Paddle surfing requires more balancing skills than simply paddling on flat water in a lake. At the same time, it’s a lot more exciting and fun because you move at a faster pace and you can let the water push you rather than you doing all the paddling yourself!
Getting Started with Stand Up Paddle Surfing:
It’s a good idea to first learn paddleboarding on smooth water before progressing to surf, since this lets you practice balancing and moving around on top of the water. After that, you can move on to rougher water, continuing to improve your stability on the board in unpredictable surf. Check out this video on getting started:
A nice thing about SUPs is that you can use them on flat water or surf. Yes, there are boards that are specially designed for surfing, but they are not a requirement.
Surfing-Specific SUPs vs Regular SUPs:
That said, if you do not yet have equipment and are looking for a board specifically to use on ocean surf, it may be to your advantage to invest in a surfing-specific board. This is even more important with inflatable SUPs because they tend to bounce more in surf – and you don’t want to be bouncing around on the wave if you can avoid it. =)
What to Look for in an SUP:
You want to look for iSUPs that are more firm, or have a higher PSI. The less give they have, the less they will bounce. Higher PSI = less give.
The Inflatable SUP Advantage:
You can carry inflatable paddleboards virtually anywhere. Many paddlers see this as a big advantage. Just deflate them, roll them up and take them on the airplane with you to Hawaii or Mexico or Florida or other tropical beach.
With a traditional SUP, you need to carefully package it before shipping it or taking it on an airplane, usually pay hefty transport fees and then find a vehicle with which to get it to the beach. A lot of work!
Learn Stand Up Paddle Surfing on DVD…
If you don’t happen to have some pros around to learn from, I’ve found the perfect instruction guide.
It’s got 2 DVDs with both beginner lessons and advanced.
This way, after you learn to surf the waves, you can move on to more advanced moves (like cross stepping, nose riding and tube riding) without having to buy another course.