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Tom Carrol SUP Surfing

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SUP SURFING – paddle surfing

tips on surfing a stand up paddleboard.

One of the most exciting parts of the sport is STAND UP PADDLE surfing

“almost everyone who wants to buy a Stand Up Paddle board wants to at least catch small waves and learning to surf is way easier on a SUP”

The good news is that 80% of all boards we sell – the all-rounder, will do this. By far the best way to learn to surf is on a Stand Up Paddleboard as you can easily see the waves coming and you have a large paddle to help get you in the right spot and when you take off on the wave you are already standing up! The larger board floats more easily and makes it easier to stay on the wave and surf it.

We stock a wide range of surfing SUP’s from performance boards to all-rounders, so let us help you get into one of the most exciting parts of the sport. The Surf-specific Stand Up Paddleboard is more specialised than all-round Stand Up Paddleboard.  Read more about the different types of boards here or give us a call.

PADDLE SURFING adds a host of really cool new dimensions to catching and surfing waves. A whole new skill set is required to use the paddle. It is a simple, yet beautiful tool and it is almost like learning to surf all over again with all the thrills that go with it!

Not many of us forget the first wave we ever caught from beginning to end. If you could bottle that feeling you would. Well SUP surfing lets that genie out of the bottle along with all the thrills, spills and fun of learning a whole new board sport.
The larger board and the power of the paddle, gets you onto the wave VERY early, already standing up. You see the waves easier as you are higher up, you are faster to get to the right position in the lineup and it is easier to get to un-crowded spots.

2016 Naish SUP_Action_Alana_girl surfing

One of the problems with progressing to a high level in surfing is that you become picky with time and when its good, everyone is out and NO ONE wants to share! When you start out Paddle Surfing you are going to enjoy riding 1-2’ on-shore waves again. Sure you are going to progress, but you will enjoy the learning proces, get a LOT fitter in the process and have the ability to cruise the coastline from break to break.

Just paddling around 6’ above the water and seeing down into it, adds a whole new dimension to enjoying the ocean.


We have a strong surfing culture in Australia that is part of our heritage. Along with that culture comes a strong set of un-written rules on how to behave in the waves.

DONT KOOK IT! If you do not surf or do not understand these rules please DO NOT take your board into the surf or anywhere near anyone surfing. As this sport grows there needs to be much more awareness on how to behave in the surf and in the line-up.

There are plenty of unriden waves up and down our coast which are perfect for Paddle Surfing.

Sunova Insane Hilly WA SUP wideGet out and enjoy the best that the sport has to offer – riding un-crowded breaks with no one else around!It is important of course with any new sport to show RESPECT and stay away from crowds and other surfers – which is not hard when you can move around so easily. Stand Up Paddlesurfing is all about ALOHA and RESPECT!


Keep the top arm straight. Once you start bending your upper arm you will use too much power and paddle inefficiently. Apply longer more powerful strokes when gliding along and shorter higher frequency strokes to catch waves.


When paddling in a straight line it is best to stand 90 degrees to the board – once you catch a glide or a wave, change into surfing position – one foot forward. The ‘surf’ or offset stance is less stable so practice paddling with feet ‘offset’. The narrower the board is, the harder it is to keep balance. Boards around 28 to 30 inches offer enough stability for most people.


Stand up boards allow you to catch waves well before they actually break. They are hard to turn from the paddling position so you need to get back towards the tail to have any effect on direction. You will learn to use the paddle for trimming, steering and turning.

‘The Mal of Death’

If you have ever had a SUP board heading towards you, out of control you will know where this ‘tag’ came from. So wear a leg rope!

You will actually progress faster if you start out and practice on flat water.

As a general rule, stay away from other surfers or swimmers when you start out in the surf. Even once you are better try to stay away from crowded spots – it is easy for the stand up rider to pick off all the best waves – NOT COOL!


Look for breaks with channels so you can easily get in and out – points are perfect.
Also stay away from sucky waves and low tide.
The beauty is that this sport doesn’t need perfect breaks – almost any wave is fun. Avoid spots with strong offshore winds as it gets really hard to paddle in windy conditions.


Wind – especially off-shore
Choppy conditions
Shore breaks
Other Surfers and swimmers

Before you get started doing this anywhere you MUST BE A GOOD SWIMMER!!!   Don’t go far out from shore or out on very windy days where you could get blown out to sea. If you are a beginner don’t go alone. Make sure to go where there are Lifeguards!

Stand Up paddle Board surfing girl

PSH Stand Up paddle Board surfing girl


Half the fun of SUP surfing is learning. Get out for a session every two days and you will feel a 6 pack coming on – it really does work your core muscles.
Once you learn the basics of SUP surfing taking it to the next level so you can maximize your surf sessions is done by practicing certain things and just paddling on the flat days consistently.

Here’s a few things to do on flat days that are both fun and great training…

  • Paddles both sides with feet offset. Then switch natural to goofy and do the same.
  • Practice turning by reverse paddling on one side and then finishing the turn on the other.  Do 360’s – both sides
  • ‘Stall turn’ by stepping back to the tail and paddling to turn – practice 360’s – both sides.
  • Throw in some sprints to simulate taking off on waves. Start with short rapid strokes.
  • Paddle! Paddle! Paddle!!!   Take the scenic route – nothing beats just paddling around….

15NaishSUP_Family wave wide

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