We have to admit, when it comes to the discussion about paddleboard v.s. surfboard, we’re a little bit biased.

It’s a conversation many water sports fans are having nowadays. The waves no longer belong solely to the surf bros. Though many surfers welcome SUP boarders, and even grab a paddle themselves, others resent the influx of outsiders to their waters. It’s hard to believe, but there are those who consider classic surfing superior to SUP.

However, did you know, many attribute the invention of modern SUP boarding to one of the most legendary surfers in history? In fact the two sports are very closely related.

With the rising popularity of SUP, and its similarity to surfing, people are growing more and more curious about surfboarding vs paddle boarding. “Can you surf on a paddle board?”, “What’s the difference between a surfboard and paddle board?” and “Is SUP easier than surfing?”, are a few questions floating around the SUP world these days.

It’s the answers to these questions that distinguishes SUP as a unique and exciting sport, and why you should SUP vs surf.



Using a paddle to help propel you to better waves is much easier than lying on your stomach and paddling with your arms, which is required on a traditional surfboard. And, when you do find the sweet spot, actually catching the wave is more attainable on a paddle board than on a regular surfboard.

Staring off standing up when surfing makes more sense. Surfing on a SUP offers a mobility that surpasses anything you can do on a surfboard. The SUP board may seem more cumbersome and heavy, but it’s the weight and stability of a SUP board that makes the mobitly possible.


Though SUP boarding can be a rigorous workout, anyone can stand up on one. It’s very easy to moderate your amount of exertion. People young, old, with injuries and special needs can all do it. So, the answer to the question “Can you surf on a SUP board?” is YES. If you can stand, you can SUP surf.

Surfing, as opposed to SUP, requires the ability to quickly push yourself onto the board and brace your knees. Anyone with troubled joints doesn’t stand a chance (pun intended). Plus, the risk of falling off the board is greater, and can lead to further injury, as you’re attempting to stand up while catching a wave at the same time.


SUP boards are designed to serve many different purposes. There’s a wide variety of activities you can do on a SUP, from hauling camping gear to fishing, and even yoga. The size and weight of the board allow for more versatility. Plus, the SUP board’s added volume actually makes it easier to catch waves.

A surfboard really only serves one purpose on the water. The surfboard’s sleek and lightweight design helps it slash through waves, but it isn’t really suited for much else. The innumerable options you have with a paddle board, and its substantial volume, are more arguments in favor of SUP in the discussion of stand up paddle board vs surfboard.


SUP boarding is a solid core workout. Unlike a kayak, where you are sitting the whole time, SUP utilizes the entire body. Gliding across the waves on a SUP requires balance and attention the whole time you are on the board, so the overall workout is very beneficial.

The amount of energy exerted on the water is another major difference between surfboard and paddle board. Surfing is a workout in its own right. But most of the time you are sitting waiting for a wave, with small bursts of energy in between. This doesn't compare to the long term physicality of being on a SUP.


The “S” in SUP is important, because the ability to STAND on water unencumbered is a thrill unlike any other. You can see all your surroundings and connect with the ocean in a profound way, as you view all that’s above and below you. Plus, it’s great for spotting nice surf breaks from afar.

Many surfers claim the connection with the ocean is the most important part of surfing, but only see a fraction of it from their vantage point sitting on their boards. And, when they are standing, it’s only for fleeting seconds. In the debate of paddle board vs surfboard, the view from a SUP wins every time.

SUP adventures with YOLO Board

Finally, the possibilities on a SUP are endless. You can go anywhere. You can paddle up canals, battle rapids, glide across calm lakes, and even explore unsubmerged caves on a paddle board. If there is water you can SUP.

A big difference between surfboard and paddle board is SUP can take you places a surfboard just can’t.

So if you’re looking for adventure, remember YOLO!

And we want to remind you of one thing...

Always be respectful. When sharing the water, whether paddle boarding vs surfboarding, be kind to your fellow ocean buddies. If you are a fan of SUP Surfing, make sure to check out our selection of surf paddle boards!

Remember why you are all there - for the love of adventure, the outdoors, and most of all, catching the perfect wave.