10 Best Places To SUP in California


With over 840 miles of coastline, California is an ideal state for participating in water sports. It is no surprise that stand-up paddleboarding is booming in numerous locations across the state. With a lot to offer, both SUP beginners and experts can find an ideal paddle boarding California spot that fits both their skill level and preferences.

The majority of the SUP California spots are in the south. However, this does not mean that if you transport your paddleboard to northern California you won’t find places to SUP. After going through this article, you should find an ideal paddle boarding California spot where you can use your SUP paddles.

Top 10 Paddle Boarding California Spots

1. Coronado Island

This small island, just offshore from San Diego, offers excellent opportunities for people interested in enjoying the benefits of paddleboarding. On the west side, the island features ocean waves that are ideal for SUP surfing.

If you do not like riding the ocean waves, you will be impressed to know that this is not your only option. You can take your beginner’s SUP board out on the San Diego Bay, on the eastern side of Coronado Island, for some gentle water paddling.

2. Mission Bay

Mission Bay, also located in San Diego, is an ideal SUP California spot. The spot features numerous coves that you can paddle through. The waters on this paddleboarding California spot are generally calm, making for a relaxing and fun SUP experience.

If you feel like doing more on your board, you can bring your paddleboard fishing accessories. Mission Bay is a popular area for fishing. Additionally, you can participate in SUP fitness, which is common in the SUP California spot.

3. Santa Barbara Harbor

This paddleboarding California spot features a fairly peaceful and calm environment, ideal for paddleboarders who love a relaxing SUP experience. The harbor does feature some gentle waves. This tells you that you won’t be bored while exploring the harbor. After you are done exploring the waters on your Isle SUP board, you can enjoy other outdoor activities, including whale watching and hiking.

4. Morro Bay

Morro Bay is a small town, along the western California coast, between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The bay is considered to be one of the most scenic paddle boarding California spots.

The waters feature smaller and calmer waves, ideal for a fairly relaxed paddleboarding experience. On windy days, however, it is not uncommon to find larger waves in the bay.

Morro Bay features a wide variety of marine wildlife, including seals, fish, rays, sea lions, and leopard sharks. You will also get to enjoy a nice bird watching while exploring the paddle boarding spot.

5. Redondo Beach


If you enjoy being social while exploring the waters with your bamboo paddleboard, Redondo beach may be an ideal SUP California spot for you. The SUP community is pretty strong on the paddling spot.

Although it is not uncommon for the area to get crowded, it features regulations that make it possible for everyone to have a great SUP experience. The harbor features spots ideal for both SUP beginners and experts.

6. Lake Tahoe

In California, the ocean is not the only ideal place where you can enjoy stand up paddleboarding. Although the state may not have the highest number of lakes in the US, it features some lakes which are ideal for Standup paddleboarding.

Lake Tahoe, located along the Nevada and California border, features a smooth surface and clear waters capable of making your SUP experience relaxing and enjoyable. The general area surrounding Lake Tahoe is ideal for camping and other outdoor activities, including biking and hiking.

7. Lopez Lake

Although less popular than Lake Tahoe, Lopez Lake, situated between Los Angeles and San Francisco is an excellent paddleboarding California spot. If SUP fishing is your thing, you can carry your fishing paddleboard while heading to Lopez Lake.

The SUP California spot can get windy. If you do not want to deal with the wind, you can paddle early in the morning while the lake is still calm.

8. Catalina Island

Catalina Island lies southwest of Los Angeles, in the Pacific Ocean. The paddling spot features a variety of paddling experiences, which depend on your experience and the type of waters you prefer.

The western side of the island features some nice Pacific waves, ideal for paddleboarders who enjoy SUP surfing. The Avalon Harbor features calm waters, marine life, and scenery.

9. Laguna

This paddleboarding California spot features a pristine coastline and beautiful beaches. While the beach is right on the ocean, the waters are relatively calm. The fact that it lies offshore offers a bit of a barrier from the bigger waves further out in the ocean.

When not exploring the waters with your paddleboard, you can enjoy socializing and visiting art galleries. The SUP California spot does feature lovely restaurants where you can dine.

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10. Newport Beach

Newport Beach is located south of Los Angeles, along the Pacific coast. Experienced paddleboarders can locate spots suiting their experience while beginning paddlers can explore the calm harbor which offers a relaxing and casual experience. Back Bay features an evening “Glow Night” tour where paddleboarders go out in the water at night on LED-lit paddleboards.

Newport Beach is ideal for a wide variety of other water sports. If you get tired of standing on your SUP board, you can decide to try swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling.

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The state of California features some of the best SUP spots. While this list is not exhaustive, we have covered some of the paddleboarding California spots that offer the best SUP experience.

The SUP California spots outlined in this article are ideal for all paddleboarders irrespective of their skill level. Beginning paddlers can find calmer spots while experienced paddleboarders can find areas offering a more challenging experience. If you do love riding waves on your SUP board, some of the ocean paddle boarding California spots mentioned above do feature waves ideal for SUP surfing.

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