With winter on the home stretch and spring right around the corner, what a great time to get out your iSUP and find a great place to paddle. Even though there still may be a bit of a chill in the northern part of the world, there is still plenty of sunshine to welcome you with open arms.
The great thing about an iSUP is how easy they are to travel with. Rolling them up in a duffle bag that can easily be checked at the airline makes life less chaotic for the standup paddleboarder. Now be sure to research the rules of whichever destination you choose when it comes to paddle boarding, you don’t want to show up unprepared.
Santa Cruz, CA
There are two spots truly worth paddling, the Harbor and the wharf. For beginners, the wharf offers a great paddle and you will definitely be sharing space with surfers and sea lions alike. If you wish to use a guide, or possibly obtain some lessons in a calm environment, the Harbor is a great spot for this. The waters in Santa Cruz are consistently chilly regardless of the season so be sure to wear your wetsuit.
If you are looking for year around and not just spring time, then Bali would be a great destination. Bali offers awesome waves for both the advanced as well as the beginner standup paddleboarder. If you look to avoid the crowds, then perhaps a jaunt to the north beaches of Balian or Medewi are in order.
Turks & Caicos Islands
The sport of standup paddle boarding is really beginning to take off in the Turks. Both on the ocean and in the backcountry, the Turks offers a variety of paddling. Grace Bay offers clear, very calm waters for any experience of boarder. In the backcountry it’s a wildlife experience to be had.
Lake Tahoe, CA/NV
Lake Tahoe is a huge Northern California/Nevada lake in the Sierra Nevadas. Spring time is snow melt time, so be sure to bring your wetsuit. As this is a lake, the waters are calm (for the most part), glassy and a great view deep into the lake. Kings Beach on the north side is a great place to start, but practically any place on this gorgeous lake will be an amazing adventure.
Venice? Italy? Right? Who would think that Venice, Italy would provide such a wonderful iSUP experience. But it does! Offering ancient canals, bridges by the dozens and of course, the world-famous gondolas, paddling Venice is becoming the talk of the town. It is a unique view from a board on the canals, beautiful history enveloping your every paddle, one surely not to miss.
Another destination that’s becoming quite popular with the stand-up paddle boarder. The Guanacaste region houses Playa Danta, known as one of the best areas Costa Rica has to offer. Any level of experience can enjoy Danta. Now if you are looking for a bit more seclusion, Jaco would be the spot, offering a less-crowded, but full-on paddleboard adventure.
Located in French Polynesia, the island of Bora Bora is paradise for all comers, paddle boarders included. This is a destination for every level. Beginners will find solace in the calm waters of the lagoon while the more advanced paddlers can experience adventure with the great downwind Bora Bora has to offer.
Lisbon Coast, Portugal
[Photo Credit: Dive Club Cipreia]
Commonly known as the paddleboarding capital of Europe and with nearly 500 miles of coastline to go with its extremely inviting climate, the Lisbon Coast offers the entire gambit for any level of boarder. Paddling at Luiz Saldanha Marine Park, you will experience water crystal clear enough to view 70 feet beneath your board.
[Photo Credit: Tomas Fano]
San Juan offers beginning standup paddle boarders a view of paradise. Condado Lagoon is perfect for first timers as its waters are flat with low winds. The sea life the lagoon also offers is a sight to see while paddling, with turtles and dolphins among your hosts. But not just for beginners, Puerto Rico offers an experience for all levels.
Myrtle Beach, SC
[Photo Credit: Billy Hathorn]
Known as an extremely popular summer spot, Myrtle Beach has added standup paddle boarding to its menu of popular adventures. The beach is a haven for swimmers and sunbathers alike, but paddleboarding is beginning to take over. Not only does the beach offer wonderful stand up paddling for all levels, Myrtle Beach is also home to the Waccamaw River National Wildlife Refuge where you can calmly paddle along its creeks and rivers.