I'm going to get a SUP. Sit WAAAYYYYYYYYYY outside, and I ain't wearing a leash while I hit a bong and try to figure out how to work the wave jets..... dam*it I just sh*t in my wetsuit.
I have a SUP, a longboard and a fish.
SUP is for when there are 0 waves and i just have to get wet. Never around other people in the surf and pointless even in small surf because the longboard will catch anything the SUP can.
LB is for small surf, which is usually relatively empty as well.
Fish is for fun waves and crowds. Not only is it safer because you can stay better in control of your board, but there is less mass and force to it and a smaller radius of board and leash if you do screw things up. And those are just some of the benefits for others, for myself, it's easier to drop in and duck diveable.
There really is no reason for an SUP in a crowded break: The SUP allows you to go farther to more remote, perhaps better, breaks without breaking a sweat. I use mine to go to offshore reefs while towing the fish, then anchor the SUP and surf with the other board.
And the most dangerous surfer out there? Usually the SUP'er with a helmet on. The minute the helmet goes on, the brain seems to get switched off. They feel safe, so act unsafely. Everyone else needs a helmet at that point.
Finally, there is the issue of wave hogs: Longboards and SUPs are especially guilty of this: Take a wave, ride it in, paddle back out, snake everyone and take the very next wave. WTF?
This happened to me yesterday. The break was crowded, but a nice rotation was happening. Three LBers come in, park themselves outside and trade every single set wave! Guy up front (half joking to not be a jerk) yells "Dude let me get one!" and the guy simply says "No". WTF? He thought he was funny?
I went from having a fun time to frustrated to irate. Considered simply dropping in on the dbag, then figured it wasn't worth a fin scar. I hate leaving the water angry. Glad I got that off my chest :)
Already said in this thread, it's not the board, its all about the rider's skill, attitude, and concern for others in the water. Without a proper grasp of these things, and knowing ones limitations, it doesn't matter what you ride, you can be a problem.
I would conject that SUP riders of the highest level have incredible control over there boards (See video below for example). One thing a SUPer has if he learns to use it is the paddle, which can very much aid in maneuverability. I happen to have a SUP that is 9' (which is shorter than some longboards) and weighs only 19 pounds, and turns pretty well. I would disagree with the statement that a longboard can catch any wave a SUP can, because I've been out, and I'm a beginner mind you (and away from the crowded areas), and have been able to catch as many or more waves than longboarders. The SUP has an advantage of being able to see the swells coming earlier, and manuever into position more rapidly. Because of this, I try to help out the prone surfers when I see an incoming set and give'm a heads up.
Again, attitude and concern for others, and understanding ones skill level and limitations are issues here.
P.S.: To the OP .. sorry to learn about your accident. Hoping for a quick and full recovery.
**** happens. He is obviously in the wrong, but if you take 'SUP' out of the equation this would just be another surf causality. Only drink rum when you rock your eye patch. You will have it off in no time.
Soon there will be legislation that will allow SUPers to get married like the rest of us.