SUP surfing in the UK

The idea of an SUP that is made primarily for surfing is one that catches the imagination of many of us who aspire to greater things, but the reality is quite different.

Mistral sup surfing

SUP surfing or wave riding is done on so many levels ranging from towering 30ft monsters to our south coast puppies that can be as little as a foot high.   Whatever your level there will a board that can meet your needs.

  • A dedicated big wave board
    Big waves need a fast board that can carve a drawn out turn in control.  Generally ranging from 11ft upwards they aren’t suited to playing in small waves.
  • SUP surfing the smaller snappy waves
    A shorter board ranging from 8’5 to 10’8   Everything about these boards oozes manouverability and that is achieved by rails, overall shape, rocker and speed.
    I personally ride Jimmy Lewis boards and have the Hanalei 10’8, Jimmy Lewis Kwad 9’7 and the Stun Gun 9’7
    The Jimmy Lewis Hanalei is narrow at 28 wide, pretty quick, easy to ride with lots of tail rocker making it work really well from the tail.
    The Kwad as its name implies has 4 fins, loose fish tail design, wider at 31 inches, but still super maneuverable with a more pronounced rocker line.
    Finally the Stun Gun being the lowest volume of them all is fast and designed to throw around.  Still not super narrow but that is because I have gone for a bigger volume board as I am a bigger bloke.
  • Long board style
    For many of you out there you may have chosen to ride in a more sedate classic style so a long board of anything up to 11ft will give a lot of enjoyment.
    Certainly in south coast waves we often need that bit more board to catch the slower summer waves that many of our beaches might enjoy.
  • The recreational board
    As we said in our previous article this type of board can do a bit of everything.   It won’t be as loose as you might like but it will catch the waves way out when they are just little bumps and give oy ua smoot ride in achieving bottom turns and top turns and drop ins.
    I can often be found riding my 14ft Jimy Lewis M14  when the waves a re 2-3 ft. Lots of fun and works really well but give yourself room as you won’t be able to kick out so quick and it will keep going if you fall off so be aware of other surfer around you.

There are trends out there leading to very short SUP surfing boards but to be honest and in my own opinion they work in a limited range of conditions, most importantly when the water is calm amidst waves.  The shorter board you go for the more shunty it feels when you paddle out.

Also consider your own weight.  I am 90kg so not a stick and have paddled a few boards that were way too small for me.  The board was nigh on completely submerged so getting out was tricky as was catching a wave.


We run regular beginner to improver wing sup surfing lessons.

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