Santa Cruz is known for its stunning beaches and waves that are perfect for surfers. However, the clear blue waters and calm weather also make it a great destination for those looking to try standup paddle boarding (SUP). If you’re an athlete or an outdoor person looking to try a new adventure, Santa Cruz is the place for you. With this guide, you’ll discover everything you need to know to go standup paddle boarding in Santa Cruz.

Where to rent Standup Paddle Boards in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz has numerous rental shops where you can rent standup paddle boards and gear. One of the best options is SUP Shack, which is located in the Santa Cruz Harbor. They offer hourly and daily rentals, lessons, and tours. Other rental shops include Kayak Connection, which also offers kayaks for rent, and Cowell Beach Surf Shop, located right next to Cowell Beach, one of the best beaches for SUP surfing.

Best Beginner SUP Spots in Santa Cruz

Cowell Beach is the most popular spot for standup paddle boarding in Santa Cruz. It’s conveniently located near the boardwalk and downtown, and it offers calm waters and stunning views of the beach.

SUP Surfing in Santa Cruz

Another great option is the Santa Cruz Harbor, which offers a wide variety of water activities, such as SUPing, kayaking, and boating. Finally, if you’re looking for a more secluded experience, head to the Twin Lakes State Beach, located next to the Yacht Harbor.

Best time of day to go paddle boarding

The best time to paddle board in Santa Cruz is during the early morning or late afternoon. During these times, the water is calmer, and there are fewer people on the beach, which means you’ll get to enjoy a more peaceful experience. Additionally, Santa Cruz weather can be quite windy, so make sure to check the forecast before you head out.

Tips for first time Standup Paddle Boarders

If it’s your first time standup paddle boarding, don’t worry, the activity is relatively easy to learn. Make sure to wear a life jacket, even if you’re a great swimmer, to ensure safety. Additionally, make sure to start in calm waters and get comfortable with your board and paddle before you head out to deeper waters. Finally, keep in mind that falling is part of the learning process, so don’t be afraid to get wet.

Best Things to do in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz has so much more to offer than standup paddle boarding. You can take a stroll down the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz Wharf, where you’ll be able to find some of the best seafood in town, or visit the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. Additionally, Santa Cruz is home to some of the best vineyards and breweries in California, so make sure to indulge in some wine or beer tasting while you’re in town. Read our full guide to the best things to do in Santa Cruz here.

Final Thoughts

Standup paddle boarding in Santa Cruz is an amazing experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list. With its beautiful beaches, calm waters, and rental shops, Santa Cruz is the perfect place for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts to try standup paddle boarding. Make sure to follow these tips, and you’ll be able to make the most of your SUP experience in Santa Cruz. Don’t forget to explore the other amazing attractions that Santa Cruz has to offer, and you’ll end up having an unforgettable adventure.