Surfing is definitely a West Coast pastime, but the five and a half hour trip to Tofino isn’t always an option.
Even though the waves here in Vancouver are minuscule due to the natural shield that is Vancouver Island, we can still get on the water with nothing but a board.
Our calm shores are actually perfect for stand up paddle boarding, and though it might not be as totally righteous as catching that siiiiick wave on a surfboard, bruh, it still allows for a fun day out on the water.
Here’s a few of the best places around Metro Vancouver to grab a paddle and get on a board—just try not to fall off.
A beautiful area in Port Moody, Rocky Point isn’t just awesome for it’s boat launch, ice cream, and breweries—it also rents paddle boards right by the water from Rocky Point Kayak. Take your rented vessels across the water to Old Orchard Park, and don’t worry too much about falling in… The water’s not that cold.
English Bay Beach
Obviously a classic for all things water related, Vancouver’s most popular beach rents out stand up paddle boards right from the it’s own shores. A great way to get to the floating waterslide without getting too wet.
Known for its calm waters, Spanish Banks is an ideal place to take a few laps. Boards can be rented out from the nearby Ecomarine Paddle Sport Centre – Jericho Beach, and Tuesdays are two for one Tuesday—with all two-hour rentals 50% off. Just make sure to avoid those speedy kiteboarders!
As the gateway to the Indian Arm, it’s no surprise that Deep Cove usually features a few standing—and sometimes splashing—paddler boarders in its waters. Take a “break” from the water by checking out the Quarry Rock hike, or just grab a gelato at one of the many adorable shops in the area. Paddle Board rental rates for Deep Cove can be found here.
It’s probably best if you’re experienced in paddle boarding before trying your hand at touring False Creek, as it has some water you really don’t want to fall into. Boards can be rented from Vancouver Water Adventures on Granville Island, but maybe stick to the water park if you’re planning on getting wet.
Not just a great place for beach volleyball, Kits Beach is also perfect for paddling around on the water. Take a lengthly trip west to visit Spanish Banks, or head under some bridges to find yourself at Granville Island. Either way, starting from Vancouver Water Adventure‘s Kitsilano Beach location is a good bet.
You’ll need to bring your own board for this one—or at least drive it out from a rental location, but once you make it there you’ll be paddling pretty on the warm and calm waters of Sasamat Lake. Make your way over to the concession on White Pine Beach (avoid the geese), make a few dives off the infamous Rock, or make it all the way across to the floating dock on its western side.
A larger lake than Sasamat—but also a bit colder—Buntzen has some amazing views and beautiful trails to explore. Making it to the far end of the lake via paddle board may take you a while, but it will be definitely be a calm trip.