Discover the sights and sounds of Sanibel Island from the water. Skip the sand and explore the Gulf of Mexico on a paddleboard, one of our area’s most popular outdoor activities. Paddleboarding will bring you up close with local wildlife including seabirds, manatees, dolphins, turtles, and more. Whether you are new to paddleboarding or are an experienced paddler, Paddleboarding on Sanibel is an island activity you’ll never forget.
There are several Paddleboard service providers including Sanibel Sea School, a local organization that aims to create a world where all people value, understand and care for the ocean. Their mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time.
Sanibel Sea School hosts several paddleboarding tours led by ACA-certified instructors that are open to individuals of all levels ages 16 and older. Join in on the outdoor fun to develop your paddling skills, enjoy spectacular views, and – in the true spirit of Sanibel Sea School – learn a thing or two about our local wildlife and ecosystems. Each organized paddleboard tour costs $50 per person and includes the rental of your board and paddle.
Experience the best Sanibel has to offer during the The WhatSUP with Nature tour, a guided paddle through the area’s estuaries and waterways. This is a safe, easy and informative stand up paddle boarding experience, and it is an excellent choice for beginners. The paddleboarding will begin on land with an informative tutorial explaining basic technique and safety. Next, you will get out on the water. Your guide will have you standing in no time, helping you get comfortable with your new-found skills. When you feel ready, you will be led along waterways that are teeming with wildlife such as manatees, dolphins, stingrays, and a variety of coastal birds. You never know what surprises the ocean will have in store!
If you would prefer to kayak, the Flora and Fauna Kayak Paddle allows your family to explore Bowman’s Beach, J.N. “Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Bunche Beach, San Carlos Bay, and The Sanibel Canals. Relax and enjoy the sounds of nature as you paddle gently through Sanibel’s amazing coastal ecosystems – like mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and sand flats – without disturbing the native flora and fauna. Your knowledgeable guide will tell you about the plants and animals you encounter, and will be happy to answer your questions.
Private Paddling Sessions are also available. Private paddling sessions are 2 hours long and cost $100 per person, with a two-person minimum. Guests must be fourteen years of age or older.
Paddleboarding on Sanibel is such a fun way to ease into island life—but there are also plenty of other amazing activities, attractions, and experiences to enjoy. Our staff is always available to provide you with local information and recommendations to ensure that you and your family truly have a vacation you’ll never forget.