If you’re interested in stand up paddle boarding, but not sure what water types you can do it in, then you may not be certain if it is the hobby for you.
But don’t worry about that because SUPs are a versatile watercraft.
And yes, you can stand up paddle board anywhere in almost any body of water.
From rivers, to canals, to the sea, to lakes, you can take your paddle board almost anywhere.
Below we’ll cover all the places where you can take your paddle board and hit the water for some relaxing paddling.
Where You Can Paddle Board
The great thing about stand up paddle boards is that they are fun on pretty much any type of water.
If you’ve been on vacation, then you’ve likely seen people out in the ocean doing SUP.
But that’s just the beginning of where you can take your paddle board.
Here’s a list of the places where you can go paddle boarding:
- swimming pools
- white water rapids
As you can see, the only limits of a stand up paddle board is that water is required.
So, as long as you’ve got a water source that you can put your board in, then you should be able to paddle board.
Just remember to be safe and not go out during inclement weather or in dangerous water.
Can You Paddle Board In A Lake?
Yes, you can paddle board in a lake, but you cannot paddle board in any lake.
Some lakes may be considered private property, which is why you can’t paddle board in all lakes.
Probably one of the best water sources to learn to paddle board in is a lake because the surface is nice and calm.
If you have problems with balance and stability on your SUP, then a lake is a great place to practice and get better at paddle boarding.
Can You Paddle Board In The Ocean Or Sea?
Yes, you can paddle board in the ocean and sea.
You can even go paddle board surfing in the ocean.
Ocean sounds are a good place to SUP if you want water that is calmer than the open ocean but not as calm as lake water.
However, ocean sounds do tend to be busy with boaters and other people enjoying the water, so practice SUP safety while on the sound.
The ocean waves and open ocean are good for more experienced paddle boarders since the water is rougher and you need to have good balance.
It’s best to start with small waves when trying to paddle board in the ocean for the first time.
And be sure that you don’t choose a spot with a coral reef because it will hurt if you fall off your board.
Can You Paddle Board On A River?
Yes, you can paddle board on a river.
Normally river water is calmer than the ocean, but not as calm as a lake.
Some rivers have faster moving water than others, so keep that in mind when you choose a river for paddle boarding.
Also watch out for rivers with rapids, because those should be avoided unless you are experienced and ready for such rough waters.
Can You Paddle Board In White Water River Rapids?
Yes, you can paddle board in river rapids, but this should only be done by experienced paddle boarders.
Paddle boarding in white water rapids can be dangerous and you should take all of the proper safety precautions, including wearing a white water helmet.
Can You Paddle Board In A Pond?
Yes, you can paddle board in a pond, but you cannot paddle board in any pond.
Some ponds may be considered private property, which is why you can’t paddle board in all ponds.
Like lakes, ponds are one of the best water sources to learn to paddle board in because the surface is nice and calm.
Can You Paddle Board In A Harbor?
Yes, you can paddle board in a harbor, but this is only a good idea if the harbor is not busy.
Harbors that get a lot of boat traffic pose a danger because you could have an accident with a boat.
Plus, all that boat traffic can make the harbor water choppy.
Can You Paddle Board In A Canal?
Yes, you can paddle board in a canal, but this is only a good idea if the canal is not busy.
Canals that get a lot of boat traffic pose a danger because you could have an accident with a boat.
Plus, all that boat traffic can make the canal water choppy.
Also, keep in mind that some locations require you to get a license to paddle board in a canal. This is the case in the UK where England requires a paddle board license for canal SUPing.
Can You Paddle Board In A Reservoir?
Yes, you can paddle board in a reservoir, but you may need a license or permit to do so.
For instance, there are reservoirs in the Boulder, Colorado area where you can SUP in them only if you are local and have a permit pass to do so.
Similar rules seem to be in effect in the UK, where only members have access to a reservoir for paddle boarding.
If there is a reservoir that you want to use for paddle boarding, then you should first contact them to see if they allow it before just showing up with your board.
Can You Paddle Board In A Pool?
Yes, you can paddle board in a pool.
However, public pools likely will not allow you to bring your paddle board into the water.
Pools are a great place to learn to paddle board because the water surface is calm and you don’t have to worry about boat traffic or too many other people.
One safety precaution when paddle boarding is a pool is that if you feel like you’re going to fall off your board, make sure you fall away from the sides of the pool so that you don’t hit you head.
Do You Need A License To Paddle Board
No, you do not need a license to paddle board in the United States, unless you want to use a private waterway that requires it.
However, in the UK you do often need a license to paddle board, such as if you want to paddle board in a canal in England.
So, if you’re not sure about licensing requirements, it’s best to ask before you hit the water with your paddle board.
Can You Paddle Board Anywhere In Scotland?
Yes, you can paddle board anywhere in Scotland.
The lochs in Scotland are some of the best places you’ll find to go stand up paddle boarding.
Do you need a licence to paddleboard in Scotland?
No, you do not need a license to paddle board in Scotland.
The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 gives you the ‘right to roam,’ meaning you don’t need a license to paddle board in Scotland’s waterways.
Best Time Of Year To Paddle Board
Most people get their first experience paddle boarding during the summer, usually when they are on vacation.
While summer is the best time of year to SUP, the truth is that you can paddle board all year long.
You can even paddle board in locations like the UK where the water is cold any time of year.
For other times of year, read our guide What To Wear Stand Up Paddle Boarding.
As you can see, there is almost no limit to all the places where you can go paddle boarding.
Just remember to pay attention to local laws as you may be in a jurisdiction that requires a license or permit to paddle board on the waterway.