Paddle Board vs. Surfboard: Which Should You Learn?

By David Fialkoff •  Updated: 06/14/21 •  3 min read

There are a lot of ways to make your summer days at the beach more adventurous. One of the more popular options is taking a board out on the water and riding the waves.

If you’re ready to try it for yourself, that’s great! But first, you have a choice to make.

Namely, paddle board vs surfboard: which one is right for you? To help you out, we’ve written you this short guide to answer some of your surfing vs paddleboarding questions.

For instance, you’re probably wondering, “Is paddleboarding easier? Can I surf on a paddleboard? What’s the difference between a paddle board and a surfboard, anyway?”

This guide has the answers. To find out which of these awesome new hobbies you’ll prefer, keep reading.

The Differences Between a Paddle Board and a Surfboard

The most obvious difference between the two boards is their size. Paddle boards are both longer and wider than surfboards.

Specifically, surfboards usually max out at about 9 feet long. In contrast, paddle boards are typically around 14 feet in length.

Their shapes and functions are different, too. Surfboards are narrower and are available in more hydrodynamic shapes to maximize speed when riding the waves.

Paddle boards are wider and rounder to allow for easier balancing. However, they also come in variations that are ideally suited for specific paddleboarding activities. Look here now to see some examples of this.

Is Paddleboarding Easier?

Yes, a paddle board is easier to use in general. In fact, it’s specifically made for this purpose.

That is, it’s designed as an easy way to get on your feet and stay that way while on the water. This makes it a great choice for beginners and for families of various skill levels.

Can I Use a Paddle Board as a Surfboard?

Yes, you can surf the waves upon a paddle board. However, you may find a surfboard easier for this task.

You see, while a paddle board is easy to balance on, it’s not as easy to control once you catch a wave. A surfboard is more responsive to your movements, including your efforts to steer.

Can I Use a Surfboard as a Paddle Board?

Besides surfing, a paddle board can be used for many water activities, including:

And, no, a surfboard won’t allow you to do any of these things. You can really only stay standing on a surfboard as long as it is driven by a wave.

Gliding across the surface in this way is mostly what keeps it afloat. Without this, the surfboard sinks or slips out from underneath your feet. Surfboards are only ideal for surfing.

Paddle Board vs Surfboard: Which Will You Choose?

Now, use what you’ve learned in this paddle board vs surfboard guide to make your choice. Then, the next time you’re at the beach, rent your preferred board and try it out for yourself.

Next, do you know how to dive for lobster or why you need a dive flashlight? Find out here. Check our latest blog posts for these and other helpful topics.

David Fialkoff

David Fialkoff is the founder of Spearfishing.Live, a site that's dedicated to the sport of spearfishing. He is a full-time digital marketer and loves to spend time chasing fish underwater on the weekends.