Is Paddle Boarding Easier than Kayaking?

Paddle boarding and kayaking are both popular water-based activities that offer a great way to explore the outdoors. Both are relatively easy to learn, but they do have some differences. So, when it comes to deciding which one is easier, the answer is not so straightforward. It depends on the individual and their skill level, as well as the type of paddling they are doing. Although the answer is yes paddle boarding is easier than kayaking.

To start with, let’s take a look at the differences between the two activities.

Paddle boarding is typically done on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP), which is a longer, wider board, and it is propelled by a single-bladed paddle. The stand-up position, combined with the wide board, allows for greater stability and makes it easier for a beginner to learn. Kayaking, on the other hand, is done on a smaller, narrower boat and is propelled by a double-bladed paddle. The smaller boat and the double-bladed paddle require more skill and technique to master.

Now, let’s move on to the actual paddling. Paddle boarding is generally less tiring than kayaking, as it requires less power and effort to keep the board moving forward. This makes it easier for beginners, as they don’t have to worry about expending too much energy. The stand-up position also allows for a more efficient stroke and more control over the board.

Kayaking, however, requires a bit more power and technique. The double-bladed paddle provides more power, which can be helpful for more experienced paddlers. Furthermore, the narrower boat requires more technique, as it is harder to keep the boat straight and maintain control.


stand up paddle board fall

When it comes to the actual skills required, paddle boarding is generally easier to learn. While it does require some basic balance and coordination, the stand-up position makes it easier to learn the basic strokes and techniques. Kayaking, on the other hand, requires more balance and coordination, as well as more technique, in order to master the double-bladed paddle.

Overall, paddle boarding is the easier activity of the two. The wider board and stand-up position make it easier for a beginner to learn, and it requires less power and effort than kayaking. That being said, kayaking can offer more experienced paddlers a more challenging experience, as it requires more technique and power. Ultimately, which activity is easier will depend on the individual and their skill level.

This is not even taking in the difficulty of needing to learn the Eskimo roll, and not panicking when the need arises. Or getting out of the skirt and surfacing from under the kayak while not getting tangled on rocks or hazards in the white water.

upside down kayak

So grab a paddle board and some friends and hit the water to have fun and relax. You won't regret taking up paddle boarding!

getting onto an inflatable paddle board

Let us know about your first-time paddle boarding or kayaking at #glidesup on Instagram!

glide sup logo

Have fun and be safe on the water! And to sway the vote even more to paddle boarding lets just throw out paddle boarding dogs! Check our blog and Instagram for these cute pups.