For those of you who have never tried it, paddle boarding is super fun. It's not quite as easy as it looks though. You have to get used to balancing, but because it is usually pretty calm around Vancouver, there are lots of great places to learn. Getting out on the water for a day of paddling is great exercise as well as very meditative. Not to mention you will also get a great tan.
There are several places you can rent a paddle board for the day or just a few hours. One of the more reputable companies is Vancouver Water Adventures. They'll hook you up with a top-notch stand up board for $30 for two hours. Some other companies to check out are Windsure, Ecomarine, and WazSUP. After you get a board, head to any of these incredible spots for an amazing day of paddling:
1. Jericho Beach
This is great place to learn how to paddle. The beach is easy to access so you don't have to lug the board too far and the water is usually pretty flat. This is also one of best areas to get a stunning view of the city from the water. You can traverse the coastline all the way to Kitsilano Beach and beyond which brings me to my next point.
2. Kitsilano Beach
This is another great beach with quick access to the water. There is also lots of parking which is always nice. Touring English Bay will grant you an impressive view the city, Stanley Park, and many of the beautiful boats moored in the harbour.
Photo cred - @jdig
3. Tiddley Cove
One more great spot to try out especially if you live in West Van. At high tide is the perfect time to go otherwise the water is a little shallow and muddy, but it is really protected from the wind so it is almost always smooth as glass, which is perfect for beginners.
4. Lighthouse Park
A very nice area for paddling in West Van. You can start in Starboat Cove and make you way towards the lighthouse at the point for a picturesque view. However, if you are just starting out on the board, you may not want to go further than the point on a windy day because it does tend to get a little choppy out in the open water.
5. Sandy Cove Beach
A popular beach in West Van because the water is warm and the marine life is vibrantly abundant. This is a safe and fun place if you are just starting out. You can rent paddle boards in the area at North Shore Kayaks.
6. False Creek
If your intention is not to swim, then this is a good area because it will be really flat. The main reason to go here though is if you like looking at boats. Stay out of their way when they're coming and going, but there are definitely some luxurious ships docked at the marinas to admire. You can get out any time at any of the numerous docks.
7. Deep Cove
This is the prettiest place on the list. Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak boasts the best access to Indian Arm, which is the best for paddling. They have rentals, lessons and tours. There is no better place to learn than right here. The scenery is pristine, the waters are calm, and the instruction is world-class.
Photo cred - @soyelayoga
8. SUP Yoga
If you fall in love with paddling and I think you will, there are several programs that do yoga on the boards out on the water. Once you have a little practice in, you should definitely give this a try. Check out everything SUP in Vancouver here.
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