Get ready to see the top 7 most common SUP myths debunked! Who knows what you’ve read or heard. The internet can be a scary place whether you’re just starting paddleboarding or you have several seasons of experience under your belt. Here’s the lowdown on whether there’s any truth to  some of the most common myths you’ll find about stand up paddle boarding.

Kids on SUP max fun

All aboard, kiddos! Let’s paddle into these myths.

Top 7 Most Common SUP Myths

Myths and misconceptions occur for a variety of reasons, but it seems like the myths of SUPing are often caused by one or two anecdotes that miss the full story and get blown out of proportion. That’s why we encourage you to give it a try and see for yourself. However, we recognize that SUP myths can sometimes hold people back from their first paddle or make more experienced paddlers hesitant. Therefore, we’ve set out to debunk those SUP myths so you can confidently grab your paddle and board and head out on the water for some fun.

SUP Myths – #1: Inflatable SUPs are only for beginners.

As you’ll quickly discover yourself once you’re out on the water, this SUP myth is clearly false. Many paddlers prefer their inflatable SUP (iSUP) because they’re easy to transport and store. What may have lead to this misconception is that the quality and build of iSUPs has significantly improved in recent years. In fact, SUP is the fastest growing new sport so gear is getting better all the time! Someone who has only tried hard boards may be suspicious of iSUPs. A bit of skepticism is fair, but if you’ve never tried one (even as an experienced hard boarder) we recommend giving an inflatable a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

beginners only SUP myth kids dad on SUP max

Paddling from your knees can increase stability if you have ‘cargo’.

SUP Myths – #2: Inflating an iSUPs is really hard, takes too much time, is a pain, etc.

We’re not going to tell you that the fun begins when you grab your SUP pump. But inflating your board certainly isn’t as hard as some make it out to be. First of all, the process is quite simple and everything you need comes with any quality SUP package. Just connect your pump to the valve, pump until you reach your board’s recommended PSI (15 is recommended for Thurso Surf boards), disconnect the pump, and close the valve. Secondly, the best manufacturer’s will include a dual chamber hand pump, something all of Thurso Surf’s full-sized SUPs come with. These pumps inflate on the up AND down stroke. This cuts down on pumping time dramatically. Once the going gets a bit tougher and it’s time to eke out those last few PSIs, you can flip the switch and let gravity help you finish the job by filling only on each downstroke.

Just as inflatables have improved in recent years, so have electric pumps. If you’d prefer to do your warm-up on the water, or you’ve got a whole family’s worth of boards to fill, an electric pump can make the job of inflating your boards even easier. The Thurso Surf Electric Pump connects to your car cigarette lighter or battery to make inflating your boards simple and convenient. Its auto-stop feature means you can set dial to your desired PSI and sit back until it’s fully inflated.

SUP Myth iSUPs are not difficult to inflate

Pumping up your SUP is quick and easy with the Thurso Surf hand pump

SUP Myths – #3: Inflatable SUPs are fragile and aren’t as tough as hard boards

Not only is this myth false, the opposite is true. Inflatable SUPs are actually more durable and easy to care for than hard boards in a lot of ways. Hard boards suffer from dents, nicks, scrapes and dings when they get dropped or bump into things. That’s not to say iSUPs are indestructible, but if you follow some of the tips from our “How To Care for Your Stand Up Paddleboard” post, they’ll last you a long while. While we don’t recommend trying it out, you can even watch videos of people driving trucks over their boards on YouTube. That’d be the end of an epoxy board, but iSUPs are made with the same type of coated materials used in Zodiac boats created for the Navy Seals.

SUP Myths – #4: Inflatable SUPs are more expensive than hard boards.

This may have been the case early on in the development of iSUPs, but it’s very misleading today. The reality is that by cutting out the middle men and selling direct to you, we’re able to offer awesome SUP packages with the highest quality construction at an affordable price AND a best-in-class 2-year warranty. Not only do you get a well-engineered board made of top quality materials, but a full package of deluxe accessories… everything you need to paddle out! Since hard boards can’t be easily stowed, they also require roof racks, tie-downs, and storage space. Inflatable SUPs conveniently avoid those added costs because they can be tossed in the bed of your pickup or packed in the back of a Mini ,and they store well just about anywhere in their own protective backpack.


Even your furry friends can join you SUPing!

SUP Myths – #5: SUPing is difficult to learn.

Like any new sport, when it is your first time out on a board, there’s plenty to learn. But that doesn’t mean it’s difficult. You, the rider, get to determine how hard you want to push yourself. You get to pick the equipment that matches your skill level, paddle plans, and the conditions you’ll face. Rough seas for example are certainly more challenging than a flat, sheltered, inland lake. If you choose the right gear and pay attention to the weather conditions and you’re good to go! Plus, most beginners are able to stand and paddle on their first day out. Things only get better from there!

This myth is such a common one that we’ve written a whole post on it; Is Stand Up Paddle Boarding Difficult? For a complete run down, feel free to dig in there.

SUP Myths – #6: You’re “not strong enough” or “too old or young” to SUP.

Good news… paddleboarding doesn’t take superhuman strength. Sure, like all new activities, it may take a few tries to get the hang of it. You may even find that you’re working different muscle groups than you’re used to, but don’t let that hold you back. It’s great exercise for your core, as you may discover the morning after your first time out. But technique is far more important than strength. In calm conditions you’re free to paddle at a speed that matches your fitness level. Most soreness is actually caused by not realizing you were pushing yourself because you were having too much fun! Good form, stance, and a proper stroke will have you gliding across the water in no time. You can read more on perfecting your paddle stroke here.

With a quick scroll through our Instagram account  you’ll find paddlers of all shapes, sizes, and ages. Feel free to share some shots of yourself once you do get out there with the hashtag #thursosurf!


SUPing can be FUN for everyone.

SUP Myths – #7: SUPing is dangerous.

SUPing is an incredibly safe sport if you follow simple safety precautions you would with any water sport. It’s really up to you as the paddler rather than the sport itself that determines how challenging things will be. To stay safe, simply make sure to follow the local rules and regulations of the body of water you’ll be paddling. Wear the appropriate personal flotation device (PFD) and leash for the conditions. And be prepared for what you’re setting off to do; check the weather and make sure you wear and pack the right gear. A little prep goes a long way and in the company of common sense, you’re as safe as can be.

SUP Myths Debunked

As you can see these SUP myths are easily debunked. You certainly shouldn’t let any of these hold you back. Grab your SUP and become the hero of your own myth by overcoming these ‘monsters’ and rewriting your own epic story of stand up paddle boarding!

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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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