By now, and amid its immense popularity, you are likely to be familiar with stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP. The activity has taken off across the globe, with individuals and groups taking to their local seafronts and lakes to enjoy the exciting adventure that paddleboarding offers.
Along with being a very welcoming activity, one that is considered to be physically low-impact and with supportive communities established, paddleboarding also has a number of health benefits too, building stamina and improving balance. Some individuals choose to embrace this element, pushing themselves to accomplish new goals, while others seek solely to enjoy the tranquillity and adventure that navigating the water offers.
Those that are looking for the former, choosing boards that allow for greater speeds and manoeuvrability, are in luck, as one of the most exciting new trends to come out of the paddleboarding world is SUP surfing.
What Is It?
SUP surfing is, on paper, as simple as it sounds. It combines the foundations of flatwater paddleboarding and the wave riding of surfing. Since the activity begins as paddleboarding would, it is actually considered to be a much easier gateway into surfing, requiring less of a learning curve, making surfing even easier to pick up.
Boarders begin by paddling out to sea and then waiting for the right wave to ‘catch’. Once it appears, boarders must paddle into its momentum and then ride the wave as they would if they were surfing. Since individuals begin by standing on a board and with the support of a paddle, the process is relatively easy and safe.
How To Get Started
Simply taking your paddleboard out to sea and attempting to surf, however, won’t make the cut. SUP surfers require special, typically smaller, paddleboards. By choosing a versatile board instead of the larger standard boards, SUP surfers exchange balance and stability for speed and manoeuvrability, allowing them to react and navigate the fast-paced waterways with greater responsiveness.
There are also subtle changes to paddleboards designed for surfing that make them better equipped for riding waves too, such as fins being placed more closely to the board’s edge and their design being generally much thinner too.
Alongside a paddleboard, other standard pieces of equipment and accessories are recommended. A leash is just as important as when flatwater paddleboarding since it will ensure that surfers remain connected to their board should they end up in the water. However, because speed and handling play a more significant role in SUP surfing, you’ll want to make sure that your leash is thin and short to prevent it from anchoring the board in the waves.
Where To Go
Once you are ready and have all the equipment you need to begin, SUP surfers only need to find a suitable spot for waves, one that is free from rocks and other groups, especially swimmers. Consider taking notes from other surfers and enquire within local communities, since both are certain to have an abundance of tips for reliable breaks in your area.