By Hilary Gunn
Legend holds that the modern iteration of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) began in 1940s Hawaii as a means for surfers to get their fix without the larger swells. In past years, its popularity has exploded, and SUP has since become a great way for those without access to world quality beaches to get their surfing rush. The rivers and lakes of the Keystone State have not been immune to the sport’s growing presence, and as a result Pennsylvanians are exploring SUP at ever increasing rates. Enter the best spots for paddleboard launches in state, ready to help even the very beginner get out there and get going!
If you’re looking to start stand-up paddleboarding as a very beginner, there could be few better locations to look towards than Blue Marsh Lake and the nearby equipment specialists at the Crank. This Wernersville store covers a variety of outdoor activities, and manages to have one of the best options for renting state of the art SUP equipment as well. The Crank also offers demonstrations every Tuesday evening at Blue Marsh Lake as a way to introduce newcomers to the sport, and experienced boarders to new inventory. A relaxed, evening ride is just the ticket to take the stress or fear of trying something new out of the equation, and the expert staff at the Crank will be standing by to assist, regardless of your ability.
For city slickers looking for a respite from that urban frenzy, look no further than Falls Township Community Park. Conveniently located close to Philadelphia and pretty as a picture, this Levittown location claims a gorgeous, 75-acre lake, perfect for paddleboarding. Looking for equipment or expert advice? Nearby Driftwood Water Adventures presents a number of opportunities for boarding. If you’re looking to bring your friends in on the event, book an affordable group outing, which comes complete with safety briefing and SUP demonstration. If you’re already familiar with the basics of boarding, look into the yoga and fitness group outings, which combine more conventional exercises with the idea of SUP.
Pittsburgh is a fantastic city, but sometimes you just need to breathe that country air. If you’re having a more claustrophobic week, consider heading north to Bridgewater and spending some time on the Beaver River. Looking to rent a board or take a start-from-scratch lesson? Beaver Boardshop presents a number of options, including partial and unlimited season passes for a discount. After a rigorous but relaxing day on the water, reward yourself with the very conveniently located Tiki Bar, situated just by the Beaver Boardshop launch.
It would be difficult to even dream up a more picturesque location for paddleboarding than the Poconos, an opportunity fully embraceable with time spent on the Delaware River. Even better, rentals and lessons are readily available at Mauka Nalu, a local SUP outfit. This Delaware operation specializes both in basic instruction for the very beginner, and fitness outings with a master instructor. Whether you’re looking to try a new outdoor, athletic activity, or really hone in on the fitness possibilities of the paddleboard, Mauka Nalu is a professional, endlessly peppy option ready to walk you through each step. Visit the Delaware River for an unforgettable stand-up paddleboarding experience!
With 1,450 stunning acres of lake, it’s no surprise that Nockamixon State Park is an ideal opportunity for stand-up paddleboard enthusiasts in southeastern Pennsylvania. If you’re an experienced boarder just looking for a rental and a launch, Nockamixon Boat Rental is a great, convenient option. A beautiful location on one of Pennsylvania’s most breathtaking pieces of land makes this Quakertown location an easy add to our list.