People who love watersports may have trouble choosing what to invest in when it comes to picking a paddle board or kayak. For those who love the challenge of gliding across a body of water, they’re both great. In the past, paddlers would have to buy one or both. Now there is a newer product on the market; the kayak paddle board combo. It’s an easy-to-use, quick-to-setup, cool new hybrid that turns your stand up paddleboard into a kayak.

Man and woman sitting on stand up paddle board traction pad while SUP kayaking

Two stand up paddleboarders cruise the ocean blue from their SUP kayak seats.

Kayak Paddle Board Combo – The SUP Hybrid

With the kayak paddleboard combo, users get the benefits of paddle boarding as well as kayaking with one piece of equipment rather than two. Simply put, your stand up paddleboard becomes a kayak. All you have to do is add the seat and modify your paddle. The best SUP companies specifically design their boards so a kayak seat can be easily added and you paddle effortlessly modified. For instance, Thurso Surf offers a kayak seat with four quick-fastening clips for easy attachment to the D-rings on the SUP that double as storage options. And since it’s collapsable it easily fits in your bag. That way you can decide on the spot if you want to add it. No timely setup, no need for extra storage. The same holds true for a well-designed paddle. Thurso Surf uses it’s ball and lock system so you can quickly and easily remove the t-bar grip on one end of the SUP paddle and replace it with a second paddle blade. Just like that, you now have a kayak paddle with blades on both ends!
paddleboarder rests on Thurso Surf All-around stand up paddle board with attached kayak seat

Taking a break from paddling to cool off.

Benefits and Drawbacks of a Kayak Paddle Board Combo

Kayak paddle board hybrids are new and enjoyed by many paddlers. They’re a great equipment addition for people who enjoy their watersports, especially for anyone who is looking to get into fishing or longer trips on their SUP. That being said, you might have some other ideas on how you’d like to use your SUP kayak seat. And that flexibility is truly one of the best parts. Its ease of setup, storage, and transport means you can bring it with you everywhere in your SUP backpack. You can attach it to the D-rings on the front of your board as a comfortable passenger seat for a child or adult. You can even take it out on the water tucked under the rigging or stashed in a deck bag. That means you don’t have to decide whether to SUP or kayak at home. In fact, you don’t even need to decide before you leave the shore! You can make up you mind about which way you feel like paddling once you’re already on the water.

kayak seat is attached to Thurso Surf All-around SUP

Easily clip your SUP kayak seat to the D-rings and you’re ready to hit the water!

That flexibility also pays off because it offers significant cost savings since there is no need to purchase two crafts. You can even use the same paddle! While you can adapt some paddle boards with a kayak seat and paddle, buying the hybrid means it is done properly and safely. No need to try to tie a lawn chair to your board or rig up some other unnecessarily complicated situation. You can comfortably enjoy paddling while either standing or sitting. Furthermore, the hybrid allows for longer boarding adventures as the paddler can change position when muscles get weary. Tired of standing? Simply unfold and attach the seat, swap your t-bar grip for a second blade, and you’re good to go.

Another benefit of the hybrid that’s often overlooked is its different viewpoint when compared to sitting in a kayak. Standing can allow the paddler to see down into the water better if looking for fish or other items. It can also help with casting if the rider is on a fishing excursion. This works in the reverse as well. If there’s choppy water or any strong winds start to pick up, then switching to a seated position with a kayak seat becomes an option, allowing the paddler to brace against the rough weather better. As you can see having a SUP that’s easily adaptable increases your range of options while you’re out on the water.
woman paddles on a Thurso Surf kayak paddle board combo SUP

Ready for a long day on the water! Comfortably sit or stand throughout the day.

The drawback of a hybrid is that while you save money on equipment and greatly enhance your board and options on the water, you are not getting a specialized kayak. There has to be some compromise around design and style. Although a kayak SUP combo functions as both, it’s definitely not the kayak you want to take down class 5 rapids.

Those who start out as kayakers can quickly adjust to a SUP kayak seat. Yes, sitting on a SUP board is different than being tucked into an actual kayak but it should only take a couple times out on the water to fully adjust and appreciate the differences. To be clear, one isn’t necessarily harder than the other; it’s just different.
woman attaches paddle blade to other end of SUP paddle to transform it into a double-bladed kayak paddle

Switch out the t-bar grip and add a second paddle blade for a double-bladed kayak paddle.

Paddles for Paddleboard Kayak Hybrids

SUP paddles have one blade compared to kayak paddles that have two. To make things easier, there are now paddles that can be used as a hybrid paddle. They have a blade that is straight to the shaft on one end and then has a removable part on the other. The handle is inserted at the top end for paddle boarding, and removed and then replaced with another blade for kayaking. That means you can use just one paddle with a removable blade. There’s no need to buy a whole second paddle, just the extra blade!

Final Thoughts

A kayak paddle board combo is new to the water sports arena, but quickly growing in popularity due to its many benefits and advantages. Paddlers get to save money on equipment while getting both a SUP and a kayak. And best of all, the well-designed hybrid gear makes adapting your SUP and paddle super easy. Plus, on top of all that is the added flexibility stand up paddleboard enthusiasts enjoy with an adaptable kayak seat. It can be used in countless circumstances, so it’s simply a nice thing to have around when you’d prefer the option. As always, happy paddling whether you’re sitting or standing!

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About the Author: Matt G.

Matt Gelgota is a traveler and all around digital marketing guy. His greatest adventure to date was the Mongol Rally, a 10,000 mile unsupported on and off-road saga from Sweden to Mongolia. He has visited more than 50 countries and has been paddling a Thurso Surf Expedition since 2018. Since then he’s had a chance to paddle board in Nepal, Thailand, Japan, and the US. When he’s not on the road he divides his time between Tokyo and Atlanta, Georgia.

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