Stand Up Paddle Board Vs Surfboard : Difference and Comparison

Both surfboard and stand-up paddle board are floating objects that have almost similar construction. In earlier days, there used to be special equipment, a unique combination of surfboard and paddle board. 

However, specialized boards are now available for surfing and paddle boarding sports. Let us now look at the differences between stand-up paddle board and surfboard.

Although both surfboard and paddle board are floating equipment, they serve different purposes. The basic design is different to enable them to play varying sports. Surfboards ride along or ride with the waves. 

They, therefore, require much mobility compared to paddle boards. In contrast, stand-up paddle boards glide smoothly over the waves. They work perfectly in stable waters. If you like paddle boarding with your dog, you should get the right paddle board for that purpose.


Stand-up paddleboards and surfboards have different kinds of decking. Paddleboards require reinforced decking to prevent the equipment from sinking in the water. It also helps the paddleboard to be strong and avoid a breakdown in case the rider is heavyweight.

A reinforced paddleboard is thick and heavy therefore decreasing its speed and maneuverability. Some paddleboard decking has special reinforcement that gives you comfort when kneeling.

On the other hand, reinforcement on the surfboard's decking is not necessary. Riders do not stand the whole time when surfing. While sitting or lying down, the rider's weight distributes evenly so, no need for reinforcement. Surfboards have a fiberglass cover that gives them a hardcover top. They are lightweight, fast, and therefore maneuverable.


Although both surfboard and stand-up paddle board are floating equipment, the flotation differs. Paddle board has a design that enables it to carry the weight of the rider without sinking. Therefore, they have enough flotation to allow the rider to stand without the fear of sinking. Generally, paddle boards have a foam volume of 100 L in the core. Increasing the foam core volume increases the paddle board's floating capacity.

Contrary, the surfboard has a lesser foam volume of about 23 to 24 Liters. Some longboards come with a volume of 85 liters. The floating capacity does not support the rider's weight. 

If you stand for long on a surfboard, it will start sinking slowly. The longboards are not fit for learning riders since they are stubborn to balance and maneuver.

Surfboards do not need much buoyancy since the rider sits or lies flat on the equipment. The posture helps to distribute the weight of the rider and to prevent it from sinking. In case it gets in the waters, the rider can control than when using paddleboards.


A rocker is a board curve beginning at the nose and ending at the tail of the paddleboard or surfboard. The board's curvature depends on the purpose of use. Its purpose is to allow the board to fit appropriately with the curve to overcome waves.

Surfboards contain more rockers as compared to paddleboards. They are many to help the surfers drive through the strong waves. The rockers in the surfboard help the rider to change direction swiftly and to respond faster.

In paddle board, the rocker is usually long and flat to help in gliding and tracking. The rocker also improves glide efficiency to allow the rider to paddle excellently using less energy. Paddle boards are perfect for use in flat and open waters.


Paddle boards are thicker and broader than surfboards of the same length. Paddle boards have a thickness of around 4 inches, whereas surfboards have varying widths depending on the make. 

Paddle boards have a greater foam volume that gives them stability. They also have gripping or textured surfaces at the top to prevent riders from sliding.

The length of a paddle board is about 14 feet, whereas that of a surfboard is between 5 and 10 feet. Surfboards are thinner to allow the rider to straddle while sitting. The surfboards have wax to help the rider grip firmly to maintain balance and to stand sturdily.

stand up paddle board Measurement


Paddleboards are pricey compared to surfboards. A decent paddleboard starts at about $500, whereas high-quality boards go for about $3000. The extra materials and customization of a board increase its value. Paddleboards with unique designs to increase buoyancy tend to be expensive.

The price of a surfboard is dependent on its length. In addition, advanced surfboards for professional surfers are expensive than simple surfboards. It is because they can overcome extreme waves. From $150 to $ 300, you can get a typical surfboard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can stand-up paddleboard and surfboard ride the same waves?

Yes, surfboards and paddleboards can move along the same waves. However, it is good if you are using a Standup paddleboard to avoid waves. Surfboards are responsive compared to paddleboards. They maneuver and respond faster to waves in the waters hence better option for wavy waters.

Are the boards of surfboard and paddleboard the same?

The boards of surfing and paddling equipment differ in size. Paddleboards are longer than surfboards and are much thicker and heavier. The paddle boards are about 14 feet long, and surfboards range from 5-10 feet. The difference is due to the waters each travels on. Paddleboards are perfect for calm waters, whereas surfboards are for wavy waters.

Can I use a surfboard as a paddle board?

No, it is not advisable. Surfboards lack the flotation and stability needed by riders. They are also hard to balance and sink in the waters. You can only use a surfboard in place of a paddle board if you are a professional and for a short period.

Final Verdict

Surfboards are different from a stand-up paddle board in various ways. Get the right equipment for the right sports. The objects are pricey; you should choose quality equipment that will serve you for a long. Surfboards are great for use in water with waves, whereas paddle boards are for calm waters.

Do not allow your kids to surf if they have not gained enough experience, as it may bring about accidents. Surfing and paddling offer breathtaking adventures that everyone should experience. Now that you have all the points about stand-up paddle boards versus surfboards: get one and start the learning sessions.

Matt Bartlett

Outside is always better .I'm an avid Traveler, Cyclist, Paddler,Hiker, Outdoor Adventurer, Sports Lover & Wannabe Runner. I write about adventures and share them on my website and for other outdoor publications. . Wannabe Runner Love being outdoors.I enjoy sharing outdoor experiences with others.

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