SUP SurfingDecember 18, 2015
Stand Up Paddle surfing is a sport originating in Hawaii as an offshoot of surfing and also has a strong surfing culture in Australia. SUP surfing enables surfers to paddle farther into the ocean which is one of the most exciting part.
5 Simple Steps to Kick Off SUP Surfing: How to SUP Surf
There are 5 simple steps to kick off your SUP Surfing:
- Place yourself approximately 10-50 feet on the outside of where the waves are breaking so that you can allow yourself enough time to generate speed to get into the wave.
- Second, keep an eye out for approaching sets by looking out on the horizon. When paddling for the wave, make sure you paddle perpendicular to the wave in order to catch it.
- Use a stagger-stance when paddling into the wave to help keep your balance.
- Forth, continue to bend your knees with your weight forward towards front of board. This will help you glide into the wave.
- Once you catch the wave, shift your feet into complete surf stance. Keep your knees bent to maintain stability. Hold your paddle in front of you and back towards the tail of board, hovering just above the water. This will center and balance you, and if you fall forward you can catch yourself with planting the paddle on the water.
Things to know when SUP surfing: Types of Breaks
When you SUP surf, there are certain things you need to know before starting, and that are types of breaks or where the waves are breaking.
Beach brake is one slang term in surfing. The term “Beach Break” is derived from the place where waves break, which is at a beach. It is usually a fast and normally steep wave that breaks over a sandy seabed. Beach break waves are fun to surf and are probably best for SUP Surfing beginners as these waves are normally short and often close to shore.
Point Break is a wave that breaks onto a rocky point or rocks that jut out from the coastline. In comparison to a beach break, a point break tends to be a little bit quicker although, depending on the tides, it can be slower than a beach break. A lot of variables can come into play, but in general, a point break is a little bit quicker, is way more defined, and in some ways, a little bit easier to surf because there is often a channel that you can easily use to get out to the wave break and keep it up. One drawback to point break is the crowd factor. Point breaks tend to have a larger crowd than beach breaks do.
Lastly, reef breaks. Reef breaks are the most aggressive of all waves. They offer a bottom that is sharp and jagged and can cut you. Reef breaks are for the more experienced SUP surfers and not necessarily recommended for a SUP surfing beginner.
SUP Surfing Rules of Thumbs: Always fall safely!
When you SUP Surf, it is important to note that falling off of our paddle boards is almost inevitable. It’s part of the process, sometimes even part of the fun. There is however a right and a wrong way on falling off of our SUPs. Here are the techniques of how to fall off your SUP Board properly to avoid any undesirable injury. So, read below for some SUP Surfing rules of thumbs:
1. Distance yourself from your board
One of the main things when falling off of your SUP while surfing is to distance yourself from your board. Falling away from your board will heighten your chances of keeping you out of harm’s reach.
2. Slice paddle through water
When you fall, you have to make sure that your paddle slices through the water and doesn’t slap it. This means having your blade or handle leading first. You want to make sure that your paddle comes with you easily and doesn’t get left behind you as you’re falling forward.
3. Lead with hand when resurfacing
When coming up to the surface after falling, it’s always best to lead with your hand, not with your head. This will allow you to make sure you’re coming up to the surface with a clear path and will prevent you from hitting, or getting hit by your board.
4. Get back on board
When resurfacing and getting back to your board, you’re going to want to climb onto your board and stand at the center point of it. The handle of your board is a great indicator of that center point. When pulling yourself up onto your board from the center point, you can put your paddle up onto the board then push yourself up into a standing position once again.
5 SUP Surfing Tips & Techniques to help you enjoy SUP Surfing more
Below are some simple tips and techniques that we have gathered to help you enjoy your SUP Surfing even more.
1. Develop Strong Flat Water Skills
Develop strong flat water paddling skills prior to entering the surf. Learn how to turn the board, stop, go sideways, and perform several turns. Practice in rough water on windy days to become comfortable in bumpy conditions. Work on your balance skills using the pivot turn. Step to the tail of your board which raises the nose. Keep your feet on both sides of the board’s centerline. Squat and lean forward the further the board raises out of the water. Try to turn the board in circles without falling off.
2. Learn and Practice Surfers’ Etiquette
Research surfer’s etiquette on the web and make sure to follow the rules when in the water. One of the most important rules is not to drop in on someone else. A SUP surfing beginner should always wear a leash which will help protect the newbie, the board and most importantly the other people who are in the water.
3. Pick the Appropriate Surf Conditions
Learn about different types of waves, beaches, surf rips, and how to pick good surfing conditions. Peeling, crumbling, and reform waves are best to start out on. Reform waves are those that form after a larger wave has broken and will be less crowded.
4. Keep Your Distance from Other Surfers
Pick an uncrowded beach and keep your distance from other surfers. Don’t paddle out where others are surfing and don’t enter the water where families are playing in the surf. Always keep a watchful eye out for waves coming in and other surfers around you. If you are skilled enough to be in a line-up, sit down while waiting for waves to avoid towering over others. Start a conversation with other surfers if you feel any tension. Stay out of the line-up if you can’t control your board 100%.
5. Wipe Out Tactfully & Safely
Never let go of your paddle! When you come to the surface after falling off your board do a visual check to see if there are more waves coming and if there’s anyone around you. Flip your board over and get back on as soon as possible. If a wave is coming and you don’t have time to get up on it, hold on to the handle of your paddle and the leash where it attaches to the board. Then dive under the wave allowing for your board and paddle to follow behind you. Keep that board in close so the leash doesn’t fully extend out putting your board near others.