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Stand Up Paddle Boarding Explained





What is Stand Up Paddle boarding?

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (also known as SUPing) is one of the fastest growing water sports in the UK. It is a hybrid from other water sports like, Surfing, Windsurfing and Canoeing.Stand Up Paddle Boarder’s stand on a large board of a similar size to a windsurf board.They use a paddle to propel them through the water much like Canoeing.The sport is so versatile it can be paddled on any water type, surf, flat water (e.g. lakes) and white water on the rivers.

  • Hybrid water sport
  • Versatile
  • All water types

What is the point of Stand Up Paddle Boarding?

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUPing) at a basic level is taking a leisurely stroll on the water enjoying the water based environment in an active way. The reason for the massive increase in growth in SUPing over the last 10years is mainly down to the easy accessibility of the sport.For those that want to experience and explore life on the water, SUPing requires little physical ability and skill meaning most people can participate.

  • A stroll on the water
  • Accessible
  • Little skill needed

What is the difference between SUP and paddle boarding?

The main difference between Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUPing) and Paddle Boarding is that in SUPing, the participant stands up and moves the board by paddling with a long canoe type paddle.Whilst in Paddle Boarding the participant lies on the board, moving across the water by paddling with their arms.SUPing has shot up in popularity in a flash compared to Paddle Boarding, which as a form of surfing can be traced back to the 12th century in Polynesia.

  • Standing on a board
  • Paddling with a paddle
  • Brand new sport

Is Stand Up Paddle Boarding hard?

As a water sport, Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUPing) is one of the easiest ones to participate in.However the scope of the sport and equipment is wide and varied.In the right water and weather conditions a beginner to SUPing can master the basics very quickly and easily.It is also important to point out that the right equipment is also important.Much like surfing, if a beginner is given a small board they will struggle to even catch a wave let alone stand up.The same is true with a SUP Board.With a big board the chances of success and enjoyment are massively increased and almost anyone with a basic fitness can master the sport.

  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding is easy
  • In the right conditions
  • With the appropriate size board

What do you wear to SUP?

What you wear for Stand Up Paddle Boarding, is much like choosing the correct clothes for the country your in or the weather conditions outside.You have to assume that you might have an impromptu swim.Therefore some sort of swimwear or watersports clothing is a sensible choice.If the weather conditions are good then swim shorts, bikini or swim suit is often fine, although in the UK you have to allow for either exposure to the sun or the wind and therefore a wetsuit is more of your stable clothing.Along with your clothing it is important to wear either a buoyancy aid or have a life jacket.This is a must as you should always be prepared when going onto the water.

  • Swimwear
  • Wetsuit
  • Buoyancy aid or life jacket

Is SUP easier than surfing?

Stand up Paddle Boarding (SUPing) has grown so quickly due to is accessibility and low skill level.  Compared to surfing, SUPing is a cruise.  Where as in surfing you need a good level of fitness for paddling with your arms to go out through the waves and then manage to catch the waves.  In SUPing you glide through the water, propelled along with little energy due to the long leverage of the paddle and size of the paddle blade compared to an arm used for paddling in surfing.

  • Low skill
  • Basic fitness
  • Cruise and glide

What size SUP should I get for surfing?

You’ll need a good size SUP board for surfing on as you need the volume, which relates to buoyancy for standing up.30”-31” is plenty wide enough.However the board should not be so big that it’s hard to paddle out through the waves.Typically Surfing SUPs are the smallest of the SUP boards around 9’.This is so you can more easily manoeuvre the board when surfing on the wave.

  • Smallest of SUP boards
  • 30”-31” in width
  • 9’ in length

How do you get waves on a Stand Up Paddle Board?

Catching waves on a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) is the same principal as normal surfing.Only with a SUP you have the advantage on being able to pick up the wave a lot earlier that a normal surfer and therefore enjoy the wave for longer.This is down to having the extra power of using a paddle, over the power of just the arms.

  • Same as a normal surfer
  • Catch waves earlier
  • Ride the wave for longer


Is Stand Up Paddle Boarding fun?

Stand Up Paddle Boarding is great fun and an exciting way of exploring the waterways around rivers, lakes and the coast.This serine and scenic water sport will allow you to be introduced to hidden spots around the waterways that can only be accessed by the water.The fun of exploring doesn’t stop with being on the water.You can easily beach up on banks and coves, get out your mask and snorkel and explore under the water also.

  • Great fun
  • Serine and scenic
  • Exploring

Do you need a wetsuit for Stand Up Paddle Boarding?

A wetsuit is always the best choice of watersport clothing when going out on a SUP.They keep you warm from both the water temperature and the wind chill.However the wetsuit choice is weather, water temperature and SUP ability dependent.If it is a warm day in July and you have mastered the balance on a SUP then swim wear or other watersports clothes are fine.If it is a cold day in April then a wetsuit is a must have piece of equipment to wear. Don’t forget that anyone SUPing must wear a buoyancy device also.

  • It is always best to wear a wetsuit
  • Weather conditions dependent
  • SUP ability dependent