SUP With Your Pup: Paddleboard Adventures That Welcome Dogs

Posted by Billy Francis

This article was updated in August 2021.

Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is a fast-growing sport that you can enjoy with your dog. Stay upright and afloat while propelling yourself and your pooch through the water, or take an unexpected doggy paddle together. What makes it more accessible than it’s gnarly older sister, surfing, is that it can be enjoyed on any type of water. It’s time to paddle with your pup at one of these dog-friendly SUP companies.

Three Brothers Boards

Daytona Beach, FL
Who says three’s a crowd? Photo by

Three Brothers Boards is ranked #1 on TripAdvisor for tours in Daytona Beach, and it’s not hard to see why. Every trip starts with an on-the-ground demonstration and lessons to help beginners get a feel for the boards (they have kayaks if Fido doesn’t take to it). You'll then venture out into the calm bay before circling an island and finishing up at canals where manatees and dolphins frequently hang out. Classes are $55 per person, and pets SUP for free. Don’t forget to bring a canine life vest for Fido.

Located just a three-minute stroll to the sand, Blue Starfish Bungalow is the ideal Daytona Beach rental for beach bums who can’t stand being far from the ocean.

U.S. National Whitewater Center

Charlotte, NC
That face you make after a good SUP adventure. Photo by

The National Whitewater Center offers plenty of water-based activities to enjoy with your pooch, including SUP rentals. Paddle down the Catawba River together, make a detour at Long Creek and circle around Sadler Island, a pretty little sandbar. Back on dry land, you and your furry friend are welcome to explore 40 miles of hiking trails on the property. If all that exercise whets your appetite, grab a bite to eat at River's Edge Bar and Grill. The restaurant's pet-friendly patio offers front-seat views of the whitewater rapids. SUP rates are $30 per person, and dogs paddle for free. Bring a life jacket for Fido, or purchase one in their outfitters store.

After a day of paddling, rest up at this Whitewater Hideaway with a fenced backyard for Fido to enjoy.

Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe

Bend, OR
"Mush, human!" Photo by

Located on the banks of the river in the Old Mill District of Bend, Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe offers a variety of rentals for fun on the water, but we’re here for the paddleboards. In addition to renting the equipment, they hold classes for novice two- and four-legged paddlers. After your aquatic adventure, enjoy a well-earned stroll with Fido along the Bend Ale Trail. 10 Barrel is one of the most popular breweries along the route, serving a variety of beers and pub grub on their pet-friendly outdoor tables. Rentals at Tumalo Creek start at $40 and include a board, life jacket and paddle. A canine life jacket is available to rent for an additional $10. The fee for basic training is $55 per human and dog duo.

Steps away from the Deschutes River Trail, this comfortable home is located near the best of Bend’s action.

Bow Valley SUP

Banff, AB
Paddling in paradise. Photo by Kathy Wong

Daring dogs who love the great outdoors may already know about Banff. This Alberta resort town in the Canadian Rockies is justifiably famous for its stunning Two Jack Lake. It's an idyllic destination for a dog-friendly SUP tour, and you can start your adventure at Bow Valley SUP Surf. After an introductory class, glide across the picturesque lake surrounded by Mt. Rundle and Mt. Cascade. More experienced pups can tag along on a morning or sunset tour. Day tours are offered three days a week on alternate mornings, and sunset tours take place on Fridays. The trips last 1-1.5 hours. Take an Intro to SUP class for $68, or rent a paddleboard for a half day for $32.

Float gently to sleep at nearby Quality Resort Chateau Canmore.

"What do you mean, it's over?" Photo by

There’s nothing quite like exploring the crystal-clear waters of Key West on a pet-friendly SUP. Just ask the folks at Lazy Dog. The company logo was inspired by Camillo, the original Lazy Dog who loved nothing more than paddleboarding in the Keys. Trace her footsteps through creeks and shallows, keeping an eye out for jellyfish, conch, sea cucumbers, stingrays, manatees and even the occasional shark! Tourists can join a two-hour guided tour or rent a paddleboard and head out alone. The staff will give you tips on how to get Fido on the board safely and equip you with a handy map to navigate your own six-legged adventure. SUP rentals start at $30 per person. Tours and an introduction to SUP are $50 per person, and private lessons are available for $75 per person. Dogs paddle for free, and doggy life jackets are provided.

Drift away with your dog on a pet-friendly houseboat in the Hunter Cherubini Sailboat, moored in a marina with access to a dog park on dry land. When you're feeling peckish, get a taste of the ocean at nearby Hogfish Bar & Grill, where they serve seared scallops, tuna tacos and more treats from the deep.

Aqua Adventures Kayaks & Paddleboards

San Diego, CA
“Last one in the water loves cats!” Photo by @aqua_adventures

Aqua Adventures is ideally situated between the off-leash Original Dog Beach and Fiesta Island in sunny San Diego. The experts here will help you plan your route and get the hang of the basics before letting you loose on the water in beautiful Mission Bay. Rentals start at $25 for 90 minutes and increase by $5 every additional 30 minutes (with or without a pet). Human and dog life jackets are provided free of charge. Before hitting the water, fuel up with a big breakfast from Daybreak Island Grill.

After a day on the water, a visit to the dog wash station at Ocean Villa Inn is a must. Guests who reserve a park side or park view room also have easy access to the hotel’s dog run.

Epic Yoga Flow

Chicago, IL
Enjoying the wet and Windy City. Photo by

Located just north of Chicago’s bustling downtown is the canine oasis of Montrose Dog Beach. While Fido might love frolicking in the sand, why not get out on the water? Dogs of all ages are invited to SUP with Epic Yoga Flow on the calm waters of Lake Michigan. This unique company specializes in all things yoga, both on land and on the water. As well as keeping the good people of Chicago Zen, they offer SUP With Your Pup classes. Lessons include the paddleboard rental, helpful tips on how to stay afloat and a guided tour of the lake. Lessons last roughly an hour and cost $60 per person and dog for a group session, or $120 for a private lesson. Doggy life jackets with handles are required but not provided.

Hotel Lincoln provides the “pawfect” setting for downward dogs to retire for the night.

SUP Kentucky

Lexington, KY
“Come paddleboarding, they said. It’s easy, they said!” Photo by

Exploring Kentucky’s caves and crevices isn’t just for landlubbers. SUP Kentucky offers a variety of eco-friendly tours of the Bluegrass State and the surrounding area on paddleboards. Visit one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state, considered by many to be the Niagara of the South, travel to Grayson Grotto, or try a weekend trip to the Red River Gorge and the eerie caves of Kentucky. SUP Kentucky is mobile but based in Lexington, KY. Hour-long trips are $50 and the three-hour jaunt to Grayson Grotto is $75. Weekend trips start at $300. Prices include group photos and experienced guides, but you need to bring your own doggy life vest.

Spend the night inside Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. Dogs are welcome in cottages and lodge rooms.

South Tahoe Standup Paddle

South Lake Tahoe, CA
SUP, dog? Photo by

Surrounded by the snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe is a year-round tourist destination. During the summer, swap your snowboard for a paddleboard at South Tahoe Standup Paddle. Their dog-friendly Rise and Shine Morning Tour departs daily at 8:30 a.m. and lasts two to three hours. The calm, flat waters are excellent for beginners and provide the perfect canvas to paint a path with your paddle. Glance up and watch for bald eagles or stop for a quick walk with your pooch at the river trailhead. Guided lessons are offered to newbies, and SUP rentals are available for more experienced paddlers. Tours include board rental, paddle, flotation device, leash, guide, tips, and a snack. The price is $87 per person, with a two-person minimum required. Doggy life jackets are not provided.

Large and small dogs are all welcome at The Great Dane Place. This pet-friendly property is fenced all the way around to give pups freedom to roam.

Ohana Surf Project

Honolulu, HI
"Land ahoy!" Photo by

“Ohana” means family in Hawaiian, and Fido is certainly part of the family at Ohana Surf Project. Catch the waves with a qualified SUP instructor in front of Queen’s Surf Beach in Honolulu. You can go solo or take private lessons or group classes that teach basic and advanced SUP techniques. Just south of Honolulu is Waikiki, a tourist paradise that was once home to Hawaiian royalty. Fido can join you on Gray’s (Halekulani) Beach and Royal-Moana Beach, among other pet-friendly beaches. Group SUP lessons start at $60 per person for an hour and $90 for two hours. Private lessons are $120 for one hour and $175 for two hours. Individual rentals start at $30 for up to four hours on the water with your dog. Dogs should bring their own canine life vest.

Say aloha to ocean views at this incredible condo in paradise.

Ayers Creek Adventures

Berlin, MD
Finn is ridin’ solo. Photo by

Berlin's tree-lined streets, Victorian town center and historic homes invite tourists to step back in time. Visit during the summer months when you can enjoy SUPping with your pup along the winding waterways of Ayers Creek. Dog-friendly paddleboard rentals from Ayers Creek Adventures include a brief lesson, a water trail map and a guide to the local wildlife. You can also have your paddleboard dropped off at Sinepuxent Bay, an inland waterway connecting Chincoteague Bay to Isle of Wight Bay. Trips out on the water often include sightings of bald eagles, herons and egrets. Rentals are available for dogs and humans who want to explore on their own, or you can join one of two tours available by request. SUP rentals range from $25 for one hour to $70 for the day. Dogs paddle for free.

When you're back in the historic downtown, reward yourself with a shrimp po’boy at Fins Ale House & Raw Bar before pitching a tent with your pooch at nearby Frontier Town.

Have you tried stand up paddleboarding with your dog? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!