Stand-up Paddleboard Santa Cruz

SUP Santa Cruz


From the issue Cruz on Down


It’s official: stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is here to stay—gaining in both popularity and accessibility thanks to places like Covewater SUP. Whet your curiosity on their Intro to Stand-up Paddling adventure in the Santa Cruz harbor. An expert instructor leads a two-hour tour across mostly calm waters, teaching the basics of the paddle. Launching from the southern end, cruise past sunning harbor seals, regal blue herons, and yachts to rival St. Tropez. Pause to practice a "smart turn"—an easy swivel move that gets you paddling back in the direction you came—and nose up to the storybook Walton lighthouse sitting atop the oblong rocks that shape the shore. Enjoy views all the way out to Monterey's Moss Landing. If you fall in the water? Meh. Wetsuits (provided when chilly) will keep you toasty and buoyant. Want proof that you’re now SUP-savvy? Your instructor uses a waterproof camera to capture your best action shots. All of Covewater’s "students" are bid farewell with pictures and a T-shirt keepsake. Two thumbs SUP!

TIP: After quenching your thirst for adventure, toast the day with a glass of wine at Le Cigare Volant, the spaceship-inspired restaurant and tasting room for Bonny Doon Vineyard. The wines at this barnyard-meets-flying-saucer venue feature metal screw-tops, each printed with alien insignia. On Sunday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Roswell happy hour offers 51 percent off glasses of wine—in honor of Area 51. Far out.

Covewater SUP (831-600-7230) is located at 726 Water St. in Santa Cruz. Here are class schedules. The Intro to SUP class is $59 for a two-hour lesson and includes a T-shirt & photos. Wetsuits and swim shirts provided on colder days. Tours are typically six to eight people. Le Cigare Volant (831-425-6771) is located at 328 Ingalls St. in Santa Cruz.

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