Home/Paddleboards and Gear/Kayaking on Paddleboards/How to Set Up a SUP as a Kayak – Instructions for Seat and Paddle

If you’ve ever wondered how to set up a SUP as a kayak, you’re in luck. Your SUP was designed to be a transformer! We’ll cover exactly how to set up your SUP kayak seat and paddle with detailed instructions so you can head out on the water in kayak mode.

To set up your SUP as a kayak you’ll need a couple of key pieces of gear: a kayak seat and a kayak paddle or blade. If you’ve got a Thurso Surf SUP, your board is already set up with D-rings in the right places to easily attach a kayak seat. Also, the 3-piece travel paddle included in every one of our full-sized SUP package is designed to swap the t-bar handle grip for a paddle blade. That means you don’t have to buy a whole new paddle. Your extra paddle blade will attach to your existing paddle and fit easily into your roller backpack.

Required gear


All set up and ready to go!

How to Set Up Your SUP Kayak Seat

Time to get started transforming your SUP into a kayak. Don’t worry; our innovative design makes the setup easy! With the high quality PE material used in construction, the Thurso Surf SUP Kayak Seat provides both support and comfort. And the best part is how quick and easy it truly is. After you’ve set it up once, you won’t even have to adjust the straps.

Step 1: Center your SUP kayak seat

After inflating your board, position the SUP kayak seat near the middle of the board where you’d normally sit or kneel when paddling. You’ll notice there are four D-rings nearby that are used to anchor the seat.

thurso surf waterwalker 120 all-around SUP centered kayak seat

Center your seat and position it where you’d like to sit.

Step 2: Attach your sup kayak seat to the front D-rings

Now that your seat is in position, take the two straps at the front of the seat and attach them to the D-rings toward the nose of the board. Simply clip each strap to its D-ring, as seen in the photo below.

thurso surf waterwalker 120 all-around kayak seat set up

Simply clip each strap to the corresponding D-ring.

Step 3: Attach your sup kayak seat to the rear D-rings

Once the front straps are secured, it’s time to attach the back straps. Take the two remaining straps from the back of the seat and clip them to the D-rings found at the tail of the board.

thurso surf expedition touring SUP with kayak seat

All four clips attached to their corresponding D-rings.

Step 4: Find your balance and adjust the webbing

Now all you have to do is adjust the straps to your desired position. You’ll get a feel for what you like as you paddle. And don’t worry; it’s even easy to adjust while out on the water. Once you find your sweet spot and get the length of the straps dialed in, it’ll be even quicker and easier to set up your SUP kayak seat the next time.

thurso surf waterwalker 120 all-around kayak seat adjust

You can easily adjust the straps if needed while you’re out on the water.

So there you have it! You’ve gone from SUP to kayak in four quick clips. Remember, it’s up to you where to position your seat. We tend to find that slightly back from center is the best paddling position for most people, especially if it’s just you paddling alone. However, as the crew over at iSUP World pointed out during a recent review, you can also use the D-rings connected to the front or rear webbing to carry a passenger: “It’s ideal to use for padding with a child and easy enough to stand and paddle behind the seat.” Since the seat is easily adjustable even when you’re on the water, you could start paddling on your feet and keep your extra paddle blade stowed under the webbing at the front or back of the board. That way you can sit and kayak if the wind picks up, or you’re feeling tired, or if you just want a change of pace.

thurso surf waterwalker 126 dad daughter kayak seat

Room for two with a little added back support to the front row seat. –iSUP World

How to Set Up a Kayak Paddle

Didn’t think it could get any easier than setting up the SUP kayak seat? Great news, you don’t have to buy a second paddle! Your Thurso Surf paddle is already set up to convert into a kayak paddle quickly and easily. All you have to do is switch out the handle for a paddle blade. Follow the steps below and you’ll easily go from SUP paddle to kayak paddle in no time.

Step 1: Remove the T-bar grip from your SUP paddle

If your paddle is already put together, simply open the clasp and remove the t-bar grip from one end of you paddle.

thurso surf expedition and paddle adjustment

Unlock and remove the T-bar from your SUP paddle.

Step 2: Insert the kayak paddle blade into the shaft

Now that the t-bar grip is removed, insert the paddle blade. Once it’s inserted, make sure the position of the blade matches the blade on the other end. You’ll hear the pin click when it’s in place.

thurso surf kayak paddle blade insert

Insert the paddle blade and position accordingly.

Step 3: Lock in the blade of your kayak paddle

Close the clasp to lock in the blade of your kayak paddle. That’s all it takes. Now you have a kayak paddle with a blade on each end. You’re now ready to hit the water on your vehicle of choice, kayak or SUP!

Waving Goodbye From Your SUP Kayak Seat

Now that you’ve had a run through on how quick and easy it is to set up your SUP kayak seat and paddle, feel free to check out the pieces in more detail on our website. And of course, give us a shout if you have any questions. Looking forward to seeing you on social with your new gear!

Here’s a quick look at the SUP kayak seat and the paddle blade options:

By |Published On: July 11th, 2019|Categories: Kayaking on Paddleboards|0 Comments|

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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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