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SUP Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in Arizona: A Complete Guide

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Paddle boarding, also known as stand-up paddleboarding, is a water sport that has gained immense popularity in recent years. This activity involves standing on a large, flat board and using a paddle to navigate through the water. Not only is it a fun way to spend time on the water, but it also provides a full-body workout and a unique perspective of the surrounding scenery. In Arizona, paddle boarding can be enjoyed year-round, with warm temperatures and beautiful landscapes making it the perfect destination for this water sport. From calm lakes to fast-running rivers, Arizona has something to offer for every level of paddle boarder.

The 5 Best Places to Paddle Board in Arizona

Arizona is home to some of the most stunning bodies of water in the United States, making it the perfect place for paddle boarding. Here are five of the best places to paddle board in Arizona:

1. Lake Havasu

Located on the border of California and Arizona, Lake Havasu is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. With clear, calm waters and stunning mountain views, it’s the perfect place to start your paddle boarding journey.

2. Lake Powell

This man-made lake is known for its vibrant blue waters and red rock cliffs. With over 1,960 miles of shoreline, Lake Powell is a paddler’s paradise. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, there’s something for everyone at Lake Powell.

3. Tempe Town Lake

Located in the heart of Tempe, Tempe Town Lake is a man-made lake surrounded by parks and picnic areas. This urban oasis is perfect for paddle boarding, offering calm waters and stunning views of the city skyline.

4. Canyon Lake

This picturesque lake is surrounded by towering cliffs and lush greenery, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With calm waters and stunning scenery, Canyon Lake is a must-visit for any paddle boarder.

5. Saguaro Lake

Located in the Tonto National Forest, Saguaro Lake is a hidden gem for paddle boarders. With its calm waters and stunning views of the surrounding mountains, Saguaro Lake is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Equipment Tips for Paddle Boarding

Before you venture out on the water, it’s important to have the proper equipment to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Read on to learn what you’ll need for paddle boarding in Arizona.

Types of Paddle Board Equipment:


There are several types of paddle boards to choose from, including all-around boards, touring boards, inflatable paddle boards, and racing boards. When choosing a board, consider your skill level and the type of water you’ll be paddling in.


An indispensable tool for paddle boarding, the paddle plays a crucial role in propelling you through the water. Opt for a SUP paddle with the appropriate length, tailored to your height and the type of water you’ll be navigating, ensuring a comfortable and efficient paddling experience.

Life Jacket:

A life jacket is a paramount safety measure while paddle boarding, and in some states, it’s a legal requirement. Prioritize selecting a life jacket that fits snugly, providing both security and freedom of movement, making it suitable for various water activities.


An essential safety device, a leash keeps you tethered to your paddle board, preventing accidental separation in case of a fall. Choose a leash with the right length, perfectly suited to your board and skill level, ensuring enhanced safety and peace of mind during your paddle boarding excursions.

Safety Tips for Paddle Boarding in Arizona

Paddle boarding is a safe activity, but it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers and take the necessary precautions. Here are some safety tips for paddle boarding in Arizona.

Weather Conditions

Be aware of the weather conditions before heading out on the water. High winds and rough waters can make paddle boarding difficult and dangerous.


Arizona is home to a variety of wildlife, including snakes, spiders, and scorpions. When paddle boarding, be mindful of your surroundings and keep an eye out for any wildlife.

Sun Protection

Arizona is known for its hot and sunny weather, so it’s important to protect yourself from the sun while paddle boarding. Wear a hat, sunglasses, breathable athletic top and shorts, and sunblock to prevent sunburn and skin damage.

How to Get Started with Paddle Boarding in Arizona

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, there are plenty of opportunities to get started with paddle boarding in Arizona. Here are some options:

Lessons and Rentals

If you’re new to paddle boarding, taking a lesson or renting equipment is a great way to get started. There are several companies in Arizona that offer paddle board lessons and rentals, making it easy to get on the water.

Paddle Boarding Clubs and Events

Joining a paddle boarding club or participating in a paddle boarding event is a great way to meet other paddle boarders and improve your skills. There are several clubs and events in Arizona that cater to paddle boarders of all skill levels.

Important SUP FAQs

● What is the best time of year to paddle board in Arizona?

The best time of year to paddle board in Arizona is during the spring and fall, when temperatures are mild and the water is calm. Summer can be hot and windy, while winter can be cold and windy.

● Is it safe to paddle board alone in Arizona?

Paddle boarding alone can be dangerous, especially if you’re not experienced or if the weather conditions are adverse. It’s always best to paddle board with a partner or in a group, and to be prepared for any emergency situation.

● What type of paddle board is best for beginners in Arizona?

An all-around paddle board is the best type of board for beginners. These boards are stable and easy to maneuver, making them ideal for those new to paddle boarding.

● Can you paddle board on rivers in Arizona?

Yes, you can paddle board on rivers in Arizona. However, it’s important to be aware of the current and water conditions, and to have the proper skills and equipment for river paddle boarding.

● Are there any age restrictions for paddle boarding in Arizona?

There are no age restrictions for paddle boarding in Arizona. However, children should always be supervised by an adult and should wear a life jacket at all times while on the water.

Paddle boarding in Arizona is a fun and exciting way to spend time on the water. With warm temperatures and stunning landscapes, Arizona is the perfect destination for this water sport. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, there are plenty of opportunities to get started and improve your skills. So, grab your gear and head out on the water today.

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.