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Paddle Boarding Austin Lakes & Rivers

With many lakes and rivers in, around and close to Austin, Central Texas is an ideal location for Paddle Boarding (SUP). Whether you are interested in a leisurely paddle on flat and calm water, or would prefer a more extreme experience like surfing a boat wake or surfing down a fast moving river, Austin has a body of water for you!

Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake), located downtown, is ideal for a leisurely paddle. Paddle Board rentals are available at Texas Rowing Center during all daylight hours, everyday! Powered watercraft are not allowed on Lady Bird Lake, so unless its windy, the water is always calm. Paddling by the downtown skyline into some of the deeper inlets of Lady Bird Lake, makes for a great day of paddling with a wide variety of scenery and wildlife.

Lake Austin is a much busier and larger lake. With quite a few motor watercraft on nice weather days, this lake can be more challenging to paddle than Lady Bird Lake. Boat wakes often come from many directions, which can make stand up paddling more challenging. Navigating boat
wakes on a paddle board can be fun, but maybe not the preference for first time paddlers. Lake Austin is 20 miles long, offering beautiful scenery, hundreds of spectacular homes and many inlets to explore. Surfing boat wakes is another option on Lake Austin, but because the lake is relatively narrow, going out at times when the lake is not busy makes for a better experience.

Lake Travis is the largest of the Central Texas lakes and offers seemingly endless possibilities on SUP paddle boards. It would take many days to explore all of Lake Travis on paddleboard. This is also an ideal lake for SUP boat wake surfing. Visit this page to watch video of people stand up paddle (SUP) wake surfing on Lake Travis.

Highland Lakes of Central Texas: Buchanan, Inks, LBJ, Marble Falls, Travis and Austin. The lakes and nearby parks and recreation areas are popular for water sports and leisure activities. Paddle Boarding has become the most popular way of enjoying the lakes surrounding Austin.

History of Austin Area Lakes:

Six dams were built nearly 70 years ago to help handle floods, Mansfield Dam, which forms Lake Travis, is the only one designed to hold back floodwaters. The other dams pass floodwaters downstream to Lake Travis, where the water is stored in a flood pool until LCRA can safely release it downstream.

Between 1843 and 1938, the river basin suffered 15 major floods, causing millions of dollars in damage. Since their completion in 1941, Mansfield
Dam and the Lake Travis flood pool have reduced the force of major and minor floods, protecting downstream residents. Lakes Travis and Buchanan also serve as reservoirs, storing water for communities, industry and aquatic life along the river. The lakes have a long history of supplying irrigation water for the agricultural industry near the Gulf Coast. The combined storage capacity of the two lakes — about 680 billion gallons — keeps river-basin residents from running out of water even during severe droughts.

Each dam has a hydroelectric generation station that contributes "green" power to the Central Texas energy supply. Together, the hydroelectric plants provide more than 291 megawatts of capacity. Once the major source of power for LCRA's electric service area, hydroelectricity's primary use now is to help meet power demand "peaks" and to keep power flowing during emergencies.

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