Paddle surf


Among the great variety of water sports we find paddle surfing . A very fun modality that can be practiced by all ages as long as they have knowledge of the sea and swimming, as well as good physical conditions . It is very easy to learn and with the passage of time it has become very important among lovers of this type of sport.


What is paddle surfing?

The paddle surfing is an aquatic sport in which the person performing it is placed in the part above a table of surf to subsequently move in the water using a paddle.


What does it consist of

This type of sport consists of using a surfboard to move across the surface of the sea. For this, a single paddle is used to help the athlete to propel himself. It is an activity that can be carried out in other environments such as rivers , lakes and lagoons . Through a series of basic movements that are very easy to learn, you can go through the currents and waves with the help of the wind.


Paddle surf characteristics

Among its main characteristics it can be mentioned that this type of sport is very easy to learn and is also relatively safe . It is fun and very complete as it involves physical exercise as well. It can be practiced by all people as it is a low-impact exercise . It is characterized because to practice it, a large number of static and dynamic body muscles must be put to work . It’s a great way to learn balance and is suitable for all ages .


In order to understand the history of paddle surfing, it is necessary to know that around the 60s on Waikiki beach, a place where the well-known “ beach boys ” were in charge of reinventing the sport and making it what it is today. They used large planks and paddles to take pictures of the people who came to the place to surf. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the sport first became popular as a way to train when there were no waves.

Who invented it

Paddle surfing was invented many years ago in Polynesia when the Indians used this means to be able to transport themselves from one place to another, mainly between the islands of the place. Today’s paddle boarding was invented by Laird Hamilton , who was a great surfing legend on Maui.

How to paddle surf

To start practicing this sport, it is best to look for calm waters while gaining confidence and improving balance because being able to stand on it will be the first objective to achieve. The knees should be kept slightly bent to improve the center of gravity and when starting to row, the weight should be shifted towards the back of the board. It is also important to learn the correct way to hold the paddle , it must be held by one hand in the highest part and the other hand must be placed in the center. The arms will be placedin 90 ° position.


The fundamentals of paddle surfing are very simple and are all focused on maintaining balance on the paddle board, on the right paddle in order to gain speed and on placing the body in a correct position to achieve better stability.


The rules to be followed are:

  • single athlete must ride a wave if it is practiced at sea.
  • If you have priority, it is important to advise others that the wave will be ridden at that time.
  • Above all, avoid getting into surfers’ areas .
  • After leaving the wave, you should return to the side so as not to disturb others.
  • Maintain an adequate safety distance as the boards are very large and can cause serious damage.

Paddle surf categories

There are several categories into which this sport is divided, which are mentioned below.

  • Paddle All Round : this type of activity is carried out mainly with the family to enjoy nature. The type of board used allows several people to ride the board at the same time.
  • Paddle yoga : this is a new modality for lovers of the sea and yoga. Inflatable boards with a good dimension are used to improve stability.
  • Paddle Windsurfing : they consist of placing a sail on the paddle board to gain more speed in this way when there are windy conditions.
  • Paddle touring : these are activities developed for people who want to practice it at a professional level, the trips are longer and speed is increased.
  • Paddle race : this is the most professional category in the sport and the boards are specifically designed for competition as they provide more stability and speed.


There are three types of competitions in paddle surfing. The first is known as Stand Up Paddle Surf “waves” , which implies increasing and gaining speed while riding the waves, always keeping balance and technique. A second competition is known as Stand Up Paddle Surf Open Race, a race where several participants go out at the same time to travel a certain number of kilometers, it is a round trip and later, when they get off the table, the athletes they will have to run a certain number of kilometers.

Finally, the Stand Up Surf Paddle Crossing competition, which is the longest and involves a great deal of muscular and resistance work. A total of five nautical miles are sailed, which is equivalent to eight kilometers. In this type of competition some tests are located worldwide such as the Molokai Channel in Hawaii.


The techniques of this sport include a series of basic movements that must be learned.

  • The hand that is placed on top of the paddle will be the guide .
  • The hand that is placed in the middle will be used to force and move the board.
  • The feet should be slightly apart and the knees should be slightly flexed.
  • The paddle must be well introduced into the water to achieve better movements and displacement.
  • Learn to support the board and move your arms to start rowing.
  • The position of the person practicing it must always be upright and must also keep rowing.


Perhaps the most important implement to be able to practice paddle surfing properly is the board. The size of the same as the shape is very relevant because the longer it is, the better and greater the stability that is achieved. When they are very small it becomes more difficult to control them. There are several materials that are used to make them in such a way that there can be epoxy , polyester and foam boards , the latter are the best option for beginners. For people who weigh 65 kilograms, the 130-liter table is better, for between 65 and 85 kilograms a 150-liter table will be better, and for heavier people, 190 liters.


The equipment consists primarily of the specific paddle board depending on the ability and knowledge of the athlete. The paddles to paddle that should ideally be constructed of carbon fiber. The strap or leash is another important part of the equipment as it is tied from the ankle to the board to avoid drowning and maintain better security. It is important to include within the equipment, life jackets , a cap to avoid sunstroke and the use of sunscreen .

Famous people who practice paddle surfing

Many people practice paddle surfing and of course, celebrities too. Among them we can mention Orlando Bloom, Zac Efron, Matt Boomer, Jessica Alba, Eva Longoria, Jon Bon Jovi and Helen Hunt, among others.


Although the origin of paddle surfing is established in Hawaii, it is believed that the sport was practiced even in ancient Egypt . Its name comes from the Hawaiian language “ku Hoe He´e Nalu” which means to row or surf a wave. Some types of boards used in paddle boarding are inflatable . It is a complete exercise that provides muscle toning , improves energy expenditure and considerably reduces stress levels.

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