Paddle Boarding on the Georgia Coast
Golden Isles SUP Adventures
What is SUP?
SUP stands for stand up paddle boarding. An offshoot of surfing, stand up paddle boarding allows riders to stand on a board and propel themselves through water with a paddle - instead of waiting to ride a wave. The sport has become extremely popular as a way to exercise, explore, or even fish! Paddle boarding requires more balance than watersports like kayaking, and typically outfitters don't recommend the sport for anyone under 9 years of age. For first-timers, opt for calm marshes or rivers instead of ocean waves, which can be more choppy and unforgiving.
Where to Paddle Board in the Golden Isles
Visitors can paddle board in many places throughout the Golden Isles, including:
- Gould's Inlet (St. Simons Island): Book a guided SUP tour at Gould's Inlet. Beginngers are welcome, as many rental companies offer instruction and lessons in calm water, before heading out farther into the waves.
- East Beach (St. Simons Island): Just south of Gould's Inlet, Golden Isles visitors can rent paddle boards from outfitters set up along East Beach, near the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort.
- The Marshes of Glynn (Brunswick): Southeast Adventure Outfitters offers a variety of kayaking and stand up paddle boarding tours throughout the Golden Isles. Visit their Brunswick boathouse on Glynn Avenue and explore the peaceful, scenic marshes.
- Jekyll Island: Join Kingfisher Paddleventures for a variety of sightseeing tours launching from Jekyll Island. Opt for a sunset tour of unforgettable views of the Marshes of Glynn, or a beach SUP tour for a chance to spot dolphins in the water.
Gear and Rentals
Stand up paddle boarding does require some gear, from the actual board itself and the leash that connects a rider's ankle to the board, to the paddle and a life jacket for safety. Visitors to the Golden Isles don't need to worry about packing their own gear though, as local Golden Isles SUP outfitters like Southeast Adventure Outfitters and Kingfisher Paddleventures provide rental equipment and convenient drop off and pick up services. These outfitters also offer lessons and guided tours. You can even purchase a used paddle board from Southeast Adventure Outfitters.
Dressing the part will also help you enjoy your paddle boarding adventure to the fullest. Don't forget to bring a rashguard or other sun-protective shirt, a hat to shield the sun and water shoes or sandals for foot protection (not required to ride). In colder weather, it's recommended that riders wear clothing that insulates, including a wetsuit, wool hat, and paddling gloves. Be sure to check the weather and tide info before you depart on your adventure.
Optional gear and personal items that may be helpful on your paddle boarding adventure include sunscreen, lip balm with SPF, sunglasses, snacks, a small first aid kit and a towel. If you chose to bring a camera or cell phone, make sure to use a waterproof case or bag to store your items as you may be splashed by waves unexpectedly.