When you are looking at stand up paddle boards for surfing, you need more than just a basic board. Instead, you need a board that is built specifically to catch and ride waves without tipping over. Otherwise, you will either struggle to catch waves or tip over more quickly when you do start to ride the waves. Instead, you need a stand up paddle board designed specifically for surfing.
There are many features from which to choose when looking for a surfing SUP. One of the most important is a board that is long enough and broad enough to handle the waves without tipping over. Usually, the best surfing SUPs are 10 feet long or longer, and 31 or 32 inches wide. These dimensions give you the stability you need to handle the waves.
In addition, you should look for a board that has high quality construction. For example, high-density EPS foam is a very popular and reliable material for constructing surfing SUPs. Other highly regarded materials, such as ACE-TEC epoxy, and techniques, such as thermal molding, yield light weight but durable boards that can handle the abuse of the waves while you surf.
Finally, you should look for a board that boasts a combination of features, that comes with accessories (such as a leash), and that has many positive reviews. The more positive reviews a board has, particularly from people who have taken it surfing, the better off you will be. These reviews will give you a glimpse into how the board performs under real conditions for real customers. Ideally, you will find a board that combines length, quality construction, accessories, and strong reviews into one of the best surfing SUPs available.
To help you get started on your journey to finding and using the best sup for surfing, there follows a list of some outstanding surfing SUPs on the market today, as well as some more information about SUP surfing in general.
ISLE Soft Top Stand Up Paddle Board Package
SUP surfing is easier and more fun than ever with this ISLE soft top stand up paddle board package.
· Thickness: 5 in.
· Material: High density durable ixpe/xpe
· Length: 9ft.10in. or 10ft. 8in.
· Accessories: Paddle, carry handle, fin, non-slip deck grip
· Weight: About 70 pounds
· Max rider weight: 275lb.
Part of what makes this one of the best SUPs for surfing is the fact that the accessories that come with it create a complete bundle. With this stand up paddle board, you can be out SUP surfing the same day you receive your package. For example, this SUP comes with an adjustable paddle (that extends to a length of 85 inches to accommodate taller riders), a carry handle to make transporting the board easier, a center fin for steering, and a non slip deck grip so you can keep your balance in the surf.
Of course, accessories mean little if your SUP fails you while you are out on the water. As one of the best stand up paddle boards for surfing, however, the ISLE SUP lives up to expectations. It is manufactured with a longer length to add stability and maneuverability in the surf. Reviewers praise it for its ability to glide smoothly over small surf, even when it is carrying quite a bit of weight. They also find that it is an ideal board for beginners to SUP surfing, and, even though the foam has a tendency to indent when it encounters straps, rocks, and so forth, reviewers are generally satisfied with its smooth and reliable performance on the water.
ISLE 10’5 Versa Standup Paddle Board
The versatility in the Versa SUP makes it a great flat water SUP as well a great stand up paddle board for surfing. Here are a few of its most important features:
· Thickness: 4.5 in.
· Material: Thermal molded epoxy
· Length: 10ft.5in.
· Overall Dimensions: 10ft.5in. X 32in. X 4.5in.
· Weight: 27 pounds
· Accessories: Adjustable paddle, carry handle, center fin
· Max rider weight: 275lb.
If you are looking for a SUP that can handle different experience levels, serve you well as you gain skill, glide smoothly through flat water, and serve as one of the best surfing SUPs around, then you might want to consider the Versa. This board is designed for stability regardless of whether you are in flat water or embracing the slightly greater challenge of SUP surfing.
In order to achieve this level of versatility, the Versa comes with the company’s All Around shape for maximum versatility. Plus, its body has been formed using the company’s thermal molding process. This process makes the board light weight and responsive in the water. In addition, its extra features (like a non slip deck pad) make it easier for beginners to use. Reviewers praise this board for its ease of use (even for beginners) and for the smooth way in which it handles surf. The result is a reliable stand up paddle board for surfing (or anything else).
California Board Company (CBC) Stand Up Paddle Board
The CBC’s stand up paddle board is a gem among beginner boards.
· Thickness: 3.9 in.
· Material: High-density EPS foam
· Length: 10ft.9in.
· Overall Dimensions: 10ft.9in. X 31.9in. X 3.9in.
· Weight: 25 pounds
· Accessories: Adjustable paddle, surf leash, ankle strap, roof shield, bungees, padded roof racks
· Max rider weight: 300lb.
This is one of the best SUPs for surfing because it is built for durability and ease of use. It boasts a high-density EPS foam that makes it light weight yet tough enough to handle whatever the water throws at it. Plus, the foam makes it easier to carry and more affordable than other kinds of SUPs. Reviewers find that the foam, while not as high quality as some other materials, provides a satisfactory ride in the water with a weight and maneuverability that is hard to beat.
The CBC paddle board also makes a great board for beginners, many of whom comment on the ease with which they picked up stand up paddle boarding with this board. Finally, the CBC’s board is a great choice because it comes as a package that includes all the accessories you need to get out on the water. While reviewers find the roof rack to be lacking, they note that the adjustable paddle, surf leash, and other accessories are of good quality and make the board a smart choice for many paddle boarders.
Greco Surf Soft Performance Surfboard Paddleboard
The Greco Surf Soft Performance paddle board is a good choice for SUP surfing because of its careful design and ease of use.
· Thickness: 5.1 in.
· Material: Nylon/fiberglass, epoxy core, IXPE deck, HDPE plastic bottom
· Length: 11ft.
· Overall Dimensions: 11ft. X 31in. X 5.1in.
· Weight: 27 pounds
· Accessories: 3 fins, tie down straps, 11 foot long High-end leash
· Max rider weight: 250-275 lb.
The Greco Surf paddle board is designed with careful attention to quality and detail. That is why it has a 6-ounce epoxy core and a shape that has been designed to maximize safety and ease of use in the water. In addition, it comes with appealing details, such as a key compartment and rail saver, in order to maximize convenience when you use it on the water.
One of the things that makes this board good for stand up paddle board surfing is its length. At 11 feet, this board is maneuverable and capable of bearing up to 300 pounds at a time. While reviewers note that the foam is soft and easily damaged, they are generally pleased with its performance and with how easy it is to use. They note in particular that this board glides over the water and handles small waves well. The result is a great board for SUP surfing.
BIC Sport ACE-TEC Performer Stand up Paddleboard
This SUP offers a variety of sizes, but the same high-quality construction for which BIC is known.
· Thickness: 5 in.
· Material: ACE-TEC epoxy composite
· Length: 9ft.2in., 10ft.6in., or 11ft.6in.
· Weight: 23-30 pounds, depending on length
· Accessories: Center fin, deck pad, carry handle, deck attachment points
· Max rider weight: 150-240 pounds, depending on length
The BIC Sport ACE-TEC Performer is one of the best SUPs for surfing because of the fact that it is known for its high quality construction. The heart of this construction is BIC’s ACE-TEC epoxy composite that makes the board simultaneously very lightweight and very strong. Its rocker profile makes it easier to navigate over small waves during SUP surfing, while its longboard shape makes it easy to maneuver in a variety of waters and with a variety of riders. Reviewers give this stand up paddle board high praise for its versatility and performance. Combined with the fact that you can purchase this board in a variety of sizes, this board is a smart choice for anyone looking to enjoy a peaceful and reliable SUP surfing experience.
One of the main complaints about paddle boards is that they are heavy and, therefore, difficult to carry. While light weight boards can weigh between 20 and 30 pounds, even that might be too much to handle if you have a lengthy walk to the beach. Plus, their awkward size can make them more difficult to handle. This is especially a problem if you are a smaller person. As a result, you may want to invest in a paddle board carrier before going SUP surfing. These carriers provide an easier way to transport your board from the car to the water. Following is an overview of one of the best SUP carriers on the market today:
The stand up paddle board carrier is a sling that fits boards up to 7ft.6in. long. Its adjustability means that it is suitable for carrying a variety of boards. In addition, this sling can be hung on the wall to allow you to more easily store your paddle board, and keep it away from things that might ding or scratch it while it is being stored.
This carrier is designed to be convenient as well, thanks to a lack of buckles and straps. All you do is place your paddle board in the sling and put the sling over your shoulder. You can then adjust it to fit your particular body shape. As a result, this sling allows paddle boarders of many different sizes to conveniently carry their boards. Finally, the shoulder strap is padded to give you maximum comfort. The result is a convenient and appealing way to carry your board.
What is SUP surfing?
Stand up paddle boards, or SUPs, are an increasingly popular way to enjoy the water. Part of their popularity comes from the fact that they are very versatile, allowing you to enjoy many activities on many different kinds of water (lakes, oceans, etc.). Some examples of the kinds of activities you can enjoy on a SUP include yoga, touring, and fishing.
One of the more popular SUP activities of late is SUP surfing. This sport, at its most basic, is the act of surfing with a SUP instead of a surfboard. The stand up paddle board acts as your surfboard, taking its place alongside the shortboards and longboards that have previously been your only two surfing choices. You ride the paddle board out to the waves, catch the wave you want, and ride it into shore. The basic idea is the same as with regular surfing, while the specific techniques of the sport are sometimes slightly different because of the different shape and responsiveness of the board.
How does SUP surfing compare to regular surfing?
SUP vs. surfing: How are they different? They sound very much the same, but in reality there are differences between the two types of wave riding that makes SUP surfing more appealing for many people. Following are a few of the advantages of SUP surfing compared to regular surfing.
One of the main advantages of SUP surfing vs. regular surfing is the vantage point that SUP surfing provides. In SUP surfing, you are standing upright on you board, often as you go out toward the waves. This position means you get a higher view from which to see and respond to the waves. As a result, you can catch more waves, find the best waves, and otherwise enjoy a better overall surfing experience.
Number of Waves
Another advantage of SUP surfing is the fact that the sport allows you to catch more waves than is possible with regular surfing. In particular, you can catch smaller waves with a stand up paddle board than you can with a regular surfing shortboard or longboard. Plus, you don’t miss out on the big, exciting waves that surfing experts love: SUPs can catch and ride those too.
The reason that surfing SUPs help you catch smaller waves is because of their long, broad size. This larger size and shape is ideal for successfully riding small waves. As a result, with a stand up paddle board, you are likely to enjoy longer outings on the water, and a nice surfing experience even in places where regular surfers would be unable to ride.
Is SUP surfing hard to learn?
Stand up paddle boarding is a relatively easy sport to learn. In fact, many people report being able to get the hang of paddle boarding the first time they go out. However, they are usually referring to flat water paddle boarding. SUP surfing is a little bit more complex than flat water paddle boarding, because of the complexity and momentum of the water on which you are paddling.
As a result, you may need practice in order to start successfully catching waves, especially if you are a beginner to paddle boarding in general. Taking lessons before you go out on your own, and becoming comfortable paddle boarding in flat water, are two necessary steps to take before you try SUP surfing on your own.
What kind of gear do you need to go SUP surfing?
As mentioned earlier, SUP surfing requires a different type of board than does flat water paddle boarding. In particular, you need a long, wide board that can handle the waves you will be navigating. In addition, you need a board that is durable and that comes with strong reviews from people who have taken it out surfing and found it to be a valuable surfing tool.
In addition, you will need a paddle board leash. This is a long leash that you tie to your ankle or wrist and attach to a D-ring on your board. When you fall into the water, the leash keeps you attached to your board. That way, you never lose your board, and you minimize the risk that the board will run into somebody else while careening out of control through the water.
Some surfers also like to have a deck pad to give their feet extra grip. Most stand up paddle boards that are made for surfing come with a deck pad included. The deck pad is not necessary: Many SUP surfers like to use a board without a deck pad. However, especially for beginners, the pad helps to lower your chances of falling off your board while riding the waves. Ultimately, your preference will depend largely upon your skill level and how you feel when you are out on the board.
SUP Surfing Tips
Because stand up paddle board surfing requires a little more skill than does paddling in flat water, it is wise to learn a few tips and tricks before you hit the waves. Having a few hacks up your sleeve can make the surfing experience more fun, while allowing you to look like a pro out on the waves in no time at all. Following are a few of the most important and helpful tips to keep in mind before you begin surfing on your stand up paddle board.
Learn how to do flat water paddling first.
SUP surfing is a more advanced form of stand up paddle boarding. As such, it requires more technique and skill than does flat water paddling. You need to learn not just how to balance on your board, but also how to keep that balance as the water moves and changes underneath you. Successfully catching and riding waves requires certain techniques that flat water paddling does not.
At the same time, SUP surfing requires you to use many of the skills you obtain in flat water paddling. For example, you need to paddle out to the waves, and in order to do so, you need to know how to balance on your board and paddle in flat water. To get back to shore after the wave ends requires similar flat water techniques. Before you learn the surfer stance, you have to know how to balance on your board in flat water.
As a result, it is wise to learn how to do flat water paddling before you attempt SUP surfing. Get out on calm water and practice paddle boarding until you are confident and capable of maintaining your balance in flat water conditions. Familiarize yourself with both your board and its accessories, If you want to test your readiness for surfing, position your board to be hit by the waves of passing boats. Practice staying upright as these waves hit your paddle board. Once you can stay upright while these waves pass, you will be ready to try stand up paddle board surfing.
Follow basic safety precautions.
In order to stay safe on the water, there are also a number of safety precautions you can take. These steps ensure that if you fall off your board, or run into trouble while paddle boarding, you will prevent injury to yourself and others. Here are some of the most basic safety precautions you should take:
Always use a leash.
A paddle board leash attaches you to your board. In the event that you should fall off your board while SUP surfing, the leash will keep you from losing your board. Keeping your board is important, because a loose board can be thrown into others by the waves, injuring them. The waves might even run the board into you, and injure you as well. Losing your board can also leave you facing a long and difficult swim back to shore if you cannot retrieve your board. Keeping your board attached to your person through a leash is a practical step that can prevent injury and loss while you are SUP surfing.
Dress in appropriate clothing.
If you fall in the water, you also want to make sure that you are wearing clothing that will keep you warm enough and dry enough while you get back on your board. When dressing to go SUP surfing, always consider the weather and the temperature of the water. For example, a windy day with cold water temps might require a wet suit in order to keep you warm and dry enough to safely engage in stand up paddle board surfing. The right clothing can mean the difference between an inconvenience and a major problem when you are SUP surfing.
Never go in the water where people are coming out.
This safety precaution is also one of the main surfing rules of etiquette. When you are going out into the water, you never want to get in the way of those who are coming in out of the water. It can lead to collisions and accidents, as well as be an annoyance. As a result, find a spot where people are going out into the water, or where no one is going in or out.
Consider learning from the professionals.
Another tip that can help you to do SUP surfing more successfully is to take lessons from professionals before you go out. Alternatively, you could go out your first time or two with someone who is already experienced in stand up paddle board surfing. Just one or two lessons should be enough to help you feel more confident about getting out on the water to do SUP surfing. Very few people learn SUP surfing just on their own, and the presence of a professional can help you feel calmer, learn techniques that will give you more success, and help you avoid accidents and mistakes that could cause you problems when you are out on the water by yourself for the first time.
SUP surfing is like any sport: You need to start small and gradually work your way up to more complex maneuvers. For example, if you go out and try to catch a big wave the first time, your lack of experience is more than likely going to mean you fall off your board and feel overwhelmed. If you try to surf for the first time in windy weather, the unpredictable breezes might spell disaster. However, if you practice your burgeoning skills on small waves and calm days, you will build up the expertise you need to comfortably surf on the larger waves and in less than ideal weather.
As a result, go out on a calm day when you first begin SUP surfing. Your paddle board is long enough and broad enough to handle the small waves that regular surfboard cannot handle, so you should be able to catch waves even on mild days. Practice your techniques on these small waves until you feel confident. Then, gradually begin catching larger waves, until you are comfortably surfing on the large waves that once seemed so intimidating.
Expect to fall.
No one has ever gone paddle boarding or surfing and never fallen off the board. If you decide to go SUP surfing, you need to be prepared to fall. That is why you bring a leash and wear appropriate clothing: So you can be safe when, not if, a wave gets the best of you. If you go out expecting to ride every wave perfectly, you are likely to end up frustrated and discouraged when you fall. If you go out understanding that falls are part of the SUP surfing experience, you will be better prepared to let them teach you how to do better next time.
Turn into the waves.
A practical tip to help you catch larger numbers of waves is to turn into the waves you want to catch. For instance, typically, your inclination would be to turn your board toward the shore as you paddle. Then, the wave will, theoretically, pick your board up and carry you toward shore. However, this strategy leaves you with your back to the waves. You cannot see where the best waves are or where you are in relation to the waves you want to catch. As a result, you are likely to miss waves, or fail to ride their peak.
Instead, turn your board so you are facing the waves. Use this vantage point to look for a wave you want to ride. When you have located the right wave for you, paddle toward it and position you board parallel to the wave. As the wave picks you up, turn your board so it and your head are facing the beach. This technique takes practice and will likely result in a few falls before you get it right. However, the result allows you to see the best waves, catch them at the right time, and still be pointing toward shore as the wave picks you up and carries you along.
Move your weight back as the wave peaks.
The key to getting good lift on a wave is to encourage the wave to move underneath the nose of your SUP as it advances. Otherwise, the wave is likely to knock your board, and you, over. This technique allows your board to remain upright and move forward at the same time. However, getting the wave to move underneath the nose of your board can be a bit tricky. You need to lift your board up a little bit in order to give the wave room to slide underneath.
One trick for more successfully positioning your board on the wave is to move back as the wave peaks. For example, you might start positioned squarely in the center of your board. However, as you feel the wave rising underneath your SUP, you should move your feet toward the back of the board. This strategy should tip your board up slightly, allowing the wave to pass underneath the nose of your paddle board. The result should be a more stable, and satisfying, ride, with fewer falls and more fun.
Master the surf stance.
The exact way in which you position your body on the paddle board can have a big impact on how well you are able to ride the wave. There are many techniques and positions you can use, depending upon what you want to do while you are riding the wave, and depending upon how the wave acts while you are riding it. However, the basic stance you need to master in order to successfully ride waves while SUP surfing is the surf stance.
At its most basic, this stance involves positioning your feet apart on the board, with your front foot facing to the side and in front of your back foot. This stance should be wider than your shoulders. It allows you to maintain your stability on the board, and it positions you to navigate your board, build speed, and otherwise accomplish the maneuvers necessary in SUP surfing. As a result, if you want to SUP surf effectively, you should take the time to learn the surf stance. Ideally, you should consult a professional or experienced surfer to learn how to properly achieve and use the surf stance. You should also, if you are approaching waves in anything other than a surf stance, learn how to switch to surf stance as soon as you catch a wave.
SUP vs. Surfing
SUP surfing is a relatively new endeavor. New sports often experience pushback from devotees of more establish sports, and it often takes time for the new sport to be accepted. SUP surfing is no different. As a new sport, it is not always fully accepted by surfers who use the shortboards or longboards that are the traditional tools of surfing. There are a few reasons for their dissatisfaction.
First, surfing is a popular sport. As a result, in some places, the beaches can become very crowded with surfers trying to enjoy the same location and the same good waves. Adding SUP surfers to the crowd means that everybody has to wait longer to enjoy the waves. The addition of people to an already crowded area sometimes creates resentment in surfers who would prefer to spend less time waiting and more time surfing.
To compound this problem, SUP surfing tends to allow surfers to catch more waves more frequently. As mentioned earlier, the length and breadth of the stand up paddle boards makes it easier for them to catch smaller waves, and makes them more successful at catching larger waves. As a result, SUP surfers sometimes earn a reputation as taking advantage of their board’s abilities to spend more time out at a surfing spot. This practice can take surf time away from other surfers. The tendency of some SUP surfers to cut through lines to get to the water can build even more resentment among surfers.
Finally, a lack of experience among SUP surfers can also lead to frustration among regular surfers. If someone using a paddle board to surf does not have sufficient experience, they may end up losing control of their board and endangering other surfers. Combined with a lack of attention to etiquette, this tendency has sometimes led to bad feelings among surfers.
Regardless of the perceived or real issues between regular surfers and SUP surfers, however, the truth is that SUP surfing is probably here to stay. Its growing popularity, and the advantages that a stand up paddle board offers over a regular surfboard, make it an appealing choice for many surfers. Plus, it is possible for SUP surfing and regular surfing to exist side by side. What is required is a mutual understanding of and respect for others.
As a SUP surfer yourself, the most important thing you can do to mitigate the SUP vs. surfing wars is to practice good etiquette yourself when you are out on the water. Here are two tips to help you become a less intrusive and more integrated presence out on the water:
Wait your turn in line.
If you are going to be surfing, then make the effort to act like a surfer and wait your turn in line with the others. Just because your board can pick up more waves does not give you an excuse to cut in front of others. By taking your turn properly, you will earn more respect from regular surfers.
Keep a low profile
Occasionally, you will hear negative comments directed your way by surfers who have a negative view of SUP surfing. While it may be tempting to reply in kind, the best thing you can do is to ignore the comments and respond to the people around you with friendliness. If hostility is too great, consider moving to a different surfing area in order to keep the peace. By keeping a low profile and following proper surfing etiquette, you can diffuse a lot of situations and leave people with a more positive perception of your sport.
SUP surfing is an exciting way to use your stand up paddle board. When you purchase the right board, learn how to SUP surf, follow the rules of etiquette and respect other surfers, you can enjoy the satisfaction and exhilaration that comes from using a stand up paddle board to surf.