Some people might consider San Diego a mecca for stand up paddle boarding. It has all of the aspects that paddle boarders seek out – there are great waves, an active SUP style yoga community, a myriad of options for flat water paddling and diverse sea life on the entire coast. For those who live in San Diego, there are plenty of opportunities to paddle board in the summer months. Here is a quick look at 5 of the best places for SUPing in the San Diego area.
If you are looking to catch some great waves while you SUP, the Shores on Coronado Island have long lines and pristine A frames which makes this the ideal spot for SUP style surfing. This is a quaint little island that is just off the coast and it is a mere 5 minutes to get over the bridge from the middle of downtown San Diego. Between two military bases, you will find a few miles of beach that have those peaks that are just begging to be ridden. Also, since these are all sand bar breaks, you don’t need to worry about things like rocks and reefs. The downside is that this spot can be very crowded at times, so be sure to be polite and show respect to other paddle boarders.
They call this one of the largest water parks that is man made in the world. Mission Bay is a fantastic SUP location with its parks and manmade bays that can be found just minutes away from the airport in San Diego. One popular cove is the Santa Barbara Cove. A great thing about this cove in particular is that there is parking right across the street. Also, this cove happens to have protection on 3 sides, which means that even on days that are windy, it is still relatively calm. From day to day you will find an SUP yoga class in session, people fishing off their boards and you might even see a whale. For those who enjoy flat water paddling, this is the ideal spot. You can even paddle right up to a bar called Barefoot Bar when you get hungry or thirsty. When you finish SUP for the day, you can then take in the action that is to be found on the boardwalk and take a peek at the gorgeous homes along the coast.
This location has the distinction of being named the 6th best beach in the entire United States and is a dream for paddle boarders. This is due to the diverse marine life as well as the cliffs that are awe inspiring. This is truly a jewel hidden on the coast of California. This is also a marine sanctuary and if you happen to go at the right time, you will be awed at what you will see in the water under your board. You might have an encounter with sharks, sea turtles, jellyfish, leopard sharks and even bat rays. Additionally, there are the mighty cliffs and even some caves right along the shore. Even when the weather conditions are not ideal, this is still one of the most gorgeous spots for SUP in San Diego.
This is the SUP location that is the farthest north. Here you will find a mixture of surf and flat water. This is a dog friendly beach and is known locally as Dog Beach. You will find this beach north of 29th Street and it reaches almost a half mile before meeting Solana Beach. SUPing with your furry friend has become more and more popular and this is the perfect location where you can acquaint your dog with the wet stuff and catch a few waves in the process. On the far side of the bridge, there is a lagoon where you will find flat water and an impressive view of the Del Mar Racetrack. When you go under the bridge, you will find the surf. Surf here varies from ankle high to as high as your head, so make sure that you are comfortable with the surf level before beginning to SUP.
Tidelands Park at Coronado Island
One of the best kept secrets in San Diego is Tidelands Park. This area is full of fantastic bays and is connected to the mainland by a bridge that is 250 feet high. You will be able to launch your SUP right into the bay and then paddle all around the majestic bridge while enjoying the view of the San Diego skyline. If you continue under the bridge, you will find the Coronado Yacht Club and even catch a peek at the Hotel Del. This hotel is the largest wooden one on the planet and was built back in 1888.
It doesn’t matter if you are a San Diego resident or if you just happen to be visiting the area, this is definitely an area that you need to experience from an SUP.
image credit: islesurfandsup.com