How many sports can you do while appreciating the beauty of surrounding nature, increasing your balance and stability, and getting a great workout for your core? Not many, right. Well, there is one… Stand up paddle boarding is growing in popularity and it’s not hard to see why. And you’re probably wondering where you can do it near you!
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best places to try stand up paddle boarding in the United States. Hopefully, it’ll make it easy to find a beach near you where you can enjoy the world’s fastest growing water sport!
Modern SUPing began in the 1940s in Hawaii (even though there have been earlier forms spanning 5,000 years) so it’s the perfect place to give this sport a go. Here are some of the best places in Hawaii to SUP!
Ala Moana Beach Park
While SUPing began in Waikiki, there’s an even better place to do it than the world’s famous beach in Honolulu. Ala Moana Beach Park is protected from an outer reef, meaning that instead of waves you get perfect flat water. This is an excellent Oahu location to take your first steps into stand up paddle boarding. Other awesome locations on Oahu include Sunset Beach on the northern side of the island. Here you can either surf SUP, or paddle to Waimea Beach. And don’t miss Lanikai Beach, a great place for spotting marine life.
While Oahu has a lot of awesome SUP spots, you won’t be disappointed if you travel to one of the other islands. Kealakekua Bay in Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island has smooth and calm water, and even an underwater skate park! On clear days (which is quite a lot of the time) you can see more than 100 feet below the water. Get ready to spot dolphins, turtles, and manta rays – just to name a few.
The last place to check out in Hawaii is Maui, and the beautiful Kapalua Bay. There is not one reef here but two, and they form a cove. It’s an easy place to paddle board thanks to the calm waters, and you have the chance of seeing many different types of marine life, so be sure to pack your snorkelling gear!
The 8th largest city in the United States is popular for its numerous beaches. While they’re most famous for their surfing opportunities, the chance for SUP adventures is constantly growing.
La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is one of the best places for water sports in the United States. This scenic spot attracts surfers, SUPers, kayakers, and many more. While you’ll have to be on your guard that you don’t run into any people or animals, you won’t regret bringing your board here. You can see more than 30 feet down on clear days, so be on the lookout for brightly coloured fish, turtles, and even sea lions. Whether you want to stay on your paddleboard for sunset is up to you – there are some lovely grassy areas you could watch it from on the beach too.
Mission Bay is a great place to unleash the versatility of your SUP in San Diego. Not only can you enjoy regular paddling, but why not try a spot of sunrise yoga in the morning on the flat water? Or you could even have a go at SUP fishing before returning to your accommodation to cook it for dinner!
One of the most popular spots for families in San Diego, this is a great place for everyone to take their first steps in to stand up paddleboarding. Once you’ve all developed a little confidence and know the basics, you can explore the island from the water, taking in sights such as Petco Park and the USS Midway.
There are some great spots for stand up paddleboarding in Florida, but none can beat the Keys. It may not be one specific beach, but there are lots of places where you can stop off for a spot of sunbathing or a picnic. Get back onto Caribbean like blue waters, and keep your eyes peeled for marine life like stingrays and manatees. See even more biodiversity when you enter the mangroves – home to shellfish, crabs, birds, and much more.
Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
The beaches you’ve seen so far on our list have pretty warm waters, but Wrightsville Beach in California is a bit of a departure from that. This isn’t just a great place to practise SUPing but to also observe the professionals doing it – one of the biggest SUP races in the United States takes place in and around the waterways surrounding Harbour Island: the Carolina Cup.
White Crest Beach, Massachusetts
Heading even further north, White Crest Beach in Massachusetts is known as Surfer’s Beach, so if you’ve already mastered the basics of SUPing, why not try surf SUP? There are plenty of boarding schools and shop in town where you’ll be able to learn the discipline or pick up the correct equipment.
Jamaica Bay, New York
If you’re travelling to the Big Apple and looking to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle, why not pop over to Jamaica Bay for some stand up paddleboarding? It’s just 1.5 hours on the subway from Times Square in central New York and it should help you press reset from the busyness of city life. Hey, you’ll even be able to see the NY skyline from the waterways and freshwater ponds that make up the bay.
You might not think of Austin as a beach destination – after all it is more than 200 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. However, the Texan capital is a great place to paddle board. On the Colorado River, you’ll find places such as Secret Beach and Lady Bird Lake (which is actually a reservoir on the river), while there are several lakes nearby including Lake Travis, Lake Austin and Spring Lake. Not only can you enjoy regular paddle boarding, but also SUP yoga and fishing. All of that, and you have the big city on the doorstep to enjoy once you’ve finished SUPing for the day!