Stand On Liquid: SUP Fitness on a Waterway Near You

We all seem to love those “best of” lists. Benjamin Franklin made them. David Letterman turned his list making into a regular feature on his late night show. Even Shakespeare made reference to them. We list the best of movies, restaurants, and just about any random thing we can think of. They even help us get work done. So when I stumbled upon a list of the best cities for fitness, I was a little surprised that so many great locales for paddle boarding were omitted.

Stand up paddle boarding, or as it it is popularly referred to as SUP, is one of the best ways to achieve a fit to stay young approach to fitness. The cities recently mentioned in an article published by offered only a passing mention of paddle boarding as an activity that can help you achieve your fitness goals.

So I thought I’d take a moment and explore their list of top ten cities and what they (may have) failed to mention.


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Off-season SUPing

Coloradans are known for their outdoor activities. With access to some of the best whitewater and majestic, Rocky Mountain lakes, it’s no wonder SUP has grown in popularity, giving enthusiasts who are looking for an outdoor experience with a less competitive edge, overcoming their landlocked status. But Sharecare never mentions this.

San Francisco

The first thing you think of when you think of water and this city is that wind swept bay, which may not be the best place for beginners to put their board down for the first time, but is definitely a goal. SUP enthusiasts in the area usually recommend beginners start with the calm waters of Corte Madera Creek in Marin County or at Stevens Creek Reservoir in Santa Clara County. Both sites offer all skill levels a year round opportunity to use paddle boarding in their fitness routine.

San Diego

Further down the coast and about twenty degrees warmer, this destination offers lots of dramatic coastline and calm bays. In this area, it seems as if you can’t go ten miles without finding a paddle board rental shop.


This town might be known as a walking city but the Charles River is one of the best places to experience the city while getting fit on a paddle board. It might be incredibly cold in the winter and many of the landlocked ponds are frozen, but avid fitness enthusiasts are undeterred.


This city made the Sharecare list for fitness in part because of an enthusiastic embrace of the kayak. But paddle boarding is making some serious inroads. In other words, if you can paddle in a kayak, you can stand on liquid. Just a short drive from Tahoe, one of the best on my list, this area boast some of the best inland waterways for every type of SUP boarder.

Seattle and Portland

Not to offend either of these cities by lumping them together but the abundance of water, the relatively mild year-round temperatures, and the eco-focused population of these two locales have made paddle boarding the fastest growing sport in the region. It seemed sort of a slight that cities like Bend, Hood River, or even Issaquah didn’t make the list. With the right gear, the Pacific Northwest can be one of the most beautiful places in the world to SUP.

Salt Lake City

This city made the list for its skiing and snowboarding but the landlocked area has seen explosive growth of the sport in places like Lake Powell and on the Jordanelle Reservoir.

Los Angeles

Think celebrities. Think warm weather. Think easy ocean access. Combine all of those factors and you can easily think SUP.


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Perfect on Stand on Liquid’s Namaste 11′ PaddleBoard

This city in Texas claims to be the SUP capital of the world. Their claim to “keeping weird” may pre-date Portland, OR’s use of the phrase but this is one place where paddle boarding is wholly embraced. The weather is perfect for year-round SUPing on Lake Travis or Lady Bird Lake. Don’t miss the chance to paddle board in Hippie Hollow.

While ShareCare’s list wasn’t focused on the best places to paddle board, these sites a more focused on the best places to Stand On Liquid.

From USA Today, their top ten list does give a nod to Hood River, Austin and California. But is also looks at Brazil and Mexico as well.

From the Travel Channel, their best places list gives the required nod to Seattle, California and Key West and for flavor throws in a look at Whistler and Nevada.

Outside Magazine focused their best of list to North America with the expected look at California, Mexico and Florida and nod toward SUP angling in Minnesota. Apparently Seattle didn’t make their list but Maui, technically part of Oceania did. Go figure.

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