Jupiter, Florida is an amazing place to explore, especially on the water. Paddle boarding in Jupiter is probably the best, and most popular ways to explore all of the quiet, diverse and beautiful estuaries. Jupiter is a small seaside town just north of busy West Palm Beach but still has a ton of natural area and natural waterways. The intracoastal waterway passes through Jupiter and intersects with the Jupiter inlet and the mouth of the Loxahatchee river making it a super diverse and unique environment.
On the incoming tides you get super clear blue water flowing in from the Atlantic ocean, past the Jupiter lighthouse, and north up the intracoastal or west up the Loxahatchee river making for some spectacular paddling. The end of the outgoing tide makes most of the waterways around the inlet brown and murky with sediment rich water.
The SUP (standup paddling) scene is pretty diverse here with mostly recreational flatwater standup paddlers but also SUP surfing, racing, and even fishing or spearfishing off a paddleboard. I have been lucky enough to be involved with each of these types of paddleboarding.
There is so much to see and do while paddling around Jupiter and a ton of different spots to launch from. My favorite spot is Coral Cove on the intracoastal side where the water is clear most of the time. You can also put in at Burt Reynolds Park, Sawfish Park, and Jupiter Inlet Park right next to Guanabanas restaurant. If you are recreationally paddling you can launch from any of these spots and grab lunch or a drink on your way from a number of waterfront restaurants. I recommend Guanabanas on the inside waterways across from Burt Reynolds Park or U-tiki and Square Grouper on the inlet side. You can also reach dive bar if you head south on the ICW and turn left into the Jupiter Yacht Marina. If you want to continue along the social scene and you are paddling on a nice weekend day head north past coral cove and check out all the boats anchored off the sandbar up there. You’ll know you are there when you see a bunch of young girls in bikinis dancing to the loud music pumping from the boat’s speakers.
Wherever you launch from make sure you head by Jupiter Lighthouse and explore that area. A lot of times you can see a ton of fish, manatees, even dolphin or a sea turtle- if you are really lucky. Watch out for the heavy currents from the tides especially around the inlet. If you find yourself paddling against a hard current try heading off to the sides of the channel and straight for a structure where you can catch an eddie that will help push you along.
The race scene in South Florida is pretty big and growing. There is usually a weekly Tuesday night race hosted by Blueline Surf Shop starting and finishing in the back of Guanabanas restaurant. This race is super fun and friendly. If you don’t have a race board it’s no problem. You can rent one from Jupiter Paddleboarding or just use any other board. Race Training is awesome around Jupiter. The changing conditions and beautiful scenery keeps you entertained through your training sessions. The strong currents gives you great practice powering against it and teaches you to use the natural eddies and water movements to your advantage.
SUP surfing is another fun growing sport especially in South Florida where the waves rarely get too big. The best spots to go in Jupiter for standup paddle surfing is either Loggerhead Park (the Civic Center) or Coral Cove if you are experienced. Civic Center is mostly a sand bottom and mushy outside break. Coral Cove is rocks, coral, and sand making for a steeper wave and mostly all lefts. On a North or Northeast swell you can get some epic rides at Coral Cove. Just watch out for the surfers and use proper surf etiquette!
There are two other unique spots that not many people go to for recreational paddleboarding. One is Jonathon Dickinson State Park, a huge wildlife area that the Loxahatchee river flows through. They even hold a fun race every year called the Loxahatchee river race. The other spot is River Bend park. You can launch your board at River Bend in the fresh waters of the head of the Loxahatchee river. Make sure you have good balance if you go here because you are sure to see a gator or two and maybe a water moccasin. I’m told they wont bother you but I make sure my feet are glued to the board. It’s challenging too because after passing under a few cool little bridges and waterfalls the current picks up and the river gets skinny, meandering through trees and roots. It’s like you are paddling right through the middle of a forest! You can paddle as far as you want then head back into the current the way you came or keep paddling the whole 9 miles to Jonathan Dickinson park where hopefully you left another car. This is one of the coolest spots I’ve ever paddled with all the different wildlife and huge cypress trees all around.
Wherever you paddle I recommend checking out Jupiter Paddleboarding (The Kite Shop). They can hook you up with any kind of board to rent, demo, or purchase. You can check them out online too at Jupiterpaddleboarding.com.
Here is a quick video we put together to show you what paddleboard around Jupiter is all about.