Are you looking to have a go at the fastest growing board sport in the world? More and more people are giving stand up paddleboarding a try each day. Whether you want to glide across a calm and still lake, do sunrise yoga on your board, or even catch fish, SUP might just be for you.
However, SUPing isn’t just for flat water – you can do it at the beach too. You can even surf if you’re feeling brave! In this post, we’ll look at 10 of the best beaches in the United States to practice paddleboarding. Hopefully, you’ll find one that’s suitable for you so that you can make the most of your trip!
Ala Moana Beach Park, Hawaii
SUPing began in the Pacific Islands, so that seems like a good reason to do it in Hawaii. There is no shortage of epic places to do it in the most southerly American state, so we’ve got a few places up our sleeve. One of the best (and easiest to start) is Ala Moana Beach Park. This sandy beach isn’t far from the world-famous Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. But while Waikiki is packed with surfers, Ala Moana is so good because the outer reef protects from the swell – giving you flat water. There’s nowhere better to take your first paddles than here!
Sunset Beach, Oahu
Staying on Oahu but moving away from the lights of Waikiki Beach to the north shore now. Sunset Beach is known most of all for its surfing. So, if you’ve got a bit of experience with SUPing and want to get the adrenaline flowing, a spot of surf SUP certainly isn’t a bad idea. Another thing that will cement Sunset Beach’s place in your itinerary is that you can paddle 4 miles between Sunset and Waimea Beaches. A lovely way to spend the day!
Lanikai Beach, Oahu
Our last beach in Hawaii is Lanikai. This white sand beach isn’t for the beginner SUPer, but if you have some experience under your belt, we can’t recommend this place enough. The marine life is second to none here – with sea turtles, rock crabs, and tropical fish all in and around the beach. Visit during winter and you may even see humpback whales! For experienced and adventurous paddlers, head out to the two Mokulua Islands about an hour from the beach. It’s best to do this on a calm day, as it can be difficult when the surf is up.
These are just three of our favourite Hawaiian beaches for stand up paddle boarding. If you’re not travelling to Oahu, check out Kapalua Bay in Maui and Kealakekua Bay on Big Island. Alternatively, get a local to point you in the direction of the best SUP beach when you arrive!
La Jolla Cove, San Diego
If you’re looking for a city to try stand up paddle boarding, then San Diego has to be on your list. With a number of exciting spots offering different experiences, you can have multiple SUP trips in one vacation. First stop is La Jolla Cove, which is one of the best places to see marine life off the California Coast. You’re supposed to look straight ahead when SUPing, but the occasional glance down will reveal turtles, rays, sharks, and many more. There are a few sea lions lurking in the caves too – listen out for them barking!
More great spots in San Diego include Mission Bay – this is your chance to use your SUP’s versatility. Try yoga at sunrise, a paddle in the morning, then catch your lunch in the afternoon with some SUP fishing. And for those who are travelling with a furry friend, don’t miss Del Mar. The flat water hear makes it perfect for SUPing with your dog.
Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
Now it’s over to the east coast of the United States. Wrightsville boasts four miles of beaches surrounding the pretty Harbour Island. The waters here are colder than those in Hawaii and California, and you’ll definitely want to wear a wetsuit in winter. This might be somewhere to learn your SUP craft by watching too – the Carolina Cup takes place here and it’s one of the biggest SUP races in the US – attracting athletes from all over the country.
One of the most tranquil places to SUP off the coast of the US is Florida Keys. Okay, it’s not just one specific beach but there are plenty of stretches of sand where you can stop off and have a break as you SUP. The Caribbean-like waters are clear and blue, and you’ve got a high chance of seeing animals such as manatees and stingrays.
To get off the beaten track in Florida Keys, head into the mangroves. These are a great place to take guided tours, as local experts will be able to catch sight of things you may not have been able to – such as shellfish, crabs, and birds. It’s an incredible SUP experience!
White Crest Beach, Massachusetts
Last but not least on our list of the best places to SUP in the United States is Massachusetts’ White Crest Beach. This is definitely the coldest place on our list, so be sure to have a wetsuit. Don’t let the cold waters put you off though! White Crest is known as Surfer’s Beach, and you can try your hand at surf SUP here. There are boarding schools and shops in town which can help you out with this – we’d suggest going with a school as it’s suitable for beginners but still quite challenging.