Table of contents
How to quickly locate a nice place for paddle boarding?
1. Use Dedicated Apps
There are apps developed specifically for stand up paddle boarding. Some can help you find new locations that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise and these are the kinds of apps that you should take advantage of.
The first app we’ d like to recommend to you is GoPaddling by Paddling Inc. This app can help you find popular spots as well as ones that aren’t widely known. It also allows users to add spots with pictures and brief descriptions to help others find those spots.
The spots you find on the app all come from other paddlers and you can get important information on the app like parking, where to eat and if it requires a permit to paddle there, etc. It’s one of the best apps a paddle boarder can have to quickly and easily find popular as well as lesser-known paddle boarding spots.
After finding a suitable SUP spot, you also need to know what the weather is going to be like when you paddle there. This is important as the weather has a huge impact on your paddling experience and can pose serious threats to your safety.
There’s a handy app called Windy.com by WINDYTY, SE. It has tons of practical features like having over 40 global weather map overlays and allowing you to customize it to track any combination of those maps, choosing your own colors for the different overlays you select, and importing map data.
After finding a new SUP spot, you can mark it and save it in this app. It even allows you to find webcams near the SUP spot to have a live view of the condition. And there’s many more features waiting for you to discover.
2. Use Tools
Yelp is a great platform to find SUP locations near you. You can even see the reviews of other people to find out how it’s like to be paddling in there. Most of them are very popular spots so you might not be able to find some lesser-known places on it like with the GoPaddling app.
You might not realize it but Facebook actually offers an easy way for you to find SUP locations. There are many Facebook groups for paddle boarding enthusiasts in basically every state of US.
People share SUP locations and even SUP events in these groups. You can directly ask questions about SUP locations and related information and most people are happy to help you out.
What you should know before getting out on the water
Different states have different laws and regulations for personal flotation devices(PFDs), which are also known as life jackets or life vest. But in most states it’s mandatory for children under 12 years old are to wear a PFD at all times on the water.
There are various types of PFDs and it's important to choose one that suits you best. If you don't have a PFD yet, here's how to choose a PFD for paddle boarding.
Also, in some states stand up paddle boards need to be registered to be allowed on the water. If you are not sure, just Google it and you should be able to find the States local laws for SUP.
How to keep yourself safe when out on the water
Paddle boarding is fun and safe most of the time, but there are potential dangers that you might not realize. Here are some safety tips for paddle boarding you should know:
1. Check the weather of your destination.
2. Always wear a PFD and the SUP leash.
3. Wear proper clothing.
4. Know your limits and avoid places that are beyond your capabilities.
5. Let someone know where you are going and when you will be back.
6. Bring your phone.
7. Wear sunscreen.
Popular SUP spots in the US
To help you quickly find a nice place to paddle board in the country, we’ve listed some of the most popular spots around the States for you to choose from. If you are trying to find a place for paddle boarding for your vacation, be sure to check this out.
(1)Crystal Cove, California
There are literally thousands of great places for paddle boarding in California and Crystal Cove State Park is one of the best you can find. Crystal Cove State Park offers you with open space and natural seashore which make this place an oasis for paddlers in California.
It has 3.2 miles of shoreline for you to explore and 1100 acre underwater park, which could easily take more than one day to cover.
(2)Miami Beach, Florida
Sitting right next to the state's capital are miles of breathtaking coastlines and still waters. On Miami Beach paddle boarding is more of a metropolitan experience that can complement your paddle boarding adventure.
You get great views of the city skyline and extend your paddling until sunset for breathtaking color shows. You can venture further away from the city as you explore the historic mansion Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
And the cherry on top is night surfing, thanks to LED and neon light tours provided by SUP companies in the area. It's one of the places for paddle boarding in Florida that you shouldn't miss.
(3)Canyon Lake, Texas
Canyon Lake is a hotspot for recreational activities. It has 130kms of shoreline and eight parks surrounding the lake.
The water is crystal clear and fairly calm so it’s a nice place for SUP beginners to learn how to paddle board as well as those who are looking to just relax and have a leisure paddling session on the water.
(4)Hood River, Oregon
If you are looking for a place to spend your summer vacation or weekend in summer, Hood River is one of the best destinations you can have in Oregon. It’s most famous for being the windsurfing capital of the world.
It’s also a hotspot for stand up paddle boarding with its magnificent views of the snow-capped Mount Hood. It’s probably not the best place for beginners to start their first paddling session as it has rapids, but experienced paddlers will definitely enjoy spending time here paddling and exploring the wilderness.
(5)Black Canyon, Nevada
The Black Canyon is a lesser-known but amazing place for paddle boarding. It’s only 45 minutes away from the Las Vegas strip. Extending for 12 miles, the Black Canyon Water Trail is full of hot springs, narrow canyons and serene desert landscapes with spetacular views.
For an unconventional paddling adventure, head over to Anchorage, Alaska. Here you’ll be paddling in extremely cold weather and have the most unforgettable SUP experience.
You’ll be paddling in the shadows of glaciers and icebergs. And there’s a high chance you will be accompanied by humback whales and harbor seals while you paddle. It might not be an ideal spot for first-time paddlers due to the cold weather, but you should definitely come here at least one time in your life.
(7)Lake Powell, Arizona
If you can only go to one place in Arizona, go to Lake Powell. Admittedly one of the most beautiful lakes in the States, only second to Lake Tahoe, Lake Powell is the ultimate stand up paddle boarding spot in Arizona.
When paddling on Lake Powell, you will have the stunning views of sandstone rock structures unfold in front of your eyes. And when continuing on your trip, you will see the Horseshoe Bend and beautiful canyons and isolated tributaries. Other than those, pay attention to what’s under your feet. The deep blue waters are stunning to paddle on.
(8)Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe is one of the places that can’t be missed, especially if you are a real paddle boarding enthusiast. It’s got some of the clearest water in all the lakes in the world. To explore Lake Tahoe paddle boarding is definitely one of the best ways you should try.
The warm weather in Summer is going to make you lose track of time when you paddle board on the crystal clear water of the lake. The large area of water is suitable for all kinds of SUP related recreational activities like SUP fishing, SUP yoga, or even a SUP race.
Some of the spots worth checking out include D.L. Bliss State Park, Emerald Bay, Kiva Beach, and Cave Rock. It’s a large area so if you have the time, take a few days and explore Lake Tahoe more thoroughly on your paddle board. Paddle boarding on Lake Tahoe is going to be one of the most unforgettable experiences in your life.
Hawaii is considered to be the place where stand up paddle boarding originated in, and there’s a good reason for that. Beautiful SUP spots are everywhere and Oahu is one that you can’t miss.
You can find Sunset Beach on the north shore of Oahu which make for a great place for SUP during summer when waves are gentler. Other wonderful SUP spots in Oahu include Waimea Bay, Lanikai Beach, Puaena Point, and Haleiwa, they are all best for paddle boarding in the summer months.
(10)Mangroves, Florida Keys
Mangroves forests are one of the most ecologically diverse habitats in the Florida Keys. If you are looking for a real adventure on the water, this is the place for you.
The chances of wildlife viewing are abundant. Underwater mangroves are home to all sorts of fish and other marine life like shrimp, crab, and snappers. Above the water you will also be able to see all kinds of birds on the mangrove branches.
Mangrove tunnels are also worth taking time to visit. The cool and quiet natural canopies provide shelter for wildlife like barracudas, manatees, octopuses, and rays.
(11)Tidelands Park on Coronado Island, San Diego
Coronado Island and its surrounding locations are perfect for a paddlers’s day out. You will be surrounded by miles of flat waters with no rocks or reef, breathtaking views of the San Diego city skyline, and the Coronado Bridge. Miles of sandy shores stretch out and you can enjoy a picnic after a long session of paddle boarding. An inflatable SUP is all it takes to enjoy a day of fun on the water.
(12)Timothy Lake, Portland, Oregon
Oregon is home to all sorts of beautiful lakes for water sports and Timothy Lake is one of the best places you can find in Oregon for stand up paddle boarding. In a good day, you can enjoy a peaceful SUP session without much disturbance. If you prefer to enjoy a few moments of solitude on your paddle board, Timothy Lake is the place to be.
(13)Lake Norman, North Carolina
Lake Norman is the largest man-made lake in Carolina and has over 500 miles of shoreline, making it a hot spot for all sorts of water sports like wakeboarding, sailing, paddle boarding and swimming.
The visitor center provides rentals for paddle boards, kayaks, canoes and pedal boats, so you can just rental the gear from the rental shop if bringing your gear is too much trouble. Also, there are some wonderful restaurants along the banks of Lake Norman’s waterfront if you feel like taking a break and grabbing a bite.
(14)Jenny Lake, Wyoming
This glacial lake is famous for paddleboarding thanks largely to an otherworldly scenery of towering peaks peering into the clouds and calm waters nonchalantly coursing underneath. It locates right at the core of Grand Teton National Park which happens to offer several climbing routes, picturesque boat rides and hiking trails for all its visitors.
Jenny was classified a pristine lake by a past study which substantiated the quality of water therein to be of the highest standard with very little water or general pollution.
(15)Virginia Key, Miami
Virginia Key is a nice place for recreational water sports. If you want to spend your time on the water rather quietly, this is a great place to go. Compared to other regions of the city, Virginia Key is rather peaceful, combined with the crystal clear water and a great view of the city skyline, it’s one of the best spots to enjoy a weekend on the water in peace.
(16)Lake Hefner, Oklahoma City, OK
Lake Hefner is one of the most popular places for locals for recreation. Around the lake you will find people walking, running, cycling, roller-blading or even skateboarding. And if you enjoy the sight of sunsets, Lake Hefner is one of the best, if not the best places to enjoy a glorious sunset.
Launching spots can be found easily when you decide to get on the water. If you are new to stand up paddle boarding, this might not be the best place to start your first SUP session. But for a skilled paddler, the mild waves are just going to make paddleboarding on the lake more fun and enjoyable.
After spending some time on the water, you can find some nice restaurants on the east side of the lake for you to take a break and grab a bite.
(17)Belle Isle Park, Michigan
The untamed beauty of Belle Isle Park is just a few miles away from downtown Detroit. You can see the city skyline touching down on the horizon, and the beautiful beaches are whispering their welcome.
Beginners can go to the northern side of the island. There, the water is calmer and forgiving to those who are new to paddleboarding. Those with stamina and skills should head for the southern side. It’s a paddling adventure that will go down the memory lane as the greatest.
(18)Silver Lake Flat Reservoir, Utah
The lake is located rather remotely and is surrounded by rows of lush trees and beautiful snow-capped mountains. It’s not particularly peaceful and quiet during summer weekends, but there are still times when the place is significantly less crowded.
Also, if you like fishing, you should be happy to know that the lake’s got various kinds of fish like arctic grayling, brook trout, and rainbow trout. The place is a great weekend destination so you might want to spend the night camping near the reservoir.
Next time when you are wondering " where can I find a place for paddle boarding near me?" Just take your phone out and use the apps we recommend and you should be able to quickly find a nice SUP spot close by for yourself.