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a man enjoys paddleboarding victoria at sunset.

Paddleboarding Victoria: Explore our Serene Waters

Are you ready to embark on a deep dive into the world of paddleboarding Victoria, BC? Well, prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure through the Garden City’s picturesque landscapes.

Paddleboarding offers the perfect opportunity to explore the tranquil waters surrounding Vancouver Island while connecting with nature.

In this article, we’ll uncover the best spots, provide tips for beginners, and immerse ourselves in the beauty of this unique experience.

Paddleboarding Victoria: A Closer Look

Paddleboarding, also known as stand-up paddleboarding or SUPing, is a popular water activity that combines elements of surfing and canoeing. Unlike traditional surfing, paddleboarding involves standing on a stable board and propelling yourself forward with a paddle.

With the stunning backdrop of Victoria, BC, this activity allows you to soak in the region’s natural beauty while enjoying a full-body workout during the warm Victoria summer.



Related: Victoria Kayak Tours: Explore the Coastal Beauty

The Benefits of Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding offers a multitude of benefits for both physical and mental well-being. Here are a few reasons why you should consider paddleboarding in Victoria:

  1. Full-body workout: Engage your core, arms, and legs as you navigate the waters, providing great cardiovascular exercise.
  2. Connecting with nature: Immerse yourself in the serene surroundings of Vancouver Island, taking in the fresh air and scenic vistas.
  3. Improved balance and coordination: Stand-up paddleboarding challenges your balance and coordination skills, enhancing overall stability.
  4. Stress relief: Glide across the calm waters, letting go of everyday worries and finding peace in the present moment.
  5. Accessible to all fitness levels: Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner, paddleboarding can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels.
  6. Social Interaction: If you elect to take an organized Victoria paddleboarding tour, you’ll meet a host of like-minded, active people just like yourself.

Related: The Top Things to Do in Victoria in 2024

Victoria Paddleboarding Tours

If you’re hesitant to get started, I’d recommend taking part in an organized Victoria paddleboarding tour. All of the necessary equipment will be provided, and you’ll get a quick lesson from an expert local guide.

This makes the tours a great option for beginners and experienced SUP’ers alike. Not to mention, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the waters of different parts of the Capital Regional District with a group of like-minded friends. Related: The 13 Best Victoria City Tours

a group paddleboards through the gorge waterway outside of victoria, bc.

SUP’Xperience the Gorge Waterway Park – The Best Victoria Paddleboarding Tour

Meetup Point: Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club | Duration: 2 hours | Price: From $55.00 CAD

Ready to kick-start your day with a splash? Well, we’ve got a paddleboarding adventure lined up for you along Victoria’s tranquil Gorge Waterway northwest of downtown. You’re not going to want to miss this!

Picture this: you, gliding smoothly over the serene waters, surrounded by glorious maple trees and graceful weeping willows. It’s just as magical as it sounds. But don’t sweat if you’re new to this. You’ll receive a quick and easy lesson to get you up and running (or, should we say, paddling?) in no time!

After you’ve got the hang of things, it’s time to explore the beauty of the waterway at your own pace. It’s more than just a ride; it’s a chance to drink in the beauty of nature. But remember, it’s not a race! Take your time, let the beauty of the scenery sink in, and enjoy the ride.


  • Boards, Paddles, Life jackets and Dry Bags
  • 15-minute pre-trip instructional lesson
  • Complimentary coffee or tea at the halfway point at Bakeology Café


Related: The Best Day Trips from Victoria

a group enjoys paddleboarding victoria on the paddling thetis lake tour.

Paddling Thetis Lake – The Best Paddleboarding Victoria Tour For Beginners

Meetup Point: Lower Thetis Lake Trail | Duration: 2 – 3 hours | Price: From $80.00 CAD

If you’re new to this awesome sport, don’t fret! Getting your board in the water and standing up might seem a tad daunting, but with a few tips and some practice, you’ll be cruising along like it’s a piece of cake. This is the perfect place for beginners to learn how to paddle in the calm water of the lake.

So, get ready for an exciting adventure as you explore beautiful Thetis Lake. This place is a total gem, one of the coolest spots in the Capital Region Lake Parks. Families just can’t get enough of it, thanks to its stunning sandy beach. Your journey will kick off from the main beach, gliding up to the upper lake.

Along the way, you’ll take a break for lunch right there on the water. You can chow down on your sandwiches and snacks while chilling on your boards or even on the rocks. You can also take a dip in the water and splash around till your heart’s content. So, get ready for a day of epic fun on the water, my friend.


  • Paddleboarding equipment, including life jackets and dry bags
  • Instructional lessons
  • *snacks and sandwiches not included


Related: The Best Victoria Whale Watching Tours


Where to Paddleboard in Victoria

Victoria boasts a variety of breathtaking locations that are perfect for paddleboarding enthusiasts. Here are some of the top spots to explore:

Inner Harbour

The Inner Harbour in downtown Victoria offers a fantastic starting point for paddleboarding adventures. Launch your board from the marina and paddle along the scenic coastline, passing iconic landmarks such as the British Columbia Legislature and the Empress Hotel. Feel the cool breeze as you soak up the bustling atmosphere of this vibrant city. Just be aware of the pickle boats and seaplanes!

The Gorge Waterway

The Gorge Waterway is a stunning body of water that stretches from the Selkirk Trestle to the picturesque Portage Inlet, offering a serene and scenic route for paddleboarding adventures. As you glide along the calm waters you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking views of lush greenery, charming waterfront homes, and the occasional sighting of diverse wildlife.

Thetis Lake

Escape the city’s hustle and bustle by venturing to Thetis Lake, just outside Victoria. This peaceful lake is surrounded by lush forests and offers a tranquil setting for paddleboarding. Explore the hidden coves, admire the reflections of towering trees on the water’s surface, and revel in the serenity that nature provides.

Esquimalt Lagoon

Discover the beauty of Esquimalt Lagoon, a stunning coastal area renowned for its abundant birdlife. Paddle along the calm waters, listening to the soothing sounds of nature and observing the diverse avian species that call this area home. Don’t forget your camera, as you may have the opportunity to capture some incredible wildlife shots.

a man enjoys paddleboarding in victoria at sunset.

Paddleboarding Victoria Tips

Remember, paddleboarding is all about having fun and enjoying the water, so take your time, stay relaxed, and embrace the learning process. Here is a quick list of paddleboarding tips for beginners:

  • Start in calm and sheltered waters such as Thetis Lake or the Gorge to practice and build your confidence.
  • Begin on your knees to stabilize yourself before standing up on the board.
  • Be mindful of weather conditions, including wind and currents, before heading out.
  • Wear a personal flotation device (PFD) for safety, especially if you’re a beginner.
  • Take breaks and hydrate to stay refreshed and energized during your paddleboarding session.
  • Hold the paddle with one hand on the handle and the other hand slightly down the shaft.
  • Use your core muscles to paddle, engaging your whole body for better efficiency.
  • Look ahead and maintain a straight posture to improve stability and control.
  • Start as part of a Victoria paddleboarding tour.

If you partake in a Victoria paddleboarding tour, all of the tips above will be reinforced as part of your safety demonstration and tutorial. For this reason, this is our recommended method of paddleboarding Victoria for beginners.

Victoria Paddleboarding FAQs

To get started with paddleboarding, you will need a paddleboard, a paddle, a leash, and a personal flotation device (PFD). It’s important to wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and don’t forget sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. These items can be rented independently or provided as part of a Victoria paddleboarding tour.
While paddleboarding is a popular activity in Victoria, BC, the ideal season for paddleboarding is during the warmer months from May to September. During this time, the weather is more favourable, and the waters are generally calmer. However, some experienced paddlers continue to enjoy the sport year-round.
Yes, there are several rental shops in Victoria that offer paddleboard rentals. They provide all the necessary equipment, including boards, paddles, and safety gear. Some even offer guided tours, which are great for beginners or those who want to explore the area with an experienced instructor.
Yes, there are a variety of organized Victoria paddleboarding tours on offer. For beginners, these tours are highly recommended to learn this surprisingly demanding sport. The SUP’Experience the Gorge Waterway and Paddling Thetis Lake tours are also beginner-friendly due to their calmer, more protected setting.
More experienced SUP’ers prefer the more exposed waters of Cadboro Bay, Oak Bay, the Inner Harbour and Esquimalt Lagoon. However, beginners would be better off learning to paddle in the more protected waters of the Gorge Waterway and Thetis Lake.


Ready to enjoy the beauty of Paddleboarding Victoria?

Paddleboarding Victoria presents an incredible opportunity to explore the natural wonders of Vancouver Island while engaging in a thrilling and rewarding water sport.

Whether you’re a seasoned paddleboarder or a beginner looking to try something new, Victoria offers a variety of stunning locations to suit all skill levels.

So grab your board, embrace the adventure, and let the tranquil waters guide you on an unforgettable journey paddleboarding through this picturesque Canadian paradise.

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