The thought of surfing can instantly bring your imagination to the coasts of Hawaii or California. The cool breeze, the unforgivable waves, beach parties, and people waiting for you to reappear from the tube.
Exciting isn’t it? Until you try to stand up on the board by yourself, in the middle of the ocean, as the wave approaches. And you fall.
No, I don’t mean you get discouraged by that fall. What I’m saying is, there’s a board that can help you learn how to quickly jump on your feet. Stand Up Paddleboards. When you are SUP surfing, you are already standing.
Take note, however, that not all SUP can be used for surfing. Finding out the best SUPs for surfing could be a challenge but it won’t let you end up with a paddleboard that is difficult to surf on.
Best SUPs for Surfing: The Ultimate Guide
Stand up paddleboards are not just for paddling through calm waters nowadays. You can take them to catch waves to increase the thrill by riding it even further.
But, it should not be just any SUPs. It should be that SUP that has the key features that can work with catching waves. That is what we are going to talk about as we go along. In the meantime, check out these SUPs that we considered the best in the market.
- Waterwalker All-Around SUP by Thurso Surf
- Versa Paddle Board by Isle Surf and SUP
- ACE-TEC Cross SUP by BIC Sport
- Premium Inflatable SUP by SereneLife
- All-Around Inflatable SUP by PEAK Paddle Boards
- 9 ‘ Rico (Wood Paddle Board) by Three Brothers Boards
- Tiki Cruiser Inflatable SUP by FunWater
#1. Waterwalker All-Around SUP by Thurso Surf – Best Inflatable SUP for Surfing
Model and Specifications
- 10 ft / 260 pounds capacity
- 10 ft 6 in / 300 pounds capacity
- 11 ft / 330 pounds capacity
- Materials: PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) coated drop stitch core with PVC coatings
The SUP for surfing that you can pack away into a backpack and take anywhere is the Waterwalker All-Around SUP by Thurso Surf. It is versatile and can be paddled on just about any type of water condition and by any rider with any skill level.
Waterwalker All-Around SUP by Thurso Surf is unexpectedly light-footed. It takes just a tad bit effort to get it to move and it turns quickly with no difficulty. It is surprising considering, the board doesn’t feel lightweight. It can hold on its own even in wind and chops.
Currently, Thurso Surf has a total of 5 inflatable SUP models, one of which is a fitness board, and the rest – all-around boards. Waterwalker is a real head-turner. With a deck sporting an attractive native woodgrain exterior, it looks completely stunning on the water, especially when paired with the board’s white and gray rails.
Thurso Surf is known for best-looking paddleboards in the market today. However, they also take construction very seriously. The top deck is a striking EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam traction pad with a relaxed ribbed design. The design provides outstanding grip while being easy on the hands and feet.
Its center is where the handle is housed, making it easier to carry the board around when entirely inflated. 4 stainless D-rings are strategically positioned along the board’s rails for easy attachment of optional accessories. They can also be attachment points for tying down a SUP cooler, camping gear, and other things.
You will instantly find one of the features very useful – Waterwalker All-Around SUP has added paddle holders to the right rail of the SUP paddleboard. These paddle holders are nylon webbed loops secured Velcro closures that are handy for those times when you need to set down your paddle to take a swim, take photos, or just relax.
|Removable fins for easier packing and storing||Faulty handles and back pad issues reported|
|Convenient paddle holders along the right rail||No kick tail
|Glides and tracks well||A bit heavy
|Rigid and durable
#2. Versa Paddle Board by Isle Surf and SUP – Best SUP for Surfing for Beginners
Model and Specifications
- 10 ft 5 in / 245 pounds capacity
- 11 ft 2 in / 300 pounds capacity
- Materials: Thermal molded epoxy
Isle SUP and surf was founded in 2004 by two San Diego surfers, Marc Miller & Doug Pate, fresh out of college with nothing more than a dream of pursuing their passion. Since then, both have never stepped foot in the corporate world and have remained hands-on with their business.
They have been one of the longest operating SUP brands and it wouldn’t come as a surprise that they have one of the largest in their quiver. They have a mix of inflatable SUPs, hardboard SUPs, as well as surfboards.
They are based in San Diego, where they founded their team, and can regularly get out on the water to try their products themselves. You will know a highly recommended product if they are tried and tested by the same team who built and engineered them.
Versa Paddle Board is one of the boards the team is most proud of. It is a simple all-around SUP. An extremely versatile SUP that suits most riders. A jack-of-all-trades paddler that is not phased at being the master of any.
This line of SUP from Isle Surf and SUP first came out in 2013 and has continuously developed into the comprehensive paddleboard it is today. Perfect for beginners, you can find an easy and stable ride that you can grow your skillset with. Versa is the perfect paddle board for any skill level to enjoy.
Perfect for leisure paddleboarding, SUP fishing, SUP yoga, and of course – SUP surfing.
Constructed from EPS (expanded polystyrene) blank that underwent precision mold, it created a more durable epoxy paddleboard that is incredibly lightweight. Over the years, in Isle Surf and SUPs’ efforts to improve Versa, they have found an eco-friendlier method that regulates the number of materials used in making the epoxy SUPs.
Versa Paddle Board has features that are handy for both leisure paddle boarding or SUP surfing. It has front bungees that let riders grab and go with safe and easy gear access. The middle holds the LiftSUP handle that pops out a carry handle that is comfortable for when you have to carry the SUP.
Worried about delamination? Versa has a Gortex Vent Plug that is specially designed and positioned to let the air escape safely from the core of the SUP. This is particularly helpful during rapid temperature changes on hot sunny days.
|Lightweight but sturdy||Extra effort required to manuever
|Good overall size||It gets scuffed and dirty very easily
|Excellent shape||Not balanced
|Full deck pad|
#3. ACE-TEC Cross SUP by BIC Sport – Best SUP for Surfing for the Whole Family
Model and Specifications
- 10 ft 6 in / 200 pounds capacity
- Materials: Thermofolded plastic skin, molded watertight EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam core
ACE-TEC Cross SUP by BIC Sport may not be the swiftest SUP of the group but it is exceptionally stable, rigid, and all-around a solid paddle board. Ideal for family use, it is the board you will want to take your little ones on, take pet for a ride, or transport water gear.
This SUP is extremely stable that it is able to handle rough waters and wakes without losing a beat. The durable plastic construction maybe a little too heavy to transport or load on a car, but can definitely take a beating.
ACE-TEC’s large size and heft meant that it can’t be bogged down by large waves like other SUPs. Its incredible stability lets the rider take full advantage of each paddle even in choppy conditions. This helps in gliding more per paddle and needing less energy spending.
With its solid rocker profile, ACE-TEC Cross SUP is easy to navigate through small and large waves as you surf. Even the longboard shape of this model guarantees that even beginners can easily maneuver this SUP.
This SUP is ideal if you are looking for a versatile board for various riders, water types, and skill levels. It is packed with the best technology that is existing for paddleboard manufacturing. It has an EPS foam core that is watertight, lightweight, and molded. A reinforced fiberglass lets for improved performance and stiffness.
ACE-TEC showcases unmatched resistance and durability all thanks to its outer skin that is made with ASA (Acrylic-styrene-acrylonitrile) polymer. Every rider is also guaranteed the fullest amount of comfort through the embossed EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam pad.
The outer layer of ACE-TEC paddleboard is tough enough that it won’t let any water in easily, even after bumps into rocky surfaces and scratches on the board. It has deck rigging anchors and 9-inch dolphin fin that makes it the great board for kids and adults who are just starting out.
|Glides well in rough waters||More expensive than most paddle boards|
|Easy to use and maneuver||Extremely heavy
|Versatile and durable||Hard to move
#4. Premium Inflatable SUP by SereneLife – Best SUP for Surfing for Your Money
Model and Specifications
- 10 ft 5 in / 275 pounds capacity
- Materials: Strong double PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) material
Premium Inflatable SUP by SereneLife showcases a lot of features that are perfect for anyone who has always loved paddle boarding and surfing and those who have just started to take interest in water sports.
Made from topnotch PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) materials, it has the ability to endure the roughness of the waters and survive bumps against rocks and other forms of obstacles. This SUP provides its riders the comfort, stability, and balance for that smooth and steady cruise across the waters.
The construction and design make this paddleboard very sturdy. They can certainly keep up with large names of inflatable SUPs in the market. Extremely strong and relatively stable particularly for kids and beginners.
It has three fin system that lets the SUP give the riders perfect traction as it glides through the water. Its non-slip top deck design gives the surfer the steady ride.
You will find it easy to paddle and very convenient to carry. Very stable and easy to use, you won’t even notice that it is an inflatable board. It features three fins that help increase speed while allowing for easy maneuverability of the board.
This paddleboard from SereneLife is very easy to setup. It comes with a high-quality pump that helps to easily inflate the board. Weighing at 19.6 pounds, it is not too heavy to be carried around by just one person.
After using, it is very easy to deflate. You can move it about easily since you can pack it up conveniently into its backpack. Ideal for those who trek a lot for SUP surfing excursions. This inflatable SUP is the best for your budget simply because it includes everything you need: SUP, adjustable paddles, repair kit, leash, glider, air pump, air hose, handle, and storage backpack.
|D-rings are handy for both storage and attachment purposes||Air pump may be challenging to use
|Superior constriction and exceptionally sturdy||Colors may fade easily
|Comes in a package with everything you need||Deflates easily
|Choose from 4 different colors
|Non-slip top deck design
#5. All-Around Inflatable SUP by PEAK Paddle Boards – Best SUP for Surfing for Kids
Model and Specifications
- 10 ft 6 in / 240 pounds capacity
- Materials: Strong double PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) material
A great choice for learning how to SUP or SUP Surfing, All-Around Inflatable SUP by PEAK Paddle Boards provides a pretty huge and stable deck. This allows you to feel safe no matter how you move and what you do. You can even ride along with your pet since it is roomy enough with stability uncompromised.
This inflatable SUP is ideal for average-sized users and could be challenging for taller riders to control. Sizing up the board is important, not just for the SUP’s performance but for your safety as well. PEAK Paddleboards aren’t limited to providing fun for average-sized riders only. If you are too tall for this board, you can try out their Peak 11 Expedition. Packed with the same features, except made specifically for taller riders.
Paddles inevitably impact the paddleboard’s performance so, it is worth mentioning. This set comes in with 3 pieces that are made of aluminum with a nylon blade, allowing you to adjust the length easily. Some may say it works well although could feel heavy. If that is the case with you, you can always go for the lighter paddles that you can purchase separately.
A well-made paddleboard both inside and out, it provides immense comfort because of its EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam deck pad that has diamond groove designs. These grooves are intended to provide traction when the paddleboard gets wet, giving you enough control with the ride.
The bungee storage up on the nose can be really handy for loading things like dry bags and lunch coolers.
Construction is well thought of with ultra-durable PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) materials that ensure this paddleboard can’t get scratched, dented, or punctured easily. Its drop stitch interior helps with the paddleboard’s rigidity. It can stand against hard SUPs and doesn’t bend when loaded.
Inflating the board needs about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the effort you put into it. A better solution is to use an electric pump to cut the inflation time in half, however, this will put an addition to your expenses.
As you have inflated the board, the fins can snap right into its place. Doing so doesn’t require any tools. The leash should be attached to the D-ring just behind the valve – this part is very important especially for your safety in the water.
|Grab handles for easy carrying and dragging||No rear bungees|
|Package includes everything you need||Deflates easily|
|Choose from four different colors||No side fins
|Fins are easy to install and remove
#6. 9 ‘ Rico (Wood Paddle Board) by Three Brothers Boards – Best Wood SUP for Surfing
Model and Specifications
- 9 ft 6 in x 31 in x 4 in / 155 liters / 22 pounds / 240 pounds capacity
- Materials: Thick diamond Kevlar weave wrap with a carbon fiber wrapped rails
If you are planning on paddleboard surfing with a more progressive style, then 9’ Rico by Three Brothers Boards is what you need. Its thin pulled-in tail makes the paddleboard very responsive and controllable while allowing stability in between waves.
This wood SUP surfing board uses an inch thick diamond Kevlar knit covering with a carbon fiber wrapped rails. It wears a quad fin set up with a large center fin and weighs about 22 pounds. Its wide and long EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) deck pad can room a GoPro with its integrated camera mount. Perfect for capturing your best surfing maneuvers.
The design incorporates a sharp nose and pulled-in tail that are intended to exhaust all responsiveness and maneuverability coming from a 9 ft longboard.
9’ Rico is a suitable pick if you want a paddleboard that is the strongest and most durable. It can be an expensive choice but, its design and construction make up for what you pay for. It can withstand the toughest of water conditions while delivering the best performances for surfing.
The Kevlar weave is not just for looks as it gives the paddleboard a very tough and durable armor all while letting the board flex just like a fiberglass board. Its carbon fiber rails keep the board safe from damage and dents caused by bumps into terrains or unintentional paddle strikes.
|Kevlar wrapped body paired with carbon fiber rails for added strength and durability on top of the wood||The most expensive SUP on the list
|GoPro mount available for capturing your best surfing moments||Not the paddleboard for beginners
|Well-designed paddleboard for experienced surfers||Low stability|
|4+1 fins setup for optimal surfing performance|
#7. Tiki Cruiser Inflatable SUP by FunWater – Best SUP for Surfing for Average Sized Riders
Model and Specifications
- 10 ft 6 in / 330 pounds capacity
- Materials: Single layer PVC layer + extra rail layer + drop stitch core material
FunWater offers one of the best budget-friendly beginner paddle boards in the market, not because it brings the most affordable but it is designed to help the rider pace their way up the ladder, giving them an easy transition once they are on the waters.
With a board measuring 10 ft 6 inches, it comes at par with other boards since it happens to be around the universal length of entry-level paddleboards.
Tiki Cruiser Inflatable SUP by FunWater was developed in consideration of beginners, teenagers, and young adults. Its dimensions help provide more stability than longer boards allowing you to be on the board most of the time.
Made with “New Ultra Dual Layer PVC,” it features multiple coats of PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) that renders it 10 times stronger with the correct stitching. Along with its practical set of features are the gripping pads that are undeniably reliable. These do not only grant the rider a firmer grip but it lets for easy navigation.
There is also that all-practical cargo net that is indispensable because it can be used in many different ways. The best is for storing personal belongings that you are not comfortable leaving by the bay. It comes with a nifty central carry handle that will help you bring around your board when inflated.
Best of all, the package comes with everything you need for SUP surfing: SUP, ankle leash, high-pressure hand pump, backpack carry bag, collapsible paddle, and waterproof case for your gadgets.
|Comes with everything you need||The high-pressure pump is hard to use
|Great EVA deck pad||Valves reported leaking|
|Ultra-lightweight||Fins may be too flimsy
Our Top Pick
In spite of being a new player in the game of SUPs, Thurso Surf has quickly established its reputation as a brand that develops superior products. Their Waterwalker All-Around SUP is but one proof why.
The Waterwalker All-Around SUP by Thurso Surf works impeccably and offers a great level of performance for any skill level at any age or body fitness, too! Its simplicity doesn’t mean any of what it is supposed to do is compromised. Its performance makes it the paddleboard that is enjoyable for beginners and for seasoned riders.
This is the perfect board that will help you have a good time when you are out in the water, whether for a leisure paddle or a ride on waves.
Surfing on SUPs
Paddleboards were practically born out of surfboards. The replica of a previously ignored olo surfboard ridden by ancient Hawaiian kings was brought for restoration in the early 1930s. Thomas Edward Blake, lightened this redwood replica by drilling it full of holes, that he eventually covered. This was the first hollow board that led to the creation of the modern paddleboard.
Fast forward to today, SUPs (Stand up paddleboards) have become exceptionally popular for water sports enthusiasts and beginners alike who are looking to have some fun on the water. These sticks have gained popularity because of their versatility.
You can use SUP to enjoy different activities while on the water. From paddling on a lake, ocean or river to yoga to surfing. Yes, surfing!
Surfing on SUP is becoming more and more popular. Stand up paddleboard surfing is pretty much surfing on SUP instead of the typical surfboard. SUP surfing lets you stand up on the board and use your paddle to catch the wave rather than lying on your stomach and paddling with your arms to catch waves.
The simple concept of SUP surfing is just about the same as regular surfing. You paddle in, wait for the wave, catch and ride, and then paddle out. There are just a few specific techniques used to learn and catch the best waves that tend to vary a bit.
Take a look at StandUpPaddlingTV’s episode of SUP Surfing 101 to get the idea.
If you find traditional surfing a little challenging for you and you prefer to stand on both your feet as you ride, then SUP surfing is what you can try. It is one of the most enjoyable water sports you can do that is not as hard as surfing.
What is important, as with any activity, that you have the best gear to use. The one that will work for you, considering your body physique, your skill level, and the type of waters you want to ride.
We hope we gave you enough information so you can make the right decision in picking the Best SUP for surfing
Buying Guide for the Best SUPs for Surfing
SUP surfing and surfing with the traditional surfboard vary quite significantly. SUP surfing already has you standing up, while traditional has you jump on your feet after you paddle in. This makes a lot of riders assume that SUP surfing is easier than traditional surfing.
It can be if you are riding the right SUP. Note that not all SUP can be used for surfing. Here are some of what you need to consider in getting the best SUP for surfing.
The best SUP for surfing is usually around 10 ft long and between 30 to 32 inches in width. However, it will still vary depending on your skill level. A skilled surfer has more options and he can choose whether a longboard or shortboard style.
A lot of newbies, on the other hand, will go with longboard style SUP since it gives just the right balance and doesn’t tip over.
SUPs for surfing can be both solid and inflatable models. Inflatable SUPS are best constructed with military-grade PVC and are often cheaper than solid ones. Aside from the price tag, what makes inflatable SUPs more appealing is the fact that you can easily store them in a backpack for storage when deflated.
For solid SUPs, the best ones are made from high-density EPS foam. This construction adds durability to these boards allowing them to handle the unpredictable pounding surf. It also ensures the board, even when it is solid, is still light enough to carry.
SUPs for surfing and traditional surfing boards share features that are helpful for riders. For example, surf leash is important so that you won’t lose your board after falling down or getting wiped out. There is also that handle that is ideal for transporting your board down the beach.
Choose products with a non-slip grip deck that will aid you with balancing. Adjustable paddles can be handy too especially that they let you adapt to different wave sizes.
As a rule of thumb, a single-center fin is best for calm water paddling, three fins for surfing and carving sharp turns, and iSUP fins are for balancing.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):
Q: What is good about SUP Surfing?
SUP Surfing allows you to surf with better sight. As you stand out on board the whole time, you can examine the entire ocean, totally different from traditional riding where you have to crane your neck to look to the horizon.
Q: Which is better? Inflatable or solid?
This has been a long and interesting debate but really, both work great for surfing. What makes iSUP stand out and become the general preference of most is it’s being lightweight therefore more maneuverable. And, it can be easily deflated so you can store or travel with it with ease.