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Question for sup surfers who used to surf

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Created by surgingsurf 1 month ago, 28 Feb 2021
surgingsurf
5 posts
28 Feb 2021 8:23PM
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I've never surfed, only SUP surfed.

Over the last few years I've got totally hooked and got pretty good but I still have that nagging doubt that maybe I should have devoted that time to learning normal surfing.

So, my question is for surfers who've become SUP surfers: how do you feel the two sports compare? Do you get the same thrill from SUPing that you used to from normal surfing?

Souwester
WA, 1174 posts
28 Feb 2021 8:53PM
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Hard to really compare the two I reckon. I get more of a thrill in SUP but in different ways.

IMO Prone surfing is a lot more action packed, paddling and taking off when a lot closer to the surface and a bit more last minute is a buzz, then there is the looseness and way a surfboard rides. Good fun in its own way.

Sup surfing is a lot more enjoyable overall and I feel I can soak it all in a bit more, you see the waves a long way off and in a different way, the takeoff is a lot more certain and once on the face the glide is addictive.

My body also thanks me for SUP surfing, not as many injuries. The final reason I prob enjoy Sup more is the challenge of good waves and the freedom on them, a bit addictive!

I would encourage you to give prone a go, it will give you an appreciation and perspective if nothing else.

slsurf
46 posts
1 Mar 2021 12:26AM
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I still do both, but surfing takes a hard toll on my body now so I reserve it for really good days and spots that aren't sup friendly due to needing to duck dive and crowds. Learning to surf will help your sup and help you harmonize with surfers better. But depending on your age it could be tough to learn to surf, maybe longboard or catch some prone on your sup at first. The sports are complementary not exclusionary although its funny how you have to pick a "side". For sure most every pro sup surfer is also a great prone surfer (by my standards anyway).

Kami
1524 posts
1 Mar 2021 1:31AM
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Come to SUPing 10 years ago after 40 years of surfing, I can say that it was just an extension of surfing with more thrills and power getting though sections faster and longer than surfing.
But I've some regrets about the time I take off and squeeze the tail of my 5'11" under the lip.

supthecreek
2177 posts
1 Mar 2021 3:15AM
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Like Kami, I came to SUP 10 years ago after 47 years of constantly chasing surf around the globe.
I was full on hard core, surfing places like Sunset and Pipeline and a million other famous breaks.

To me SUP surfing is simply surfing.
I always had quivers, so I have been used to different board and styles of riding all my life.
SUP is just another tool in my surf bag.

Even coming from that, I find it hard to miss surfing prone at all.
I have never had any desire to surf anything but SUP since the first day.
SUP has given me so much... it adds a new dimension to surfing that just made it fresh, challenging and full of wonder!

I never compared the performance of a longboard to a shortboard... they each had their place.
SUP is the same.

ok, so I am a bit weird... but I call it as I see it.
SUP has filled my life with every opportunity that I could ever hope for in my surf life,
with the addition of flatwater and paddling to surf remote access breaks
What's not to love?

surfinJ
541 posts
1 Mar 2021 5:39AM
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I have been surfing since before I was 10 years old. That was on a mat. From then on I have never stopped surfing. I am now 60.Through the years the boards have changed, but not the stoke. When I go for a surf I grab one from a quiver of sup surfboards and go surf. It feels the same, the wave, the glide... Though with the sup I am surfing a more advantageous platform in various aspects.
The weakness with a sup surfer without previous lineup experience is that they do not realize the advantages they have. The subtle differences between us and the others without paddle. That is when the 'fun' starts

lam
VIC, 164 posts
1 Mar 2021 7:00PM
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Having surfed for nearly 50years, I now only sup surf and have for the past 6/7 years, owing to injuries and body wearing out.
There are definitely times I wished I could still prone surf, there are many occasions, due to conditions where I would be happier prone surfing ie. when it's really windy, when surf is big and gnarly, when you have to clamber down a cliff face to get into the water(sups can be a awkward) etc. Plus prone surfing is really good fun, short board or mal.
Having said that sup surfing is awesome, taking off on a wave is great and very different than prone surfing, the glide and ease in which you catch waves, the vision you have of the approaching set and being able to pick which set wave you will catch. The general vista from the the sup is more enjoyable and you get a far better view of what's in the water and the ocean bottom from the sup. You get a better view Watching other surfers catch waves as you paddle back out. I could go on!
Bottom line, I'm not sure whether you get the same thrill supping as prone surfing but the overall enjoyment of doing either is 10/10 for me.

MangoDingo
NT, 568 posts
1 Mar 2021 7:06PM
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Great thread.
Its funny, but I still kinda don't really differentiate in my mind. When I'm going for a paddle, I'm still just surfing the waves I catch - regardless of whether I've got a paddle in my hand or not.

There's that great footage in the movie, "That First Glide", with the Duke paddling into waves at Waikiki - no-one told the Duke he wasn't surfing that day.

In the same movie, Laird's talking about when he started SUPing waves at some of Hawaii's outer reefs, and he talks about some of the crew paying him out and he was totally bewildered and he goes, "...well, if it's not surfing, I don't know what is."

Without doubt, SUP adds whole other elements to the experience of riding waves, as others have pointed out, for me being able to slow myself down and read the sets and conditions is next level. I love being out the back, sometimes on my own, watching the colours change between the water and sky, watching animals feeding and chasing one another. Singing tunes in my head (or out loud) and letting melodies twist and turn into whole new songs.

The whole experience is an artful expression of my existence in that moment. It allows me to be in the moment and fully live (sorry, starting to sound like a Greenough/Chapman/Rastovich demon spawn).

I love calling others into waves - especially crew who are just learning. Seeing the stoke on their faces when they finally ride a wave is all time.
And there's zero hassle in the line-up, everyone's so much more chilled and happier.

When I grew up, the hassling was ferocious. We all wanted to be the next Occy or Matt Hoy and it became so tedious and painful just to get waves. It sucked the life out of being in the water.

SUP is the antithesis of that, it's a joy and I'm personally incredibly grateful for it.


No worries.
Rajneesh Mango

stamp
QLD, 2698 posts
1 Mar 2021 8:17PM
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i agree with all of the above.

i only surf beach breaks and i miss prone surfing most when heading back out through the white water and not being able to duck dive, especially in bigger waves.

also not being able to easily tuck a SUP into a sneaky barrel or a cover up like you can a short board...

aceman8772
49 posts
1 Mar 2021 7:08PM
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I was not a surfer. I was a sponger for 40 years. I loved dropping into waves like Sandy, the Wedge, and my local for many years was a nasty beach break in La Jolla at the end of Marine street. Never saw a surfer ever make a wave there.

I started to SUP because I wanted to be on the water without feeling like I had to wait for waves to get in the water. SUP allows that. Then when I accidentally glided on a boat wake, I was like wow, I got to get on a wave with a sup.

I am not a very good sup surfer and there are days I know I would have ripped on my sponge but there are more days where I am catching waves on my battleship of a sup that I wouldn't have even got in the water for on a body board.

My brother is a proner and has commented about why he dislikes sup surfers and it really boils down to wave count. We just catch more. He feels we cheat. As much as I fall fighting the wind does not feel like cheating to me. I feel I earn those waves.

I must be getting better because I have been the only guy out on days I know a proner will have a hard time with. Catch a few and the next thing I know the guys on the beach are in the water. When I leave, they are paddling hard but just can't get that little extra push that I was getting.

So, finally to the point. In my opinion, SUP has gotten me more waves on more days and I am overall happier than I was waiting for specific conditions to exist for the type of waves that stoked me on a sponge.

Seajuice
NSW, 735 posts
1 Mar 2021 10:52PM
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I was ok prone surfing in my late teens, early 20s. But missed the evolution of the thruster fins and having a thruster board to improve my performance.
Got back into prone surfing at age 40 years to about 55 years of age. It was much harder than I thought. Even with my 7 foot board. I was so dissapointed that I missed that era.
I could do the basics like catch easy waves, stand up and glide. But much harder to take steep drops and shred. Let alone my paddle power was week. Even when training specifically for paddle power. I didn't have it anymore. Then my body got worse with age which made it more difficult for me to pop up to my feet as well. Which also deterred me to get into big surf.
Then I got introduced to SUP and nearly chucked it in from continually falling off it until about 20 sessions. From there it all fell in place. And my improvements continued and big surf was a lot less intimidating to me than on a short board.
But going back to a short prone board was a bit of fun and a challenge also. Because my fitness improved with a bit of weight training also.
It felt like riding a skate board on the wave. But more tiresome.
Then about a year ago my dangling foot got bit by a shark just as I was starting to improve on my prone board again. So put me back to square one!
When recovering I had no problem getting back into SUP. And since only tried to prone surf once so far which was a total failure. Just not flexible or pop up fit enough. And have since found out that I have spinal, neck & knee problems.
But everyone is different. In my view I would say if you are finding it difficult to continue to prone surf or haven't really been able to shred a wave. Then SUP surfing may be the go.

OkiWild
77 posts
1 Mar 2021 7:58PM
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40 years surfing, the last three and a half on SUP. My sentiments pretty much mirror Creek's. I stopped surfing with others about 25 years ago, or so, opting to take a kayak to outer and more remote reefs. Having always been into paddle sports, the SUP just brought it all together. There is nothing easier about SUP. It's just different, all around. For instance, it may be easier to get in earlier on a fat burger, but on a draining, slabbing reef break, there's a lot more going on than just spin and go. It's taken me three years to get back to where I was on a shortboard, and I miss nothing. I have a friend who's in exactly your position. He's gotten pretty good on a SUP, but want's to surf, too. SO once in a while he grabs a mid length and heads out. Then he complains to me about the crowd not obeying "the rules." People back paddling him. People paddling back out right up the guts of the wave. Ditching their boards. Sitting in the way. All the things the Internet says they're not supposed to do LMAO Not in a million years would I get in that mess again. It almost ruined surfing for me, for good. SUP gave me a new lease on life.

bigmc
NSW, 190 posts
1 Mar 2021 11:42PM
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i used be a kneeboarder then sailboarder then longboards then SUP and now longboard probably more than SUP at the moment. A SUP has the paddle for that extra bit of power before a turn. A surfboard has a lot less board under foot (unless you are a hotshot on a 7'6" SUP). I must admit as I age (mid 60's) my paddle power and pop up aren't the prettiest. Just give it a go. You just have to put the time in on the water. When I started SUP I probably spent 4 years or so exclusively SUP'ing and did lose a lot of prone skills. It might be the same for you if every surf from now on is prone. SUP might suffer. But it is like riding a bike to a certain extent.

supsean
130 posts
2 Mar 2021 1:00AM
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Thanks for the confessionals guys! As one who started sup after never surfing at 50, its good to see that it is just a continuation of stoke for y'all. Its nice at 53 to be out there catching waves, usually more than the proners, (in a polite and I think generous way), and learning something new. I can't imagine learning how to prone, as my shoulders hate when I'm forced to prone paddle, and plus it took me a while not to suck at SUP surfing. Although I am jealous of the way that regular surfboards are much cheaper and fit into cars and airplanes better.

LeeD
2497 posts
2 Mar 2021 1:31AM
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Surfing was all about maneuvers and spray when I surfed from '65 to '85. I was young then.
Now, surf SUP is slow motion log boarding, something I never did as a youngster. Glide, to me, is not exciting. I have been windsurfing and surfsailing the past 38 years.

Bighugg
NT, 429 posts
2 Mar 2021 5:18AM
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I am not from a prone surf background, started Sup surfing in mid 40's due to a physical condition and have had no real desire too prone as my short board heroes are the ripping Grom's... bloody water spiders... if only I learnt at their age
a quiver of different Sup's for varying conditions n mixing it up continues to progress my surfing and appreciation of the awesome chilled surf Sup'ers I've met on this surfing journey so far

copperdog1
VIC, 41 posts
2 Mar 2021 7:22AM
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surgingsurf said..
I've never surfed, only SUP surfed.

Over the last few years I've got totally hooked and got pretty good but I still have that nagging doubt that maybe I should have devoted that time to learning normal surfing.

So, my question is for surfers who've become SUP surfers: how do you feel the two sports compare? Do you get the same thrill from SUPing that you used to from normal surfing?


Like most of the responders I came to SUP after years of prone surfing (and injury and the ravages of time). I can see the positives and negatives of both, but I am now a full time SUPper. I think the question for you though is a bit different - given that you're hooked and have become proficient, I'm not sure that taking up prone surfing would add anything to your SUP experience. So it's a question of whether you want to take up prone surfing for itself.

Fitzsup
NSW, 216 posts
2 Mar 2021 11:58AM
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copperdog1 said..

surgingsurf said..
I've never surfed, only SUP surfed.

Over the last few years I've got totally hooked and got pretty good but I still have that nagging doubt that maybe I should have devoted that time to learning normal surfing.

So, my question is for surfers who've become SUP surfers: how do you feel the two sports compare? Do you get the same thrill from SUPing that you used to from normal surfing?



Like most of the responders I came to SUP after years of prone surfing (and injury and the ravages of time). I can see the positives and negatives of both, but I am now a full time SUPper. I think the question for you though is a bit different - given that you're hooked and have become proficient, I'm not sure that taking up prone surfing would add anything to your SUP experience. So it's a question of whether you want to take up prone surfing for itself.


I think a lot of prone surfers came to sups because of injuries

Back,shoulder,problems ,the ****s with being out paddled and snaked by younger grooms.

Probably crowds have a lot to do with it,Surfing smaller waves that even mals can't pick up.

With the emerging foil and wing scene, you can sup ****tier waves and still have a ball.

Mahanumah
VIC, 319 posts
2 Mar 2021 12:30PM
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Ten years on a mal and shortboard. My popup was never very good and progressively got worse as my back injury got worse...

Been SUP Surfing now for ten years and I doubt I will ever go back.

I am a far better surfer on a SUP than I ever achieved on a prone board and continue to improve every time I go out. Progressively adding new moves to my quiver which keeps things interesting.

Just taken up Wing Foiling and plan to SUP Foil as well so more fun and new experiences.


I think all these things keep your mind and body active. What better way to ensure a life lived long and hard.

My goal in life is to die young really old...

backbeach
NSW, 48 posts
2 Mar 2021 3:24PM
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Relatively new to sup surfing and still regularly surf shortboards, 45 yr habit I liken to saltwater heroin, except healthy and cleansing.
60 now and only motivations to give supping a crack was a sense of 'value adding' to the joy of surfing plus the unique opportunities it gives to surf different places & waves and all the benefits and joy that brings. I love the glide, it's not usually part of a shortboarders MO, and I look forward to linking manouvres to that sensation as I improve- ala STC and co. I find the humbling experience of beginning surfing again and kooking it and learning inch by inch a real pleasure and a fkn cack. What an honour to experience a form of surfing from scratch all over again.

So if you want to try surfing mate it's as simple as having a red hot go and as we all say "go for it", nothing to lose and the itch is scratched!

Can't envisage not surfing prone but definitely dedicating more time to sup surfing as the 'addiction' takes hold. Bit of an aside but my surfing mates are struggling with the fact one of their own could do such a thing cos I've paddled out a couple of times at our local rather than the tucked away spots but it's all cool. Mate told me this morning as we were having a surf they were all having a friendly dig at me and another sup/shortboarder mate supsurfing down the beach on the weekend. It's all good fun and I'd like to think crew like us are making some ground in de-stigmatising the negative supsurf thing.

I'd definitely try surfing mals initially as they're easier to learn on and there's a bit of synergy between them and sups, especially in the footwork dept. It's one of my achilles heels in learning to sup cos as a shortboarder there's minimal footwork and more weight movt.

Don't die wondering!

OkiWild
77 posts
2 Mar 2021 12:55PM
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supsean said..
I am jealous of the way that regular surfboards are much cheaper and fit into cars and airplanes better.


Fit in small places for sure, but I was in the habit of snapping 2-3 boards per year. The SUP has proven to be way more durable

Tardy
3941 posts
3 Mar 2021 5:14AM
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I Never Dwell on the past .

It's a new age and SUP is where it's at .

surfinJ
541 posts
3 Mar 2021 3:36PM
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Amen

lam
VIC, 164 posts
3 Mar 2021 6:49PM
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Tardy said..
I Never Dwell on the past .

It's a new age and SUP is where it's at .


Never any point in dwelling but no harm in reminiscing the past.

LastSupper
VIC, 276 posts
3 Mar 2021 8:11PM
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Started flat water paddling 6 years ago so as i could maintain some fitness for prone surfing never thought i would surf 1 ! 2 years of that decided to take it out at local break wwaist to head high thought i was getting the hang of it tide changed swell jacked took off to late fell 6+ feet onto tail of board and depressed 2 ribs into rite lung and cracked anothor couldnt lay on surfboard for months so i took up sup surfin full time ! I love the feel of feeling a board through your feet ! Most prone surfing was just bash and crash ! The sups i ride i feel the flex through taking off late and bottom turns the rails r sensitive im 61 and hooked 4 life

Supnorte
232 posts
3 Mar 2021 6:08PM
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My background is surfing and I took on SUP 10 years ago. When I first saw footage of Laird SUPing I wanted to try that (Blame Laird ), but nobody was SUPing around here. Only in 2010, I was able to find a board (a big and heavy 10'6) and my goal was to SUP only when it was small. The other days I would just go shortboarding. But after one year, I was getting so fun and wanted to progress, that I mainly focused on SUP. And in a very short time I was already riding low volume boards, opening my own SUP business, started racing and doing a lot of downwinds (I live in one of the best places in Europe for downwind).

But last year, I picked a surfboard again (and also a longboard) and re-started surfing, especially when the waves weren't good (when it's good I SUP). But the problem is that I started foiling and wingfoiling, and now I try to foil or wingfoil as much as I can, so there's not much SUPing for me. I don't do downwind on a SUP no more (I had a Bullet 17'4 and afterwards a Bayonet 17'1), and this Summer I want to focus on downwinds on a foil. So now I only SUP when there's a good run of swell, and my surfing days are very rare again.

AlexF
339 posts
3 Mar 2021 7:28PM
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Supnorte said..
...
But last year, I picked a surfboard again (and also a longboard) and re-started surfing, especially when the waves weren't good (when it's good I SUP).
...



What do you mean with "not good", small and mushy or big but choppy because of the Nortada or SW-Wind?

I usually struggle with SUP when the Wind is picking up and it get's choppy or when it's really crowded like Portugal in summer. There is see the benefits of surfing.
In the past i hadn't the tools for 8 - 15 knots of wind and waves, SUP too choppy, Wavewindsurf too light, but Winging opened that door

micksmith
VIC, 1487 posts
4 Mar 2021 10:02AM
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ah good old reminiscing therapy.
"Same same but different" would be the way my wife would explain, of course the act of surfing the wave is the same, fall line, bottom turns, reo etc but it's the subtleties that set each other apart. I had surfed from about 13 around the Newy area and due to life **** I moved to Victoria in '85 and took up skiing and windsurfing, got introduced to SUP at a windsurfing comp and bam I was hooked, I have recently renewed my prone surfing but this mainly to sit with my son and enjoy the chill.
I really think it's a worthwhile skill to sit with others and learn how the person not the act is different.

Seajuice
NSW, 735 posts
4 Mar 2021 2:08PM
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surgingsurf said..
I've never surfed, only SUP surfed.

Over the last few years I've got totally hooked and got pretty good but I still have that nagging doubt that maybe I should have devoted that time to learning normal surfing.

So, my question is for surfers who've become SUP surfers: how do you feel the two sports compare? Do you get the same thrill from SUPing that you used to from normal surfing?


Yes! Then I got the same thrills going to SUP foiling. Then Wing foiling which I still need practice.
And today I took my SUP out again. Re Stoked!
Just shows me that a change is as good as a holiday.
I cannot say which is the better if you have the abilities & enjoy the challenges.
All fun to me. Just give it all ago.

Chris_M
2018 posts
4 Mar 2021 11:59AM
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I surfed since about 14 years old and got ok, but still felt like I was spending far too much time trying to get waves amongst hardcore frothers who seemed to enjoy getting aggressive or just snaking all the time and got a little over it. Had some memorable days at Bells, Ti Tree and Raglan but kind of fell out of love for prone surfing a little bit, and chased the wind on my kite more often than looking for swell.

Then I bought a SUP mainly for flatwater paddling fitness stuff, but ended up taking it out in some sloppy 2ft for a laugh and had about 20x more fun than I was expecting.

Then it progressed to a full addiction and now its been about 8 years of SUP only, including some huge days surfing waves I never thought I would attempt on a paddleboard. And surfing so many places that would not be much fun on a shortboard, but are the best thing ever on a SUP with nobody else out.

Only now am I feeling the urge to challenge myself a bit more again so have a shiny new mini-mal that I want to master with the aim of getting into proper longboarding. I think noseriding looks like a great challenge, and my local beach has quite good waves for that sort of stuff.

paperboy
NSW, 102 posts
4 Mar 2021 4:06PM
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Not sure about " sup surfers who used to surf" I never stopped surfing.



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"Question for sup surfers who used to surf" started by surgingsurf