Can you surf with a paddle board
Can you surf with a paddle board

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has become one of the most popular water sports on the planet. It’s a great way to get out and explore nature, keep fit, and even have fun. But can you use a SUP board to surf?

The answer is yes: you can certainly ride waves with a paddle board. SUP surfing is rapidly becoming widespread worldwide, and it’s easy to see why.

Here, we’ll explore what makes SUP surfing so appealing and how you can get started if you want to try it yourself.

How to surf with a paddle board

To surf with a paddle board, you will need to follow these steps:

1. Find an area with sound waves and water conditions. Avoid areas with strong currents, large waves, or debris in the water. Paddle boards work best in ocean conditions with consistent waves.

2. Position your paddle board perpendicular to the oncoming waves. You will want to be positioned to face the wave as it comes toward you.

3. Start paddling towards the wave as it approaches. As you swim, keep your arms straight and tuck your chin down to look forward and see the wave coming.

4. When the wave is about 1-2 feet from your paddle board, kick your legs up so that you are lying down on the board. The wave’s momentum will help carry you forward and onto the wave.

5. Ride the wave as long as possible before paddling back out to catch another one! Remember to stay perpendicular to the wave, so you do not wipe out.

The benefits of surfing with a paddle board

There are many benefits to surfing with a paddle board over traditional surfboards.

Paddle boards are much more stable and easier to balance, making them ideal for beginners or those new to the sport. They are also great for catching waves in both big and small surf and can be ridden in various ways.

Another benefit of paddle boarding is that it is an excellent workout for your whole body, including your core, arms, and legs.

Where to find the best waves for paddle boarding

If you’re looking for the best waves to paddle board, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to find a spot with consistent waves.

Second, you’ll want to find a place where the waves break close to shore. And finally, you’ll want to find a spot where the waves aren’t too big or too small.

One great place to paddle board is Huntington Beach in California. The waves here are typically very consistent, and they break close to shore, making it easy to catch them. And since Huntington Beach is a popular surf spot, the waves here are just the right size for paddle boarding.

Another great place for paddle boarding is Maui in Hawaii. The waves here are also very consistent, breaking close to shore. However, the locks on Maui tend to be a bit bigger than those on Huntington Beach, so if you’re looking for a challenge, this is the place for you.

So whether you’re looking for consistency or challenge, these two spots are great places to start your search for the perfect wave for paddle boarding.

Paddleboarding equipment

To paddle board, you will need a few things:

First, you’ll need a paddleboard. You can find these at most sporting goods stores or online. They range in price, but you can get a good quality board for under $1000.

Next, you’ll need a paddle. Again, these can be found at sporting goods stores or online. Paddles come in different sizes and materials, so choosing a comfortable one is essential.

Finally, you’ll need a life jacket or other flotation device. This is especially important if you are new to paddle boarding or are not a strong swimmer. Life jackets can be found at most sporting goods stores or online.

Paddleboarding safety

Paddle boarding is a great way to enjoy the waves without worrying about the dangers of surfing.

However, there are still some safety concerns that you should be aware of before paddling out.

Here are some tips to help you stay safe while paddle boarding:

  • Always wear a life jacket when paddle boarding. Even if you are a strong swimmer, a life jacket will provide extra protection if you fall off your board and hit your head on something.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If you paddle boarding in an area with other people, be mindful of their location and what they do. Make sure to give them plenty of space, so you don’t collide with them or their boards.
  • Avoid paddling in areas with strong currents or waves. If you are not an experienced paddleboarder, it is best to avoid these areas as they can be dangerous. Stick to calmer waters where you can easily control your board.
  • Don’t paddle alone. It is always best to paddle with someone else in case one of you gets into trouble. Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back so they can call for help if needed.

Pros and Cons of Surfing with a Paddle Board

Before hitting the waves on a paddle board, consider a few things. Here are some pros and cons of surfing with a paddle board:


  • Paddle boards are incredibly stable, making them perfect for beginners or those just getting back into surfing after a long break.
  • They’re also great for catching smaller waves that might be difficult to ride on a traditional surfboard.
  • Paddleboards are relatively easy to transport and require less maintenance than a surfboard.


  • Paddle boards can be more challenging to maneuver than a surfboard, so they may not be ideal for experienced surfers looking for an adrenaline-pumping ride.
  • They can also be heavier than traditional surfboards, making them more difficult to carry to and from the beach.

Tips for Surfing with a Paddle Board

If you want to add a new challenge to your paddle-boarding repertoire, why not give surfing a go?

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Paddle boards are broader and more stable than traditional surfboards, which are ideal for beginners. However, this also means that they’re not as maneuverable. When paddling out to catch a wave, aim for the shoulder – the part of the wave that breaks first.

2. Once you’re up and riding the wave, keep your balance by keeping your weight centered on the board. And don’t forget to keep paddling! Paddle boarding is all about using your arms as well as your legs.

3. If you feel like you’re losing control or the wave is too big for you, lie down on your board and paddle in with your hands. This will help you stay afloat and avoid being tumbled by the waves.

With these tips in mind, give surfing a go on your next paddle-boarding adventure!


Paddleboard surfing is a great way to get out and enjoy the waves. It allows you to explore different ocean parts and have an intense workout.

Anyone can learn how to paddleboard surf with the proper technique, gear, and knowledge.

So if you’re looking for a new challenge or want to experience something new, try stand-up paddle boarding!

Diana Hanson
Hi there! I'm Diana Hanson, a SUP enthusiast and paddler with over ten years of experience. I have a deep love for exploring new places and trying out new things on my SUP board. Whether it's gliding across a peaceful lake, navigating a fast-moving river, or riding the exhilarating waves of the ocean, I'm always up for an adventure. As the author of the website, I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with others. My goal is to help beginners learn the skills needed to paddle safely and confidently. I understand the challenges that novices face when starting out, and I'm dedicated to providing them with valuable tips and advice. But my passion doesn't stop there. I also strive to assist experienced paddlers in taking their skills to the next level. Through, I constantly update the site with the latest SUP gear reviews, insider tips, and expert advice. My aim is to ensure that everyone, regardless of their skill level, can get the most out of their paddling experience. I take great pride in my work, and I have been fortunate to receive recognition in the form of prizes and rewards for my contributions to the SUP community. It's an honor to be able to share my passion for this incredible sport with others, and I hope that through, I can inspire and empower fellow SUP enthusiasts to embark on their own unforgettable journeys. Join me on, and let's dive into the exciting world of SUP together!