Originating from ancient Polynesian wave riding, the modern Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) exploded onto the surf scene after footage of Laird Hamilton emerged in the late 90’s riding the huge waves of Peahi, otherwise known as Jaws in Maui, Hawaii on a SUP.   

SUPs tend to be thick and wide, enabling the surfer to stand on the board when paddling out.  Surf SUPs are typically within the 7 – 9ft range whilst other types of SUP can reach up to 14 ft. In the surf a SUP will get you into waves much earlier than a shortboard or even longboard allows, so it’s important to show plenty of respect to the rest of line up and follow the SUP etiquette guide, LINK to SUP safety guide. It’s essential in the water to minimise the risk to other surfers and ensure the line-up stay stays a fun and welcoming environment.       

There are now a huge range of SUP variations on offer for disciplines including adventure, touring, racing, whitewater, downwinding and even SUP yoga and SUP fishing. 

One of the fastest growing sports in the world SUP provides an excellent route for people to get onto the water, but as many are new to the marine environment it’s really important the basic safety messages are followed. 

On the beach – always SUP between the black and white chequered flags at a RNLI lifeguarded beach. Read more about surf safety and etiquette here.   

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