#27. Wilmington, North Carolina
Wilmington is not a place per se, it’s more of a term for the Cape Fear Coast which stretches from Topsail Island down to Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Bald Head Island and Holden Beach.
The great thing about SUPping in North Carolina is that there’s surf, flatwater, wildlife and always some good company to paddle with.
The culmination of the Cape Fear paddling community is without a doubt Wrightsville Beach, where massive paddle board events such as the Cold Stroke Classic, the Surf2Sound Challenge and the Carolina Cup are held.
Whether you are a beginner or a badass, there’s a place for paddling in Wilmington.
The barrier islands offer secluded surf breaks, protected flatwater, wildlife, fishing and one of the most welcoming paddle communities around.
The best way to get into a paddle community is through one of the meetup groups or through Facebook where you’ll always find someone in Wilmington to take you out and show you the sights on the water.
The Carolina Cup itself has a gruelling race which sees the world’s best stand up paddle boarders competing in the Graveyard Course.
(Credit: Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club)
The elite Graveyard course is not the only event here though, there’s a kids race, a recreational “Harbor Island” race and the Money Island open race.
There’s plenty of stuff going on in the five-day event, so don’t be deterred by the level of the competition.
Of course, the Carolina Cup is the peak of SUPing in Wrightsville Beach. The beautiful flatwater of the southern North Carolina waterways and pristine Atlantic Ocean are all excellent paddle board spots.
There’s also plenty of other beaches where the waves are great for SUPing. With local guides such as the instructors at WrightsvilleSUP finding a perfect spot for any tide or weather, there’s virtually a perfect place to paddle board any day of the year.
(Travis Pano at Wrightsville Beach, Credit: Wrightsville Beach Paddle Board)
If you’re looking for something truly different, you might want to check out the Night SUP tours, where you’ll experience a whole new perspective on paddle boarding.
Wrightsville beach is truly a perfect paddle board getaway for paddlers of any level.