As you will see, it's not rocket science, our tips are mostly common sense that will make you a chilled-out SUP surfer!

1. Choosing the Right Spot

Surfing habits for stand up paddle

Surfing is a popular sport so expect the spot where you want to paddle in the waves to be very crowded. There is no need to sit right among the surfers and have to wait your turn to catch a wave, it is best to venture out a little further to an empty peak (point where the waves break). The waves might not be quite as clean but you will be able to catch them in peace.

2. Priority Rules 

Rules for stand up paddling

When you decide to take off on a wave, you must make sure (by looking left and right) that there are no other surfers (SUP, surfboard, bodyboard) already surfing it. In this case, do not take off because that surfer has priority (first on the wave) and may collide with you. If you have not paid attention, chances are they will shout at you to signal their presence and priority.
When you go back out into the waves to get to the peak, the surfers who are riding the wave have priority over you and you must get out of their way.

3. Know How to Fall

Learn stand up paddle

You have taken off on the wave and inevitably, sooner or later, it will end in a fall. You must prepare for it and be ready to jump far away from your board without letting go of your paddle and ALWAYS TOWARDS THE WAVE to prevent the wave chucking your board on your head.

Then you get back on your board by bringing it towards you by pulling on the leash (the bit that connects you to your board).


NEVER HOLD YOUR BOARD BY THE FIN; this is the sharpest part of your SUP

4. Getting Out Back 

Stand up paddle surfing skills

You are back on your SUP and now you have to paddle out to sea to get back to the peak (where the wave breaks). If the waves coming towards you are small (waist height), you can go over by standing on the board and paddling hard. The board will significantly slow down when the foam hits it but if you anticipate this by putting your feet in surfing position (one in front, one behind), you will be able to stay standing. If you do not feel comfortable standing, kneel down to get over the wave.

In bigger waves, there is a risk of your board being propelled by the foam straight towards your face, so do not insist, dive under the wave with your paddle in your hand and then climb back onto your board.

5. Surf With an Inflatable Sup Surfboard

inflatable stand up paddle

If you want to avoid causing injury with your stand-up paddle board while surfing, go for an inflatable SUP surfboard model. With its stiffness and its semi-hard rails at the tail, the board takes off easily on the wave and lets you make your first turns (rollers). If you fall off the board or collide with another surfer, you will not risk hurting anyone and you will be free to focus on enjoying the ride.

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