Paddleboards Vs. Surfboards: Do You Know How They Differ?

Jun 2, 2023 | Water Fun

If you’re new to watersports, you may be shocked to know that there are a variety of vessels you can take out on the water, not just surfboards for rent. And did you know that surfboards have quite an interesting history? While paddleboards don’t have nearly as long of a history, they have been around for a while

Ultimately, it’s important to know that these two aren’t the same, which is beneficial when you know how they differ so you can choose the right one for you, whether it be surfboards for rent in Holden Beach or paddle board rental in Ocean Isle Beach. 

General Information 

If you’re a newbie to surfing and watersports in general, paddleboards and surfboards may look similar. Even when you watch people partake in these two activities, you may notice how you perform the activities that look similar. 

First and foremost, when you compare the two, you should know that they serve different purposes. For instance, both of them were designed to float in the water. But, the main difference between the two is that the paddleboards have a design for them to float on top of the water. On the other hand, surfboards do remain above the water, but they’re specifically crafted to ride on top of the waves. 

A person who’s on a surfboard will ride with the waves. You won’t glide with the surfboard, but you can, however, easily maneuver it. As a result, you can shift its position to hit a wave at the ideal angle. 

Paddle Vs. No Paddle

When you look into rental equipment in Holden Beach or one of our other locations for a surfboard, you’ll notice that you only receive a surfboard. There’s nothing in addition you need to surfboard because you’ll paddle out into the water with your hands and arms. It’s much like swimming with your stomach on the board. 

If you decide you’d like to paddleboard, when you receive your rental equipment, we’ll also provide you with a paddle. Rather than using your arms to paddle out into the water, like with a surfboard, you’ll receive a paddle that you use to propel yourself. 


The dimensions of paddleboards and surfboards differ immensely. The paddleboards tend to be much longer. Specifically, these boards are approximately 14 feet long. Surfboards are under 10-feet long, usually five to nine feet, for the most part. 

Additionally, the paddleboards are usually heavier and thicker.  

If you’re looking for something that you’ll have less struggle using, you may want to use a paddleboard because it’s more stable. 


For the most part, you can ride the same waves with a paddleboat as you can with a surfboard.

You want to keep your skill level with either in mind as you choose waves, for one. Even if you were a decent boarder on a surfboard, you might not necessarily be as skilled on a paddleboard at first and viceversa. Therefore, you’ll want to take it easy and start out slowly as you switch between the two and are choosing waves. 

Additionally, when you choose waves, you should consider where the other riders are. If you see someone on a surfboard or paddleboard on the water, you should find another wave to avoid an injury. 

Beach Boys Cabanas is an equipment rental company that offers cabanas for rent as well as rental surfboards and more. We serve Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, and Sunset Beach. 

And we’re happy to help you find the watersports equipment most suited for you, to keep you safe while helping you enjoy your time in North Carolina. 

Use our online reservation tool to plan ahead for your trip. You could also give us a call at 910-712-3776.