Spring is in full swing and summer is upon us. That means paddle board season is well underway! Being blessed with so many bodies of water in our neck of BC you have the opportunity to pick up a paddle, board, and hit the nearest lake or coastline at a moment’s notice. However, that bounty of options can make it difficult to choose where to go. You place a premium on outdoor recreation and want to make sure you get the biggest bang for your time. To ease this pesky (first-world) problem we’re here with our picks of the top paddle board spots in and around the Greater Vancouver area. This list provides a little something for everyone, considering convenience, varied skill levels, sightseeing, and access to nearby amenities. Let’s get to it!
Top 5 Stand-Up Paddle Boarding Spots In and Around the Greater Vancouver BC Area
We may be a little bias here, given that White Rock is the home base for Sea Gods Paddleboards. Of course, the location is a big part of what birthed the Sea Gods concept in the first place. White Rock is a mecca for stand-up paddle boarding in BC. When the tide is low you can walk across the tan-coloured sand and gently ease into the calm saltwater which is protected from waves and boat wake thanks to the jetty that crosses the T at the end of the world-famous pier.
The water is also clear, providing you with a view of the emerald seagrass that billows below the glassy surface. Within the shallow sea, you’ll also spot crabs of all sizes along with flounder groundfish darting for cover as you hover above. The view atop ain’t bad either, whether peering out towards the expanse of Semiahmoo Bay or towards town where at any given moment the BNSF Railway train can be spotted gliding passed the bevy of boutique shops and eateries that line Marine Drive.
Don’t have your own equipment? Fret not, because Sea Gods rent paddleboards from the shores of White Rock. Give us a ring (at least 24-hours in advance) to set up your SUP rental by calling 778-874-4556 or email email@example.com.
False Creek, Vancouver
Admittedly, this isn’t a waterway where you want to jump into cool-off when the sun gets hot. Few boat harbours are. But what it lacks for in getting wet it makes up for in the setting. When paddling along the protected waterway you’ll be joined by multi-million dollar yachts, adventure-hunting sailboats, BBQ cruises, kayakers, the colourful fleet of AquaBus and False Creek ferries, and of course fellow paddleboarders. You’re pretty much guaranteed to spot seals and even otters as they pop their heads out of the water to investigate who (you) is passing through their domain. They don’t mind.
Another highlight is that you can paddle in-between the various docks to check out the watercraft, and if you paddle closer over towards Granville Island you can get up close and personal with the iconic floating homes. When it’s time for a break, simply haul your SUP up to the nearest access point and enjoy lunch on the patio Mahony & Sons at Stamps Landing.
Jericho Beach, Vancouver
Up for a little challenge? Jericho Beach, which peers out into the Burrard Inlet, is a very popular paddleboarding destination in Vancouver.
It gets a bit windy here, but that’s part of the fun for paddlers who want to test their skill level and feel what it’s like to paddle and bob over the gentle waves that roll in from the wind, swell, and even wake from the carriers that pass through the inlet.
That said, on a calm day when the tide is out, it provides a great canvas for those of all skill levels.
And once you’re done challenging yourself in the ocean you’ll love the expansive stretch of sand the beckons beach towels and post-paddle picnics.
Centennial Beach, Delta
Overlooking Boundary Bay and next to the small U.S. town of Point Roberts, Centennial Beach is one of the most impressive low tide beaches in all of Greater Vancouver. When low, the sand stretches out for what seems like miles. This is conducive to an amazing experience.
Once you’ve made the walk out to the tide line you can plop your board into the calm saltwater and paddle along as it slowly flows to fill the sand back in, edging you closer to shore at a very leisurely pace. One of the best parts of the experience is the massive blanket of seashells and sand dollars that can be seen under the shallows as you glide along. If you show up when the tide is in you’re still in for an amazing ride as the bay is well protected from ocean swell.
Due to a lack of rental amenities, there are very few paddle boarders here. However, that is exactly what many of you want! That’s right, this is where you go for some solace.
Deep Cove, North Vancouver
Want to feel as if you’re part of a Viking hoard (minus the pillaging, etc.) cutting through a fjord that is bookended by cliffs adorned by lush green pine? Then Deep Cove is where to paddle. You can launch from Panorama Park or hop off of the public dock. During low tide (when the water is calm) experienced paddlers can venture over to Raccoon Island in Indian Arm.
Deep Cove is one of the best places for paddleboarding in Vancouver when you want to jump in and cool off in crisp, clean water, although we do recommend wearing your PFD in between bouts as it can be a bit intimidating.
Don’t have your own stand-up paddleboard, but are in the market? Try a Sea Gods SUP at one of the above waterways, before you buy it! Set up your rental by calling 778-874-4556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. If you are up for a SUP experience and a hiking workout just outside of Vancouver in the Whistler area, try Cirque Lake. Here's Ryan sharing his experience on Instagram: