10 Top SUP Surf Spots in United States

Published On June 17, 2020 | By Staff Writer | Travel Planning
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Ever thought about how you could make surfing more exciting? Or how about making stand up paddle boarding even more invigorating? You could always mix the two! SUP surfing is a great way to get active and hit the waves. It combines the best aspects of both sports and ends up being a great workout and a lot of fun too.

In this post we’ll take a look at 10 of the top SUP surf spots in the United States. Some are great for starting off, others you’ll need a little more experience and confidence before tackling them. What’s for certain is all of them will give you an exciting and exhilarating SUP surf experience. So, grab your surf paddle board and head to one of these awesome destinations!

Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Stand up paddle boarding originated in Hawaii, so it only seems right that we start our list of the best SUP surf spots in the US here. Sunset Beach’s north shore has big waves throughout the winter and there are several competitions throughout the year. The good thing about surf SUP here is that if you fancy a quieter day where you just do regular SUP, you can get to some chillout spots nearby such as Waimea Bay.

Santa Cruz, California

Northern California’s waters are a little cooler than some of the other spots on our list, so you’ll want to wear a wetsuit here. Check out Santa Cruz harbour for a range of lessons and guides, which are really great for beginners. Santa Cruz caters to more experienced SUP surfers too – with Steamer Lane having breaks for all ability levels. You’ll have to wait your turn among the regular surfers though!

Florida Keys, Florida

If you’re planning to go SUP surfing on the west coast of the United States, there are few better spots than the southern tip of Florida. There’s warm weather all year, so you don’t even need a wetsuit to tackle the waves here. For those at Key West, you can ride a board downwind and cover more distance along the clear blue waters. Florida Keys not only offers good surfing, but also places to practice SUP yoga and SUP fishing.

Malibu, California

Often said to be the best surfing destination in California, it only makes sense that Malibu would be perfect for SUP surfers too. Because it’s home to some of the prettiest beaches on the west coast of the United States, they can get very busy. However, it’s not hard to get off the beaten track and find some quiet places to enjoy a bit of regular SUPing too. Head up to Point Dume and stop for a break on an empty beach where you might come face to face with sea lions!

San Diego, California

San Diego is a city which boasts multiple beaches. The most popular, such as Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, and Pacific Beach all have board shops where you can rent equipment and/or get lessons. From here, you can SUP surf with incredible views of the city skyline. For somewhere you can enjoy nature, head a little further north from the main city to La Jolla. There’s great boarding and you may meet rays, sea turtles, and small sharks.

White Cresh Beach, Wellfleet, Massachusetts

The northeastern United States is one of the colder places where you can SUP surf in the United States, so make sure you bring your wetsuit. White Crest Beach at Cape Cod is known as “Surfer’s Beach” so you know this place is going to be good.

This beach is suitable for beginner SUP surfers, just look for a boarding school or shop in town.

Cisco Beach, Nantucket

If you’re traveling to Massachusetts and you want something a little more challenging, Cisco Beach and Nantucket is where to point your board. This beach is rugged and you won’t find lots of facilities like on other beaches.

However, that’s great if you’re coming simply to surf. Cisco Beach is recommended for intermediate and experienced surfers – there are rip tides and undertows which can catch beginners off guard. Because of this, there are a lot of lifeguards on site.

Kitty Hawk, Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks boast several excellent surfing spots but Kitty Hawk is just a little way out in front of the competitors. New SUP surfers will have their pick of surf schools and rental shops to get their equipment, while there are loads of places to stay too. Summer and early fall is the best time to come surfing here, and if you’re brave – make sure to have a go after a storm. That’s when the waves are at their biggest!

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Another stop in Florida that SUP surfers shouldn’t miss off their list is Coco Beach. This clearwater beach can be quite crowded, which may be off-putting – especially for beginners. However, look at the bright side. The waves are easy to get to grips with your board and this new sport!

Ruggles, Newport, Rhode Island

For the last SUP surf spot on our list, we’re heading to the smallest state in the US: Rhode Island. Ruggles is another one for experienced surfers – the rock bottom here has won against many boards, and unfortunately a few bones too. Ruggles’ waters are cold so be sure to bring your wetsuit.

Final Thoughts on the best SUP surf spots in the United States

For more travel inspiration, head to This World Rocks, a site packed with amazing photography and travelers’ stories. It’ll have you itching to plan your next trip!


Photo by alexandre saraiva carniato from Pexels

Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash

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