Beginner’s Guide to Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in Santa Cruz

Stand up paddle boarder at Natural Bridges

Stand-up paddle boarding is creating waves.

As one of the fastest growing water sports in the world, Santa Cruz locals interested in having a little adventure on the water need look no further than in their very own backyard.

In the last several years, stand-up paddle boarding has become increasingly popular. With roots in the Hawaiian and Polynesian Islands, stand-up paddle boarding has been around since the 1960’s but made it’s way to the coast of California in 2000.

It’s popularity has sky rocketed, partly because it is fairly easy to learn–within an hour of practice most people can manage to make their way through calm waters.

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Classic Beach Hangout: Seabright Beach

Seabright Beach

Seabright is the valedictorian of Santa Cruz beaches.

You know that kid who is just good at everything? Star of the basketball team and academic success, who aces the SAT, and somehow manages to look cool doing it?

Yup, that’s Seabright.

Seabright delivers on everything important in a beach. While it may not have the flashy attractions of the boardwalk or the unique wildlife of natural bridges, Seabright might just be the best classic beach hangout in town.

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Beaches and Bridges and Butterflies, Oh My!

Natural Bridges State Beach

Natural Bridges State Beach (Photo credit: karma17)

Looking for a great spot to watch the sunset, play in the waves, or see some local wildlife?

Natural Bridges State Beach is one of the best spots in Santa Cruz for doing all three.

As you watch the sun dip beneath the water, you might just spot a whale or a group of sea otters playing in the kelp.  If you are visiting during the day, head over to the tide pools or the eucalyptus grove full of monarch butterflies.

During the fall and winter months, you can see the thousands of migrating monarch butterflies that make Natural Bridges a famous destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

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