Paddleboarding & Windsurfing in Miami

paddle board

Finding balance on a paddle board


Paddleboarding in Coconut Grove

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By: Jennifer Agress

Miami’s Biscayne Bay is for more than just yachting

In a city bordered by water, paddleboarding (SUP) and windsurfing are the norm. If you’re not familiar with either sport, SUP is a boardsport where riders stand up on a large board, slightly thicker than a surfboard, and use a paddle to gently move through the water. Windsurfing, on the other hand, is a form of sailing where a sail is attached to a board, and the board whips through the water powered by wind and waves. In addition to being a great workout, SUP and windsurfing are actually beautiful ways to see Miami—especially from the calm waters of Biscayne Bay, where you can catch a glimpse of the Miami Beach, Downtown Miami and Brickell Key skylines while you glide past.

While windsurfing became an official Olympic sport in 1984, paddleboarding took a little longer to gain worldwide acclaim. In fact, it didn’t even become popular in the United States until 2004. Now, go out on the water in South Florida, especially in Virginia Key and Key Biscayne, and you’ll find both SUP and windsurfing everywhere.

Want to try them for yourself? In Miami, there are plenty of shops that rent stand up paddleboards and windsurfing equipment to beginners and experts alike. Read below to find out the best places to get that equipment, and more importantly, where to go once you do.

Miami Beach Paddleboard

Located right on the water in Sunset Harbor, Miami Beach Paddleboard has paddleboards available for rent. Experienced paddleboarders are on staff to give you instruction if you need it, and you have the option of either going out on your own ($30/1 hour) or hopping on a guided tour. For a unique experience, sign up for one of the nightly Sunset Neon Tours. For 90 minutes, this tour will take you on a guided paddle around Biscayne Bay at dusk, on an LED-lit paddleboard that illuminates the water five feet below and 15 feet out. These tours cost $65 per person, and include a board, a leash, a life vest, a paddle and a brief overview by your tour guide about how to safely navigate your board. Miami Beach Paddleboard also has kayaks available for rent. 1701 Sunset Harbor Drive, Shop C-102, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Miami Watersports

Go windsurfing with Miami Watersports, which has two locations: one on Rickenbacker Causeway and one in Dinner Key Marina, in Coconut Grove. Here, you can choose from standard or performance boards, and go out on Biscayne Bay on your own or take a lesson. Rentals are available by the hour, every four hours or every ten hours. Standard board rentals cost $65/1 hour, $195/4 hours or $390/10 hours, and performance board rentals cost $79/1 hour, $240/4 hours or $480/10 hours. For avid windsurfers and adrenaline seekers, full-year memberships and add-ons are also available. While windsurfing is one of its most popular activities, Miami Watersports actually caters to a whole roster of watersports. Watersports enthusiasts can rent parasailing, jet skiing, flyboard, tubing, paddleboarding and even Hobie Cat equipment. 1 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL 33149 and 3400 Pan American Drive, Pier 9 (Slip 24), Miami, FL 33133

The Virginia Key Outdoor Center

The Virginia Key Outdoor Center, located within Virginia Key Beach North Point Park, offers plenty of ways for Miami residents and visitors to get on the water—including a long list of paddleboard activities. You can rent two types of boards, kids’ boards ($15/1 hour) and standard boards ($30/1 hour), and even get lessons for beginners. There is also paddleboard yoga, sunset and moonlit paddleboarding and even an opportunity to go out on a bioluminescent “new moon” paddle, where you can glide across the water at night, while glow-in-the-dark plankton naturally illuminate it.

Discounts are available for two- or four-hour and full-day rentals. The Virginia Key Outdoor Center also rents out single and double kayaks, bicycles and water safety equipment. Hours vary throughout the year and can be found here. 3801 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, Florida 33149

Tips for Begginers

  • Choose a wider and longer board, as they offer more stability.
  • To stand up on the board, start on your knees and gently push yourself up, one foot at a time.
  • Once you balance yourself, use one paddle to sweep your paddleboard across the surface of the water.
  • For safety reasons, the U.S. Coast Guard requires all paddleboarders to wear life vests while paddling.

Read More:

Miami's Boating and Sailing Guide
Things To Do In Coconut Grove
Life in the Water, Miami's Boat Tours and Water Parks
Things To Do In Key Biscayne


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