SUP surfing: there’s more to it than you’d think (but it’s still doable).

If you’ve gotten in stand up paddle boarding off the back of simply wanting something fun to do at home (in the UK), having had little to no previous water experience, then chances are flat water has been your mainstay. There are plenty of other avenues you can take your paddling. One such pathway is the route of waves. Or more to the point riding them, similar top how surfers would, only aboard your SUP. The difference here being you have a paddle. And that’s a whole big bonus!

SUP surfing, with paddle in hand, gives the rider chance to access those out of the way ways or surf spots that regular proners don’t use. This is a good thing so make use of it. Not least the fact nobody will care when you stack it. Not everybody has access to these put ins though. Instead, a more well known surf spot may be your go to. Note: it’s still worth heading away from crowds as you learn those SUP surfing ropes. Nobody will appreciate a marauding stand up paddle board charging through the line up after a bail.

Riding waves atop your stand up paddle board shouldn’t be shied away from, if you’re up for the challenge. It’s one of the areas of SUP that delivers maximum fun. Just understand what you’re getting into, take it step by step and you’ll be grinning from ear to ear. Below are a few pointers to keep in mind as you set off on your stand up paddle surfing journey.

  • Stick with your all round, everyday stand up paddle board whilst learning. There’s no need to change as you learn the ropes.
  • Choose as quiet a beach as you can. Avoid large crowds. If it’s busy at your chosen location then have a plan B or perhaps sit it out.
  • Go small waves first. There’s no issue learning on micro dribbles. In fact, this will be as safe as can be whilst you build confidence to get among incrementally larger waves.
  • Use a good quality surf leash – preferably new! Your leash could save yours (and someone else’s) life.
  • Wear a good quality, well fitting wetsuit. You’ll take plenty of dunkings so best to keep as warm as can be.
  • Learn and understand tide and westher information as much as possible. This will help for scoring good SUP surf conditions as well as being a key safety element.
  • Use your paddle when riding waves. It’s what it’s there for!
  • If in doubt don’t go out! Sometimes conditions mightn’t be suitable, even though it looks bliss from the beach. If nobody else is out consider why that might be.
  • Don’t take unnecessary risks. There’s a degree of some danger with whatever we do. But limiting the variables is good practice.
  • For more info on SUP surfing check out this article and the links at the bottom of it for further reading. Happy surfing!

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