What's the Best Paddle Board for Surfing?
Updated January 16, 2018
Stand up paddle boards and surfing go hand and hand. While regular, old surfing is still wildly popular; many water sports enthusiasts are starting to focus on SUP surfing these days.
To SUP surf, you need more than just a regular paddle board. You need a paddle board that is dedicated to catch and ride waves without tripping. If you don’t have such a board, then you’ll end up in the waves more than riding them.
Comparison of the Best Rated SUPs for Surfing
Reason to Buy
Isle Soft Top
High Density Foam
9'10", 10' 8"
CBC Stand Up
High Density EPS Foam
BIC Sport ACE-TEC
ACE-TEC epoxy composite
9' 2", 10' 6", 11' 6"
What Should You Look For in a Surf Paddle Board?
Not all paddle boards or SUPs for surfing are made equal. If you’re looking to paddle and surf, you’ll need to look for a few specific things in a board, including:
- SUP Size Matters
If you want to surf on your stand up paddle board, then you’ll need one that is over 10 feet long, and around 31-33 inches wide. Boards of this size offer riders the stability needed to handle waves.
- High Quality Construction
You’ll want to invest in a board made out of the highest quality materials – if surfing is your objective. A material like high-density EPS foam is ideal for SUP surfing and is often used for such boards. Materials like ACE-TEC epoxy, and manufacturing techniques like thermal molding, will often yield a durable SUP surfing board that is lightweight.
- Pay Attention to Reviews
When buying a SUP board, you MUST pay attention to the reviews you’ll find on sites like this and Amazon.com. By using the reviews, you’ll be able to get the best possible board for your money. These reports offer you a quick glimpse of how the board will perform in the water.
- Get the Gear
Lastly, make sure you pay attention to what is included in the purchase price. Many times a stand up paddle board for surfing comes with accessories and gear. Common accessories included in the sale are leashes and a carrier.
Surfing on a Paddle Board? Really?
If you’re curious about SUP surfing, then look no further. Stand up paddle boards, or SUPs, have become incredibly popular for water sports enthusiasts and beginners looking to have fun on the water
Stand up paddle boards have gained popularity as of late because of their versatility. You can use a SUP to enjoy a variety of activities on the water. From surfing to paddling to yoga – and more! Plus, you can use a stand up paddle board on a lake, ocean or river.
One of the activities on a SUP that’s booming in popularity is surfing. SUP surfing is simply surfing on a SUP instead of on an old-fashioned surfboard. Instead of starting on your stomach and using your arms to paddle and catch a wave, you stand up on the board and use your paddle to catch the wave.
The basic idea of SUP surfing is almost the same as regular surfing. You paddle out, wait for the wave, catch it, and then paddle back out. The specific techniques used to learn and catch the best waves tends to vary a bit.
5 Best Surfing Paddle Boards on the Market
If you’re looking for reviews of the best SUP boards for surfing, look no further:
1. ISLE Soft Top Stand Up Paddle Board
SUP surfing has never been easier. The ISLE Soft Top Stand Up Paddle Board package comes with everything you need to get out and the water and learn to be a great SUP surfer.
What’s amazing about this package from ISLE is that it comes with everything you need to start surfing on your stand up paddle board. When you buy this board, you’re also purchasing all the accessories needed to hit the waves. All inclusive SUP surfing package!
This ISLE soft top SUP is made with high-density foam that’s ideal for surfing. It’s manufactured with a longer length to ensure great stability, while the board can still maneuver through the waves.
An ideal SUP for beginner surfers, the ISLE will smoothly handle waves and offers reliable performance in the water. Users all rave about the non-slip deck grip that makes staying on the board simple.
- Accessories: Paddle, carry handle, fin, non-slip deck grip
- Material: High-density foam
- Length: 9′ 10″ & 10′ 8″
- Thickness: 5″
- Weight: About 70 lbs.
- Max Rider: 275lbs.
2. California Board Company Stand Up Paddle Board
If you’re looking for a beginner board ideal for SUP surfing, then this California Board Company SUP is sure to please. Many consider this surfing SUP one of the best due to the ease of use and incredible durability.
The CBC SUP offers a high-quality EPS foam that offers lightweight maneuverability but is still strong enough to handle the big waves on the open ocean. Many users also love how light the board is due to the foam. Carrying the board around is quite easy.
Lastly, the California Board Company SUP comes with all the accessories you need to get out on the water. This is a huge benefit to newcomers to SUP surfing – who just want to try the sport out.
- Accessories: Adjustable paddle, surf leash, ankle strap, roof shield, bungees, padded roof racks
- Material: High-density EPS foam
- Length: 10′ 9″
- Thickness: 3.9″
- Overall Dimensions: 10′ 9″ X 31.9″ X 3.9″
- Weight: Around 25 lbs.
- Max rider: 300 lbs.
3. BIC Sport ACE-TEC Performer SUP
One of the best-known SUPs for surfing, this BIC Sport ACE-TEC model is sure to please. Due to the high-quality construction, the board is incredibly strong, yet lightweight. This SUP is made from BIC’s ACE-TEC epoxy composite foam.
With a solid rocker profile, this SUP is easy to navigate through small and large waves while surfing. The longboard shape of this BIC model ensures even beginners can easily maneuver the SUP.
If you’re looking for a versatile board for a number of different riders and water types, then this could be perfect for you. Most reviewers give this board high ratings for performance in the water, and we certainly do, too!
- Accessories: Center fin, deck pad, carry handle, deck attachment points
- Material: ACE-TEC epoxy composite
- Thickness: 5″
- Length: 9′ 2″ or 10′ 6″ or 11′ 6″
- Weight: 23-30 lbs.
- Max rider: 150-240 lbs.
4. ISLE Versa Stand Up Paddle Board
Due to the incredible versatility, the ISLE Versa SUP offers, this board is ideal for flat water paddling and for SUP surfing. The board can also handle users with a variety of experience levels.
Designed to offer stability in flat water or while riding a wave, the ISLE Versa was created using an all-around shape for versatility. The body was formed using ISLE’s patented thermal molding process that ensures a lightweight board with great responsiveness.
The non-slip deck grip is essential for beginner SUP riders and veterans in the game. Many reviewers love the ISLE Versa for its smooth handling and ease of use. When a reliable paddle board is what you need, the Versa is ideal.
- Accessories: Adjustable paddle, carry handle, center fin
- Material: Thermal-molded epoxy
- Thickness: 4.5″
- Length: 10′ 5″
- Overall Dimensions: 10′ 5″ X 32″ X 4.5″
- Weight: 27 lbs.
- Max rider: 275 lbs.
5. Greco Surf Soft Performance Surf & Paddle Board
When quality and detail are of the utmost importance for your SUP surfing endeavors, then the Greco Surf Soft fits the bill. With a six-ounce epoxy core designed to maximize safety, this SUP comes with a shape the makes the board easy to use in the water.
At 11 feet long, the Greco Surf Soft is a longer board and can hold up to 300 pounds. Due to the extended length, this SUP maneuvers especially well in waves. The board is said to glide over the water.
- Accessories: 3 fins, tie down straps, 11-foot long high-end leash
- Material: Nylon/fiberglass, epoxy core, IXPE deck, HDPE plastic bottom
- Thickness: 5.1″
- Length: 11′
- Overall Dimensions: 11′ X 31″ X 5.1″
- Weight: 27 lbs.
- Max rider: 300 lbs.
Recommended Carriers for Your Board
While SUP surfing has taken off in the last few years, many water sports enthusiasts have one complaint. Stand up paddle boards can be difficult to carry. The boards can be over 30 pounds – which is often a lot for smaller people.
That’s not the biggest issue. The main issue is how large stand up paddle boards are. This makes SUPs hard to carry for everyone – from smaller people to huge bodybuilders. Carrying any amount of weight in an awkward position can be difficult.
Enter stand up paddle board carriers. If you’re planning to SUP surf a lot, we highly recommend investing in a suitable SUP carrier. It’ll make your life so much easier – trust us!
Some boards come with a carrier bag tailor-made to their product. If your board comes with a carrier, then use it. If not, we recommend these three carriers:
Is it Difficult to Learn?
SUP surfing has taken off because it’s fun and fairly easy to learn. Many find surfing on a SUP easier than trying to stand up on a regular surf board. See, nearly everyone gets the hang of paddle boarding the first time they give it a shot. Most people can stand up and paddle at the same time.
Stand up paddle board surfing is similar. You just add timing the waves and riding them. Once you can stand up on a SUP, you can start to understand the momentum of the waves and the complexities of the water. It’s not too difficult, but it does take one thing.
Practice! The old saying practice makes perfect is true when talking about SUP surfing. The more you paddle out to catch some waves the better you’ll get at it. It’s also a good idea to take a few lessons before you go out on your own.
We hope this article offers you all the info you need to start SUP surfing like a pro. If you need more info, read our full comparison guide here. The SUP boards for surfing above are some of the best on the market, especially for beginners.
Grab a board, take a few lessons, and start SUP surfing like a pro! The water is waiting for you.