Stand up paddleboarding is exploding in popularity in Minneapolis and St. Paul. With abundant lakes and rivers, the Twin Cities are the perfect location for this new sport.
To get into the sport, you'll need a stand up paddleboard - somewhat similar to an oversized surfboard. And, a paddle - just like a canoe paddle, but longer, so you can reach the water when standing on the board. And a lake (or even a river) to paddle in.
It's very easy to learn. Beginners usually start out with a wide, stable board, and progress to narrower, faster boards as desired. Most new paddlers are confident in less than an hour.
The hurdle for many who want to start the sport is that the equipment can be expensive to purchase. But there are a growing number of Minnesota stand up paddleboard outfitters who will rent you a board for an hour, a day, or a weekend. And retailers have frequent demo days where prospective buyers can try out several boards for free or a nominal fee.
Where to Rent
Here's a listing of local outfitters who sell or rent stand up paddleboards and/or offer tours, classes, and lessons.
- Wai Nani Surf & Paddle, based out of Lake Minnetonka, one of the Twin Cities' longest running full service stand up paddleboard operators offering paddleboard sales, lessons, rentals, SUP fitness, guided excursions, and community.
- Lebanon Hills Regional Park, Eagan/Apple Valley rents stand up paddle boards, and other sporting gear, for use in the park.
- Hi-Tempo Sports in White Bear Lake sells stand up paddleboards and also rents boards by the day.
- Bryant Lake Regional Park, Eden Prairie. Rent a paddleboard for use in the park. Stand up paddleboarding lessons for adults and teenagers are also offered.
- Wheel Fun Rentals rents stand up paddleboards (as well as kayaks and bicycles) from their locations at Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, and Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis, and Lake Phalen in St. Paul.
- Lake SUP, based in the Twin Cities, has a selection of SUP boards for sale. They also offer private lessons at locations across the Twin Cities.
- Tommy's Tonka Trolley in Excelsior has paddleboards, kayaks and other watercraft to rent, plus ice cream for sale.
- The Scuba Center in Minneapolis sells boards and also can arrange rentals.
- Stand Up MN this company offers guided tours by stand up paddleboard on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis or St. Paul. Stand Up MN also caters to the newest incarnation of things to do on a paddleboard by offering yoga lessons on the board.
- Silver Creek Paddle and Company sells stand up paddleboards and holds regular, free, demo days throughout the summer.
- Hoigaards in St. Louis Park has added stand up paddleboards to their huge inventory of sporting goods. A selection of paddleboards for sale, plus paddleboards for rent too.
- REI sporting goods chain carries paddleboards at their Bloomington, Maple Grove, and Roseville stores.
- MN Surf Co. have a showroom with a large selection of paddleboards for sale in Nisswa, MN, and also offer paddleboarding lessons.
- The best price for stand up paddleboard rentals in Minnesota: free. Lake Lodge Recreation Center in Winona has free paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, and other recreation equipment to take out on the lake.