As the saying goes—if you didn’t SUP, did you even do Sydney right? This water sport is fast becoming the ultimate water activity and though we may not have the flawless style of the ancient Hawaiians who paddled from island to island, we definitely have the humour to pull off a (not so) graceful stack. Or five.
We know you’re well across the usual suspects being the informed legends you are. But we’ve added some extra gems so you can step up your SUP game this summer.
Here are the best places to stand up paddleboard in Sydney.
Manly Kayak Centre
One word: location. We don’t need to tell you that Manly Kayak Centre is one of Sydney’s best spots to get your stand up paddleboard on. Because paddling in and around moored yachts and hidden coves should pretty much speak for itself.
Point Piper Kayak Centre
For the un-co and the speed demons, Point Piper Kayak Hire boasts all the boards (from foamies to the full-blown hard epoxy) and all the vacation vibes, which is really all anyone should be going for. Studded right on the shore and neighbouring Rose Bay Park, this little nook is protected from the wind so you can guarantee you’ll have perf conditions all year ‘round.
If you’re looking to make a day of it, the bright blue old school Boatshed at Woronora River is another one of Sydney’s best places to hit up for a cheeky SUP session (they also have awesome feeds and we all know that’s a major party pleaser). This one is situated right on the river and is literally home to the most tranquil vibes ever.
It’s an oldie but an absolute goodie at that. You know the drill Sydney, located on the esplanade in the always picturesque Middle Harbour area, Balmoral Boatshed allows you to rent boards by the hour, half-day or full-day. And hey, should you work up an appetite (and you will), the iconic Boathouse Cafe is just a few paddles away.
Jamieson Park Paddle
There’s not much Jamieson Park Paddle doesn’t do. You can free-paddle on the wide-open Narrabeen Lake, harness your inner-athlete (or lack thereof) and compete in their Sunday morning time trials, book lessons and even get your dose of SUP yoga.
The Basin Estuary
The Basin lagoon is rightfully famous for its turquoise waters and known for being one of the top areas for camping. Which means it’s also the perfect place to do a little spot of stand up paddleboarding. Sheltered from wind, waves and boats, you’ll have all the space to paddle around without an audience… because we all know multiple stacks are inevitable.
Tony Henry’s Avalon SUP is placed in a prime location on the calm shoreline of Clareville Beach. You can book lessons, rent a board and go on your own mini-adventure, step-up your fitness regime and join their daily paddle squad or do SUP yoga. But the real excitement lies with their twilight paddle tours. Think bright LED lights on the bottom of your board that light up the water as you paddle (we think now’s a good time to invest in that GoPro).
Let's Go SUP
Malabar Bay and Frenchmans Bay
Malabar Bay is one of Sydney’s best stand up paddle boarding playgrounds and to be honest, the team here are absolute legends who’ll no doubt make you fall in love with the sport. There are group lessons (so you can reel in the laughs as all your mates capsize), private lessons in case you want to fine-tune your basic-board skills and early morning fitness classes that are super easy to scrape in before work or uni. And yes, you’ll probably be a pro by the end of it.
Bless the epic crew here who have brought monster SUP to our shores and our lives. Yes, it’s even better than it sounds. Expect an 18ft paddle board capable of fitting eight adults on it at the one time. It’s the perfect recipe for insanely good times and you know it. To top it off, there are flat water classes and these guys can even teach you how to stand up paddle surf!
If you’re looking to SUP out of the big smoke surrounds, the Nepean River is your best bet (because an endless stretch of bush is always a yes). Guided river tours are up for grabs or you can make your own way around with personal hire for an hour, two hours, half a day or a full day.
It’s no news to you that Bundeena is home to pretty much all the adventures ever (cue fishing, hiking, kayaking, swimming, camping etc.). Based on the beachfront in southern Sydney, this place is another beauty for paddling since it borders ocean bays and beaches.
We’re all about practicality and there’s nothing more practical then SUP-ing right outside one of Sydney’s best harbour bars and eateries (we're talking about Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel). And let’s be honest, you hang around here almost every weekend anyway so paddling by day and drinking Pimm’s by night just makes sense, okay. More details are here.
And if you're up for a swim, check out our guide to Sydney's best secret beaches.
Image credit: OC Gonzalez, Blue Collectors