The flat water off of North Creek, Grand Turk.
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Grand Turk Stand-up Paddleboarding

Editor's Comments
At this time paddleboarding is mainly limited to the Cockburn Town Beach area due to the location of the water sports businesses. This activity is fun and a great workout, but there is little in the way of organized tours.
4-star rating for Stand-up Paddleboarding by Visit Turks and Caicos Islands
Paddleboarding offers an excellent view of the reef and sea life below.

Stand-up paddleboarding is an easy-to-pick-up activity that’s suitable for almost everyone. This sport utilizes what is basically an oversized surfboard and a single long-handled paddle. Quite a few accommodations offer complimentary paddle-board use to guests, and several local Grand Turk businesses offer rentals.

If you look, it’s often possible to see coral and marine animals in the water below, including southern brown stingrays, fish, and turtles. Due to their ability to cut through water surface reflections, polarized sunglasses make it much easier to spot creatures.

Paddleboarding Locations

Perfect water for paddling at Governor's Beach.

Grand Turk unfortunately doesn’t have the extensive wetlands that the Caicos Islands have, so paddling spots are more or less limited to either North Creek or off the west coast beaches.

Mangrove Wetlands

North Creek offers limited mangrove wetlands and shallows, but the surrounding buildings and occasional piece of junk machinery detract a bit from the experience.

This inland marine sound is typically quite calm, which is great for stand-up paddleboarding.

There’s no guarantee of sightings, however reddish egrets, cattle egrets, tricolored herons, brown pelicans, and ospreys are often seen.

Tours conclude near the mouth of the creek, below the Grand Turk Lighthouse.

St. Mary's Church on Cockburn Town Beach.

Historical Sights

Contrary to the wetland settings we generally suggest for stand-up paddling on the other inhabited islands in the Turks and Caicos, our opinion is that visitors will most enjoy exploring the coast close to Cockburn Town.

Here, the backdrop is old British-Bermudian Colonial architecture, crystal clear ocean water, and a beautiful beach.

There can be an ocean swell here, but usually little chop due to being sheltered by the island from the typical east-southeast winds.

Convenient hourly rentals can be arranged at onsite dive shops. Several accommodations on this coast also include complimentary paddleboard usage for guests.

Safety and General Advice

See our overview article on stand-up paddling in the Turks and Caicos.

As with all water sports, be aware of the wind and currents. Consider beginning your journey upwind so as to avoid an exhausting return trip.

Due to the northeast equatorial Atlantic trade winds, the breeze typically blows from east to west in the Turks and Caicos. Because all of Grand Turk’s popular beaches are found on the west coast, the land shelters the ocean a bit from the wind, which results in smoother surface conditions.

Be aware that this sheltered effect fades the further you are from shore. When paddling off of any of the west coast beaches, which includes the Cruise Center Beach, Governor's Beach, Cockburn Town Beach, and Pillory Beach, don’t stray far from the coast.

Wear a proper safety flotation vest.

There can be a significant swell and waves at times. Don’t attempt to paddle or surf in such conditions unless you’re with a qualified guide.

Cockburn Town from the water.