Ice House

5 Stand-Up Paddling Spots to Try This Summer

These waterways will show you what's SUP, no matter your paddle-boarding speed.

By Roxanna Asgarian July 18, 2017 Published in the August 2017 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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If you fall, it'll only cool you off.

You’ve probably seen them: people standing on what looks like a cross between a boogie board and a surfboard, using an oar to paddle around whatever body of water they can find around Houston. It always looks like a pretty precarious balancing act.

But stand-up paddle-boarding is—we promise—a lot easier than it looks. And it’s surprisingly simple to modify the sport, which those in the know call SUP, to any level of strenuousness. Maybe you want a vigorous workout; maybe you want to paddle out, kick back on your board, and watch the clouds roll by. No matter your SUP speed, there’s a place around town for you.

And during this never-ending Houston summer, remember: If you fall, it’ll only cool you off.

Below, a ranking of SUP spots from easiest to toughest:

SUP n’ Sip, El Lago

Gather some friends for an hour-long intro class at Pinky’s in El Lago, near NASA, and finish out with a half-price bottle of wine at Chelsea Wine Bar next door. $25 for 60 minutes

Beachfront SUP, Galveston

If you want to try paddling with the added challenge of navigating the tide, try SUP Gulf Coast, parked on the sand along Seawall Boulevard, where you can rent boards and get a lesson before you hit the waves. $45 for two hours

SUP Yoga, 288 Lake

Take your tree pose to the next level with BIG Yoga, which has locations in Montrose and Memorial, and its weekend paddle-boarding yoga classes at 288 Lake, a small, private spring-fed lake off Highway 288 and Beltway 8. $40 for two hours

Bayou SUP, Buffalo Bayou

Rent a board at the Lost Lake Visitor’s Center and experience the bayou from a new perspective. This is one time you may not want to take too many dunks into the water; although our bayou’s pretty, it’s also a key piece of the city’s drainage system. $30 for 60 minutes

SUP Fitness, Sugar Land

For non-beginners, Surf SUP offers a fitness class that’ll have you breaking a sweat while working on your balance. $35 for 90 minutes

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