What is SUP Surfing?
If you’re unfamiliar with SUP surfing, it is exactly what it sounds like, surfing with a stand up paddle board. But don’t be fooled, it’s actually much different than the sport of surfing. Typically you would wait around for a wave to come while lying on your stomach on the board, but this process looks much different in the sport of SUP surfing. Riders remain standing while using a paddle to push and steer themselves through the waves. However, this doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to catch big waves, but it is a great place to start.
How serious are you?
How serious you are about surfing should directly effect your decision on which type of board you should be getting. Below are three categories of SUP surfers. My hope is that you can fit yourself into one of these categories, which will help influence your final decision.
Social SUP Surf
If you’re interested in a more social setting and want your SUP experience to be more leisure but would still like to hit the occasional wave, than your board will look much different than a professional SUP Surfing board. For those of you that fit in that category, I would suggest going with an all-around board that is also suited for hitting some waves.
SUP Surfing Enthusiast
If you’ve grown out of hitting the occasional wave and want to advance to the next level, grabbing a surf SUP that is also suited for some all-around use should be your next move. Jumping to a professional Surf SUP board may be too large of a step for some and may leave you wanting something different once you and a few friends go out on flat water.
SUP Surfing Pro
For those of you that have already mastered the skill of SUP surfing on all around and in between, it’s time to step it up. If this is you, you probably already understand that jumping onto a SUP surf board will allow you to hit bigger waves and maneuver much easier. At this point, I believe it’s best to own two boards, one for all around and one for surfing.
I did my best to put together a few boards that I think fit each category of SUP surfing.
ISLE – Airtech 10’ All Around Inflatable Paddle Board
ISLE makes good quality boards at an extremely competitive price, which is why they are so popular. People that are just starting out do not necessarily want to spend a ton of cash until they know it’s right for them. That’s why this is such a popular board for the beginner to intermediate boarder who wants to try hitting some waves.
The ISLE Airtech Inflatable SUP is 10’ long, 13’ wide and 6” thick. The size and shape of this board make it a fantastic all around board that is well suited for small wave SUP surfing. Since it’s inflatable, it makes it extremely easy to transport. This model also comes in package form so you’ll get a board pump, 3pc aluminum paddle and repair kit. This is a great choice if you’re looking for an all around board you can SUP Surf with and if you feel you fall into the ‘SUP Surfing Enthusiast’ Category.
YOLO 10’ 2” Verse – Diamond Cutter
I’m always impressed when I see YOLO boards line up of paddle boards. They have such a great variety of different models to fit every rider and this is certainly the case if you find yourself in the ‘SUP Surfing Enthusiast Category’. The YOLO 10’2” Verse is the perfect board if you want to hit some serious waves but still have a stable enough ride for flat water.
The Verse from YOLO board is 10’2” long 29” wide and 4.75” thick giving it a bit more aggressive measurements for wave riding than the ISLE. This board is not inflatable so you’ll notice it feels much more solid out on the waves when compared to the inflatable options. The YOLO Board Verses tapered rails, tri fin setup and killer graphics make this SUP Surf board a head turner and surly able to deliver an incredible wave riding experience!
Bic SUP Wave Pro
Bic not only specializes in ink pens but also premium quality SUP boards, windsurf, kayaks, small boats and more! Most people do not know that they have been in the water sports business for over 35 years and have built an extremely loyal customer base. The Bic SUP Wave Pro has made a name for itself in the paddle surfing community because of it’s incredible design and large variety of sizes.
The Bic Wave Pro comes in six different sizing options ranging from the smallest and most agile 7’4”x 26” all the way up to the largest and most stable model measuring 9’4” x 32”. These were all designed and shaped to give you the absolute best wave riding experience in nearly any situation. The Bic Wave Pro has a 5-fin set-up with thruster fin along with a diamond groove traction pad for ultimate control. If you find yourself in the SUP Surfing Pro category, you won’t be disappointed with this purchase!
Hopefully you were able to fit yourself into one of the above three categories and pick a board that best fits your needs. If you’re still really unsure of what you should be getting, I’d say a safe bet is going with the Isle All Around Paddle Board. This board will still allow you to social SUP board while still being able to hit 6ft waves. Now grab a board and get surfing!