What Is The Difference Between Paddle Boarding And Surfing

Paddleboarding (SUP) vs. Surfing And The Differences

The most significant difference between stand up paddle boarding and surfing is paddle boarding is done with a paddle.

Surfers will lay on their boards and use their arms to get out onto the water before catching a wave.

It is common to see paddle boarders surfing as well but they will always have a paddle and probably won’t be doing quite as many cool tricks as the traditional surfers.

See Also: Best Inflatable Paddle Boards (ISUP) For Surfing

Another big difference is paddle boarding can be done on any body of water whereas surfers have to have surf or waves.

Because of their size, stand up paddle boarding is less of a speed and skill activity and more of a paddling one much like canoeing or kayaking.

Person stand up paddle boarding on a frozen lake in the mountains
Surfing requires some sort of water motion to move the board while paddle boarding is best for calm water.

While surfboards and SUP’s are, for the most part, made of the same materials, they are very different in design.

Surfboards are usually thinner, narrower, and can be shorter than SUPs. They are more maneuverable but less stable.

See Also: Best Inflatable Paddle Boards (ISUP) for Beginners

SUP’s need more volume to be stable because the rider has to be able to move and paddle to use it. They are always thicker and in most cases longer and broader than surfboards.

The great thing about paddle boarding is anyone can do it. You don’t even need a rack on your vehicle to transport it around because there are inflatable paddle boards that work just as good, if not better, as solid ones.

There are inflatable surfboards as well, but they aren’t as common or popular as inflatable paddle boards.

See Also: Inflatable Paddle Boards vs. Solid (Hard) Paddle Boards

Have any questions about the difference between paddle boarding and surfing? Leave a comment below.

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