Ah, paddleboarding. This is well-known as one of the most relaxing watersports because it’s most commonly done on calm waters. Yoga lovers hit the waters on their paddleboards for an added challenge. People of all ages are able to stand up and coast while taking in the scenery while on the water.
For adrenaline junkies, however, paddleboarding has other opportunities too. From paddling over some of the largest marine life in the world to surfing big waves and downwinding fast runs, paddleboarding can easily get your heart racing with excitement.
Here are a few of the best destinations around the world for paddleboarders who want a little more excitement in their rides.
SUP Over Sharks in the Sea of Cortez
If large marine life gets your heart racing, you’ll want to start planning your next vacation to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.
The Sea of Cortez is a popular destination for marine life lovers. The warm sea has over 2,000 marine invertebrates and 900 fish varieties. Pair that with the clear waters found between the Baja Peninsula and the Pacific mainland, and you have an SUP journey worth taking. Paddlers regularly see sharks, dolphins, and stingrays. If you’re lucky, you might even see a stingray jump out of the water.
Downwinding the Cut Run in Western Australia
Not all paddlers appreciate the clear, smooth waters afforded by many SUP destinations. If you’re a paddleboarder with a need for speed, the Cut Run in Western Australia is a must for your bucket list.
This part of the Australian coastline is so windy and rough that paddlers have gotten up to speeds of 20 to 30 knots. This type of speed makes it ideal for SUP adrenaline junkies. Even the professionals appreciate the high speeds found here. The “King of the Cut” downwind race, one of the most respected SUP races in the world, was started for paddlers to take on the Cut Run.
Downwinding at the North Shore of Maui
If you love fast paddleboarding, then you’ll love the speed of the downwind Maliko Run on the North Shore of Maui. This is easily one of the most exciting stretches of paddleboarding in the world, but be warned.
Even though it’s a prime spot for a downwinder, there are a few hazards that can make your journey a little more challenging. In the winter months, groundswells are a little more common. If you find these, you’ll want to avoid some of the beautiful reefs and surfs. If you don’t, your SUP experience will be marred by big waves and potential dangers that even the biggest adrenaline junkies want to avoid.
This part of Hawaii is frequently paddled, which means you have a strong community of experts on the Maliko Gulch to tell you about the current conditions and how to get the best experience on this famous run.
SUP Surfing at the Canary Islands
Rocky points. Slabs built for carving. This is a common site in the Canary Islands, which is why it’s one of the most popular spots for SUP surfing.
The Canary Islands have perfect waves for SUP surfers who want long rides without battling the large crowds at other beaches. As you wait for the perfect wave to roll in, you’ll enjoy some of the most breathtaking rocky coastline in the world. It’s an SUP surfer dream.
Narrow Paddling at Lake Powell
Lake Powell is an unlikely addition to this list. The lake is manmade and best known for parties on houseboats. Marine life is minimal and shore lines don’t typically rival other tropical spots around the world. However, for paddlers, there is a hidden area that is narrow and surrounded by high cliffs. Paddling through here is beautifully unique enough to get your heart racing with excitement.
The area is only a few feet across, making it just narrow enough for a paddleboard to fit through. When you’re done admiring the red sandstone cliffs, head back out to the open waters to join the party again.
Exciting Marine Life in Key West
For the most part, the clear waters around Key West, Florida are calm, making them ideal for SUP. But sometimes, the winds pick up allowing paddlers to experience the thrill of a downwinder over some of the world’s most exciting marine life. Cruise over manatees and stingrays as you paddle your way over some of the bluest waters on earth.
Adrenaline Inducing Paddleboarding is Real
Do you love the thrill of an exciting downwind or wave? These destinations are only the tip of the paddleboarding excitement iceberg. Where do you SUP to see and experience some of the best waters in the world?