Can You Paddle Board In Austin In The Winter?
Paddle boarding in Austin is a really big deal. Since there’s a beautiful body of water in the heart of Austin (Lady Bird Lake, although old-timers in Austin call it “Town Lake”), you can pretty much see people paddle boarding (SUP = Stand Up Paddleboard) or kayaking any time you’re walking on the trail around the lake. But can you paddle board in Austin in the winter?
Can You Paddle Board In Austin In The Winter?
Yes, you can 100% paddle board in Austin in the winter. You’ll see paddlers on Lady Bird Lake 365 days per year (even on the random cold, snowy days we get here…) and it’s a very popular activity! The calm water, gorgeous views of the Downtown Austin skyline, and mild Texas weather make Austin one of the best places to paddle board in the winter.
Keep in mind that Austin weather REALLY fluctuates in the winter months. (If you’re visiting soon, see this guide for how to dress in the Austin winters...the key word is layers.) So while the lake is open for paddle boarders and you definitely can SUP in Austin in the cooler months, you might not necessarily want to. But it’s an option, if you’re feeling kind of crazy.
But (BUT!)....there are plenty of warm, beautiful, 80-degree days in the Austin winters. They hit a bit randomly, so you’ll just have to keep checking that weather app to see when the sunshine is going to appear. It might be a high of 35° one day and 75° the next. So if you’re coming to Austin from a cold climate and you have your heart set on paddle boarding in Austin, even though it’s wintertime, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to do that.
What To Wear When You Paddle Board In The Winter
Well, pretty obvious..but dress for the weather. Some Austin winter days are sunny and 85 and people will be out there in bikinis. However, if you're hoping to get out on the lake on a 40-degree cloudy morning, you should probably wear athleisure and sneakers. Consider longer leggings or tights and a water-resistant jacket.
All About Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake (or formerly known as Town Lake) isn’t just a body of water in Austin…it literally embodies the Austin way of life. People use this section of the dammed-off Colorado River for all types of recreational activities! There’s never a day in a week when the lake is empty. It’s busy every day with both local Austinites and tourists (and it’s especially packed in the summer months.)
This lake has a long boardwalk trail, which you can read all about right here. Lady Bird Lake is surrounded by the downtown Austin skyline on one side and Zilker Park/Auditorium Shores on the other. This stunning river-like reservoir is a terrific place to spend a day on the water via kayak, canoe, or…SUP! A lot of folks also love to walk, jog, run and bike along the trail that goes around the lake.
Where To Rent Paddle Boards In Austin
Here are a few of the best places to rent SUP in Austin. Keep in mind that there are other options if you’re looking to go to Lake Austin or Lake Travis. The following are good rental companies located on Lady Bird Lake.
Rent Stand up paddleboards for $25/hour, Canoes for $30/hour,
Pedal Kayak $30/hour and Kayaks for $20 to $25 /hour
They offer a parking lot, a nearby parking garage, and nearby street parking.
Rowing Dock is one of the best places in Austin to hire a stand-up paddle board (SUP), a kayak, or a canoe. In addition to do-it-yourself rentals, they also provide four distinct guided kayak tours, all of which can be scheduled online. These tours are 2 to 3.5-hours and are led by engaging local guides. One fun thing about Rowing Dock is that they have a unique monthly self-guided Full Moon Paddle where you can experience golden hour and night paddling on the lake, which is pretty magical.
Paddleboard for $14/hour or $34/day, Single Kayak for $10/hour or $24/day, Double Kayak for $10/hour or $24/day
They have free vehicle parking in their small shared parking lot and plenty of secure bicycle parking. (It’s recommended to park in a designated parking spot only to avoid a ticket and/or being towed.)
EpicSUP blends Austin's breathtaking, iconic beauty with the thrill of standup paddleboarding and kayaking. If you’re looking for high quality kayaks, boards, and paddles, you can find them at EpicSUP. It’s located close to the east end of the Austin Boardwalk, so it’s on a much more serene portion of Lady Bird Lake than the busy tourist section near the congress bridge.
Paddleboard for $15 per hour, $35 all day (weekdays), $20 per hour, $40 all day! (weekends)
SUP ATX is the largest stand-up paddle board company in the world (with 400 SUP ATX Boards available!) and you can rent them for use! It’s situated along Lady Bird Lake on athe hike and bike trail between Mopac and Lamar Blvd. The main goal of SUP ATX is to popularize stand-up paddleboarding on lakes, rivers, and oceans all around the world, and the folks here are really passionate about paddle boarding. If you’re a hardcore SUPer and you want some really skilled and knowledgeable staff helping you out, this a great paddle board rental company in Austin to consider.
Live Love Paddle
Single for $10/ hour, Tandem for $15/hour, Paddle Board for $15/hour, Canoe for $20/hour, and NuCanoes for $60 ½ day (3 hours)
Single for $15/ hour, Tandem for $20/hour, Paddle Board for $20/hour, Canoe for $25/hour
They offer free parking - even a free parking garage!
Located on Lady Bird Lake near the boardwalk, Live Love Paddle offers canoe and paddle board rental services as well as single-person and tandem kayaks. Along with their sporting equipment rentals, they also specialize in Lady Bird Lake activities, with a particular emphasis on our renowned kayak trips for seeing bats. They also provide corporate team-building events, overnight river trips for campers, all-day kayaking trips down nearby rivers, and a recently introduced two-hour Urban Kayaking Tour of Downtown Austin.
Austin Rowing Club
Hourly rentals for Single and double kayaks and Stand-up paddleboards
There is NO PARKING at the boathouse, but you can park along downtown streets, or the Convention Center garage.
The oldest rowing club in Texas is Austin Rowing Club (ARC), offering rentals for rowing, kayak, and stand-up paddleboards (SUP), as well as kayak tours conducted by skilled guides. Whether you’re a tourist or a resident, come take advantage of Lady Bird Lake's beautiful scenery while enjoying one of Austin's most popular outdoor activities. They offer hourly rentals of kayaks (single and double) and SUP seven days a week.
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