We’ve painstakingly investigated and meticulously compiled a list of the ten best paddle boarding locations on Earth. (We could also call this list a catalog of our happy places.)
10. Langebaan Lagoon, South Africa
The Langebaan Lagoon is the focal point of the West Coast National Park and mixes conservation awareness with recreational activities. This hideaway in South Africa is great for families and inexperienced paddlers because of the gentle waves.
9. Chorrillos, Peru
Chorrillos recently hosted the World SUP & Paddleboard Championships and it comes as no surprise that this is a top pick among paddlers of all experience levels. It offers an array of remarkable beaches and the opportunity to explore the Peruvian coastline and local treasures. The peaceful waters are great for both beginners and more advanced paddlers.
8. Perth, Australia
Unlike the massive waves of the nearby New South Wales area, Perth is known for calm waters. Soak up the Australian SUP scene as you explore the shoreline. The flat waters of Swan River prove to be a great starting point for the inexperienced paddler.
7. Malibu, California
California has a huge coastline. Unsurprisingly, this makes for a ton of excellent spots to standup paddleboard. Malibu offers a relaxing space removed from the bustling city of Los Angeles. Though this is one of the more sheltered areas of SoCal, its water often attracts many families running in and out of the ocean. The nearby salt marsh is also a great space to spot sea otters and harbor seals (and sometimes even celebrities).
6. Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, California
When you visit Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, you’ll find breathtaking views and calm waters. This area attracts SUPers and surfers alike, so we recommend being mindful and considerate as you paddle around as to avoid ruffling anyone’s feathers.
5. Lanzarote, Canary Islands
This island has a tropical climate year-round, making traveling during any season a dream come true. Explore hidden lagoons and intricate water routes. Lanzarote’s tranquil waters and exceptionally beautiful scenery offers something special for all skill levels
4. Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
You didn’t think we’d leave out Hawaii, did you? This is the birthplace of standup paddle boarding, after all. The Sunset Beach on Oahu has ideal conditions for boarding during summer months. You can paddle the four miles from Sunset Beach to Waimea Bay with no problem. Beware of this area in the winter months, though. The serene waters see bigger waves, making paddleboarding a little more difficult.
3. Bora Bora, Tahiti
Bora Bora might just be heaven on earth. It has some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes and beaches in the world. The smooth sea proves to be a perfect environment for just about anyone to paddleboard. One of our favorite things about Tahiti’s crystal clear waters is that you can see to depths of 150 feet.
2. Namotu Island, Fiji
We don’t actually know what “Namotu” means, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it meant “stunning,” because that’s exactly what the Fijian island is. From its oceans to its beaches, Namotu Island offers an unrivaled paddleboarding environment. Rich landscapes are surrounded by transparent blue water you wouldn’t mind falling into.
1. St Lucia, Caribbean
St. Lucia is our #1 location. Just look at those beautifully imposing tropical jungles reflecting in the pellucid waters! This place is truly an oasis of serenity. We want to go to there. ASAP.
As you’ve gathered, the name of the game is to find calm waters. This is especially true for newbies. Regardless of skill level, though, everyone has to come to terms with an inevitably wet future. Falling over is half the fun!
Written by Dan Thompson & Megan Scott