Ever wonder what you need to know when it comes to SUP surfing? Yes, the sport may look intimidating, but, anyone can do it with some practice and time. To other water sports, standup paddling can sometimes be a downer to be around because of the lack of knowledge that some who participate in the sport possess. We wanted to look into the essentials of what the average SUP surfer needs to know, so we asked none other than SUP surfing extraordinaire and Starboard SUP athlete, Sean Poynter. Here are the top 4 essentials to know in SUP surfing according to Sean:
1. Having The Right Equipment
Photo: Joe Godbee
Having the right SUP equipment is essential. Get a board and a paddle that are correctly suited for you and your body type. Don’t necessarily go for what the pros are riding. Remember, they are pros and they have a skill set that has taken years to acquire and define. Also, “get a board that will work well in the conditions that you are surfing in” says Sean. “Choose the right board for what you want to achieve.” Don’t rush into it. Take your time and learn the basics first.
2. Find A Safe Location
Photo: Ray Godwin.
Know your skill level and find a location that will suit your skill level. Don’t go to the most popular or most crowded wave simply because that’s where the best waves are. If you are just beginning, you need to find a wave that is suited just for that. Also, going out in a crowded lineup can be very dangerous if you don’t have SUP surfing mastered quite yet. Going around a bunch of people can get pretty dangerous for you and those around you. So, assess the lineup and those around you. “Remember, safety comes first when it comes to fun in the ocean, for yourself, as well as for others” says Sean.
3. Find A Local
Photo: Joao Palhas
If you aren’t familiar with the area or the surf spots that you want to go to, find someone who does, who is willing to help you out. Local knowledge is one of the most helpful tools to have when experiencing a new location and it can go a long way. “Link up with somebody who is knowledgeable of SUP surfing,” said Sean. “Going out with someone who knows the lineups and knows how to navigate the crowds can be really helpful.”
4. Be Courteous
Photo: Michael Vicens
“Being courteous in the lineup is one of the most important, if not the most important rule when SUP surfing,” says Sean. One reason that standup paddling gets a lot of heat is because of the advantage that we have when out in the water. As a standup paddler, we are able to get into the waves much quicker and earlier than those on shortboards and longboards, and many take advantage of that fact and become wave-hogs, thus, creating a bad name for the sport and its participants. We need to be courteous to the other surfers and paddlers in the lineup and take turns when riding waves. Share the stoke of surfing and let everyone have a chance at having fun. “It’s a big part of SUP surfing and, it probably needs to go the longest way,” according to Sean.
Sean Poynter, somewhere in Mexico...
In gathering these four tips for things to know in SUP surfing, if each tip is considered, you should be able to find yourself having an awesome time with the perfect comfortability for your ability level.