In case you haven’t heard, stand up paddleboarding (aka SUP) is one of the fastest growing sports on the planet. In less than a decade, the water sport has skyrocketed from relative obscurity to more than a million practitioners. And global destinations are taking note. Here are some of the world’s best locales for anyone looking to give stand up paddleboarding a try.
Hawaii is one of the world’s most popular surfing destinations, and now SUPpers are getting in on the action. Take your pick of stellar paddleboarding opportunities at Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay, or Puaena Point at Hale’iwa Beach Park. The latter two options are especially great for beginners thanks to calm waters. Sunset Beach offers an opportunity to get comfortable on slightly choppier waves.
Santa Cruz, CA
The SUPping is good up and down the California coast, but Santa Cruz makes for a particularly stellar destination. That’s because the coastal city offers opportunities for all levels of paddleboarders, from beginners (who tend to congregate near the wharf or in the Santa Cruz Harbor) to more advanced athletes (who’ll find adventure in the Steamer Lane). The waters here are packed with marine wildlife such as sea lions, and whale sightings are also possible.
Turks and Caicos Islands
The archipelago of Turks and Caicos promises beautiful, crystal-clear waters and marine wildlife sightings to paddleboarding enthusiasts of all levels. Keep an eye out for stingrays and a huge array of colorful fish. If you’re new to the sport, stick to the mangrove forests, which promise calm waters thanks to the mangroves’ protection from the wind.
Advanced paddleboarders will find adventure galore in beautiful Patagonia. Here, paddleboarding schools, lessons, and rentals abound, and many of the sport’s major races are held in the region. Regardless of whether you’re heading to Patagonia for competition or simply to have some fun, you’ll be astounded by the glacial landscapes and gorgeous scenery.
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
The Canadian Rockies are one of the most popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts thanks to unparalleled hiking, skiing, and backcountry exploration. Now you can add stand up paddleboarding to that list. Beautiful Whistler is home to SUP opportunities that promise breathtaking scenery. Take it all in from the calm waters of Alta or Alpha lakes.
It’s hard to identify one particular SUP destination in Slovenia, because the country offers stand up paddleboarding opportunities across a huge array of lakes, rivers, and coastlines. You could paddleboard every day for weeks without stepping into the same waters. No matter where in Slovenia you choose to SUP, you’re guaranteed to enjoy gorgeous scenery.
As these destinations prove, SUP is not just a tropical sport. Instead, it’s taking off all over the globe. Get in on the action at any of these stellar stand up paddleboarding destinations.