Words by Jason Paul

It's no secret that traveling with an inflatable SUP is a serious game changer. Thanks to their extreme packability, iSUPs are giving adventure seekers an exciting new range of exploration opportunities. From remote island locations to previously-inaccessible backcountry spots and everything in between, paddlers are packing up their inflatable paddleboards and venturing out like never before.

Whether you're entertaining the idea of buying an inflatable SUP or are already a seasoned international explorer with several paddling trips under your belt, this article will give you some exciting new travel ideas to consider for the year ahead.

So without further ado, let's get to our list...

#1: Cerro Brujo, Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a frequent addition to the bucket lists of globetrotting paddlers.  Their unique natural history, variety of species and landscape blend together to make it an explorer's paradise. For paddlers, Cerro Brujo offers cobalt tinted shallow water with low wind and plenty of wildlife.  While Galapagos still serves up a pristine picture of nature, the islands have been heavily developed to accommodate the vast number of tourists. Despite this, Cerro Brujo still maintains a sense of wonder and discovery for adventurous standup paddlers. 

Iceland is a scenic paddling destination unlike any other. Photo: Kien Thompson

#2: Silfra, Iceland

Beautiful Iceland offers an amazing variety of paddling opportunities. One such example is Silfra -- the only place in the world where you can dive, snorkel or standup paddle between two continental plates.  A small stretch of water that splits the gap between the North American and European Continents, Silfra is known for having the clearest water on the planet. On a good day, you'll enjoy visibility of up to 1000 feet.  The chilly water in Silfra is fed by groundwater springs where each drop passes through lava fields and as a result, it's one of the last places on earth where you can drink untreated water without fear of illness.

 

#3: Canadian Wilderness (by helicopter)

Helicopter pilots have long since left the beaten track across Western Canada in search of more.  Today, heliskiers Bodi Shandro and Mike Weigel are using “heliSUPing” to access lakes so remote they remain unnamed.  Equipped with inflatable SUPs, paddlers are dropped by helicopter and led through an unforgettable guided tour of the surrounding wilderness.  Flanked by glacial waterfalls, mountain meadows and towering peaks, heliSUP is a great option for those seeking maximum adventure without breaking the bank.

Living the dream in Fiji Photo: ISA/Ben Reed

#4: Namotu Island, Natadola Bay (surfing), Fiji

Fiji is home to some of the most beautiful seascapes around the globe and it's one of the best surf destinations in the South Pacific. Often dwarfed by neighboring Tahiti in French Polynesia and Bali in Indonesia, Fiji retains much of its historic charm.  Namotu Island is home to a fledgling resort which offers guided SUP surfing tours and the swell tends to pick up more consistently during Fiji's "cool" season which runs from April to October. For beginners and intermediate SUP surfers, November to March provides an ideal window for modest swells and glassy conditions. Whether you're SUP surfing or flatwater paddling, there's plenty to see and enjoy in Fiji.

#5: Antarctica: Far from SUP's origins in Hawaii's Waikiki, Antarctica may be the most remote SUP destination on the globe.  One of the first guiding services to offer SUP tours in Antarctic waters, Quark Expeditions is helping to revolutionize adventure travel by offering easy access to both the North and South Poles.  Definitely not your typical SUP excursion, paddleboarding in Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience one of the world's most remote destinations.

About the Author: Paddling enthusiast and editor-in-chief at InflatableBoarder.com, Jason is a paddling enthusiast and avid world traveler. He resides in beautiful Panama with his wife and two small children. If you have questions about inflatable SUPs, you'll find him on Instagram.

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