Breaking Down the Differences Between Surfing and Paddle Boarding

While surfing and paddle boarding are both great ways to relieve stress and burn calories, they are incredibly different activities. A person who enjoys surfing may not always enjoy paddle boarding or vice versa. Here are a few key differences between surfing and paddle boarding.

Surfing is a Much More Vigorous Activity

If you are an adrenaline junkie, then surfing may be more your thing. Surfing is a much more vigorous activity compared to paddle boarding. Surfing requires you to use almost every muscle in your body. From using your arms and shoulders to paddle to the waves, to your core and legs when catching a wave, surfing is a full body experience.

You also have to be prepared to make fast judgement calls when surfing. Deciding which waves to catch and when, requires you to always be at full attention; however, many people find surfing to be a cathartic experience. They enjoy the day to day surfing experience and the thrill of catching a big wave. While surfing can be relaxing for those who do it often, as a whole it is much more vigorous (and even rigorous) then paddle boarding.

Paddle Boarding is Much More Relaxing

If you are looking for a relaxing day on the water, then paddle boarding may be for you. While paddle boarding can burn calories, it is a slow burn over a longer period of time compared to surfing. With paddle boarding you are your own engine. You control how fast you go and where you go versus the waves being your engine with surfing.

Paddle boarding, like surfing, also utilizes every part of your body. From your core and legs to help maintain your balance, to your arms and shoulders to help you paddle, it is a great way to build muscle. Unlike surfing, paddle boarding is a much more relaxing way to decompress. (Although surfers may argue that surfing is the most relaxing thing in the world!) You can totally zone out with paddle boarding and not risk serious injury. With paddle boarding you can sit on your board and just experience everything around you. Lastly, paddle boarding is usually done on calmer waters, making it just a calmer experience overall.

The Differences Between a Surf Board and Paddle Board

One of the biggest differences between surfing and paddle boarding is the type of board used. Paddle boards tend to be thicker and wider versus surf boards. They also tend to be heavier. Both paddle boards and surf boards have leashes to keep users from losing their boards while on the water. With surfing your arms are your paddle, while with paddle boards, you also must have a long paddle.

You can learn more about paddle boards and paddle boarding in our Paddle Boarding 101 post here

If you can’t decide which is for you, paddle boarding or surfing, give them both a try. We, here at Isla, offer paddle boarding and surfing packages so you can experience both. Experience the thrill of catching your first wave or zen out on the water, either way is still better than any day in the office!

Peter MelhadoComment