The best weather for paddleboarding of course depends on your ability and your personal preferences regarding cold water. However, generally speaking, paddleboarding is best enjoyed in a location with clear blue skies, beautiful sunshine, and less than 10 mph of wind. These are the ideal conditions for all abilities and groups to enjoy paddleboarding together, and unless you have a solid plan and lots of experience, I would try to stick to these conditions. So where in the world is it best to find this weather year-round?
Bali, Indonesia. Bali provides year-round sunshine and calm, glassy waters to paddleboard on. This tropical paradise provides ideal scenery to paddleboard in, as well as beautiful sunsets across the water. Popular beaches for paddleboarding are Kuta, Nusa Dua, and Sanur, thanks to their flat waters and rideable swells. For higher-ability paddleboarders, the east coast is better for windy conditions and more of a challenge. The west coast, however, is much calmer, therefore perfect for beginners.
Perth, Australia. It’s no secret that Australia gets glorious sunshine throughout much of the year. Summer in Perth is hot and dry, with very little rainfall. Although there are occasional storms, Perth makes up for this with the beaming sunshine that it enjoys the rest of the time. There are gentle sea breezes, yet nothing that would make paddleboarding difficult. My main advice would be to never forget that the UV is significantly higher in this part of the world. So make sure that you head out fully equipped with strong sun cream, sunglasses, and a hat, because the sun’s rays are reflected off the water, making them stronger.
Lisbon Coast, Portugal. The flexibility of paddleboarding in Portugal earns it a spot on this list. Luiz Saldanha Marine Park is sheltered from the northeast winds that experienced paddleboarders would enjoy the challenge of. Luiz Saldanha has water visibility of up to 70 feet when the water is calm, making paddleboarding here perfect for watching fish or even dolphins swim by underneath. Lisbon experiences hot and dry summers, with mostly clear skies throughout. During winter, it is colder and partially cloudy, however, it is a generally sunny and reliable location.
Cape Town, South Africa. The best time to visit Cape Town has to be between March and May, and September to November. These months see the best weather, fewer crowds, and generally lower prices. Cape Town enjoys a mild Mediterranean-style climate, so even in the winter months, it isn’t too chilly. However, it can experience strong winds along its coast, so this could be better suited for the more experienced paddleboarders, who are seeking to challenge themselves. paddleboarding has a history in South Africa since African warriors used to use the sport for stealth attacks, and ancient fishermen also would stand up to see the fish beneath them, although these days it really is just a fun activity!
The Bahamas. With nearly 120 miles of coastline and beautiful, famously clear blue waters, the Bahamas often has the calm weather that is needed for paddleboarding. Sea turtles and schools of brightly colored fish can be easily seen from beneath you through the crystal clear water, and brilliant sunshine also makes this an ideal location for paddleboarding. Between May and October, the Bahamas experiences its wet season, in which hurricanes often present themselves, however, this is fairly infrequent. Unlike the cyclical seasons in countries such as the UK, the stormy season in the Bahamas is also the warmest. November through to April presents much calmer, but still warm and sunny weather with much less rain, and would therefore be my recommended time period to visit and go paddleboarding.
Costa Rica. The gulf of Papagayo in Costa Rica is ideal for paddleboarding due to its protection from the wild ocean waters. During the dry season, its waters are especially clear, which is great to spot the wildlife that is protected by the Golfo Dulce. Lake Arenal, beneath the Arenal volcano, also has calm and still waters, which are perfect for beginner paddleboarders. Many hotels include complimentary paddleboard rentals, since it is so popular there, and such an incredibly scenic location to do it in. Similar to the Bahamas, the best time of year to plan a paddleboarding trip would be between December and April, when the weather is the driest and brightest. Although it is warm all year round, it experiences significant amounts of rain from May through until November, and hurricanes (albeit rare) tend to happen around October or November.
St Augustine, Florida. Unsurprisingly, the sunshine state had to make the list. Florida sees consistently sunny and warm weather throughout the year and is perfect for paddleboarding due to its variety. St Augustine is my personal recommendation for paddleboarding spots, due to the history, restaurants, bars, and multitude of fun activities to do in the area. It is home to local paddleboard rental shops, with friendly faces inside to provide any advice you may need about the weather, swells, or best locations to go. There are plenty of tours available as well, but hiring a paddleboard is a great option to independently explore the area, and is always a fraction of the price of a tour! Popular locations include Anastasia Island, Vilano Beach, St John’s river, and many more. Manatees, dolphins, turtles, wading birds, and fish often join paddleboarders in these locations, which makes the trip even more special.
Hopefully, this has given you some inspiration as to where to book your next trip! Remember to always research the weather before setting off anywhere to avoid disappointment, however, the places on this list nearly always have the perfect conditions if you head there at the right time. Make sure to pack sun cream, and enjoy the waters while doing one of the best physical activities in the world, in some of the best places in the world.