Being in the Pacific Region, California has all kinds of paddle boarding spots a paddler can ever dream of. Ever since paddle boarding became popular, you could see people riding SUPs everywhere. If you’ve been meaning to give it a try, here’s what we think is the top 5 spots for paddle boarding in California.
- Morro Bay
If you’re an animal lover then a trip to Morro Bay will definitely tickle your fancy. Filled with Sea Lions, the water body is an amazing spot for SUP and you’re sure to enjoy the company of marine life. You’ll notice that the central Californian coast is a breeding harbor for sea lions and a handful of other species living in the waters.
Morro Bay sure caught our attention. It is an exceptional place to enjoy a relaxing paddling session or a place to visit during your summer vacation. Although a few encounters have been reported, there are sharks in Morro Bay. Also, expect substantial tides and winds as you paddle through the waters.
- Cowells Beach, Santa Cruz
If you’re looking for a place to sharpen your paddling skills, head over to the sandy beaches of Cowells. Accompanied by smooth and mellow waves, Cowells is the perfect spot for long, relaxing rides and will convenience rookie paddlers too! It is also easy to access and has rental shops around. If you have a knack paddling in stronger waters, the break just outside Cowells is your best bet.
Cowells is ideal for all levels of SUP’ers and a stone’s throw away from the Santa Cruz Wharf and Beach Boardwalk. After spending a day surfing in Cowells beach, you can dine and cool off at various joints to keep the vibes going.
- Mammoth Lakes
Paddle boarding in the seven lakes surrounding the Eastern Sierra Mountains is something no SUP enthusiasts could resist. Well, apart from having an amazing view, the place is chilled with an atmosphere cool enough to calm the waters below. Huge trout break the silence and are a main attraction that motivates visitors to pack up and visit the Mammoth lakes. Having several camping and rentals around the area, the spot is definitely an ideal spot for paddle boarding.
- Santa Catalina Island
Packed with stay-cation spots, we could not resist from adding Catalina Island to our list. Paddling in Catalina is amazing as you get the chance to tour across the harbors. The island is only an hour off shore by ferry but you won’t be allowed to come with your own paddle board. However, the island has many rentals and you’ll definitely find a match.
- Bolsa Chica
This beach is often overlooked by passengers, even though it’s one of the best places for ocean paddle in North Orange County. Apart from being family-friendly, Bolsa Chica is also wave-friendly particularly for beginners. A newbie would definitely want to start-off in Bolsa’s accommodating waves where they can surf all day trying to get a hang of it.
As a gesture to maintain the beach, you’ll have to pay $15 to access Bolsa Chica for the whole day. We found the access fee not so bad, considering the gems you’ll find on the beach. Bolsa is a great place to surf, not to mention the chill vibes and the cheerful company on the beach. It’s the best place to paddleboard with family or friends and a must-visit spot to paddle board in California.
There are a lot of other places for paddleboarding enthusiast in California. You can easily find at least 8 paddle boarding spots in San Diego alone. Also, seeing as California is the most populous state in America, you would be able to meet a lot of like-mind people after taking up paddle boarding in California. People riding on inflatable SUP boards, hard boards and foil SUPs can be spotted everywhere. If you don't live in California but still want to enjoy paddle boarding, there are a lot of other places in America that are great for the sport. You have some of the best lakes to paddle board in the world in the U.S. and some other well-known tourist spots like Hawaii, San Diego, etc. All are great destinations for paddle boarding enthusiasts.
Before you pack your bag and head out to one of these spots, make sure your board is in good condition. If you are in need of an upgrade on your stand up paddle board or other related equipment, check out Goosehill Sport, it's a new and thriving brand in the rather competitive industry and the products are pretty solid. A suitable SUP board would go a long way to give you an enjoyable paddling experience.