The Best Stand Up Paddle Board Surf Boards for 2021
So, Paddle Board Surf Boards, huh? You are STOKED to hit the beach. You’re ready to push past those shore breaks and even jump down from those rocks. You’re very eager to hop on that board, lay prone, and paddle. Paddle, paddle, paddle—until you hit the frothy waves and green waters. You can see yourself making those sharp turns, then dropping from the board. You feel that tug of the leash while the water embraces your body.
As an avid paddleboarder, experiencing all those things give me excitement. I can just imagine how you would feel if you try SUP surfing yourself. So I suggest you just go ahead and plan that trip!
But wait, there’s one more thing left to do. You haven’t picked a paddle board surf board yet. Maybe you’re feeling a bit lost? A tad overwhelmed with all of the choices, perhaps?
Well, look no further than this article! I’ll put you up to speed on how those paddle board surf board ended up in those stalls, how to choose the perfect one for every trip, and some product recommendations to start with.
Now dip your toes into that water and let’s get started!
How Did SUP Surfing Become So Popular?
The first “paddleboarders” ever recorded were Peruvian fishermen from 3000 BC. They once used a watercraft called Caballitos de Totora to make a living and to put food on their plates. The vessel was made out of reeds and bamboo shafts were used to navigate it. Little did the Peruvians know that the Caballitos will take such a different form many centuries later.
Let’s jump ahead to 1778. Captain James Cook discovered how wave riding is one of the cores of Hawaiian Polynesian culture. The most skilled rider of the community is the Chief, who skirted those waves with the best board and a long paddle.
Two centuries later, the practice evolved in another part of the globe. Waikiki beach boys, Duke Kahanamoku, Leroy, and Bobby Ah Choy needed a way to take photographs of their surf students while standing on their boards. Thanks to John “ Pops” Ah Choy braving those waves with an oversized surfboard and a paddle, paddleboard buoyed to budding popularity.
But, it wasn’t until the 21st century that SUP surfing anchored its sport as a fun watersport. This happened when famous surfers Dave Kalama and Laird Hamilton were photographed surfing with, of course, paddles and surfboards, in Maui.
By then, paddleboarding of all types sank its hooks on watersports enthusiasts. Of course, companies had to meet the public’s demand for paddle boards. And there is A LOT to choose from. So, before you go ahead and buy your own stand-up paddle surf board, let’s move to the next section.
Okay, So How Do I Choose My Own SUP Surfboard?
Easy there! I’ll give all the answers you’re looking for in this section. Generally, this guide can be helpful when you’re looking to buy any SUP. But don’t worry, I’ve made this more specific to the needs of an eager and beginning SUP surfer.
Starting in the Right Waters
The Gentle Waves Are Your First Pals!
When you’re still new to SUP surfing, calmer waters are the ideal condition so you better start in an area with no intimidating waves on the horizon. By this time, a non-surfboard SUP can still work for a paddleboarder building up their skills. But, remember that you will need a leaner and sleeker paddleboard later on since the rough waves are pretty much inevitable.
Channels before the Waves
Yes, there’s going to be a lot of back and forth when it comes to stand-up paddleboard surfing. Starting on channels ensures that you can easily go back to shore after each session. When choosing a paddle board surf board for this area, remember to choose the right board that can endure the constant beating of the waves.
Keep It Smooth (for Now)
I highly recommend this location to beginners. SUP is a sport relatively easy to get the hang of. But, remember that the paddle board surf board is still an essential component of both the fun factor and your learning process. Sure, an inflatable can get you around the smooth waters when you’re still starting, but can it withstand the sudden currents? The rocks? If you can, invest in a stand-up paddleboard surfboard early on!
You’re Gonna Go through a Lot of (Beach and Point) Breaks
First things first. What’s the difference between a beach break and a point break.? A beach break is an entry without a strong shore break; a point break is a place where you need to jump off of rocks with your SUP. The transition from a beach break to a point break is entirely up to the paddleboarder—but you have to keep that transition in mind right from the start. More waves and more rocks? Get yourself a surfboard sturdy enough for both!
Think of the Crowd
Yes, aside from the endless transition of waves, you also have to consider the crowd, both on land and in water. If you think about it, you’ll start to consider the weight and dimensions of your stand-up paddleboard surf board. I’ll talk about that in a while, but here’s some food for thought: you wouldn’t want a bulky and heavy paddleboard constantly hitting beach-goers, right?
Know Your Experience Level
When it comes to SUP surfing, you’ll be facing waves much earlier than the regular paddleboarder. Sure, you can still choose an all-around paddleboard or an inflatable one when you’re still wading smooth, calm waters. After all, exploration is the main focus at the beginning of any skill. And consider the costs and the time spent on getting to know both your current board (and the new one if you do buy another in the future). It’s all up to you!
When you’ve moved past the exploration phase, then get a SUP very much suited to the demands of the sport. Think of the harsh waves, the resisting point breaks, the pointed rocks, and the constant back and forth. Performance is very much essential, so you better get a stand-up paddle board surf board capable of battling such exciting experiences out in the water!
Think of the Stand-Up Paddle board Surf board Size
In this section, I’ll only talk about the specifics of a surfing SUP, as that’s why you clicked into this article. You need the right paddle board surf board to dance with those waves after all! I’ve considered both skill level and locations, so here are the dimensions of the best paddle board surf board for you!
Compared to other types, paddle board surf boards are supposed to be smaller than what you usually use. This is because of the amount of maneuvering you need to do. I recommend getting a paddle board surf board that’s one foot less than your usual paddleboard.
Pick a paddle board surf board no wider than 30 to 31 inches. While a wider stand-up paddle board surf board gives more balance and stability when you’re out in the water, navigating the waves could be much harder to navigate. Plus, those turns aren’t going to be smooth as you want them to be.
Can’t stop thinking of the shreddable waves? Getting a sleeker and sexier paddle board surf board would mean a fun time doing just that! Paddling through the water with a shorter paddle board surf board compared to a long one will give you the best experience in making all those maneuvers, turns, and drops!
With the weight of your stand-up paddle board surf board, there’s no specific dimension I recommend. So, I’ll give you this rule of thumb: get yourself a board that you can grab by the handle and carry all the way to the water without putting it down for a rest.
Remember the Fin Set-ups
This is the last thing you have to think about when choosing your board. Better familiarize yourself with all of this so you pick the right paddleboard for you!
You can find this 8”-10” fin directly in the back center of the board near the tail. This fin is meant to track the board on flat water or the wave face, giving you that extra grip once you’re on those might waves!
2 Plus 1
Aside from the board’s 8”-10” large, central fin, you can also find the 3”-4” fins located on each side. These additional fins would mean better tracking all of those sharp turns, maneuvers, and drops from the waves! Very helpful in reducing the drag.
This means the presence of 4 fins in total, with a large and small find mounted on each side. With the center fin lacking drag, these fins help your stand-up paddleboard surfboard drive in slow spots and grip on hollow waves.
Top Product Recommendations
Alright, we’re finally at the section you’ve been dying to check out. Have you taken notes from the last one? Good! Now, here are my top product recommendations for stand-up paddleboard surfboards available on Amazon. I’ve included detailed descriptions, prices, quality, and dimensions for your reference.
I know, I know. This one’s an inflatable paddleboard, but it can definitely slice through those waves. With its high-quality PVC materials and drop-stitch fabric, this board is rigid and sturdy enough to endure the tough battering of the waves. Plus, its collapsible aluminum paddle will surely be your best friend when you make the sharpest of turns! Worried about the cost? Well, this is very much worth the money! The set includes a sports camera bracket, double action hand pump, safety ankle leash, removable fin, a waterproof bag for essentials, and a large backpack for everything you need under the sun!
With its sleek shape made out of military-grade material, this stand-up paddleboard surfboard will absolutely give you the performance you are craving for! You can count on its high-quality, sturdy material to withstand any dents or scratches. Plus, it quickly deflates and inflates for easy storage. The best part? It comes in a package, with the following inclusions: removable fin, SUP leash, waterproof bag, repair kit, a paddle (of course), and a backpack!
Another inflatable paddleboard for the books! With its wide design, I highly recommend this one for SUP beginners, whether or not surfing is your jam! With its military-grade materials and anti-slip deck pad, you can keep your balance better whenever you’re out in the water. Plus, its triple bottom balance SUP fins and sleek shape allow for fast-tracking and easy steering when you’re shredding the green waves. And it comes with the same inclusions as my first two recommendations!
Here’s another pick! It’s got that military-grade PVC and super-reinforced halyard stitch construction that good inflatable paddleboards are known for. Its dimensions give that much-needed sturdiness and stability, perfect for all skill levels! You don’t have to worry about those few scratches you got from your surfing session. And, of course, this stand-up paddleboard surfboard set comes with 1 removable center fin, adjustable aluminum paddle, hand pump, storage carry bag, and repair kit.
And for our last recommendation, it’s another DAMA inflatable paddleboard. It’s got the same sturdy materials and powerful drop-stitch construction, perfect for the eager surfer in you! Plus, you even get an adjustable floating paddle that’s going to be of great use while you carve those waves. As always, it comes in a handy package that includes the following: dual hand pumps, SUP leash, waterproof bag, and a repair kit!
Well, now you’re ready to get yourself a SUP surfboard! You’re up to speed with its history, and what you need to know in choosing the best one for you. Remember to consider your location, experience level, size of the paddleboard, and the fin set-ups. You’re good to go, my friend! I hope you’re as excited as I am to see you shred those waves with your very own board. Wanna show your new SUP surfboard once you hit the water? Maybe a community of watersports enthusiasts is what you need! Drop by and chat with us on our Facebook and Instagram. I’ll be looking forward to hearing about your experience!
Here at Stand Up Paddle board world I try to show you as many different paddle boards as I can. I’m a true water sports fanatic and I would love to get everyone enthusiastic about my passion as well. Read my different reviews and find out which paddle board is the best to get you started with this amazing sport!
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