What can we say, stand up paddle boarding in surf, or SUP surfing, is awesome. For many the hardest part of surfing is the “pop up” which is getting from laying down to standing up. On your SUP board, you are already standing and ready to catch the next wave! Not only that, but the size of SUP boards allows SUP surfers to catch smaller waves. Small wave days that aren’t great for surfing become incredible SUP surfing days. However, a few things to keep in mind:
Skill level – make sure that you have mastered flat water paddling before heading into the surf. With waves to contend with, you want to make sure your balance and paddle stroke are rock solid.
Tides and Local Conditions – knowing where the waves break, established rip currents, and tide cycles are just a few things on the need to know list. Even before you think of heading out at place you haven’t SUP surfed at before, just sit on the beach and watch for a while. See where the waves break, see what others on the water are doing, but just as important, what they aren’t doing. For example, if everyone seems to paddle back out in the same spot, there is likely a reason!
Surf Etiquette – just like any other sport, there are rules. All surf line ups have etiquette when it comes to catching waves. Make sure you know the local etiquette. Don’t be that guy who starts stealing waves. You have been warned.
Wear a Leash – regardless of lake, ocean, or river, we always suggest wearing a leash. In surf, this is not a suggestion anymore, but mandatory. This is for your safety so you don’t lose your board. However, it is also for everyone else’s safety, as the board you just lost is now hurtling through the break waves on a collision course with someone’s head.