Stand Up Paddleboarding in Central Ohio

If you don’t know much about Ohio, you probably just think we have cows, cornfields, a couple of football and baseball teams, and a big college town right in the middle….

You probably didn’t know we have some great lakes, rivers, and reservoirs for paddleboarding!

My first time stand up paddleboarding was on vacation in Mexico. It was challenging with the current, but fun and I was hooked! Not long after that vacation, a local kayak store in Columbus had a SUP demo day at Alum Creek State Park beach. All HALA boards! I think I tried them all.

I bought a Carbon Straight Up and competed in a SUP-athlon at the same park (Alum Creek). Stand up paddleboarding is sure more fun than the swim in a triathlon! My husband saw how much fun I was having with my board, so he bought the Hala Fame.

We started a local Facebook group for kayaking and stand up paddleboarding and here are the places we like to go:

  • Hoover Reservoir – Westerville: We like to launch at the Twin Bridges boat ramp. From the launch, you can paddle in several coves. It’s quiet and you will see some interesting birds. You’ll pass people fishing. Boats are limited to 10 horsepower and 10 mph so you don’t have to worry about any wakes.

  • Alum Creek State Park Reservoir – Lewis Center: There are a lot of speed boats and jet skis on this reservoir, but we like going to the beach (my girls will take their friends on the Fame) or putting in at the Howard Boat Ramp (off Route 37) in Sunbury, OH.

  • Alum Creek – Westerville: this is the creek/river that flows south from the reservoir. We like to put in off Main Street in Westerville which is near Otterbein University. You can actually paddle north (against the current…but there’s never much current) through some pretty trees and the winding river then turn back around.

For SUP Yoga, I have taken classes near Oxbow Rd at Hoover Reservoir and at a great Adaptive Sports center in Powell, OH.

Someday, I’ll get up the courage to try Springfield’s Buck Creek “park and play” area in Snyder Park. It’s about an hour west of Columbus and visitors from all over the Midwest have been drawn to the site to ride through the rapids and surf.

Amy Cashman is an Ambassador for Hala Gear.

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