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Started With SUP Surfing

Getting Started With SUP Surfing

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Australia has a long history of surfing and the watersport remains one of the most well-celebrated activities by many across the country. The surfing community, however, does not hesitate to welcome new aspects of its culture, as is evidenced by the growing popularity of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and the bridge between the two known as SUP surfing or, simply, paddle surfing.

At its core, SUP surfing is very similar to surfing. You seek out a wave and do your best to ride it, working with its trajectory and motion to achieve speed and movement. Outside of this is where the paddleboarding element makes it all quite different.

Those familiar with SUP will know that one of the most attractive aspects of the watersport is that it is immensely easy to begin. Unlike surfing, which requires boarders to overcome a rather steep learning curve and then spend time finding suitable environments and conditions to enjoy themselves, paddleboarders can simply place their board on the water and begin exploring. While there is a modest learning curve with paddleboarding, many find themselves navigating lakes and seafronts soon after beginning.

This ease of use transfers to SUP surfing and actually helps to improve a number of surfing elements. Catching a wave, for instance, is generally considered to be easier on a paddleboard because riders are already stood up and with a paddle that allows them to quickly maneuver into position. The size of a paddleboard also offers a greater degree of stability, making it easier for most to keep themselves upright and in control even when traversing challenging waves.

Such ease on the water does, of course, require choosing the right paddleboard since not all paddleboards are designed for SUP surfing. Boards that are shaped with surfing in mind tend to be shorter than a traditional paddleboard since the former is designed for increased and responsive movement. Paddleboards suitable for surfing will also tend to have a more defined grip pad since stability is challenged more thoroughly by the waves.

Other elements of the watersport are also important to consider, from the chosen paddle to the accessories brought along onto the water. Personal floatation devices and board leashes remain important, just as they are for surfing and paddleboarding. Many SUP surfers will also recommend that beginners consider their outfit too since those new to the watersport will likely end up in the sea as they start out.

Once comfortable with the process and equipment, it’s time to get onto the water. However, there is one final piece of advice that experienced paddle surfers share, which is to practice together. Watersports are celebrated for their communities but the social element also lends itself to safety too. Those stepping out onto the water for the first time, especially when chasing waves, should ideally do so with others. This could be a group of friends who have the experience to recognise risks or it could be with a local club or class, ensuring that newcomers are able to find their feet.

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