Paddle Surfing Tips for More Fun
As the name suggests the SUP surfing tips we are going to share here are going to teach you how to have fun paddling to the surfing area.
But first, even before you attempt it, we can tell you for sure that SUP surfing is hard. It is going to test your mettle seriously.
Many are the instances that you will fall into the water. Also, since you will be doing this in waves, trying to get back on the surfboard can be quite the struggle.
But first things first …
What is SUP Surfing?
SUP surfing is neither surfing or paddle boarding, but it is a mix of the two. In fact, it does not use the same board as you would use for surfing or SUP-ing.
Rather, the SUP surf board is shorter, it is also thinner since it has a low volume. It is shorter than 9 feet.
When you go for the regular surfing, you lie down on a surfboard and paddle towards the waves with your arms.
Simply put, traditional surfing is more energy supping. It is also easier on the joints so if you are advanced in years and you are finding it a little hard to do the regular surfing, you should try this new one.
SUP surfing is a good transition point between paddle boarding and surfing. It can help you transition easily without too many mishaps in the water.
When you hear of SUP surfing, what it means is paddle boarding on waves. We suggest that you get some skill at flat water stand up paddle boarding at first before you can attempt SUP surfing.
Helpful SUP Surfing Tips
Now that we know what sup surfing is, we need to look at helpful tips that can help you surf smoothly with a SUP Board and a paddle. First, watch the video below and then read our tips:
1. Choose the right board
In another article, we asked whether you can use a surfboard for SUP. However, the best thing is to always use the right tool for the job. Thus, even here, you should find a board that is made specifically for SUP surfing.
The most important thing to look for in a SUP board for surfing is buoyancy and stability. Thus, you want moderate volume and length. While many SUP boards are longer than 10 feet, a board for SUP-surfing is shorter.
The width of a good board to surf-SUP with should be about 30 inches. This kind of width gives more stability.
The volume of the board should not exceed 200 liters. If it exceeds that, it will be too buoyant for your own good and it won’t be stable enough. Also, make sure the volume does not go lower than 140 liters.
Another thing to remember is that a solid board is better than an inflatable one in this case.
2. How to stay upright on your board
Even with the best board, it can be a bit hard to stay upright on the board. However, you can make this easy on yourself by using the paddle more often.
Dig into the water and give it a few strokes on the right or left, of course depending on where you want the board to go. Keep the paddle busy, either by paddling forward or using it to keep your balance in the water.
You need to stand on the board using the right posture. Some sources refer to this as a staggered stance.
The feet do not stand parallel to each other on the board. Rather, one foot is slightly ahead of the other.
A staggered posture gives you better stability, balance and tail to nose and left to right control of the board.
3. Paddle to the waves – how to overcome white water
Even if you have the experience, choose a spot that has gentle waves instead of rough ones. The same applies to people who are trying to SUP surf for the first time.
If you are a beginner, pick out a space that does not have many people. If you are paddle boarding in San Diego, go in fall when there aren’t many people on the water.
Also, take note of the areas with wild waters because such make it hard to paddle into the waves. If you are SUP-ing in Santa Cruz, well, choose places such as Capitola Beach or Cowell Beach because they have gentle water.
You will have to carry the board to the water until you get to waist depth. You can start paddling the board while you are on your knees.
Still, you can place your paddle on the board with your chest over the blade and paddle out that way. However, if you want to paddle through the white wash on your feet, just keep the knees bent forward to maintain your balance.
Remember to use short and quick paddles as this works better in white water. Short strokes help the board to build up speed.
Remember to keep one foot forward. The main idea here is to get to the whitewash while most of your body weight is on your back foot. This is going to help you get over the whitewash easily.
You can also try the edging technique where you angle one side of the board down into the water using your foot.
When you are standing up, you are already leashed to the board.
4. How to catch the wave
Surfing is all about catching, and riding the wave. Here, we are going to look at how to catch the wave. As the wave approaches, maneuver your board in such a way that it is parallel to the wave.
Keep paddling some big strokes as the wave carries your side ward and then turn the board’s nose in the direction of the beach.
When the wave catches the board, it will accelerate heading towards the beach. You will need to adopt a surfing posture to help keep you in control while the wave speedily carries you to the shore.
If you make the mistake of turning the nose toward the beach before you start riding the wave, it will turn the board in a different direction other than where you want to go.
It is also quite possible to fall off the board even before the wave gets to you.
5. Riding the wave
After catching the wave, you need to know how to ride it towards the direction that you want.
You have to use your paddle to turn and to stabilize yourself. Riding the wave is the easiest part of the game.
If you know traditional surfing, you will find using a paddle while riding a wave easier. However, even without surfing skills, you can get this technique right by SUP surfing more often.
All the time, be careful not to drop the paddle in water. While it is going to float on water, if you drop it in waves, you can have a hard time finding it.
6. Learn how to pop the board
This is a little known technique but one that helps a lot as it helps to propel the board in the water.
It is easy to make the board pop (seem to be tossing in and out of the water). Just pump your front foot up and down.
Try to paddle at the same time as you pop. To do that, make sure your paddle is in water while your foot pumps forward.
Lift your foot in sync with the rising (popping) of the nose. This is going to help you keep your weight well distributed on the board. It is also going to keep you stable, confident and to create more speed on the board.
7. Learn how to make paddle turns
When you are doing traditional surfing, you use your body to turn the surfboard. However, when you are doing SUP surfing, you can use the paddle to make better and faster turns.
Well, you will still use your body to control how the board turns but giving it a stroke or two on the side opposite to where you want to turn makes the turn easier.
Paddling forward enhances speed and pulling or pushing on the paddle helps you turn faster.
8. Practice how to SUP surf more often
Like every other water sport, paddle surfing is not any different! To become better, you have to practice more often.
In the first few days, you will fall into the water many times. Don’t be embarrassed. As you practice more often, you will become much better, steadier and faster in the water.
Conclusion: Paddle Surfing Tips
That is it for the top paddle-surfing tips. Remember, this sport is just surfing, but this time, you enhance it with a paddle.
Some of the benefits of using a paddle to SUP surf include the following:
- A paddle helps you to make better turns with the board
- A paddle keeps you stable on the board
- Using the paddle works out many muscle groups
- Paddling a surfboard makes your surfing more challenging and more fun