man on surf sup board

The Best Surfing Stand Up Paddle Boards

Looking for the Best Paddleboards for Surfing?

Surfing using a stand-up paddleboard is a fun activity that is also a great form of exercise.

Lifelong paddleboard surfers have the experience to select a paddleboard, but beginners may need help in choosing the right SUP for riding waves.


The Benefits of the Surfing SUPs

Whether you are a complete beginner that is interested in paddleboard surfing, or you have tried paddleboard surfing during a vacation and want to immerse yourself in the fun sport this article can help you.

This article features five of the best paddleboards that we hope will meet your paddleboard requirements.

We will go over the specifications and features of five paddleboards that would be ideal for paddleboard surfing.

However, if you don't find that any of the five paddleboards meet your needs there are a wide range of paddleboards sold on the market and a bit of research may help you find the right paddleboard for you.


Features:

  • Available in two sizes: 10'3" and 11'
  • Width: 10'3" is 34" wide and 11' is 32" wide
  • Great in small to medium sized surf
  • Three fin configurations for surfring or flatwater conditions

The Boardworks Kraken is a beautiful sleek design for a SUP.  

The thinned out rails make for efficient surf performance, yet it's also fun even when paddling on a lake.  The board is designed with a sharp nose that cuts through rougher water conditions and makes for easier turning.

The Kraken comes in two sizes and widths, and if you want a better surfing experience, you'll want the 11 foot that is only 32 inches wide, making it easier to turn on the waves.

This is a two + one fin board.  The board is set up with a single, tri-fin, or quad fin option.  This allows you the options of a center only fin for cruising on flat water, for side by fins for a better surfing experience.

The Boardworks Kraken is crafted with hand finished epoxy sandwich bamboo construction, making for a reasonably light SUP.  The wave graphics and wood veneer look even better in person.  And the pop-out carrying handle make this board easy to carry.

The Kraken was voted “Best of the Best for Most People” by Outdoor Gear Lab in 2018 and it is still a great package, although now it has better graphics.

The Boardwork Kraken is ideal for wave riding, and shorter distance paddling.

Pros of this Board

  • Honeycomb heat embossed deck pack for extra comfort for your feet
  • Great on small and medium sized waves, yet also good for flat water cruising

Cons of this option

  • Not a cheap board
naish nalu sup


Features:

  • Grooved & embossed EVA pad
  • A "performance" longboard
  • Surf confidently in knee high to double overhead waves
  • Width: 27 inches

The Nalu 10'0" Pro Performance Longboard is another board from Naish, an expert in crafting quality paddleboards.

Naish has created an ideal high-performance competition level SUP board. The Nalu offers superior performance in different types of waves, from knee-high waves to overhead waves, the Nalu 10'0" delivers.

On terms of performance, the Nalu provide optimal responsiveness and enhanced nose-riding ability. The Nalu has a narrow outline and comes in two widths, 27" and 29". The 27" longboard is made for riders up to 190lbs. And the 29" longboard is for riders up to 220lbs.

Built with a Naish's 5 Glass Sandwich Construction the Nalu has a precision-shaped CNC cut EPS Core, a full PVC sandwich glass matrix, and an embossed and grooved EVA pad. The Nalu longboard is shaped for surf performance.

The Nalu 10'0" comes with several key performance features: and FCS II system, ledge handles, an grooved and embossed EVA pad, and a quad fin setup.

These features make the Nalu easy to carry, easy to grip, it has the option for tool-less fin use, and riders have the option to ride as a thruster, quad, or single fin.

When it comes to the retail price, there is a small difference between the two longboards. Remember the Nalu comes in two widths.

The Nalu is a bit pricey but well worth the price for a competitive level longboard.

Pros of this Board

  • Rides like a longboard
  • Foiling design allows for maximum drive with minimal effort

Cons of this option

  • You need to be ok with a longboard
Adventure sixty forty paddle board


Features:

  • Dual purpose hybrid SUP
  • 60% surf 40% flat water
  • Nose plug for mounting a GoPro
  • Available in 2 sizes: 9'4", 10'0"
  • Center cavity handle for easy carrying

The Adventure Sixty Forty is a dual-purpose board. The name says it all. Created as a hybrid board, the Sixty Forty is made for sixty percent surf use and forty percent flat water use.

The shorter, wider board is versatile as it adapts between surf and flat-water use.

The Adventure Sixty Forty board transitions seamlessly from flat-water use into surf use. While the board offers stability in flat-water, it performs smooth turns on the surf. This SUP board wasn't made for high performance but smooth, easy, casual riding.

The versatility of this SUP board is ideal for those who like to cross-train between surf and flat-water and is suitable for beginner, intermediate, and advanced riders. For riders that want to capture their ride, a go pro mount is located on the nose of the board.

The Sixty Forty SUP is made with the attention to detail and high-quality materials used to create all Adventure paddleboards.

A medium-density EPS core, plus five layers of fiberglass, and an outer layer mixture of carbon strands and epoxy resin that form a skin end up making a well-weighted board that is durable.

The Sixty Forty was created with a wider width to provide the stability of a larger board while on flat water. While the rocker was designed for use on the surf, it provides lift in the tail and the nose of the board, while also maintaining flow and acceleration.

The Adventure Sixty Forty is available in 9'4 and 10'0. With the Adventure Sixty Forty paddleboard, you are set for flat-water paddling and surf use.

Pros of this Board

  • Basically: wide, stable, and great to learn to SUP surf on 
  • Excellent value
  • Solid stability and forgiving when pivoting off the tail

Cons of this option

  • Not 100% designed for SUP surfing
naish surfing sup


Features:

  • For intermediate to advanced riders
  • Ultra smooth wave carving
  • EPS closed-cell core with wood sandwich deck and wood bottom
  • Three sizes: 8'6", 9'0", 9'6"
  • Weight: 18 lbs.

The Naish Hokua GTW was created as an all-around surf paddleboard.

The principle focus on the Hokua series of paddleboards was on a board that was versatile and would adapt to different surf conditions and riding styles. This board is good for smooth or aggressive surfing.

In terms of functionality, the Hokua GTW is built for surfing. The Hokua is lightweight and durable. Five different materials are used in the construction of the paddleboard. Each of the layers adds a benefit or key feature.

A glass matrix is used three times to add strength to the weight ratio. Once between the EVA pad and a bamboo layer, a second time between another bamboo layer and the closed-cell core. The bamboo sandwich deck enables even weight distribution and helps with energetic flex.

The molded EPS closed-cell core supports structural integrity while helping prevent water leakage. The EVA pad is grooved and embossed for a secure grip, and a ledge handle allows for easy carrying. The Hokua has a moderate rocker and five fin boxes.


Naish collaborated with Gerry Lopez to create a SUP with an easy to ride design and smooth carving ability. The Hokua GTW is perfect for intermediate to advanced paddleboard surfers. The Hokua includes a thruster fin setup for increased performance.

The Hokua GTW is available in three sizes 8'6" for 180lbs., 9'0 for up to 190lbs, and 9'6" for up to 220lbs.  The board may be a little pricey for some but expected from a high-quality paddleboard.

Pros of this Board

  • Can be ridden as a thruster or a quad
  • Subtle, fast, easy to ride rocker
  • Super easy to ride and very fast down the line

Cons of this option

  • Expensive
naish mad dog sup


Features:

  • For aggressive paddlers that demand performance
  • Combo of speed + turning ability
  • Low volume rails
  • Retains power & grip needed to crank through turns in sizable waves
  • Thruster fin setup

The Mad Dog paddleboard is another high-quality board by Naish, the maker of the Hokua for pro surfing and the Hokua X32 GTW. In fact, the Mad Dog is lightweight, strong, and versatile while surfing.

The Mad Dog is ideal for aggressive riders that want to test their limits. The board itself has an ample rocker that allows for tight, hard, fast turns. The Mad Dog offers power, speed, and performance without losing stability.

The Mad Dog has an EPS core, a glass matrix on the outer and bottom, PVC deck on bottom and rail, and is finished off with a grooved and embossed lightweight EVA pad.

The board has a shorter length with thicker rails to carve aggressively. The wide-body and shape contribute to stability.

The alternative to riding as a thruster or a quad is available from the five fin boxes. The Mad Dog is designed to be lightweight, strong, and handle formidable waves. The new rocker means it takes less energy to create speed.

Experience fast turns, quick acceleration, and quick rail to rail turning with the Mad Dog.
The Mad Dog is available in lengths ranging from 7'6", 7'10", 8'1", 8'6", 8'77" for 170lbs to 210lbs.

If you are looking for a paddleboard that can handle rough surf and provide peak performance, then the Mad Dog is well worth the price.

Pros of this Board

  • 100% designed for SUP surfing
  • Durable
  • Bamboo sandwich deck and bottom

Cons of this option

  • 100% designed for SUP surfing, so if you need more versitility, this is not the best choice
sol hudson sup


Features:

  • Good for both surf & flatwater
  • Stability and versatile performance
  • GoPro mount
  • Recessed center handle
  • Weight: 24 lbs.

The Hudson 10'6" paddleboard from Stand On Liquid is a true all-around, hybrid paddleboard. The Hudson is a versatile board that rides well on light-surf, lakes, and rivers. The Huson is the perfect choice for paddlers that like the option of riding on flat-water or surf use.

If you are a new or intermediate paddler that would like the option to paddleboard on flat water or light surf the Hudson 10'6" is your ideal paddleboard. The Hudson is easy to carry due to a recessed carry handle.

As a bonus, a GoPro mount is included. Capture your ride with ease.

The Stand On Liquid Hudson 10'6" is a rigid paddleboard that could be considered a sister to the Hudson Air. The board provides strong horsepower.

The Hudson is hand-shaped.

The Hudson 10’6” shape provides stability that results in a versatile performance both of surf use and flat-water use. A round tail adds to the speed and ease of maneuverabilty. The fins are included with the Hudson.

A 5mm EVA pad of croc skin adds to comfort.

Not everyone wants a board for both flat-water use and surf use, but if you are interested in both, then the Hudson 10’6” is a good board for beginners and intermediate paddlers.

Pros of this Board

  • For beginner to intermediate paddlers seeking flat water or light-surf paddle outings
  • Full rocker for easy turning on waves
  • Cool graphics

Cons of this option

  • More of a beginner board, not great option for more advanced riders

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that choosing a paddleboard is hard.  This is especially true for new paddlers that are just starting in the sport.


With the wide range of boards available on the market, it's best to concentrate on your specific needs and choose a board for your skill level, weight, and riding style.