To see stand-up paddleboarders across the waters of Vancouver is an increasingly common sight. Whether coasting down the Fraser River or paddling around one of the city’s beaches, an increasing number of paddling enthusiasts are appearing each year.
While many do still enjoy surfing in the Greater Vancouver area, the limited number of suitable locations to catch waves, or the long trip to Tolfino, leaves many disappointed. This is why paddleboarding has taken off in western Canada. SUP can be enjoyed at any time of year and in any number of locations, from rivers and lakes, to the ocean itself, drawing in individuals and groups who want to get out onto the water all year round.
SUP has also become particularly popular in and around Vancouver because it has a great number of locations that are not only suitable for paddleboarding as an activity but are extremely exciting and beautiful, encouraging many to pick up a paddleboard for the first time.
It is the calm shores that also make paddleboarding so popular in the city, and while this isn’t suitable for surfing, it is excellent for SUP and swimming. Take, for example, Rocky Point, nestled close to the city’s centre. This expansive waterway offers a placid environment for beginner paddleboarders to find their feet, as well as give more experienced paddlers the room they need to explore, all with the familiar backdrop of British Colombia’s woodland.
Then, for those that want to paddleboard right off the sand and with an unrivalled view of Vancouver’s cityscape, there is English Bay Beach. The beach itself is well-populated during the summer months but remains accessible all year round and those willing to brave the cooler waters can often find themselves with the shoreline entirely to themselves during the winter.
For those that want to paddleboard along wildlife, such as otters and seals, there is False Creek. This narrow inlet can be accessed in multiple locations, meaning many can walk out of their home, carrying a paddleboard, and soon be on the water, but has the drawback of being populated with high-end boats. While some enjoy the glamour of such yachts, the movement of motorised vehicles can make it difficult for beginners to maintain a good balance on their board.
Vancouver also offers residents and visitors easy access to a number of immense environments and natural wonders. Mystery Lake and Sasamat Lake are just two examples of beautiful bodies of water that coax many paddleboarders away from the city each year. Such areas are easily accessible and offer extensive opportunities for paddleboarders to explore and relax in some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes across Canada.
SUP is also growing in Canada because it is becoming more popular worldwide. In addition to individuals and groups championing the health benefits of paddleboarding, especially SUP yoga, many are using their boards to explore less-known areas, such as hidden creeks and coves. Additionally, paddleboards also enable groups to travel together, visiting hiking and camping locations, for an affordable and exciting adventure into the wild.