The best stand-up paddleboarding spots in Austin

Surfing
Austin, Texas: there plenty of stand-up paddleboarding spots in and around the city | Photo: Tomek Baginski

Are you a stand-up paddleboarding enthusiast? Have you ever thought of paddling a SUP in Austin? Here are five spots you need to check out.

Thanks to the spirit of innovation, we now have paddleboarding - a physical activity that is a crossbreed of surfing and canoeing.

Having taken root in the Aloha State, it garnered fans and made its way across the United States.

If you are an Austin native or a visitor who's curious about the sport, there are fantastic places for you to check out.

There are varieties of options when it comes to choosing the perfect paddleboarding spot.

For thrill-seekers and adventurers, there are secluded spots, and for beginners or crowd lovers, there are a couple of places to suit your preferences.

Snake Island

Snake Island, Austin

Don't be put off by the name. There are no snakes on snake island, but there is plenty of open flat water.

This island is tucked away on Lady Bird Lake and attracts only a small number of visitors due to its remote location.

At Snake Island, you can enjoy the challenge of accessing the island by non-motorized vehicles and take a tour around the island on a paddleboard.

And if you're a fan of Spy Kids, you'll have fun being in the opening shot of the 2001 movie.

 

Lady Bird Lake

Lady Bird Lake, Austin | Photo: Creative Commons

Lady Bird Lake is at the heart of Austin. The flatwater calmly reflects the city skyline while the banks house a sundry gathering of people out to enjoy the warm Austin weather.

Lady Bird Lake is a reservoir on the Colorado River, and its conservation rules entail no motorized boats on the water.

The lake generally has high volumes of visitors each day, and even more, people come together on weekends.

While Austin has a population of 1.3 million people, it also has 1.5 million bats who like to begin their day during sunset around the lake.

It would be nice to wind down by watching those strange creatures dominating the lake after a busy day of paddleboarding.

 

Secret Beach

Secret Beach, Austin

If you have wagered that Secret Beach is difficult to locate, you would be correct.

Legend has it that it cannot be found by GPS even though it is just 15 minutes east of downtown Austin.

Secret Beach is a great alternative for paddlers who prefer a more secluded paddleboarding experience.

It is recommended to carry your own paddleboard as there are no rental shops around the area.

After a long day enjoying the Secret Beach, consider getting a nice, decent meal in one of the many surrounding restaurants.

 

Spring Lake

Spring Lake, San Marcos, Texas | Photo: Texas State University

Located 40 minutes south of downtown Austin, Spring Lake is a marvel.

With its crystal-clear flat waters and picturesque green surroundings, it's an excellent spot for an unforgettable paddleboarding experience.

The lake is preserved and tightly controlled to ensure no environmental harm is done. Thanks to this effort, it has maintained a reputation for cleanliness.

Also, because it is a preserved lake, access is limited. Paddlers can only access the lake through paddleboard tours arranged by REI Austin.

Fear not. You will still get the full joy of enjoying the water freely with the tour and see the lake's limestone bottom and peer into the depths to see the teeming underwater life.

 

Lake Travis

Lake Travis, Texas | Photo: Creative Commons

Situated in one of Texas' leafy suburbs, Lake Travis is a haven. Featuring crisp blue waters, mesmerizing greenery and limestone cliffs surrounding the lake, and a secluded feel, Lake Travis should be on your list for paddleboarding.

The community around the lake has realized the fun of paddleboarding, and several businesses offering rental services have propped up.

If you do not have your own board, fear not. The chances are high that you can find a rental around the lake community.

And with the high population of fish in the lake, you can take a shot at paddleboard fishing for a fresh catch.

For a paddleboard fan, Austin is an exceptional destination for just that.

Added to the town's rich history, tasty BBQ, festivals, and the southern hospitality at the core of its culture, you're sure to get an experience of a lifetime paddleboarding here.

If you are a beginner paddleboarder, there are plenty of rental options and businesses that offer not only board rentals but also lessons.

A bonus - you can go paddleboarding in Austin all year long, thanks to that warm Texan weather.


Words by Henry | Goosehill Sport

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