How to Plan a Spectacular SUP Vacation

Maybe you just got an inflatable paddle board under the Christmas tree and you want to take it on adventures next summer or maybe you just can’t wait to get out paddling. Here are some tips to plan an amazing SUP vacation.

Key Highlights

  1. Location Scouting: Emphasize the importance of selecting a destination that aligns with the paddler's preferences, whether it's serene lake paddling, adventurous river floating, or ocean surfing. Highlight the option to explore state-specific guides for top paddle boarding spots.
  2. Transporting Your SUP: Offer practical advice for transporting both hardboards and inflatable paddle boards, including cost-effective tips for air travel and the benefits of inflatable boards for easy transportation.
  3. Rental Options: Suggest considering rental options for those preferring hard paddle boards but facing logistical challenges. Mention the potential of university outdoor programs as a unique rental source.
  4. Understanding Local Regulations: Stress the importance of researching and complying with local paddle boarding and surfing rules, including lifejacket regulations, to ensure safety and avoid fines.
  5. Flexibility and Preparedness: Advise on the importance of being adaptable on vacation, recommending bringing essential repair kits for inflatable boards and spare equipment for remote destinations.

Who can help but daydream of warm, sandy beaches during winter? Your daydreams don't have to be just dreams, winter is one of the best times to plan a vacation.

Maybe you just got an inflatable paddle board under the Christmas tree and you want to take it on adventures next summer or maybe you just can’t wait to get out paddling. Here are some tips to plan an amazing SUP vacation.

paddle boards

Searching for a Location

Where you go is going to depend on what type of paddling is your favorite. Decide whether you’re looking to do beach paddling and surfing, flat water paddling on a lake or reservoir, or float down a river. Once you’ve found a location that fits your style, look for a hotel to stay at or even places to camp.

If you want to base the location solely on where you'll be paddle boarding, we've got great suggestions for each state in the United States that you can find right here.

Transporting Your SUP

If you are planning on bringing a hardboard on your trip, strapping your board to the roof of your car and driving is definitely the way to go. Flying is still an option but checking a 10+ foot board can run you more than $150 in some cases. Bringing an inflatable paddle board on a plane will cost you about the same as checking a bag.

If you want more information about traveling on an airplane with your inflatable paddle board you should definitely check out our expert guide to that. We completely breakdown how to works, what to prepare for and even did your research for you with all the major airline polices.

Consider Renting Out

If you really love the way that hard paddle boards feel in the water but you don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars getting your board to and from your destination, consider renting. Most popular vacation destinations (as well as some that you might not expect) have loads of rental shops to choose from.

Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble finding a rental shop in your area, check out a local university. Universities often have outdoor recreation programs that will rent to students and non-students alike.

Check Local Rules for Paddle Boarding and Surfing

stand up paddle board

Make sure to check your vacation destination’s rules about paddle boarding before you take your trip. Orange County, for example, has specific rules about where you can take your SUP. Many popular river sections that you may take your SUP on have specific gear that is required and many reservoirs require that you clean or decontaminate your SUP.

Always make sure to check for lifejacket laws as well and when in doubt, always wear a lifejacket. You can checkout of our US Lifejacket Laws Guide for the general United States laws on paddle boarding with a lifejacket.

Warning: If you don't do your research for the lifejacket laws in the area you're paddling, and aren't wearing the correct kind of lifejacket, you can get fined up to $1,000 in some states.

These laws on lifejackets are here to protect and save you and your loved ones lives.

Plan to Be Flexible

There’s always a chance that you are going to lose or break some gear while you’re on vacation. If you are bringing an inflatable with you on your vacation, make sure to bring your patch kit and know how to use it so you can repair your SUP if you need.

It’s a good idea to know a surf shop nearby that you can visit in case you lose a fin or a paddle. If you’re vacationing in a remote area, consider bringing extras of critical pieces of gear like fins, paddles, and lifejackets.


sup yoga on an inflatable paddle board

There are many things to consider when planning a spectacular SUP vacation and this is just to help you get started in the right direction. We would love to hear about any trips you've taken with your Glide SUP and get a chance to be featured on our website!

If you don't have your own Glide inflatable paddle board you're missing out! Order yours today!

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