Finding a place to launch your paddle board can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you're in a new area or have never paddled there before. However, with a little bit of research and some helpful tips, you can easily locate great SUP access points in your area.
Even though paddle boarding has grown massively in popularity lately, kayaking and canoeing have been around for much longer. Almost any place where you can launch a kayak is suitable for getting in the water with a paddle board, so if you know someone who does any type of paddling, they will be familiar with local water access spots that could be perfect for getting into the water with your paddle board.
Once you have identified a water access point, you should still check the regulations because there are some lakes or reservoirs where kayaking and canoeing are permitted, but paddle boarding is restricted. For example, if a reservoir or lake feeds the local water supply, there may be concerns about people swimming in the waters.
The simplest way to find places to paddle board is to do a Google Search for “boat ramps near me” or “kayak launches near me” This will give you a list of places where you can get on the water, contact information (if it’s a park or organization with an office), and a map showing their locations. You can also search in Apple Maps (the default iPhone mapping app). We’ve found that the results from Apple Maps are generally less complete that google results, but in some cases it turns up some places that don’t come up on the google search.
Many boat ramps expressly prohibit launching other watercraft, so awareness of local ordinances and signage should be adhered too. Boat ramps are notoriously slippery due to moss build up, so care needs to be taken if using them as a water access point.
While Google Maps does a decent job of finding launch spots, it is a generalized tool and has its limitations when you are searching for something as specific as a place to get in the water with your SUP.
In many areas, more specific, curated online maps of water access points are available. Check out some examples below, then see if you can find a map for the general area where where you want to SUP.
Why Buy From Pumped Up SUP? - Here are the reasons you should partner with us on your next paddle board or gear purchase.
Here are some examples of detailed water access maps provided by state or regional entities that we have used on our SUP adventures:
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Boat Access Map
Maryland Public Water Access Map:
Connecticut State Boat Launches:
Colorado (Boatable Waters of Colorado) (Google Map)
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Managed Water Access Sites
San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail Map: https://sfbaywatertrail.org/map/
Lake Tahoe Water Trail Map (not interactive): https://visitlaketahoe.com/paddleboard/lake-tahoe-water-trail-2/
We have provided the above examples of water access maps for illustrative purposes and we suggest that you conduct your own search for your state or region, and see what you can find.
If you find a great water access map for your area, please let us know so we can add it to the list!
In some places, the choices are limited and you can learn all of your options by simply asking someone who paddles or an outfitter who rents paddling equipment or conducts paddling tours.
Finding places to launch your paddle board may require a little bit of research and effort, but it's worth it for the amazing new experiences you'll have on the water. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced paddler, there are plenty of resources available to help you locate the perfect launch spot. From searching online to asking local paddlers, you'll be able to find a great spot to paddle board in no time.
Pumped Up SUP is an online store specializing in high-performance inflatable stand up paddle boards and accessories. We're always happy to answer your questions - just give us a call at 1-877-777-1769.
Check out our 2023 Inflatable Paddle Board Buying Guide or A Beginner's Guide To Choosing A Paddle Board where we further discuss board uses and shapes, features and accessories that are essential to your SUP experience.
The Pumped Up SUP SUP Paddle Blog is the best resource on the internet for up to date information to help with your next inflatable SUP purchase!