Stand up paddle boarding in Swansea & Gower
Tel : 01792 446511

Board size

You’ll need a big board to start with has been the flavour of stand up paddle boarding the world afar over the past 3-4 years.

However these days, things are definitely changing in the world of SUP.

Riding a huge board was once the best way to paddle into 2-3ft onshore waves , but for performance bigger boards do not cut it for the majority of Sup Brethren in wave rich environments.


Many of the main Paddleboard brands now offer a huge range of wider and shorter SUP board models, to help riders turn easier whilst still remaining stable for some general flat water paddling.

In truth people are loving how easy catching waves on stand up boards can be from all different perspectives.

Coming from a shortboard surfing background myself i love the feel of a an off the top or roundhouse cutback into the foam ball, but on longer sup boards 11ft plus this was not in my repertoire, I had to learn these skills, the drop knee turn and to shift my feet from their fixed position usually on a shortboard to closer to the tail, If you’re wanting to progress in your SUP surfing are you riding with your back foot over the tail pad ? Have a look next time you catch a wave… You should be !

Surfing on a shorter stand up definitely has its benefits if you are keen to throw the board around and get radical but how small do you go ?

Shortboard SUP’s benefit from in the pocket manoeuvres and spin on a penny turns.Your compromise comes when you don’t have the glide to get into that wave you just ‘must have’ or the speed to make it to the lineup as the next set feathers in front of you .The ‘row effect’ which means how the boards steers itself in comparison to your paddle strokes is heavily effected on a shorter board, as there is less board in contact with the water.A smaller board may feel funny at first and you may have a shocking session but give it a chance, Next time out, muscle memory and some autonomy may reward you with some awesome results you only dreamt about.Fanatic SUP

Longboard SUP’s however are sometimes exactly what you need for your session , that easy and stable companion which glides you into wave after wave meaning more smiles and satisfaction.

jp australia sup 2017

Personally I now really appreciate these two sides of SUP , the Longboard / shortboard style. Having 2 boards in your quiver you can choose to throw some style out on the nose cross stepping your way backwards and forwards riding a larger board or crank some spray off the top on your smaller SUP wippet depending on the conditions.

My personal journey into stand up started on a 12ft cigar shaped beast which made way to a 11’6 ,10’11, 10’2, 9’11, 9’3, 8’11 and then more curvy shaped  8’10, 8’2, 7’8 and now shovel nosed 7’3  where at present in happy for the time being.

Running a shop we get lots of calls from customers wanting the perfect all condition board which is easy to turn and stable which most brands now have an answer for – the concept or shovel nose board.

starboard hypernut 2017

These boards although odd in the way they look really do offer the best of both worlds, shorter but also stable meaning a more easier board to do progressive manoeuvres on.

In summary  the smaller boards are definitely more manoeuvrable in all surf conditions and allow you to progress your surfing in a aggressive direction, whilst the longer SUB’s are great for all conditions flat, small, big or windy they are still the best boards to learn on, the deciding factor in your choice  of board is volume in comparison to your weight.

A 100kg guy in glassy conditions could ride a 125litre shortboard SUP board if he wishes , in the same conditions he’ll waltz his way to the nose on a longer board with 180 litres.

It really looks like the stand up paddle boarding has inherently inherited prone surfings characteristic traits of long vs short…..however the real question is which style are you ?

If you’re still confused …give us a call we’ll help you make the best decision 01792 446511

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Mumbles Trailer - SA34EE
Langland - SA3 4SQ
Three Cliffs - SA3 2EH
Phone: 01792 446511
Booking Website:
Email: [email protected]

About Sup Gower

Here at SUP Gower We offer Stand up paddle lessons & Foiling Lessons ( wing sup - wing foil - sup foil -surf-foil & Efoil ) Plus Hire & Clinics. Our showroom and Plant based Cafe is stocked with boards, paddles, coffee & cake and all the food and gear you need to get on the water. GROUND plant based & much more.
Call us on 01792 446511 to discuss your paddle or board requirements.

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