Stand up paddleboarding—or SUP—has fast become one of the most popular leisure watersports around. With a sense of adventure, a bit of balance, and an understanding of the basic technique, you’ll be well on your way. Practice makes perfect with the balance game, so all that’s left is an excellent spot to try your newfound pastime. The following five spots in Massachusetts are great for paddleboarding. Check them out and give this exciting sport a try!
Several landings along Chatham Harbor make it the perfect launching point for paddleboarding in this Cape Cod town. A nearby barrier beach and Tern Island are in reasonable paddling distance. Paddleboarders love the water here, as they often wind up paddling alongside seals. The view of the lighthouse is perfect when out in the harbor.
The Charles River in Boston and Cambridge is an excellent place for paddleboarding. Rentals and a launch are available at Paddle Boston. They also offer group outings and lessons. The nine-mile stretch of the Charles has no current, and is in full view of Boston landmarks including the Zakim Bridge and the Museum of Science. The Boston skyline backdrop is breathtaking.
Paddleboarders love Lake Cochituate State Park. Both a beach and a dock make for easy launching. Open from dawn until dusk, the middle of three lakes—called Middle Lake—is the one recommended for paddleboarders, as motor boats aren’t allowed to operate there. It’s the perfect spot for learning to paddleboard. Life jackets are required for all paddlers.
Walden Pond is a kettle hole—a lake formed by retreating glaciers tens of thousands of years ago. The pond boasts just over a mile and a half of shoreline, most of which is perfect for launching a paddleboard. And if you fall off your board, Walden Pond is a beautiful spot for swimming, too. It is known for its crystal clear water.
Pavilion Beach in Gloucester is a great place to launch your paddleboard. The water is calm and the views are spectacular. It’s worth noting that a visit to a public restroom is a must before visiting the beach, as it has no facilities. That said, the downtown area is close by, with a wealth of restaurants and coffee shops.