Can you paddleboard on a surfboard safely? In this article, we will give you information about this topic to make the right decision for yourself!
If you have basic knowledge about paddleboards and surfboards, you know they are pretty different in size and other parts. But, can you paddleboard on a surfboard safely, or are there any safety concerns if you do so?
In this blog, we will share with you the differences between these two boards so you can decide whether it is a good idea for you to surf on a paddleboard.
Can You Paddleboard on a Surfboard?
The short answer is that you should not paddleboard on a surfboard. As these two boards are made for very different purposes, it is not as safe for us to use a surfboard as a paddleboard.
Surfboards are made for surfing, so it is not as stable as a paddleboard – which you will stand on a paddle. They are even much smaller, so average adults will find it hard to balance surfboards and be more likely to sink.
As surfboards are made to handle a lying person, paddleboards need to be more stable, so someone can stand on and move. Therefore, the paddleboards are denser, wider, and longer to keep you floating and moving.
So, does it mean it is impossible to surf with a paddleboard? Not really.
If you are a small person who can stand on the surfboard and keep it floating, then you might be able to paddle on it. In some special situations, an exceptionally skilled rider can handle a surfboard while paddleboarding on it.
However, it can be fine for them to do it temporarily or for a short time. If people do it for a long time, they will find it more and more comfortable or even difficult.
Besides the difficulties of the users, choosing the wrong board for the wrong purpose, like this case, can cause damage to the board.
So if your reason is to paddleboard with a surfboard to save money buying a new board, then you should buy a paddleboard right at the start, or else you might end up destroying the one you already have.
Your Size and Skills Determine Whether It Is OK to Surf with Paddleboards
Now we know that even though it is not recommended to paddleboard on a surfboard, some people can still do it safely while most people cannot. But, what is the factor determining whether someone can do this?
The two most important factors that will decide if you can use a surfboard as a paddleboard or not are your size and skills.
Let’s talk about the size first.
Your Size and Body Weight
It is simple to understand that a heavier and taller person will need a bigger board to keep riders floating on the water’s surface.
Too much weight can be too much for a small board to handle, and you might sink. Unfortunately, surfboards are smaller than paddleboards.
A surfboard is smaller than a paddleboard because when you are using the surfboard, you lay on it so that the whole board will handle your body weight.
For this reason, surfboards are not designed to handle the whole rider’s body weight in just one small area when you stand on the board.
If you are an average person with average adult weight, most surfboards might not handle your weight when you are standing on them.
When a small person or a kid stands on the surfboard, they can use it as a paddleboard easier than adults. However, even kids and small people will need to balance while standing on the board to stay buoyant.
It is not 100% right or enough to say only small people can paddleboard on a surfboard because you might have already seen average-sized adults use their surfboard to paddleboard.
What makes them different is that they have excellent balancing and staying buoyant skills. Experienced riders will know how to paddle faster to stay floating and avoid sinking.
On the other hand, they also need to practice and be familiar with standing and controlling smaller or narrower boards. To do a good job, they also need some past experiences of riding paddleboards successfully.
Another skill they need is balancing and standing up even when there are waves. If someone has never tried paddleboarding but jumps right into paddleboarding with a surfboard, good chances are he or she will fail.
In our observation, not many people can do this job so well. Even if some of them can do it for a short time, they will not enjoy replacing a paddleboard with a surfboard forever.
Note: Paddleboarding Skills and Surfing Skills Do Not Always Transfer
Many people might think that if you are good at paddleboarding, you can also do a good job at surfing and vice versa. For this reason, they might try to paddleboard on a surfboard right away without practicing paddleboarding skills first.
However, it is not always true, as it will depend on the water body you are practicing with.
If you practice paddleboarding in water bodies that have waves like the ocean, you will know how to keep the balance even when the waves are moving.
In this case, your paddleboarding skills will help you to surf easier. But if you only practice paddleboarding in flat water, then you might struggle while surfing.
The Differences Between Paddleboard and Surfboard
Surfboards Are Less Buoyant than Paddleboard
As they are bigger, they have a better ability to keep the riders balanced and buoyant.
Surfboards are much smaller. So when you stand on it, it will be likely to sink as it is too small and weak to keep you floating.
The Two Are Constructed in Very Different Ways
As the two boards’ usage intentions are different, they are also designed and constructed differently to meet their own purpose the best way. Here are some differences in their construction:
- Paddleboards have the reinforcement to keep you balanced and float when you stand in the middle of the board, while surfboards do not have the same reinforcement.
- Surfboards have curved rockers to move better with the waves, while paddle boards have long and flat rockers so they can move forward with the water easier.
- With bigger fins, paddleboards are more stable than surfboards.
Surfboards Are Weaker and Less Stable Than Paddleboard
Surfboards are not designed to handle too much weight on one small area like Paddleboards, so it does not need to be super stable or strong.
On the other hand, Paddleboards are made to keep you floating and balanced even with or without the waves, so it needs to be super stable.
Surfboards Are Smaller Than Paddleboards (or Stand Up Paddleboard)
The biggest difference anyone can see is that surfboards are smaller than paddleboards in size, even with a similar shape.
As paddleboards are made to handle people while standing on them, it needs to be more stable, heavier, denser, and bigger.
Can you paddleboard on a surfboard? We do not think you should do it with all the information we know so far.
It is always better to use the right board for the right purposes, especially when safety is your first concern.
If you want to learn to paddleboard seriously, it is the best idea to get yourself a paddleboard instead. Using the right board is not only safe for you, but it can also prevent board damage.
However, if you still want to try it anyway, then ensure you are someone who has good skills at keeping balance on the surfboard.
- Can You Paddleboard on a Surfboard?
- Your Size and Skills Determine Whether It Is OK to Surf with Paddleboards
- The Differences Between Paddleboard and Surfboard
- Final Thoughts