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Best Places to Paddleboard in British Columbia

British Columbia's rugged coastline, clear waters, and stunning mountain backdrops create the ultimate playground for paddleboarders. Whether you're seeking a tranquil paddle through wildlife-rich waters or the challenge of riding Pacific swells, British Columbia promises an unforgettable SUP experience. For outdoor enthusiasts ready to explore the province's top paddleboard destinations, here's a curated list of the best spots to launch from by region.


Best Places to Paddleboard on Vancouver Island




Victoria

Paddleboarding in Victoria offers an unparalleled blend of scenic beauty, tranquil waters, and a warm community of enthusiasts, making it a top destination for paddleboarders of all skill levels. The city's numerous beaches, coves, and inlets provide endless opportunities for exploration, while the calm waters of the Inner Harbour offer a serene paddling experience. For those seeking more adventure, the open ocean is only a short distance away.




Gulf Islands

The Gulf Islands are an archipelago nestled between Vancouver Island and the mainland, offering a diverse range of paddleboarding experiences. With over 200 islands to choose from, paddlers can enjoy everything from tranquil bays to challenging open ocean swells. The crystal-clear waters and stunning scenery make the Gulf Islands a must-visit destination for any paddleboarder.




Saanich Peninsula

The Saanich Peninsula, located just north of Victoria, is a hidden gem for paddleboarding. The sheltered waters of Brentwood Bay and Tod Inlet provide the perfect conditions for beginners to learn and explore, while the nearby Haro Strait offers more challenging paddling opportunities. The peninsula's quiet coves and abundant marine life make it a popular spot for wildlife watching as well.




Tofino

Known as Canada's surf capital, Tofino is a must-visit destination for paddleboarders seeking to ride the waves. The town's stunning beaches and rugged coastline offer endless opportunities for paddlers of all levels, from calm bays to challenging ocean swells. For those looking for a more serene experience, paddling through Clayoquot Sound provides an up-close encounter with the area's diverse marine life.



Discovery Islands

Located between Vancouver Island and the mainland, the Discovery Islands are a perfect spot for adventurous paddleboarders. With remote islands, hidden coves, and stunning fjords to explore, there's no shortage of adventure here. Paddlers can also enjoy spectacular wildlife sightings, including orcas, dolphins, and sea lions.



Best Places to Paddleboard in the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Region




Vancouver & Area

Vancouver, known for its picturesque waterfront and bustling city life, is also a popular destination for paddleboarding. The calm waters of False Creek provide an excellent spot for beginners to learn and explore, while the open ocean at English Bay offers more challenging conditions. For a unique paddling experience, try night paddling in the city's brightly lit harbours.




Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast, located just a short ferry ride from Vancouver, is a hidden gem for paddleboarding. With miles of secluded coastline and crystal-clear waters, paddlers can enjoy peaceful paddles surrounded by stunning mountain views. The area's numerous lakes also offer calm waters perfect for exploring or practicing yoga on your board.




Sea to Sky Highway

The Sea to Sky Highway, stretching from Vancouver to the Chilcotins, offers an endless array of paddleboarding opportunities. From glacial lakes and alpine rivers near Whistler to the stunning coastline of Howe Sound, paddlers can choose their own adventure here. For thrill-seekers, Squamish is a popular destination for white water paddleboarding on the Elaho and Squamish Rivers.


Best Places to Paddleboard in the Thompson Okanagan Region




Okanagan Valley

Okanagan Lake, located in the heart of the Thompson Okanagan region, is a popular spot for paddleboarding. The lake's calm waters and stunning mountain views make it an ideal destination for paddlers of all levels. After your paddle, you can also explore the numerous wineries and orchards that line the lake's shores.




Shuswap

With its warm waters and over 1,000km of shoreline, Shuswap Lake is a haven for paddleboarders seeking a more leisurely experience. The calm bays and secluded beaches make it an ideal spot for families and beginners to practice their skills. The lake also offers excellent fishing opportunities for those interested in a multi-day paddleboarding excursion.



Wells Gray Provincial Park

Wells Gray Provincial Park, located in the Interior Plateau region, is a hidden gem for paddleboarding. With over 40 lakes to choose from, paddlers can explore remote areas of the park while taking in stunning views of waterfalls and snow-capped mountains. The park's peaceful atmosphere also makes it an ideal spot for wildlife sightings and camping.

Learn about the Canoe Routes which can be adapted for SUP.



Chase (South Thompson River)

The South Thompson River, near the town of Chase, is a popular spot for paddleboarding. The river's gentle currents and scenic surroundings provide an excellent opportunity for paddlers to relax and take in the beauty of the area. With access points throughout the town, it's easy to plan a leisurely or more challenging paddle along this gorgeous stretch of water.



Best Places to Paddleboard in the Kootenay Rockies Region




West & East Kootenay's

With its stunning mountain views and pristine lakes, the Kootenay region is a must-visit destination for paddleboarders. The area's many lakes offer calm waters perfect for paddling or practicing yoga, while the Columbia and other rivers provide more challenging conditions for those seeking an adrenaline rush. After your paddle, explore the charming towns and villages that dot the region.


Best Places to Paddleboard in Northern BC




Northeast Region

The Northeast Region of British Columbia offers a unique and adventurous paddleboarding experience. Paddlers can explore the region's expansive lakes, including Williston Lake, the largest lake in BC, or venture down the Liard River for an exciting white water paddle. With rugged landscapes and abundant wildlife to see, this region is perfect for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike.




Kitimat-Stikine Region

The Kitimat-Stikine Region, located in Northern BC, offers an untouched and remote paddling experience for adventurous paddleboarders. With its rugged coastline and abundant wildlife, including bears, whales, and seals, paddlers can truly immerse themselves in nature here. The region also offers access to world-class salmon fishing for those interested in combining paddling with fishing.




Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii, also known as the "Galapagos of the North," features an archipelago of over 150 islands located off the coast of Northern BC. Paddlers can explore these remote and beautiful islands, home to diverse wildlife and ancient indigenous culture. The calm waters of the inlets and bays provide an ideal spot for paddleboarding while taking in the stunning scenery.


In conclusion, British Columbia offers a rich tapestry of paddleboarding destinations, each with its own unique beauty and challenges. From the Okanagan's serene lakes and the Kitimat-Stikine Region's rugged shores to the Kootenay River's adventurous rapids, there's a spot for paddlers of every skill level and preference. Whether you seek the tranquility of a secluded bay, the exhilaration of tackling fast-flowing rivers, or the simple pleasure of paddling amidst breathtaking landscapes, BC's waters invite you to explore and connect with nature in unforgettable ways.


Where is your favorite BC paddle destination?

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