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How to surf waves on your SUP

Posted by The Surfboard Warehouse on

Transitioning from flat water cruising to surfing waves is often a natural progression once you feel confident paddling your SUP on flat water. If you’re just starting out in the waves there a few things you can do to get ready to take on the surf.

Surf the right conditions


You might have aspirations to surf big waves, but to begin with we recommend you go out when it’s smaller. Stand up paddleboarding in waves is much different than cruising on flat water. Your stability is challenged by the waves, and the water moving makes it a little more difficult to manoeuvre your board.

Wait for a smaller day when the waves are 1 -2 foot, once you’re confident in waves this size you’re ready to take on bigger surf. To begin with it’s best to find a quiet spot, somewhere out of the way of other surfers. The last thing you want to do is to injure another surfer.

Practise your movements in flat water first

You might feel a little awkward turning in flat water, but doing it in flat water first will make it easier when it comes to doing it in the waves. Practise manoeuvring your board around, so when it’s time to turn and catch a wave in the surf you’ll be quicker and more confident.

Move your feet


To turn and manoeuvre your stand up paddleboard in waves you will need to move your feet. Unlike flat water cruising, you will be constantly moving your feet and shuffling along the board while riding waves. You’ll need to move forward to gain momentum, then back when making turns. Moving your front foot slightly rail to rail, depending on your turn, will help get your board on rail. To avoid nose-diving you will need to shift your feet into a surfing position once you gain momentum.

Use your paddle

Don’t be afraid to use your paddle. That’s what gives you the advantage over riding a normal surfboard. Think of your paddle as a rudder. You will use it to bottom turn, top turn and combined with your feet placement, it will help you to move your board in the direction you want to go.

Surf the right board


While your standard stand up paddleboard will do the job in the surf, as you get more confident you’ll want to consider purchasing a performance style board. These boards are made for waves and are normally shorter and have less volume than your cruising SUP.

We have some awesome performance SUPs at The Surfboard Warehouse that are perfect for surfing. The easiest board to surf, due it’s width, is the Waterborn Evoke, followed by the more performance oriented SUP the Vex Profusion. At the moment, with every SUP purchase from The Surfboard Warehouse you’ll receive a free towel. Get on board!

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