SUP and the CITY | Exploring the Urban Environment by Stand Up Paddle Board

If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to explore your city, why not try SUP or stand up paddle boarding! Paddle boarding, or (SUP), has become a popular water sport that can be done almost anywhere there is water. While many people associate paddle boarding with the ocean or lakes, it can also be a great activity to do in the city.

When you look at most of the worlds biggest cities, they all tend to be built on a major body of water, either a coast, a large lake, or a major river.  Some even have a network of canals.  There is bound to be a body of water near by that you may not have thought of.

Paddle boarding in the city offers a unique way to explore urban waterways and take in the sights from a different perspective. Many cities have waterways that are perfect for paddle boarding, such as rivers, canals, marinas and even built lakes. These waterways often offer a quieter and more peaceful location compared to the busy streets of the city and can provide a calmer protected environment suitable for beginner paddle boarders

City river scape with SUP boarder paddle boarding beside boat under bridge
City paddle boarding means being aware of other water way users

SUP Boarding in your City is a great way to Exercise

One of the bonuses of paddle boarding in your city is that you don’t have to travel very far to get a work out.

Paddle boarding is a low-impact workout that is great for people of all ages and fitness levels. It provides a full-body workout that engages your core, legs, arms, and back. Plus, it’s a great way to get some fresh air and sunshine while enjoying the water.

Another great thing about paddle boarding in the city is that it can be done year-round, weather permitting. During the warmer months, you can enjoy the sunshine and warmth on the water. In the cooler months, you can bundle up and still enjoy the peacefulness of the water. With the correct clothing such as a wet suit or a dry suit you can enjoy the city without the crowds. Check our article here to find out what to wear depending on your cities climate.

Paddle boarding is a great way to connect with nature. While some urban landscapes around your cities water ways can reflect the cities hustle and bustle you are bound to find a few places where there are pockets of nature. SUP boarding the cities waterways can be a great way to observe bird life and other creatures that also call the city home.

City scape with woman carrying SUP paddle board
Paddle Boarding is a great way to explore the city

Paddling through your city can also provide an insight into the cities history. Many of the areas you pass through date back to when waterways were used as a major source of transportation. While some of these areas may no longer be in use, they often provide a window on the cities past. Some areas such as docklands may have seen a revival. These often house cafes and restaurants providing the opportunity for a mid paddle coffee or meal.

Safety is a high priority

When paddle boarding in the city, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Make sure you wear a personal flotation device (PFD) and familiarize yourself with the waterways and any potential hazards. Ensure you are familiar with the maritime rules of the waterways. Each city has it’s own regulations about powered and unpowered water craft. You may be sharing the water with other vessels. It is important to know where major traffic path ways lie. You also need to know if paddle boards are permitted in these areas.  

It’s also a good idea to bring a friend along for added safety. If you are paddling by yourself, let someone know where you’ll be paddle boarding and when you expect to return. Paddle boarding in the city can be a great way to connect with others whether you join a guided paddle boarding tour or connect with your cities paddle boarding club.

Group of SUP boarders going for a paddle in the city beach
Paddle boarding or SUP is a great way to meet new people in your city

If you don’t yet own a paddle board, don’t worry! Many cities have rental shops that offer paddle board rentals by the hour or day. These rental shops often provide all the necessary equipment. Items such as a paddle and PFD along with instructions and lessons if needed. Rental shops are also usually located on a quieter part of the cities waterways. These can be more suitable for paddle boarding.

SUP boarding in the city is a unique way to explore the sights from a different perspective while you paddle. It’s a low-impact workout that is great for people of all ages and fitness levels. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, paddle boarding in the city is an activity that will offer you a unique perspective of the city and is sure to be a memorable experience.

Watch our Video SUP and the City – Paddle Boarding the Urban Environment

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If you haven’t yet watched part one of our SUP Safari Scotland Travel Video Series  check it out here.


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