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Sports & Play

Stand up paddling in Toronto

Posted by Guest Contributor / July 22, 2012

Stand Up Paddling TorontoAlthough there's a small community of surfers who hit up Toronto beaches when the water gets choppy, a far more common sight is that of the stand up paddler (SUP). Using a SUP is slightly different than traditional surfing in that you don't need waves, you don't need to pop up and you should start out not standing sideways, but rather with both feet facing toward the front of the board, shoulder with apart.

If you fall off using a SUP, it is easiest to get to your knees first, then put one foot on the board, followed by the opposite foot, instead of using a surfing pop up approach. Those are some of the basics. If you really want to make the most of your summer and want to get wet as a paddler, you'll want to contact Toronto beaches organizations such as Surf Ontario or SUP Girlz for lessons and to get equipment.

Being in the water you will instantly feel that calm of being in the water at the cottage, or if it is a wavy day, the stoke of catching a wave, either way it is money well spent. The best places to SUP in the city are Ashbridge's Bay, Woodbine and Kew Beach, though Bluffer's Park and Cherry Beach are also good options.

Stand Up Paddling (SUP), can be done year round with the right equipment. From board shorts on a warm sunny day to a 6mm wetsuit that can get you through sub zero temperatures on the lake, it's easy to get set up for a paddle in most weather that we get on Lake Ontario.

The surf and SUP organizations of Toronto have events happening all summer long, which have a great community spirit about them. Surf Ontario and SUPGirlz also give workshops all summer long and into the fall. These workshops are not only fun, and rejuvenating, but will help you find your technique while enjoying the health benefits in a natural outdoor environment.


SUP for MS August 3-6, 2012
Now in its 3rd year, the SUP 4 MS is a fundraising Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) journey across Lake Ontario from Hamilton to Toronto. The event is the brainchild of Mike Sandusky and Grant Kennedy of Surf Ontario. At 65kms and 12-16 hours of paddling, it is a test of will and athletic endurance. It's open to all SUP paddlers, as again there are shorter support legs of 2km, 10km, and 30km. We all paddle together and finish together. It's a truly inspiring and memorable event.

Canada Cup SUP Race August 18th, 2012
Featuring relays, a battle of the paddle, and a post-surfing barbecue, this is a big one for SUP enthusiasts. Elite and Open Categories. Frenchman's Bay, Pickering, Lake Ontario.

Aloha Toronto August 24 - 26, 2012
Another event you'll want to mark on you calendar is Aloha Toronto, August 24-26, 2012. Aloha Toronto will kick off with a White Party and an Luau Party at Woodbine Beach Toronto. Along with the surfing events, there will be an elite, celebrity and leisure Stand Up Paddle (SUP) challenge, classic films, DJs and live entertainment.

Writing by Bradley Van Rooi



Dan / July 22, 2012 at 07:38 pm
Might it be helpful for other readers if you guys were able to link to any reviews on SUP rentals in addition to events? Thanks!
Vadim / July 22, 2012 at 09:47 pm
Dan, there are two companies that rent SUPs. The first one is Exclusive Sport Rentals ( The second company is Harbourfront Kayak and Canoe Centre (

If you live closer to Lake Ontario then Paddle Toronto is the place to go to, if on the other hand, you want to rent the SUP and take it to any other water, then Exclusive Sport Rentals is for you.

I agree, a review to the companies that rent SUP equipment in Toronto would be helpful.
sally / July 23, 2012 at 08:11 am
You can rent and/or buy boards from The Complete Paddler.
They are also offering a beginnger's course at the end of July.
jer / July 23, 2012 at 10:26 am
Was down at Cherry Beach yesterday before the T&T Night market. Amazed how many paddlers there were out and about. Never noticed them before.
John Helfrich / August 5, 2012 at 09:53 am
Regarding SUP Rentals, we rent SUP boards by the hour, right at Kew/Balmy Beach (Maclean Ave at Hubbard Blvd) in the Toronto Beaches.

So does Wsup, in pretty much the same location.

On another note, Aloha Toronto will have SUP beginners clinics on August 25, at Woodbine Beach. Hope to see you there!
Mark Lastman / September 15, 2012 at 11:07 pm
Rented the nash sup from exclusive sport rentals. Great board, and wonderful service from that young and ambitious company.
PSP / January 17, 2013 at 03:56 am
Rentals, lessons and equipment sales are also available from in the GTA. Delivery included in rentals depending on location.
Kelly / April 24, 2013 at 11:14 pm
There's a great new SUP business between Peterborough and Lakefield, Ontario. They do lesson and also rent and sell boards. Its a really beautiful area and the lakes are perfect for stand up paddle boarding in the Kawartha Lakes.
John / April 29, 2013 at 08:18 pm
Once again this year SUPsurf will have boards for rent at it's location near Kew/Balmy Beach. But we'll also have delivery to other locations for groups of 4 or more. No commercial activity is allowed on the Beach itself, so we rent from our home location just half a block from the water. All reservations and payments are done online at See you on the water this summer!
Vicki Chu / May 1, 2013 at 03:03 pm

Anyone rented from Exclusive Sport Rentals before?
Janna / May 23, 2013 at 07:55 pm
HI all,
We've been in the beaches longest, have the most experienced instructors, best schedule for classes, and lots of different boards for you to try and rent. O and we are the only ones to offer night classes with your lights under the boards too! Come see us soon!
Sarah L / May 17, 2014 at 08:41 am
I tried paddleboarding with SUP Girlz. That was not a pleasant first-time, learning experience. My friends and I bought a lesson from Groupon last summer. The instructor was impatient and irritable - she condescendingly reprimanded me for bumping into the rocks even though I didn't even see the rock and was really trying to avoid these with my entire life. She got very short and embarrassingly called out my friend who had her paddle faced the wrong way when she was training us on land prior to going into the water (an honest mistake and my friend was paying dire attention since the air was thick with disdain and crabbiness already). Maybe the instructor is used to working with advanced paddleboarders. Frankly, I think she shouldn't even be an instructor because she lacks the patience and doesn't seem to enjoy instructing. And, you only got to paddleboard within this really tight square of water, so people just got to paddle back and forth eight times. It was quite a different experience from my sister's first paddleboarding experience. I think she went with one of the harborfront paddleboarding/canoe rental places and she got an introductory lesson where the instructors were really nice and fun, and she also got to independently roam the lake with her friend for three hours. It was double the price of what I paid with SUP Girls but unlike me, she had a lot of fun. Don't waste your money with SUP Girlz if you're a first timer. If you want your first-time to be a bootcamp session and you only want to paddleboard three metres back and forth and get yelled out, I highly recommend SUP Girlz!
Janna / August 3, 2014 at 01:39 pm
SUPGirlz does rentals too. The people from the other companies (other then SUPGirlz and Surf Ontario) are not surfers and will not be able to teach you how to surf the boards, no matter what their company name might be.
Steve / September 9, 2014 at 12:03 am
Boardsports has been in the SUP business since 2006.

During the summer, we offer FREE introductory SUP demos - weekly.

We have certified SUP instructors on staff that are always happy to give you some helpful pointers.

We have hundreds of boards in stock from the best brands in the industry - Naish, Surftech, Jimmy Lewis, Amundson, Fanatic, Dawn Patrol, Boardworks, Laird and more. We have a Lowest Price Guarantee. And a Performance Guarantee.

Buy and/or sell used SUP boards at our Monthly Swap Meets.

Expert board repairs.

Shipping across Canada. Or pick up in store and we will secure your board to your car.

Open 7 days/week all year.

For more info, or to shop online, check out:

Boardsports Toronto
2010 Yonge Street (5 blocks south of Eglinton - Free Parking)
Lukas / October 20, 2014 at 10:09 pm
Crossing Lake Ontario by SUP

Paddling alone across Lake Ontario from St. Catharines to Toronto. Almost 20 hours on the water, 80 kilometers, and 39 hours without sleep. It was wild and it was beautiful. I truly reached the end of the horizon...

If interested, here is the full account of this yourney:
Other Cities: Montreal