How To Convert A SUP Into A Kayak


Stand up paddleboarding can be great fun but after balancing your weight on that paddle for a certain duration, you might just start to wish you could sit down. While there are paddle manufacturers that have put this into consideration and made SUP-Kayak hybrids, you can still take your SUP and turn it into a kayak.

While many people know how to paddle a stand up paddleboard, many others are not aware that you can turn the paddleboard into a kayak. All you need is to make a few modifications to your SUP without damaging the integrity of the paddle and soon you will have converted it into a kayak. Here is how to convert SUP to kayak.

What to add

There are three main things that you are going to add to your SUP to be able to convert it into a kayak. These are kayak paddle, kayak paddle holders, and a kayak seat.

The kayak paddles

The first step to turn a paddleboard into a kayak is getting the right gear. A kayak paddle requires no modifications. Some people will prefer the breakdown paddle variety as it is less cumbersome when transporting the stand-up paddleboard.

Many manufacturers are aware that people might want to use their SUP as a kayak and include SUP paddles with a T handle that can be removed and in its place, another paddle is added. This allows for greater versatility in case you feel like you want to sit down on your SUP.

However, you must know that such types of paddles lack high performance. Kayak paddles feature blades are at an angle to the shaft. The SUP blades, on the other hand, are designed in line with the shaft.

Installing the paddle holders

Now that you have your kayak paddles, you will need a way to carry them. At some point even while you stand up on your SUP, you will need to sit down and use the kayak paddles for propulsion. If you are a beginner start by ensuring that you know how to stand up paddleboard.

The best way to ensure you carry your puddles in a way that does not inhibit your movement is to install paddles holders set on either side of the SUP and towards the rear. When you want to access them, simply reach out, join them together and you have your kayak paddles.

Adding the kayak seat


There are two main ways that you can add a seat to your stand up paddleboard. The first and easier option is adding a lower back band. Here you will only need to add a set of cleats onto the deck of the SUP. Many might consider this not to be an actual seat as what it really does is provide lumbar support for the lower back.

If you prefer to skip this option, you can go for the full kayak seat which has a padded bottom and also features a high backrest. These are much more preferred as they offer greater comfort. You will need to make 4 loops on the paddleboard, with two on each side.

Care needs to be taken when fixing a seat onto the paddleboard. It’s easy to assume that it should be smack in the middle of the SUP. However, to achieve the best balance, but the paddleboard in the water and sit on it. Ask a friend to tell you whether the board is laying flat or is tilting at the front or the back.

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The best position for the kayak seat is where the SUP is tilting slightly at the front or is lying flat on the water surface. Check for any contouring on the design of the standup paddleboard. You need to be careful with a SUP that has a front slightly curving upwards.

The kayak seats will often come with instructions on how to properly install the loops and cleat. If you’ve never done this before and you lack the confidence of drilling into your paddleboard, you can always find a kayak outfitter and seek their help.

While both stand up paddleboarding and kayaking are great fun, if you want to get out of the water faster or move from one section of a lake to another with ease, then kayaking is the faster option. The fact that the body is sited and closer to the water makes you more streamlined. Also, the double blades of the kayak paddle will allow you to paddle faster than if you were using a SUP paddle.

Sitting down will provide you with greater stability especially when you want to get past a rough stretch of water. It is also more comfortable to sit in a converted SUP-kayak hybrid than standing up over extended periods.

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When you turn paddleboard into a kayak, it will allow you to reap the benefits of both stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking. It is super easy to convert SUP to kayak and soon you will be standing up and sitting down in your paddleboard at will.

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