You can incorporate fun games, photo ops, and team building exercises. Nothing says togetherness like trying to paddle a giant board in sync. Just make sure you have lifejackets available for all the participants. 

Depending on your event, you can use any big paddle board. Get a bunch of two-person boards for races or one six-person board for large group games.

Two people walking down to the beach with a Thurso Surf paddleboard in the foreground

Bring some paddleboards to any outing near the water

4. SUP Fishing

SUP fishing is a niche type of paddleboarding that has gained in popularity over the years. There are many advantages to fishing from your paddleboard; it allows you to access different areas of the water without a motor and, unlike a kayak or canoe, you can stand. Oversized SUPs are perfect for this activity as they provide the necessary stability, with plenty of room for all your fishing gear. Our large SUP, the Max Multi-Purpose, even features a ruler on the deck pad so you can measure your catch-of-the-day!  

Take a two-person board on your fishing expedition, as it’ll be easier to paddle solo while still having room for all your gear.

Man kneeling on a big paddleboard, holding a fishing rod and fish

SUP fishing is a cinch on a big paddleboard

5. Floating Dock

Sometimes you just want to get away from it all. Swimming out to the middle of a lake away from the crowds seems like a nice escape, but it’s not always safe to go far from shore. A big paddle board can solve that problem, acting as a vessel to get you further out and then serving as a floating dock. Bring an anchor to keep it in place and enjoy jumping off, swimming around, and then climbing back on to rest and enjoy the scenery. A few safety considerations: make sure the area you choose is still within reasonable paddle distance to shore and check the winds, as it can be challenging to paddle large SUPs upwind or in chop. Also, stick to areas that have minimal motorized boat traffic. 

Any size of oversized paddle board will work! Choose the size depending on how many people are using and paddling the board. The larger boards will feel more dock-like.

Big Paddleboards are Big Fun!

Oversized SUPs can be used in so many different ways and can be a great addition to your quiver. Do you think you’ll be adding one to your collection of boards? Reach out to our helpful customer service team if you have any questions or need help choosing the board that’s right for you! Happy paddling!




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About the Author: Jordan-na

Jordan-na Belle-Isle is a Toronto-based SUP instructor, lake surfer, and writer. Born in Montreal, she has been sporty her whole life and discovered stand-up paddleboarding in 2013. Since then, she has been active in the SUP scene, paddling and surfing the Great Lakes year-round. Jordan-na is a patient and encouraging instructor. She obtained her first SUP instructor certification in 2017 and has been teaching ever since. She has worked with Surf the Greats and Toronto Island SUP, running everything from group classes, to one-on-one training, to winter SUP safety clinics, to team-building events for clients and partners such as Google, Brown Girl Outdoor World, L’Oreal, Swim Drink Fish, and Ryerson University. She currently holds an Advanced SUP Instructor certification with Paddle Canada and is Bronze Cross certified with the Ontario Lifesaving Society. A recognizable face in the Great Lakes SUP and surf scene, her image has been used in a national campaign for Tourism Canada and she has been interviewed by several media outlets such as SUP Connect, Breakfast Television, Daily Hive News, and the Toronto Star. She was also the subject of a short documentary film titled ‘In Winter.’ A skilled writer with a masters degree from the University of Toronto, her work has appeared in Explore Magazine and she is a regular contributor to the Thurso Surf blog and Surf the Greats Journal. She is a co-organizer for Lake Surfistas, a grassroots group that connects, empowers, and educates women who surf and SUP the Great Lakes year-round.

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