Standup paddleboarding (SUP) is the new favorite sport of outdoor enthusiasts today. Not only does it allow you to explore the waters and take in the views of nature and wildlife, but it also serves as an amazing full-body workout that you can get to do on the water! You don’t also need to travel too far to find an ideal water condition for your SUP adventure because you got all you need in America – beaches, whitewater rapids, flat tropic canals, wide open lakes – you name it, and the US got it. Here’s a list of some of the best spots to go SUPing in the United States:
1. Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe, a stunning freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada, is one of the originators of the paddleboarding sport. This beautiful lake is a home or many paddleboarding events, especially during the summer and fall. As you paddle along the lake, enjoy the views of the dark green forest, rocky coves and mountains. Its clear blue waters give you an amazing peek at the underwater life, up to 70 feet deep. If you’re a SUP expert and you want to get competitive, you can join the Ta-Hoe Nalu Paddle Festival, which is the longest running SUP race event in the US; or the Tahoe Cup, the longest inland distance paddleboard race in the world. But if you’re a beginner, or still learning to master the sport, Lake Tahoe offers many enjoyable SUP opportunities for you.
2. Hood River, Oregon
Hood River is the go-to destination for trekkers, foodies, historians and adventure seekers. It is known as the windsurfing capital of the world, but SUP is quickly taking off in this county. Standup paddleboarding in the Hood River is a great way to explore the wilderness and the spectacular natural views of the towering pine trees and the magnificent Mount Hood. Many of the Hood River’s residents moved in the town to gain easy access to the sport. Beginners and experienced paddlers alike can enjoy their SUP adventure at Waterfront Park, which is a great place to meet other paddlers.
3. Florida Keys, Florida
There’s no way Florida won’t be included in this list because the state is surrounded by water. The Florida Keys is an 822-island chain stretching about the southern tip of Florida and is known as a destination for boating, snorkeling, scuba diving, and standup paddleboarding. Because of Florida Keys, you don’t need to go abroad to be able to paddle aqua-blue tropical water and enjoy a Caribbean-like scenery. You can float over the reef’s beautiful ecosystem and take in the views of the rich marine life, such as tropical fishes, octopus, stingrays, barracudas, manatees, and a huge variety of birds. The Florida Keys have hundreds of paddling areas for you to explore, including Silver Springs State that boasts super clear spring rivers.
4. Black Canyon, Nevada
When you think of Las Vegas, probably the first things you think about are the casinos, hotels, bars and a raging hangover. But if you travel 45 minutes from the Las Vegas Nevada Strip, you can arrive at the Black Canyon, a stretch along the Colorado River. This place has been the ultimate kayaking destination, making it perfect for SUP as well. Since it’s a canyon, expect overwhelming views of cliff faces, especially as the river gets narrower. Some parts of this gorge are so narrow that they only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day, thus the “Black” Canyon name. This place is part of the Gunnison National Park, so you need to reserve your $17 National Park Service permit in advance.
5. Manhattan, New York
Manhattan, the heart of the “Big Apple, is the most densely populated borough in New York City. Paddleboarding in the Hudson River will give you breathtaking views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan Skyline. The best time to paddleboard here is during the sunset when the skyline transforms. For more experienced SUPers looking for more challenge, the Croton Point Park or the Rockaway Beach in Queens will do.
6. Arkansas River, Colorado
If you’re looking to try whitewater SUP, the Arkansas River in Colorado is your best choice. This river has a stretch of flat water with rapids near Salida in the mountains, and is known worldwide for rafting and kayaking. Sometimes, the rapids are intense, so it’s generally suited for a more experienced SUPer, but half-day lessons on the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center are provided so beginners can master the rapids safely.
7. Anchorage, Alaska
If you enjoy kayaking in cold regions, you should try paddleboarding in Alaska. Experience a one-of-a-kind, glacier SUP adventure in the Anchorage region and enjoy a stunning view of the icebergs that you cannot find elsewhere. The beautiful Wasilla Lake in the Matanuska Valley is the perfect spot for flat water SUP, and the Eklutna Lake is another great destination for experiencing amazing views. There are so many kayaking and SUP spots in other regions in Alaska, such as the Eagle River, Fairbanks, Goose Lake, Seldovia Bay, Turnagain Arm Bore Tide, and more.
8. Oahu, Hawaii
Saving the best for last, Oahu is the top spot for paddleboarding in the US and in the world. Hawaii is where surfing naturally led to SUPing, making it the birthplace of the sport. It is also where the best surfers around the world gather and compete together, spreading with it the sport of paddleboarding. Sunset Beach is one of the best places to paddleboard in Oahu, with its calm waters in the summer. For experienced paddlers, challenge yourself at the Waimea Bay. Other summer options for SUPing in Hawaii are the Haleiwa, Lanikai Beach and Puaena Point.