Here Is Where to Launch Your Paddle Board or Kayak on Topsail Island


Here Is Where to Launch Your Paddle Board or Kayak on Topsail Island

Whether you rent a kayak or paddle board from a local company or bring one from home, today's blog will list the best places to launch on and around Topsail Island. 

Exploring Topsail Island by kayak or paddle board is an excellent way to get to know the area. The ocean is great, but because we are a barrier island, Topsail is full of little inlets, streams, sounds and bays, perfect for safe, easygoing exploration. Get up close with nature, enjoy a little exercise, and enjoy your favorite vacation spot in a whole new way. 

Header photo courtesy of The Surf City Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Facebook Page

Boy on Paddle Board | Ward Realty

Where to launch: 

Since an actual boat ramp isn't technically necessary to launch a kayak or paddle board, you can really find any section of shallow water to start your adventure.  That being said, here are a few spots that make it easier, with specialized docks and shallow entry launches: 

1. Soundside Park | 517 Roland Ave

As of 2021, Soundside Park has an ADA -compliant kayak/SUP dock! 

According to Surf City's press release, "The small vessels will be able to be launched through an open slip or built-in ramp within a secondary boat slip that will guide vessels into the water, as well as offering a transfer platform for individuals using wheelchairs."

2. Wildlife Boat Launch 

North Topsail Beach offers a great launch site under the high rise bridge (Hwy 210). This spot is nice because there is plenty of parking and the water is very calm here. Oh, and it's free to use!

3. Bush Marina  |  912 S. Anderson Blvd., Topsail Beach, NC 28445

Topsail Beach offers access to the Intracoastal Waterway at Bush Marina, which is a self-pay situation. It's near Town Hall on South Anderson Blvd. Find more information here

4. Your Topsail Island rental

Did you know that Ward Realty offers several vacation rentals with docks? Some have actual kayak / SUP docks and sit right on the waterway, while others offer access to a community launch site. Browse the "amenities" section of our search page to find a waterfront house that works for you! 

Try "Canal" or "Sound" under Location, too. 

Dolphin Bay Vacation Rental | Ward Realty

Love this home? Click here to learn more about "Dolphin Bay" 

5. Try a tour company

Sometimes, especially if you are new to the sport, it's better to go straight to the experts! Local company Paddle NC offers several types of tours, all catered to your little group and skill level. You will explore the Permuda Island Nature Preserve, where you are sure to spot a variety of birds and other wildlife.  The calm waters of the salt marsh act as a nursery for a variety of sea life making it an ideal location for nature lovers.  Call 910-612-3297. 

Local Gear Rental: 

Topsail Island is THE place to learn to kayak or paddle board. 


We have so many companies ready to give you a quick lesson, tour, or just rent the appropriate gear for a day out on the water. Herring's Sports is one of the best known, and they will give you awesome advice, too. 

Where to Rent Kayaks On Topsail Island | Ward Realty

Where to Rent Kayaks, Bikes & More on Topsail Island, NC

Read our previous blog to see the best places to rent outdoor gear in Topsail Beach, Surf City and North Topsail Beach. 


Bonus tips: 

Watch out for low water

Pay attention to the tides, and ask for local advice if you are starting or ending your trip in a low-water area. After all, you don't want to get stuck when the tide goes out. Watercraft are heavy! 

Don't use a motorized boat launch for your kayak or SUP

The boat people will probably get upset with you! Try to launch from a spot designated for non-motorized watercraft, or get in and out quickly if you are using an actual boat launch. 

Bring waterproof footwear

Often, this is required if you are renting a board or boat. And, it's just smart to protect your feet when exploring the water. There are a lot of sharp little shellfish living in the sound and salt marshes! Ouch! 

Look for birds, animals, and plants along the way

You are very likely to spot awesome birds such as great blue herons, egrets, osprey, and of course, plenty of gulls. Also keep an eye out for jumping fish (mullets), dolphins and porpoises, and even the occasional alligator if the weather is warm enough! Always be on the lookout for snakes and snapping turtles if you decide to dock your kayak and explore the marshy areas. Oh, and wear water shoes. 

Protect your phone and wallet with a waterproof bag

You probably want to bring your phone on the kayak, but you definitely don't want it to get wet! Try a protective pouch, especially one that allows you to take photos even while the phone is in the case. There are plenty to choose from on Amazon


There are so many fun Topsail Island experiences you should try (in fact, find more here!). We have some absolutely gorgeous new homes in our inventory, so be sure to check out our page often to see what's new. Ward Realty has been managing Topsail Island rentals for years, and we hope to help you plan your next adventure. 


Plan your next Topsail Island vacation today!

Here Is Where to Launch Your Paddle Board or Kayak on Topsail Island


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