Paddle boarding, surfing’s close cousin, has been around for centuries as a means of transportation for fishermen. However, it was only over the past two decades that it took off in popularity, thanks to surfers like Laird Hamilton. It has grown into a massive business, with countless manufacturers entering the frame and contributing to the fastest growing watersport. Why is that?
A big reason is that paddle boarding is particularly calming. There is something about the sensation of standing on the water and being engulfed in your surroundings that puts you in a highly meditative state. Stand-up paddling can also be incorporated into a full body workout! Some of the muscles that are worked include the trapezius, lower back, shoulders, chest, abdominals, thighs and lower leg muscles.
Furthermore, SUP is meant for people of all skill levels and has diverged into different paddleboard categories, including touring, all around, yoga as well as surfing paddle boards. There are two types of paddle boards, hard boards and inflatable boards. Hard boards are usually made from EPS foam core in the interior and are covered with a range of materials, including carbon fiber and plastic. Inflatable paddle boards are usually made with high-quality drop stitch construction with PVC exterior.
If you are traveling and looking for a board that is easy to travel with, an inflatable would be a good choice for you. However, there are plenty of destinations around the world that you can rent good quality hard boards for a few hours. Now, you must be wondering what some of the best paddle boarding destinations in the world are! I have put together a list of both popular and hidden SUP spots so that you can get your floating fix!
1. Kauai, Hawaii
Image source: Today’s Modern Living
The place where paddle boarding emerged as a sport in the 1960’s, Kauai has some great beaches and some magnificent views to feast your eyes on. It is a good location for people of all skill levels, and beginners will love the calmer north end of the white-sand Kealia to Poipu Beach. Other paddle boarding spots of interest on the island include the famous Kilauea Bay, where the Kilauea stream meets the ocean, and Polihale Beach and its ginormous 7-mile (11 km) white sanded shoreline. SUP is indeed one of the best ways to see the island of Kauai and can be one of the few ways to actually see the beautiful picturesque coast that often has difficult access.
2. Vancouver, British Columbia
Photo by floatingauthority.com
I bet you never really thought of Canada as a great paddle boarding destination! Vancouver is a perfect blend of nature and city life where everything is just a short paddle away! Some of the best places to paddle in Vancouver are Deep Cove (North Vancouver), with its scenic North Western coastline, clear water and its small quaint harbor. Closer to the city, Jericho Beach and Kitsilano are popular places to paddle, with yoga SUP classes being taught there regularly.
Kitsilano is one of the best beaches in Western Canada that features a long strip of sandy beaches and a breathtaking view of Vancouver city while you paddle along. If you are looking to get into the heart of Vancouver, you can paddle in English Bay along Beach Avenue and into False Creek, where you can stop and get ice cream as well as explore the sights of its bustling harbor.
3. Canary Islands, Spain
Image source: Get My Boat
The Canary Islands have a wide array of different terrain to look forward to, and are a premier paddle boarding destination! If you brought your trusty inflatable paddle board with you, you can travel to secluded beach destinations such as El Bollullo, Famara and its long beach sheltered by mountains, as well as Maspalomas and its giant dunes! If you do not have a paddle board and want to learn, you can join a SUP Surf Camp in the Canary Islands.
Photo by Robert A Stribley (Medium)
Antarctica what? Believe it or not, Antarctica is a premier SUP destination that gives you a different perspective from the sandy beaches and warm weather that you have come to know from paddle boarding. Some of the highlights include paddling in crystal clear waters while passing by icebergs and glaciers. You will also get the chance to see a wide variety of different animals such as penguins, seals, dolphins and many different types of whales. To SUP in Antarctica, the conditions must be perfect – mild wind and calm water. You must also go on a guided tour to ensure the safety of yourself as well as others.
5. Nosara, Costa Rica
Image source: Experience-Nosara
Nosara in Costa Rica is an activity-rich surfer’s paradise! Visitors can paddle along the beach or along the mangroves of the Rio Montana and Rio Nosara. Nosara provides a wide variety of different SUP activities such as the mentioned mangrove tours in Montana and Rio, complete introductory to expert SUP camps and SUP yoga retreats. There are also camps for other paddlers such as kayakers, surfers, and even horseback riding!
The great thing about paddle boarding is that people of all skill levels can enjoy the surreal settings and surroundings standing (or sitting!) on a paddle board. Sure, you can see all of these places by boat or by car, but you do not have the same connection with nature as you do when standing on water with just you and your board.
In his spare time, Derek can be found tinkering with his kayaks and inflatable paddle boards.You can also find Derek on his website, Floating Authority, where he reviews fishing gear, kayaks, paddle boards and anything that floats!
Ready to embark on your next SUP adventure? Go to BookSurfCamps.com and choose a paddle boarding trip to an exciting destination!