Last weekend I gave this a fair amount of thought. As a surfer first, I'm relatively new to the sport of Stand Up Paddling. I know SUPs have been somewhat of a controversial wave riding device, and a great deal has been written about the proper etiquette when there's a mix of surfers and SUPs in the lineup. My take is that depending on the conditions, the location and your mood, there's a place for both for someone who enjoys being out on the water.
What are the conditions?: Be aware that there are certain beaches that you should not SUP at. Maybe this will change some day, but you will get called out of the lineup of many beaches that are not SUP friendly. If your local lineup is not friendly and you would prefer to blend in, you might consider something else. But on a flat day, all bets are off, and why not get out on the water? Or at a local lake or river, the whole lineup stuff is not an issue.
One of the reasons we started Surfitlocker was that there were places and times when we wanted to SUP. What I discovered is that SUPs are really big. (they make my 9' board seem tiny in comparison!) They are also heavy and they take up a lot of space. If you have a compact car, you're going to have a tough time getting your SUP to the water. If you like the convenience of tossing a board in your car and jetting to the beach, SUPing will require a major adjustment.
So what did I end up doing last weekend? I surfed one morning and ended up paddling the next afternoon as the waves had moved on and the location and weather was perfect for a SUP session. I did get a friendly reminder from a Coast Guard Boat to stay away from the shoreline because it tends to make the Lifeguards nervous.
There are plenty of reasons to ride one board or another. Our goal with introducing Surfitlocker is to make it easier and a lot more fun to try a new board at different locations and help you understand a little bit more about the different boards that are available for you to enjoy, depending on the conditions and the location. We always welcome your suggestions and comments.