Paddleboarding is becoming a hugely popular sport. It offers a completely different experience to surfing and allows you to explore calmer waters. A great aspect of SUP (stand-up-Paddleboarding) also is that you can enjoy the scenery and surroundings more. If you are looking for inspiration or your next paddleboarding adventure, we have gathered 11 of worlds best paddleboarding hotspots!
These locations have it all – ideal water conditions for paddleboarding, thriving paddleboarding communities, and epic scenery. Many of the destinations also make for excellent travel locations for your next backpacking adventure or relaxing getaway.
Lake Tahoe, California, United States
Nestled on the border between Nevada and California, you can find the stunning Lake Tahoe. It is actually one of the largest lakes in North America and is incredibly beautiful. The waters are sublime and offer the perfect conditions for paddleboarding. If you don’t have your own gear, you can find a myriad of rental locations that have brilliant equipment and boards.
You can easily spend days paddleboarding along the expanse of this mighty lake. Also, it makes for a brilliant travel destination. The surrounding region has some amazing hiking trails and lofty locations like Ellis Peak and Blackwood Ridge.
Thailand is a traveler’s paradise and it offers beautiful scenery, fantastic culture, and brilliant locations for paddleboarding. There are many different locations you could paddleboard including Phuket, the Phi Phi Islands, and the areas surrounding Krabi.
Phuket is a lively southern destination and is known for its amazing nightlife. Both the west and east coast of this promontory also have fantastic waters and beaches that make for the best paddleboarding locations. Alternatively, if you want something more idyllic – head to the Phi Phi Islands. This set of tropical islands is stunning and the surrounding waters are calm, warm, and crystal clear – this is also one of the best snorkel locations in Thailand.
Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Hawaii is generally an amazing location for paddleboarding. You could spend days exploring the islands and impressive coastline. However, one of the worlds best paddleboarding hotspots is Sunset Beach on Oahu Island.
If you travel to the north of the island near the Pupukea-Paumalu Forest Reserve, you can find the small town of Pupukea. Here you will find one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – Sunset Beach. As expected, you can see some sublime sunsets here which will make your paddleboarding excursions that much more enjoyable. The waters are also relatively calm and warm.
You may wonder why we have selected Norway as one of the worlds best paddleboarding hotspots? Indeed, this is not your typical paddleboarding location. It is also not for the fainthearted. The Norwegian Fjords represent a greater challenge for paddleboarders and highly different conditions.
Firstly, the waters are cold – depending on where you go, they can be Arctic cold! A wetsuit is an absolute must here. Secondly, the scenery is also different. On your paddleboarding excursions, expect to see roaring waterfalls, epic mountain ranges, and mountain villages. It is a truly wondrous landscape and popular Fjords like Nærøyfjord will take your breath away.
Santa Cruz, California, United States
Nestled in the northern part of Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz is a up-market location in California that offers brilliant paddleboarding conditions. The waters here are sheltered somewhat by the bay, and you can find many small covers and inlets to explore on your paddleboarding adventures.
Also, there is a stretch of beach that continues for over 15km from Santa Cruz down to Monterey. If you wanted, you could embark on an epic paddleboard journey between these two iconic Californian cities.
Cornwall, United Kingdom
The county of Cornwall is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK. Sitting at the far south-west of the isles, it benefits from a hotter climate. Also, it has some of the best beaches and waters you will find in the UK. Indeed, Cornwall is well-known as a surfing destination, but it is also perfect for paddleboarding.
You could head to Newquay and immerse yourself in the surfing and paddleboarding scene there – locations like Fistral Beach draw worldwide crowds. Alternatively, there are many more quieter bays, beaches, and stretches of water along the coast that make for a serene paddleboarding experience.
Costa Rica is becoming one of the most exciting travel destinations in the world. It is renowned for its epic rainforests, jungle landscapes, and varied wildlife. Did you know that Costa Rice is also one of the worlds best paddleboarding hotspots?
On the western coast of Costa Rica, the waters are warmer and calmer, and paddleboarding is becoming increasingly popular here. Locations like Playa Danta are relatively unknown and secluded – this makes them ideal for those wanting to learn paddleboarding without a huge crowd of onlooking tourists. Aside from paddleboarding, Costa Rica is great for water sports and adventure activities like ATV rides and ziplining.
Bali is one of the most popular islands in Indonesia and with good reason. It is beautiful and has some superb beaches and resorts. Also, year-round you can rely on warm weather and great sunlight. The different coasts also have varying water conditions. This means you can test out your paddleboarding skills in both rough and calm waters.
You can explore calm lagoons with gorgeous turquoise waters or test yourself on the rolling waves of the main Bali coastline. Aside from paddleboarding, Bali is just a brilliant location whether you want to relax on a sun-soaked beach, or head inland and seek ancient temples and ruins.
Just off of the eastern coast of Madagascar, you can find the small island of Mauritius. This island has over 200 miles of sublime coastline that greet the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Paddleboarding conditions here are not particularly challenging. This makes it a great spot for those who simply want to learn the sport with relative ease.
Along the coast, you can find many inlets, bays, and coves to explore with your paddleboard too. Also, after a day exploring the waters, Mauritius has some amazing hotels and resorts that will cater to your every need.
Florida Keys, United States
At the bottom of Florida, if you head out of the Everglades, you will eventually reach the Florida Keys. The Keys are an expansive coral cay archipelago that stretches for miles. The different islands are connected by a series of roads and bridges like the impressive Seven Mile Bridge. They are also home to many communities like Key West and Key Largo.
For paddleboarding, The Keys present perfect conditions. Firstly, the weather in Florida is much warmer and makes for a pleasant paddleboarding experience. Secondly, the waters surrounding the keys are crystal clear and bursting with marine life.
Sydney and the Gold Coast are destinations that most people visit when heading to Australia. But what about the west coast? Perth is just as impressive and is also a fantastic destination for paddleboarding. Firstly, the coastline surrounding Perth is relatively flat but has more choppy waves.
Secondly, for beginners, you can head inland to Swan River. This river runs through the center of Perth and is much calmer and less challenging.
Experience Paddleboarding From Somewhere New
As you can see, paddleboarding is a global sport. Don’t confine yourself to your home country! The world is packed full of epic paddleboarding locations that are waiting to be explored. Along the way, you could also find some hidden gems and unknown paddleboarding locations of your own.
If you are planning your next trip and want to test your skills somewhere new, hopefully the worlds best paddleboarding hotspots we have listed should give you plenty of inspiration.