Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Kite Surfing = SUKing. Except, it doesn’t suck at all, in fact it’s pretty fun. It’s not as enjoyable as rolling through waves with a surfboard and kite but it sure as hell beats moping because there aren’t any waves to catch.
You’ve been warned though, if you’ve never SUK’d it’s actually tougher then you’d think (or at least it was tougher then I thought it’d be). SUKing is ideal in light conditions, if it’s super breezy you’re probably going to have a heck of time on the water. Seriously, you’re going to look like an ass if you’re trying to take your big kite into even mid speed winds. If you do this against my warning expect to be dragging your huge ass kite and an equally huge paddle board half a mile down to the beach to where you left your belongings.
A Few Tips for SUKing
First off, it’s easier to start on shore then it is to start in the water. This video demonstrates how to get back on your SUP without destroying it with your kite harness.
Second, make sure you’re using a big ol’ stand up paddle board. I personally like my 11.5 tower social for SUKing. The more stable it is the easier it’s going to be. If you’re looking for some reviews on stand up paddle boards check Paddlers Retreat. They’ll cover you on what boards to look for if you plan on getting after some SUK.
Third, make sure you stay on your rail. This is not like normal paddle boarding where you get to gently glide across the shoreline on your board. A kite, even in low winds is going to whip you in different directions, if you’re not on your rail you’re going to get tossed. I promise that much.
If you’ve never kite surfed before SUKing is going to be extremely tough. Granted learning how to Kite is pretty damn hard as it is. Learning to correctly maneurve the kite while keeping your balance on a SUP board can be pretty damn tough, I recommend you learn a little bit about kite surfing before trying Stand Up Kiting. It’s not entirely necessary and you can learn as you go, just as you can with normal kite surfing but you’re probably be climbing out of the water a lot. And trying to climb back onto your paddle board can be pretty exhausting if you’re doing every few minutes.