How to find the perfect place to paddle board in the Midwest.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: SJ Paddle Boards is excited to announce that this spring and summer we will be releasing reviews of numerous paddle board locations throughout the Midwest. SIGN UP NOW to receive email updates for all of our upcoming paddle board location reviews.  

The midwest has seen tremendous growth in paddle boarding over the last few years but newer participants to SUP always have questions on where to start paddle boarding. As we began embracing the paddle board lifestyle we found that google, very surprisingly, didn’t offer many specific answers for how to find new SUP locations and reviews of SUP locations. In coastal areas you typically see SUP everywhere but its more nuanced in the Midwest and that is why over the next few months SJ Paddle Boards will be posting multiple reviews of SUP locations within the Midwest.

Enjoy these 5 go-to tips to research new locations on where to SUP this Spring and Summer. 

  1. Google Related Outdoors Words: The most important hack that we’ve used to find open waters is to use existing kayak, canoe or fishing resources with a google search. Numerous websites from these genres will give summaries and information on public launch locations, water conditions, and parking. 
  2. Just Do It: Many areas around the great lakes have large public beach areas. We have found that one of the greatest attributes of inflatable paddle boards is that you can carry your SUP bag to any beach location ….blow up and stand up. Many times we have carried our SUP bag to public beaches in Chicago, New Buffalo, and the Indiana Dunes and just inflated the board before beginning a great SUP session. 
  3. Ask around: If there is a body of water that you’ve been thinking about exploring with your iSUP, it always helps to begin asking around to see if locales have information on water usage. When we first started paddle boarding un-explored Midwest locations we found it very beneficial to ask local shop owners or residents if they have seen any paddle boarders. You will be surprised at how often these simple questions lead to quality information and tips. 
  4. Department of Natural Resource websites: Another great resource to use as you start looking into new SUP locations are state natural resource websites. These websites typically offer a plethora of information on open waters and links to other helpful resources. NOTE: remember to review your states regulations and registration requirements for paddle boards (this will also be a future article topic). DNR Links: Illinois; Wisconsin; Michigan; Ohio; Minnesota; Indiana; Iowa.
  5. and Send us an email! SJ Paddle Boards will become the number one resource for Midwest SUP enthusiasts. With that being said, if you have a details on a great SUP location, PLEASE send us a note and we will work to include your SUP information/review in our database. 

As always, embrace the unknown, it never hurts to just try paddle boarding in any water and we can guarantee that after a few sessions you will begin to see other paddle board participants in your location.