Guide to Paddle Boarding in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Pair Fort Lauderdale’s sunshine and warm weather with a relaxing adventure! The outdoor wellness activities in South Florida are plentiful, and I was glad to have tried stand up paddle boarding while there.
Here is a detailed guide on:
Where to find a stand up paddle boarding tour in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Where you can rent a paddle board of your own (if you don’t want to do a tour)
The best places to paddle board
SUP tips before you paddle board in Fort Lauderdale
Where to Find a SUP Tour in Fort Lauderdale
Out of the many Fort Lauderdale tours and water sports, stand up paddle boarding (“SUP”) is a fun and relaxing choice — and offers a great opportunity for low-impact exercise!
While staying at a nearby Airbnb along the canals in Dania Beach, my friend Nikki and I booked an “Airbnb Experience” for an intimate paddle boarding tour along the isles near Victoria Park.
The company we used was called SUP PuP; the owner allows guests’ dogs to come for the ride. The guided SUP tour costs $44 per person (we booked through Airbnb Experiences) and lasts about two hours. It also includes complimentary wine and water.
Important Info: Getting to Victoria Park to Paddle Board
Victoria Park is a neighborhood and a park (which was initially confusing to get to via Lyft because we didn’t realize the park was just a small part of the larger area) but is a beautiful neighborhood.
Eventually we figured out that the neighborhood’s southeast edge is home to a strip of green called Annie Beck Park, which connects to the smaller Victoria Park (the meeting spot for our SUP tour).
About the paddle boarding tour we booked
We launched our paddles from Victoria Park, and cruised around the affluent Las Olas Isles of Fort Lauderdale. Our guide gave us a paddle boarding safety tutorial and life jackets, and encouraged us to sit, kneel, or stand — whichever we felt comfortable with.
She played music, guided us away from nearby boats, and allowed us space to have a peaceful ride. She locked our valuables in her car until the tour was done, provided waterproof bags for our cell phones, and took photos of us with her cell phone to send later.
Where to Book Paddle Board Rentals in Fort Lauderdale
Since we were vacationing from out of state, we did not have paddle boards of our own. Luckily, the SUP tour we booked included paddle boards and paddles, along with brief but thorough instruction — all included in the price.
If you are not taking a tour and want to rent paddle boards for a self-guided adventure, here are some well-rated Fort Lauderdale paddle board rental spots for you to consider. Paddle boards can be reserved online and picked up in person.
Fort Lauderdale Stand Up Paddle Board Rental Locations:
Park & Ocean: This beachside eatery and adventure center at the foot of Birch State Park offers two-hour rentals for $30, or half-day rentals for $50.
SUP PuP Fort Lauderdale: The aforementioned tour we booked rents out SUP boards for one hour at $20, plus $10 per additional hour.
Riverwalk Activities: Not only can you enjoy a scenic stroll along the Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk, you can rent paddle boards at $20 per hour, plus $10 per additional hour.
Las Olas Paddle Boards: This surf shop rents stand up paddle boards at $35 for two hours. Last I checked (Spring 2019), they were running an all-day paddle board rental special for just $40.
Note: be sure to check Groupon for rental and tour deals too!
Where to Paddle Board in Fort Lauderdale
If part of a guided SUP tour, you won’t have to worry about finding the best place to paddle board in Fort Lauderdale. Depending on your level of experience, your guide will lead you to some of the best paddle boarding spots with low boat traffic.
When we toured with SUP PuP, we departed from Victoria Park and paddle boarded through the Hendricks and Venice Isles and around the beautiful Las Olas Isles. The water was calm, and we only passed about two moving boats. The area is scenic, dotted with beautiful houses and catamarans along the canals.
Where to try self-guided paddle boarding:
If you are not on a guided tour and want to stand up paddle board on calm water, consider boarding along waterways. Here are some canals and creeks in Fort Lauderdale where you can paddle board:
Las Olas Isles
Whiskey Creek (Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park)
For ocean paddle boarders, SUP gives you a clear view of the diverse marine life swimming below you, which can be a thrilling experience! Fort Lauderdale Beach is not only one of the best rated beaches in the country, but a paddle boarder favorite in South Florida.
Tips for Paddle Boarding in Fort Lauderdale
Here are a few things to know about paddle boarding in Fort Lauderdale (and in general):
Stand up paddle boarding is a relaxing water sport best enjoyed with good weather. Be mindful of the weather forecast, as rain or high winds during low/shoulder season can turn your adventure south.
Fort Lauderdale is a boater’s paradise. From yachts to catamarans and speed boats, you’re bound to encounter one while paddling. Be sure to stay alert with a safe distance; on canals, paddle along the dock for safety.
If you want to bring music along the ride, enjoy! But remember, the canals and other waterways are home for many (both humans and wildlife) so adjust your speaker volume accordingly.
Paddle boarding is an all-day opportunity: you can choose to SUP at sunrise, during the day, sunset, or even at night! If you choose the latter, be sure to use appropriate lighting/reflective gear so others can see you.
The Fort Lauderdale sun is strong! If you burn easily, you’ll want to take extra precaution and carry sunscreen with you.
Paddle boarding is still exercise. That means despite its fun aspect, you will break somewhat of a sweat and should be sure to rehydrate.
If paddling on canals, watch out for overpasses! You’ll have to be a bit flexible so you can fold over to get past them.
I hope you found this Fort Lauderdale paddle boarding guide useful! If you are interested in learning more about SUP and want SUP advice for beginners, keep an eye out for my next article covering specific stand up paddle boarding tips.
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*Disclosure: This post contains some referral links, at no cost to you.